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February was a fun month for reading!  My book stack sort of morphed into 2 different versions – fun and educational, and neither disappointed.  I’m usually not the type of person that can read multiple books at the same time, but when the genre is so vastly different it makes it a little easier and for some reason I just started devouring educational/improvement books this month.  This was the original plan for February….

Fyre (Septimus Heap #7) by Angie Sage
Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel
*Let’s Pretend this Never Happened by Jenny Lawson
Start by Jon Acuff
**Interrupted: An Adventure in Relearning the Essentials of Faith
**The Strength of Mercy: Making a Difference in the World One Child at a Time

*I really tried to like Let’s Pretend by Jenny Lawson, and I even found myself laughing, but I just couldn’t care enough about it to finish. Sorry Jenny, I’ll just pretend it never happened.

**These two books were recommended by friends and I have to say – Wow.  On both of them.  LOVED them both!

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I think I’m going to have to give my book of the month award to Fyre by Angie Sage.  This was the 7th (and final) book in that series and in my opinion it was by far the best.  I just love little Septimus Heap, and these stories are super fun.  If you’ve got a 4th grader in your world that likes fantasy and fiction they will love this series!

For some reason I’m really struggling with what to read in March, so I’m going to start with just 3 on my list and leave room for many changes and additions!  And as usual, if you’ve got recommendations, please share!

Just one Day by Gayle Forman
An Abundance of Katherines by John Green
The Testing by Joelle Charbonneau

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Wow y’all, I just don’t even know where to start with this.  I guess the easiest thing to do is start at the beginning with pronunciation.  There’s always been a hot debate over the pronunciation of a key ingredient in this dish so let’s just clear the air.  I grew up in a house that had a tree in the front yard that dropped these little beauties from the sky like manna from Heaven.  I spent most of my childhood picking them up off the driveway, popping them out of the shells and eating them as a snack while playing outside.  So, I feel like I have the authority to declare the true and accurate pronunciation of this southern delicacy.

While some people (those without trees in their front yards) would tell you that it’s pronounced PA-KHAN, I’m telling you that the correct pronunciation is PEE-CAN.  Occasionally you’ll hear someone trying to straddle the fence and use PEE-KHAN, but for the purposes of this recipe we’re going to go with PEE-CAN because it’s my blog and I have the support of the tree in the front yard of my childhood home.  So there.  Now that we’ve settled that, it’s time to say “Who cares, these things are awesome!  Call them whatever you want!”  And with one swoop of the proverbial spatula, we’re all on the same team.

But seriously y’all, wow.

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I was looking for something easy to make for our weekly church life group meeting and for some reason I was really craving pecan pie.  We usually have about 12-14 folks and I didn’t want to make 2 pies so I kept searching and came across this little beauty of a recipe online.  It’s basically pecan pie for 12 with the best little homemade crust you’ll ever make.

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There was some debate in our house over whether or not it should be served with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream, and I’m so glad the whipped cream won because it totally makes it.  The crust is like a shortbread cookie, and you get the perfect mix of sweet and crunchy in every bite.  I really just can’t say enough about how much we loved this dessert.  I’m going to put the recipe below, but here’s a link to the original post on Add a Pinch, and a link for the homemade whipped cream.

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For the bars:
Make the crust first (2 sticks salted butter, softened, mixed with 2 cups AP flour and 1/2 cup confectioners sugar).  Mix it really well until it forms a nice dough ball and then spread it into the bottom of a greased 9×13.

Then mix the “pie” ingredients:
3 eggs
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup corn syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 stick of butter, melted
pinch of salt

Once the pie ingredients are incorporated add in 2 cups of pecans and then dump it all on top of the uncooked crust.  Place in your 350 degree oven for 30-35 minutes.  Allow to cool at least 15 minutes before serving.  I personally think pecan pie tastes best at room temp, so feel free to make this ahead of time.

While your bars are baking whip up the cream.  Take 2 cups of heavy whipping cream and combine with 4 tablespoons of sugar and 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract.  Whip until stiff peaks form and then keep in the fridge.

Seriously people, go make these!  The gym will always be there in the morning.

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I’m sure I’ve mentioned it at least a dozen times, but I’m in love with my album vendor.  The service, the quality, and the product is just second to none. I recently ordered an album for a super awesome couple and just had to share a few images.  I’m always a fan of black leather, but this navy blue leather heirloom album is one of my new favorites.  Great choice Lucy & John!

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