Friday, December 28, 2012

HerakutI LOVE this train mural in Germany!  It shows the force of person helping person, helping person...Together we can do so much.  We all need support now and then, and while it's not always easy to ask or accept, it does so much for the receiver, but probably even more for the giver.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

:)  "positive Outlook" Facebook
Happy almost 2013!!  Ahhh, the possibilities that always lie ahead at the beginning of a new year!!  I love the hope that a new year brings!

I see that I haven't written since the tasty times of preparing for our baking bombs - what fun that was and how delightful it was to meet/work with some of you. It was also SOOO rewarding to be able to show so many first responders how much we appreciate them and what they do. 

 Many of you have stated that you would like the opportunity to be more hands on and meet/work with others, too.  That is a dream of mine that maybe someday I (we) can figure out the logistics.  We are working on continuing to have more activities, too.  January looks to be a busy month - when most people are slowing down after the holidays, we are gearing up to move full speed ahead!

January Activites:

**$$ collection for books for Sandy Hook Elementary.  We will be collecting donations throughout January and then purchasing books of comfort for the teachers to use in their classrooms or for personal use.  Our counselor, Bambie, is helping us with a list of appropriate books.

**Single mom of 3 - one of whom is autistic - always putting others' needs first - works full time - could use a hug as life is pretty tough.

**Mother recently diagnosed with breast cancer - looking for some support and some positive vibes directed her way. 

**This sister had a rough 2012 and is looking for a much improved 2013.  During the past year, her husband was diagnosed with a disease and given medicine for it.  He continued to worsen, while she took over the family business and tended to him.  He was near death when she finally took matters into her own hands and got him in to see a new doctor.  They discovered that the medicine he was on was actually eating away his body, due to his disease.  He is improving now, but she has been the rock through it all, and could use a moment of "me" time and attention.

**Local teacher who had routine surgery but failed to get better.  Instead, her health quickly went downhill and she had to take a leave from teaching.  While she is back at it this year, it completely wipes her out.  We are arranging local sisters to make meals that can be frozen and pulled out for her extra rough days when cooking is out of the question.  She is married with two active sons.

**Nurse whose family recently lost their barn and home to a fire during one of those vast fire outbreaks last fall.  Technically the house is still standing, but is unlivable due to smoke damage.  While working, she apologized for the appearance of her hands - they were stained from trying to scrub soot from her home. 

**Young mom whose well-baby check up turned into a famly nightmare as the baby was diagnosed with leukemia.  They have great family support but we want to pamper the mom as all of her attention is focused on the little one. 

**Single mom of 2 with numerous health issues of her own is a big advocate for her younger son who has serious health issues.  Recently, on top of other issues, he was diagnosed with Crohn's Disease.  She continues to have a huge sense of humor and wonderful outlook on life. 

Via Positive Outlooks on fbWe will be collecting items through Jan. 22 and mailing the last week of January.  As always, if you want your donation to go to someone specific, please let me know and I will be sure to put it in their love bomb.  I didn't name them this month - not sure why - but just let me know from the description for whom your gift is intended. 

Thursday, December 6, 2012

80-90 Club crackers
1 c. butter
2 c. graham cracker crumbs
1 c. brown sugar
1/3 c. sugar
1/2 c. milk
2/3 c. peanut butter
1/2 c. semi-sweet chocoalte chips
1/2 c. butterscotch chips
1. Line a 13x9 pan with foil, leaving enough overhang over the sides to lift bars out when done.
2. Place one layer of crackers evenly over the bottom of the pan - cut them if they don't fit evenly. I used 30 crackers per layer and didn't have to cut them.
3. Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Add graham cracker crumbs, both sugars, and milk. Bring to a boil (while stirring), and boil for 5 minutes.
4. Remove from heat and spread half the mixture evenly over the crackers in the pan.
5. Place another layer of crackers over the caramel mixture, followed by the rest of the caramel.
6. Cover the top of the caramel with one more layer of crackers and refrigerate while making the topping.
7. Microwave peanut butter, chocolate chips, and butterscotch chips for one minute. Stir until smooth (can microwave another 30 seconds if it's not smooth). Spread over the top of the crackers and refrigerate everything for at least an hour before cutting.
* Remove bars from pan using foil handles to make cutting and removing bars easier. Store in the refrigerator.

sharing cookie recipes...

Sin by Chocolate
1 cup + 1 Tbsp all-purpose flour
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
8 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
5 Tbsp unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
3/4 cup light brown sugar
1/4 cup sugar
1 cup dark chocolate chips
1/2 cup milk chocolate chips
1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips

Sift together flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl. Set aside.

Melt the 8 ounces of chocolate chips in the microwave until smooth.

In a small bowl, whisk the eggs and vanilla. Set aside. With an electric mixer, beat the butter until smooth and creamy – about 1 minute. Beat in the sugars.

Mix in the beaten egg/vanilla until incorporated. Add the chocolate and beat until combined. Add the dry ingredients on slow speed. Fold in the chocolate chips.

Chill dough for at least 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Scoop about 2 Tbsp of dough and roll into a ball. Bake for about 10 minutes, or until the cookies have just begun to set with the centers still appearing very soft. They will firm up as they cool.

Allow cookies to cool on baking sheet for at least 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

adapted from Cooks Illustrated