Friday, October 29, 2010

Heart Blessings and Recipes.....

My step brother is spending the night tonight to give me a full night of sleep. Praise God I am so grateful for the help. Daddy was up every half hour last night until about 5am. I never could figure out the right combination of too hot/too cold or too bright/ too dark until he realized himself that he was having a hard time. Then the silent tears on his face told me he needed a hug and a prayer and he was instantly asleep.

When we come to mind this weekend please be praying for us. Even though he is so weak and forgets what he is doing in mid task....he is upset that I ordered a bath aide and insists he can do it all by himself. I haven't even broached the idea that a hospital bed is being delivered on Monday. I am going to have to catch just the right opportunity and phrasing in presenting it to him because he feels that having that bed here is a representation he doesn't want to deal with.

I completely understand that and have held off for a long time because of his feelings but my back is really killing me as I try to do medications and dressing changes stooped over his recliner. A bed will be safer for him too I think. Many times at night when he is disoriented he says to me, "oh by the way miss. Where should I sleep this evening?" I explain that he has preferred his recliner for the last several years and he is happy with that but I sure would love to point him to a real bed.

The above picture was taken a bout a month ago when some of Daddy's special friends were visiting. They sent it to us in the mail the other day along with other pictures and a card full of loving well wishes. The original picture is much better than this one. I just took a cell phone shot of the original so I could share it here.

Why is this picture special to me? Yes, it is of me and my daddy. But I also see something in this picture that I didn't share with anyone when it was taken. For the past few months I have been sure to be the picture taker for people who visit because I know they want something to cherish and hold to. But my last picture with him was back in March when we did The Melting Pot dinner. I had secretly been asking God if I could have a picture taken of him and me but never felt it conducive to the right time in our daily routine.

That is just what happened that day. I was snapping pictures with every one's' cameras and then his/my precious friend said, "Okay now its your turn for a picture." I wanted to cry right then and there with gratefulness but held back and tried to memorize the feel of Daddy's arm around my shoulder. I've had a million hugs from him since then and I cherish each one. But this one was somehow different and I felt like we both knew it.


A couple of days ago my step brother was over for a visit and Daddy was taking a nap. Having an extra person here afforded me the opportunity to do some baking...which is huge therapy for me. I do enjoy meal cooking when I know others will enjoy it but I stress over the tiniest detail in wanting everything to be right....and always end up making way too much. But baking is something like breathing for me. Give me a recipe to bake and focus on and my step suddenly gets lighter.

That day I chose to make almond cranberry biscotti. I know that sounds like a crazy time consuming thing to make given my circumstances right now but I loved every second of it. I figured even if it took me 3 days to do the double baking in between Daddy needing me then that was perfectly okay by me.

I have made this recipe a few times now and though I have many biscotti recipes at home, this one has become my favorite. It is really easy and with having no oil or butter in the ingredients list it makes for a pretty guilt free decadent treat. I am sharing it with you here so you can give it a try and enjoy it too.

Cranberry Almond Biscotti

2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
2 large eggs
2 large egg whites
1 TBSP almond or vanilla extract
1 (6oz) package dried cranberries
3/4 cup sliced almonds
optional: 1 bag Hershey's Dark Chocolate Chips (for drizzle and dip coating)

- Preheat oven to 325 degrees
- Combine dry ingredients in a medium mixing bowl.
- Whisk together eggs, egg whites and extract in separate bowl
- Add liquids to the dry ingredients and mix with an electric mixer on medium speed (I just use my clean hands so I know for sure when it is all mixed from the bottom.)
- Add cranberries and almonds and mix thoroughly.
- Using a liberal amount of flour on your hands, divide the dough in half on a cookie sheet and shape into logs approximately 14" long and 1 1/2 " wide.
- Bake for 30 minutes.

- Reduce over temperature to 300 degrees.
- Take biscotti bread off cookie sheet and place on cooling rack for about 15 minutes.
- Cut biscotti into 1/2 inch slices and lay on their sides on cookie sheet.
- Bake each side for 10 minutes.

- If you would like to coat with dark chocolate for an extra nice touch (both on the palette and presentation):
- Melt dark chocolate chips in a microwave safe bowl stirring at 30 second intervals to keep from burning. (Usually takes 1 1/2 minutes total)
- Lay wax paper out on the counter.
- You can chocolate your biscotti different ways:
* Dip one end in and then lay on wax paper to harden. This gives a sweet treat while keeping fingers clean while you eat.
* Drizzle by spoon over biscotti that is already standing up on wax paper. Chocolate gets everywhere but it is fun art work.
* Spread chocolate on the bottom of biscotti with a spoon and then stand on wax paper.
- No matter what you choose, let the chocolate set for a few hours and then pull off the wax paper and store in loose covered container.

Makes approximately 2 1/2 dozen.
Also makes a fun gift accompanied with some homemade hot cocoa mix.
(I use empty sterilized old candle jars for putting cocoa mixes in...but that is another recipe to share on another day.) :-)

Enjoy and be blessed in knowing you are so loved.


  1. Dearest Jules, I am just stopping by because I wanted you to know that you are still in my thoughts and prayers...and I understand the dilemma you are facing with your Daddy's care...I went through that with my is so hard because you get so tired, and yet they only want you to help them with the personal tasks. Very difficult...and heartbreaking...I will pray for you especially on this leg of your journey! I'm so glad you got a picture taken!!! You are much in my thoughts! Love you! Janine XO

  2. What a beautiful picture of you and your dad. So very sweet.....

    Love you,

  3. Thanks for your visits to my blog, Jules.

    It is lovely to be able to catch up here. I am in bed with the flu. The fever broke last night so I am very happy to be feeling much better than yesterday!

    Prayers for you and your Dad, and the others who come to help out. It is a difficult time for you all, but I know it is also a very precious time, for you to be able to do this for your Dad.

    Lovely photo, and story about it. It is nice when someone wants to take your photo isn't it? I quite understand!

    May God's Blessings be on you all.

  4. Thank you, Jules, for stopping by my blog and offering up your prayers and understanding. It is so nice to have the encouragement of others through rough times; and to think of you taking the time for me when you have so much going on for yourself. I will indeed return the "favor" of sending prayers across the way for you.


I love to hear from other. Your opinions and viewpoints are always a blessing and encourage other readers as well.