Monthly Archives: December 2012

Christmas and Hanukkah.

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Peanut brittle.

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Sweet scripts:

I have the best memories of my family at Christmas-time.  My mom is an amazing cook and she would always have homemade cookies, candies, my brother’s (and my) favorite Christmas morning egg casserole…  There was always peanut brittle, cashew clusters, the hershey kiss peanut butter cookies, and the standard christmas sugar cookies.  It’s amazing I was not extremely overweight growing up!!!

So a phone call to my mom last week got me the super simple recipe for peanut brittle.  I had looked online for recipes and they seemed a bit more complicated and required a candy thermometer (which I don’t have, but you don’t need for this).  I did do a little modifying of my own, because, let’s face it: butter makes everything better.  So I added about a tablespoon.  😉

So here we go!

Mom’s (Modified) Peanut Brittle :

  • 1 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup white corn syrup
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 1/2 cup RAW peanuts (these were hard to find, got them at organic coop)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoon vanilla
  • dash of salt
  • 1 tablespoon butter, plus some for greasing pan

Cook the sugar, corn syrup, water and salt in a large pan (I used a dutch oven pot) over medium – medium/high heat until boils.  Stir on boiling until the mixture forms thread like sticky consistency (maybe 10 minutes).  Add the peanuts and cool (stirring frequently!) until it turns the color of peanut butter.  (These were my mom’s words!  I love it!  No times, no exact temperatures…)  Remove from stove, add baking soda, butter and vanilla, stirring fast!  Will “poof up” a bit and start to get hard very quickly.  Stir all together and then spread onto a butter-greased cookie sheet.  Let cool for 30-45 minutes or until hard.  Break into pieces, and voila!

Thanks mom!

A ‘Happy’ documentary.

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Sweet prescriptions (scripts):

I’ve decided I’m going to try doing a (?weekly-ish) column of recommendations (prescriptions) that are making me smile and feel fulfilled.  And while I anticipate most of the scripts will be sweet, delicious treats, this one is a wonderful film that everyone should be prescribed.

With almost a week of reflection on the horror from Newtown last Friday, and after reading through the obituaries of 6 year olds, I needed something to lift my spirits, and change the direction of my thoughts.  While Obama’s initiative is also helping me to do that, I watched a wonderful documentary today on happiness that redirected my emotions.

In the film, one of the statements a psychologist makes is that while money can buy some happiness; it has it’s limits.  He goes on to mention that yes, a person making $50,000 a year is more happy than one who is making $5,000 a year.  However, the $50,000/year people don’t seem to be any LESS happy than those making millions a year.  And in fact, his research has shown they are MORE happy than those millionaires.  

The film interviews self proclaimed happy people from communities all around the world.  (I LOVE the Louisiana family!!!)  It also visits Bhutan, which boasts the slogan “gross national happiness” as a motto and as a political and economic policy.  (It’s also now on my list of places to travel!)

The bottom line?  Do what makes you happy; surround yourself with those you love and who love you; be compassionate; take opportunities to perform acts of kindness.  

So, what makes you happy?  

Hot toddies make warm bodies!

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Hot toddies!

Perfect for watching movies with one of my best friends on a cold, rainy NYC night (by the way, you can skip the Bachelorette movie – supposed to be the raunchy female version of the Hangover, but it was just baaaaaaad).  The combinations are endless (a little nutmeg is supposed to be good too).  I randomly combined cinnamon, lemon juice and apply cider with the bourbon that we had – but the traditional hot toddy is actually made with hot water instead of apple cider.  Go crazy though!  Filled my stomach with warmness.  🙂

Thanksgiving with the fam.

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