I'm taking a blogging break. If I get a chance, I'll pop in, but I won't be on here much for the next week or so. :) (In case anyone missed it, we didn't do Christmas cards this year.) I'm so excited for the holidays. We're heading to Michigan, and I'm looking forward to time with my family! This will be the first Christmas with them in about three years! Originally, we were going to surprise the kids (my younger siblings) but the excitement of going won out over the surprise, and they all found out. Haha! Out of the fourteen of us kids, only one of my brothers (Brad & Larissa) and one of my sisters (Emily & Matt & kids) won't be there. My poormom and dad will have a full house! Lots of grandkids running around. Hopefully, we'll all survive the 'zoo'. :) Crazy, happy, and chaotic. I can hardly wait.
I wish each and every one of you a blessed and Merry Christmas!! Safe travels to your holiday destinations!
Wow! I just made the Pepita Brittle from Smitten Kitchen this evening and that stuff is good. I didn't have Pepitas (hulled pumpkin seeds), but I had the seeds leftover from our pumpkins.
I roasted them first: Mix 1 1/2 cups of pumpkin seeds with 1 tablespoon of Olive Oil and 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Spread over a parchment lined 15 x 9 pan and bake at 325° for about 20 minutes, stirring twice. Then add them to this recipe. It's fantastic!!
Just a quick note, I cooked mine much longer (close to 20 minutes), until it reached a higher temp (nearly 300°), as was recommended by some in the comment section. I added only 2 teaspoons of salt (due to the salt I'd used when I roasted my seeds) and I used unsalted butter. It turned out perfect. Not quite as dark as Deb's but definitely a nice, golden, brittle color.
This is such a fabulous recipe for anyone with peanut allergies! It's the perfect substitute for peanut brittle. You can also try it with other nuts or seeds, as she recommends.
Now...if I don't eat it all before I can gift some of it!
I'm not sure if anyone in my family knows what these are called but it doesn't matter because they still taste just as good!
All you need are a bag of milk chocolate Hershey Candy Kisses, a bag of Pretzel Twists (tiny) and a package of M & M's... (I made these for Mark and I only, as the M & M's have a peanut warning on them. I sometimes will still make stuff like this if it doesn't have actual peanuts in it, but we still have to be very cautious and wash everything right away, including our hands after eating them.)
Line a 15 x 9 inch sheet pan with Parchment paper. Preheat oven to 350°.
Layer pretzels on parchment. Cover each with a kiss.
Put 'em in the oven until the kisses melt, about 5 minutes.
I didn't have an actual recipe, but that's what I did. (I didn't create this recipe either, not sure where we found it but it's a family favorite. Maybe one of my aunts...?)
When you take them out, immediately cover each kiss with an M & M and gently press down. (Don't mind my messy imperfect treats, or the lighting. I made these at night.) Cool completely, unless you're like me and love warm, melted chocolate!
eta: I know everyone doesn't always read comments, so I wanted to tell you to check out Jan's variation in the comment section. It sounds really good, too!
Too woebegone for my liking. ;) (I went back last night. The back of my head now looks shaved and the front is still long, and you can see my skin through a large section on the right side in the back.) My hair was botched. I'm sad about it. End of story. K. Now that I got that out of the way!
I'm looking forward to baking tarts (on Friday) and biscuits. I have a new recipe for biscuits that I'm going to try and I'm making the tarts with a cream cheese tart dough that I really like. I've just never used them on these particular tarts.
Speaking of food, have you been to Smitten Kitchen? Deb's recipes look delicious and her photography is amazing! I just discovered her thanks to (another great photographer) Elizabeth's mention of it on Facebook. I want to try everything on the site! I'm making the Pepita Brittle, only I'm going to try it with regular, roasted pumpkin seeds as I don't have actual pepitas.
We're getting another big storm! Right now they're saying 6 or more inches starting Saturday morning and heading into the night. eta: Weather girl here, now they're saying 7 - 10 5 - 8 inches from Saturday morning through Sunday morning. eoe.
What time is the program on Sunday, any locals seeing this? We didn't make it to practice last Sunday when it was a blizzard out there and I forget what time it's at.
Safe travels to anyone driving or flying to their Christmas destinations this weekend!
I try to teach our kids about the real meaning of Christmas and I don't overly encourage them to think about what they want or about Santa. We talk about Santa, I just don't talk about it constantly. I hand them the toy flyers 'just for fun'. They love looking at them, but I don't tell them to think about what they want for Christmas. Of course, they still say, "I want this, and this, and this and this!", all the while they're looking at them. I just remind them that we can't get everything we want.
When they tell me what they want, I always tell them that we'll see what Santa brings, that Christmas isn't all about the presents, and I assure them that even though they may not get exactly what they want, they're going to love it anyway. They still giggle and get all excited about it.
Nikayda's been asking for an American Girl Doll. I have no idea how she even knows about them. She must have seen one at a friend's house. I told her that Santa only makes so many and since she just told me, she probably won't get one because other girls probably already asked for them. And I reassured her that she's still going to love what she gets.
After one such discussion tonight, Abram told me in his fast talkin' voice, full of hope, "I want a 'mote control dirt bike. But I don't care what I get!"
I know some of the readers that I know in 'real life' (as opposed to my 'secret life') aren't bloggers and this question has come up a couple of times...
If you ever wish to comment, and don't have a blog or website, you can leave the 'Web Site URL' blank. You can comment by using your name and email. (I am the only one who can see your email.)
I love when you comment!! All of us bloggers do, so keep 'em coming! :)
eta: I believe the Ghost of Christmas Past is playing around with Typepad. I've had trouble commenting on other Typepad blogs lately, where it only gives me the option to type in my name and email address and not my URL. Not sure what's going on! But hopefully, the glitch will be corrected soon. :) In any case, the above that I mentioned applies at all times for Typepad.
My favorite Finnish Christmas treat is the delicious mini pastry we call the Prune Tart.
I am seeking out those I know in 'real life', or any Finnish readers that may be out there, for recipes. I know it's such a busy time, but all I need is your recipe for the filling. I know it's pretty basic and involves prunes, sugar, and water. I just don't have an actual recipe.
I have several dough recipes that I'm going to try but if you'd like, I'd love yours, too!
and in an effort to save a couple of bucks you went somewhere other than your favorite salon... (I know, big mistake, you say!)
only to find out it turned out to be one of the worst cuts you've ever had. (Not the style, the cut.)
And, you were overcharged
and didn't have enough nerve to ask 'why' when you paid... (I know, that one's my own fault! I ended up paying more than at my usual place. I just didn't have enough nerve, so, we're running on 'principle' here.)
And, when you called back to talk to a manager about having it corrected
so you can feel happy about your new style...
and you found out it was the manager who cut it...
so you played all nice over the phone, so as not to hurt her feelings, and just asked about getting the top fixed up a bit, even though you don't want her anywhere near your hair again... (It really is bad.)
and she told you the hours she'll be working so you can go back in to have her fix it...