>> Saturday, December 17, 2011
It's been a really rough week!
You know the theory that bad things come in threes... well they came in four's and fives this week.
Life at work was insane! It wasn't just your typical, "Oh that was a really stressful week". No, it was pretty much terrible! Lots of things going on there, one of which include the word "restructuring", and it was really hard!
Then my husband got in a car accident this week. But the problem is, that he drives a '67 Ford Mustang. So, it's not like any other car, and we can just go ahead and have it fixed. It has to be taken to a specific car specialist, and we'll never be able to match the specific color it was painted, so it will just have to have black primer on it until we can afford to get the whole car repainted.
On top of the craziness, it was our 8 year anniversary this week - and I was way to stressed out to even remotely enjoy it. My poor hubby was busy trying to take care of me (this was before he wrecked his car! :) ), and we tried to enjoy dinner and our date as much as possible.
Yesterday, I was really down in the dumps! I was having myself a good ole' pity party about what a stressful and rough week it was, and it was Christmas time - my favorite time of the year, and now it felt ruined... and then I stopped dead in my tracks! Boy was I going down a really bad path, and I felt that oh so "GENTLE" nudge that I was so so wrong.
Christmas was not ruined because I was having a bad day - in fact, I think it was made better, because only when I am at the very bottom of myself can God be glorified, and then the true meaning of Christmas can really be portrayed. God is the God of peace, He is the God of comfort, He holds us in the midst of our sorrow, and in the middle of everything... He is on the throne.
I heard this song on the radio yesterday, it's one of my favorites we sing at SouthBay Church, and it has been my saving grace. Thought I would share with you.
This week, when I was at my craziest, I decided to make some comfort food in the form of chocolate. Don't worry, I only had one piece and took the rest to work! :) This pretzel bark is so good. It's kind of a twist on some of the bark that is out there at Christmas time. I love the mix of the flavors, and I love homemade caramel. It's really a very very tasty treat - and perfect for giving away to neighbors and friends in your Christmas goodie bags!
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
1 cup light brown sugar
bag of pretzel sticks (you won't need the whole bag)
8 oz. semi-sweet chocolate chips
4 oz. milk chocolate chips (recommend Guittard)
Fleur de Sel sea salt
1. Line a baking tray with foil and lightly brush on butter from one of the sticks - just barely cover. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
2. Place the butter in a saucepan over medium-low heat (if you have gas heat, really watch it, because it will get hot very fast). As the butter is melting, lightly break pretzel sticks up with hands and place evenly covering surface of foil-lined cookie sheet.
3. Once butter is melted, add the brown sugar and whisk until incorporated (this may take a few minutes - the butter once to stay separated). Allow the sugar and butter to simmer, but avoid letting the whole thing boil. It will be a big huge mess, and you'll have to do the whole thing again - take my word for it! :) Stir occasionally, about 3-4 minutes until it takes on a caramel consistency.
4. Pour the caramel mixture evenly over the pretzels, drizzling back and forth, using a spatula to even it out if you missed any spots. Bake in the oven 5-7 minutes.
5. While caramel is in oven, over a double boiler (saucepan filled with simmering water with a larger bowl on top. Remember not to let the bowl touch the water or you end up with burnt chocolate), place the chocolate. Continue to stir until its melted and smooth.
6. Pour the melted chocolate over the cooked caramel/pretzel mixture, again drizzling back and forth and using a spatula to spread to any missed spots. Sprinkle with the fleur de sel and place in refrigerator for approximately one hour to harden. Place on a cutting board upside down, pulling the foil off. Cut or break the sheet into smaller/bark like pieces.