Friday, September 19, 2014

fRecipe fRiday: Homemade Twix Bars

Most of my time lately has been spent being domestic. Typical things, you know: cleaning, cooking, knitting, laundry, hitting up every social media site ever created, reading, budget-checking, binge-watching Netflix, etc.

Cooking more has really helped us stick to our new being-married budget. In college, eating out seemed to be a necessity to get by. But now I have time to cook, and even right this minute, I've got something in the crock-pot (but that's a fRecipe for next week, if it turns out well.)

This week, I made homemade Twix bars! Really, it was more of a homemade Twix sheet. The nice thing is, you can cut them into whatever size you want. I found this recipe via Pinterest (there's the link to the recipe I used.)

What you'll need:
Square pan, 8x8 or so
Aluminum foil
Stick of butter at room temperature
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 cup flour
10 oz caramels (I used a bag of Kraft caramels and guesstimated 10 ounces)
1 tablespoon and 1 1/2 teaspoons heavy whipping cream
8ish oz of milk chocolate

First things first, preheat the oven to 300 degrees, and line the pan with some aluminum foil. I buttered it down to grease it up, but you could just spray it with spray oil too.
All the things.
Next, in a bowl, beat together the sugar, vanilla, and butter. Add the flour and mix it all up, and then press your concoction evenly into the pan. Prick the crust with a fork a few times, and then put it in the oven for 35-45 minutes, until it's looking nice and golden.
Pre-cooking. I had a rough time pricking the crust; it makes me really anxious.
Cool that crust, and before it gets cool, be sure to loosen the edges from the foil by running a knife around it.

Put the caramels and cream in a bowl together and melt it slowly in the microwave. I'm talking, every 20 seconds, open the door and stir it a bit. Once that's smooth, pour it over the crust and even it all out.

Oooo so shiny.
Stick that in the fridge for about 30 minutes (or about as long as it takes you to watch one sitcom on Netflix.)

Now you'll melt your chocolate. Again, it can be in the microwave, but be sure to stir it every now and then. When it's melted down, pour the chocolate over the caramel, and then spread it all to the edges.

I let this sit (covered) in the fridge overnight so that when I wanted to eat it, it'd be completely set.

And, of course I forgot to take a picture of the complete finished product, because, honestly, I was too busy eating it to worry about photos. And you will be too hopefully!

One of the last pieces...It looks a little rough because I am not good at knives.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Five Things I Learned While Planning Our Wedding

I learned a lot things the past year or so while I planned a wedding. Amidst stress and excitement, things that you never expected will happen. And things you did expect will happen too. To me, this is a list of the most realistic struggles and tips that I think at least some bride-to-be's will understand.

5. A simple and personal wedding is just as fantastic as a lavish affair. Just because you can't or don't want to spend a lot of money on your wedding day doesn't mean you won't be just as married as everyone else.

4. It's okay to start with a vision and then completely do the opposite.
    I wanted an outdoor wedding. Did I get that? Nah. I wanted to make my own dress. No way did that happen either. Don't feel like you are betraying yourself if you don't do what you've been dreaming of since you were a little girl, or since you were whatever age you started thinking about weddings (which for me was only about three years ago.)

3. Apparently colors are important? People are really intense about colors.

2. Everyone knows how you should do everything. Your engagement is long? You should have had a short one. You are going to *insert honeymoon destination here*? You HAVE to go see this and do this. You blah blah's the same old story.
    Sometimes the advice is totally welcome. And sometimes it's annoying. The thing that you have to remember is that everyone is just trying to be helpful. They don't know how much you've researched or planned, or exactly why you are waiting so long to get married, or why you aren't buying everyone a four-course dinner at the reception, etc. So, you have two options. You can A) be blunt and tell them what's what or B) smile and nod.

And the most important....

1. It's YOUR wedding. It's not your friends' wedding or your cousin's wedding or anybody else's wedding other than you and your spouse's. If you don't want something a certain way, that's fine. You don't have to please your 200 guests. That's impossible.
   Now, I'm not saying you should be a selfish bridezilla where everything simply must go your way. You should relax! But I am saying that if you really want your photo frame to be perfectly centered on a table and your step-sister's aunt says it looks better to the's okay to do it your way.

What did you learn while planning your wedding?

Carrie Nichols Photography did a great job with our photos! I'm fairly, nay, supremely happy that wedding planning is over now!