Kinda homemade chocolate bar and multiple photo challenges

Day 10: Childhood Memory

This was missing from my last post because I was waiting for my mom to send me this photo, (I forgot to take it when I was home last week!).

This is the house I grew up in, so clearly I would have many childhood memories here. Countless family dinners, sleepovers in the basement with friends, baking with my mom and other female relatives, playing ‘Stranded on a desert island’ with my sister and neighbours during a Canadian winter, decorating the yard for Halloween with numerous pumpkins and gravestones, etc, etc, etc. I love this house for so many reasons.

Day 13: Yourself with 13 things

This is a stretch: it’s our living room wall photo collage, which includes three photos of my husband and I from our wedding day, and clearly more than thirteen things. Any wedding photos from friends (Adrienne and Shannon’s weddings!), wedding invitations (my friend Ken who is getting married next week!), or photos we love go up here. There’s a photo of one my in-laws’ Spaniels, Pat on his surfboard and my Florida family’s Christmas card from 2011. We also put up photos of the Manitoba prairies (scenes of home for me), as well as reproductions of Japanese wood cuts by Hiroshige. The penguins card is Shannon’s Christmas card to us from last year; we still have it up because we love it.

Day 14: Eyes

Mine. Self-explanatory.

Day 15: Silhouette

My husband posing for the camera.


Day 16: Long Exposure

I have a confession, (but maybe you already know): I take all my photos with my Samsung Galaxy Ace phone. I know, I should use some Cannon blah, blah,blah, but I’m happy with the photos. When it came to long exposure though, I wasn’t sure if my Smartphone would do it. But it did! Here’s a photo of a flourless dark chocolate cake with chocolate buttercream icing my husband made this evening, taken with a long exposure:

For the not-so-photographer intelligent person like me, here’s what it looks like with regular exposure:

Β I get it.


Day 17: Technology

I’m not a technologically savvy person. I just got a Smartphone before Christmas last year. I have an old-ish PC laptop, and a first generation iPod Nano. Recently, I’ve toyed with the idea of getting a Samsung tablet, but aside from Skype, I’ve not found any other justifications for buying one. My husband is probably more technologically savvy than me, but only by a bit: he’s got a four year old Macbook, an equally old iPod classic, and a Cannon digital camera. We’re the ‘travel-all-over-the-place-all-the-time’ people, not the technological toys people. Hence this photo of our seriously pathetic, but still working, entertainment system:

The TV is at least nine years old, the amplifier is fourteen years old (my husband bought it when he got back from India at 18 years old), and our digi-box (digital TV box thing, don’t know what it’s called in North America!) is a hand-me-down from my husband’s aunt and uncle. The only new-ish piece of equipment we have is our DVD player from Tesco! I think we keep putting off getting new stuff because we will eventually move back to Canada, so we’ve resolved to buy everything new there instead. Whenever that may be! (Don’t ask because I don’t know!).

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When I was home visiting last week, my friend Adrienne and I went through my mom’s book of her own collected recipes, hand written in a fabric covered book. I’ve got my own version here in Scotland, and one in storage in Canada. We came across my mom’s recipe for Sweet Marie Bars, a throw back to my teenage years. These are phenomenal! They’re a perfect combination of crunchy and creamy, topped with chocolate. I copied the recipe down, along with a few others, to take back to Scotland. Too bad I forgot them in Winnipeg! My mom will have to send them to me.
I was too impatient to wait for the recipe to arrive, so I searched for a recipe online and found this. I doubled the recipe and changed the chocolate topping to melted chocolate instead. Below are the quantities I used, and I’ve put them in both US cups and UK measurements. I mixed milk chocolate and dark chocolate to make semi-sweet chocolate, (you can’t get it here like in North America).

Teenage Throwback Sweet Marie Bars
1 cup corn syrup / 235 mL golden syrup
1 cup / 260g peanut butter
1 cup / 220g packed brown sugar
4 cups / 100g Rice Krispies
150g milk chocolate bar
150g dark chocolate bar
1. Grease a 9″x13″ pan. In a large saucepan, melt together syrup, brown sugar, and peanut butter at medium heat. Add Rice Krispies and mix so that they’re all coated. Empty into your pan and flatten.
2. Using a double boiler, melt your chocolate until smooth. Spread over top of the flattened Rice Krispies mixture, and put into the fridge to chill. Slice when solid.
Makes 24

Just like Mom made

Β What are your favourite homemade treats from when you were a kid or a teenager?

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Injury update: my sciatic nerve is still giving me problems. I went to the physio last night and she gave me some new exercises to do to loosen my hips and in hopes that the pain will dissipate. It’s definitely lumbar spine issues, and it’s just a slow-going process to get back to normal but I’m assured that will eventually happen. Way back in the spring, when I originally went for physio for emerging pain in my glutes, my physio did say that it would a while for things to get better and back to where they should be, and it definitely has been! It’s very frustrating to live with pain day in and day out, though, and I feel that because I’m only 32, am I not too young for this? I think so, but if you stand like me and arch your lower back, you’re bound to get this pain later in life too. Yes, running has made it worse due to impact on the spine, but interestingly enough, running is the only time I’m pain free (weird!!!!!). Looking forward to my appointment with the osteopath, and in the mean time, I will look for a massage therapist and chiropractor if things continue the be painful. Historically, I’ve not ben diligent in doing physio exercises, but the fact that I feel pain in sitting and lying down (even in bed!), makes me do my exercises religiously.Β 
I also want to do get better so I can push distance again because the longest distance I’ve done lately is 4.5 miles. The reason I want to push distance is because I want to run the Peterhead 10 km in November, the WildHearts Santa Run in Aberdeen in December, and quite possibly the EMF Half Marathon (Amy!!!!) May 2013. Let me stress that I will only enter the half marathon if this crappy back pain goes away.
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Last point I promise! Last night was the Great British Bakeoff final and John won. This was the first all-male final, and the culmination of what has been the most difficult GBBO to date, (over the top difficult, having a laugh difficult). I was rooting for, as they say in Scotland, ‘the boy James fae Shetland’ (James from the Shetland Islands, wayyyyyy north east of mainland Scotland), whowas many times a star baker due to his great flavour combinations, baking knowledge and taking risks, as he totally wings it sometimes! (too much I thought). Brendan was a fantastic baker with incredible depth, and but can I just say that his biscuits episode gingerbread bird house was so basic compared to John’s gingerbread Coliseum?!?!?! What he lacked in structure and depth for this task, he tried to compensate with decorating, but clearly you can’t fool Mary Berry and Paul Hollywood. I thought John was the darkhorse, and totally didn’t expect him to win. It’s nice to know though, that he intends on going to pastry school in Paris (which I would LOVE to do!). I’m always tempted to enter the competition, but after this year, I’m glad to just watch at home instead.
That’s it for now! Happy running and happy baking!
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10 thoughts on “Kinda homemade chocolate bar and multiple photo challenges

  1. Nice blog. I feel your back problem may come from your plantar fasciitis throwing your posture and back out of alignment. Please read-
    http://www.active.com/running/Articles/Don_t_ignore_heel_pain__Tips_for_treatment_and_prevention.htm
    Don't chicken out, read it all! I know that you won't like the idea of not runnung for a while. Coincidentally my daughter-in-law is crawling around with back pain. She runs but this is a by product of a bad landing parachute jump years ago. Alistair @thesurviver

  2. Hey Danielle,

    Excited to here you might be running the EMF Half Marathon. I am itching to sign up for Edinburgh as my 2nd Marathon. Thinking I should but my entry and sell it if I can't make from Cape Town to London and then to Edinburgh in time. Maybe see you on the road ??

    Well done on the photo challenges….will be uploading my backlog tonight:)

  3. Thanks for the article Alistair! My physio and I both thought the heel pain was originally plantar fasciitis, but the prescribed exercises had no effect. When I started doing the lumbar spine stretches, the heel pain started to dissipate and go away, and since Tuesday, with more stretches and exercises, again, it's getting better. My pain is only in the heel, and doesn't go beyond it. Thanks for the help though!

  4. I will TOTALLY do the Edinburgh half again if you sign up! And I love the Santa Run! It's the only thing I've ever 'won'! Although racing a charity run isn't really fair. πŸ™‚

  5. If it weren't for Aaron, I would have nothing technology related. Before we moved in together, I had a TV pretty similar to yours (and the only reason I have a smart phone is because my parents bought it for me for Christmas).

    I will try and convince Aaron that we NEED to go to Edinburgh in 2014 (definitely out for this year).

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