Like rolling the tapes of a movie, or repeating the lyrics of a song in your head until the words melt together and the meaning becomes indecipherable, I've been going over this post, trying to come up with phrases and anecdotes, clever similes and descriptions.
Lost in the wordplay instead of finding the meaning, I've convoluted my metaphors. It's messy.
So instead I sat down and closed my eyes, and to conjure up the perfect place - a peaceful scene in my mind - to banish worries from my mind. You know, like one of those places the instructor will tell you to imagine in relaxation sessions, or classes at school, which I often scoffed at, and instead made to-do lists in my head while I pretended to participate with eyes closed.
So here goes;
A large, muffled robin-egg-blue house, with a wrap around deck sits amid a golden landscape, awash in the afternoon sun. It's not new, although nor is it shabby. It's well maintained and the wood of it's structure still remains intact. All around this house span fields of tall grasses, bending to the movement of the warm breeze; summertime. Bay windows expand across one side of the house and inside comfortable, fluffy cushions of warm colours are arranged neatly along the window seat. From a seat there one can view the large oak tree situated outside, with the leaves that remain green this time of year.
Many have climbed its large, rippled trunk and the thick, supporting branches that lend themselves to be perches for kids, birds and cats; notched and pock marked from the joyous escapades to its heights, letters and signatures dot the lower branches. Hanging from the thickest of them all is a faded yellow rope with knots tangled and gnarled into inconceivable shapes, and an old pickup truck tire that sways gently at the end. The tire appears worn, with edges smoothed, from those who have played and flown through the air while watchful mothers peered over steaming mugs of freshly brewed chai teas out of the bay windows: a portal to the fleeting movements of children's lives.
The aroma that seeps from teapots encompasses the interior of the house, a welcoming and comforting scent which resides, the spices a tender nudge to the senses upon entering through the dark blue front door, decorated with a large stain glass window down the length of it.
The breeze outside softens the intensity of the hot sun, but remains so gentle as to not move dust from the winding dirt driveway down to the distant main road, and give dance to the long grasses in the rolling hills. It plays tricks on my hair, which flows out behind as I run and jump and play in the expanse of never ending fields. Untouched by anxieties and fears, this is freedom.
The soft tendrils of the grass playfully lap at my skin, nudging my senses, tickling. My dog runs alongside in a joyous oasis while sniffing the smells carried by the wind and excited by my own personal happiness.
I remember the quaint oak table inside, with the delicate setting of a white table cloth that hosts afternoon tea and freshly baked brownies, still warm from the oven, and all prepared tastefully before my return from checking on my horse just up the hill from the house.
The barn, classically painted a deep red with white trim just last summer, houses a beautiful thoroughbred mare that awaits outside in his paddock; a strong stature and watchful gaze greet me, followed by the nodding of his head to my offering of an apple, picked a few moments ago. His coat glistens a rich brown in the sun, and he trots closer in anticipation, excitement, sniffing. Three black socks mark his legs, the front left an astonishing white. Tomorrow we will ride.
Another adventure, another carefree day will ensue, and peace always remains in reach.
Gluten-Free Brownie Bliss Bars
Ever just crave chocolate? I know I do. Often. These bars, creamy, rich, and perfectly chocolate, are an excellent after dinner treat served with vanilla ice cream, or as a sweet treat to a long day!
Baked with love, and baked in just a short time, these can be enjoyed anytime!
For best results, allow the brownies to cool at least 15 minutes before removing from the pan, and then let them cool completely on a rack before cutting. This will prevent them from crumbling, but if you can't wait, they can be eaten straight from the pan with a spoon. (Which will probably be me, so don't be shy!)
The best gluten-free brownies... Moist and delicious!
Makes 16 square brownies.
1 c brown sugar
1/2 c butter, or Earth Balance
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 c 100% cocoa powder
3/4 c Nana's Gluten-Free Flour Mix
1 tsp baking powder
1 c semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 tbsp tepid water
Grease an 8" square baking pan with butter and preheat the oven to 350°F.
Melt the butter, sugar and salt together in a bowl. If melting on the stove top, combine ingredients in a bowl and place over a pot of simmering water, stir frequently until butter and sugar melt together. For a faster method, place ingredients in a microwaveable bowl and cook on high for 1 minute.
Stir well and add the vanilla extract and cocoa powder.
In a smaller bowl, beat together all the eggs before adding. Beat rapidly to remove any lumps and until the mixture looks shiny and smooth.
Blend in flour mix and baking powder, and slowly fold in chocolate chips.
Pour mixture into the baking pan and spread evenly. Sprinkle 1 tbsp water over, and place in the oven.
Bake for 25 - 30 minutes or until an inserted knife from the center comes out clean.
Remove from the oven and allow the brownies to cool for 15 minutes before transferring them to a cooling rack. Cut into squares once completely cool.
Labels: baking, bars, bliss, Brownies, chocolate, dessert, gluten free, semi-sweet, treat