Breakfast: Gingerbread Coffee, applebrownsugardeliciousness, and bacon.

When everyone was here for #SFNYE I was super excited to make breakfast in the morning.  I think it went well considering all us girls have been talking about getting together for coffee and applebrownsugardelicousness. Here’s my recipe for a perfect lazy weekend breakfast:

1. Gingerbread Coffee.  (I get mine from Trader Joes)

2. Apple Dutch Baby.  (So easy AND impressive looking.)

Ingredients:
Sliced apples
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/8 teaspoon of cinnamon (or just use two shakes of a cinnamon shaker)
3 Tablespoons butter melted (If it is not melted you can just toss it in the pie pan while the oven is preheating)
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup milk
3 eggsPreheat your oven to 425 degrees.
Place the brown sugar, cinnamon, apples, and butter in your pie pan and bake in the oven until your apples are soft. This takes about 3 to 5 minutes.
While your apples are cooking place the flour, milk and eggs in a bowl and beat with a hand mixer.
When apples are warm and soft, add the rest of the ingredients to your pie pan and bake in your oven for 15 minutes.
Cut up like a pie and serve with warm syrup or powdered sugar and lemon juice

 3.  Bacon.  (Trust me, you’ll want the salt)

It tastes better eaten with amazing friends, FYI.

Enjoy!

Make: A cake and a speech. #reverb10

December 6 – Make. What was the last thing you made? What materials did you use? Is there something you want to make, but you need to clear some time for it? (Author: Gretchen Rubin)


My best friend on the planet got married this past August. We’ve been best friends since the first day of 7th grade when we both showed up on the first day of school wearing equally heinous outfits– but thinking we looked fabulous.The two things I am the most proud of making this year were for her and her wedding. I made a cake and a speech.




The Cake
I am a baker. I love baking for people, so I knew as I was planning her bridal shower that I was going to make her cake. It took hours, and was worth every singe ounce of effort that went into it. It looked so much like the cake her mom had at her own wedding. It was perfect. The recipe was from Joy the Baker and can be found here.

The Speech
Such a big deal. I wrote it furiously one night while listening to a sermon. It flowed so quickly out of me, I knew they were the right words. This picture was taken right after I finished.





Hi everyone, my name is Brianna, and I am lucky enough to call Erin my BFFAE, or Best Friend Forever And Ever. We’ve been best friends since the first day of 7th grade and I, honestly, could never fully tell you all how much better my life is because of Erin, but, I suppose when your best friend get’s married people expect you to try. So, here it goes, please excuse any resulting tears.

It has been said that home is a place where we are fully known, fully loved, and fully accepted. We are born into a family, our first home, but then we spend the majority of our lives looking for and redefining Home. When we make friends and look for a partner, part of us is looking for a home. We are looking for that place where we are fully known, fully loved, and fully accepted.

My friendship with Erin has been my most constant home. Together we navigated through our awkward teens and our rebellions. We went off to college, we’ve fallen in love, we’ve had our hearts broken, and we’ve succeeded in ways we never even dreamed of– and through every success and failure we’ve returned home. I am the best version of myself because of my friendship with Erin. I am more confident, more bold, more secure because I have this constant friend who sees me; and fully loves and accepts me. I love that this wedding is here at this house. I was lucky enough to grow up here too. This is where I have had some of my happiest memories and it’s where I have run when everything else seemed to be crashing down.

As you can imagine, I am very protective of my best friend. I have always harbored some serious doubts that anyone she loves would ever be fully deserving of her; but then she met Chris.

I knew after less than 3 month that he was The One. When Erin and Chris started dating, Erin got super sick. She was in the hospital and because I couldn’t be there, Chris sent me daily updates on her status. Not just what the doctor said, but how Erin was dealing with everything. Early on two things became very apparent: 1. that Chris adored Erin. And 2, that Chris understood how important Erin is to me.

Now, let me tell you what the greatest thing in the world is. Watching your best friend be in love. Watching Erin change within her relationship with Chris has been awe inspiring. There is a quote about how real freedom comes from a committed and secure love. You have have the confidence to reach higher than you ever imagined, because you 100% trust that you have found your soul mate and he is waiting for you if you fall. My best friend, who has always been the best person I know, has become even better with Chris. She’s blossomed and grown into this amazingly confident, smart, and beautiful woman. What has become clear is that Erin has found her home in Chris. She is fully known, fully loved, and fully accepted. And I couldn’t be happier for her.

Ten years ago, when Erin and I were 14ish we really liked the Disney Channel. Specifically we really liked the show “Boy Meet’s World”. Anyways, the main character, Corey, finally marries his life-long love, Topanga. Corey’s best friend Shawn interrupts the reception to explain why he and Corey have been non-stop fighting about the wedding. Needless to say, Erin and I both cried the first time we saw it and vowed that whichever of us who got married first would get the “Boy Meet’s World Toast” at their wedding. We’ve had in transcribed for years. And because I keep my promises, even ones made in high school, here is the toast that touched Erin and I that fateful night over ten years ago (with the appropriate name changes):

Erin and I have been best friends all our lives. And, um, this wedding’s been kinda hard for me because I know, no matter how much we may avoid talking about it, Erin and I aren’t gonna be best friends forever. Things are changing between us. Things have always been changing. We’ve had to deal with life… and death. And Feeney. But no matter what we faced, we always faced it together. So then how can we possibly be upset with each other on her wedding day? Well, it’s because deep down, I think Erin and I both know that we’re not gonna be best friends anymore. (Long pause) And that’s the way it should be. So this is to Chris. Erin’s husband… and new best friend. Take care of her okay?







This post is a part of #reverb10. Reverb 10 is an annual event and online initiative to reflect on your year and manifest what’s next. The end of the year is an opportunity to reflect on what’s happened, and to send out reverberations for the year ahead.
You should join, whether you’re a daily blogger, a sometimes-blogger, or a I-don’t-blog-but-I-keep-a-mean-journal-er. You can participate by clicking here.

Homemade Marshmallows

I learned something about myself this weekend. It is that in crisis mode… I become really reserved and introverted. On Friday I, being the genius that I am, deleted an entire database on accident. The panic was real and horrible, and the IT guy was not in the office until Tuesday…. so even though I thought everything would be ok-My weekend mostly sucked. I just could not shake the feeling of needing to know that the database was actually ok. I got up early to come in and make sure it was fixable.. and when it looked like it wasn’t, I cried. Now it is officially fixed, and I feel like a big weight has been lifted.

It’s been raining here a whole bunch, and yesterday we had a rainy-day cookout. It was a lot of fun, and I made Smellows for hot chocolate for everyone. The recipe comes from my Aunt Susie, and she even makes them with crushed candycanes at Christmas time. I thought I would share the recipe.

INGREDIENTS
Serving: Makes 24
Vegetable oil, for brushing4 unflavored gelatin, (3 tablespoons plus 1 1/2 Teaspoons)
3 Cups granulated sugar
1 1/4 Cups light corn syrup
1/4 Teaspoon salt
2 Teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 Cups confectioners’ sugar

DIRECTIONS:
Brush a 9-by-13-inch glass baking dish with oil. Line with parchment, allowing a 2-inch overhang on the long sides.
Brush parchment with oil; set aside.
Put granulated sugar, corn syrup, salt, and 3/4 cup water into a medium saucepan.
Bring to a boil over high heat, stirring to dissolve sugar.
Cook, without stirring, until mixture registers 238 degrees; on a candy thermometer, about 9 minutes.
Meanwhile, put 3/4 cup cold water into the bowl of an electric mixer; sprinkle with gelatin.
Let soften 5 minutes.
Attach bowl with gelatin to mixer fitted with the whisk attachment.
With mixer on low speed, beat hot syrup into gelatin mixture.
Gradually raise speed to high; beat until mixture is very stiff, about 12 minutes.
Beat in vanilla.
Pour into prepared dish, and smooth with an offset spatula.
Set aside, uncovered, until firm, about 3 hours.

Sift 1 cup confectioners’ sugar onto a work surface.
Unmold marshmallow onto confectioners’ sugar; remove parchment.
Lightly brush a sharp knife with oil, then cut marshmallow into 2-inch squares.
Sift remaining 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar into a small bowl, and roll each marshmallow in the sugar to coat.
Marshmallows can be stored in an airtight container up to 3 days

Christmas!!

I had such a nice Christmas. So much family, so much food.
Christmas Eve my mom came over and my friend Leah and I went to the late service at church. It was INCREDIBLE. Full on chills from beginning to end. It’s crazy. Right now, it feels like my heart is feeling things magnified ten times over. I am way more prone to tearing– and not sad things– mostly anything.
Christmas morning I started my first official Christmas tradition…and I will post it for you and for all my family who have requested it!
Apple Dutch Baby!



Ingredients:
Sliced apples
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/8 teaspoon of cinnamon (or just use two shakes of a cinnamon shaker)
3 Tablespoons butter melted (If it is not melted you can just toss it in the pie pan while the oven is preheating)
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup milk
3 eggsPreheat your oven to 425 degrees.
Place the brown sugar, cinnamon, apples, and butter in your pie pan and bake in the oven until your apples are soft. This takes about 3 to 5 minutes.

While your apples are cooking place the flour, milk and eggs in a bowl and beat with a hand mixer.
When apples are warm and soft, add the rest of the ingredients to your pie pan and bake in your oven for 15 minutes.
Cut up like a pie and serve with warm syrup or powdered sugar and lemon juice. Yum!
This recipe is so easy, so tasty– and as my lovely aunt has taught me it looks impressive and presentation is EVERYTHING. :)

19. Breaking the No-Cooking Streak

I have talked about how I have really not cooked since moving here. I have really maxed out with a grilled cheese sandwich. I couldn’t justify cooking for “just me” after 2 years of cooking so many meals for “us”. Not just us, my repertoire of recipes is a reflection of who I was cooking for… I learned his favorite recipes, learned to make things the way his mom did.. that sort of thing.

Anyways. Last night I cooked. I cooked a casserole from my Aunt for the lunch club today and I made an apple pie for a potluck dinner tonight. I know I need to get over the not-cooking-for-myself thing… and I will. But it is nice to cook for people again.

The chili-cornbread casserole is insanely easy. Probably should even count as cooking.. there are ways to make it more complicated… by, you know, making the chili or cornbread batter from scratch. I however used Trader Joe’s turkey chili, and Trader Joe’s cornbread mix…. you put the chili on the bottom, put the cornbread batter on top. Bake at 400 degrees for about 20 minutes… done.

The crumb apple pie was an actual baking experience… and if I could chose between putting my energy into cooking or baking, I would pick baking every time.

Caramel Apple Crumb Pie

Filling:
1 tablespoon butter or stick margarine
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
9 cups sliced peeled Granny Smith apple (about 2 3/4 pounds)
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons lemon juice

Topping:
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
2 tablespoons chilled butter or stick margarine, cut into small pieces
2 1/2 tablespoons caramel sundae syrup

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To prepare filling, melt 1 tablespoon butter in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Combine 1/2 cup brown sugar and cinnamon. Add sugar mixture and apples to skillet; cook 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Remove from heat; stir in 3 tablespoons flour and lemon juice. Spoon into prepared crust.

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To prepare topping, lightly spoon 1/4 cup flour into a dry measuring cup; level with a knife.

Combine flour and 1/4 cup brown sugar in a bowl; cut in 2 tablespoons butter with a pastry blender or 2 knives until mixture resembles coarse meal.

Drizzle syrup over apple mixture; sprinkle topping over syrup.

Bake at 375° for 30 minutes or until apples are tender. Cool on a wire rack.

The next step is to impress my new friend with my baking prowess. :)