Sunday, September 25, 2011

Friends and Family

I have been blessed in life with a wonderful family of four great children. All of them have grown into wonderful adults who are raising wonderful children. Oh, I made a lot of mistakes I am sure in raising them, but I always tried to let them know they were loved by me and by God.

I have felt sad this week as I have cared for Lucy and wondered more than one time how lonely my life would have been without my children. I am not saying there were not difficult times....for sure, there were! But for every rough spot,for every difficult time, there have been an abundant amount of joyous times! Laughter, smiles, pride and giggles have been a part of my life for more than 40 years now!
I can't imagine being Lucy and never having had any children. I would have missed so much!

I have also been so blessed to have had many special friends throughout my life. Just when I felt most alone and needy, God always provided someone to be there for me. My greatest pleasure in life has been being there for someone else who needs a friend. Sharing joys, sorrows and highs and lows with others is what life is really all about.

Do you have friends who have shared special times with you...good or bad? When is the last time you told them how much they mean/meant to you? Do it today. Write a note to someone and let them know what their friendship has meant to you. Time passes so quickly and life can change in an instant. Don't miss an opportunity to tell those you love that you love them. Don't miss an opportunity to say thank you to someone who has been important in your life.

Spread joy. You won't regret it!

On a health note, take care of your EYES! When was the last time you had your eyes checked? This week's laser treatment of my eye was extremely painful, but I am seeing better with each day that passes.

I am enjoying the pumpkins out there already! Fall seems to be upon us, and it is my favorite time of year. I came across this pie recipe this week and thought I would share it with all of you. Fall seems like Pie Time to me! LOL


Salted Caramel Apple Pie

2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp sugar
12 tbsp cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1/4 cup chilled shortening
1 tbsp white vinegar
1/2 cup very cold water

1. In food processor pulse together flour, salt and sugar. Add butter and shortening. Pulse 8 to ten times or until mixture resembles coarse crumbs and some of the butter is pea sized.
2. Combine vinegar with cold water. While pulsing crumb mixture in processor, drizzle in just enough water mixture to form dough, 1/3 to 1/2 cup..Dough will hold together when you pinch it. Halve dough, wrap in plastic wrap and press into disks...chill for 1 hour or until ready to use. May be frozen for up to 2 months.

3 pounds baking apples such as Gala or Golden Delicious, peeled and cored
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 tsp ground cinnamon
Pinch of ground nutmeg
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/2 cup Salted Caramel Sauce (recipe follows)
Egg Wash
Crystal Sugar

Line a 9 inch pie pan with 1 rolled out crust; trim edges, leaving a 1/4 inch overhang. Place in freezer until ready to fill, or at least 20 minutes.
Preheat Oven to 425 with rack in the bottom third. Cut apples into 1/4 inch thick slices and toss in a large bowl with lemon juice, cinnamon, nutmeg and cornstarch. Add 1/2 cup Salted Caramel Sauce and toss to combine. Pour apples into chilled pie shell and return to freezer.
ROLL remaining crust to a 13 inch circle. Use a paring knife to cut slits or small designs on the top. Brush rim of bottom crust with egg wash and cover with second crust, sealing the edges. Trim edges as necessary and crimp. Brush entire pie with extra egg wash and sprinkle with crystal sugar, freeze pie again until crust is COLD, about 20 min.
BAKE pie on a foil lined baking sheet until crust begins to brown....about 20 minutes...REDUCE HEAT to 375 and bake until crust is golden and juices bubble...50-60 minutes more. (If crust browns too quickly, tent pie with foil). Cool pie and serve slices with Salted Caramel Sauce. Serves 8

1 1/2 cups sugar
2 tsp sea salt
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 tbsp butter
1/4 tsp vanilla extract

COMBINE 1/2 cup water, sugar and salt in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Stir until sugar is dissolved, then remove spoon.
BRUSH inside edges of pan with water to dissolve any sugar crystals. Reduce heat to medium, then allow mixture to boil, gently swirling pan occasionally. Cook to a light amber color, 20-25 min. Remove from heat and stir in cream and butter with a clean spoon ( mixture will bubble, then settle). Stir in vanilla and set aside to cool. Sauce can be refrigerated for up to a month! Makes 1 1/3 cups.

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