Recipe Roundup - Week 12

11:30 PM Elephant & Chick 0 Comments

This week I attended a work conference.  We were at a resort about an hour west of LAX - it looked something like this...

Ok, to be honest, it wasn't "something like" that... it actually IS that.  So yes, it was amazing, and beautiful, and relaxing.  The conference was for everyone in my position at my firm.  The week was full of motivational speakers and activities - all focussed on living an intentional life - making choices with purpose, focusing energy to be the most productive, and balancing four domains - family, self, career, and community.  I knew I would be posting at the end of this week, so all through the conference I've been trying to think what to share with all of you.

Our followers encompass a wide range of lifestyles - many stay-at-home moms, single college students, full time professionals, and even some professional moms who are also students!  What could I possible share with all of you that could be applicable.  And more than that - have an impact.  I think I finally came up with one major takeaway for you.  Here it is, first with a little context:

Throughout our lives we will constantly be balancing the four domains I mentioned above - career, family, self, and community.  Think of them as four circles that change size over time (over the course of years) but often overlap like a Venn Diagram.  For example, a college student's domains might look like this - self is the largest as they focus on studying and social interactions  It's likely the career domain is small but grows over the course of 4 years as they choose a major and apply their college education to their chosen field.  Family and community play a smaller role during this phase of their life.  For stay-at-home moms, the family domain is the largest, often with some community involvement in their kids' schools, for example, and career is the smallest, if not nonexistent.  For a working mom career and family may be equal size, with community and self playing a smaller role.  As I mentioned, it is important to remember that these domain "bubbles" are fluid and have the potential to change over time.

With that background as the context, I will share with you my thoughts from this week.  My thought is this: Your life is comprised of choices made by you.  In order to make the most of your life, make sure those choices are intentional.  One of the speakers encouraged us to think outside the box and "catch yourself in the act of being you/"  You are both the actor and director in your life.  If you take a moment to hit pause on your life and analyze what you see if you stood behind the camera as the director, rather than what you see on the stage as the actor, what would you see?  Would you see yourself living your values with intention?  Or would you see yourself merely floating along?

I found that thinking about life in the four domains helped quantify those philosophical questions for me.  Family, self, community, and career.  There is no right or wrong answer - only what you value and how your life aligns or doesn't align with those values.  I encourage everyone to take some time in whatever personal study, meditation, or reflection you do to think about that.  Life is hard and is known for throwing curveballs at us.  But, if we are living with intention, walking a path we choose and feel confident in, those curveballs will be intentional too and make us stronger along the way.

And with that, I give you Recipe Roundup 12 where I've decided to post my top three desserts as of late, rather than a week's worth of meals.  Simply cause I can.

First up are cookie dough cheesecake bars.  This recipe was shared with me by my friend Lindsay, who is always on the lookout for a tasty new (always rich) treat.  Lucky for all of us who work with her, she is very generous and doesn't typically eat sweets.  That combination = lots of treats for her coworkers!

Next is a recipe Genevieve sent me a while back.  I finally got around to making it a couple weeks ago, after sitting on it for a few months.  By the time I did, and thanked her for it, she'd forgotten about it!  Well, I'm here to remind her, and introduce it to you all, because I didn't just make it once a couple weeks ago... I made it three times... back to back to back.  You've got to try these cookie dough s'more bars ASAP.  

Ok, now I will admit, those two are pretty similar.  I know, I know.  But I decided to include them both because they're both amazing.  So, just trust me - you need both in your life.  

I'll end with a third that is similar only in that it is also a bar.  These creamy lemon bars were introduced to us by friends years ago and are my favorite lemon bar to date.  They have cream cheese in them, which makes them more rich (clearly, more my style).  They also have a nilla wafer crust, which I'll pick over a shortbread crust any day.  Lastly, please note - they are infinitely better on day 2, so have the foresight to make ahead and discipline to wait to eat these!

All three of the above are delicious (in case you missed that part) and are easy to whip out in a pinch or for large groups since they're bars.  The holidays are a time for sharing treats and I wish I could bring you all a sampling of all three of these.  In place of that, however, consider the links to the recipes my gift to you and ENJOY!