Friday, September 28, 2012

Hi.......

Oooopsy....... it's been a while......... again.  Coming back next week to really focus on the blog again, as well as getting in touch with you and your blogs.  Happy weekend!

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Lately.......

photo via BELLAmumma

I was browsing through a few blogs (yes I found the time to, or rather I was up at 4:40 AM finishing Etsy orders and finished earlier than expected) and I came across a lovely post over on BELLAMumma about being positive, feeling fabulous in the morning, and carrying that feeling with you throughout the day.  It's a short, lovely read and encourages with small reminders we can all strive to practice daily...... read here

Today I have a much needed girl's evening with my college bud Lindsay.  It's not often we get the chance to connect, certainly not as often as in the past, but I always know it's going to be a time filled with tons of laughs, good food, and positive energy.  We both studied interior design together and our visits tend to help us feed off of each others creativity- it's the best.  Can't wait!

Etsy has been steadily busy, actually quite busy this past month transitioning into the Fall season.  I thank God everyday for how blessed I am to have the opportunity to design and create pretty things for clients and their special events.  My husband was talking with my Mom the other day explaining to her that sometimes he'll pass by the office and see me working on an order with a little smile on my face.  We all know that when you're in the 'groove', you don't necessarily analyze your actions, therefore I had no idea that I "make happy faces".  Listening to him say that gave me a feeling of satisfaction, it reminded me that working and doing what I love with my Etsy shop is an ultimate success.  

I've been having some work struggles (with my professional day job) which I am just beginning to feel a calmness over, thanks to the support of my Husband and family.  It's still quite fresh on the brain, however I know that I will soon feel the openness to share here on the blog- maybe someone out there is going through the same situation?

I've been embracing the simple things in life.  I've been reminding myself a lot lately that time is not guaranteed to anyone.  I've been breathing fresh air, enjoying bike rides with D, went on a spur-of-the-moment beach picnic date night with him, we have a concert to attend next week, then a little LA trip to enjoy with D the following weekend.  It's important to spend time with the people you love, not to put it off and assume you'll have time in the near future.  If your husband wants to grab an iced coffee and go to the comic shop- go with him, spend the time with him.  If a friend calls to invite you for dinner or to meet up for coffee- go, you could probably both use some laughs and time to catch up.  If your Mom is willing to come over and help you with a project or go out for lunch- go, spend that much needed time (and maybe you'll even stop to watch the sunset and take silly photos outside on the balcony- oh, or maybe that's just me and my Mom).

Hope all is well.




Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Monday, September 3, 2012

Mocha Coconut Fudge

If it has the word coconut in it, count me in.  I understand that coconut is definitely an acquired flavor- people either love it or hate it.  I love it.  My husband loves it.  That equals "winning" in the kitchen.

I must say that to date, since I've begun this Pinterest recipe finding/making/baking shenanigans, this fudge recipe is my absolute favorite!  I cannot believe how good these little bars taste.  Just a little secret from my kitchen to yours- have a cold beverage on the side and cut them on the smaller side because these babies are super rich and filling.

(yep, even I was surprised at the amazing photos our good 'ol Nikon popped out).
 
Alrighty- the original recipe I found on Pinterest and followed, came from How Sweet it is blog.  Jessica has many, many more amazing recipes worth browsing through (bookmark her blog for a guaranteed re-visit when you have browsing time).  Especially with the Fall season here, she just linked tons of "Football Season Recipes"- uuuummmm, YES!  By the way, she takes amazing photos as well.
 
 
 
Here we are, copied straight from HSII, with my added tips and tricks:
 
Mocha Coconut Fudge
makes one 8×8 pan
 
12 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
12 ounces white baking chocolate, chopped
1 can (15oz) sweetened condensed milk
1 1/2 tablespoons espresso powder (or instant coffee)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 teaspoons coconut extract
1 tablespoon coconut oil
1/2 cup flaked coconut, toasted
Spray an 8×8 pan with non-stick spray.
 
 

Add semisweet chocolate to a double boiler, and melt completely. Once melted, add in half of the sweetened condensed milk, the vanilla, the coffee powder and 1/2 tablespoon of coconut oil. Stir with a spatula until combined and fairly smooth, then spread evenly in the bottom of the pan. Mixture will be thick. Place in the freezer for 30 minutes.
S&S tips- Boiler?! (wth).  Not for me.  I popped the choc. chips in a bowl and put it in the microwave for 1.5 minutes.  Patience is not my strong suit when I'm in the kitchen.

Add white chocolate to a double boiler and melt completely. Add in remaining condensed milk, coconut oil and coconut extract, stirring until combined. Remove fudge from freezer and add white chocolate on top, spreading evenly to coat. Top with toasted coconut, then chill in the refrigerator for 60-90 minutes.
S&S tips- you guessed it, no on the boiler, yes to the microwave again.  Be careful though, white chocolate can easily burn, keep an eye on it.

When ready to cut, fill a large cup with hot water. Dip a sharp knife into the water, then blot on a towel. Use knife to cut fudge into your desired size of squares.

Note: the melting can also be done in the microwave. I suggest melting the chocolate first on medium power in 30 second increments, stirring after each time. Once melted, add in remaining ingredients and stir until smooth. You can also use this Lindt Coconut White Chocolate for the coconut layer.

S&S compromises:  My can of condensed milk was 14 oz., not 15 oz.  Oh well.  I didn't use espresso powder, rather I used the instant coffee.  I also didn't use official white baking chocolate, I just used white chocolate chips.  To toast the coconut flakes, I just tossed them into a small pan and let it sit on low heat while stirring the flakes occasionally until most turned golden.


 
This one's worth it, promise.