Month: December 2007

Recipe Roundup – cookies, bars, candies


I have yet to begin my holiday baking (yes, I’m running a tad bit behind this year), but once I get going, there’s no stopping me. This year, I am making some of my husband’s favorites – peanut patties and orange cream candy (things his mama has made all of his life) for our Christmas Eve celebration at his mama’s house. Plus, I’m making some of my own favorites – peanut brittle, haystacks, and graham cracker cookies. If you have not ever tried graham cracker cookies…oh my stars…you HAVE to try this recipe! Mouth watering, flavorful, delicious…and easy!

Here are a few of our family’s favorites, try ’em!

Orange Cream Candy
2 c cugar
1/2 c coffee creamer
1/2 c Karo
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 c chopped nuts
1 lg orange rind, grated

Cook sugar, creamer, Karo and orange rind until it form soft ball stage. Add vanilla and beat until thick, add nuts and beat until creamy. Pur into buttered pan and cut when completely cooled.

Microwave Peanut Patties
1-1/2 c sugar 2 cups raw peanuts
1/2 c water 2 T butter
dash salt 1 tsp vanilla
1/2 c Karo syrup 4-6 drops red (or green) food coloring

Combine sugar, water, salt and Karo in a 2 quart glass microwavable dish. Cook on high in microwave for 3 minutes. Stir in peanuts and cook on high for 9 minutes. Add last 3 ingredients (butter, vanilla and food coloring) and stir until mixture is creamy. Pour onto buttered foil and break apart when cooled.

Microwave Peanut Brittle
1 c peanuts 1 tsp butter
1 c sugar 1 tsp vanilla
1/2 c Karo syrup 1 tsp baking soda
1/8 tsp salt

Combine peanuts, sugar, Karo and salt in 2 quart glass microwavable dish. Cook 4 minutes on high. Stir, and then cook for another 4 minutes. Add butter and vanilla — cook 2 minutes more on high. Add baking soda and stir until foamy. Spread on buttered foil and break apart when cooled.

Butterscotch Haystacks
1 can Chun King noodles (chinese crispy noodles)
1 pkg Nestle’s butterscotch morsels
1 cup peanuts

Melt butterscotch morsels in a double broiler (do not overcook, as the mixture will become crumbly). Mix in noodles and nuts and spoon out little “stacks” onto foil.

Graham Cracker Squares
1 cup butter
1 cup brown sugar
12 oz semi-sweet choc chips
1 c chopped walnuts
1 pkg graham crackers (one sleeve, not the whole box)

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Break graham crackers into fourths and lay on cookie sheet. In heavy saucepan, melt butter and sugar together and cook until carmelized, stirring continuously. Pour mixture over graham crackers. Sprinkle nuts over top and place in oven until the carmel mixture is bubbly and frothy (about 3-5 minutes). Take pan out and sprinkle 12 oz of choc chips over top of cookies and let cool. Break apart before completely cooled and remove from pan. Enjoy!

So there you have it. A sampling of our favorite Christmas candies…and I’m telling you right now, if you don’t try the graham cracker bars, well…you just don’t know what you’re missing out on! They are slap yerself silly good. Truly. They are.

Head on over to Rebecca Writes for more delicious Holiday cookie, bar and candy recipes, or to add your own!

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It’s 4 am and I’m wide awake

My husband left for a one day business trip to Houston (5-1/2 hours away) and he had to get up this morning at 3:30, so here I am, internets! Wide awake with no one to talk to…so I’ll just share this little gem with you:

An atheist became incensed over the preparation of Easter and Passover holidays.
He decided to contact his lawyer about the discrimination inflicted on atheists by the constant celebrations afforded to Christians and Jews with all their holidays while atheists had no holiday to celebrate.

The case was brought before a judge. After listening to the long passionate presentation by the lawyer, the Judge banged his gavel and declared, ‘Case dismissed!’

The lawyer immediately stood and objected to the ruling and said, ‘Your honor, how can you possibly dismiss this case? The Christians have Christmas, Easter and many other observances. Jews have Passover, Yom Kippur and Hanukkah…yet my client and all other atheists have no such holiday!’

The judge leaned forward in his chair and simply said, ‘Obviously your client is too confused to even know about, much less celebrate his own atheists’ holiday!’

The lawyer pompously said, ‘Your Honor, we are unaware of any such holiday for atheists.Just when might that holiday be, your Honor?’

The judge said, ‘Well it comes every year on exactly the same date—April 1st!
Since our calendar sets April 1st as ‘April Fools Day,’ consider that Psalm 14:1 states,’The fool says in his heart, there is no God.’ Thus, in my opinion, if your client says there is no God, then by scripture, he is a fool, and April 1st is his holiday. Now have a good day and get out of my courtroom!!

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On the horns of a dilemma…

A dilemma is a problem offering two solutions or possibilities, of which neither is acceptable. The two options are often described as the horns of a dilemma, neither of which is comfortable.

Let me assure you…I was anything but comfortable on Thanksgiving Day. In fact, it was probably the least enjoyable Thanksgiving I can remember in all of my 38 years on this earth. Oh the food was delicious, most of the company was delightful, and it was a pleasure to see out of town relatives after a year-long hiatus. But the dark cloud of what I knew must have been hanging over my head all day, because my friend asked me what was up – she said I wasn’t my usual cheery self. I had made up my mind that I wasn’t going to interfere…I would be what the Bible calls a ‘talebearer’…a gossiper, and it wasn’t my place to get involved. After all, she knew what she was up against, didn’t she? She’d been this way once with my relative, so I didn’t have any responsibility here.

(Cue dark theatrical music and fade everything but my friend’s face to black, while zooming in on her trusting eyes at hyper-speed). Strangely, I felt an immediate pressure of the sharp and pointy kind upon my backside. It was as if someone had taken a two-edged sword and thrust it right between my shoulder blades – my heart was pierced and I had to tell her the truth, no matter what the repercussions for me were to be. So outside we went and I spilled my guts…or what was left of them. She cried, I cried and then she and relative left to “talk things over”.

Looking back, I wish I wouldn’t have said anything…in the heat of the moment, I felt as though I was doing something “noble” by telling her. To that, I now say “phhht”. Although I took absolutely NO pleasure WHATsoever in telling her, I now realize it didn’t do any good. She is still with said relative and relative has told me that he wishes he could “beat the living sh** out of me for blabbing his business” to her. (I told you he was a sleazoid…I probably never would have referred to him in that manner, except for the fact that he made that last statement.)

So…live and learn people. Keep your mouth shut. Take it from someone who’s been there. Everyone (including me) says “I would want to know the truth if it were me,” but in the end, it’s like Jack Nicholson said, “You can’t HANDLE the truth.”

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Moral dilemma – what would you have done?

Okay, so I probably messed things up. But what would you have done?

Here’s the setup:

Your friend is seeing someone you are related to and it appears to be serious on the part of your friend. Your relative is a sleazoid who is seeing other women (and you know this for a fact because it has been verified by said relative) and has no intention of ever doing right by your friend and is just using her to get what he wants. She is only somewhat oblivious because she has been through this once with said relative and has said if it ever happened again, that’s it.

Do you tell her or keep your mouth shut?

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Jack Frost folding all my clothes…

There are some things I just don’t have the time to waste my energy or resources on. Like laundry. Just kidding…laundry is a necessity. Unless you’re a nudist…which I’m not – and since Jack Frost has officially moved into the Northeast corner of Texas, I’m more of what you’d call a “bundler-upper”.

I remember when I was a kid growing up in Alaska, every time I’d leave the house for school, my mother would call out from under her down comforter lap throw (while seated in her leather recliner), “Bundle up honey, it’s cold outside!” Which would have been all fine and dandy. But it was the middle of the summer.

The winters were another story, however. I DID develop the habit of “layering” my clothing. Luckily, it was the 1980’s and layering was in high style. Leg warmers over skin tight leggings under an oversized sweatshirt that was over a tank top (a la “Flashdance”). I was HOT…but in a cool sort of way. I still have a tendency to want to dress in layers (sans the leg warmers), even though it’s over 80 degrees here most of the year. What can I say? 20 years of buying Eddie Bauer has me totally dressing like a Northerner. People here just don’t get me.

My own kids resist wearing coats and want to wear shorts and t-shirts year round…which I would understand if we lived in say…Florida. However, we don’t…and I consistently worry that people will think I’m a terrible mother when I go the the grocery store in freezing weather with my kids dressed in shorts and me looking like I just stepped off the pages of a North Face ad.

(This blog entry has been composed in an attempt to avoid folding the pile-o-laundry that waits ever-so-patiently for me on my bed.)

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OH MY Knots Landing…

Is this a result of plastic surgery or is she the walking dead? (Not trying to be offensive, but she doesn’t look “right”)

And I PROMISE to put up a real post here today, just catching up on school, crafts, housework, and life in general. It wouldn’t be fair to use the holidays as my excuse, because honestly? Everyone has the same 24 hours in a day to get their stuff done and blog. Seems I just take longer to get it done, leaving less time for blogging. Since we are handmaking all of our Christmas presents this year, I feel so BEHIND, because I’ve got piles and piles of craft stuff and fabric on my dining room table.

Heaven help me if someone shows up at my door…they might not be allowed in my house at the moment. Does the word “cluttered” mean anything to you?

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