Throughout the years I've been a follower, reader, contributor, and lurker to numerous food blogs and recipe boards. And just the same as frequenting a restaurant, club, or store on a regular basis I became acquainted with other regulars. I came to know the lovely Becky Shauberger Turner through one of these sites and although I never met her in person, I'm proud to call her a friend.
Becky departed this earthly world last month due to complications associated with MDS, a blood-related syndrome formerly referred to as "preleukemia." I'm sad to say that I didn't really know much about Becky, except that along with her hobby of cooking, she was also an avid collector of vintage and art-deco dishes and tableware. She would take the time to stop by Wish Upon A Chef fairly often and leave a nice comment or keep in touch through Facebook. But, I do know this about Becky: she was true testament of inspiration, courage, and compassion.
While her blog, Random Musings of a Deco Lady, focused primarily on her tableware collections and cooking, Becky also used the blog to update family and friends about her medical condition. I'll admit that reading the updates gave me that weak, queasy feeling ~ the one you get just before you faint from the sight of blood, and I sort of skimmed over those posts and skipped reading words like blood, transfusion, biopsy, needle, and bone marrow. How shallow am I to avoid reading about something that someone else is dealing with on a daily basis? I cannot fathom the health issues that Becky endured but not just because I didn't read about them, but because she never eluded to the struggles that she faced. Becky's outlook on life was always positive, bright, and cheery. She never complained or felt sorry for herself or faltered in her belief that she would beat this affliction and be well again. She fought a courageous battle and faced it head-on with a fierce attitude. She made the most out of every single day.
When I catch myself complaining about inconsequential things, I stop and remind myself of the trials and tribulations of failing health that Becky faced every day and remember the positive front that she presented for her friends and family. I want Becky's attitude and I want her determination and inspiration of thinking anything and everything can be overcome. I want to remember Becky Shauberger Turner as someone who positively influenced me and I want to remember her as my friend.
Today, on this day that would have been Becky's birthday, all those who were fortunate enough to know her personally or distantly will pay tribute to her by remembering her for the lovely art-deco tablescapes and/or down-home-goodness recipes she shared. I have chosen her recipe for Nutella Brownies with Salted Caramel Glaze.
Rest in peace Becky. We will certainly miss your smiling attitude here at Wish Upon A Chef!
Salted Caramel Nutella Brownies
½ cup flour
½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
½ tsp instant espresso powder
¼ tsp baking powder
1 stick (8 Tbsp) unsalted butter, melted
¾ cup + 2 Tbsp sugar
1 tsp good vanilla
½ cup Nutella
¾ cup chopped nuts
¼ cup heavy cream
1 cup sugar
¼ cup water
2 Tbsp unsalted butter, cut in pieces
½ tsp kosher salt
½ tsp finishing salt (I used Hawaiian red salt)
Preheat oven 350°F. Grease an 8”×8” square pan and set aside.
In small bowl, combine flour, cocoa, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
In large microwavable bowl (I use a glass measuring cup as it makes for easier pouring.), melt butter in 20 second intervals, stirring after each until smooth. Add sugar and vanilla, and whisk until well-mixed. Add eggs one at a time, whisking well after each addition. Add to dry ingredients and whisk until fully combined.
In glass measuring cup or other microwave-safe bowl, melt Nutella in 20-second intervals, stirring after each, until smooth and pourable consistency. Stir into batter along with the nuts. Pour into prepared pan and bake 25-30 minutes or until cake tester inserted in centre comes out clean. Remove from oven and let cool completely.
Once brownies are cool, make the caramel glaze. In a small saucepan over low heat, warm heavy cream, but do not let boil. Keep gently warm while melting the sugar.
In a medium saucepan, combine sugar and water but DO NOT STIR. Place over medium-high heat & bring to a boil. Cook until mixture turns an amber colour, but not too dark that it looks like the sugar is burning. (This took me about 10 minutes, but it varies depending on your stove.) Remove from heat and slowly stir in the warm cream, butter, and ½ tsp kosher salt. Stir gently until smooth & well combined.
Pour over cooked brownies, tilting the pan to coat. Sprinkle with finishing salt and let glaze to set before cutting.
Credits: I adapted this from my friend Annie at From the Bookshelf, who adapted from Vittles & Bits, who adapted it from Noble Pig, with the Caramel Glaze slightly adapted from The Pioneer Woman.