Flexibility + Caramel Brownies

Before I started residency, my impression of the difficulties were pinpointed mostly on the long hours and the relatively low wages that came with those long hours. That and the ridiculously steep learning curve that would inevitably accompany intern year. Especially after M4 year. Surprisingly (somewhat), I am finding that the hours are bad yes, but once you get into a rhythm and schedule, they’re not ALL that bad. I’m tired and waking up is still the worst part, but once I get going, it’s very doable. Learning curve steep yes, but again, there’s no learning like learning on the job. Seeing the pathology, seeing how to treat it and seeing how the treatments take effect. All of that really helps solidify the concept 100x better (for me anyways) than just words on paper.

No, the most difficult at this point, and probably to continue until graduation and beyond, is being mind flexible. Everyone has their own way of doing things. All with the same goal in mind, but with small subtle differences here and there. Before residency, I would hear this and think “Man, that’s awesome, I will get to see so many ways to do things and find a way that I like and agree with.” Still true, but it does become a bit frustrating when you start doing things one way then the subtle difference of where to pull, push, anchor, put your hand, which hand to use, etc. with each person you work with enters the picture. I end up feeling like maybe I really just don’t know how to do whatever action it is I’m supposed to be doing. Or thinking “wait, I thought I was doing this right…but…no??” and putting myself back at square one. Every resident, every staff has their own way of doing things. And they all do admit to it too, which is nice, but as the intern during the moments of doing things, it really just makes me feel a bit behind. They all say, you’ll learn how “so and so” likes to do their “_____” and I guess as residents we shall just have to keep a mental filing cabinet of who uses what where and when.

Anyways. The WORST part so far is probably just living alone alone here. I mean I don’t mind living by myself. It’s kinda nice, my own schedule, my own mess, all my responsibility, etc. But it does kinda suck that there isn’t anyone else around here to talk to or greet me at home or de-day with. Maybe I should get a dog. Except the Bing is too big. 😦 And then what if I get a new dog and he’s not as cool as the Bing!?

Moving on, something you guys can do! I made these absolutely AMAZING caramel brownies last week. I did my first night call and my time was so confused on Sunday when I slept when I got home and then had to sleep again to go to work early Monday AM. Hum.

So I decided to pinventure! Found the recipe from Chef in Training who I believe found the recipe from another site. These are definitely worth it worth it to make.

CARAMEL BROWNIES

  • 1 (14 ounce) package individually wrapped caramels, unwrapped
  • 1/3 cup evaporated milk
  • 1 (18.25 ounce) package chocolate cake mix
  • 3/4 cup butter, melted
  • 1/3 cup evaporated milk
  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
In a heavy saucepan, combine caramels and 1/3 cup of evaporated milk. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly until smooth; set aside.
Grease a 9×13 inch pan.
In a large bowl, stir together the cake mix, melted butter and 1/3 cup of evaporated milk by hand until dough holds together.
Press half of the dough into the prepared pan, reserving the rest.
Bake for 10 minutes in the preheated oven. Remove from the oven and sprinkle the chocolate chips over the crust, pour the caramel mixture evenly over the chips. Crumble the remaining dough over the caramel layer and return to the oven.
Bake for an additional 15 to 18 minutes in the preheated oven.
Cool in refrigerator to set the caramel before cutting into bars.

The only thing I would suggest about changing is that it doesn’t necessarily need the 1 cup of semisweet choco chips on top of the caramel. They’re really sweet and cutting that part out may help it out a bit. For my brownies I did end up using all of the ingredients though.

Also, keep the caramel on low low heat after it’s all smooth. Or just re-heat it prior to pouring it onto the first layer. The final layer on top of the caramel does not need to cover all of it. Compared to the site I got the recipe from, I had it spread out more evenly, but you can leave more holes too! You can put these in the fridge if you want to help them stay better longer (?) and they’ll get harder, which made me sad at first, but if you leave it at room temp for a while, they will get back to super gooey. 🙂 Just keep them in an airtight container! If I liked milk, these would probably be really good…with milk.