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Can You Hear Me Now?

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Randomness on Wednesday

I’m doing an online book study right now by Elizabeth George called: Life Management for the Busy Woman. I had wanted to get involved in a local book club, but it just didn’t happen, so I opted for this instead.

When I selected one among MANY ‘clubs’ to join I had originally only narrowed it by Christian books, which pulled up hundreds…then I typed in non-fiction and it went down to about 10…so I selected this Elizabeth George book based on title and my own experience with her studies.

Before being allowed “IN” you have to write an entry paragraph to introduce yourself and also why you should be allowed to “join” the group. Initially I had flashbacks to elementary school, when I had to “race” another girl to be the play partner of one very popular girl. Of course, I always won with my long legs…so the fun was short lived, not to mention the arrogance we soon recognized in this peer (even before we knew the word, we knew the meaning). But I went ahead and submitted my ‘diatribe for admittance’.

So…I received my email notification “I was being admitted” along with letters of introduction to the site administrator and mediator for the study. I was also sent copies of ground rules and posting rules. It was intense! It felt a bit over-structured to me, but I went with it.

It’s still a bit foreign to me and lacks the immediate interaction you get face to face, but it is challenging in the sense that this particular study addresses many of the issues I deal with daily in my “busy-ness”.

The women are younger, yet as I have found often online, they have deep character and because of the “safety” of being online, the women tend to be more brutally honest about where they are in their own lives and a bit more brutally honest in assessment of my own journey.

It’s definitely not my preferred method of Bible/Book Study, but it is obviously where God wanted me for this season. Have you done these? And if so, how were they, what was your experience?

Now…fun stuff…I’ve been ‘chattin’ with Tam of ‘Time for Twittering’ about sharing some recipes…so I thought I’d go ahead and put mine out there. I told Tam I was going to photograph the actual recipe, but it’s so covered in “ingredients” (chocolate, butter, etc) that I thought it would be to ridiculous…then she convinced me to do just that, but I kept forgetting to bring the recipe back HOME to photograph and upload…so I’m going to do just straight typing of it after all…sorry Tam. But as a little reward…I’m adding a new wonderful recipe to post with it.

You should know I am the “baker” of my home. My husband does the majority of cooking the meals…but I do dessert.

Lemon Crunch Bars
Great Recipe from Cake Mix Bible

Yellow Cake Mix (w/ pudding in the mix)*
1 egg
1/3 C. Oil
Stir til crumbly. Reserve 1 Cup of mixture.

Push into bottom of greased 13 x 9 pan and bake at 325-350 for 15 minutes (do not over bake).

While that is baking, mix together:

1 egg
8 oz softened cream cheese
1/3 C. granulated sugar
1 tsp. lemon juice (fresh or bottled)

When the crust comes out of the oven, spread the cream cheese mixture over it, then crumble remaining crust mixture over the top and bake an additional 12-15 minutes at 325-350 or until slightly brown on top ‘crust’.

Refrigerate at least 1 hour or as long as overnight. Cut in bars and prepare to make more!

*notes of interest. I made this without the “pudding in the mix” cake mix and the crust was HARD (but edible). I also got a tad too much oil and the cake mix didn’t stay crumbly so the top crust spread out a bit too much. On the same trial, I also forgot to soften the cream cheese so I mixed this with a mixer and it was way too airy and didn’t cook as firmly. I AM NOT A PERFECTIONIST, but dessert should be HEAVENLY…right?

Suffice to say my mom’s are better, but I’m going to work on this one. It’s yummy and not overly lemony.

The 2nd one is also EASY and it’s from Pampered Chef Season’s Best Recipe Collection, Fall/Winter 2001.

Double Chocolate Mocha Trifle
1 pkg (18.25 oz) brownie Mix (prepared using cake-like brownie recipe on box)
4 tsp instant coffee granules (dissolved in ¼ cup warm water) (I used cold coffee from that morning)
1 ¾ cups cold milk
2 packages (3.4 oz each) white chocolate instant pudding and pie filling (YUMMY)
2 cups thawed Cool-Whip
3 toffee bars (Heath bits are better than Skor bars for this)
Additional Cool-Whip for topping and chocolate shaving for garnish if you like.

1. Prepare brownies according to package directions for cake-like brownies. Bake and cool completely.

2. Mix prepared coffee; milk and pudding mix; whisk until mixture is smooth and begins to thicken. Gently fold in whipped topping.

3. Cut brownies into 1-inch cubes using serrated bread knife. Chop Heath bars (or just use the handy-dandy heath bar bits sold in the grocery store).

4. Layer 1/3 of brownie cubes into bottom of trifle bowl. Top with 1/3 of pudding mixture; press lightly. Sprinkle with 1/3 of chopped toffee bits. Repeat layers two more times. If desired, garnish with additional whipped topping and shaved milk chocolate (everyone has milk chocolate bars at home, don’t they?)

This supposedly makes 12 servings, but I’ve seen it serve 5 or 6 dessert loving people (myself included).

The only negative thing I’ll say about this recipe is: it’s a strange texture. The feeling of chewy brownies with the creamy pudding is kind of weird in my mouth, but everyone else loves it! It’s pretty and presentable and very easy! But heck...give me a symphony bar with toffee and almonds and I’m happy!

The bad news at the bottom of the recipe is for 1/12 of this recipe you are consuming 450 calories, 22 g of fat, 60 mg cholesterol, 58 g of carbs, 5 g of protein (some redemption there), 400 mg of sodium and 1 g fiber.

YIKES! It better taste really good for that kind of trade-off

Happy Wednesday!


the voice said...

Those recipes sound delicious! First it was cookies over at Shalee's, now indulgent brownies and lemon bars. I think I'm putting on weight just reading blogs! LOL God bless you, and have fun on your vacation. I would love to hear about New Mexico, as it is one of the (warm) places I have suggested to my wife that we move to.

Dismantle Queen said...

MMMMMM YUMMY!!!...Ok Ill have to post one on my blog... I love recipies

tam said...

ok! We're on...was just thinking today that I mUST get those recipe's down for you!

And then there were better reason to post than that...good food!

Can't wait to try them!

I'm sooo interested in this pseudo-book club...can't wait to hear how it goes with you.

Overwhelmed! said...

I've tried an on-line book club at It's harder than I expected, mainly because there's not enough structure and because I miss the personal interaction.

Thanks for sharing your recipes! I think I'm going to start a regular Friday recipe exchange thing. Stop by on Friday to take a look.

Oh, and I'll be checking back to see if you elaborate more on the adoption thoughts that you touched on in my May 23rd comments. I've just now posted Part 7 of my journey.

GiBee said...

SHUT UP!!! So, you mean if 6 people eat of this luscious dessert, you're consuming NINE HUNDRED CALORIES? As in, 900??? Nine. Hun. Dred.

I feel uber sick to my tummy right now.

Joy M. said...


My eyes may be bigger than my stomach, but at that rate, not for much longer! Oh but doesn't it sound sinful! I love chocolate, but lemon...mmmmmmmmmm. I want em both!

Anonymous said...

These lemon crunch bars are frickin' awesome and Wayne is a fool for not wanting to try them.
Jason - Paul's co-worker

kpjara said...

Jason, the money will be transferred to your account later tonight.


Kim - Paul's wife

Shalee said...

New note to Kim: She makes the dessert when we finally meet. I'll make the coffee.

It will all work in the long run.

Divine, dahling!

kpjara said...

Hey Shalee, no take-backs on the cookies (aka cookie dough)...we'll just 'double up' on dessert, how's that?