Finding Your Umbrella

Kentucky weather is notorious for being unpredictable. It fluctuates from warm, dry and humid one day to cold and rainy the next. I have lived in Kentucky my entire life and know quite well that this is to be expected but for some reason this spring seemed to have more then the average amount of storms in the forecast. It wasn’t just literal thunder storms either that seemed to be constantly upon my family, but rather a good amount of personal ones as well. All spring it has felt like we would go through some type of heartbreak, only to be met by another one as soon as the current one seemed to be passing. The most recent situation we found ourselves in was the unexpected death of my uncle which Matt and I found out about through a phone call one night as we were leaving Bible study. In moments of crisis what is truly important in life becomes clear. You do not think about what is on your agenda for tomorrow because whatever you had planned does not matter compared to what is taking place at that moment. For this reason Matt and I had decided that night I would leave Lexington immediately to go support and console my family in Northern Kentucky. The silence had overtaken me that night as I was driving back home, and all I could do to fill it was pray and sing to my God; the only one who could heal all this hurt that was taking place in my life and the lives of those I loved most and held dearest. When I had left Lexington the skies were a dark clear midnight blue but about half way through my trip they started to change. The once still soft night air turned tumultuous and irritable. I could feel my little car begin to sway from the winds power as big fat raindrops began to fall on the windshield. This was the last thing I needed. In the midst of my prayers I found myself begging with God to hold back the rain, to keep the wind at bay, just until I got to my mawmaw’s house, just until it was safe…just until I would feel safe. In that moment He spoke to me these words “Blair, I can’t hold back the rain. You live in a world where the rain falls and the wind blows and that is never going to change…. but you are safe because I you are mine. Wont you please just trust me and allow me to guide you and protect you when the storms come?!?! I love you and I want you to depend on my care… Let my be your umbrella.” I can tell you from personal experience that so much peace comes to the heart that has unwavering faith in God and truly believes in His promises; He really will get you through even the bleakest storms that life can bring. So whatever is going on in life today, whatever storm you are facing, allow God to be your umbrella and put your full trust in His guidance. You might get a little wet, accidentally step in a puddle or even feel the wind rush over you chilling you to the bone but have full confidence that no harm will come to you because you belong to God and He always takes care of  His own, leading them safely through until the very last raindrop has fallen from the sky and the sun begins to shine once again.

Psalms 32:7 You are my hiding place; You shall preserve me from trouble; You shall surround me with songs of deliverance. 

Much Love,

Blair

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Flourless Chocolate Cake Cookies

Back when I was a Sophomore in College, and working as a Resident Advisor in Keeneland Hall for the University of Kentuckys ResLife, I was introduced to this wonderful flavor of ice cream made by Ben and Jerry’s called Flourless Chocolate Cake. Being that my favorite self professed food is ice cream and that I worked as an ice cream girl at the local ice cream parlors in my home town, I do not say this lightly, but this flavor was by far the best store bought ice cream flavor I had ever tasted! It was a chocolate lovers dream and always seemed to hit the spot after a difficult night in the dorms or during a serious study session. The only down fall was that this flavor was only in stores for a limited time as the company only made so many batches. Therefore by the time my Junior year rolled around it was no where to be found on the store shelves. Fast forward two years later and I happened to stumble upon this little find on epicurious.com called Deep Dark Chocolate Cookies. I was looking for something new and fun to try my hand at in the baking department for a movie night that Matt and I were going to with some of our friends and these cookies just looked too yummy to pass up… and boy am I glad I didn’t, because they turned out amazing!!!! These cookies tasted just like the Ben and Jerry’s Flourless Chocolate Cake Ice Cream!! One bite and I was back in Keeneland Hall again reliving the nights when I used to pull all nighters behind the desk studying, keeping watch over the hall, and hanging out with my residents and fellow RA’s.

The friends that we brought these cookies to share with during our group movie night seemed to agree with me as well. And so for that reason I dedicate this post to good baking for great people that I love to share my life with, especially my sister in Christ, dear friend and baking buddy in crime Brittany Clone who personally encourages me to try new and adventurous things in the kitchen. I hope your customer base at William and Sonoma enjoy this Gluten Free treat during your Gluten Free baking session Beautiful Brittany! 🙂

Much Love,

Blair

Flourless Chocolate Cake Cookies!

Flourless Chocolate Cake Cookies!

Flourless Chocolate Cake Cookies

Ingredients:

  • Nonstick vegetable oil spray
  • 1 1/2 cups bittersweet chocolate chips (about 9 ounces), divided
  • 3 large egg whites, room temperature
  • 2 1/2 cups powdered sugar, divided
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Preparation:

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F and  generously spray a baking sheet with nonstick spray.
  2. Melt 1 cup chocolate chips in glass bowl in microwave, stirring twice, about 2 minutes. Leave them in the microwave while you continue on with the rest of the recipe allowing them to cool slightly.
  3. Using electric mixer, beat whites in large bowl until soft peaks form.
  4. Next, divide powdered sugar into 2 – 1 cup measurements and 1- 1/2 cup measurement.
  5. Gradually beat in 1 cup of the powdered sugar. Continue beating until mixture resembles soft marshmallow creme.
  6. Whisk the other 1 cup powdered sugar, cocoa, cornstarch, and salt in medium bowl until blended.
  7. Then on low speed, beat dry ingredients until the batter resembles a meringue consistency.
  8. Mix in lukewarm chocolate and 1/2 cup chocolate chips. The dough should start to become stiff at this point.
  9. Place batter into the fridge for about 5-10 minutes to allow it to thicken.
  10. Place the last 1/2 cup sugar in bowl. Roll 1 rounded tablespoon dough into ball; roll in sugar, coating thickly. Place on prepared sheet. Repeat with remaining dough, spacing 2 inches apart.
  11. Bake until puffed and tops crack, about 10 minutes. Cool on sheets on rack 10 minutes or else cookies are more likely to fall apart. Then transfer to rack and allow them to cool completely.
Flourless Chocolate Cake Cookies! These gluten free sweet treats have a deliciously chocolate gooey center wrapped up in a crispy crunchy shell!

Flourless Chocolate Cake Cookies! These gluten free sweet treats have a deliciously chocolate gooey center wrapped up in a crispy crunchy shell!

Delectable Derby Pie Cake

This year for Matt’s birthday my mother-in-law passed on the honor of making Matt’s birthday cake to me. Naturally, as any young wife would be, I was very excited to take on this responsibility. To find some inspiration I figured I would ask the birthday boy himself about what type of cake he would like for his special day. His original request was for my Nana’s Derby Pie, so I decided to get creative and make my own original version of a Derby Pie Birthday Cake just for my hubby! I found a recipe for Pecan Pie Cake on southernliving.com  that I used as a starting point and then added my own special touches to adapt this recipes and make it my very own Derby Pie Cake, which from what I have been told turned out quite well. Matt even mentioned on several different occasions that it was the best cake he had ever tasted, of course I’m sure he’s a little biased to me cooking/baking though 🙂 Any-who, here is my adapted version of a Pecan Pie cake that I turned into my very own Derby Pie Cake! I hope y’all enjoy it as much as we did!

Much Love,

Blair

P.S

I chose to make the cake over the course of two days, that away it was a little more manageable. I started with the filling on the first day, and then the following day I baked the cakes, made the frosting and assembled it all. Happy Baking!!

Derby Pie Cake

Derby Pie Cake

A slice of Kentucky pride!

A slice of Kentucky pride!

Derby Pie Cake Ingredients:

  • 3 cups pecans, finely chopped and divided
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 5 eggs, separated
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 3/4 cup dark corn syrup
  • 1 10 oz. bag dark chocolate chips

Preparation Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350° and generously butter 3 9-inch round cake pans.
  2. Evenly sprinkle 2 cups pecans  into the 3 round cake pans; shake to thoroughly coat bottoms and sides of pans.
  3. Beat 1/2 cup butter and shortening at medium speed with an electric mixer until fluffy; gradually add sugar, beating well. Add egg yolks, 1 at a time, beating just until blended after each addition. Stir in vanilla.
  4. In a separate bowl mix together 2 cups flour and 1tsp baking soda.
  5. Add flour and baking soda mixture to butter mixture alternately with buttermilk. Make sure to begin and end with the flour mixture. Beat at low speed until blended after each addition.
  6. Stir in remaining 1 cup finely chopped pecans and the dark chocolate chips.
  7. In a separate mixing bowl beat egg whites at medium speed until stiff peaks form; fold egg whites into the cake batter one-third at a time.  Be sure not to overmix. Pour batter evenly into the 3 prepared pans.
  8. Bake at 350° for 25-45 minutes or until you can insert a fork in the middle of the cake and it comes out completely clean.
  9. Cool in pans on wire racks 10 minutes. Swiftly run a knife along the inside edge of each cake pan to help separate the cake from the pan. Invert layers onto wax paper-lined wire racks. Brush tops and sides of layers with corn syrup, and cool completely.

Derby Pie Cake Filling Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup dark corn syrup
  • 1/3 cup cornstarch
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 1 1/2 cups half & half
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 Tbsp Kentucky Bourbon
  • 3 Tbsp butter
  • 2 Tbsp vanilla

Preparations Directions:

  1. Whisk together first 7 ingredients in a heavy 3-quart saucepan until smooth. Bring mixture to a boil over medium heat, whisking constantly; boil 1 minute or until thickened.
  2. Remove from heat; whisk in butter and vanilla extract.
  3. Place a sheet of wax paper directly on surface of mixture to prevent a film from forming, and chill at least 4 hours. I chose to chill mixture overnight.
  4. After filling has chilled make sure to separate 1 cup of the pecan pie filling and put aside to use in frosting.

Spiced whipped Cream Custard Frosting:

  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 1 Tbsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 cup pecan pie filling (after it has been chilled)

Preparation Directions:

  1. In an electric mixer, whisk together all ingredients at medium speed for about 5 minutes or until soft peaks form. Be careful not to over mix or the frosting will tun into butter.

Assembly:

  1. Place 1 of the cake layers pecan side up. Then spread half of the remaining pecan pie filling on to the top of the layer.
  2. Place a second layer on top of filling, also pecan side up, and spread the rest of the pecan pie filling over the second layer.
  3. Top with the last cake layer, again pecan side up.
  4. Generously frost cake with spiced whipped cream custard frosting and decorate as desired. (I chose to drizzle mine with chocolate and a tiny crumbles of brown sugar!)
Right after we sang Happy Birthday!!

Right after we sang Happy Birthday!!

24 Reasons Why I Love My Husband on His 24th Birthday

So, the most important, influential person that God has placed in my life is turning 24 today, my husband!  In honor of him, as we ll as to show him just how much he means to me and just how proud I am to be his bride, I figured I would write him a public love letter of encouragement showcasing 24 qualities I admire about him. Because let’s face it, a husbands job to Biblically lead and protect his family is a pretty tall order, especially if he is succeeding. So really all husbands who are making that effort deserve some props. I just happen to personally feel that celebrating the day my husband was born is one of the most fitting days to do it 🙂 Therefore without further adieu, I present to you:

24 Reasons Why I, Elisabeth Blair Pomeroy, Love My Husband, Matthew Clark Pomeroy, on His 24th Birthday:

1. He fervently  pursues Jesus in all he does. Matt is constantly allowing God to work in him and shape him into the man that God has designed him to be. He doesn’t shy away from the areas that need fixing. Instead I have watched my husband run towards God, time and time again, with an open heart and outstretched hands, as he willingly gives himself over to his creator so that he can be made more like Jesus. This is a HUGE inspiration to me when it comes to allowing God to work on the areas of my heart that need some extra attention, because lets face the truth, we’ve all got a few of those areas. I guess you could say Matt leads me by example in this way.

2. He is  humble. No matter how much praise my husband receives, over any given area in his life, he does not become prideful. He doesn’t boast about his accomplishments. Matt actually does the exact opposite of bragging and instead chooses to deflect the attention off of himself  and on to the one who deserves all the glory and honor; God.

3. He is forgiving. I can honestly say that I have never seen this man hold a grudge. I have watched my husband forgive others time and time again, whether they have asked for his forgiveness or not, and I have to say that being on the receiving end of this kind of grace is inspiring. It is such a vivid reminder of how all of us have fallen short of the glory of God.  How we are all sinners and that no matter what the sin might be, whether we see it as big or small, it is all the same in the Lords eyes. And that just as Jesus took up our multitudes of sin so that we could be forgiven, we need to forgive those who hurt us over and over and over again.

4. He is a man of his word. My husband means what he says. Matt will not make a promise, no matter how minuscule or great it might seem, if he is not positive that he can keep it. This character trait give me so much peace as his wife because I can rest assure that if my husband says he’s going to do something or be some where I know that without of shadow of a doubt he will follow through. Not to mention, the fact that because of this I know that he took the vows that he said before God and me on our wedding day with the upmost serious intention.

5. He is committed. I know without a shadow of a doubt that my husband chooses me daily to make a life with no matter what blessings or trials may come our way.

6. He protects me.  Matt is always watching out for me and the well being of our family. He is constantly guarding not only me but our relationship from anything that may harm it. I see this through the proactive boundaries that he has put in place to ensure that our marriage stands firm by keeping Christ at the center. Being married to this type of man has impacted my life in the sheer security that I feel with him. I know that whenever the storms of life come, and they will come, whether they be physical, emotional or spiritual we will be ready to whether them together.

7. He provides for me. I’m not just talking about tangible, physical needs such as a roof over our heads, all the bills being paid and food on the table, although they all apply. The provision that Matt provides for me covers so much more than just the physical realm. He feeds my emotional needs, by being attentive and affectionate towards me, my relational needs by making time for me as well as allowing me to spend time with those who are important in my life, and my spiritual needs by making sure that what God is calling us to is at the forefront of every decision that we make in our marriage.

8. He leads me. Throughout the past two years I have watched Matt become the true definition of a Godly leader. No he’s not perfect, and yes he still makes mistakes, because he is human, but the difference is that he adamantly seeks after what God defines as good and just for his self and our family  by laying his life down daily in the way that he lives.

9. He supports me. I know without a shadow of a doubt, that as long as it lines of with the will of God, my husband will back me up on any circumstance. Not only that but he will do whatever he possibly can to see the callings that God has given me specifically in our marriage and our life come to pass. God has worked through Matt’s encouraging words and actions to further build my confidence and reassurance in these areas, especially at times when they have been shaken because Matt is there to build me up and help me see whatever is weighing me down for what it really is and then come against it with me.

10. He is genuine. There is not a two-faced bone is my husbands ever loving body, and by golly I am thankful for it! He sees it how it is and is not swayed by manipulative words or actions.

11. He is honest. This is not to be confused with bluntness because they are two very different things, and the main distinction is that one is that honesty is said with love and bluntness is said foolishly. Because of this I can trust every single word that comes out of my husbands mouth. I know that whatever he says to me will be the whole truth and nothing but the truth, said with the upmost love and respect.

12. He is faithful. Matt is the most dedicated, loyal person I know. He is unwavering in his devotion to all his relationships, not only ours. Anyone who calls my husband a friend knows that when they need someone to stand by them through the good times and the bad, Matt is the guys for the job. This is just one of the many reasons why I am so proud to call him my husband because he not only holds others accountable, but allows others to test his words and values, as well.

13. He has an outstanding work ethic. Whether is be at home, at work or in his own personal life Matt is the farthest thing from lazy. He is constantly putting in the extra time and labor in all areas to assure that none of them go astray or haywire. He is not satisfied with mediocre but instead wants only the greatness that he can achieve through pushing the limits so that there can be growth and development in all aspects of his life.

14. He is creative. Whether it’s a random surprise after work, a movie night on the couch or a romantic date night out on the town  Matt is always shaking things up. As his wife this has made me feel extraordinarily special because I can see all the extra time and effort that he puts into our relationship.

15. He is wise.  This is the direct result of the fact that he thinks before he speaks and therefore makes sure  that whatever comes out of this mouth are words that are intended for good and not harm. When I need someone to help me solve an issue or I need some perspective on a specific situation I know that I can go to Matt and that he will give me biblical sound advice.

16. He is an ambitious dreamer. One of our regular hobbies is to dream together about life and where God will take us in the future. What pathways will we go down? What desires will we see fulfilled? etc. and so forth. I love the fact that my husband doesn’t put limits on anything. I love the fact that he fully agrees with me in the mighty power of God that that all things are possible. Because of these to things he is the best person to create goals with as well as work towards seeing them fulfilled. This gives such hope to the heart. It is such a great feeling to see some the dreams that we talk about being realized or coming into play as our life unfolds and to know that we worked together as a team in order to help make them a reality.

17. He makes me smile. Matt makes me laugh on a daily basis. It really doesn’t matter where we are, what we are doing or how much money we have, regardless Matt and I have an absolute ball together every single day.We are both firm believers in living, and loving, everyday to the fullest. It just makes life that much better to get to do just that with the one God created you for and destined you to be with.

18.  He is strong. I’m not just talking about physical strength, although I do enjoy the differences between us, being that he is as about as manly, rough and rugged  as they come and I am extremely feminine. The strength that I am referring to though is more of an inner strength that radiates from my husbands core.

19. He is secure in his identity. My husband knows who he is, how he came to be that way and who God is still shaping him to be. Matt is not ashamed of his past because he knows that the events that took place in his life has brought him to where he is today. Neither is he afraid of the future because he knows who has gone before him and therefore does not need to be intimidated since God will never leave his side. Matt does not people please or change with the trend. my husband is who he is and is proud of who God has designed him to be.

20. He treats others with kindness. It doesn’t matter if you are my husbands best friend, favorite family member or a total stranger, I guarantee you he will greet you with a warm smile. Matt is a positive person and is constantly lifting others up, even when what he has to would be difficult for others to deliver in an optimistic loving manner. He doesn’t judge or act self righteously towards others but instead shows an abundance of care and consideration for how they are doing or ways in which he can improve their quality of life.

21. He is fun loving and adventurous.  The older I get the more cautious I become. I guess that is why God gave me a thrill seeking, rush loving, heart throb to marry since he knew that I would need someone I felt safe around to be able to assist me in taking some leaps of faith. lol

22. He is my confidant. Matt is my very best friend in the entire world. No matter what is happening, whether it be good or bad, I know I can come to him and confide in him whatever has been laid on my heart. I know that he won’t poke fun at me when I am being goofy and that he will lend me his ear for as long as I need when I have a problem. Most importantly though, I love knowing that whatever is said or done between us will not be aired out in public.

23. He is consistent. Day in and day out, my husband is steady in his emotions towards me and his actions mirror his words.

24. He loves me unconditionally. Despite my hang ups and sinful down-right selfish nature, Matt cares for, shows compassion to, and just plainly put truly loves me; which if you know the real definition of love is anything but plain. It is a difficult thing to walk through life with another person and be there to bear their burdens just as your own, but Matt excels at it and does just that with such ease. He loves me even on my most unlovable day and for that I am utterly thankful for and inspired by.

Again, these are only 24 reasons why I love, value and appreciate my husband. If I could my list would go on and on, over flowing with all the ways God has used Matt to change my life and touch my heart forever.

Happy 24th Birthday Matthew Clark Pomeroy!!! I hope I made you feel extra special as I publicly declared my undying, unwavering devotion, love and gratitude for you. You are an amazing man of God and I am so blessed to have you as my husband and absolutely beyond honored for be your wife.

I love you,

Blair