Warning: This post is lengthy and touches more on the personal end then on the food end. Skip to the middle/bottom, or somewhere around there, for the instructions on how to make these. My feelings won’t be hurt, TRUST ME!
November was crazy. I know I’ve said that like 14 billion times already, so once more isn’t gonna kill either of us. During mid November I had a minor breakdown. I think I was just EXTREMELY tired. Like so tired that I couldn’t even sleep. Kind of like when a baby gets overstimulated and can’t fall asleep because they are past the point of tired, and even past the point of exhaustion. I think that’s where I was.
I hear of celebrities who get hospitalized and the news claims it was pure exhaustion. I always kinda snickered at that. I’d think, “Ya right, they probably overdosed, or have a serious medical condition they’re just trying to cover up.” Both of which may be true sometimes, however, I now realize that they may just have been admitted for a simple, but severe, case of pure exhaustion.
My body was literally starting to self destruct. I know that sounds a little dramatic, but my body was starting to show physical signs that it was not ok. Not just bags under my eyes, but new auto immune disease signs. Like dry skin in random places, like my eyelids. A possible sign of eczema. No no, I’m not saying I have eczema, I’m saying my body was trying to tell me something.
I already have an autoimmune disease, Grave’s Disease (which is under control through medication). So the idea that my body could have another auto immune disease isn’t far fetched. In fact, it’s very possible.
The last few weeks have been spent reevaluating. My priorities, my hobbies, my daily schedule.
This blog is purely a hobby. And hobbies shouldn’t consume your life. But at what point do you turn your hobby into a career??? This is where I get sidetracked, stuck, frustrated, anxious, motivated, pretty much ALL the emotions, they start to happen, all at once.
My husband is SO encouraging. He sees such a gift in me that I don’t always see. During some of the recent conversations we’ve about all of this, I immediately jump to the conclusion that I’ll just give up blogging. I’ll forget my dream to one day do something full time with food, and I’ll just drop it, all together, be done with it. Not dramatic at all. He reminds me that’s not an option and that’s not what the conversations are about.
One night after a loooooong talk, we decided a way to re-prioritize is to take the month of December off of any ‘new’ blogging. Basically, this means no cooking, baking or picture taking for the sake of ‘fat girl.’ Duh, obviously I’ll cook and bake, we gotta eat! But I won’t do it with the intention of blogging about it. I’ll do it for the pure love I have for being in the kitchen. I’ll make 2 bundts and 3 leaves of bread, in 1 day, just because. Just because I love to bake. I’ll study new recipes and techniques. I’ll infuse vodka! And olive oil! And I might even clean out my closet and organize my baking cabinet! Whoa whoa, that’s just crazy talk now! My camera has been out of batteries for over 1 week now. You know what, I haven’t even bothered to charge it. And you know what else? I’m completely ok with it.
Jon reminded me that when people take a break they usually come back even stronger. Like athletes. They take breaks, recharge, cross train, blah blah… Shoot, I’ll even vouch with my running. I took a break because of having a baby. I came back to running FAR stronger then I EVER have been. I don’t know what it means to come back even stronger with cooking/baking/blogging. But, I’m looking forward to whatever that looks like…
I already feel more rested! The skin on my eyelids is back to normal and my hands aren’t dry and rough like sand paper.
Side Note: I think I may have developed an allergy to some of the chemicals in beauty products after being pregnant. I’ve started using straight coconut oil as a night (it’s too greasy for daytime) face moisturizer and my skin went back to normal almost immediately. CRAZY! And, as if that isn’t good enough, my face smells like sweet butter most of the time now!
My brain is absorbing every.single.ounce I am reading and learning about cooking and baking. Probably because I am rested enough, and not just barely getting by. Since I’m feeling better, of course it’s tempting to go charge my camera and start snapping pictures of the caramel candies sitting on my counter… or that butternut squash soup cooking in the crockpot… But I won’t.
Moral of the story: December is going to be my time of rest. I’m also going to use this time to spend with my family for my daughter’s first Christmas season. How lame would that be if I looked back on this time and could only remember the food I made, and not the things we did as a family? Ya, I don’t want that.
BUT, Fat Girl won’t rest completely during December. I have a few recipes up my sleeve that I plan on sharing… Like these little s’mores in a jar.
I made 100 of for that wedding I catered a couple weeks ago and they were a HUGE hit!!! These would be a super fun Christmas gift for coworkers, friends, family, bible study, neighbors, ANYONE. They can be made in advance (3-4 days), which means you can make them over the weekend and bring them to work on Monday. And the actually ‘bringing’ them to work is easy because they are contained in a jar, so you don’t have to worry about them spilling all over the car and the frosting getting smudged. With a cute little ribbon, and a spoon stuck in them, I’m tellin you, whoever you give this to will love you!!
I used the following recipes for the S’Mores in a Jar.
I have no clue how many mason jars 1 batch of the cake, buttercream and glaze will make. I just started making batch, after batch, after batch. Maybe it equated to 6 of everything, but I really don’t know. I’d start with making 1 batch of each the cake, frosting and glaze and go from there…
-Bake the cake on large cookie sheets lined with parchment paper. Once the cake was cooled I inverted it off the cookie sheet and used a cookie cutter to cut out circles that fit into each 8 ounce regular mouth mason jars. And by cookie cutter, I mean, I used the lid from a can of Pam non stick spray. Yep, that little lid cut out 200 little circles and it still in tact. I can’t even bring myself to throw it away.
-Pipe the marshmallow butter cream into the jars instead of using spoon because a spoon just makes a big mess. A piping bag made it easy. You can use a gallon size ziplock bag, but I find those always rip on the side seems and never quite work as well. It was worth my few $$ to buy some disposable piping bags for the few times I actually need them.
*Confession: At first I just spooned straight marshmallow fluff onto the first layer of cake in the jar. And it was gooey, for about 5 seconds. Then it was TOO runny and just looked messy. Which is why I switched to the buttercream. If you read my post on the marshmallow cake, I made the same mistake there. Don’t I ever learn? No, no I don’t.
– Let the glaze cool to room temperature before assembling the jars. If the glaze is warm it will melt the buttercream. It will thicken as it cools, and once these are assembled it thickens and firms up even more. DO NOT REFRIGERATE. If you refrigerate the assembled jars then the chocolate hardens, like REAL hard, and that’s not ooey gooey like a s’more. But room temperature keeps it firm enough to hold it’s ‘shape’ in the jar, but soft enough to use a plastic spoon to eat with.
-I poured the glaze into the jars with a spoon. I tried a piping bag and that made a mess. So, piping bag for the buttercream, spoon for the glaze.
Layering of the s’more:
1 piece of cake
1 piece of cake
1 hershey’s piece to top it all off
Screw the lid on, tie on a ribbon, insert spoon