Our most important tradition over the holidays

There are a lot of holiday traditions that my family observes and I know the same is true for you. But I want to tell you about one that has come to have a lasting impact on our family and our kids.

For the past three years we’ve gathered together to do a little soul searching and goal setting. We choose a day between Christmas and New Year that works for all of us. I make a big pot of soup and we share some special chocolate candy, but the main focus is working through a mini-course called 5 Days to Your Best Year Ever.  We crash-course it in just an afternoon, even though it’s designed for five days.

This year marks our fourth time to do the course together and I’m looking forward to it. But it’s not just me looking forward to it, even the older kids have started anticipating this.

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That’s my family in that photo. Well, the kids anyway. As you can see, our family has grown up and we’ve got teens and young adults now. Parenting older kids and launching young adults into the world is not for the faint of heart!

And that’s a huge reason why I really love doing 5 Days to Your Best Year Ever with them. It gives us a way to teach them how to think through all the important life decisions that they’re dealing with at this point in their lives. As situations come up throughout the year, we’re able to point them back to what we learned in the course and to the goals they set.

This is not about setting resolutions.  It’s about getting clear on where you are, where you want to go and how you’re going to get there.  And it’s not just for families.  It’s designed more as a solo activity.   I bought it the first year thinking I would do it by myself, but I decided to ask Jim and our oldest daughter to join me.  She was 21 years old at the time and engaged to be married.

We got so much out of the course, that I bought it the next year and the next.  I just hit purchase again for the fourth time.

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If you’re looking for 2017 to be your best year ever, if you need a fresh start in life,  or if you’re looking for a way to help your teens and young adult kids to also have their best year ever, I highly recommend this course.  You will not regret it!

Early bird pricing is going on now through Thursday December 8.  The cart closes on December 15.

If you have questions about it, please let me know, but you’ll find fantastic info on this page.

I set several goals for myself last year.  One of those was a travel goal.  In July, Jim and I cashed in the frequent flyer miles we’d been saving and took off for Paris.  I anticipate that this year’s goals will be closer to home, but I treasure the memories we made on that trip.

Paris us in front of love wall

No matter how you set goals and think through the coming year, I wish you an amazing 2017!

This post contains affiliate links. I only share things I love.

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What to Cook When You Work a 12 Hour Shift

If you have a job that keeps you working for 12-hour shifts, it’s a sure bet that by the time you get home you. are. done. Cooking dinner sounds exhausting after being gone all day!

What you’d really like at that point is for someone to set a plate of delicious food in front of you.  Big, big bonus if they’d take care of the dishes too.

I know this is the situation many of you find yourselves in.  (The 12-hour shift, not the personal cook part.)  So how do you get dinner on the table and not exhaust yourself doing it?  Here are a few ideas for you.

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Go long or go short.

There are two strategies you can follow here.

Long cooking time – meaning a slow cooker recipe that can handle being in the crockpot for 12-14 hours, depending on your commute and whether anyone else can start the slow cooker in the morning.

Short cooking time – dinners that can be on the table in 15 minutes or less.

I’ve rounded up recipes that will fit both categories and listed them below.  But before we get to the recipes, here are a few other tips to keep things simple:

  • Use crockpot liners to keep clean up quick and easy.
  • Consider doing a little prep on weekends – brown out meats and freeze, cook chicken (or use rotisserie chicken) and freeze, chop veggies or use pre-cut veggies. You could even prep some freezer friendly meals to make it easier, as well!
  • Have a plan and check it as part of your evening routine so you know whether you need to load the crockpot before leaving for work the next day. Or line up someone else to start the crockpot.
  • Set out any ingredients that don’t require refrigeration, so the crockpot loading goes quickly in the morning.

Long – Slow Cooker Recipes

Not all slow cooker recipes can handle a long cooking time.  Here’s a list of recipes that can take the heat.

22 Slow Cooker Recipes that can cook all day

Short – 15 Minute Meals

I love a good 15-minute meal!  Grab a rotisserie chicken or frozen meatballs (you can prep homemade versions of these and freeze them) and you’re set for a quick dinner.

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Mexican Beans and Rice

Creamy Chicken Florentine Quesadillas

Creamy Chicken Florentine Quesadillas

15 minute Sausage and Corn Quesadillas with Azteca tortillas

Sausage and Corn Quesadillas

15 Minute Chicken Fiesta Skillet

15 Minute Chicken Fiesta Skillet

Chicken Tortellini with Kale 15 minute meal

15 Minute Chicken, Kale and Tortellini Bowls

Italian Sausage Sloppy Joes

Italian Sausage or Pizza Sloppy Joes

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3 Things That Work in the Kitchen This Week – Plus What I’ve Been Reading

3 Things that work in the kitchen

1.  Kids cooked and I had McD’s

Yes, it’s true.  Jim was gone all week for work.  Mia had an out of town volleyball game on Tuesday night, so she and I ran through the drive through on the way home.  Meanwhile, Peter, Isaac and Peter’s girlfriend made chicken fried rice and potstickers at home.  Their dinner sounded a lot better than what Mia and I had.

Also, I’m not great at eating in the car while driving in the dark.  Ketchup covered onions were falling out of my burger, creating a laundry situation.

The next night we made breakfast for dinner to keep it easy and avoid eating out.  It was so much better than the drive through!

2.  Grocery shopping in the actual store

I’d been ordering groceries online for weeks.  I started at some point during soccer season and just kept it up.  This week I decided that it was time for me to actually walk myself through the store and do my own shopping.

I printed off the Slow Cooker Plan for this week and hit the grocery.  I want to try using the Instant Pot a lot and the slow cooker plan is perfect for that.

3.  Instant Pot Roast

One of the things on the list was a roast.  I decided to cheat a little bit and I bought a Tyson roast that comes with the vegetables.  I never use the seasoning packets in these, but the meat and veggies are so convenient.

Mia had another volleyball game Thursday evening.  Jim was still out of town, but I decided to pop the roast and veggies in the Instant Pot when I got home from the grocery.  I set it for 45 minutes, but the total time it took was one hour.  The roast was perfectly cooked. The vegetables were pretty soft, but not bad.  I whipped up a quick gravy using the broth that I’d added to the roast.

What I’ve Been Reading

I decided that Jim and I should read a book together and then discuss it.  He doesn’t read much for pleasure, but he agreed to do it for me.  I chose Station Eleven as the book.  It sounded like something he might like, even though the description didn’t sound like my normal reading picks.

We both loved Station Eleven!  It was an easy and quick read that kept us wanting to turn the page.  I highly recommend this book.  The story and themes stick with you and it’s perfect for discussing.

For our next book I chose Hillbilly Elegy.  Because Jim works in quite a few Appalachian states, he’d heard a number of colleagues mention this book.  I finished it several weeks ago, but Jim is still working on it.  It’s a really good picture of a segment of America that rarely gets talked about.  Most of the story takes place in a part of Ohio that we’re familiar with, and that combined with the parts set in Kentucky made it very relatable.

Currently I’m reading the first Harry Potter book.  I’ve never read this series or seen the movies, but it gets referenced so much I decided I should give it a try.  I’m enjoying it, but I don’t know that I’ll keep reading through the rest of the series.  It hasn’t captured my attention enough to make me want to read a whole series.

I’d love to hear what you’re reading and what’s working in your kitchen!

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Peppermint Candy Cane Dessert Round Up

When it comes to Christmas, one of the most iconic treats I can think of is the candy cane. But candy canes aren’t just beautiful, festive treats for hanging on trees and munching on while opening stockings or gifts. They make absolutely wonderful additions to so many fun and festive winter time treats.

 

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Chocolate and peppermint are a classic holiday combination and I am definitely a fan. The peppermint adds a little kick to the chocolate, and I have to say it makes a phenomenally festive flair when you use candy canes to decorate your desserts.

If you are putting together treat boxes or trays for your family and friends, you’ll have to try out the fudge and the peppermint bark. Both are easy to make, and so cheerful! The cookies are great for mixing up with the kids, and the marshmallows are absolutely perfect for settling into a cup of hot cocoa with some whipped cream.

Don’t forget to turn on some Christmas lights and some music and take some time to be merry! Happy holidays!

Seven Delightful Candy Cane Inspired Treats

  1. Candy Cane Fudge

    Candy Cane Fudge

  2. Candy Cane Ice Cream Sandwich Cake

    Candy Cane Ice Cream Sandwich Cake plated

  3. Candy Cane Chocolate Crinkle Cookies

    candy cane chocolate crinkle cookies plated

  4. Double Chocolate Cake Bars with Peppermint Frosting

    double chocolate cake bars with peppermint frosting

  5. Peppermint Marshmallows

    peppermint marshmallows done

  6. Peppermint Bark

    peppermint bark done

  7. Homemade Peppermint Patties

    peppermint patties done half

Do you have a favorite dessert that features candy canes or peppermint? I’d absolutely love to hear your recipes and try some new festive treats out!

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I know there’s a lot of indulging in treats at this time of year, but by January we’ll all be ready to reign it in a bit.  I’ve got you covered!  Look for more information soon on the Healthy Kickstart Meal Plans.  You’re year will get off to a great start and dinner will still be easy with these meal plans and recipes.  More info coming soon!

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3 Things That Work in the Kitchen – Plus a fun fashion deal

3 Things that work in the kitchen

Last week I went to Indiana to be with my parents while my dad had surgery.  Everything went really well and we’re very grateful.  I drove back home on Wednesday, then Thursday we went to Ohio to spend Thanksgiving with Jim’s family.  On Friday I did nothing and went no where.  It was lovely!

1.  Turning Old Fashioned Oats into Quick Oats

Oat recipes

I made a batch of No Bake Cookies on Friday night, because we needed something to munch while watching Gilmore Girls. (I have so many thoughts on this!  See below, but beware of spoilers.)

Unfortunately I only had about 1 cup of quick oats and a whole container of old fashioned oats.  A quick run through the blender solved that problem.  Quick oats are just chopped old fashioned oats.

The photo above is from an old blog series I used to do called Ingredient Spotlight.  Do any of you remember that?  We would highlight a different ingredient each week and link up recipes to share.  There are a few oat recipes linked on that post, although the tech piece I used for everyone to link up isn’t showing on the post anymore, you can still get to those recipes via a small link at the bottom.

2.  Chicken Tenders from Frozen Sheet Pan Dinner

I took no photos of this trick, but I’ll be making it again and I’ll do a full blog post.  It turns out that you can do frozen chicken tenders as part of a sheet pan dinner and it works great!  I put the tenders in the oven while I prepped the veggies.  When I added the vegetables to the pan, I also sprinkled seasoning mix on the chicken.  It had thawed by then and was just beginning to cook.

The whole process took about 30 minutes and it turned out great!  I can’t wait to share this one with you, complete with photos and all.

3.  Saturday Morning Waffle Party

This low key party was hosted by our youngest son.  He decided on Friday night to make waffles the next morning.  The party started at 10:30am and we attended in our pajamas.  It was just the people who live in this house, but it was a fun way to start the day.

We followed that up by decorating for Christmas and ended the day with homemade soup, card games and more Gilmore Girls.  (See my thoughts on GG at the bottom of this post – but there may be spoilers!)

Great deal on Style Challenges for 2017!

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I’ve been doing these Style Challenges for several years now.  Last year I bought the annual membership and I just purchase it again for 2017.

I love these challenges for three reasons:

You get a list of clothes, a shopping list and outfits to make from the items.  It’s like ingredients, grocery list and recipes only for clothes.  The list is fantastic because I know exactly what to look for when I shop.  I’m not a great shopper, but having the list makes all the difference.

It’s a great way to try trends and to find my own “uniform” for a season.  I love having a go-to outfit that I don’t have to think about, but I sometimes have trouble finding that formula.  These style challenges make that easy for me.  On the other hand, they also help me step out of my comfort zone a bit and try new trends.  Since doing these challenges I always have something in the closet I can wear.  I don’t own more clothes, but the clothes I have work better.

The private Facebook group is fantastic!  It’s one of the most supportive and fun places on the internet.  Women share their takes on the daily outfits during the challenges.  They also share where they’re finding different items on the shopping list.

Today is the last day to get the Annual Style Challenge Membership at the sale price of $20 off, but the Annual membership is open for enrollment through February 28.  Click here to find out more and sign up.

Thoughts on Gilmore Girls

Have you watched the new episodes on Netflix yet?  *some spoilers ahead*

Overall, I thought it was a fun series to watch.  My oldest daughter and I watched together.  We did a lot of googling to find out the age of various actors.

Kirk is the best.  Also he has the cutest pet pig ever!

The Stars Hollow Musical – why????

Rory is 32 years old, yet she acts like a teenager.  Actually, no.  She behaved better as a teenager.  At 32 she seemed less motivated and intentional with her life than she was at 16.  What is up with that?

There wasn’t enough Jess.  Logan is the jerk I always thought he was.  I was happy to see that Dean pulled himself together.

I’ve always like Emily Gilmore, despite her spiteful attitude.  I loved how she grew and changed in these new episodes.

The ending – ugh.  At the same time I do believe that’s an appropriate ending.  Things have come full circle.

If you watched, what did you think?

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10 Food Related Stocking Stuffers That Anyone Will Love

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I usually save the stocking stuffer shopping till near the end of my Christmas shopping.  And since I haven’t even started yet, it may be a while before I get to the stocking stuffers.  In case you’re further ahead and more organized than I am, I wanted to get these ideas up sooner.  These are things that I’ve either purchased in the past or have on my list for this year.  I hope you’ll find some inspiration here for the people on your list.

1.  Insulated Travel Mug

 

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Everyone can use a travel mug.  Even if you don’t plan to actually travel with it.  This one is insulated stainless steel and will keep your drink hot for 5 hours or cold for 10 hours.  Perfect if you tend to sip on coffee or tea at your desk all morning or for taxiing kids to and fro.

2. Microwave Popcorn Packets

We don’t keep microwave popcorn on hand, so it’s always a treat when my kids find some in their stockings.  This is also great for any college students you have on your list.

3.  Popcorn salt/seasonings

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Popcorn seasonings are available in grocery stores in several different flavors.  A container of White Cheddar or Kettle Corn will work for most people and I’ve seen both of those in stores.  But if you have a true popcorn lover, you might consider this 12 pack.  There are some flavors in here that I know my husband would love to find in his stocking!

4.  Milk Frother

 

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This little milk frother gadget is really fun to use.  A quick spin with this makes your hot cocoa creamier and more delicious.  You can also use it to froth hot milk or cream for your coffee.  It does a great job and even kids can use it.  If you have someone on your list who loves hot cocoa or coffee, this will make them very happy!  Bonus: it’s not expensive at all.

5. Hot Cocoa or other hot drink packets

I love that I can pick these up at the last minute in the grocery store.  Most stores offer specialty packets of cocoa in interesting flavors.  You can also buy teas, hot cider mixes, cappuccino and other hot drinks.  Inexpensive and always welcome!

6. Orange peelers

 

 

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Orange peelers go with that classic “orange in the toe of the stocking”.  I love that this set comes with several.  Split up the set and give to several people.  These are really inexpensive, especially if you get four gifts out of them.

7.  Stainless Steel Straws

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I bought these stainless steel straws last year or the year before.  We’ve used them every morning in our green smoothies since then.  The kids also use them for juice, chocolate milk, water, the occasional milkshake and more.  These are so, so much better than plastic straws.  They’re inexpensive and you can split up the pack for multiple stockings.

8.  Insulated Water Bottles

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Back in March I bought three insulated water bottles.  Our water bottle situation had gotten dire and I was tired of bottles that either sweat or didn’t stay cold.  These were a great purchase!  Someone is always using these.  My only regret is that ours are all black.  I’m a huge fan of color-coding things in a family.  Assign each person their own color and you know who didn’t wash theirs, who left it in the car and which one is yours so you aren’t drinking after someone else.  These bottles come in six colors and two sizes.

9.  Soda/Pop/Cokes in glass bottles

My kids love a treat of some type of soda in a glass bottle.  (We actually call all soda or pop “coke”.)  You can find several different varieties in the Mexican food aisle.  Jarritos are a big favorite of my kids.  This isn’t something we buy often, since we usually drink water with meals, so it feels special as a stocking stuffer.

10.  Salad dressing bottle for packed lunches

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I admit that this last one won’t be exciting to everyone on your list, but if you have someone who often packs a lunch and likes to take salad or dressing for dipping, they will love this.  It’s leak proof, small and perfect for dressings.  These come in a two pack, so you can split it up or give both.  This might make an original, useful and inexpensive gift for a coworker too.

 

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30 Recipes for Leftover Turkey (or Rotisserie Chicken)

I hope you’re lucky enough to have a lot of leftover turkey meat after Thanksgiving dinner.  Having cooked turkey (or chicken) in the freezer is one of my biggest time-savers.  There’s no end to what you can do with it!

In fact, if you’re not cooking the turkey for Thanksgiving, you still might want to take advantage of the sale prices and buy one to cook just to have the meat in the freezer.  You won’t regret it!  A quick thaw in the microwave and the turkey is ready to use in a recipe.  You can substitute turkey for chicken in most any recipe.  I have thirty possibilities that my family enjoys for you right here in this post!

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Quick White Chicken Chili

Quick White Chicken (Or Turkey) Chili

Quick and Easy Skillet Chicken Jambalaya

15 Minute Skillet Chicken (or Turkey) Jambalaya

fiestachickenskillet

15 Minute Chicken (or Turkey) Fiesta Skillet

Creamy Chicken Florentine Quesadillas

Creamy Chicken (or Turkey) Florentine Quesadillas

Brie, bacon and chicken baked potatoes

Brie, Bacon and Chicken (or Turkey) Stuffed Baked Potatoes

Tomato Pesto Chicken Quesadillas with Alfredo Dipping Sauce

Tomato, Pesto Chicken (or Turkey) Quesadillas

quick-chicken-and-vegetable-super-grain-bowls

Quick and Easy Chicken (or Turkey) and Vegetable Super Grain Bowls

3 Costco Rotisserie Chickens yield 5-6 meals. 13 possible recipes

13 Recipes for Rotisserie Chicken or Leftover Turkey

10 Recipes to Use Costco Rotisserie Chicken

10 More Recipes for Rotisserie Chicken or Leftover Turkey

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3 Things That Work in the Kitchen This Week – Simple and Easy!

3 Things that work in the kitchen

1.  Calico Bean Soup in the Instant Pot (Pressure Cooker) – much faster!

Calico Bean Soup was on the menu this week, but instead of putting it in the slow cooker, I decided to try it in the Instant Pot.  It worked great and was much faster than cooking beans any other way.

Let me clarify that by saying, beans – at least certain types of beans – cooked from dry are never going to be fast food.  However it took about an hour total to make the soup.  I set the cook time for 40 minutes, but I think another 5-10 minutes would have been even better.  A few of the beans weren’t as tender as I’d like.  Including the time it took to reach pressure, the whole process took about an hour.

I followed the slow cooker recipe pretty closely, although I used diced ham instead of smoked sausage.  I also didn’t add the extra water until after the pressure cooking was done.  When cooking beans, you should only fill the pressure cooker half full, so I only used the chicken broth as the liquid for that part of the cooking.

I also used my Cuisinart pressure cooker to make brown rice to go with the soup.  It’s not any faster to make brown rice in a pressure cooker, but it turns out better than on the stove.

I meant to take photos of the soup so that I could update the very old, very bad photos on the recipe post, but I forgot to do it.

2.  Car picnic for a volleyball game

We had to go to Cincinnati on Tuesday night for a volleyball game for Mia.  Instead of stopping for dinner somewhere, I packed egg salad sandwiches, carrot and celery sticks, potato chips and peanut butter cookies (those were store-bought).  I have to say, this was my favorite meal all week.  Is that weird?

3.  BBQ Chicken Nachos

15 Minute BBQ Chicken Nachos

Fifteen minute meal to the rescue!  If you’re thinking ahead to leftover turkey, keep BBQ Chicken Nachos in mind.  Also, I’ll have 30 Leftover Turkey recipe possibilities for you tomorrow!

What’s working in your kitchen this week?

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Peanut Brittle Chex Mix – and a life lesson

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A few days ago the idea for Peanut Brittle Chex Mix popped into my mind and wouldn’t let go.  I love peanut brittle, but it can be hard to eat sometimes.  And I love Chex mix of all kinds.  Combining these two snack treats seemed the best of both worlds.

If you’re looking for a snack to share with family and friends over Thanksgiving, Christmas or New Year’s, this is the one!  We cannot stay out of it.  It’s that good!

You know how you can get started with a project that you thought was such a great idea, but then in the middle you really being to wonder?  That’s what happened with this recipe.  I nearly threw it all in the trash as a big flop, but I’m so glad I didn’t!  Here’s how it all came together.

The first thing I did was search for a peanut brittle recipe.  I found this one on Betty Crocker.  I wasn’t sure that I’d be able to stir the Chex cereal into the hot brittle.  I contemplated making toffee instead of the brittle recipe, but decided to go for it.

I made the peanut brittle according to the recipe, then tried to stir the peanuts and cereal into it.  Not easy!  It also wasn’t possible to spread it into one layer on the cookie sheet.  Instead it just clumped together.

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You can see in the photo above that the brittle started to harden right away.  Strands of sugar formed and pulled thin, scattered web like around the clumps.  It was at this point that I really thought I’d wasted the ingredients.  We nibbled on it while it was still warm and although it tasted good, it wasn’t great.

But a few hours later, my son came in from work and started pulling off bites.  He made me come into the kitchen to taste it again when I explained that it was a flop.  “Mom, this is not a flop.  This stuff is good!”  He was right.  It tasted much better than it had earlier.

The next morning I found him in the kitchen eating more of it.  He declared it even better than the night before and he was right again.  I put it all in a ziplock bag and broke it up with the end of a butter knife, creating small clusters of peanuts, Chex cereal and brittle candy.

It still isn’t beautiful, but it’s so good that we can’t stay out of it.  It has all the flavor of peanut brittle, but with an extra crunch from the Chex that makes it easier to eat.

Success!

Like so many things in life, if you only look at the middle of the process it looks like a failure.  To get to the goal, to make it succeed, you have to keep working with it, give it time and refuse to quit.  I have a project right now that feels like I’m lost in the messy, sticky clumped up ball of ingredients.  It’s hard to see a way out to the end product, but I’m sticking with it.  I bet you have a project like that going on right now too.  Don’t give up!

Here’s what you’ll need to make Peanut Brittle Chex Mix:

 

peanut-brittle-chex-mix-ingredients

Peanut Brittle Chex Mix
Ingredients
  • 1½ tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. water
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1½ cups sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup corn syrup
  • 3 Tbs. butter
  • 16 oz lightly salted, dry roasted peanuts
  • 4 cups rice chex cereal
Instructions
  1. Stir baking soda, water and vanilla together in a small bowl. Set aside.
  2. Butter two cookie sheets and a large metal or other heat proof bowl. Place these items in the oven at 200 degrees to keep them warm.
  3. Combine sugar, water and corn syrup in a 3 quart sauce pan. Place a candy thermometer in the pan. Cook over medium heat until the temperature reaches 240 degrees on the thermometer.
  4. Remove the pans and bowl from the oven. Pour chex and peanuts into the bowl.
  5. Stir the butter into the candy when it reaches 240 degrees and continue to cook, stirring constantly until the temperature reaches 300 degrees.
  6. Remove candy from heat and stir in the baking soda mixture. At this point the candy will foam.
  7. Pour candy over the cereal and peanuts, stirring to try to coat everything with the candy. Work quickly and pour it all onto the warm cookie sheets. Press it out as best you can onto the pans.
  8. Allow to cool completely.
  9. Place in plastic zip bags and break by hitting with a butter knife.

 

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3 Things That Work in the Kitchen – Comfort Food Edition

3 Things that work in the kitchen

The weather is getting cooler.  The days are getting shorter.  It’s time to snuggle in with some comfort food.

1.  Pumpkin Bread

I used a recipe from an old church cookbook to make pumpkin bread this week.  The recipe called for baking the bread in four one pound coffee cans.  My mother-in-law always makes her pumpkin bread in coffee cans, but those are a bit hard to come by now.

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In turns out that three smallish bread pans equals four coffee cans.

In other news, I’m not at all sure what’s splattered on this cookbook page, but I think stains and splatters are a badge of honor for a cookbook.  It means the book has been brought to life by actually using the recipes and sharing the results with loved ones.

2.  Facebook Live video – Making Pressure Cooker Mac & Cheese

I got out my Instant Pot, set up the camera and made mac & cheese using my favorite recipe.   I’m still getting used to the Instant Pot and to Facebook Live, but it was a lot of fun and the macaroni and cheese turned out great!

3.  Baking makes me feel like I have all the time in the world.

If I need a little stress relief, I bake.  The act of doing something with my hands, that involves all the senses is very calming to me.  There’s something about an afternoon baking session that makes time slow down.  I feel like I’ve got all the time in the world and I can just breathe.

It’s a similar feeling to the one I get when I step off the boardwalk onto the beach.  Padding my way in the sand with the sea breeze blowing and sun shining, I feel like all the stress just drops away.  Baking isn’t quite that effective, but it’s close.  It’s also a lot more accessible.

What about you?  Does baking make you feel like that?


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