Overambition

A kaleidoscope of reds, pinks and purples takes us to more than half way of February. Remnants of multiple festivities remain scattered around as normalcy is attempted to be resumed. Head in the clouds. Turning new pages.

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I’ve always been wanting to do too many things at the same time. Biting off more than I can chew. Being a bit too overambitious. I love making to-do lists but I also love adding to them so that number 1 often continues to remain unchecked for about a century. Gym, for example, has comfortably taken a backseat in my priorities. I think it’s about time I turned the mirror on my wall the other way. Ostrich approach to problems.

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I’ve been giving up chocolate for Lent for a couple of years now, so much so that I have cured my addiction of eating 100g slabs of Green & Blacks per day (although I would still be able to do that with no difficulty), and this year I gave up crossing my legs. Because apparently it gives you varicose veins, and also because it’s bad for your back. Whatever the physical benefits, deep down it’s just a personal challenge to try to overcome something that has become second nature for at least the majority of females. It’s only 40 days. And unexpectedly, it’s not that easy.

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Salted Caramel Brownies

(from Smitten Kitchen, one of the very first food blogs I started chalking up recipes from)

Caramel
112g granulated sugar
4 tbsp unsalted butter
pinch (and a bit more) of salt
3 tbsp cream

Chocolate Brownie
85g cooking chocolate, chopped
115g unsalted butter
200g granulated sugar
2 eggs
1tsp vanilla extract
pinch of salt
85g all purpose flour

1.    Set a piece of baking paper over a plate. Lightly butter the baking paper.
2.    Melt sugar on medium heat for about 4 mins, until it is a golden / copper colour. Keep an eye on it to prevent it from burning! Remove from heat and stir in butter. Stir in cream and salt and return saucepan to the stove over medium-high heat, cooking til the caramel bubbles. Continue stirring til it is smooth.
3.   Pour onto the baking sheet and and transfer plate to the freezer. Freeze until solidified, about 20 mins.
4.   Meanwhile, make the brownies. Preheat oven to 175 degrees C. Line a square baking tin with baking paper and grease.
5.   Stir and melt chocolate and butter in a bowl over boiling water. Whisk in sugar, then eggs, one at a time, then vanilla and salt. Stir in flour with a spoon.
6.   Remove the caramel from the freezer when firm and chop it into small pieces. Fold all into brownie batter, then pour the mixture into the square baking tin. Bake for 30-35 minutes.
7.   Allow brownies to cool and firm up before cutting them into equal slices. (The freezer may help the cooling process.)

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Life. And the pretty little things to it.

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