Wednesday, July 8, 2015

White Chocolate Fudge Brownies and Forgiveness

The first reading today was the story of Joseph and his brothers.  For those of you who don't know the story, here is the super short version:

Joseph had a bunch of brothers, like 11.  He was highly favored by their father and he gave Joseph a pretty coat with lots of colors.  The other brothers were jealous and mad about this, and about other things too...they had some deep seeded issues they didn't want to talk about. : )  One day Joseph went to fetch his brothers from a field they were working in, as he got closer the angry brothers decided they wanted to kill him.  After some rough grunts and manly debates they decided to throw him into a deep pit that just so happened to be convenient for them! : )  After some more grunts, arm wrestling, and paper/rock/scissors battles they decided to sell him to some passerby people instead of killing him.  Then they took the infamous coat of many colors and splatted it with animal blood, took it to their father and told him his golden son was dead.  (sounds like a strange episode of CSI to me)  Joseph was really blessed at this point and became buddies with the Pharaoh, I mean he spent some time in the clink for a few years on and off, but at the end of the day he ended up sitting pretty with some authority and title that was important.  Come to find out there was a famine and his evil brothers came to ask for grain...turns out they had to meet with Joseph to get the grains...who they didn't recognize!  Ha, what are the odds?  After a very dramatic, head turning, and shocking revelation of the truth Joseph straight up forgave his brothers for their crime against him.  Just like that!

Can you imagine forgiving your brothers, friends, or strangers for wanting to kill you and then selling you off into slavery?  Wow?  That kind of betrayal is intense.  Or take for instance the shootings in Charleston, SC...many of the families of the victims have spoken of forgiving Roof for his horrible crimes against their loved ones.  Wow, that is powerful stuff!  I know I personally have a hard time with forgiving people...especially my family members and friends.  It is so difficult to mentally make that step and letting go.  Sometimes letting go of something seems like it is a sign of weakness, like you are giving up power over that person, but in reality it is so freeing and makes you stronger!  How crazy is that?  I know when I am hurt by someone, or I am arguing or fighting with them I don't want to give them the satisfaction of "winning" the battle against ironic it is that when you forgive someone you are the one who wins!  Not that it is about winning, but to me everything has some degree of competition to it.  Haha : )

I recently received an email from the "Prepare and Enrich" marriage prep program.  We used them while we were engaged and they send us emails every once in a while for tips to a healthy marriage.  This was a list they included on practical advice for how to give and receive forgiveness

Steps for Seeking Forgiveness
  1. Admit what you did was wrong or hurtful.
  2. Try to empathize with the pain you have caused.
  3. Take responsibility for your actions.
  4. Assure the person that you will not do it again.
  5. Apologize genuinely and ask for forgiveness.
  6. Forgive yourself. 
Steps for Granting Forgiveness
  1. Acknowledge and give yourself permission to feel pain, anger, or disrespect.
  2. Set clear and specific limits and expectations for the future.
  3. Give up your right to “get even,” but insist on being treated better in the future.
  4. Let go of blame, resentment, and negativity toward the person.
  5. Communicate your act of forgiveness.
  6. Work toward reconciliation (when/if safe).

I don't know about you, but I think I need to print this list out and tape it to my forehead and all the mirrors in my house. : )

I also think another step should be added to the list for "steps to seek forgiveness".  

Step 7.  Make the offended party brownies. : )

My husband will be eating so many brownies. : )

I needed a quick dessert for a Young Adult ministry meeting we were having at my house last night and these guys ended up being the perfect thing!  The key to a chewy brownie is to not over bake them!  When in doubt take them out! : )  These are also great because they don't call for baking chocolate, just cocoa powder, but boy oh boy are they fudge-y good!

White Chocolate Fudge Brownies

10 TBS unsalted butter
1 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup + 2 TBS unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla
2 large eggs
1/2 cup all purpose flour
3/4 cup white chocolate chips*

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  Grease and line an 8" or 9" square baking pan with parchment paper or aluminum foil.

Melt the butter, sugar, cocoa powder, salt together over medium heat in a saucepan.  Stir until butter is melted.  Batter will be gritty, fear not.  Remove from heat and allow to cool a few minutes.

Stir in the vanilla.  Add the eggs one at a time stirring quickly so the eggs don't scramble.  Add the flour.  Do not over mix!  Gently fold in the white chocolate chips - if the batter is too hot at this point the chips will just melt and the brownies won't be as yummy...which is why it is important to let it cool a bit before adding the eggs.  Pour into pan and smooth out evenly.

Bake 20-30 minutes until a toothpick comes out relatively clean.  Keep an eye on them after 20 minutes checking every 2 minutes until perfectly cooked.  Remove from oven and allow to cool completely before cutting.  

* you can also use peanut butter chips or chocolate chips here if that is what you have on hand

 Listen to this song.  Make these brownies.  Go ask someone for forgiveness.

Eat your heart out,


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