Dessert

4 Great Books and Orange-Chocolate with Sea Salt Freezer Fudge

Are you constantly searching for the next good book to read?  I am.  I read most days on the train to and from work and again before I go to sleep at night, so I tend to move through books pretty quickly.  This puts me on a neverending quest to find the next great book.  Of course, not every book that I read is a page-turner, but I’ll still plough on through out of some sense of I’ve-already-bought-it-so-I-am-wasting-money-if-I-don’t-read-it, or I’m-learning-about-a-new-subject-so-I-should-read-it-to-be-smarter, or I’m-not-loving-it-but-I-still-need-to-know-what-happens, or occasionally, it’s-just-the-responsible-thing-to-do.

I recently read a book that fell under the latter category – Great Expectations by Charles Dickens.  I read this book in high school but I had completely forgotten what it was all about.  And no groundbreaking analysis here, but Charles Dickens is an unbelievable writer.  I think pretty much any one sentence that he writes is more evocative than probably 99% of my experiences in actual real life.  Its as if he could see the range of all possible words to use, and with intention, he selects the most precise, most interesting, and most meaningful one.  That being said, Great Expectations was a bore for me!  Which was a very sad discovery.  But I ploughed through it, because I felt that I should know, as a human being, the story of Great Expectations.  So… now I know.

Since Great Expectations, I have read four GREAT books in a row!!  That’s like seeing a shooting star – so rare!  Because they were so great, I wanted to share them with you.  If you have any great book suggestions, please share them with me too!

1. Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand.  This book is about the incredible true story of the life of Louis Zamperini.  It tells of his adventures and challenges as an Olympic athlete, a WWII bombardier, being lost at sea, and as a POW.  The theme of the book is Louie’s unbroken will and also his unbroken faith in God.  This book is a definite page turner and a must read!  I decided to read this book after Louie spoke at our church on his 96th birthday weekend.  Both he and his message are so inspiring!

2. Sons of Encouragement by Francine Rivers.  This book is about 5 men who stood behind the scenes to various biblical heroes.  For example, Aaron (Moses’ brother) is one of the 5 characters.  This book is action-packed and spiritually fulfilling too!

3. A Lineage of Grace by Francine Rivers.  This book is about 5 women who were in Jesus’ lineage.  Example: Jesus’ mother, Mary, is one of the characters.  It’s so interesting to see things as these women might have seen it.  You are not only being told riveting stories, but you learn about the customs and culture of people living during biblical times too.

4. Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers.  Read this book before the other Francine Rivers books.  While they are all good, I gotta say that this one takes the cake.  This book is a love story based on the biblical story of Hosea and Gomer.  It is both heart-wrenching and heart-warming.  Everyone that I have talked to about this book has said the same thing: AMAZING!!

I’ve obviously been on a little Francine Rivers kick lately.  My mother-in-law introduced me to her books a few months ago, and I’m so glad she did because they are great reads and are fulfilling on a lot of levels!  I am now reading the 3-book Mark of the Lion series by Francine Rivers.  I’ll report back to you when I’m finished with them but they’re really good so far.  Please share your book suggestions – I’m on the hunt for my next read after this series!

Ok so I can’t let you go without a recipe.  This fudge is sweet and salty – my favorite!  Don’t skip the sea salt.  It makes it.  This fudge is much healthier than your standard non-dairy fudge, but it’s definitely a decadent treat.  It must be stored in the freezer or it will melt, and I think keeping it in the freezer also helps keep me from just grabbing a hunk or downing the whole lot.  Hope you enjoy!

Orange-Chocolate with Sea Salt Freezer Fudge

Ingredients

  • 2 cups coconut cream (from 2 cans coconut milk kept in frig)
  • 1/3 cup cocoa powder

    Chocolate-Orange with Sea Salt Freezer Fudge

    Chocolate-Orange with Sea Salt Freezer Fudge

  • 1/3 cup agave
  • 2 T orange juice
  • 1 t orange zest
  • 1/4 t salt
  • 1/2 t vanilla
  • sea salt to sprinkle on top

Directions

1. Scoop out 2 cups of cream from 2 cans of coconut milk.

2. Place a saucepan over low heat.

3. Combine all ingredients except the sea salt in the saucepan.

4. Let coconut milk melt completely and stir all ingredients so they are combined.

5. Line a loaf pan with parchment paper.  This will allow you to remove the fudge from the pan without it sticking.

6. Pour chocolate mix into the pan.

7. Place fudge in freezer for it to partially cool.  Once it is somewhat firm, sprinkle the sea salt over the top.

8. Return to freezer for it to cool until the fudge is completely solid.  This may take a few hours.

9. Pull parchment paper up to remove fudge from the pan.

10. Slice into whatever sized fudge pieces you want.

11. Store sliced fudge in freezer.

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4 thoughts on “4 Great Books and Orange-Chocolate with Sea Salt Freezer Fudge

  1. I had the same experience with Great Expectations. Total bore! I also read books for some of the very same reasons you mention – already bought it so I feel guilty donating it without reading it first, knowing that I SHOULD read a certain book… 🙂 I’m not a particularly spiritual person, but I love historical fiction. Are the Francine Rivers books more historical fiction or more religious fiction, would you say?

    • That is an interesting question! Redeeming Love takes place during the California gold rush of the 1800s but I would say this book reads more as a novel/love story rather than either historical or religious fiction. It takes the premise of the biblical story of Hosea and Gomer (Gomer was a prostitute that Hosea is called by God to marry. He forgives her and remains faithful to her despite her adultery and many failings). But, Redeeming Love is an entirely different story, just with the same theme/message. A Lineage of Grace and Sons of Encouragement read more like historical and religious fiction – which one is more prevalent is hard to say. The books are clearly well-researched and you will learn about the politics, battles, geography, food, language, religious customs, courtship/marriage customs etc at the time when these events happened. But through this, Francine Rivers brings to life biblical characters and biblical stories. So, I guess I would say its a mix of the two. I like reading historical fiction too, and I found these works just as enjoyable as others that I’ve liked – for example, the Other Boleyn Girl by Phillipa Gregory. Hope this helps!

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