Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Blackberry Goodness

Hello Sweets,

Are you having a terrific Tuesday?  I slept horribly last night (not unusual), and then had to be up early to run some paperwork to my lawyer, and then my grandfather took me to the grocery store for some bananas and more blackberries :) I was going to have a nap but ended up getting a second wind, so I decided to bake instead.  Last night after making the coconut macaroons, I started thinking about what I wanted today's post to be about, then a light went off in my head, and I remembered that I had bought blackberries last Friday, which meant they needed to be used sooner rather than later.

When I first got my iPhone I did what everyone does, downloaded lots of apps lol.  I was looking for apps that I would use somewhat regularly, and one little gem that I found is called "recipe grazer", it has TONS of recipe ideas, perfect for this canuckette.  It also has this really cool feature that allows you to input one key ingredient, then it spits out all sorts of different recipes, so obviously I used that app to find a new recipe for today's post, and I even found a paleo recipe for tomorrow (I'm on a roll)!  So the recipe I chose to do today, I chose for a couple of reasons; 1)  They sounded too good to pass up and 2)  I know these will freeze well, and that's a good thing because my roommate, her son, and I can't keep up with the eating that would be required for all these goodies :)  So are you dying to know what today's recipe is??  I have created  blackberry crumb bars, and let me tell you my house smells amazing.  No I have not tried them yet and that is only because they need to completely cool before cutting.  But you can bet that by the end of this post they will be cooled, cut, and tried by yours truly.  On to the recipe!

Blackberry Crumb Bars (via the recipe grazer app for the iPhone)
6Tbs unsalted butter, melted
1/2C unsalted butter, room temp
plus extra butter for the pan
1 3/4C all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled)
plus extra flour for the pan
1/2C packed light brown sugar
1/2Tsp salt
1/2Tsp baking powder
1C confectioner's sugar (powdered)
1/2Tsp pure vanilla extract
2 large eggs
2-5 ounce containers of blackberries

1)  Preheat oven to 350F.  Butter an 8" square baking pan.  Line the bottom with parchment paper (I didn't have any so I opted this part out), leaving an overhang on two sides; butter and flour paper, tapping out any excess.

2)  Make topping:  In a medium bowl, whisk together melted butter, brown sugar, and 1/4 salt.

3)  Add 1 cup of the flour, and mix with a fork until large moist crumbs form.  Refrigerate topping until ready to use.
smells yummy :)

4)  Make base:  In a medium bowl, whisk together remaining 3/4 cup of flour, baking powder, and remaining 1/4Tsp of salt; set aside.

5)  In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat room temperature butter, confectioner's sugar, and vanilla until light and fluffy.

6)  Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.

7)  Reduce speed to low; mix in flour mixture.

8)  Spread batter evenly in pan; sprinkle with blackberries, then chilled topping.
waiting is the hardest part!

9)  Bake until golden, and a toothpick inserted in center comes out with moist crumbs attached (40-45 minutes).  Cool completely in pan.  Using paper overhang, lift cake onto a work surface; cut into 16 squares and enjoy!
They are soooo good, definitely try these!!!

I know what you're thinking; that I bake in an abundance, but it's something that picks up my mood when I'm feeling down.  Another way it is therapeutic for me, is that I feel the same way about my blogging too :)  Baking and blogging help me exercise my brain, and I feel like a productive member of society again, something that I took for granted before I got sick and had to go off of work.  Although I hate how my diagnoses have affected my life, I am grateful for a few lessons it has taught me; never take the people you care about for granted, to be thankful that I am only affected for now not forever, and most importantly that I have a wonderful life to wake up to each day.  I couldn't have done it without my amazing boyfriend Nathan, the loving family that has stood by me during this whole ordeal, and some amazing friends that really stuck by me when I needed it the most (y'all know who you are).  I am forever grateful and indebted to them for everything they have done and everything they will do in the coming months during my surgery and recovery.

If you take one thing away from my blog today, let it be that you know there is good in your life, no matter how small it may seem, if it makes you happy let it shine through :)

Oh and if you haven't joined in on the Frosty Fitness Challenge, what are you waiting for?  I am going to give this weeks challenge my best to try and hit the 20 km, and to help you guys with motivation, I am going to continue to share with you my daily achievements.
1.01 mile today, 3.64 miles so far = 5.85 km

I know it has been a hard road for me, going from personal training and prepping, to apply as an instructor, to being able to only do ROM (range of motion) and cardio training, and that's only if my body will allow it.  But I am determine to try and help my own situation by staying as active as possible, while listening to my body so I don't end up hurting myself for days (my knee protested today, which is why I only did 1.01 miles today), plus it will help with a quicker recovery after my surgery :)  Until next time............

Stay sweet,

Jennifer xoxoxo

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