Friends! A year ago, we started this little blog with a Buffalo Shrimp Wrap. Check that out. How bad is that picture?! Bad! In one short year, we’ve learned some amazing things about blogging, faith, photography, and friendships. Both of our lives have taken drastic changes that we probably couldn’t have predicted had you asked us a year ago.
People would read our Facebook status’ and tell us that we should be writing this stuff down. People would ask us for recipes to things we were posting about. Heather said over and over that we needed a blog. So, finally, as typically happens, Heather took the initiative and made a blog. She said I could be a part of it if I wanted but that she was going to finally do it. Well, ok then. Why not, right? So we started off on this venture together and it’s been quite a learning experience. Heather has become an amazing photographer (because she was already a pretty amazing writer) and I tapped into my writing skills that I didn’t know were there and together (with God), we’ve grown this thing that I feel so proud of. But I’ll let Heather tell the second half of the story…
Guys, please don’t look at that picture. I am really, extremely tempted to totally delete that link, but instead I will just justify it by saying it was totally a whim thing, this whole blog, and so was that picture and it was the middle of the night and it was with the sorriest, crap camera of life. And I didn’t even know what the words aperture or shutter speed meant.
Ok. I’m done. So, I made a blog, Melissa joined, we posted stuff. I felt increasingly that we needed to incorporate our faith more into the blog. I just thought it would really be a good way to encourage others and spread the word. I just wasn’t sure how. I ran the idea of a Faith Friday past Melissa and she liked it, so we hashed out the details and posted our very first Faith Friday with oatmeal cream pies. Not long after that, one of us got the idea to start pinning our own recipes. Every day after that, we got more and more viewers. And the funny thing is, those little oatmeal cream pies still get us more views than any other post. The first post where we openly began discussing our faith as an encouragement to others gets us the most views. To this day.
We kind of took that as a sign that we were on the right track and continued blogging and Faith Friday’s. But blogging can be hard and life gets in the way. Especially when so many things in both of our lives were going down paths neither of us could have predicted. Through the course of this blog, we have been on a roller coaster of ups and downs, and often times it has seemed like we couldn’t see a foot in front of us to know which way to go, when to move, how to make it work. And sometimes, that took its toll and we wanted to quit. We’re just a little blog. Who really reads us, right? It’s not like we’re Pinch of Yum, or anything. (By the way, if you ever read this, you’re our hero, Linsday! We totally started our blog because of you and we think you are doing AMAZING things in Christ!)
But, every time that we wanted to quit, we would get a record views that day. Most of the time, that happened after not even posting regularly! We can’t explain it. But each and every time, God showed up and said, Look, you guys are doing the right thing. Keep it up. I’m working here. Follow my lead.
So we did. Through financial struggles and family problems and now a move across counties, we did. And we continue to. And we just pray that God is using us, using our blog, to touch the lives of our readers. Even just one. We are so thankful for every single person that looks at our little piece of the world-wide web, and we are so blessed to have so many people who have encouraged us and prayed for us. God is doing amazing things. Through all of us. It is with the work of His hand that this blog is possible and the views of people like you that keep us going.
So thanks. And make a chocolate bread pudding. With homemade whipped cream. And maybe eat it all at, oh, 10:00 am. Because it happens.
-Heather and Melissa
Chocolate Chunk Bread Pudding
For the bread pudding:
6 Hawaiian sweet bread, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
2/3 cup milk
2 tbsp sugar
1 1/2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tbsp Kahlua (I didn’t have any, so I just added a tad more milk)
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 ounce semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped or 1/4 cup chocolate chips
For the whipped cream:
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 tbsp powdered sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- For the bread pudding: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Arrange the bread cubes in a single layer on a baking sheet and bake for 5 minutes until lightly toasted. Remove bread from oven.
- While the bread is cooling, combine the milk and the next 5 ingredients in a medium bowl and whisk until combined. Add the bread and toss gently, coating each piece. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or up to 4 hours.
- After the bread mixture has chilled, preheat the oven to 325 degrees and coat a small baking dish (I didn’t have ramekins, so I used a 3 cup Pyrex dish) or 2 ramekins with cooking spray.
- Pour half of the bread mixture into your baking dish and sprinkle with half of the chocolate. Pour the remaining bread mixture on top and sprinkle with the remaining chocolate.
- Place the baking dish in an 8×8 square baking pan and add hot water to the depth of about an inch. Make sure that the water does not spill over the top into the bread pudding or it won’t set.
- Bake for 35 minutes or until set. Serve warm with a dollop of whipped cream.
- For the whipped cream: In the bowl of your stand mixer, combine the cream, sugar, and vanilla. Whip on high until light and fluffy.
Source: The Best of Cooking Light