Friends! Happy New Year! Are we really in the year 2017?
Happy to report we will not be discussing New Year’s Resolutions this week because research shows those of us who make ‘em, break ‘em. Just sayin’….
This week I’m sharing a new recipe which turned out to be a stellar experiment. I also have an idea I received from a fabulous party I attended. You may wish to try these with your friends next Christmas, or sooner!
First, the recipe discovery is for Million Dollar Fudge. It’s easy, it’s delicious, and while you may be irked at my timing, once you taste it, you’ll thank me, trust me. (Recipe’s at the end of this post.)
Secondly, watch how the other idea transpired: My Spiritual Mom, Lynn Reece, invited all of our Wednesday Bible study gals to her home for a Christmas Brunch. (100% of us refer to her as our Spiritual Mom.) While Lynn was making most of the meal, she did let some of us bring a few goodies.
This group is a beautiful picture of Hebrews 10:25, “And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near.” (NLT)
The week before Lynn’s Brunch, she and our other fearless leader, Jane Chilton, attended a cookie exchange where one of the gals brought Million Dollar Fudge. We all met for lunch the next day while Lynn and Jane rattled on and on and on about this fudge until I could stand it no longer.
“Okay,” I said. “I think we need some of that fudge to complete our Brunch next week. I’ll hunt for a recipe, make it, and bring it.” That was that.
Visions of huge storefront windows revealing expert chefs making fudge, rolling it out onto tables, floated thru’ my head. Think small-town charm, accompanied by delectable aromas wafting thru’ the streets. I never pass those stores up without marching inside and buying a slice to sometimes share with Hubster.
Once googling Million Dollar Fudge began, I landed on a recipe from www.allrecipes.com Per usual, the day evaporated and Hubster would soon be home to pick me up to go to a Christmas party. I either had to run upstairs for a quick workout, or dash into the kitchen and make the fudge so as not to be up too late the night before Lynn’s Brunch.
Plus, I didn’t want to disappoint my sisters who all really wanted to re-live the fudge experience. You can guess the exercise flew right out the window and ooey gooey fudge began to appear in our kitchen. (Scarlett told me there’s always tomorrow.)
Being a complete chocolate snob, I was elated and relieved to learn two kinds of super tasty chocolate are in this recipe: bittersweet chocolate (I keep a huge container of Nestle’s Tollhouse chocolate chips in our pantry. Know you’re shocked.) and sweet German chocolate.
Arriving at Lynn’s our usual fifteen minutes late, our Bible study gals rushed in, covered dishes in hand. Gathering around the table, holding hands, Lynn led us in a chorus of O Come Let Us Adore Him to open our morning.
Our worship and fellowship looks like this:
“Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in him.” Psalm 34:8
Lynn’s beautiful table, complete with linen tablecloth, china and silver, made our time together even sweeter. Doris had fun with the cardinal napkin rings since we lovingly dole out UK and U of L jabs from time to time. (They were playing each other that evening and well, we won’t discuss the outcome.)
We also belatedly celebrated Olivia’s birthday. Translation: Big birthday cake! Another sure-fire reason we needed fudge to go with it.
Clearly 1 Corinthians 6:19 escaped our brains: “Do you now know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own…” (We claim the 80/20 rule which probably regresses to 50/50 at best during the holidays.)
Lynn started the ball rollin’ last year for a Favorite Things Party. She gave all of us Scrub Daddies. This snowballed into all of us bringing our newest favorite things this year. All eight of us chose one of our favorite things, wrapped them, and presented them, one by one to each other.
The variety and the discoveries are priceless. (Lynn suggested we limit the expense to $5-$10 dollars/item which some adhered to and some sorta/kinda did if one were grading on the curve.)
From left to right on the top row is: Doris Bridgeman, Gwen Paten, Lynn Reece, Olivia Kirtley, and Reggie Willinger. Seated left to right is: Jane Chilton, Yours Truly, and Betsy Heady.
For your enjoyment and education, here’s what we received from each other this year:
For you straw lovers, we learned thanks to Doris’ gift, there’s a package of straight and bent stainless steel straws, complete with brushes to clean them. Saves the environment and your pocketbook. (Amazon has several varieties.)
Lynn introduced us to a nifty gadget called “The Eurosealer” for anyone needing to seal their bag of chips, or crackers, or anything else you wish to keep fresh. Once activated, a rolling ball heats up, meshing the two sides together. Between the Scrub Daddy and this contraption, Hubster is in Gadget Heaven. (Both are available at www.bedbathandbeyond.com )
Reggie gave each of us a Jude’s Miracle Cloth (available at Two Chicks, www.twochicksandcompany.com ) which is amazing on stainless steel appliances, car windows, mirrors, etc., plus it goes in the washing machine! Gwennie suggested cutting it in half, one for inside your house and one for inside your car.
Reggie topped her gifts with Modjeskas, a local treat no one can pass up. The history of this candy is fascinating. Check it out via www.bauerscandy.com
Also from Two Chicks, Gwennie gave us Captain Rodney’s Private Reserve Scotch Bonnet Pepper Boucan Glaze: “A Grilling and dipping sauce from the heart of the Caribbean”. (Our boys go gaga over this because bacon is involved.)
Jane gave us a wonderful, ultra flexible, Mrs. Anderson’s Mini Serving Spatula, only one and a half inches in width that’s perfect for flipping brownies out of the pan or anything similar. Much better than a regular-sized spatula and easy to find in your drawer, being red.
Betsy had a theme of a good night’s sleep going with her favorite things: Lavender Bath Bombs to make us sleepy followed by a Rest and Renew satin pillow protector to keep our coifs at bay. (Available at Bed, Bath and Beyond.) Clever, Betsy!
We all agreed Betsy’s packages won the most creative and beautiful award plus she’d written an attribute for each of us along with a Scripture to expound on it on our gift tags. She was spot on with each of us and we had trouble fitting our heads thru’ the door on the way out.
“A person finds joy in giving an apt reply—and how good is a timely word!” Proverbs 15:23 (NIV)
Finally, Olivia and I chose books. (Surprised???) I gave my current favorite du jour: 31 Verses to Write on Your Heart by Liz Curtis Higgs. My Tuesday Bible study group is reading this as a devotional, attempting to memorize a verse a week. It’s wonderful regardless of how you use it. You’ll learn fascinating things about each verse, thanks to Liz, which helps the reader understand it better, making it easier to remember.
Olivia’s choice is sitting here on my desk staring at me because I’m dying to dive in….soon. She gave us French Women Don’t Get Fat—The Secret of Eating for Pleasure by Mireille Guiliano. (Is that some kind of title, or what?)
It appears to have loads of great info’ in non-diet fashion, as well as recipes, many of which contain chocolate. (Hallelujah.) There’s even a chapter entitled, Bread and Chocolate. (My two very favorite things.) My guess is you’ll hear more about this soon. Smile.
Finally, the moment you’ve been waiting for:
Recipe for Million Dollar Fudge: (This makes two 9 x 9 pans, so you may want to cut it in half like I did.)
4 ½ cups white sugar
1 pinch of salt
2 tablespoons butter
1-12 oz. can evaporated milk
2 cups chopped nuts (I used pecans)
1-12 oz. package semisweet chocolate chips (I used Nestle’s Toll House chips)
12-1 oz. squares of German sweet chocolate (I used Baker’s German’s Sweet Chocolate Baking Bar.)
2 cups marshmallow crème
1 – Butter two 9 x 9 baking pans and set aside.
2 – Place chocolate chips, German chocolate, marshmallow crème, and nuts into a large mixing bowl. Set aside.
3 – In a large saucepan, thrown in sugar, salt, butter, and evaporated milk, stirring over low heat ‘til sugar dissolves. Bring to a boil, and cook for 6 minutes.
4 – Pour boiling syrup mixture over ingredients in the bowl, stirring ‘til all the chocolate is melted. Pour into the prepared square pans. Let stand a few hours before cutting (if you can stand it). It literally melts in your mouth.
Furthermore, your friends and family will love you.
I pray you all have a Wonderful, Happy, Healthy 2017 and am excited to talk with you about a variety of books-n-topics in the New Year.
‘Til next time!