When I told you, nearly two weeks ago, that there were big things on the horizon for me...well, I couldn't have imagined what all of them were. And sure enough, a lot of really great things have already happened.
What's not so great is that many of them have happened despite, or because of, what is best called an unfortunate discovery. I'm suddenly looking at some medical issues - not life-threatening, but definitely serious - and (for reasons I shouldn't go into) I am finding myself in search of a doctor.
But back to the good - I have, as ever, a fabulous husband, fantastic parents, amazing friends, and a really great job. All of this plays into the situation quite thoroughly, in ways I should have expected. I have referrals and appointments, I have insurance...and most importantly, I have support.
I'm not yet sure if I'll be fully disclosing my issue on the internets, and even if I do, I will most likely not give a play-by-play. What I do know is that if such a thing were going to come up, I'm one of the most fortunate people in the world to whom it could happen. When I come up with a way to pay it forward to others who don't, I may be letting y'all (all four of you, now) know.
In re: my last post, I had only a single taker. You know who you are. :) And in the interest of being true to my word, I'll be contacting you about your reward soon.
Surprisingly enough, there is other news. The no-foolin' version of my Baking 52 is in swing. So far, for semi-obvious reasons, it's taken place on Saturday nights...and now that I'm really giving it thought and time, it's going pretty well. To wit:
- Week 1: Easy Pecan Praline* Bars, based on this recipe from AllRecipes.com. I had neither almonds nor brown sugar...so I substituted with pecans and white sugar, and added more vanilla and extra butter. I think I was expecting something chewier (which is how I prefer my caramelized sugar), but this turned out a bit crystallized on top.
Not to worry, though. The bars were very nice warm, and a HUGE hit with Bryan and our folks. I'll try it again to see what I get with brown sugar properly done, but also to get some more of those raves.
- Week 2: Chocolate chip cupcakes, inspired by (but not taken from) the Cake Mix Doctor's cupcake book. Since yesterday was decidedly a Good Day, I picked up some cake mixes (and brown sugar) at the grocery and went digging through the book. While I wasn't lacking for ingredients, I didn't want to get too complicated. And also, maybe, I wanted to display my kitchen improv prowess just a little.
So I took a yellow cake mix and added a bit of brown sugar, some chocolate chips and extra vanilla, and a couple of secret weapons. I'm also 99% sure I left out the vegetable oil.
Plain-looking, I know. But it doesn't seem to matter. They're practically perfect without icing - almost a creamy flavor that's sweet without overwhelming. And I'm not holding out on you, either. Just click on the photo if you'd like to see the recipe.
All in all, my life continues to surprise me, and no matter which way it turns, I'm still enjoying most everything. Which is not to say I wouldn't enjoy a little more calm now and then...
At least I'm starting to learn a bit not to plan quite as much. Besides, improvisation has always been my strong suit. Why not go with it?
* This is properly pronounced "peh-KAHN PRAY-leen," by the way. Because a "PEE-can" is what some people's dads made them use on road trips.