Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Lovely Weekend Adventures

Happy Tuesday folks!

Although last night consisted of yet another midnight baking adventure, it's thankfully been a pretty grand day thus far! :) Bosslady's birthday is today and our department wanted to bring a little sweetness into the office. Brownie points? Quite literally :)

Happy Birthday Bosslady!

I LOVE birthdays and birthday surprises...and I love how sprinkles make most any dessert just look "happier." These brownies were not the prettiest in the world, but they are pretty tasty...Good enough for me! :)

What a weekend right? To call it bittersweet is a huge understatement. My heart is still in pieces for what happened on Friday. This world is crazy and I struggle to find the right words to pray for those families. Thankfully, we serve an Awesome God who hears our heart rather than our words, and who I feel cries with us through pain and trials. This world needs some major prayer, people.

On a lighter note, the weekend kicked off with our office Christmas party on Friday night. After a fast-paced day at work, I was one tired chick once I returned home. I pretty much fell into my bed and didn't move until I woke up the next morning, determined to sleep as late as possible.

I don't know about y'all, but around here it's been a little difficult getting in the "Christmas spirit." October through December is without a doubt my favorite time of year -- the changing colors, the cooler weather (NOTE: cool - not cold! :) ), the decorations, the MUSIC...I love it all. But in a workplace where everything has to be very PC, and in a city that's so cramped that it takes an hour to drive 2 miles (no joke), everything seems a little less "spirited."

Because of this, we decided that SATURDAY would be deemed "All Things Christmas" day. Shopping, music, food, etc. And was it ever. I highly recommending doing this at some point before next week!

Saturday started off with a surprise breakfast from a local donut shop I'd never visited. Apple fritters, butter rolls, cinnamon rolls, piggies in blankets, and coffee...pretty much the works. I must say, it was all pretty impressive -- so impressive that you kind of have to ignore the amount of calories you're going to consume just looking at it ...but totally worth it in the end. We stuffed our faces and decided it was best to go for a long run afterward :) Hey, it's all about balance, right? ;)

Part of "the feast"!!!
Later that afternoon, the Christmas shopping ensued. This was the first time I've really seen our area decked out for Christmas, since I rarely make it to that side of town due to traffic and time. Music was playing, stores and windows were decorated -- it really felt like a Christmas village :) There was even a trolley running that night so we could visit all of the stores without losing our parking spot! LOVED IT!

Christmas spirit has officially been FOUND :) Gifts are wrapped, my office and apartment are finally decorated, and I'm blasting Christmas music every chance I get. Sometimes you just need a true day OFF to really enjoy things.

Speaking of enjoying things...I feel like this Blackberry Crisp dessert is something truly worth enjoying. I mentioned it last week when my friend Lauren visited. Although it's a very light dessert, it's sweet enough to feel as though you've had something substantial. It's got oatmeal AND fruit in it, so you can totally eat this for breakfast too if you so desire...this I know from experience ;)

I had all of the ingredients on hand already, hopefully you will too. If not, no worries -- it uses very practical ingredients that you'll likely use again. I even had blackberries in my freezer (rare occasion) leftover from a previous recipe.

Hope you enjoy this - it's great for a cold night, but I've eaten it in the summertime too with other fruits mixed in (See Skinnytaste for the summer recipe!). Hopefully your crisp will be a little thicker...I used half a bag a blackberries because that's what was left in my freezer, but use as many as you want -- 2 bags will give you a SUPER juicy crisp...I encourage it :)

Apologies for the bad lighting...regardless of pictured, it's very, very good!
Check out Gina's site...she has MUCH better pictures! :)

Warm Blackberry Crisp
Inspired by Gina of Skinnytaste 

1 bag of frozen blackberries (or more, if you wish!)
~ 1 teaspoon of lemon juice
~ 1 teaspoon of cornstarch, more if you use more berries
1/4 cup of sugar

1 cup of dry oatmeal
1/2 cup of whole wheat flour (I do not recommend white flour here at all)
3/4 cup brown sugar (if you're a fan like me. If not just use 1/2 cup)
1 teaspoon of cinnamon (more if you're a fan, like me ;) )
a little less than half a stick of butter

In a mixing bowl, toss your fruit with the lemon juice, sugar, and cornstarch, in that order. Pour into a pie dish (I rubbed a light layer of butter on this, just in case).

In a separate bowl, mix the rest of the ingredients and pour on top of the fruit layer in the pie dish. Bake at 375 until the crust is a nice golden brown color. Serve warm and top with whipped cream or ice cream and a dash of cinnamon :)

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