Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Have you thrown a blessing dinner party? Why not?

“We should look for someone to eat and drink with before looking for something to eat and drink…” ~Epicurus

So I stole that saying from another blog but really it just fits.  I am going to let you in on a little secret plan.  I told you before God was leading me in a new direction right now.  Well, last night was the first of many parties.  Yes, a party!  A celebration! 

One day I was sitting around sulking.  Yep, sure was.  As some of you know my family is back in Alabama and Tom's family is in Michigan.  Our hope was to have Tom's mom live with us and after repeated arrows thrown at our hearts of her not choosing us she had finally agreed and she fell and broke her pelvic bone.  After that fall she decided to stay in the nursing home.  So when holidays roll around there is a small corner of my heart that hurts.  God started showing me that He will fill that corner and He will use people to do it.  I started to try and look at all I have to be thankful for.  You know reverse psychology.  It worked.  Okay I give credit to God alone not psychology.  He also placed a desire in my heart to be active in blessing my family and friends.  And to me that means food.  Seriously you DID see that coming right?

So as God places my friends on my heart I am planning a blessing dinner party.  I have been studying blessings since before Christmas.  There is a lot to say about blessings in the Bible.  I especially like the ones that are spoken.  The ones you say to someones face.  I soon started going to each of my children and asking God to bless them in what they had before them that day.  I started going to my husband and asking God to bless him.  You know what?  They returned the blessing! 

This is what my thoughts are so far, blessings are God's idea.  They come from Him.  If you bless someone or someone blesses you it really started with God's thought about that person.  So God uses you to let that person know they are loved.  It is not about what you do to "bless" that person, it really isn't about you at all. 

So God use me to bless my friends and family.  May our Lord bless you and show you His love for you today. 

Oh and here is the recipe for the caramel cake I made last night!
Caramel Cake

Solid vegetable shortening for greasing the pans
Flour for dusting the pans
1 package (18.25 ounces) plain white cake mix
1 cup whole milk
8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter, melted
3 large eggs
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Quick Caramel Frosting (see below)

Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Generously grease two 9-inch round cake pans with solid vegetable shortening, then dust with flour. Shake out the excess flour. Set the pans aside.
Place the cake mix, milk, melted butter, eggs, and vanilla extract in a large mixing bowl. Blend with an electric mixer on low speed for 1 minutes. Stop the machine and scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Increase the mixer speed to medium and beat 2 minutes more, scraping the sides down again if needed. The batter should look well blended. Divide the batter between the prepared pans, smoothing it out with the rubber spatula. Place the pans in the oven side by side.
Bake the cakes until they are golden brown and spring back when lightly pressed with your finger, 27 to 29 minutes. Remove the pans from the oven and place them on wire racks to cool for 10 minutes. Run a dinner knife around the edge of each layer and invert each onto a rack, then invert them again onto another rack to that the cakes are right side up. Allow them to cool completely, 30 minutes more.
Meanwhile, prepare the Quick Caramel Frosting.
Place one cake layer, right side up, on a serving platter. Spread the top with the warm frosting. Place the second layer, right side up, on top of the first layer and frost the top and sides of the cake with clean, smooth strokes. Work quickly, as the frosting will set. (If the frosting gets too hard to work with, place the pan back over low heat for 1 minute, stirring constantly, to soften it up.) Once the frosting has set, slice and serve.
Store this cake, covered in plastic wrap or aluminum foil, at room temperature for up to 1 week or freeze, wrapped in foil, for up to 6 months. Thaw the cake overnight on the counter before serving.
Quick Caramel Frosting
8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
1/4 cup whole milk
2 cups confectioners' sugar, sifted
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Place the butter and brown sugars in a medium-size heavy saucepan over medium heat. Stir and cook until the mixture comes to a boil, about 2 minutes. Add the milk, stir, and bring the mixture back to a boil, then remove the pan from the heat. Add the confectioners' sugar and vanilla. Beat with a wooden spoon until the frosting is smooth.
Use immediately (while still warm) to frost the cake of your choice or the frosting will harden. If it does harden while you are frosting the cake, simply place the pan back over low heat and stir until the frosting softens up.
Makes 3 cups, enough to frost a 2- or 3-layer cake

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