Thursday, August 22, 2013

Big Girl Panties!

I had a wonderful professor in my last year of University. She guided me during my internship. In our first class together, she had said "This internship is not going to be easy. For the first time for some of you, you will be switching from the "Student Status"  you know so well to a "Professional Status". It's going to be different than what you are use to; it's going to be new, it's going to be stressful and it's going to be a big change. Change is difficult and scary... but PUT ON YOUR BIG GIRL PANTIES AND JUST DO IT!"

I am not the type of person who does not like change, but I am the type of person who gets somewhat scared and nervous when faced with something new and different. I think I handle it well though most times sometimes.

Someone I know who has an amazing and very amusing blog (please read about her  hilarious motherhood adventures at asked me yesterday if I would guest blog for her and if I would be interested in participating in one of her future projects. My first thought was "Wow! I'm so flattered!". My second thought was "Oh my! This is new!! Can I do this?"

Now, every time I start questioning my strength and my abilities, I tell myself that it's Big-Girl-Panty-Time! Because really, what is so scary and nerve racking about doing something new? Are we scared of failure? Are we scared of not meeting expectations? And what do we gain from not trying anything new? Nothing!

I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.
                                                                                                - Nelson Mandela

So because we have our Big Girl (and Big Boy) Panties on, here is the recipe of a candy made for Big Girls and Boys!

Fleur de Sel Caramels
Recipe from Ina Garten. Tested and approved by The Prep Wife :)

  • Vegetable oil
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1/4 cup light corn syrup
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 teaspoon fleur de sel, plus extra for sprinkling
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Line an 8-inch square baking pan with parchment paper, then brush the paper lightly with oil, allowing the paper to drape over 2 sides.
In a deep saucepan (6 inches diameter x 4 1/2 inches deep), stir together 1/4 cup water with the sugar and corn syrup and bring them to a boil over medium-high heat. Continue to boil until the mixture is a warm golden brown color. Don't stir - just swirl the pan to mix. Watch carefully, as it will burn quickly at the end!
In the meantime, in a small pan, bring the cream, butter, and 1 teaspoon of fleur de sel to a simmer over medium heat. Turn off the heat and set aside.
When the sugar mixture is a warm golden color, turn off the heat and slowly add the cream mixture to the sugar mixture. Be careful! It will bubble up violently. Stir in the vanilla with a wooden spoon and cook over medium-low heat for about 10 minutes, until the mixture reaches 248 degrees (firm ball) on a candy thermometer. Very carefully (it's hot!) pour the caramel into the prepared pan and refrigerate for a few hours, until firm.
When the caramels are cold, pry the sheet from the pan onto a cutting board. Cut the sheet in half. Starting with the long end, roll the caramel up tightly into an 8-inch log. Repeat with the second piece. Sprinkle both logs with fleur de sel, trim the ends, and cut each log in 8 pieces. Cut glacene or parchment papers into squares and wrap each caramel in a paper, twisting the ends. Store in the refrigerator and serve the caramels chilled.


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