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Lightening up (mood-wise, not calorie-wise)

Last week was a doozy.  At work, anyway.  Such a doozy, in fact, we resorted to ordering Chinese take-out for dinner on Wednesday.  (GASP!)

I don’t totally mind Chinese take-out, but considering how much I enjoy making a nice dinner every night, it says something about my mood.

I was exhausted.  Not physically exhausted, but emotionally.  I didn’t even have a very productive billable week, either.  It just seemed like every single project, every phone call, every piece of mail, email and fax that came in was something negative, resistent, mean-spirited, unreasonable, illogical, or some other kind of battle.  We had a late night “town hall” type meeting with one client Tuesday night, and the embroiled tension in the room just seemed to carry over to the office for an extra day or two.  Or, like, the whole world is ticked off right now because the government is blaming everyone, deserved or not, for the broken state of our economy.  Maybe that’s just me.

See, we’re also trying to refinance our house right now and have run into a snafoo because the federal government says that we both switched jobs in the last two years, because our situation doesn’t fit within any of the boxes they have to check on the da&n application.  Oh, and being self-employed apparrently makes us inherently suspect, despite our top-15 credit scores.  Being residential mortgage applicants apparently makes us inherently stupid, too, and THAT really ticks me off.  There should be some kind of standardized test you can take which, when coupled with a rockstar credit score, exempts you from all the red tape all the 7-grade-intellect average Joes have to cross.  I’m sorry, but really, the Mysterious Underwriter is going to deny our application because the date on my check was the same as the date on the Truth-in-Lending Disclosures???  And we’re not going to get approved because the tax description doesn’t match our recorded legal description because we sold the south 10 feet of our lot to the neighbors???  What about the other 390 feet?  We weren’t using that 10-foot strip anyway!  What about the uber-safe Loan-to-Value Ratio???  What about our personal balance sheets???  GAH!  Where is the damn logic???  Whatever, this is not a battle I’m going to pick.  At once, I feel dumber than and superior to all the lemmings out there who have 3.25% mortgages… This is why my dad pays cash for everything.  Good man.

So instead of dinner I made 4 dozen red velvet cupcakes and – AND – caramel mocha blondies.  The cupcakes were for a friend’s daughter’s birthday party (and maybe for breakfast for myself on Friday, too, but only because it’s my responsibility as a baker to test my product 😉

(ps – I highly recommend chocolate coconut sprinkles as a topper on red velvet cupcakes).  The blondies were all for myself and my blondie bff =) Okay, and maybe our guys, too, but primarily they were pure self-indulgence, a craving satisfier.  Totally Michelle-inspired.  She’s the one who always orders the caramel sundae from McDonald’s (much to my horror!  I mean, isn’t the hot fudge the all-time best sundae ever???)  And she’s totally a coffee hound.  It’s one of the ways she says her husband proves his love for her – making sure the coffee is ready every morning when she comes back in the house after feeding their horses.  I mean, smart girl, right?  Coffee = love.  Yup, she should be exempt from the Federal Truth-in-Lending Act, too! 

Enter BH&G’s tried-and-true blondie recipe. 

Comfort food to the max.  Like, crying-through-an-entire-ten-episode-SoapNet-Dawson’s-Creek-marathon comfort.  

Instead of 2 tsps vanilla, use 1-1/2 tsp vanilla plus a tall 1/2 tsp coffee extract.  After spreading the batter into the pan & sprinkling on the chocolate chips, drizzle on top about 1/4 cup of Hershey’s caramel sauce.  (For the record, for Michelle’s birthday last year I made homemade caramel, but it is just not any better than the Hershey’s; I know this from experience, the jarred stuff is fine.)  It is no joke how hungry my friends can be – these were pretty much gone in one sitting.  Mmmm…. blondies…. they may have lightened up my mood for the week, but certainly not my waistline!

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About kozubalk

Lawyer by day, baker by night, full time creative spirit.

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