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Monday, February 7, 2011

Stress, sweets and cookies

Stress...how do you handle it?  Me, I'm an eater and baker.  Which is difficult, since I'm trying to loose another 40 lbs...  The last 2 weeks were stressful.  I baked about 10 dozen cookies...shortbread caramel bars, biscotti, italian easter cookies, million dollar peanut butter cookies, english toffee tea cakes... last week to distract me.  It was hard not to indulge.
First, my dear sweet hubby's grandmother took a turn for the worse.  She is 89 and has been taking care of herself pretty much on her own until last year.  We were able to visit her in Taylor, Michigan; give her love; and the girls decorated her room with a couple of drawings.  It was good to see her being taken good care of.  Sunday morning we got the call she had moved on to her Creator.  Dorothy was a quiet, kind and generous woman, and we were all blessed to have had her in our lives.
Also, my best friend Cristy...of 20 years...had a big surgery last Wednesday.  Thankfully, she has a great support system in place.  Cristy's hubby works for the railroad...which requires some crazy hours...so friends and family chipped in to help them out.   Her mom & dad took the kids for her, made sure they got to and from school and afternoon events.  Jodi & Margaret made sure the house was in order, dog was taken care of, and meals would be prepared for them for a few weeks.  Since I live 2 hours away and unable to help on a daily basis, I volunteered to stay with her in the hospital, ...so she wouldn't be alone...bring her cookies, and stayed with her the first night home since hubby had to work.  She's had some rough nights and problems with meds, but thankfully seems to be on the mend.
I have only been able to do a little bit of creating lately.  Here is a little box of cookies I made for my neighbor that was watching my girls for me one of the days I was gone.  It's just a little sample of the cookies I made and made it to match this card I made 2 weeks ago.  It's evident I'm obsessed with doilies, they've been in the last 4 projects I've made.  I'm subnitting this in the Cards Doily Challenge this week.

Finally, I have had SEVERAL requests for my recipe for the Pecan Caramel Sauce I have shared on this post and this one.  So here it is...it's an acient Chinese secret...it's really great 'cause it's made in the microwave!

Pecan Caramel Sauce
1 1/4 cups chopped pecans

7 Tablespoons butter (divided)
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
3 Tablespoons flour
3/4 cup light corn syrup
2/3 cup evaporated milk
Makes 3 cups of sauce.

1.Place chopped pecans in a microwave dish with 3 Tablespoons butter. Cook for 8 - 10 minutes, stirring twice. Watch the pecans closely to not burn them.  I use a pie dish.

2.  In another microwave safe bowl (I have a 8 cup glass measuring cup) place remaining butter and heat until melted. Whisk in brown sugar (the darker the better), flour, and light corn syrup until blended. Cook on high 6-8 minutes, stirring twice, until the sugar is dissolved.  Add in 2/3 cup (1/2 can) evaporated milk and the pecans, stir well.

3.  Store in sterilized jars.  Serve with ice cream, pound cake or pies (apple pie is yummy!).  Store in the fridge for up to 3-4 months.

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