Friday, January 2, 2015

December Favorites

December is now, has been, and forever shall be one of the busiest, the most stressful, and happiest months of the year.

For me, it started with a lot of school work and a big application that I am waiting anxiously to hear about (not college) then proceeded to a mid-month stress sesh about unfinished Christmas presents, flowed seamlessly to an "eh" Christmas Eve, and then to a sparkly and special Christmas day with good food and family aplenty. It will finish up with an up in the air New Year's Party, a fantabulous dinner that I will post about, and the likely termination of all the candy in my stocking. (Whoops.)

A few things currently stand out to me as things that helped me throughout the month. And those things, you guessed it, are going to be carefully examined below. Leggo.

Magic Cookie Bars
These little squares of goodness are always a staple in my house during the most wonderful time of the year, and for good reason. Wimpy peanut butter cookies, fake oreos, even your pedestrian chocolate chip cookie all fade into the background against these gooey, crispy, chocolately king-daddy morsels of "thank you Jesus" bars. I don't have an pictures to share, because they're so "magic they disappear to quickly to be properly photographed. But the recipe I will include below because I cannot find it anywhere online. We use an old version, which has since been updated here.

1 stick butter
8-9 graham crackers
1 can sweetened, condensed milk (not to be confused with evap.)
1/2 bag of chocolate chips (or the whole bag, if you really feel like it.)
Coconut shavings
Chopped Walnuts


  1. Set oven to 350 degrees.
  2. While it preheats, put the butter in a 9x13 pan and set it in the warming oven. Allow it to sit in the oven until the butter is all (or almost all) melted. Tilt the pan every which way so the butter coats the entire bottom and about halfway up the sides of the pan. 
  3. Crush the graham crackers in a food processor or in a ziploc bag with a rolling pin. Sprinkle all crumbs over the butter mixture. (If the crumbs are in a ziploc bag, cut off one corner as you would with frosting and allow them to "drip" out.)
  4. Open your can of sweetened condensed milk and drizzle it over the crumbs.
  5. Generously shake the chips over the milk.
  6. Sprinkle coconut over the top to your pleasing.
  7. Sprinkle nuts over the top, again, the amount of which is up to you.
  8. Fetch a spatula and lightly squish down all the ingredients so they cook more evenly.
  9. Bake til golden brown, 30 minutes.
  10. Cool, cut, enjoy.
In a world where the predominant players in entertainment, television and the internet, scream for your attention, one tiny little medium is making a persuasive argument for its success--the podcast. Even though I only discovered them this month, I love podcasts, I advocate for them, I protest that the word "podcasts" has a red and squiggly line underneath it in Chrome spellcheck. Because there is nothing wrong about multiple podcasts.

Anyway, I think I'm going to start doing a monthly post about podcasts. This month I recommend:
  • Serial- 'nuf said.
  • This American Life- "Lights, Camera, Christmas!" I started "The Human Spectacle" earlier this month and it freaked me out so much I turned it off and was like "TAL is icky". And then I was looking for Christmas podcast episodes to listen to and this precious little hour of all the feels fell into my lap and sweet baby Jesus (haha get it? Christmas/Jesus?) I loved it. It made me laugh, almost cry, question things, all dem feels. ALL DEM FEELS.
  • RadioLab- "Words" and "Dolphins"- "words" is surprisingly touching and definitely thought provoking. "Dolphins" is just flat-out fascinating.
Cookie and Kate
December 2014 marks the beginning of my culinary interests, mostly sparked by this fantabulous , blog. I've made three of her recipes in the last three days, and all three were terrific. I am 100 million percent thrilled to keep reading it and making things on it forever and ever and ever.

An anti-crying trick
I am a spontaneous crier. It's awful. My day will be fine, I'll be going along as happy as can be and then something minor will upset me and BOOM! the tears come uncontrollably. And they come bad. So, a midst one such untimely waterfall, I looked up a trick. Just breathe in through your nose, out through your mouth, pinch the skin in between your thumb and pointer finger, and think about the weather simultaneously. It's difficult, but it works. And I love it.

Nubian Heritage Coconut and Papaya with Vanilla Bean Hand Cream
I believe I've written about Nubian Heritage's Mango Butter Cream before, but if I haven't, just know that it smells so delicious and is most likely perfect. NBD. This stuff is super awesome too though--it smells ultra fragrant (people comment on how good I smell 45 minutes after I apply it) and it smells like cookies. It is perfect for pink winter-knuckles and I am probably going to get up off my computer and put some on now.

Alright? Alright.

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