Sunday, July 18, 2010

Marvelous Monkey Bread

Since I promised this recipe ages ago....I figured I'd better come good on my word.
This recipe comes with warnings...gazing at the photos for more than 45 seconds or simply reading through the recipe may cause unexpected weight gain. Mind you, if there is ever a recipe worth every single sinful calorie...this has got to be it. Do your taste-buds a favor and make this...just once...when hungry, skinny children or teens are around. Beware though, once will lead those hungry, skinny kids to beg for

In Belleville, we have a wonderful store that sells a multitude of yummy baked goods and frozen wonderful prices too. This bag originally held three of these loaves of bread dough.
Use any frozen or fresh white bread dough...frozen buns (if you can find them), would involve less cutting.
I usually use 1 1/2 loaves per pan...and usually do it for sleepover parties, so I make 2 pans of Monkey Bread with this pkg.

Partially thaw the dough and cut into 1/2" cubes...approx.
(If you end up completely thawing the dough, just tear it off in small pieces and roll in to ballish type shapes~~any little helping hands are great to put to work on this task)

For each pan you will need approx. 1 c. white sugar and ....maybe 4 Tlbs. of Cinnamon.
(it's an art not a add the cinnamon until
it looks right)
Since Michael is my child who begs for Monkey Bread the most, these are his hands cutting and mixing the dough.
After all the dough is coated, shake off excess sugar mixture and toss evenly in a greased bunt or angel food pan.

Just breathe through the next part, follow the directions and trust me.

Melt 1 cup of butter per pan of monkey bread..

Add 1/2 cup of brown sugar, (yes that measuring cup does say 1 c.~ I was doubling the recipe here)
Stir over med. heat until the butter and brown sugar become one.
Then pour evenly over the balls of dough.

Hey...don't say I didn't warn you.

Bake in preheated, 350* oven for 30-35 minutes.
Invert on large plate and serve warm.

After one bite, I guarantee you won't know whether to love or hate me.
Yes, they are that good.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

A Summer of Change, Growing Pains and Parental Pride

Summer and it's long hot lazy days has set in, only for me this year it has been missing the lazy part. It is the first summer in 18 years that I have worked outside the home which in itself has brought about much change. Mind you, for a first summer working I am pretty spoiled: 4 day work weeks and 4 weeks holidays (starting Thursday eve!).

It is a Summer of change for the Piers Family.

We experienced so much parental Pride as we witnessed both of our boys' into High School and one into University. Both with Honors, both receiving awards for the Characteristics we value most: Kindness, respect, leadership, helpfulness.
One Valedictorian and one runner up. For 2 boys with very different personalities...the similarities are uncanny.
Both boys celebrate Birthdays this month and I am forced once again to face that my children are no longer babies that I can safely hover over and protect. They are quickly growing up, making choices, moving forward....and I may have to break into a run to catch up.

My heart is stretched as we navigate these uncharted waters, Jonathan leaves home for University in a few short New Brunswick.
How is it as a mom, you can be bursting with pride and be so absolutely ecstatic that your child is going after and obtaining all of their dreams...and completely broken hearted because you will miss them so darn much?
My heart has never been so confused as it has this summer...the highs and lows of parenting all in one moment.

The social calendar of all of the kids has picked up dramatically this summer as well. Along with Jonathan working full time hours, he is acting in a film, (Muscle) being produced by local friends for the Toronto Film Festival. Michael and his multitude of friends coming and going, Maria and Jianna going to movies and swim dates with all their little girlfriends. Mark and I actually found ourselves home alone for a few hours last night. I believe that too is a first for us.

I believe as I look back on this summer, it will always stand out as significant. So much change, so much growth and it is not all in my children. Yes their changes are forcing me to grow up just a little bit more but I am also getting to reconnect with some friends of my youth. Friends I have had no contact with in over 20 years, friends with which God is creating some very significant heart ties. For the first time since I left for good at 19...I am going home.
Even thinking of the town of my youth as "home" is had remained in my memories a place of heartache, tears and trauma. God is redeeming those memories of the past for all of the laughter, prayers and fun that I shared with these friends. I am also believing for some incredible new memories as I set aside my fears and journey to my beloved ocean and the place I once called home.

In all of the change and growth...joys and heartache of this summer, I vividly see the hand of God and His absolute faithfulness to my family and myself.
I truly am in awe once again.

Happy Summer to all, may it be a significant summer for each of you as well.