“If the only prayer you ever say in your entire life is thank-you, it will be enough” ~ Meister Eckhart
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This past week a beautiful comment left about Spaghetti Saturdays from a fellow Iowa Blogger. “I love this, Ali. We also have a monthly potluck dinner with a group of friends. It's the highlight of our month”
From one kindred spirit to another .. I so understand. There are many reasons we look forward to our monthly dinner parties .. but at its essence? When someone (or something) in your life means so much .. you can't help but want to share them
with those you love
Selfishly it was a chance to see all of the wonderful people we hold dear .. but really .. we wanted them to meet each other. The outcome was better than we ever could have imagined. After the first couple of months .. name tags went by the wayside and now friends from all walks of life .. come together to catch up
While I'm excited before every event .. this month held a special place in my heart. After the painful loss of our dog .. I looked forward to sharing our humble memorial. One to which the very first picture ever taken of him .. was added that evening.
We've been estranged .. for longer than either of us care to admit. We're slowly trying again. This was their first Spaghetti Saturday
Admittedly .. with only a few minutes before our guests were due to arrive .. a couple of last-minute cancellations and meatballs for twenty-five that wouldn't hold their shape .. had left me with a tear in my eye and a
lump in my throat
I slowly made my way around the house .. adjusting the music .. and lighting the candles. My husband's words of encouragement playing in my mind like a mantra
“Focus on the good .. we have so very much to be thankful for”
Words I found myself repeating .. from the first ring of the doorbell .. until the last glass of bubbly had been sipped .. clean-up was finished .. and we laid in the dark talking well into the night.
Russian beer and homemade Sangria
Funny stories of Spring Break in Washington D.C. (as told by a nine-year-old)
A darn good dishwasher
The love of a sure and steady spouse
March Madness on the tv
A two-year-old with a big plate of spaghetti
Touching stories of pets loved and lost
An invitation to play a round of golf
Surprising topics of conversation
The word “Grandma”
Second chances .. and the decision to fully inhabit our now
As his bedtime quickly approached .. his parents begun making their way to the door. With his jacket and fuzzy slippers came the realization that it was indeed time to bid farewell
A man on a mission .. he proceeded to tackle the kindest .. sweetest task of the evening. A gift that would touch the hearts of young and old .. huggers and non-huggers alike.
Little Eli ran from person to person and gave them each a hug. By the time he was finished .. every heart had been reduced to a puddle on the floor.
“Good-bye Grandma .. See you later. Wuv you”
“Good-bye, sweet one .. come again soon. I love you too”
Another reminder that my true work is rarely found on the desk in front of me .. at the kitchen sink .. or waiting in my inbox. Instead, it has to do with softening my heat and strengthening my faith that what is .. is simply meant to be.
Which means accepting myself as I am .. being thankful for and embracing my life .. right here .. right now .. as the incredible gift that it truly is
That alone is as good a reason as any to light some candles .. make the house smell delicious .. give thanks for friendship .. and second chances. To keep sharing with others what's in our hearts .. and so very special to us
To always remember to focus on the good. Because my sweet husband was right all along. We do have so very .. very much to be
A new recipe to share today.
A cake that's incredibly moist .. golden-crumbed .. flecked with rosemary .. and dotted throughout with big and small chunks of chocolate. It's one of those cakes that's both distinctive and memorable in an understated way
The rosemary is the wild card factor here .. and it permeates the cake in a subtle but steady way. Not at all overpowering.
It's one of those perfect picnic .. travel .. or lunchbox cakes
ps: As the author notes .. you don't need to use a specialty olive oil for this cake. But if you have one with lots of flavor .. the cake will be that much better.
Also .. I'd really suggest chopping up a chocolate bar for this cake. It's not just going to be the same if you use uniform chocolate chips. Aim for big chunks (1/2″ in diameter). You'll end up with all sorts of shavings and littler pieces as you're chopping .. and having that mix of flecks and the big chunks is really pretty great
pps: For more recipes and stories from Spaghetti Saturdays .. here
- Dry Ingredients
- ¾ cup spelt flour
- 1½ cups all-purpose flour
- ¾ cup sugar
- 1½ teaspoons baking powder
- ¾ teaspoon kosher salt
- Wet Ingredients
- 3 eggs
- 1 cup olive oil + more for prepping the pan
- ¾ cup whole milk
- 2 Tbsp fresh rosemary, finely chopped
- 5 ounces bittersweet chocolate (70% cacao), chopped into ½-inch pieces
- 2 Tbsp natural sugar for top crunch
- Pre-heat the oven to 350F
- Rub a 9½-inch fluted tart pan with olive oil. Alternately, I used a loaf pan and lined it with parchment paper.
- Sift the dry ingredients into a large bowl, pouring any bits of grain or other ingredients left in the sifter back into the bowl.
- Set aside.
- In another large bowl, whisk the eggs thoroughly.
- Add the olive oil, milk, and rosemary and whisk again.
- Using a spatula, fold the wet ingredients into the dry, gently mixing just until combined.
- Stir in ⅔ of the chocolate.
- Pour the batter into the pan, spreading it evenly and smoothing the top.
- Sprinkle with the remaining chocolate and run a fork along the length of the chocolate so that the batter envelops it just a bit.
- Sprinkle with the natural sugar.
- Bake for about 40 minutes, or until the top is domed, golden brown, and a skewer inserted into the center comes out clean.
- My cake, in the loaf pan, took closer to 50-55 minutes.
- Also, just when the cake was nearly finished baking, if I want a bit more color on top, I'll finish it off under the broiler for a minute. This will caramelize the sugar on top and gave it a bit of crunch. (Don't walk away from the cake while it is under the broiler)
- The cake can be eaten warm or cool from the pan, or cooled, wrapped tightly in plastic, and kept for 2 days
% Protein: 6
% Carbs: 39
% Fat: 5