A strange year it has been

My last post was April 1, 2014.

Just about a year ago.

In the past year I have been scammed out of a wedding venue and had to turn my wedding on it’s head in a new venue.

I have changed jobs 3 times and moved into from a QA tech to a QA Supervisor at a small Seattle bakery. My first promotion.

I got married.

I went on my honeymoon

I flew back and forth from Colorado to Washington 6 times to be with both of my parents as they went through cancer treatment.

I moved from a 1 bedroom apartment to a “Studio plus”.

I started looking into how to buy a house.

I lost friends and found out the lengths the ones I still have will go to help me out.

Now as the dust settles out from the wedding, I am looking at my life and my newly acquired free time and I get to decided how I spend my time for what I think may be the first time in my life. If I want to play board games 5 nights a week, I can. And a lot of  weeks we do. If I want to throw myself back into my knitting, I can. I am halfway through a blanket that I started last week. So I guess I’m doing that too.

And now, I want to get back to my blog. Blogging is something I enjoy. It lets me show off my creative endeavors and makes me feel connected to something bigger.

I can’t promise I will stick to a strict schedule or be trending on Pinterest anytime soon, but I am back.

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Chocolate Quick Bread

Chocolate Quick Bread

Wedding favors… What do you give out as a thank you when you have already spent a kagillion dollars on a wedding?

In college, I made a lot of quick breads. I’ve got a couple of go to recipes for when people are coming over to visit or when I need to send a care package.

How are these two thoughts related? I’m going to bake mini quick breads, wrap them up, and send them home with our wedding guests. Hopefully, this will be a welcome snack if they get snacky back at their hotel rooms, or breakfast comes a little too late, or for the plane ride home.

Also, I’ve heard that food related favors are the only ones people actually want anyways.

Along with a couple of my old recipes, I want to get a couple more options. 4 or 5 in total.  That means along with my fiance and friends who will be tortured with many different versions of quick breads, you will get to read the ones that go well.

This one is something I came up with because I couldn’t find a chocolate bread recipe that I thought was chocolate-y enough. If it’s going to be chocolate, I want it to scream chocolate at me, not just suggest the mere notion of chocolate.

This is what I came up with. It’s delicious. Has a wonderful crust to on the top, moist and crumbly interior. Everything you would want in a bread or muffin. I made this into both. The recipe makes a dozen muffins, or 5-6 mini loaves.

Chocolate Quick Bread

Chocolate Quick Bread

2 Cups AP flour

1 Cup White Sugar

1/2 Cup of Cocoa Powder

1 Teaspoon Baking Soda

1/4 Teaspoon Salt

1 Cup of Sour Cream or Yogurt

1/2 Cup of Milk

1/2 Cup of Vegetable Oil

4 oz of Baking Chocolate, melted

 

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

Combine flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl.

Mix sour cream, milk, and oil in a small bowl.

Add the wet ingredients to the dry, and mix until just combined.

Mix in the melted chocolate, steaks are fine.

Fill lined muffin tins or mini loaf pans 3/4 of the way full.

Place in the oven for 30 minutes for muffins, or 40 minutes for loaves, or until a toothpick comes out clean.

 

If you really want to push these over the top, schemer with a little cream cheese. They are wonderful. I may add chocolate chips next time.

Where I Went…

I abandoned this blog. I’m sorry. I have a lot of really good reasons.

Let’s start at the beginning. In September, I finally found a job in Seattle. It’s a good job, pays well enough, but is a contract position very far away from my apartment. Almost 2 hours of driving a day took a lot of my free time away.

Then, in October, my mother was diagnosed with cancer. Two types, actually. She had surgery and then prepped to start chemo before Christmas.

Late November, I have my first happy news to report from my absence, Code Boyfriend has been upgraded to Code Fiance. We got engaged. He gave me a little model Fiat, and we picked out my ring together. We told both sets of parents over Christmas. We lucked out and got to tell mine in person on the same day they got engaged, 27 years prior.

I think everyone in my family needed that jolt of happy news. 

 

The first week of December, my father’s kidneys failed. Turns out, he also has cancer.

I wish this kind of physiologically pain on no one. It was out of left field. They are both relatively young. And healthy. My world started shaking uncontrollably, and really hasn’t stopped. 

My days became who has chemo and what time, and is there enough food in a house 300 miles away from me. I flew home as often as I could, and helped out where ever I could.

I will never forget the looks on any of the oncologists faces when they found out both my parents had cancer. My life sucked, and they knew it. It was unheard of.

I’m really glad about that. I really hope no one else has this kind of horrible luck.

Just when we started to get the hand of this whole chemo thing, my mother had a pulmonary embolism: a blood clot in her lungs. She survived, but she is very lucky. This led to more doctors and more medication. So that was January.

Then, in February, I got laid off. In light of everything else, not the worst thing in the world. I never loved my job. But handling everything plus planning a wedding while losing a paycheck is nobodies idea of a good time. 

So I’m back to applying for jobs, still working — at least until Wednesday, planning a wedding, monitoring both my parents, and occasionally trying to sleep.

I will come back. Maybe soon. Maybe not. Try and be patient. Maybe taking the time to write this will give me the inspiration to photograph meals this week. Maybe next. 

My only point is, this blog is not dead. And neither am I.