Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Drunken Pretzels

Yes.  This.

Tipsy carbs.
 We are returning to our alma mater this weekend to celebrate Homecoming.  We've only missed one year since graduating a few* years ago.  A bunch of us come together and rent a place a few miles away.  Some years new people join the group and some years a few old friends can't make it.  But, there are lots of stories, laughing our buns off, catch-up times, drinking games of yore and generally acting as if we are twenty again.  Except our little group has produced 8 - 10 babies within the past four or so years.  Damn.  Which means for the past few years, we are guaranteed a designated driver.  We usually out the preggos right away by having shots and whomever doesn't sit on the shot couch up for mucho speculation.  And the kids have pretty much all been babies up 'til now, so this year will be interesting with a few preschoolers and toddlers in the mix.  We look forward to this weekend alllllllllllllllll year long.

Anyway, to the point.  A few months ago I found a random recipe for drunken pretzels and made them (and boozy bears) for a girls' weekend.  The boozy bears were a bit much for us, but the drunken pretzels were quite a hit.  Easy peasy.

You need:
16 oz. bag of pretzels (shape of your choice) (I use snaps because the grid holds in all of the deliciousness, but the OG recipe calls for regular mini pretzels).
1/2 cup of butter, melted
3 tablespoons of whiskey
3 tablespoons of brown sugar
1 teaspoon of cayenne (this makes them SPICY, I usually half this with paprika)
1 teaspoon of garlic powder

Do it:
Preheat oven to 250 degrees.  Combine the melted butter, whiskey, brown sugar, cayenne and garlic into a small bowl.  Place pretzels on baking sheet.  Pour butter mixture over the pretzels and toss to coat.  Place in preheated oven and bake for 10 minutes.  Toss and bake for an additional 10 minutes.  Devour.

Mmmmmmmmm.  Perfect sweet, salty, spicy snack.

Tell me about more delicious treats you serve on crazy weekend get togethers.  Send good wishes that the babies sleep until (or past!) 8:00 am.  Soak in the beauty of a small town in the fall.  So excited!

*few may or may not equal ten or more

Monday, October 15, 2012

Making the Police Log

So, some days I think that you should have to be issued a license to be an adult in the functioning world.  Mostly I think this applies to other people, but occasionally (ok, weekly) I think that person may be me.  Remember that time my pants fell off in public?  Well this week I totally felt up a stranger.  I was at the pretentious asshole grocery store (my husband's name for it) (no, not that one, the other one) (you better not even be thinking about my beloved Trader Joe's!) and was trying to think of a good side to go with Crockpot BBQ Beer Chicken.  I settled (as I usually do with sides) on sweet potato fries, then decided to get waffle fries, since it seems to a shape that appeals to my three year old.

First prob, there were only two bags left of sweet potato waffle fries (uhh, these obvs need an abbreviation, how 'bout we go with SPWF).  Second prob, they were pushed way way way back in the freezer.  And I'm a shortie.  I just could not reach the fries. Third *imagined* prob, you are thinking now I should buy sweet potatoes and make my own.  Which I do sometimes, but not the amount of work I was going for today.  I will carry on now.  So I used my honed problem solving skills and poked my fingers up through the bottom of the shelf to try and drag the bag.  This did not work for varying, boring reasons.  Then I tried standing on the edge of the freezer and reaching in, to Squish's delight, she thought this was hysterical.  But I still at least five inches short.  After that, I looked around the aisle trying to find a stick-like object to drag the SPWF towards me.  Being in the freezer section you can imagine the dearth of stick-like objects.  I thought about boosting Squish up into the freezer to grab them, but I don't think you are supposed to stick your children in public freezers.  (Obvious joke, put down your phone.)

So I did what short people do in these situations.  No, not jumping wildly, hoping for traction and trying to reach, but looking around for a tall person.  Preferably an employee of the grocery store.  When this magical employee did not appear after a few moments I started eying a taller woman at the other end of the aisle.  Eying might be too generous of a word, because at some point she make eye contact with me and mouthed "Sorry" because she thought she was in my way.  I was flat out staring.  She was still at the other end of a 30-foot grocery aisle (not to scale because I still find numbers scary {sorry Mrs. Rowe, you tried} and am not sure how long the actual aisle is.  I would have had to project loudly to have a conversation.)  Ok, refocusing...NOW.  As she got closer I kept peeking and making shy smiles.  Squish turned on her cutest gummy grin face.  When she got close enough she said hi and I started with the verbal diarrhea.  "Oh my gosh, I am so sorry, can I ask you a big favor, I am soooo short and can't reach the SPWF, do you think you could get me a bag????**"  She chuckled and said sure.  I pointed them out, she reached in and easily grabbed a bag.  Story over right?  Job accomplished, good deed done?  Nope!  I even managed to mess this part up.  I reached out for the bag too quickly (no, I didn't push her into the freezer) and overreached.  As I grabbed my bag of fries, I BRUSHED BOTH HANDS DOWN THIS WOMAN'S CHEST.  Yes.  I felt her up.  Well, down.  I felt her down.  A look of shock rolls across this woman's face.

I turned scarlet, grabbed the fries, thanked her profusely and quickly turned away to retreat before she called the grocery store SVU.  I also forgot my grocery cart with my daughter in it.  She laughed again, a beautiful musical laugh, and pushed my cart to me.  She seemed to think the entire exchange was funny and didn't seem to be too disturbed by our sudden jump to second base.  After thanking her again, I started going the opposite way through the store (through aisles I had already covered) so we didn't do that awkward pass thing down every aisle.  Between that and Squish letting my shopping list blow away on the wind in the parking lot before we went in, it took me two hours to do my grocery shopping.  Seriously, I need to a license to have general public interactions.  I did see her at the check-out.  She pointed to me, waved, and turned to talk to a man with her.  At some point during her conversation with him, she gestured up to her chest.  Sigh.

Ok, spill your most embarrassing stories.  Or at least the most embarrassing thing that happened to you this week.

**you know its serious when I use quadruple punctuation!

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Mix Masta Sara

I've made some yummy things over the past few weeks which I want to tell you about, but today I tackled a super-easy trail mix.  I stay far far away from most things labeled trail mix because I am allergic to tree nuts.  I CAN eat peanuts, but not pecans, almonds, walnuts, hazelnuts, etc.  Even my mother doesn't always remember this, but after years with dealing with this allergy I've gotten pretty good at it. 

But sometimes I would like a trail-mix like snack.  For awhile I was mixing honey sesame sticks from Trader Joe's with wasabi peas and this was heavenly.  Slightly sweet, a little spicy and salty.  Almost perfection...until Trader Joe's stopped carrying the honey sesame sticks.  The regular sesame sticks don't have quite the same attraction.

 Anyway, somewhere in the interwebz this past week I saw a fall-themed trail mix, but of course it was loaded down with walnuts.  I decided to let this inspire my own walnut-less mix.  I started out shopping for caramel bits, cinnamon chips, and dried apple slices.  Then I couldn't find caramel bits.  So here is what my snack mix ended up with - dried granny smith apple slices (I have a dehydrator and will make my own next time), cinnamon chips, toffee roasted peanuts (I got toffee bits when I couldn't find caramel bits, then I saw these peanuts and decided to kill two birds with one stone), roasted pumpkin seeds and orange cranberries from TJs.  If you were trying to do no-nut at all you could do pretzels to get your salty in.  Or the pumpkin seeds are pretty salty, you might not even need to replace the peanuts.  You could also certainly use Craisins if orange cranberries aren't your thing or you don't have a Trader's nearby.  The only thing I did in to prepare, other than pouring everything in a large container, was to break up the apple rings a bit to make the size more uniform with the other ingredients.  Seems to make a better mouthful.  And I put the entire bag of cinnamon chips in and that seems a little crazy in hindsight.

So go forth and make autumn-inspired trail mix and tell me what you would put in there.  I'll admit it was hard to leave any sort of chocolate out, but I didn't want to completely override the other flavors.