Tag Archives: chocolate

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Day 249/365: Sept 6, 2014

I’m thankful for:

  • A patient husband with a listening ear.
  • Watching the son’s day be made by petting two golden retrievers.
  • Chocolate messes being cute and yummy.

Bud, if only you could see yourself.

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Day 177/365: Jun 26, 2014

I’m thankful for:

  • Fans and aircon to lessen the effects of typical humid Singapore.
  • An apartment layout that lets me keep watch on toddler’s room from the laundry room.
  • Watching the toddler and his face enjoy chocolate pudding.

He thinks it’s a fun game to see me through the window.

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Day 92/365: Apr 2, 2014

I’m thankful for:

  • Down time with the hubby in the evening.
  • A new-ish (discovered a few weeks ago) favorite flavor of Toblerone.
  • A special treat that survived being hidden in a box till now.

Rarely do I take a selfie… but this chocolate treat was worthy of one. 🙂

 

Motivation from a student and Dove

I think that sometimes the Lord uses unexpected situations to speak to us. I’m not talking about the iconic “donkey” moments – although I don’t doubt that God chooses unusual ways to communicate. But rather I’m referring to when the Lord is nudging on our hearts and uses Scriptures, brothers/sisters in Christ, and circumstances to get through to us.

Recently I felt like the Lord was/is using multiple avenues to try to get through to me about procrastination.

Facebook – Procrastinators

I wish that I could say I have conquered this all-to-common malady. But, alas, it seems at time that I am more behind in the battle of self-control and diligence than when I first began! Oh, how I wish it weren’t so.

My procrastination tends to be of the variety of being fine with taking the initiative to “start” but not to “follow through.” An embarrassing example is how I wrote my grandma a handwritten letter over a month ago. It sits addressed on the desk waiting to be mailed. I even bought international stamps needed to mail it. It still sits on the desk. I am ashamed!

Recently, I have had many reminders of the need for me to make progress in the fight against procrastination. Here are some of them:

Last week, my sister asked a probing question about what was an issue in my life that I was currently wrestling with. I had to admit that procrastination was one of the issues.

On Sunday, Pastor Eric made the point that if resolutions are only personal ones and not done with the Lord’s directions, they seem to fail. Hmm… sounds like my countless resolutions to not procrastinate!

And then as I was reading my students articles for the upcoming ICS MS Newspaper issue, I was struck by the content of one of them: Procrastination. My student had taken it upon herself to write an article to her fellow middle school peers about advice on how to not procrastinate.

My perspicacious student wrote that “many of us use [procrastination as] an excuse to not do our work, look for other unimportant things to do, and later stress out about the amount of things we have to do.” (Eighth grader – S.C.)

Oh, so true! How often I come up with excuses to myself about why I should avoid work x only to realize later that not doing the work sooner than later only provided stress later!

Today, I was eating a Dove chocolate (gift from my friend Jennie who left them behind in Singapore!). Normally I cast a half amused glance at the note inscribed on the wrapper with the level of interest akin to eating a fortune cookie. Today, though, the message caught my eye:

“Shape the future by dealing with the present.”

Oh, Lord, help me to follow you and listen to your Holy Spirit’s leading. Help me (because I sure can’t make any progress on my own) to not procrastinate, but rather honor You in my usage of time!

Good news: I finally ended my procrastination streak of not posting any blogs by writing about procrastination 🙂

Back in the Kitchen

I love my husband. I am awed at how much he loves me. And I am especially grateful for the sacrificial way he loves me.

This definitely applies to how appreciative I am for him over the past few months.

Andrew has taken it upon himself to do the LARGE majority of dishes for the past three months.

Why? Apparently my sense of smell was greatly heightened during the first trimester. And it was mostly bad smells that seemed stronger. Only once or twice did I think that pleasing aromas were stronger. And of course the kitchen, the sink in particular, did not please my nose.

It was odd things too, like cooking chicken (which I would normally classify as pretty benign) of all things bothered me. Of course, not only did the kitchen seem to teem with aromas that had increased in badness, but often these smells would cause me to feel nauseous and want to leave the room.

Andrew sweetly deduced that it would serve me to do more in the kitchen.

I am ever so elated and thankful to have such a tremendously caring husband. (Although I also feel simultaneously guilty for the how unfairly the percentage of dishes that were completed by him over the past 3 months!)

Not only am I thankful for the hubby, but I am glad that according to my symptoms and week count I am exiting the first trimester. This means my bouts of nausea, while not eradicated, have decreased significantly in intensity and frequency! Praise the Lord! It also means that smells don’t bother me as much.

Result – I am FINALLY back in the kitchen!

This past week was evidence: I tried at least 4 new recipes! Here are two of them:

First: Pretzel Dogs

I saw this recipe on allrecipes.com and put it in my recipe box for later.

I had never made pretzels before, let along pretzel dogs, but it was fun!

The little wrapped up dogs waiting for their boiling bath!

Be forewarned though, the recipe calls for a LOT of baking soda. Did you know that part of what gives pretzels its brown color, unique texture and taste is the fact that they typically are boiled in an alkaline (basic) solution? Consequently, they were boiled for about 30 seconds in a pot filled with baking soda water.

Then they were sprinkled with salt and placed in the oven.

Ta-da!

It looks and tasted like the name = success

A lot of the reviews for the recipe recommended freezing some of them. I am curious to see how that turns out.

Second: Chocolate Coconut Cups

I don’t regularly keep tabs on too many blogs, but one of them that I do follow is Smashed Peas and Carrots. Recently this recipe came up on her blog. Being a lover of the Almond Joy and Mounds candies, I was instantly intrigued.

So chocolate & coconut went on the next baking supply store shopping list. Unfortunately, coconut oil was nowhere to be found. This surprised me because, up until this point, I had always been overwhelmed with the variety of oils available in the average grocery store. Everything from grape-seed, to garlic, to avocado… basically an impressive variety. But I searched and searched and came up empty handed when it came to coconut oil.

Consequently I had to improvise and tailor the recipe to what I had on hand.

The chocolate was melted with some coconut milk (already in my cupboard) to give it an extra level of coconuttiness. I created the filling by melting some marshmallows with butter and then mixing in my “dessicated” coconut (it’s the type of dry coconut available in stores here). I was bummed that I forgot to add some of the coconut milk to the filling mixture. Oh well… next time.

The cups were layered and then put into the fridge to cool.

My first homemade attempt at a Mounds

Our consensus was the the flavor was good while the texture needs improvement. To make it less “melty” I will use less milk in the chocolate next time. And I will do my idea of adding the milk to the filling, because this time around it was a bit on the dry/hard side. But definitely yummy and worth attempting again!

It feels (and tastes!) good to be back in the kitchen.

PS – I did not miss doing the dishes though!