The Best Nut Caramel E-V-E-R

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THIS IS MY 100TH POST EVER AND IT’S ON CHRISTMAS EVE!

And my 100th post is one of the best candy recipes ever!

We make this every Christmas.  Actually my mom made it.  I’ve been eating it…

These caramels are buttery, have three types of nuts in them, and need to be cut super small, because otherwise you will just have a huge wad of caramel in your mouth.

Which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but it is a little hard to chew.

I promise, they only take a few minutes to put together and they’re always everyone’s favorite.  Recipes that are super easy and that everyone loves=something you should make rn.

rn rn rn

*Recipe slightly adapted from Taste of Home*

Ingredients:

1 c. walnut halves

1 c. pecan halves

1 c. hazelnuts

1 tsp. butter

1 1/2 c. sugar

1 c. heavy whipping cream

1/2 c. light corn syrup

Place walnuts, pecans, and hazelnuts in a single layer on a baking sheet and bake at 350*F until you smell the nuts, and they are toasty brown.  Cool.  Line an 8 in. square pan with foil, and grease with butter.  Set aside.

In a heavy saucepan, combine sugar, cream, and corn syrup.  Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly.  Stir in toasted nuts.  Cook, without stirring until candy thermometer reads 238* (soft-ball stage).  Remove from heat.  Stir with a wooden spoon until creamy and thickened.  Quickly spread into prepared pan; cool.  Cover, refrigerate for 8 hours or more.  Lift candy out using the foil.  Discard foil.  Cut into little squares.  Place in mini cupcake liners to keep from sticking.  Keep in an airtight container.

Makes about 2 lbs.

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Thanks for reading my 100th post ♥

XO Sara

(2nd) Song of the Day: Little Drummer Boy–Josh Groban

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Cranberry White Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies

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Merry Christmas Eve my lovely readers!

I hope your Christmas Eve (and Christmas) are beautiful and I hope you get to drink lots of wine.  Or eggnog if that’s your thing.

I really recommend the wine…

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These cookies are really special ♥

They have tons of cranberries and white chocolate in them, and I promise you, they do not taste like raisins.

Raisins=no but craisins=yes.

Especially with white chocolate in oatmeal cookies.

When I was really little, and my mom and one of her best friends (whose recipe this is) would make the oatmeal cookies around Christmas time.  And I would watch.  And color my coloring books.  And help when they would let me.  These cookies were always one of my favorites, but my dad’s favorite is chocolate chip, and he would normally win the cookie battle when my mom asked, “What kind of cookies should I make?”.  Anyway, this year I decided to make them and add the white chocolate and cranberries, since it’s Christmas and all.

I’ll be taking a blogging break tomorrow, but I want to leave you with a few more recipes in case you want to make some last minute cookies tomorrow, or even After Christmas cookies!

(After Christmas cookies are definitely a thing).

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Ingredients:

1 1/4 c. flour

1 tsp. baking soda

1 c. butter, softened

1/4 c. sugar

3/4 c. brown sugar–packed

1 small package instant vanilla pudding

2 eggs

3 1/2 c. oats

1 c. white chocolate chips

1/2 c. dried cranberries

Preheat oven to 375* F.  In a medium sized bowl, whisk together the flour and baking soda.  Cream butter, sugars, and pudding together in a separate bowl.  Beat until smooth and creamy.  Beat in eggs, one at a time.  Gradually add flour mixture.  Stir in oats, white chocolate chips, and cranberries.  Scoop in to 1 inch balls and bake for 10-12 minutes.  They will seem very soft, so let them cool slightly on the baking sheet before removing.  Enjoy!

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I just love how pretty and festive they are, plus they’re sooo good.

Have a beautiful, wonderful, amazing Christmas.

XO Sara

Song of the Day: I’ll Be Home for Christmas–She & Him

Pineapple Zucchini Bread

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Holiday baking has been ridiculous around here lately.  Ridiculous as in, we. have. not. stopped.

I’m in Vegas visiting my parents so I’ve been taking over their kitchen and making tons of new and old recipes.  This recipe is from a “rodeo cookbook” that my parents bought at a fundraiser back during their high school rodeo days.

The bread is super soft and isn’t too sweet, which is why I like it so much.  It also has walnuts, which I love, but could also be omitted.  Overall, it has all the flavor components, and it’s great for breakfast.

Or snack time.

Or dinner.  I’m not judging.

Ingredients:

3 eggs

1 c. oil

2 c. sugar

2 tsp. vanilla

2 c. shredded, unpeeled zucchini

1-8 oz. drained crushed pineapple

1/2 c. coconut

1/2 c. walnuts

3 c. flour

2 tsp. baking soda

1 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. baking powder

1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon

3/4 tsp. nutmeg

Beat eggs until frothy.  Add oil, sugar, and vanilla.  Continue beating until thick and foamy.  Add zucchini, pineapple, coconut, and walnuts.  In a separate bowl, stir together flour, soda, salt, baking powder, cinnamon, and nutmeg until thoroughly blended.  Stir gently into zucchini mixture, just until blended.  Spoon batter into 2 greased loaf pans, or multiple mini loaf pans.  Bake at 350* for 1 hour (regular loaf pans) or about 30 minutes (mini loaf pans).

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This batter is also great for muffins.  We wrapped ours up all cute and gave them as gifts to the neighbors!

Tune back in tomorrow for some of my favorite holiday baking recipes!

XO Sara

Song of the Day: Gold–Sir Sly

The Best Homemade Snickerdoodles

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I like the name snickerdoodle because it’s cute and funny, although it does not sound appetizing in the least.

But I think most people will agree that snickerdoodles are actually super appetizing.

I may or may not have already eaten like, 10 of them.

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These cookies are a family recipe, and they’re by far my brother’s favorite.  He asks me to make them whenever I bake, and they’re gone in just a few minutes.  And I normally do make them because they’re sooooo easy.

However, I will warn you that they have shortening in them.  I am totally against shortening in almost all cases, but not in a few family recipes (where shortening is used a lot).  The shortening makes these cookies chewy and gives them a great texture, so just go ahead and trust me on this, okay?

I wouldn’t give you guys any recipe that wasn’t amazing, I promise.

Cause you guys are da besss.

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Ingredients:

1 1/2 c. sugar

1/2 c. butter

1/2 c. shortening

2 eggs

2 3/4 c. flour

1 tsp. baking soda

2 tsp. cream of tartar

1/4 tsp. salt

2 Tbs. sugar mixed with 1 Tbs. cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350*.   Whisk together flour, baking soda, cream of tartar, and salt.  In a mixing bowl, cream sugar, butter and shortening until fluffy.  Add eggs one at a time.  Gradually mix in flour mixture.  Form into 1 inch balls and roll in cinnamon sugar mixture.  Bake for 8-10 minutes.

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I really did make the dough for these in about 8 minutes.

Go make them you beautiful people.

XO Sara

Song of the Day: NYC Baby–Karen O

Roasted Garlic and Tomatillos

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I guess you probably couldn’t call this a recipe.  I’m really just showing you the easy way to roast garlic and tomatillos so you can use them in a bunch of really, really great recipes.

Like, recipes I may or may not be posting tomorrow or later this week.

*hint hint hint*

(Check. It. Out.)

It’s super easy to do, and I like to do it on the grill because they get nice and charred and have a really nice smoke-y flavor that the broiler doesn’t always bring out.  You can also roast peppers this way!

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Ingredients:

Garlic bulbs

Tomatillos

Olive oil

Preheat your grill to medium.  Alternatively, you could roast in the oven at 350* F.  Cut the top part of the garlic off so that the garlic can pop out when it’s all nice and roasted!  Cut the tomatillos in half horizontally.  Place the garlic on a piece of tin foil and drizzle with olive oil.  Wrap up.  Grill for about 30 minutes.  After 30 minutes, spray the grill with cooking spray and place tomatillos on the grill.  Let them char until they blacken and soften slightly.  Flip them over and char the other side.  To roast in the oven, place the garlic in for 30-45 minutes.  Roast tomatillos for 15 minutes on each side, and then turn on the broiler and let them char until desired doneness.  Use them in salsa, soup, chili, or any other favorite recipe!

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So easy!  You can also do this with peppers.  Just char them like you char the tomatillos!

XO Sara

Song of the Day: Long Distance Drunk–Modest Mouse

Orange Drop Cookies

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This is the first time I have left the kitchen all day.  Literally, I have been in the kitchen since I woke up this morning.

(Granted, I slept in til 10:30, but that is irrelevant).

Every single year my mom makes this whole big deal about how “we’re not doing any holiday baking this year!”

And then I say, “Hahaha okay, if you need me, I’ll be in the kitchen baking cookies” (Because baking around the holidays is just a thing.  It’s the only time you can eat as much as you want and blame it on a holiday…?!?!)

We then proceed to make about 100 more baked goods, because once you start, you can’t stop.  Luckily, we have a good compilation of holiday recipes going on.

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These orange cookies are one of my family’s favorite recipes.  It’s my grandma’s recipe, and the family always gets excited when these are around.  We make them for all occasions, but I thought they’d be good for Christmas since oranges are a winter fruit (although I always associate them as summer-y?)

They pretty much taste just like cupcake tops with sticky, melty icing, which would normally be my worst nightmare, but when something is this good, exceptions can be made.

Thanks to Grandma for passing this recipe along.

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Ingredients:

1 c. brown sugar

1/2 c. white sugar

1 c. shortening

2 eggs

1 c. buttermilk

1 scant tsp. baking soda, dissolved in buttermilk

1/2 tsp. salt

3 1/2 c. flour

2 tsp. baking powder

Grated rind of 1 orange

Juice of 1/2-1 orange (about 1/2 cup)

1 tsp. vanilla

Preheat the oven to 350* F.  Cream the shortening and sugars until fluffy.  Add eggs one at a time.  Mix in buttermilk, orange rind, orange juice, and vanilla.  Add flour, salt, and baking powder until smooth.  Drop by the spoonful on a greased baking sheet.  Bake for 10 minutes.  They will seem too soft and will dent if you press them in, but they will be done and slightly browned on the bottom.  Frost with icing.

Icing:

3 c. powdered sugar, sifted

1 Tbs. butter, softened

3 Tbs. orange juice

1 Tbs. orange rind

1-2 Tbs. milk, or enough to desired consistency

Mix ingredients together with a mixer until desired consistency.  Frost slightly warm cookies with icing and let it harden before stacking and storing!

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To make them more Christmas-y you could even add dried cranberries!  That might be my project next year…

Keep an eye out for more holiday recipes in the next few days!

XO Sara

Song of the Day: This Girl’s in Love with You (cover)–She & Him

13 Responses to an Incredibly Sexist Article

Probably what the
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As I’m sure you’re aware, there’s this post, “13 Things a Woman Can Do to be More Attractive to Men“, that has been going around since July.

If you have not, I will give you a few minutes to read it right now.  Go ahead.  It’s right here.

Are you speechless too?  (If you are not in utter shock right now, maybe just give up on reading this while you still can.  You don’t belong here).

 It was originally posted on Thought Catalog by a man named “John Smith”.  I say “John Smith” because I cannot find any information on this guy, which tells me that he’s using a (very unimaginative) pseudonym.  So Mr. John Smith, you had enough gall to post something called “13 Things a Woman Can Do to be More Attractive to Men”, but you don’t have enough balls to post your actual name?  Okay.

Anyways…

I thought I’d go ahead and write a little response to the 13 “requirements” he has for the ladies he dates.  There’s actually quite a few on the internet already, but most of them are titled something along the lines of “13 Things a Man Can Do to be More Attractive to Women”, which is just as sexist as the original post.  In order to not be a hypocrite, I decided to take a different approach.

Read on…

1. Stay in Shape: In a world where women are objectified and judged every single day for their appearance, it’s time that we had somebody on our side telling us that we’re beautiful and worthy, regardless of our appearance.  It is not your boyfriend’s or husband’s job to tell you to work out or eat well.   It is not any man’s job.  How you choose to live your life is up to you.  Yes, I like working out and being fit because I like how I look and it makes me happy.  However, I do not do it to be more appealing to men.  If your guy is telling you to work out now, what will be his response when you have a little baby weight leftover in 10 years?  If I want some greasy potato chips, I’ll eat them dammit.

2. Lay Off the Body Modification: If I want tattoos, piercings, and pink hair, I sure as hell am going to do it.  Who are you to tell me how I should look or live my life?  Who are you to speak for all men?  (I know quite a few men who are into piercings and tattoos).  How I change my body is up to me.  Not any other person.  Ever.

3. Make Your Own Money: Oh trust me, John.  I plan on it.  God forbid any poor woman have to rely on some small-minded asshole like you to get by.  Yes, I’m getting an education.  Yes, I plan on making my own money.  No, I am not doing it to attract guys.  (Sorry to burst your bubble).

4. Be Feminine: Oh really, John?  Men date women because they want to date women?  That’s revolutionary!  I’m so glad that you’re here to point that out to us!  Thank you.

In other words, are you serious?  If I want to do a stereotypical “male” activity like going to a football game with my girlfriends instead of having a naked pillow fight (which I’m sure is what you think happens when I hang out with my girlfriends), I sure as hell am going to.  (You might want to stay away from me, John.  I might have a hidden penis somewhere).

5. Be Submissive: Sorry if you’re reading this grandma, but are you fucking kidding me?  You’re telling me that I have to be submissive?  I truly have no words for this one.

Wait, yes I do!  Being submissive has not turned into a negative word, Mr. Smith.  It has always been a negative word.  Couples do things for each other because they love each other, not because they’re “giving in”.  At this point I’m assuming that you have not actually been in a single healthy relationship.

6. Sex Life: Oh, so you are allowed to sleep with as many women as you want, but women are not allowed to do the same?  Thanks for telling me what I can and cannot do with my body!  I love it when cowardly assholes hide behind their computer screens and tell girls how many people they can sleep with!  Thank God you’re here!

Once again, what I do with my body is no man’s (or person’s) business.  And you’re right, Mr. Smith.  Life isn’t fair.  The fact that we have to deal with people like you proves that.

7. Be Intelligent: That’s a lot coming from a guy who is (quite obviously) not intelligent.

8. Be Childfree: Sorry ladies.  John Smith has spoken, and if you have children, you are screwed.  No boys for you.  Contrary to Mr. Smith’s beliefs, there are plenty of single men with kids that are looking for you.  There are plenty of single men without kids that are looking for you.  If they have a problem with your kid, then they probably don’t have any business being a part of your life anyways.

Also, can we acknowledge that he actually put the sentence, “The bottom line is that you have a child, and it does not belong to the eligible bachelors out there” in his post?  If any man says this to you, give him a good kick in the balls.  We don’t need any mini “John Smiths” running around.

9. Be Willing to Cook at Least 3 Times a Week: So as a woman I have to work, get an education, stay in shape, and cook at least 3 times a week for you?  And what are you doing exactly?  I cook because it’s one of my favorite things to do.  I cook for boyfriends because I appreciate them and love them and want to show that .  It is not my job.  If a lady doesn’t like to cook, she damn well doesn’t have to.

10. Put Down the Phone: As an educated lady with a job, I sometimes have to be on the phone.  I may be waiting on an important phone call from work or school.  Sometimes, while on a date, a boy hasn’t said anything to me in 17 minutes so I reply to a text message real quick.  Are you really blaming this on girls as a whole?  Do you know how many boys have picked up their phone while I was in the middle of a sentence?  (And thanks Mr. Smith.  I know that red light is ahead of me.  I have eyeballs and they sure as hell aren’t on my phone while I’m driving).

11. Ease Up on the Makeup: Oh great!  The “less is more” thing that some guys like to pull right before they tell you how hot Kim Kardashian is.  I wear my makeup how I wear my makeup.  If you don’t like it, you don’t have to.  I’m not wearing it for you.

12. Stop Cussing: Fuuuck you.  Just because I cuss does not make me any less of a lady.  Being a lady is being a good person, and having respect for others (which I’m sure is a foreign concept to you).  I can be a lady and say whatever the hell I want.  (Nice double standard by the way).

13. Stop Hoarding Guy Friends: “9 out of 10 of your guy friends just want to sleep with you anyways.  Men know how other men think”.  Mr. Smith, do you know how many times I have heard this?  Do you know how much I want to punch your goddamn face in every single time I hear this coming from your mouth?  I will be friends with whoever I want.  If it’s that big of a problem, you really do not belong in my life.

As for the “6 Preemptive Answering to Counterargument Sound Bites”:

Thank you so much for proving how small-minded and unintelligent you are.  I feel truly and deeply sad for any woman who has the misfortune of dating somebody who is as awful as you are.  But as for you, I’m sorry about the rest of your life.  I can only imagine how insecure and desperate you are.

But thanks for giving me something to laugh at anyways.

*Thought Catalog posted another article with women’s responses to John Smith’s, which is also pretty amusing.*

Thanks for reading guys.  Let’s just remember that gender equality is an issue for everyone, not just women.  The more accepting we become as human beings, the more peaceful our lives will be.

XO Sara