Saturday, 24 May 2014

Butter Brickle Dessert

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This brings me back to my childhood.


It's one of those recipes that instantly reminds me of my mom, and the sweet smells of her baking up another one of her delicious desserts.


This one is an oldie but a goodie. It's called Butter Brickle, and it's ridiculously good.


One of those recipes that actually comes from a cookbook (a COOKBOOK!)...an old cookbook with pencil marks, sticky finger marks and crinkled pages. Well loved. Well used. If you've never tried this dessert before YOU MUST. It's so delicious and so so easy to make. I swear you'll love it. It's the perfect summer dessert (ice cream in the middle = summer time bliss). And the best part is that you can make it ahead of time and store it in your freezer until you're ready to serve it--if you have the willpower to not take a fork to it beforehand, that is.  


Please try it. You'll love it--I promise. It's sooo yummy!!

Here is how you make it:

2 cups flour
1/2 cup oatmeal
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 sticks of margarine (1/2 cup)
1 cup chopped pecans
1 jar caramel sauce
1-2 pints vanilla ice cream

Melt margarine (I used butter). Add flour, oatmeal, brown sugar and chopped pecans into large mixing bowl. Mix well with wooden spoon.


Pat thin on a large cookie sheet and bake at 400 for 15mins.


It should look like this (below) when it is fully cooked.



 Crumble while hot and spread HALF on bottom of 9" by 13" pan (I used a smaller dish and split the recipe in half since I knew we didn't need a huge pan for the amount of people I was making this for).


Drizzle 1/2 jar of caramel topping over crumbs.



Spread the ice cream over top.





Put the remaining crumbs on top of the ice cream



Drizzle the rest of the caramel sauce on top, cover the dish with saran wrap and freeze.




Leave in freezer for a couple of hours so that the ice cream can harden again, then dig in!!


Enjoy!!


Enjoy your weekend everyone,
Love Erica xo

Friday, 16 May 2014

bumblebee cupcake love

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Sometimes the best distractions in life are those that are sweet. 


Icing sugar covering my counter tops and rolling fondant between my fingers means that I can get lost a bit in the moment. Lost in the process, lost in the time crunch, lost in the sweet smells of creating happiness for another young mom who is about to deliver a baby boy. Someone who I don't even know. But someone who unknowingly provided me an opportunity to feel happiness for someone else who has something that I wish that I had for myself right now. A pregnant belly, cupcakes topped with cute little bees and the anticipation of a sweet little baby. 
  

So with every little bee that I created and placed atop yellow icing the other week, I felt happiness. Happiness for someone who I didn't even know. Happiness for someone since I knew that they were about to experience something so amazing...so incredible...so exhausting and hard, but so unbelievable.

A baby changes everything.  



So with bees and icing and cute little cupcake holders, I lost myself in someone else's joy...
and forgot about our own loss.


I still remember the day that Terry and I decided to tell the world that we were expecting with our pregnancy announcement. It was earlier than we would have typically made the announcement (before the standard 3 month mark), but since staffing at my school was already underway, I needed to tell my school that I wouldn't be there next year...so word got out and started to spread. And although sometimes I wonder if we should have never said anything at all...I then always come back to the fact that I'm so glad that we shared our news, our story and ultimately our loss. Because without having done so, I don't think we could have managed this on our own. So on those days when I make mistakes since I'm so distracted by my own thoughts, or when I all of a sudden become forgetful because my mind is racing or those days when I'm just not myself because I can't stop thinking about it...I'm grateful that people know. And although things like this little video announcement are still impossible for me to watch without breaking down, I find that if I distract myself enough with the rest of what life has to offer, I can pretend that our loss never even happened (not that I'd recommend denial as a proper coping method, if I was a therapist, but hey I'm not a therapist...so it works).

So we took the kids to the zoo...



and got lost in the slow movements of the giraffes, only feet away from us...




and the tigers...


and snakes.


And we all went ahead with life, as if life was as it always had been. Because in those moments, it really feels like it is.


Because sometimes it's the little things like trips to the zoo and hoola hooping in the dining room that help me to see into the future ahead...and see that regardless of all of the tough times, there is so much to still look forward to...and ultimately, life moves forward.



So here's to a great long weekend, everyone.

Go do something amazing.

Erica xo

Wednesday, 7 May 2014

Retirement

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Sometimes it's the good stuff that keeps you going when the sadness over loss creeps in.

It's the holidays that come whether you're ready to celebrate or not. It's your kids who want to be pushed "higher and higher" on the swings, when you really would have otherwise been curled up on the couch that day if it wasn't for them. It's kindergarten kids who need every ounce of you and who come running for hugs, love and attention while you're all the while pretending that your heart isn't completely broken. It's the busyness of the school day that can sweep you away into denial and allow you to pretend that life is as it always was. When really, it's not.

But it's also the happiness of others who you get to feed off of...especially when it feels like your own happiness has been swept away.

My mom just retired...and happiness and celebrating this gigantic milestone in her life has been a welcomed distraction and something that has allowed me to feed off of her happiness and this new, exciting time in her life.

So the day that she retired, we snuck in and decorated her house...  


setting up the counter top with a fancy bottle of wine, jube candies (her favourite), a beautiful bouquet of flowers, her old nursing cap, scrubs and dad's picture display...





We set out her cards, blew up balloons, hid our cars down the street so she wouldn't know we were there, got the kids into their fancy clothes and all of us showed up for her that day...

because love is showing up.



And when she walked into her house on her very last day of work, she found her whole family standing there in her kitchen screaming "Congratulations!"...



and little people went running to her.



So with pizza for dinner around the couches...




and decadent desserts made by Jen...


we celebrated 40 years of a career in nursing. Forty years where she made a difference on a daily basis, where she comforted families and patients, where she loved on people and met wonderful friends. This is a woman who deserves every wonderful moment of retirement, and we couldn't be happier for her.


So the good stuff is a good distraction.

I made my mom a cake for the party that her co-workers threw for her, just a week after we lost our baby. And although she tried to convince me otherwise, I knew that with every roll of the fondant through my fingers and every egg that was cracked into the mixing bowl, I could focus on something else...something happy. Something different.










So we showed up at the party with cake and little ones--and celebrated until bedtime.


Congratulations mom--we couldn't be more proud of you and we're so incredibly happy for you.


Love Erica xox
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