Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Apples with caramel cream cheese dip

I made these yummy goodies for the kindy teacher for Christmas gifts.  They loved them so much they wanted the recipe.  I have pinned a number of different ideas for gifts. I got the original idea from this post.  I changed out some of the ingredients for a caramel sauce recipe that I had and chocolate bars we get in New Zealand.  

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Apple with caramel cream cheese dip

1 cup sour cream
1 cup brown sugar
½ tsp vanilla
1 pkg (8 oz) cream cheese, softened
2 kit kat chocolate bars
8 apples
8 (1/2 cup each) mason jars

Mix together the sour cream, brown sugar and vanilla in a microwave safe bowl.
Heat on high approx 1 minute until smooth. Leave to cool.

Mix cream cheese with 1/3 of the caramel sauce. Mix until smooth.
Divide evenly amongst 8 jars. Wipe rim.
Spoon the remaining caramel sauce into each jar.
Crush up both chocolate bars.
Sprinkle crumbs evenly amongst the 8 jars.
Place lid on jars.
Top each jar with an apple.

Wrap in cellophane and tie with ribbon. Keep refrigerated until ready to give away. 

I remade it again for my birthday party afternoon tea and served with sweet biscuits and wafer sticks along with the apple.  The caramel sauce is also great served with icecream or sticky date pudding.  Next time I will try it as a cheese ball.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Hello forty

Celebrating a milestone.  40 - It really is just a number but a great reason to celebrate.  Some say life begins at 40, others it is all down hill from here.  I have been doing a lot of reflecting  and reading lately.  There are some great ideas out there.  Thought I would share some of my life lessons as I look back to look forward. Bucket lists are a great idea but don't forget to look back at what you have already done and celebrate.

I came across this idea at Susannah Conway - 40 lessons from 40 years.  She has also written a piece about getting older.  An interesting read.  I discovered it through Ali Edwards site where she also talks about getting older.  I also found this gem by Nichole Heady at Papertrey Ink - thank you cards to people who have inspired me.  Definitely something that I want to do.  And also at A Holy Experience - be the gift.  Pay it forward.  

In no particular order - 40 lessons from 40 years
1 Slow down. Don't be in such hurry to move on to the next thing. Celebrate your successes and learn from  your mistakes.
2 Be you

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3 Find what you love to do and do it often. That thing that you always wanted to do. Go do it
4 Make memories
5 Respect people who make time for you in their busy schedule, but love people who never look at their schedule when you need them
6 Be that kind of friend
7 Finish what you started even if that means calling it quits
8 Shine, not so that others can see you but so that through you others can see Him
9 Step out of your comfort zone. You will be surprised at just how much is waiting for you there.
10 Don't do things just because everyone else is doing them. Do it because it is right for you
11 Discover what clothing suits you and have fun getting dressed
12 Live with less. Many people already do
13 Give thanks. Someone is praying right now for the things that you take for granted
14 Find your voice and speak out
15 Just breathe
16 Be brave
17 We are all messy and in need of grace. God is not an option, He is a necessity. Don't believe that He will not give you more than you can handle. He will. It brings you to Him. It doesn't make you weak – with Him you are stronger
18 Learn to forgive.
19 Find the music that makes your soul sing. Play it loud.
20 Share your story. Chances are someone is going through the exact same thing and they needed to hear they are not alone
21 Give people the benefit of doubt. You don't know their full story. Remember you can't change someone else but you do have a choice about how you react.
22 Don't compare your backstage mess to someone elses on stage performance
23 You are already amazing
24 Do things when (or as soon as) you can. When you leave little things they turn into big things.
25 Be happy – now.
26 Leave room in the margin. 'In his heart a man plans his course, but the Lord determines his steps' Prov 16:9. You don't have to be in control of everything
27 Be generous. When you go from this life you can only take what you have given away.
28 Don't wait for the perfect moment. Take a moment and make it perfect
29 If you look for the extraordinary in the ordinary, you can train yourself to see it.
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30 Wherever you are be there
31 Marriage isn't for me. The best thing you can do for your marriage is to turn the M around. Me into We. Do things for your spouse that they love just because. Love is a verb, it doesn't consist of gazing inwards, rather it is looking outwards together in the same direction
32 There is no need to be perfect to inspire others, let people be inspired by how you deal with your imperfections. It is not who you are that holds you back, it's what you think you are not
33 Enjoy your food. Eat healthy, try new recipes, add flavour
34 Dream big. Keep a journal
35 Having kids doesn't get any easier as they get older, it just changes. Find out what they like and who they are and grow with them.
36 Keep it simple. Use what you have. Where possible work out how to make things for yourself. It costs less and usually there is less waste.
37 Keep finding good books that you can't put down
38 Learn how to enjoy your own company. If you can't pick yourself, who else will?
39 Say no to things so that your yes is absolute
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40 Do not fear the years to come – Life gets more fabulous if you let it.
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