Monday, December 30, 2013

Dreams & a "Snickers" Cake

When your growing up adults are always asking kids what they want to be when they grow up.  Then when you are really in the process of growing...aka going to college and taking classes, the question becomes what do you want to do when you graduate?  Generally during this period in life, the answer normally involves your dreams and aspirations; your dream job, a company you would love to work for, a city/state where you would like to be living while doing this job.  Then you graduate, and if you were born in the 80's and maybe even the early 90's, you were brought up thinking that directly after college you would just sort of automatically have job.  This of course is no longer the case, sometimes, like in my case it is several months searching for a job, and generally somewhere along the way, the dream job, with the dream location goes out the window and its more about finding a job that is in the general field you wanted to work in.  (That is not to say some of us don't get lucky, and find the job and the field that allows us to grow into our dream job.)  And we all work, we do what has to be done because now we are the adults. Then at some point, probably after 2-3 years of being in the working world, our dreams come back to the surface, and we start wondering again what it is we would truly love to be doing, to make our mark on the world, to follow our heart.  

I got to meet up with a friend for drinks over the holidays who is finally getting to truly live his dream.  Despite all the fact that for a while all odds (including having brain surgery) were against him, despite all of the incredibly hard work he is now doing, including crazy Army workouts, he never gave up and he loves every minute of it.  I can only imagine that this is what it feels like to be living your dream. When all of the continuous hard work is worth every minute of lost sleep or time away from friends and family.  It is always this time of year that the question asked is what will your New Years Resolution be?  I say we should all resolve to work a little more toward our dreams this year.  To looking into our hearts and really thinking about what we would truly love to be doing in life.  I myself don't want to forget why I started this blog three years ago now.  To have a place to share and a reason to bake constantly.  So after three years...and a couple hundred recipes here is another cake to add to the list.

It wouldn't really be a "Snickers" cake without an actual layer of melted together Snickers now would it?

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Hazelnut White Chocolate Brownies

Sometimes things fall apart...well duh...what I really mean is sometimes friendship fall apart. Sometimes it is because people move or there is a big falling out or sometimes its more subtle.  I have had this happen a few times in my life with super close friends and it never really gets easier.  I continue to always wonder how the other person is doing, whats new in their life and there are of course always things that remind of specific people.  Seriously it can be years...since college and even since high school.  But this is really just something that happens in life and in someways is part of growing up.  We all change, our priorities change as we grow up, in our 20's we really start to truly figure out who we are, and for some people its even significant others that get in the way.  I have to wonder though, does it ever get easier? Is there ever a point when you lose a friend, and your aren't really sure why, but you stop questioning it?

At this time of year, or well next Tuesday aka Christmas Eve, I always try to get my old friends together for brunch, and although not everyone can make it, its always a good gathering, a great time to catch up, and there is always plenty of food and drinks.  But its this time of year too that makes me think of those old friends, to send up a little prayer that all is well in their world and wish them happy holidays.  Baking brownies and cookies always reminds me of this as well...especially anything with hazelnuts like these brownies.  Long story short there was an attempt to make hazelnut macaroons in high school that did not turn out so delicious.

A little Christmas spirit...Thanks again James!

Monday, December 16, 2013

A Holidays Twist on the 7 Layer Bar and a Giveaway!

I started running again  the other really running a long distance.  I was calling it my test run to see where I was at as I prepare for a marathon in March again.  This  post however is not meant to be a humble brag.  It really more about that feeling you get when you are running by yourself, or well doing anything you really enjoy, that requires a little extra effort.  Running for me is my time to be "alone" while surrounded by others.  I get to observe, while never having to speak to anyone.  I might do a slight nod of the head to acknowledge and say "hi" to another runner, but once we pass, its back to being just my time.  It is my time to choose whatever path I want to take that day, to go for however long I want to...or well can that day.  A time to either think intently about something or maybe not really think about anything at all.  

We kind of all need an activity that allows us to do this, whether its cooking, baking, biking, crafting, doesn't really matter what the activity is.  It is much more about the way it makes you feel.  So this past Saturday the activity was running, while other days its more about baking.  For some, like my friend Michelle, its experimenting with new things.  This past weekend that just happened to be making Almond Joy body butter for the holidays which she is giving away along with body scrup!  You can check out her blog here: Mrs. Alexandria & Ms. Jax enter to win or enter the win at the bottom of this post.  Most days though, outside of her "real" job, Michelle is baking and selling dog treats.   What is this "thing" for you?

Friday, December 6, 2013

German Chocolate Cake for a birthday

Have you ever gotten to the point where it is always going to be slightly awkward with someone?  Like you used to be friends, but the fact is now you will probably never be more than acquaintances?  Like you used to be friend who would hug to say hi, hug to say good bye, but now even if you were about to bump into each other there is some sort of force field that stops this from even happening.  Maybe this is totally just me, but I literally almost physically ran into an old friend the other day, like we should have collided, because lets be real I run into things all of the time/am only really paying attention to where I am walking about 60% of the time, and my friend just was not even looking up.  (First I know I should be paying more attention, but truthfully since I can almost remember I have a problem with cutting corners and running into door frames/walls fairly often.)  I am really not trying to go anywhere with this; it was more just an observation...or maybe the universe knows...doubtful though.  One of these days I will probably run into someone though while I am carrying a multi-layer cake.  It is kind of one of my fears that this will happen, or that for some terrible reason, my cake container will just break while I am carrying it to my car on the way to work with a cake like this one it.