Happy New Year’s Eve!
So long, farewell, auf Wiedersehen, good night, 2012. Let’s be honest… this isn’t a good-bye forever…I will continue to write you on checks and various other papers until at least February. I mean, just last week, I wrote 2010 on a receipt at the car repair shop, so I am guessing I will see you again around 2016 or so, when I am signing an oh-so-important document and I will try my darndest to turn a 2 into a 6…which never works as well as if it were a 5 or a 1…
Any big plans for NYE? Going out on the town, dressed to the nines, dinner and dancing, champagne toasts, and a midnight kiss? Or is it a night in with the kiddos with party hats and streamers and those noise maker thingys, which always seem like a good idea while you are standing in the middle of Target on a Wednesday afternoon, but when it is 12:30am on 01-01-insert year, and that sleep deprived child is still running around like a maniac blowing fiercely into a once-upon-a-time- good idea noise maker. And it may not be a small child running around, but perhaps a grown adult. And she might be me. If you invite me to your party…don’t le me near the noise makers. I have an affinity towards them. It is a once a year love affair. Suppose I will ever grow up? Ha!
I was going to make a champagne cocktail to ring in 2013….buutttttt, as of late, all I have had on the brain, booze wise, is bourbon and ginger ale…Don’t get me wrong, it’s worthy of an entire blog post, and maybe some day it will shine in all its glory…but not today and not on New Year’s Eve. NYE calls for champagne. And why make a cocktail out of champagne…the bubbly is rockin’ all on its own. Instead of anything fizzy or spritzy or liquor infused…I whipped together a batch of blondie brownies.
Peanut Brittle Blondies…nutty, butterscotchy, chewy, and caramelly….Plus, you get to use up that random tin of peanut brittle that your Great Aunt Lucy hands out at Christmas each and every year….or if you are like me, you have a bit left over since you made 3 batches trying to replicate a friends family recipe…either way, two birds, one stone.
Butter melting over medium heat…pay close attention. Please do not become distracted. It will turn fast!
Browned butter! Smells so nutty and almost caramel-like. Transfer to another bowl, and let cool…and go collect your other ingredients.
Besides browned butter…you are going to need brown sugar, flour, salt, baking powder and soda, egg, vanilla, and of course peanut brittle.
Browned butter and brown sugar are mixed
An egg and vanilla are added..
Next goes the flour…
And mix JUST until combined …
Peanut brittle needs to be folded in and sprinkled atop…and bake.
I hope you have a great New Years and that 2013 be filled with great joy, many laughs, good friends and family, and much happiness. Cheers!
- 1 Cup All-Purpose Flour
- ½ Teaspoon Baking Powder
- ¼ Teaspoon Baking Soda
- ¼ Teaspoon Salt
- 1 Stick Butter, browned and slightly cooled
- 1 Cup Light Brown Sugar, packed
- 1 Egg
- 1 Teaspoon Vanilla
- 1 Cup Peanut Brittle, roughly chopped
- Preheat oven to 350F. Line a 8×8 baking dish with tinfoil or parchment paper, leaving a little bit hanging over the edges for easy removal later.
- In a small saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Continue cooking, swirling occasionally, until brown bits appear on the bottom of the pan and it begins to smell nutty (be patient!). Remove from heat and transfer to a bowl and let cool.
- In a small bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, blend together, with a wooden spoon, browned butter and brown sugar. Stir in egg and vanilla, mix until combined.
- Stir in flour just until combined.
- Fold in ¾ Cup of chopped peanut brittle.
- Spread batter into prepared pan and top with remaining ¼ cup of peanut brittle.
- Bake in preheated oven for 25 to 30 minutes until top is golden brown and the center is just set. These are better if they are underbaked vs. overbaked.
- Remove from oven and let cool.
What a whirlwind of a few days. Am I right? Holidays always leave me feeling like I just ran 20 million 100m sprints and all I can do is stand with my hands on my knees gasping for breath…when I know that if I stand with my hands behind my head, that air will come easier, but the energy to stand up straight is just too much.
And let us not forget the coughing and sputtering. I am not a pretty sight after sprints. But who is?
But I/us/we do it every year, because if I found myself well rested and 100% relaxed this time of year, something would be wrong. Like, world has ended and I am the only one left to fight the zombies, wrong….which, Dear Mayans…what a huge let down, not even a slight flash in the sky or gentle rumble under foot. Not that I wanted anything to happen…but a little something non scary or life-threatening would have been OK.
Anywhooo…The holidays are supposed to be hectic and crazy and whirlwindish. Full to the brim with parties and shopping and friends and family and baking and gift giving and hall decking and traveling…. all things that kinda sorta leave ya breathless. And immensly happy. And full. From love and one too many cookies…both of which I am not complaining about. At all. Ever. Never.Read More
This post comes to you because I am out shopping…for Christmas, which always turns into Christmas for Mallory, from Mallory. Why must everything I want be 40% off? A gift for my brother, a scarf and a belt for myself. Legos for my niece and nephew, silly putty for yours truly. Pajamas for grandma…those shoes are awful cute. This happens. Every year. I need horse blinders. And Sephora….why are you so alluring? I don’t even know what to do with 88.97% of what you sell. But I need it. And if I purchase one more coral colored lipstick from you, I think I will have a complete set. You didn’t even know you sold sets of coral colored lipstick, did you?
But while I am out power walking the mall, I figured I would leave you with a bit of Christmas fantastic-ness.
P.S. Next year, I am willing to do someone’s baking if someone would do my shopping…I am kinda only joking. But not joking at all.
1. I need to make this, like stat. Katie…you might have out done yourself!
2. Candy cane infused vodka, anyone?
3. Sick of pictures of “the elf on the shelf” plastered all over pinterest, facebook, twitter, etc…? Yeah, me too…but this one is funny. Elves are a**holes. (warning, the link contains adult language)
4. I wanted to make truffles for Christmas, but I have run out of time. Perhaps New Year’s truffles?
5. Christmas morning and cinnamon rolls go hand in hand. Wanna step it up a notch this year? Pioneer woman has you covered.
7. Dear Santa, I want/need a jar of this. Love and pretty please, Mallory.
8. Want to eat your egg nog this year? I like your style.
9. Does any kid like Santa or just the idea of him? Poor Huck.
10. Snowflake guide. Yeah, some of us need step by step direction.
11. I can’t get this movie out of my mind this year. I had such a crush on him when I was 7. Or was I 8?
12. Traveling? Help pass the time with these two ladies…they will have you literally LOLing. LLOL? I don’t know.
13. This is my kind of flash mob…I am such a Christmas dork.
I had a goal this weekend of finishing my Christmas shopping, but instead I spent it with friends…which was way way way better. I probably would have taken any invitation to do or go anywhere…anything to keep me away from the mall and the horrid Christmas crowds.
Saturday I went to an old factory in Lakewood …Today it is referred to as The Screw Factory but its original purpose was to house the production of automobiles and did so from 1918 to 1924. It is one of those 3 or 4 story brick buildings with a million glass windows…a nearly century old brick building that looks worn out form time and abandoned by life. The floors are wooden and scarred and bruised. I noticed the floors and fell in love with them….just plain ole worn out, it just gets me. And the windows….so much glass, covered with dust and time. Windows that allow fantastic filtered natural light to stream into each art studio…which is what the old factory now contains. Individual art studios fill the empty space, giving it a new purpose. Breathing life into old.
It is also a space to hold a one day only event where local craftsmen/women are able to come and present and sell their goods/art/jewelry/jam….
Last Minute Market. Have you ever shopped on Etsy? I am sure you have…Last Minute Market was like a pop-up Etsy shop. It was awesome, seeing how I spend a lot of my time searching the pages of Etsy for unique jewelry, handbags, and art…this was just the place for me. While I didn’t buy anything, mainly because I couldn’t decide on which copper/turquoise necklace I wanted, it was awesome to see all the talent that is in and around Cleveland.
And did I mention the old wood floors? I think I might have. I want old floors. So much cozier and warm and inviting than shiny freshly polished wood floors. I like old things. Things that are slightly tarnished with time and experience. Scratches and dents that tell a story.
OK, enough about old buildings and floors. And enough about Christmas shopping, or the lack there of. How about dinner?
A quick dinner is needed this time of year. A hot, grilled sandwich has been on my menu these past few weeks. Between work, Christmas parties, cookie swaps, and late night shopping…who has time to cook?
But I bet you have an apple, sliced turkey, a bit of cheese, grainy mustard, and some crusty bread. Staple items that, when thrown together, makes for a quick dinner on the go. One that is filling and feels a tad bit luxurious. Way better than any take-out or hot sandwich from Panera.
In a hot cast iron skillet (or any skillet, really, but read how I like old things…cast iron skillets totally fall into that category…even though I bought mine from Target…it feels old, and that is what counts)….in this skillet, layer bread, buttered side down, mustard, cheese, apple, turkey, apple, cheese….that simple.
Top it with another slice of buttered bread. Don’t get skimpy on the butter…it is winter, we are wearing sweaters. More butter is allowed.
Flip it when it is toasty and brown and the cheesy starts to melt. This sandwich is no joke.
Slice in half … even if you have no intention of sharing, which I don’t recommend. Who shares cheesy melty toasted grilled sandwiches? No matter how much I say I like you or even love you…you will never get half of my sandwich. I will show you to the kitchen…I might even make you your own, but sharing mine? Not gonna happen.
- 2 Slices of thick cut crusty bread ( sourdough is great)
- 1 Tablespoon Grainy Dijon Mustard
- 2 Teaspoons Unsalted Butter
- 2 Ounces Gouda Cheese, thinly sliced
- ½ Apple, cored and thinly sliced (granny smith)
- 3 to 4 Slices Turkey (deli or roasted)
- Heat skillet over medium-low heat.
- Spread half of the butter on one side of each slice of bread. Place one slice of bread in heated skillet, buttered side down. Spread half of dijon mustard on the side of bread that is facing up.
- Layer half of the cheese and sliced apples onto the dijon mustard followed by the turkey slices. Then layer the remaining apple and cheese on top of the sliced turkey.
- Spread the remaining dijon mustard on the second slice of bread and place bread, mustard side down, onto the sandwich. Buttered side will be facing up.
- Cook sandwich on medium low heat until bread becomes lightly toasted and golden brown and the cheese begins to melt. About 5 to 8 minutes per side. If the bread begins to brown too fast, reduce temperature.
On days like 12-12-12 or 05-05-05 or maybe 10-10-10 … Don’t ya just expect more out of them? I sure do.
Days that only happen once a century…something special should happen. Right?
We won’t see 12-12-12 again until 12-12-2112. I will be 129.58 years old. I mean, seriously, something spectacular should happen on days like this. Unplanned greatness. As if the world had fireworks up its sleeve for days like today (or two days ago, by the time you read this). Or candy rained from the heavens. Or we all got five dollars in the mail, in a sweet little card like your auntie used to mail to you on your birthday. That would be nice.
Things like that should happen on special calender days like today…
But they don’t and so you have to make them special on your own account. If I was an elementary school teacher, I would have had a pizza party and a movie day. I watched ET in elementary smack dab in the middle of the 4th grade hallway. Track and field day had been cancelled due to rain and that was our consolation prize. But the movie and pizza on 12-12-12 wouldn’t be a consolation prize, but part of the celebration. It would be epic. Better than any Valentines Day party, that’s for sure.Read More