Thursday, December 3, 2009

Feeling Lucky

We just go back from going out to dinner with some good friends of ours.  I had such a great time.  I have to tell you, I think we are so lucky in the friends department.  It is so great to know that there are people out there besides your family that, at a drop of the hat, would come help or provide what ever I needed.  From chasing my dog down because he got out of the yard, to having someone to talk to, to moving our large furniture from one apartment to another.  I don't know that I deserve it, but I am so glad I have them.
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As hard as things are at work sometimes, I am so glad that I have a good job and that the environment is good.  Is it perfect - Hell no!  Everybody comes with their weaknesses and there are always politics going on at the office, but what office doesn't..

In just a few days, I have noticed a huge difference around our house.  Ralph has been such a great help and it has been nice to have him around in the evenings, not worrying about so many other things.  I love him!  We are already planning a fishing trip.  I can hardly wait!
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I have been reading Candide for my bookgroup get together on Saturday.  I have about 50 pages to go.  I forgot how racey the book the was.  Kind of fun though. The book begins with a young man, Candide, who is living a sheltered life in an idealistic paradise and being indoctrinated with having an optimistic view about life by his mentor, Pangloss. The bookwork describes the abrupt change of this lifestyle, followed by Candide's slow, painful disillusionment as he witnesses and experiences great hardships in the world. Voltaire concludes with Candide, if not outright rejecting optimism, advocating an enigmatic precept, "we must cultivate our garden", in lieu of the of Pangloss's view, "all is for the best in the best of all possible worlds".  Hopefully everyone will have read it and will have lots to talk about.

Well, I still need to go play with a dog who is feeling mighty neglected and I need to work on my Christmas cards.  There are just not enough hours in a day.

Recipe for today - my cousin introduced me to this pie.  I love it!

2 ounces semisweet chocolate
1 tablespoon butter
1 pastry shell (9 inches), baked
20 caramels
1/3 cup heavy whipping cream
1-1/2 cups salted peanuts
8 ounces semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
2 tablespoons butter
1 cup heavy whipping cream
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Whipped cream and salted peanuts, optional
3 caramels
5 teaspoons heavy whipping cream
1 tablespoon butter
In a small saucepan, melt chocolate and butter over low heat; stirring until smooth. Spread onto the bottom and up the sides of crust; refrigerate until the chocolate is set.
For peanut layer, in a small saucepan, melt caramels and cream over low heat, stirring frequently until smooth. Remove from the heat; stir in peanuts. Spoon into pie shell; refrigerate.
For chocolate layer, in a microwave, melt chocolate and butter over low heat, stirring until smooth. Let stand for 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a large bowl beat cream and vanilla until soft peaks form. Carefully fold a third of the whipped cream into the chocolate mixture; fold in the remaining whipped cream. Spread over peanut layer; refrigerate until set. Garnish with whipped cream and peanuts if desired.
For topping, in a small saucepan, melt caramels, cream and butter over low heat. stirring until smooth. Drizzle over pie. Store in the refrigerator

Ta Ta for now
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