Friday, December 31, 2010

The Year of 2010

It is the last day of 2010 and I am sitting in my pajamas watching Hulu. Shocking, I know. I think I will call this the Year of Hulu.

Or the Year of the Blob


Perhaps the Year of the Oreo Ball

The Year of Multiple Trips to Oklahoma, thus Multiple Performances of "OKLAHOMA!"

The Year of Learning to Say No

The Year of Chronicling my Life on the World Wide Web

The Year of Sticking My Head Into Bowls of Cookie Dough

The Year of Being 30 and Not Crying About It

The Year of Learning to Love the Book of Isaiah

The Year of Becoming More of Who I Was Created To Be

The Year the Sooners Actually Win a BCS Bowl Game (to be determined tomorrow night at 6:30 pm)

And the list could go on and on...

So what about you? If you could name your year, what would it be called?

Bring on 2011!

Monday, December 27, 2010

Margie Sue

This is my aunt Marge Sue.

I love her for so many reasons.

And tonight she called my mom and asked where she should go to read my blob.


One more reason why I love her. I think I will call it that from now on.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Feliz Navidad from the Fam

Last week, before I caught the plague, my family and I took our annual family picture.

They always start out something like this...

We find a location and sit on it.

Each person moves into place. Some are more camera shy than others.

And then just when everyone is in position, the camera decides to go on rapid-fire continuous picture mode and take 3,506 pictures in a row.

So, I get up to fix it...

And I about wipe out behind the tri-pod as I try to shut off the camera.

Meanwhile, everyone is laughing... 

So I run back in and try to squeeze in the picture and have just enough time to strike a pose:

I think this picture would have been the winner if I hadn't covered up one half of my parental unit.

And of course, mayhem followed.


There was some of this...

And some of that...

And just when I thought we had taken a good one, we noticed that our sweet, precious five year-old had morphed into a gremlin.


Nothing says "Christmas" like a little gremlin.

Finally, after our retinas were seared from the rapid-fire flashes, we captured a good one:

It is a Christmas miracle.

So my faithful readers (I think I am up to 6 now), I hope your Christmas is full of joy and wonder as we celebrate the birth of Jesus! And perhaps a bite of fudge or two.

Merry Christmas from my crazy family to yours!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

The Joy of the Redeemed

I opened my Bible this morning and I read from Isaiah. Even though I began my study of it this year with fear and trepidation, I have grown to love this book. For in no other study have I learned more about God's love for us than I have in these wonderful pages. Amidst all of the suffering, punishment and woe, I see that God's only motivation is complete and total love because He longs to be reconciled to us.

He yearns for us to know Him and love Him.

He wants nothing more than to lavish His grace upon us.

He is crazy about us.

And the message is still true today. He works in ways we do not understand. He refines and molds and sharpens us to be who we were created to be. And His love is still all-encompassing, all-powerful and the only hope we have for establishing a closeness with Him.

This is why we celebrate Christmas, my friends.There is no other reason than this: so that we may have Hope and trust in it completely. Oh, what joy awaits us! I can only imagine.

Joy of the Redeemed
Isaiah 35
The desert and the parched land will be glad;
the wilderness will rejoice and blossom.
Like the crocus, it will burst into bloom;
it will rejoice greatly and shout for joy.

The glory of Lebanon will be given to it,
the splendor of Carmel and Sharon;
they will see the glory of the LORD,
the splendor of our God.

Strengthen the feeble hands,
steady the knees that give way;
say to those with fearful hearts,
“Be strong, do not fear;
your God will come,
he will come with vengeance;
with divine retribution
he will come to save you.”

Then will the eyes of the blind be opened
and the ears of the deaf unstopped.
Then will the lame leap like a deer,
and the mute tongue shout for joy.
Water will gush forth in the wilderness
and streams in the desert.
The burning sand will become a pool,
the thirsty ground bubbling springs.
In the haunts where jackals once lay,
grass and reeds and papyrus will grow.

And a highway will be there;
it will be called the Way of Holiness;
it will be for those who walk on that Way.
The unclean will not journey on it;
wicked fools will not go about on it.

No lion will be there,
nor any ravenous beast;
they will not be found there.
But only the redeemed will walk there,
and those the LORD has rescued will return.
They will enter Zion with singing;
everlasting joy will crown their heads.
Gladness and joy will overtake them,
and sorrow and sighing will flee away.


Wednesday, December 22, 2010


Thank you everyone for your get well wishes! You are the best.

I am happy to let you know that I have now moved on to rice cakes and Gatorade. And I am totally in love with them right now. It's amazing how yesterday's trash can become today's treasure. Or something like that. You know what I mean.

In the last three days I have also re-watched almost all of Season 5 of 24, and Claire graciously rented Eat, Pray, Love and Charlie St. Cloud for me, both of which made me want to travel on a sail boat. Go figure. I am completely caught up on Hulu, which isn't hard right now because everything is a re-run and I have no desire to watch Bridoplasty, the new show about brides getting plastic surgery before their big day. Seriously world? Is this what we have come to?

On another note, I still have not finished my Christmas shopping. I am not worried but I definitely had not factored in a robust round of stomach flu into the equation. However, I love Christmas shopping and last-minute sales are running amuck so it should be fun navigating the crowds in these last three days. Anyone else out there too?

And in other exciting news, my favorite landlord of all time bought us a new dishwasher. And it is amazing. There is nothing like a new kitchen appliance to make your day seem a little brighter. Thank you, oh fabulous landlord-o-mine!

Since I don't know how this post could possibly be more boring, I am now going to go work on grant proposals and savor my rice cake. I hope your day is much more stimulating!

Monday, December 20, 2010

It's Like My Body Is Trying to Tell Me Something

Disclaimer: Enter at your own risk.

Last Friday I woke up with that tell-tale sign of a sore throat and overall lack of feeling spunky. So I loaded up on vitamin C and tried to figure out a way to take a nap during work. By Saturday morning, it was a full-blown (no pun intended) cold that makes you want to ask Santa for a new sinus cavity. I stayed home from a fabulous Christmas party, church, a gift-wrapping party held by my church and spent most of my time horizontal and watching re-runs of 24.

Oh how I miss Jack Bauer.

By Sunday night, I was sick and tired of being sick and tired but knew another day home to rest was needed if I was going to finish my work week strong.

However, nothing could have prepared me for what happened next: I entered the 14th Circle of Hades.

Or as some like to call it: the stomach flu.

Since this is a family-friendly blog, I will keep my graphic details to a minimum, but suffice it to say there was one point in the night when it was just easier to lie down in the shower than it was to make my way back to bed. I also pondered the meaning of life, my purpose for living and whether or not I really wanted to continue in this world. At one point I wanted to yell "I have nothing left to give!" It was brutal.

As I type this, I am sipping carbonated water through a straw and praying that I will never see it again.

I have also realized that this is my third time to be sick this year. THIRD. TIME. And I'm talking flat on your back, death warmed over, it hurts to blink kind of sick. There was the fun-filled week back in March, there was my recent bout with bronchitis in October, and now here I am fighting off Satan's demons one saltine cracker at a time. And each time I realize that there is a common denominator: I overdo it with my schedule.

I admit it, I am a people pleaser. I am a "yes" girl. I am also extroverted and love all things social, especially around the holidays. I also occasionally put in very long weeks at work, stay up late baking for no reason at all, choose to watch re-runs of any show that is on TV instead of going to bed, and fill up my weekends with things that sound fun at the time. However, this has to stop because as I am witnessing at THIS VERY MOMENT that my quality of life is not as good as it could be.

So, for 2011, my goal is to say "no" more often. To think twice about staying up late. To not overbook my weekends so I have time to catch up on laundry (yeah, right). And to enjoy the time I do spend with people to the fullest. You will have to help me with this. You will have to help me say "no." I may try to argue with you, but stand firm, peeps. This is practically a life and near-death situation.

Because in all honesty, I never want to see another Oreo ball as long as I live. And if I don't get help, what will be next? Peanut Butter?

Let's not talk about that.

Friday, December 17, 2010


Now that we are a week away from Christmas (CAN YOU EVEN BELIEVE IT?!), I figured it was time to talk to you about noodles. Namely the ones I consumed at Thanksgiving.

SIDE NOTE: Two years ago at Thanksgiving, we had a house-full of homeless seminary students join us for dinner. A then three year-old Noah asked that instead of saying the prayer, could we sing a robust rendition of "Oklahoma." Naturally, we all beamed with pride. But since we didn't want a bunch of seminary students to think they were breaking bread with a family of heathens, we said grace instead.

This year, however, it was just our family and a family friend and his two kiddos. This friend and my brother met when they were nine years-old, playing little league football in Oklahoma. My sister and I were their cheerleaders. A few years later my dad was transferred to Colorado for work. FIVE MONTHS LATER this friend's family was also transferred and they became our neighbors once again.

He is like my other brother.

He has seen me in braces, watched me perform in musicals, endured my obsession with N*SYNC and has eaten countless dinners at my house. He even took me out for pizza during my freshman year of college when I couldn't stand dorm food one more day.

To this day, Sam and him are best friends.

And he also loves noodles.

(Cue "That's What Friends Are For.")

Okay, back to the point.

When I think of Thanksgiving, I think of noodles. I mean, who doesn't, right? This is what our noodles look like:

Don't be scared. It is just flour, eggs, salt and pepper. They are laying out to dry.

These are morsels of heavenly goodness just waiting to be submerged in broth.

I am not going to lie: I am drooling right now. You should make some tonight.

Add them to chicken stock, throw in some shredded chicken and ladle them over mashed potatoes.

Heaven help me.

I would implore, encourage, almost demand that you try these sometime. They are comfort food in a bowl. They warm your soul, improve your health and require stretchy pants. I can't think of a better combo.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

My New, Red, Shiny Toy

Oh peeps. Stand back for this one.

There are no words to describe what showed up at my house last week.


I heard a knock on the door...

And in walked my friend Lizz...

Carrying a very big, very heavy box.

With a bow on top.

It is the color of an OU Sooner football helmet.

It is beautiful. And shiny. And three favorite things.

I love it.

How did she know I wanted it?

I don't think I have ever mentioned it...

I am going to use it for everything: brownies, cookies, cakes, breads...

Even my cereal. I mean, who doesn't need a ginormous machine to make sure their cereal is properly mixed ?


I am complete in every possible culinary way.

Thank you Lizzy. You are too good to me.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

A Guy Actually Reads This Blog

I would like to give a personal shout-out to my big brother for signing up to be the first guy (to my knowledge) to receive an alert when I post something on my blog. I think he is trying to earn some brownie points for Christmas.

Or perhaps he is finally feeling guilty for telling me I was adopted.

Or maybe it is to make up for the fact that he knocked out my two front teeth...on separate occasions.

Or maybe he just wants to know what I am saying about him to the WORLD WIDE WEB.

Regardless, welcome aboard, bro! You already know about the insanity that goes on in my world, now you get to read about it daily. And don't be afraid when I mention Spanx. They are every woman's best friend.

Feel free to give him a word of encouragement. Or a word of warning. Whichever.

Monday, December 13, 2010

A List: Hoodlums, Mouthguards and First Dates

Hello world! I have returned to the land of the living and am now back in a normal routine of working, socializing, gallivanting, baking, running, Christmas-ing, shopping, Hulu-ing and sleeping. The meetings were a huge success and we managed to get through an entire week without any fist fights, which has never actually happened before but I just thought I would write that so you might think we are a pack of hoodlums who want to bring the love of Jesus to the world.

Humanitarian Hoodlums should be the name of our organization. I oversee communications, I could make that happen.

I digress.

In order to get my thoughts and life put in order once again, I have come up with a list of the many, many random things that are on my mind. Try not to be overwhelmed.

1. Tomorrow is supposed to be 67 degrees. Did you get that? 6-7. I think I may go ask my condo manager to open the pool.

2. I am wearing a purple sweater today. I am totally digging purple these days.

3. I had zero clothes to wear this weekend. Then I discovered they were all in my dirty clothes hamper. I have no idea how they got there because I could have sworn I was paying Claire to wash them for me. I may have to fire her.

4. I have two sore shoulders. My right one only works if I raise my arm to the side. My left one only works if I raise my arm to the front. This makes fixing my hair very, very interesting. I am thinking I need to get this checked out, otherwise I'll probably be running like Phoebe with her arms straight down at her side. That will be awesome and awkward at the same time.

5. Claire and I decorated our condo this weekend. It is both tasteful and understated...which actually means we tried to decorate as cheaply as possible and thus raided my mom's decorations box that has both tasteful and understated decorations.

6. I still have a pumpkin in my living room.

7. I made 3,209 Oreo Balls this weekend. I may or may not have eaten most of them.

8. My roommate and I are watching a Christmas movie every week. This week: White Christmas. We may have to bust out "Sisters." You are invited to watch it with us be we will be charging admission for the live show.

9. I have to go to the dentist today to get fitted for a mouth guard. Apparently I need to look like a hockey player while I sleep because I have the terrible habit of clenching and grinding my teeth. Potential suitors are already lining up outside my door.

10. I am thinking of doing a series, much to the encouragement of my friend Melissa, about awkward first dates. Raise your hand if you have had one or forty? Awesome. If you would like to submit an account of an awkward first date, I will be happy to post it on my blog for the world to read. I am hoping this is a very therapeutic process for all of us.

11. Merry Christmas.

12. The End.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Insanity and Shininess

First off, let's start with the insanity. Twice a year all the big wigs from around the world convene in my office for a week. Everyday we hash through the good, the bad, and the ugly of sending Jesus-loving professionals half-way around the world to bring hope to the hopeless. We talk about everything from terrorism to homeschooling. It is IN-TENSE, people. IN-TENSE.

Needless to say, I am in the midst of day three of one of those weeks, hence my complete lack of blogging. However you will be happy to hear that I haven't busted out a Sharpie on any of my shoes this week. Yet.

I promise to return, in full force, once I figure out who I am and what time it is. All I know is that I am head over heels in love with my bed. Mad, mad love.

On a much brighter and shinier note, I received an early Christmas gift from my amazing friend Lizzy. It is red. Shiny. Bright. Beautiful. And I may sleep with it tonight.

I am not even kidding.

Pictures coming soon.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

A Little Bit Hillbilly, A Little Bit Classy

Last week I wore one of my fave pairs of heels to work. You would love them, trust me. As I was getting settled for the day, I looked down and to my ABSOLUTE HORROR I realized that both of the toes were extremely scuffed and one had a scuffed racing stripe down the side.

I mean, can you even believe it? It is amazing I show my face around here anymore.

So as I sat there, trying to figure out how I could run home real quick and change clothes without missing a meeting I had in approximately 3.6 minutes, I glanced over and my eye caught something magical: A Sharpie.

I am almost too embarrassed to tell you what transpired for the next two minutes, although I am sure you can imagine. I sat there, in my office, without shoes on, hunched over my heels, Sharpie in hand, coloring like a kindergartner.

Oh I did.

And when it was time to go to my meeting, I looked down and marveled at my amazing handy work, and thought I just may be the classiest, high-heel wearing hillbilly this side of the Mississippi. Or, maybe I am the female version of MacGyver.

You be the judge. Either way, my shoes look fabulous!

Friday, December 3, 2010

Who Knew He Liked The Beef?

During my lunch break yesterday, I ran to Subway for a sandwich. As I was waiting in a very long line, I overheard the following conversation from an elderly couple who were dressed very well; her in a purple skirt suit and him in a dark gray suit. They were seated in a booth and were both eating ginormous sub sandwiches.

Her: "You ordered roast beef?"
Him: "Yes dear, I did."
Her: "Well then."

(Eat. Chew. Eat. Eat.)

Her: "Aren't you glad we got here when we did? Look at the line!" Points right at me.
Him: "What?"
Her: "The LINE. Look at the LINE." He looks and nods.

(Eat. Chew. Eat.)

Her: "I can't believe you ordered roast beef."
Him: "It's my favorite, dear."

( I slowly move up in line. I find a dime on the floor. My stomach growls.)

Her. "I just didn't know you liked the beef so much. Maybe I"ll get some for you for Saturday. And maybe some potato salad."

What in the world is happening on Saturday that requires not only roast beef BUT ALSO potato salad?! Don't you wish you knew? I am just thankful she finally realizes he loves his roast beef.

If this is what I have to look forward to when it is my turn to walk down the aisle, then I am totally in. After a half of a century, if I can still learn new things about my husband, then something is working right!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Blogging about Peanut Butter

Hey Friends! I am guest blogging for my wonderful friend Sheryl who recently had foot surgery. You should TOTALLY check it out because I talk about peanut butter and stretchy pants.

And stay tuned to her blog, she writes about the coolest places and people in the world!

Here are Sheryl and I in Rabat, Morocco. Don't you love how we match?

Thanks for the privilege, Sheryl! Feel better soon!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

30 Days of Thankfulness - #30

Can you even believe that today is the last day of November? Where did it go? Wasn't it just Labor Day? Shouldn't I still be 24? What happened to the 7th grade?

Actually, you couldn't pay me enough to repeat the 7th grade. Let's just say a grown-out perm, braces and a crush on a guy named Hans were included. Try not to let that mental image sink in.

So, for the final day of my thankfulness campaign, I want to let you know that I am thankful for running.

Take a moment. I know this is overwhelming. I myself am living in a state of complete shock.

I  know this is contrary to everything I am and everything I stand for, but I seriously love running but I seriously love the benefits of running. While I am actually running, I loathe every bite I have ever eaten. My heart feels like it is going to explode, my legs want to quit and shrivel up and my lungs are on the verge of shutting down completely.What's not to love, right?

But in all honesty, it makes me feel  like an Olympian. For years, I have tried to be athletic. I have always worked out. I have taken up salsa dancing. I have even participated in a variety of sports, including softball, volleyball, tennis, ballet, soccer for a day and baton-twirling. I was a rock star at baton-twirling.  But none of those made me feel like I owned an ounce of coordination.

That is where running is different. And do you know why it is different? Because it requires ZERO TALENT. That's right, all you need is perseverance and a paramedic. No talent necessary.

So thanks for letting me share this with you. And just in case you were wondering, my new fondness of running will never, EVER translate into a new love for hiking. If that were to ever happen you would know that the four horsemen of the Apocalypse were right behind me.

And thanks for giving me so many reasons to be thankful. You are the best.

Monday, November 29, 2010

30 Days of Thankfulness - #29

I am oh-so thankful for traditions.

Let's be honest, folks, there are some pretty wacky traditions out there. Eating black-eyed peas on New Years Day, kissing people under clumps of tree fungus at Christmas and those insane groups of people who think it is fun to jump into the Arctic Sea once a year just so they can be on TV.

But I LOVE traditions. They bring comfort and predictability to my world, and that, my friends, is sometimes hard to find. So, here are a few of my faves that I would like to share with you:

Tradition #1: Every time we drive over the state line of Oklahoma, we sing "Oklahoma." Every. Single. Time. We all have parts: drums, bass, alto, soprano, beat boxer, and one singer who adds flair and drama to the song. It is quite magnificent. And if you are driving alone, then you call up someone on the phone so they can sing along with you.

SIDE NOTE: My siblings and I have even performed this on request at dinner parties, birthdays, gatherings, etc. However, due to an increase in maturity and dignity, and the invention of YouTube, we will no longer be taking requests.

Tradition #2: For the last seven years, Women's Group has exchanged pajamas. I love this for two reasons: 1. My WG is off the hook (do people still say that?) and 2. New pajamas are utterly divine. Seriously, you can't have too many pairs of PJ's.

SIDE NOTE: However, this year we are exchanging something a bit more...adventurous. Apparently traditions can be somewhat fluid.

Tradition #3: My dad's family loves to get jiggy with it. I love this on so many levels, especially because we are a bunch of white Okies who can bust a move like the Jackson family. For example, every time a family member drives away from a family reunion, the rest of the family stands in the yard waving good-bye. However, this does not last for long because approximately 27.6 feet from the driveway, the driver will slam on the brakes, put the car in park, and every one will jump out and dance in the street. Subsequently, everyone in the yard will also start dancing. A few seconds and a couple of curious neighbors later, the driver and his crew jump back in the car and drive away. Now that's a way to make an exit.

Tradition #4: I eat homemade ice cream every 4th of July. I don't think I can live without it. I'm serious.

Tradition #5: We put jingle bells on the doorknob of our front door at Christmas. We have done this for as long as I can remember. I love the sound it makes and it never fails to get me in the Christmas mood. It can also come in handy if a perp should ever decide to break into your house via the front door.

So my friends, what are some of yours?

Sunday, November 28, 2010

30 Days of Thankfulness - #28

I am thankful for leftovers.

I love not cooking.

I love copious amounts of cooked cranberries.

I love eating desserts that I never eat and not feeling guilty about it.  Well, maybe just a little guilty. I swear I hear my treadmill taunting me. I hate that thing.

And I love carbohydrate comas.

Is that a valid excuse not to go to work tomorrow? It totally should be.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Friday, November 26, 2010

30 Days of Thankfulness - #26

I am thankful for kettle corn.

I am making my own tonight. It may or may not turn out well. I will keep you posted.

Have you ever made your own? What recipe did you use? And have you ever caught anything on fire?

Okay peeps, I am going in...

Thursday, November 25, 2010

30 Days of Thankfulness - #25

I am so very thankful for my family...especially the men who volunteered to do the dishes.

Don't worry, I took pictures.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

30 Days of Thankfulness - #24

I am thankful for a God who is bigger than my funk cloud.

I'll be honest, peeps: I am in a bit of a funk. I am tired. Worn-out. A little frustrated. Discouraged. Underwhelmed. Overwhelmed. And maybe, just maybe, I am throwing myself a pity party. I would invite you to come but I just don't think you could handle the fun.

Surrounding my hazy cloud of funkiness, I know there are many, many things to be thankful for, such as:

A friend's successful surgery

An uncle who is on the mend and home for Thanksgiving

Chunky babies with disappearing knee caps

Food on my table (read: pumpkin cookies)

Clothes in my closet

Amazing friends

A fantastic family

A great job that sends me to the far corners of the world

A car that is completely paid off

A healthy body that now likes to run even though I am screaming for it to change its mind

And my list could go on and on and on...

But sometimes my heart and my head just don't connect. I know I should feel thankful, but right now I only know that I am. Do you ever have those days? Do you ever have those days the DAY BEFORE a national holiday dedicated to THANKFULNESS?

So today I am thankful for a God who understands my shortcomings and chooses to shower me with His blessings anyway. I am thankful for a God whose grace extends far beyond my funky cloud and who gently and ever-so patiently points my eyes back to Him. And I am thankful for a God who does not allow me to wallow for too long, but with equal amounts of kindness and discipline, He sets me back on track with a new perspective.

I am thankful for a God who can lay the smack down on my funkiness.

I will give thanks to you, LORD, with all my heart; I will tell of all your wonderful deeds. I will be glad and rejoice in you; I will sing the praises of your name, O Most High.
Psalm 9:1-2

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

30 Days of Thankfulness - #23 (Recipe Round-Up: Warm Apple Cake with Caramel Sauce)

I am thankful for my new favorite recipe: Warm Apple Cake with Caramel Sauce

Peeps, you need to make this cake. Pronto. In fact, I would HIGHLY encourage you to add this to your Thanksgiving menu. It is super easy and feeds a crowd. I have served it four times this season and it was a hit! Plus, it has homemade caramel sauce. Need I say more?

I think not.

So, here's how you do this:

Start with sugar, oil, vanilla, eggs, flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, dates, walnuts and apples. For the caramel, you will need butter, brown sugar and heavy cream or milk.  But really, why not just bust out the cream, right?

First up: throw in some sugar...


and mix.

SIDE NOTE: I am not going to even mention my lack of KitchenAid Mixer.

Next up: add some vanilla...

three eggs...

And mix.

SIDE NOTE: See, I told you this was easy.

Now, throw in some flour...

a little baking soda...

some cinnamon...and a dash of salt. You know, just a pinch. A smattering, if you will. Just enough to enhance the flavors.

Now, mix that up.

Okay, now comes the dates. Don't be scared, these suckers will take your cake over the top. And you can find dates in most grocery stores. Trust me on this, dates are your friends.

Now, chop them up. It will take a little muscle power, but I know you can do it.

Throw them in a bowl with a little bit of flour and mix. This will keep the dates from sinking to the bottom of your cake. Cool trick, eh? I didn't invent it but I wish I had.

Once they are nice and coated in flour, throw them into your batter.

Here come the walnuts. I love walnuts.

Give them a rough chop and throw them into your batter. Oh man, that batter is so flippin' happy right now!

Now come the stars of the show: apples. I used both Gala and Granny Smith. Or whatever is on sale...but the tarter the better!

SIDE NOTE: Is "tarter" a word?

Take three or four and begin to peel them...

Just like that.

Next up, cut out the seeds and slice.

And then dice.

SIDE NOTE: Did you get that? I rhymed! I am such a "Rymer!" Oh, I kill me.

Now, throw the apples into the batter and bust out the red spoonula and give it a stir.

There you go, keep mixing...

Until is looks like that. OH. MY. GOSH. This batter is to die for! Go on, give it a taste. I DARE YOU.

Pour it into a greased pan and pop it into the oven for about 40 minutes.

SIDE NOTE: Go run 2 miles on your treadmill. And then do P90X. Followed by a 10 minutes of jump rope. And several lunges.

Or you can just watch a re-run of The Office and call it good.

When it comes out, it will look like this: brown and gooey and delicious.

Once it has cooled, grab a fork or a skewer and poke holes all over the cake. Make sure to get the edges!

Keep going...

There you go! The more holes, the better!

Now comes the caramel. Did you think I had forgotten? Shame on you.

Grab some butter and brown sugar and throw it into a small saucepan.

Let it begin to melt...

And pour in the cream. You can use milk but why? I also add a pinch, a smattering, a dash of salt. Just a little bit. It will enhance the flavor, I PROMISE!

Now stir it around...

And let it get bubbly and smooth. This should only take about 2-3 minutes.

Pour the hot caramel into a pouring vessel. Or whatever they are called.

And slowly, slowly drizzle the hot caramel over the cooled cake.

There are no words to describe this. NO. WORDS.

Keep pouring until the cake is sufficiently covered. If you have any extra, save it and serve it with the cake.

Let the cake set for a few minutes (if you can wait that long) so all the caramel seeps into the holes.

Then I HIGHLY RECOMMEND serving this with vanilla bean ice cream and drizzling any left-over caramel sauce over the top. And at that moment, your eyes will roll back into your head and you will pass out from an extreme epicurean experience. Bake this today, my friends. TO-DAY.

Here is the official recipe.

Apple Cake with Homemade Caramel Sauce:
Adapted from Bakearella
2 cups sugar
1 1/2 cups oil
3 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
3 cups flour

1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
pinch of salt
3 cups diced apples
1 cup chopped dates rolled in flour
1 cup chopped walnuts

Caramel Sauce

1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup butter
1/4 cup milk/cream
pinch of salt


Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease a 9 X 13 pan. Combine sugar and oil using a mixer until blended. Add eggs and vanilla, mixing until combined. Add flour, baking soda, cinnamon and a pinch of salt and mix well. Stir in nuts, dates and apples. The batter will be very thick. Pour into pan and bake for 40-45 minutes or until done. Cool cake and using a skewer or fork, poke holes in cake. Cook caramel ingredients on stove until mixture bubbles. Pour caramel over cake and let it set for 5-10 minutes. Serve with ice cream and enjoy!

SIDE NOTE: This recipe can easily be cut in half; use 2 eggs.