Posts Tagged 'Jesus'

Pipe Dream #183: To Single-Serve Splurge – No Bake Nests

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Do you ever buy Mini Cadbury Eggs in single-serve packages even though you know it would be a better deal to buy them in bulk?

Ok, me neither. Phewfta.

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Ok, I can’t carry on like this.

Confession: I bought Mini Cadbury Eggs in single-serve packages. they were like 84 cents! Mini Eggs are my delight. Even more than regular Creme Eggs. Hay-eck, I can make regular Creme eggs from scratch. But I will pay someone to make Mini Eggs.

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Seeing Mini Eggs in-store means that it is Easter time. I thought it would be cute to stick little candies in a classic no bake cookie, making little nests for a themed treat. I thought this was an #lhoriginal thought, but after a quick Google search, I’d been scooped once again.

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No bake cookies are literally the easiest cookie on the earth. And they take no time (exaggeration). And they are high in fiber. And they are so chocolaty peanuty nom nom.

One thing to heed is the amount of time that you boil the sugar/cocoa mixture. Boiling for a short minute will give you soft, shiny cookies. If you boil it for longer than a minute, your cookies will be a little crumbly. I couldn’t tell if the mixture was boiling–it was kind of a slow glurg at the edges of the saucepan–so I think I boiled them for a little too long. This turned out to be good, though, because they set up a little stiffer into their nest shape.

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Happy Easter! Guys, spring is tomorrow today! And don’t forget Jesus!

L

No Bake Nests

Adapted from Food Network

1 cup sugar
2 tablespoons cocoa
1/2 stick (4 tablespoons) butter
1/4 cup milk
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/2 tablespoon vanilla
1 1/2 cups quick oats
Cadbury Mini Eggs or other candies

In a heavy saucepan bring the sugar, cocoa, butter and milk to a boil. Let boil for 1 minute (I let mine go maybe two minutes so they held up better for the nests, but next time I would boil them for just one minute), then add the peanut butter and the vanilla, stirring well until combined. Stir in the oats. Drop the mixture by the tablespoonful onto a sheet of parchment or waxed paper. Let cool for a minute, then use the back of a spoon to make a depression in the center of each cookie so it looks like a bird’s nest. Once the cookies have cooled for about 30 minutes, fill each cookie with a Cadbury egg or two. Makes about 18 cookies.

Pipe Dream #169: To Live Life With Regrets – Salted Caramel Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars

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Do you ever have regrets? I know some people who are like, “I have no regrets. I just want to live my life with no regrets.”

And I am amazed because I don’t believe them. Now, come on, it’s a nice idea and all, but there is no possible way you’ve never done something regrettable, or caused someone else regret. Then you would be perfect and the Gospel wouldn’t be true, and I know that the Gospel is true (mostly because I know you’re not perfect? Haha, jokes. But it’s ok, me neither.).

What they are actually saying is, “Yeah, I’ve made mistakes, but I’m not going to dwell on them, because they’re already done, and it would cause me pain to think about them.”

Welp, hello regrets, I actually like you and your pain. Regrets mean that I am a regular person. Regrets mean that I have actually lived on the edge. And having real regrets makes me a wiser and more compassionate person. Every time I experience regret, it reminds me not to make the same mistakes. I’m all for living with regrets.

But I like being free of them. I’m not all about living with guilt, but that is a different story for a different day. For now, you will just have to forgive me for not using enough caramel in the following recipe of awesome.

Soapbox removed, commence baking.

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First off, brown butter. Totally not regrettable.

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Second off, chocolate chip cookie dough, with liberal chips. Also, highly unregrettable.

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Then, caramel. This is where I am experiencing a little bit of remorse.I was trying to use up some leftover caramels, but I didn’t really have enough to make the texture/flavor stand out. Don’t get me wrong, it was still there, but if I’m stuffing cookies, I’m all about go big or go home.

Double your caramel. I didn’t. I had regrets.

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Next, liberal sea salt, of the flaky variety. No scruples to be had.

Then bake at 325 and pose away. I got a little carried away, I’ll admit. But they were so photogenic, I couldn’t resist.

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Piled  on plates.salted cookie bars 5

Stacked in towers.

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Wrapped in parchment.

This is one for the books, guys.

Free from regret,

L

Salted Caramel Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars

Adapted from Brown Eyed Baker

2 cups all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
12 tablespoons butter, browned
1 cup light brown sugar
½ cup granulated sugar
1 egg
1 egg yolk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups chocolate chips
6 ounces caramel candy squares, unwrapped (or more, mine was skimpy)
2 tablespoons heavy cream
Kosher salt, for sprinkling

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Grease an 8-inch or 9-inch square pan.

Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally and scraping up the bits on the bottom until the butter is amber-colored and smells nutty. Set this aside to cool.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt.

Mix together the cooled browned butter and sugars until well-combined. Add the egg, egg yolk, and vanilla extract and mix until smooth. Add the dry ingredients, stirring until just combined. Stir in the chocolate chips.

Combine the caramels and heavy cream in a microwave-safe bowl and microwave on high until the caramels are melted, stirring every 20 seconds for about 2 minutes total.

Press half of the cookie dough into the prepared pan, smoothing the top with a spatula. Pour the hot caramel over the cookie dough and spread evenly with a spatula, leaving some empty space around the edges. Sprinkle the caramel with the kosher salt, then drop the remaining cookie dough in spoonfuls over the caramel and gently press in the rest of the dough with a spatula until the caramel is covered. Sprinkle the bars with additional salt.

Bake the cookie bars for 25 minutes, or until the bars are light golden, but don’t overbake. Cool the bars on a wire rack to room temperature, then refrigerate for about 30 minutes to allow the caramel layer to set. Leftovers will keep in at room temperature.

Pipe Dream #168: To Be A Guilt-Free Addict Instead – Peppermint Meringues

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Here is how I could start this post:

“Peppermint Meringues: An Guilt-Free Addiction. These little buggers can be the spice of your life, especially in January, month of sugar overdose cleanse. Seriously, they’re like 15 calories a pop, perfect if you need a sweet but don’t feel like busting out a butter cake.”

But here is the thing. When you eat these, it won’t necessarily erase any post-holiday guilt you may be feeling. Party after party of canapes and cookies? Yeah, don’t act like you didn’t indulge a bit. Actually, I won’t act like I didn’t indulge a bit, because I did, and I won’t put words in your mouth. :]

Guilt is basically the result of feeling like we don’t measure up quite well enough, right? We all have different ways of coping with it. None of them are really healthy, because nothing we can do can really make us measure up to perfection. One thing I am really glad about today is this verse in Isaiah 6:

“With it he touched my mouth and said, “See, this has touched your lips; your guilt is taken away and your sin atoned for.”

It sounds super obscure and weird, right? And it kind of is, unless you read the story, but the thing that is blowing my mind is this: Not only does Jesus take away my imperfection, he actually takes away my guilt too. Imperfection gone, guilt gone, so I don’t have to live under it anymore.

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Some days, I wish that I could let these peppermint meringues touch my lips and be completely guilt-free, but that’s not how it works. I still deal with self-inflicted guilt over what-have-you. Verses like that help to remind me that I don’t have to.

So point of the story, you can make these to try and relieve post-holiday guilt, but they are a very poor substitute. A very delicious, poor substitute that looks like Whos from Who-ville.

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This is the first time I have baked my meringues in a true low ‘n slow fashion. (Usually I’m too impatient.) Instead of a quick-baked version that turns out hollow and a little chewy, these meringues are solid all the way through and light as air. Combined with the cool little food-dye party trick, these turned out to be pretty successful, yeah?

That’s all for now, folks,

L

Peppermint Meringues

2 egg whites, room temperature
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract
3/4 cup regular or superfine sugar

Preheat oven to 200°F.

Beat egg whites until foamy. Add salt, cream of tartar and peppermint extract, and beat mixture until it holds soft peaks. Add the sugar gradually, beating the batter until it is stiff. Drop a few drops of red food coloring (gel or liquid) on the top of the meringue, but don’t stir it in. Spoon meringue into a piping bag, then pipe batter onto parchment paper-lined baking sheets. Bake for 1 1/2 to 2 hours, until light and crispy , but not brown. Let cool on baking sheets on a wire rack.

Favorite Shots: The Image of My Heart Shall Be Exposed

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If the image of my heart were always to be exposed, it might be more like the left than the right sometimes. It’s a problem.

L

Favorite Shots: Christmas Upon Us

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Warning: The following verse is so good. Better than that steaming turkey from Thanksgiving (or Christmas, if you buck trends. You trend-bucker, you). CHRISTMAS IS UPON US.

“And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.”

John 1:14

Goodbye ’til next year. I’m taking a couple weeks off. Be well!

L

Favorite Shots: Peeps!

It is Easter this week! If I were at home, I would be eating Peeps. You know Peeps? The fluffy little sugar-coated, chick-shaped balls of marshmallow wonderfulness that puff up in the microwave and only migrate seasonally in America? Oh, how I rue the fact that these birds only peep out of their nests for three weeks of the year. (Did you get that pun? :]) I love Peeps.

There is a boy at school with a Peeps t-shirt. I told him I could probably eat 100 Peeps because I loved them so much. He didn’t believe. I tried to convince him (not sure why, death by sugar for me, I guess). He said he would buy me 100 Peeps and see if I could eat them.

Well that hasn’t happened yet, which is why I am not lying dead before you with crystallized sugar freezing up my veins, but I tell you the truth! I love Peeps. And point of the story, these chicks look like Peeps.

These shots were taken on my old camera, so the quality is not super high, but I love the yellow next to the aqua of the box bottom. It is striking.

Even more striking, though, and even more worthy of my love than Peeps, is the real reason I love Easter. Easter is a reminder of how much Jesus loves me. He died a death far worse than eating 100 Peeps all so that we would be free of the guilt of our sin and experience real life. Here’s what he said:

“I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?” –Jesus

Happy Easter,

Lauren

Favorite Shots: Jesus Clouds

This shot is for my sessy. She takes advantage every opportunity to take pictures of clouds and sunsets on her phone. Even if she is driving, and I fear for her life. We call this particular phenomenon “Jesus clouds.” It’s what the clouds are going to look like when Jesus comes back. It’s a little taste of heaven shining through. And so I love them.

You can’t stop the music,

L


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