December 24, 2012

Merry Christmas, fuckers.

I wonder if there will ever be a holiday that I wake up feeling great. Having the day off work, and therefore an entire night to dedicate to fireball, prevents this from ever happening. It's rude.

I have just accepted it as a part of life, a tradition if you will.

Are you judging me in your head right now? I have other traditions too! My little brother used to come sleep in my bed on Christmas Eve every year. Excitement would usually wake us up around 5 in the morning and would prompt us to talk in hushed voices about what we thought Santa brought us. For him, usually a gameboy or nintendo. For me, generally peace on earth. Jk. I always wanted barbies. This ritual died a few years ago when he got a girlfriend and told me he was scared he was going to start spooning me on accident in the middle of the night, thinking I was her. He is a terrible sleeper anyway. He sweats a lot and flails his legs about. But he is also obsessed with taking pictures of bugs on flowers and used to have a belt when he was younger that he thought made him run faster, so I think it's safe to say he is a really rad human.

One not-so-cool thing about him is that he couldn't care less about baked goods. So while I'm shoveling my face with almond toffee crunch cookies, he's generally sitting there. Not eating any.

Almond Toffee Crunch Cookies
Adapted from AllRecipes 

35 saltines
1 cup butter
1 cup light brown sugar
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1 1/2 cup milk chocolate chips
1 cup blanched slivered almonds

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cover a sided cookie sheet with aluminum foil and line crackers on foil.
2. Combine butter and brown sugar in a saucepan. Stirring constantly, bring to a boil for 3 minutes. Pour over crackers completely.
3. Bake for 5 to 6 minutes. Remove cookie sheet from oven, place it on oven door and sprinkle chocolate chips over baked crackers. When chocolate get soft, spread over crackers with back of spoon.
4. Sprinkle almonds on melted chocolate. Place in refrigerator for at least 8 hours. Break into cookie-size pieces.

It took me a while to think about what to call these things. They are like toffee, and cracker, and cookie, and candy combined into one. So basically I could call them HEAVEN but instead we will call them almond toffee crunch cookies.

Put them in an old tea tin and give them as a gift. Oh you actually have money to spend on presents? Nevermind.

December 7, 2012

Real talk.

Let's talk about things I'm bad at.

I'm really bad at losing. I'm a terrible sport and it's best not to be anywhere near me when I'm losing at Scrabble, blackjack, or Mario Kart. I made a scene when my team lost the beer olympics at our most recent cabin trip, but I'm almost positive the other team was cheating. Omg see? I can't even control myself.

I'm bad at being on time pretty much anywhere. Tell me to be to your place by 6:00 and I'll be there by 6:30. Tell me to be there by 5:30 because you know me and I'll be there at 6:30. I know, it doesn't even make sense. I've been this way forever and it's not because I view my time as more valuable than yours, it's just because I'm wired this way. Yeah that's it, I'm blaming it on genetics.

I'm terrible at blogging frequently. How do others do it? And does their strategy involve cocaine or maybe crack?

I'm bad at trivia. Really incredibly bad at trivia. I don't think of myself as a dumb individual but I do when I attend trivia night. I contribute absolutely nothing to the group except maybe help with the team name at the start. Boy does that activity do a number on my ego. Then I go home and watch Jersey Shore and feel smart again.

And because it's only fair, now let's talk about things I'm good at.

I'm really good at singing in the car. Holy shit I sound so good! If anyone heard me singing I imagine they would say something like, have you auditioned for American Idol yet? My harmonizing is top notch. No but really, why does my voice sound so much better in the car? Please don't ever ask me to sing, because I'm actually terrible.

I'm so weirdly good at parallel parking. Not so good at driving in general.

I'm good at making Christmas lists for myself because I'm a huge brat. These lists take a lot of time and are very detailed and some say I ruin the surprise. I say I win at the game of Christmas. I'm also good at pretending these lists are the most important things to ever grace my parent's inbox. IT'S THE DAY YOU'VE BEEN WAITING FOR! was the subject of my Christmas list email this year. My mom thought I was super jazzed about election day because I sent it November 6. Nope, we have much more pressing topics to address here, mother. 

I am really good at eating really fast. By the time my parents are finishing their salads I'm already eyeing dessert. This particular point probably could have been placed in the bad category because some would say perhaps I don't savor my food but I prefer to view it as a positive. You know, in case I ever find myself in the middle of an eating competition.

I'm good at making this dessert. Partly because I've made it so many times and partly because it's crazy simple. 

This is one of those recipes that when you have people coming over and you're like oh em gee what should I give these people to eat?, you make these raspberry bars. They are quick, obviously delicious, and are best served alongside ice cream. Forget actual nourishment, just feed them these. Ok maybe you should make them dinner too. Top ramen?

Raspberry Streusel Bars

1 1/4 cup quick oats, uncooked
1 1/4 cup flour
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
1 tsp. baking baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1 1/4 sticks butter, melted
1 C. raspberry preserves
3/4 C. white chocolate chips, divided
1/4 to 1/2 C. toasted chopped almonds

Preheat oven to 350F.

Combine oats, flour, brown sugar, baking powder and salt in bowl. Melt butter in microwave in a large bowl. Add oat mixture to butter and combine with fork until mixed and crumbly. Set aside 1 cup crumb mixture.

Press remaining crumb mix onto bottom of an 8-inch square pan sprayed lightly with cooking spray. Bake 10 minutes. Spread raspberry jam evenly over baked crust to within 1/4 inch of edges.  Sprinkle 1/2 cup white chocolate chips.

Combine reserved crumb mixture, remaining 1/4-cup white chocolate chips and chopped almonds. Sprinkle over fruit mixture, pressing lightly into fruit. Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until golden brown. Cool completely on wire rack (this takes a while before it's solid enough to cut without making a huge mess, usually a couple hours). Cut into squares to serve.