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Saturday, January 8, 2011

A strange item arrived in my mailbox

There are precious few magazines that I subscribe to: Backwoods Home, Stockman Grass Farmer, Country Woman, Farm and Ranch Living, Simple and Delicious. There's a pretty common theme to these periodicals. Because I subscribe to these magazines, I often get offers (as I'm sure you do) for other magazines like Hobby Farm, Small Farmer Journal, Chickens Illustrated. (OK, I was kidding on that last one.) Seed catalog companies will often share their lists so I receive plenty of them, but I know where they've come from.

Today, however, something arrived in our mailbox I had never had my hands on before. A Glamour magazine. John saw it and said "Check the address!" (Sometimes our mail carrier mixes up the mail with a neighbor.) Nope, this one was addressed to me.

"Why? For Pete's sake!!" I don't read Glamour, I don't want to read Glamour, I've never read Glamour. It's the December issue, so I'm guessing they were cleaning out for the new year and just dropped it in the mail to me. The question remains: How do they know about me? I doubt my favorite magazines are sharing information with Glamour...they just don't have the same clientele.

Looking at the cover, I'll share with you the cover stories and then discuss why this magazine is NOT for me.

Shall we begin?

9 NAUGHTY THINGS EVEN NICE GUYS CRAVE IN BED
Really??!! This should go without discussion, but I promised. I'm married. I'm married to the nicest man to walk the face of the planet. He's the only man I've ever been with and I have no desire to know what any other male wants in bed. I'll take the man I have, thank you very much!

THE BEST BEAUTY SECRETS OF 2010 (OUR ULTIMATE LIST OF NEW TRICKS TO TRY)
Why does there have to be trickery involved? Why can't I just look the way I look? Why does it have to be a secret? And if I spend enough money, will I then have the secret? Nope. Not for me. I am what I am. It is what it is.

SO SEXY (THE 24 MOST FLATTERING PARTY OUTFITS FOR YOUR BODY)
I never partied in my single days, I'm certainly not going to start now with a husband and 2.95 children. Flattering or not, I think I'll just stay home and party in my new pink pajamas the nicest guy I know gave me for Christmas.

A VERY VAMPIRE CHRISTMAS
This one was touted as an exclusive. I'm sure. No one else wants to read it. I am a voracious reader, but I simply cannot get into vampire books. I don't want to get into them. I actually feel dumber for wasting this much time talking about them.

WOMEN OF THE YEAR! TWO DECADES OF LIFE AND LOVE INSPIRATION
OK, I must admit, this one slightly intrigued me. Enough that I went to the page number and started scanning. And there are some good ones on the list, but as a non-TV viewer there were plenty of names I didn't know. And many faces I couldn't name. And I think I like it that way.

85 AMAZING GIFTS FOR EVERYONE YOU KNOW ($10 & UP)
What's wrong with a less than $10 gift? And does everyone I know have to receive a gift? I didn't read the article, but what the headline tells me is that everyone I know must have a gift and I must spend more than $10 on it. Well, I hate to break it to all of you that I know....most of you didn't get a gift and those of you who did, I probably didn't spend more than $10. I probably made it...by hand...put some thought into it...didn't use my credit card...you know, all those horrible gift-giving faux pauxs.

DIPS! DRINKS! DESSERT! EAT ALL THE GOOD STUFF AND STILL STAY SLIM
This article incorrectly assumes right off the bat that I drink alcohol and that I am already slim and wish to stay that way. (In all fairness, it does correctly assume that I like dips and desserts.) I flipped open the article and it was pretty straight forward. Don't eat cheesy dips, eat hummus and guacamole. Don't drink eggnog, drink champagne. Don't eat pecan pie, eat pumpkin pie. It was the least obnoxious article on the front page.

I'd like to say that I opened the magazine and went further. I tried, I really did. But it was 3 pages of ads to 1 page of article and I had a hard time telling which was which. Perhaps I'm too used to reading "Pajama Time" and "Curious George Gets a Job".

Needless to say, I will not be subscribing to Glamour. As I proven, we have very little in common. Now, Backwoods Home...that's another story!!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Ritz Cookies - A White Family Favorite

My "family of origin", as the government calls it, is pretty calm when it comes to Christmas traditions. We aren't fancy or complicated, just a lot of family time, church and gifts on Christmas Eve, probably a puzzle and Ritz Cookies. And, just like my family traditions, they aren't fancy or complicated. In fact, they're super easy and very tasty!

Here's what you'll need:

Ritz crackers, creamy peanut butter and chocolate almond bark. Really, that's it.


Open the package of crackers. Set aside broken ones to be eaten by small children or hungry husbands.


Scoop out a teaspoon or so of peanut butter to spread on the bottom of the cracker. And if you measure out exactly a teaspoon of peanut butter, I'm calling for help.


And it should look something like this. Not so much the chubby, late-pregnancy fingers however...


Add another cracker, bottom side to the peanut butter. I pile them on a cookie sheet and when I've made all my sandwiches, I freeze them for at least an hour or two (or overnight). In the winter, the front seat of my van works quite well.

Why freeze them? It keeps the peanut butter from melting in the warm chocolate and oozing out between the crackers. I've been short on time and tried to skip the freezing and, trust me on this one, it wasn't pretty.


Then, when you're ready to dip them, heat the almond bark in a double boiler setup. If you have a double boiler, great. If you are like me and don't have one, use a glass bowl (it distributes the heat more evenly than a metal bowl) over a simmering pan of water.


Keep stirring the almond bark to keep it from burning on the bottom, because burned chocolate has no place in life.


When the chocolate is smooth throw three or so cookies in.


Use a fork with longer tines to flip the cookies.


Remove the cookie from the chocolate and wiggle your arm back and forth slightly to remove the excess chocolate. Then wipe the bottom of the fork on the side of the bowl to remove the rest. You don't want the cookie sitting in a pool of chocolate when you set it on the wax paper lined cookie sheet.


There they are! Sweet, salty, chocolate-y deliciousness.

They keep very well in the freezer and are great in the frozen state. If I have to describe the taste: a crunchy peanut butter cup.

Give 'em a try!!