I’ve been trying really hard to squeeze the last little bit of fun stuff out of these last two weeks of August. After all, I just started my holidays so mentally I’m a bit behind everyone else right out of the gate. It seems that while most people are heading back to school, or at the very least back to school shopping, I’m floating around the pool instead of the mall. Small miracles.
It’s surprisingly nice to have holidays later in the summer, even though it feels like it’s a lifetime away while I’m listening to everyone else talk about their summer adventures all through June and July. I’m not a fan of extreme heat or humidity, so when the nights cool off a little bit and the days are still warm but not unbearable, that’s generally when I’m at my most content.
And of course, like every year, I never get done half of the things that I say I’m going to do but that’s OK. Sometimes, the best holidays are the ones where the days are unplanned and the adventures are unscripted. Once in a while you just need to heal the soul without adding in extra clutter. And most often the best things are the uncomplicated things.
A delicious nut free treat for school, parties, bbq's, or just because!
1/2 cup butter (not margarine)
1-1/2 cups brown sugar
1/2 cup whipping (heavy) cream, at least 35%
30 - 34 marshmallows
5 cups crisp rice cereal
1/2 cup milk or dark chocolate melting wafers
1/2 cup white chocolate melting wafers
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set it aside.
Over medium-high heat, melt the butter and brown sugar. Whisk together to combine. Bring the mixture to a boil and boil for 2 minutes. While constantly whisking, pour the cream in a steady stream. Return the caramel to a boil and boil for 2 - 3 minutes or until it coats the back of a spoon. Remove the pot from the heat and let it cool for 2 minutes to thicken slightly.
Insert a lollipop stick into each marshmallow. Dip the marshmallow into the caramel and swirl to coat on all sides. Let any excess drip off pack into the pot. Immediately roll the caramel covered marshmallow in the rice cereal. Place the marshmallows on the parchment lined baking sheet . Once completed, refrigerate the marshmallow pops for 30 minutes.
Add the milk/dark chocolate to a microwave safe dish. Microwave on high in 30 second intervals, stirring between each, until the chocolate is melted. Drizzle the chocolate over each marshmallow pop. Repeat with the white chocolate.
I’ve never had an intervention, and I don’t think I need one, even though my family says otherwise. What do they know? However, I will reluctantly admit that I have some major addictions this time of year.
One of my biggest downfalls is cheesy Christmas movies. I can (and do!) watch them all day long. The cheesier the better. I find a station on TV that is showing the most Christmas movies in a row and I don’t change the channel until they run out. Some of the time I’m not even really watching and it’s just on in the background, but don’t you dare touch that dial!
I’m addicted to sugar. There. I said it. Whew! In case there was any doubt about that one.
I’ll even admit to being addicted to consuming copious amounts of sugar WHILE watching cheesy Christmas movies!
And crack. Not plumber’s or the kind you buy on the street, but Caramel Christmas Crack! I’m addicted to Caramel Christmas Crack.
They say that admitting that you have a problem is half the battle.
Play with different toppings for other versions of crack, like crushed peppermint candy, mini M&M's, peanuts, or coconut.
60 saltine (soup) crackers
1 cup butter
1 cup dark brown sugar
2 cups dark chocolate chips or chocolate melting wafers
1 cup chopped pecans
1 cup white chocolate chips or white chocolate melting wafers
Preheat the oven to 400 F.
Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Line the crackers along the baking sheet to completely cover the bottom.
In a saucepan over medium-high heat, melt the butter and brown sugar, stirring occasionally until the sugar is melted and the mixture begins to boil. Boil, without stirring, for 3 - 4 minutes.
Pour the hot caramel over the crackers and use an offset spatula to spread the caramel in an even layer. Put the baking sheet into the oven and bake for 5 minutes.
While the crackers are baking, add the chocolate to a microwave safe dish. Microwave on high in 30 second intervals until the chocolate is melted, stirring between each.
Remove the baking sheet from the oven and pour the melted chocolate over the crackers. Use an offset spatula to spread the chocolate in an even layer. Sprinkle with chopped pecans while the chocolate is still warm.
Add the white chocolate to a microwave safe dish. Microwave on high in 30 second intervals, stirring between each, until the chocolate is melted. Drizzle the white chocolate over the entire surface.
Place the baking sheet in the refrigerator for 30 minutes to 1 hour. Once cooled, break into pieces.