Return to Normal (Chocolate Salted Caramel Tart)

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My last post was in August. August, people. I knew it would be hard for me to blog while I was student teaching, but I had no idea I’d all but abandon the blog during that time. It was next to impossible for me to find any time to cook for myself, let alone take photos, write posts, and publish them for you. My apologies for my absence. I’m back now. And so glad to be here.

Student teaching went well; who knew I’d grow so attached to 121 different 8th graders? I remember myself at that age and I recall it being a really tough time in my life. I’m sure it’s the same for most people, but to be in it every day for three solid months was a wake-up call, for sure. I had some tough days…days when I thought I just wasn’t cut out for teaching, but then those days would wind down and quickly be replaced by really great days in which I felt completely at ease and comfortable in front of the class. Student teaching ended just before Christmas, as well as my graduation. After all this time in school, it’s suddenly over. I feel a bit lost, to be honest, but I’m sure I’ll find my new normal routine again soon.

There are only two short days left in 2014, a year that had some really wonderful ups and some devastating downs for me. What better way to ring in 2015 than with chocolate and caramel, right? This dessert is SWEET. Now, if you know anything about me, you know that my sweet tooth is quite small, but for those of you who love rich and sweet desserts, this one is for you! I used some buttermilk to replace a little of the heavy cream in the caramel, so it has a bit of a sweet and tangy flavor. I quite like it, but if you are not as partial to buttermilk as I am, go ahead and use all heavy cream.
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Most of the Time

“Most of the time…I can handle whatever I stumble upon.”

This song by Bob Dylan came on my iTunes this morning as I was drinking my coffee, alone, in my living room.  I know it’s about a breakup, but that one line really hit home with me. Usually, I can handle whatever comes my way; I can juggle several tasks with ease.  But lately, I’ve been feeling like I’m juggling entirely too many sharp objects.  I just can’t manage to find my rhythm.  Forgive me.

I’ve felt a distinct sense of guilt lately for not posting much on this blog.  The fall semester crept up on me when I wasn’t looking and I fell into reading two novels within the first month of classes.  I have been cooking and musing, believe me.  I have.  And I’ve been taking photos, as well.  I just haven’t placed any of it on the blog.  Here goes, in short form:

I made “shelf” dill pickles, in which I filled the jars with cucumbers, various herbs and spices, and topped them off with the vinegar/water/salt/sugar solution.  At that point, I kept them open (covered with cheese cloth) on the shelf of our pantry for 4 days.  Now, they’re sealed up and in the fridge.

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