6th Day Of Christmas: Holiday Treats

Easy peasy recipe time! Tomorrow my brother is hosting Christmas in Fargo. One of the things I was asked to bring was dessert. Well actually truffles, but I thought I’d try something different that took less time since I’ve been so busy this week. I remembered a super delicious treat that an old co-worker brought at a potluck back in Grand Forks and I thought it’d be the perfect time to try it out!

I made two variations of pretzel candies. One for a salt lover and one for a chocolate lover. Don’t worry, they both contain salt AND chocolate. Christmas must haves right?

Prep Time: 10 Minutes               Cook Time: 2-3 Minutes               Cool Down: 15 Minutes

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Hug-M’s Pretzels
Pretzels
HUGS Kisses
M&M’s

Turtle Pretzels
Pretzels
ROLO’s
Cashews

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Instructions:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
2. Unwrap all the candies. (This is the “hardest” part 🙂 )
3. On a regular cookie or pizza sheet, lay down a piece of wax paper
4. Put as many pretzels as you can fit on the sheet. Make sure they are all whole (not broken) and don’t overlap.
5. Place a HUG or ROLO in the center of each pretzel and then carefully put the cookie sheet of pretzels and candies into the oven.
6. Depending on which candy you’re using, set your timer.
For HUGS: 2 Minutes
For ROLOS: 3 Minutes
7. Once they are semi melted, pull out of the oven and top with either M&M’s or cashews. (M&M’s for the HUGS and cashews for the ROLOS)
8. Put in the fridge for about 15 minutes to cool.
9. Every cook deserves the first bite – Enjoy!
Repeat as needed depending on how many batches you want to make.

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She Got Her Wings.

So much can happen in one year. Some enter this world and some exit. Families are formed and families are torn apart. People are forgiven and people are damaged. Some die and some are born. We travel and we get snowed in. We fall and sometimes we get back up. We change jobs, we move to new cities, and sometimes..we sit still. Sometimes life happens so quickly and days turn into weeks that turn into months that turn into years. Before you know it, you can’t even remember the last conversation you had with someone because of life.

And at the very exact same time that “life” is happening, it doesn’t. Life isn’t easy, I don’t think it was designed to be easy. Everyone will hit a rough patch or twenty. Some will suffer throughout their childhood. Some as young adults. Some won’t even suffer until they’ve hit the peak mid-life crisis stage of life. But it happens to the best of us.

Truly..to the best of us.

One year ago today, an old friend passed away. I call her an old friend not because of our age but because of life. Life got in the way from seeing each other often. Life got in the way who’s who and what’s what. Life got in the way of appreciating the goodness, the memories, the time.

And death? Well, sadly, death brought us back together. We don’t often think about everyone that has made an impact on our lives every single day because there’s still time. There will always be time to run into them at Wal-mart or catch up at class reunions. There will be time, especially when you’re 23.

That’s where I was wrong. This last year I’ve really tried to work on finding out who the hell I am. What I stand for. Who and what I love. I’ve tried to humble myself (it isn’t easy) and I’ve tried to be a more empathetic person (definitely not easy). I’ve tried to improve myself because of one person and that person is Aron.

Now, I wasn’t best friends with her. I didn’t keep in touch like I should have. I didn’t know what she was doing in her day to day life but I knew one thing. Time didn’t change her heart. It may have changed her life but it didn’t change her heart. It wouldn’t have mattered if 2 years had gone by or 20, she still would have come right up to you with a hug and a smile and ask what the hell you’ve been up to.

Man, I wish I could be like her. I wish that I could find the best in people and care as much as she did. I wish that she was still here and I could make a valiant effort to reconnect with her. I wish that her family could squeeze her too tight just one more time. I wish that holes weren’t created in hearts the day she died.

One year ago today, an old friend passed away. So much can happen in one year. Some enter this world and some exit. And some..well they are with us every day. We all miss you, Aron. Keep us on our toes will ya? I hope those wings fit you just right.

I’ve mentioned Aron in a couple posts throughout the last year. I’ve posted them below for Elaine, Melissa, and Austin. Sending the biggest hugs I can muster up your way today.

10/17/2013:
We Shouldn’t Have To Say Goodbye Yet
10/22/2013:
I Want To Be A Better Person
1/8/2014:
Heavy Hearts & Open Arms
4/4/2014:
Does Heaven Have DQ Ice Cream Cake?
8/14/2014:
Genie, You’re Free

The 45th Day Of The Year.

I’m a little behind on the Valentine’s Day buzz but I figured it’d still be worth it to post. I’ve actually been noticing that I think of perfect blog ideas when I’m most busy which undoubtedly leads me to forgetting about it until later. In this case, five days later.

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Up to the days leading to the big VD, I found myself getting into a frenzy making sure to “remind” my boyfriend of the day and it’s importance. I also (like a psycho) looked at engagement rings on all the big sites and through the stores around town. WHY do I do that to myself? Of course, I dream of romance and would love a ring on my finger…someday. But what is it about the pink heart filled month that steers me right into the cliche of February the 14th?

I guess it’s society’s fault. Some females would rather an engagement happen spontaneously on some random day but I’m a little old fashioned and have always dreamt of a man on his knee a month an a half into the New Year. I’ll probably always dream of it and fantasize every year and it’ll probably never happen but that’s life right?

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Whenever it does happen I’ll obviously be more than thrilled but it almost irritates me that somehow, somewhere along the way the thought of Valentine’s day leads to so many unrealistic expectations of the men (or women) in our lives.

And flowers! Don’t even get me started on flowers. Every year I tell myself that: 1. I’m not getting flowers. Channing isn’t the “flower” type. And…2. What a waste of money. Why spend $40-$100 on something that is going to die in a matter of days. Well, I guess they could last two weeks if you pop some little blue pills into it’s water (which actually is a fact, thank you Discovery Channel) but who has those lying around? Definitely not a 27 year old. Dun dun dun!

I should add that I had a lovely Valentines evening. We went to dinner at our favorite pizza joint in town and grabbed a movie afterwards. Even though I didn’t “get” a ring or flowers, I was still adorned and gave lots of hugs, kisses, and ‘I love yous.’ That’s what matters most.

Happy 4 days later, everyone!

Heavy Hearts And Open Arms.

Anything going on in my life is nothing compared to the sorrow of the families of those lost in the last 24 hours. My Facebook wall and Twitter feed has been flooded with quotes, sayings, and memories of three different deaths in the surrounding area. I lost a good friend a few months ago and up until that point, I didn’t have a terrible amount of empathy or relatable experience to anyone suffering loss. Not because I was a complete asshole but because I didn’t understand. And I still don’t. I don’t think anyone can completely understand the meaning of mourning and grief. It’s different for each and every person.

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I didn’t keep in touch and I didn’t know what was going on in anyones lives. I didn’t bother saying “Hi” to people I knew in stores and I didn’t go out of my way to extend a helping hand. I was just doing my own thing in my own world by my own self until Aron died. Even though I hadn’t seen her in such a long time, her death put my life into perspective. I realized that I needed to show people that I care not just assume that people know it. I needed to reopen friendships of people that I’d pushed away and books that I had closed and most of all, I needed to appreciate everything.

I’m very fortunate that the most important people in my life are still on this physical Earth. But I am reminded on a daily basis that even though we are alive, happy, and well; that doesn’t guarantee us a lifeline. Any single one of us can be taken in an instant and although it’s only pointed out when a loss has happened, we all need to learn from it. We really do need to appreciate the people around us. Love them and tell them and show them and be with them. We need to reach out even though we haven’t spoken in weeks or years. We need to cherish the memories and the moments yet to come. Because it can all be gone in an instant.

I want to take a moment to extend my absolute deepest condolences to the families and friends of those lost. I don’t know exactly how any of you feel (none of us do) and there are never any words that can be said to console everyone in the same way but know that every single one of you are in so many peoples hearts and prayers.

So tonight, hug the ones around you, reach out to the ones far away, and never ever stop making memories.