Sick in the UK

Hey all.

Sorry for the delay in posting. I’ve got the rest of this evening off and I don’t think I have much planned for tomorrow, so I’m going to work on a few of the dozens of word documents that are saved articles for this blog!

So most recently in the UK, I’ve been sick! I got hit with the flu and man oh man did it take me out! I’m feeling much better right now, still not 100%, but definitely sitting at about 90% right now. I think what made it difficult over here being sick: no chicken noodle soup to be found (at least one I could use – no way to heat up soup in my hotel room, say for my tea pot), and I couldn’t find Gatorade at all! So after a stop at TESCO I found Lucozade which is the UK equivalent to Gatorade and it tastes just like orange sherbert! I found cup of soup, chicken and vegetables – but it was like a creamy soup as most of them are over here.

I just wrapped up an article for The Hidden Triforce and should probably see that posted on Monday. I’ve got a few others I want to focus on for them soon as E3 is coming up and they prefer to see recent staff articles, and I intend to go to E3 this year.

Shout out to my pal, Katie! I know what it’s like to wait to hear good news about getting a job, so seriously kiddo, congrats! Looking forward to tea, coffee, or beer soon!

Well that’s going to wrap it up for me right now. Enjoy some Hall & Oates.

New Year

Hey all.

Sorry for the few weeks off. Since Christmas, I had been a little under the weather and that didn’t really break until my birthday on January 5. I also flew out on the 3rd to England again, and have been busy prepping for the project go-live here. Unfortunately, my writing and upkeep on this blog has been postponed.

A quick recap, as I just wanted to get something up on the blog today:

-Christmas was good. Good food and great times with family. Got a new watch, the funny part is that my dad and I both bought each other Invicta’s.

-New Year’s Eve was fun. I spent that with my sister-in-law’s siblings and cousins. Played Euchre again for the first time in years and actually did pretty good…would’ve been better if I could remember what the hell I was doing. Overall, I had a great time doing a power hour with my brother and his wife’s siblings and cousins.

-New Year’s Day was an abomination as I hate driving in snow, but made it out to have a spoonful of Black Eyed Peas. Not THE Black Eyed Peas, gross. MSU dominated the second half of the Rose Bowl and was just a wonderful thing to behold! Go Green!

-Flew back to England, all while sick, survived the overbooked flight and felt better after getting some solid rest.

-Project, as always, has had its ups and downs this week.

-I haven’t really found the time to get to work on starting to train for a 5k PR, but I’m sure once I get completely adjusted to this schedule, I will be OK. Besides, the nice part of starting a plan is that it’s really only 20 minutes per day.

-Got some things in the works with Noah for The Hidden Triforce.

-Oh, I turned 30. That’s kind of weird. I’ve been on this planet for 30 years.

Hope you are all doing well and staying warm. I’m not looking back to heading back to Michigan at all. Best wishes, friends!

Twelve Days of Christmas – 1

This is the first time throughout the entire Twelve Days of Christmas that I actually have no clue where to start. The sad bit is that this post actually suffered the most. I thought I had it set for an auto-publish, and it was set for 2014, not 2013. So we’ll see in a year if this posts on 12/25/14.

Anyway.

I want to say that my only Christmas Wish is for everyone to just respect one another, but I know that’s not practical. We live in such a scary time anymore, that all we have to do is try our best to stay off the radar of some people and just get along with the ones we want. But why should we live like that?

My real wish is the desire to not lose my focus this year – not for work, not for writing, not for my resolutions. It’s a lot to take under my wing, but I’m ready for that responsibility.

Unfortunately, that’s all I have to say on the honesty front, so it’s a little anticlimactic to this Twelve Days of Christmas posting, but it’s my wish.

Of course I’d love to win the lottery, pay of my student debt, and be able to hand barrels of cash to my family, but the realism of it all is that that is a slim chance of ever happening.

Merry Christmas, friends and family.

Twelve days of Christmas – 2

This article is about my two New Year’s Resolutions for 2014.

I’d say weight loss right off the bat, but that’s not practical and always said. So if I say something like

2. Train to beat my time in a 5k…

…then that’s a goal that is not only doable, it’s something that will incorporate healthy living. To top it, there is no way that doing a PR for a 5k can happen in 30 days for me. It’s going to take at least 3 months to get me back into decent shape, 3 more months to work on speed training, and the other 6 months spent working on a weekly regiment that is going to be useful in building back leg strength and what not. The ultimate goal out of this: no more waist 40+ pants.

My other resolution is a repeat from a few years back, and that is to not be alone on New Year’s Eve 2014 (leading into 2015). I’m not expecting to find true love in the course of this year, but I am looking to find someone that I can share my life with.

The last few posts have expressed how grateful I am for my job – but like most things in life, there are consequences about decisions. The only consequence from taking this job: my social life suffers for it. Now, that’s not a huge complaint in today’s information age, however, when trying to date or spend time with someone, it’s very difficult. I’ve attempted two dates this year that when I explain what I do they seemed interested, but then they heard how I often I travel and were flat out turned off. That’s OK with me, they were being as honest as I was. This lifestyle is not for everyone, but I certainly have learned new respect for the people in my life that have done this kind of work – looking mostly at you, Dad.

It’s different when you grow up and go through one of your parents not being around because of work, but I’m living it differently working with my older brother and watching how he travels as much as he does to provide for a better life for his wife and two year old daughter. There’s so much he’s missing out on, but it is part of a sacrifice he, and my father as well, were willing to make.

Did it suck not having my dad around when I was growing up? Sure, of course it did. But I got to travel to a lot of cool places because of his work habits and see a lot of the USA and Canada. I’d say the person who had it worse in that situation was my Dad.

But I digress. I don’t mind travelling and am not prepared to give that up for someone that isn’t wanting to be committed to that kind of lifestyle.

In summary – I plan to train to PR a 5k and to not be alone a year from now on New Year’s Eve.

And with that being said, we’ve reached it. We’re at the last day of the Twelve Days of Christmas. Tomorrow’s post will be a surprise for us all – mostly because I only have ideas on what to write about. Part of me is thinking it’s going to end up being fictional, a la short story. Part of me thinks I’ll just throw something together, but I promise it’ll be a fun read.

But while we’re still in the New Year’s post – I just have one question for you: What are you doing New Year’s Eve?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FIcuK7wW8bU

See you tomorrow.

Twelve Days of Christmas – 3

I could cop out and post the three favorite places I’ve visited, but saying “Bristol,” “London,” and “Amsterdam,” would be too easy.

What I want to say is that 2013 has been a fairly decent year, and has provided great change to my life this year.

3. Started to write again. This blog isn’t my only writing project I have going on. Though it’s good to write my voice again, I have been working on two different projects; one, a creative nonfiction work about my college years, and 2, my detective noir story is back in production.

Writing is my passion. I do it every day – granted each time I start writing is not leisure writing – but every time I write, the more practice I get. I’m far from perfect. I make mistakes (aka typos), some easy to find, some I hardly notice on the first, second or third read through (see the “Dave Debacle” from Day 4). I think it’s a matter of pride to ask someone to look over my work. Writers are a sensitive lot, and if you correct our work when we ask, you’ve done it wrong and you just didn’t get it. That’s what is hard about asking people to look over my work.

2. Opening up about what really happened. Though I’m not ready for the world to know that, I’m very grateful that I was finally able to talk to my brother and later the rest of my family about what really happened in my failed relationship. It was not easy to do, but I’m no longer the only one carrying that burden. This is just another reminder of what a strong, solid foundation I have behind me with my family and friends.

1. Job changes. After 4.5 years, I left Lowe’s to start working as a consultant for a private Oracle Platinum Partner. Lowe’s was not a horrible place to work, but it wasn’t always the greatest. I worked in four different Lowe’s stores in my time with the company. Each location had horror stories, but it wasn’t until I moved to Toledo did I learn a new respect for effective leadership. I’ve swam the murky waters of retail, and the murkier waters of retail management, so I know what it’s like to be not liked – but to be a complete hypocrite doesn’t make the situation any better.

I like to think of my time at Lowe’s in Toledo as the true practice for parenthood. No. Not parenthood. Life. Until this time in my life, I had never seen a place so poorly managed.

But this isn’t a gripe about that. I learned respect for the leaders in that store – the people who weren’t management. They cared enough about a job they all mutually agreed to dislike, that they still showed up and suffered through.

When the opportunity presented itself for me to start learning for a new job with my brother – I knew this was the door opening that I had to take. I knew that Lowe’s was only a temporary job while I moved back home, but it lasted a few months longer than I ever intended.

So the good about all this – I have a new job that I’m very grateful for. I have a job that has allowed me to travel parts of the world that I’m fairly certain the only way I would have ever seen these places is via Google Earth. From Amsterdam to London to Bristol to …. Pittsburgh… Pittsburgh isn’t that bad, but come on – you guys aren’t interested in reading about my time there.

This new job comes with issues, too. It is a lot of learning, which I’m always game for, but it can be a little intimidating (and maybe a little overwhelming) to take in. All I do is remind myself that my bosses and coworkers were exactly where I was once – a sponge still absorbing as much as possible, and for once, I work a job where it’s OK to ask questions. The stigma with Lowe’s: Oh, he’s asking too many questions. Start in on him, cut his hours, make him think about quitting, and threaten to fire him. You can think I’m being over dramatic, but I know of at least 25 people that would agree to the previous statement. So when that becomes a learned response, finding out it is OK to ask a question with zero retaliation is like a mind blowing experience.

I’d be remiss to not mention that 2013 hasn’t been the easiest either. Sure I’ve had some good moments travelling and taking a new job, but it wasn’t all about happiness. It was difficult to say goodbye to my grandfather this year. He was a great man, a devout Christian soldier, so I guess that maybe at the same time, it’s not that hard to say goodbye, so much as saying until we meet again.

If there’s one thing I could encourage you all to do – think about who is dear to you and tell them. Let that person know, because no one is guaranteed a tomorrow.

And with that being said – these 12 days are winding down. We have my two resolutions and my Christmas wish. Thanks for following this journey.

Twelve Days of Christmas – 4

Looking a little past Christmas, I thought I’d show what I’m looking forward to in 2014 followed by a recap of 2013, and then my New Year’s Resolution. This will all end on Christmas Day (maybe Christmas Eve) with my last post in this series: Ben’s Christmas Wish.

This post will share four things I’m looking forward to in 2014:

4. The films of 2014:

So in 2014, we have a lot to look forward to.

A Godzilla remake that, based on the trailer, is not anything like the one with Ferris Bueller. Bryan Cranston, Kick Ass, and one of the Olsen girls that will also be joining The Avengers: Age of Ultron. Good cast already, and a fun “destroy the world” movie. The 4 year old in me is excited.

The Amazing Spider-Man 2 – Basically this is shaping up to be the Ultimate Spider-Man franchise, as it appears to be following that universe (the Marvel Ultimate universe). This movie sounds like it’s shaping up The Sinister Six as villains. Bring it on!

X-Men: Days of Future Past  (Formerly Titled “Dave of Future Past. The plot was to save Dave Thomas. This was scrapped and later turned into chilli…)– CANNOT. WAIT. FOR. THIS. MOVIE. Based on the graphic novel of the same name, this X-Men flick sees Bryan Singer back in the directors seat (X1 and X2), and will blend the good actors of the original series and the new actors from X-Men Origins. This looks promising and can’t wait to see more of Jennifer Lawerence’s Mystique.

Guardians of the Galaxy – I will say I know very little about this comic book series, but it’s part of Marvel Phase II, so it’s going to be a stellar flick. Also, Chris Pratt (Andy from Parks and Rec) is the lead and has reportedly blown Joss Whedon away. If that’s the truth, then I’m excited! (Apologies for the bad quality for the trailer, I guess this is still breaking/new)

The Hobbit: There and Back Again – The conclusion of The Hobbit trilogy, I’m more looking forward to another outing to the theater with my nephew than anything else. (Trailer unavailable at this time).

Honorable Mentions: The reboot to Robocop – it’ll be nice to see Michael Keaton again. Maleficent – Angelina Jolie as one of my favorite Disney Villains, so-so on this. Dumb and Dumber To – Come on, a real sequel to this film? Awesome. Muppet’s Most Wanted – Tina Fey better be in there more than what she is in the trailer. The world needs more Fey and Poehler.

3. Wrap up of Castle and start of Bates Motel

First, to my knowledge, Castle is not ending this year, but it’s a show on ABC and it’s in season six, so we’re looking at maybe two more years, max. Besides, Nathan Fillion and Stana Katic are becoming bigger names, so it’s only time before they move on.

This season of Castle has seen the marriage plans between our “will they? Won’t they” duo that finally did it. With any luck we won’t end on a cliffhanger, but something tells me from the way that 3xK episode ended, and knowing Castle and Beckett as well as he does, I wouldn’t be surprised if he teams up with Bracken and we have a good old fashioned show down finale. Wouldn’t that be delightful? Here’s the twist – Castle takes on Bracken and Beckett takes on 3xK – that’d be the perfect wedding gift to each other, don’t you think?

On to Bates Motel – Season 1’s cliffhanger of “did Norman do it?” will be answered and will be exploring more of Norman’s “Norma” personality. Freddie Highmore and Vera Farmiga are delightful in this series and have one of the most intriguing mother/son relationships. Many have complained because of the incest tones, but these are apparently people that never sat through the original Psycho to understand that there definitely was something going on with Norman.

Bates Motel re-opens in January.

2. More learning at work (more travel!)

I’m hoping to just continue to be a sponge with my job and absorb everything that I can this upcoming year. Be it in England, California, or in our office in Michigan – I can’t wait to see what this job has in store for me next year.

1. Moving on.

2012 and 2013 have been difficult years combined. I lost something that I considered precious to me and has really hurt me.

But these past few months of getting myself back out there dating and socializing has helped start the reconstruction on the bridge to my heart.

By surrounding myself with good friends and the support of my family, I know 2014 has to be better. Noah, there’s so much I want to say, but I’ll just summarize by saying thank you. Katie, you’ve been nothing short of a great friend and confidant this past year. I just wish my schedule allowed for more hanging out. My brothers and their wives always have the wisdom and foresight to prevent me from making mistakes and just want to see me happy again. I couldn’t do it without them. My parents, for pretty much the same reason, but for just accepting the heartache I’ve faced and just helping me move on.

If I didn’t name you specifically, it’s not because I don’t care about you or you didn’t help me out, it’s just my highlights. Believe me, if you’re reading this – you mean something to me.

Oh. And Leeann – thanks for being someone just as witty as me. I have a hard time wanting to say things to you because I’m nervous. I’m fairly certain if we ever sat down and talked in person, it’d be the greatest meeting of two minds.

Twelve Days of Christmas – 5

So this post is going to suffer a little because of the transferring of blog services. That being said, most of this stuff you can find good recipes on the internet. Also, today is the office Christmas party, so that’s where I’ll be! I’ll take some pics of that.

We’ll be working our way to the final 4 days of Christmas, and those posts will be a little more in-depth!

Let’s eat!

HolidayDearbornHam

5. Honey Baked or Dearborn Ham

Traditionally for my family gatherings, Christmas Eve was where this delicious meat came into play. I think I’ve become more partial to liking the Dearborn ham opposed to the former, but both are just a great main course for any Christmas dinner. What makes this dish better? Adding some pineapple and cherries! MMMM!

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4. Stuffing

Though traditionally a Thanksgiving dish, it works around Christmas, too. My mom makes the best stuffing.

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3. Baked Corn

Baked corn is basically corn bread, only with corn in it. It’s sweet, moist, and delicious.

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2. Biscuits and Gravy

This has been one of my father’s annual specialties. He reuses the grease from sausage and bacon and adds in a little of each and makes the most thick gravy for biscuits I’ve ever had. It’s delicious, but I can’t eat too much of it without feeling full quickly!

fried-apples

1. Fried Apples

My mom and dad both make this dish and both are pretty well done. Basically you take apple slices, fry ‘em and it’s like a hot apple sauce. Especially good on biscuits. Even better with sausage biscuits.

What kind of main course or side dishes are made at your family holiday gatherings?

Twelve Days of Christmas – 6

Starting with Thanksgiving, we enter the “stuff your face” days of the calendar year. Some people refer to this as the “holiday season,” me, I just think of it as the guilt myself into a meaningful New Year’s Resolution that I will abandon season.

No matter what you call it, this is a season of sweets and good food, so Days 6 and 5 on my list will consist of some of my favorite goodies. Some you’ll need to make, some you can go buy.

This list is dedicated to Christmas Cookies and Holiday themed desserts.

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6. Sourdough Cookies (with or without frosting)

This is a staple in my parent’s household. I can remember decorating and cutting these cookies when I was a child, all the way up to my adult years. Pretty simple to make and taste pretty delightful with milk.

Sourdough Sugar Cookies Recipe:

Yields: 3 to 5 dozen depending on size

Prep time: 20 min

Cook time: 10 min

Ingredients:

1 cup vegetable shortening

2 cups granulated sugar

3 eggs

1 1/2 teaspoons lemon extract or almond extract

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1/2 cup sourdough starter*

4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

Preparation:

In a large bowl, cream vegetable shortening and sugar. Beat in eggs, lemon or almond extract, and vanilla extract until mixture is fluffy. Stir in sourdough starter; set aside.

In a medium bowl, stir together flour, baking soda, and salt; stir into sourdough mixture. Refrigerate dough, covered, at least 1 hour or overnight.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. On a lightly floured board, roll dough to 1/4-inch thick; cut into desired shapes with cookie cutters. Place 1 inch apart onto ungreased cookie sheets.

Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until very lightly browned on the bottoms. Remove from oven and cool on wire racks. When cool, frost with Lemon-Milk Frosting and decorate as desired.

Yields 3 to 5 dozen cookies (depending on the size of cookie you make).

Courtesy of What’s Cooking America. Full recipe and frosting recipe found here: http://whatscookingamerica.net/Cookie/SourSugarCookies.htm

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5. Gingerbread Cookies (not necessarily men, but whatever)

Though we don’t make them often, the smell of Gingerbread cookies being made is delightful and should really be captured in a fragrance to spray if it has not happened yet.

Here is Alex Guarnashelli’s recipe from Food Network: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipe-collections/gingerbread-cookie/index.html

Ingredients

The foundation:

1 1/2 sticks lightly salted butter, softened

1 2/3 cups sugar

1 orange, zested

The dry ingredients:

4 cups all-purpose flour, plus 1/2 cup additional for rolling, if needed

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1 tablespoon ground dry ginger

1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon ground allspice

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

The wet ingredients:

2 eggs

1/2 cup dark molasses

1 lemon, juiced

Easy Orange Frosting, recipe follows

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle, add the butter, sugar and orange zest and beat until smooth, 5 to 8 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, dry ginger, nutmeg, allspice, cinnamon, cloves and salt. Whisk to blend. Set aside.

In another bowl, whisk together the eggs, molasses and lemon juice.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

When the butter and sugar are integrated, lower the speed of the mixer and add the dry ingredients. Add the egg mixture and when blended, remove the bowl from the machine. Divide the cookie dough in half. Press the first half of the dough in between 2 sheets of waxed paper or plastic wrap and chill for 15 minutes. Repeat with the second half. This step will make it easier to finish rolling out the dough when it has chilled. It will also mean you only have half of the dough getting warm as you roll it.

Lightly flour a flat surface. Use a floured rolling pin to gently roll the first half of the dough about 1/2-inch thick. Lightly flour the cookie cutter(s) and cut the shapes, making as few scraps as possible. Use a metal spatula to gently transfer them, cookie by cookie, (the cookies should be similar size) to a baking sheet. Repeat with the other half of the dough and transfer them to another baking sheet. A note about crowding the tray(s): these particular cookies can spread a little. Leave room between the cookies. Better to use 3 baking sheets with fewer cookies than to crowd them on 2 trays. Bake until brown around the edges, 8 to 10 minutes.

Got scraps? Form the scraps into a ball, press it flat and chill in the refrigerator. These cookies may be a little more “tough” because the dough will have been worked a little more than the others.

Why not have a little frosting on your gingerbread

Easy Orange Frosting:

1 cup powdered sugar

Finely grated zest of 1 orange

1 to 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice

1/2 teaspoon orange liqueur

1/4 teaspoon light corn syrup

In a medium bowl add all of the ingredients and whisk together to combine. If too thick in consistency, add a touch more orange juice or water to thin out.

Use a pastry bag fitted with a star tip to pipe the frosting between 2 of the gingerbread cookies. Press the 2 cookies halves gently together.

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4. Traditional Chocolate Chip Cookies

These are easy to make – I mean, Pillsbury takes all the work out it for you with their Break-n-Bake line.

This is the Nestle Toll House Chocolate Chip Recipe as found on Very Best Baking’s website (http://www.verybestbaking.com/recipes/18476/original-nestl%C3%89-toll-house-chocolate-chip-cookies/detail.aspx)

Ingredients

•             2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

•             1 teaspoon baking soda

•             1 teaspoon salt

•             1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened

•             3/4 cup granulated sugar

•             3/4 cup packed brown sugar

•             1 teaspoon vanilla extract

•             2 large eggs

•             2 cups (12-oz. pkg.) NESTLÉ® TOLL HOUSE® Semi-Sweet Chocolate Morsels

•             1 cup chopped nuts

Directions

PREHEAT oven to 375° F

COMBINE flour, baking soda and salt in small bowl. Beat butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar and vanilla extract in large mixer bowl until creamy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Gradually beat in flour mixture. Stir in morsels and nuts. Drop by rounded tablespoon onto ungreased baking sheets.

BAKE for 9 to 11 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely.

PAN COOKIE VARIATION: Grease 15 x 10-inch jelly-roll pan. Prepare dough as above. Spread into prepared pan. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until golden brown. Cool in pan on wire rack. Makes 4 dozen bars.

SLICE AND BAKE COOKIE VARIATION:

PREPARE dough as above. Divide in half; wrap in waxed paper. Refrigerate for 1 hour or until firm. Shape each half into 15-inch log; wrap in wax paper. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.* Preheat oven to 375° F. Cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices; place on ungreased baking sheets. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely. Makes about 5 dozen cookies.

* May be stored in refrigerator for up to 1 week or in freezer for up to 8 weeks.

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3. Monkey Bread

Not always featured around this time of the year, and can be made all year round, Monkey Bread is just a great addition to the dessert table for any Christmas party.

My sister-in-law makes the best version of this dish, but here is the official Grands! Recipe from Pillsbury: (http://www.pillsbury.com/recipes/grands-monkey-bread/7a1e41b1-4708-4028-8ce6-fcb5baebbc19)

•             25 min

•             Total time 1 hr 5 mins

•             Ingredients 7

•             Servings 12

Ingredients

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1 teaspoon cinnamon

2 cans (16.3 oz each) Pillsbury® Grands!® Homestyle refrigerated buttermilk biscuits

1/2 cup chopped walnuts, if desired

1/2 cup raisins, if desired

1 cup firmly packed brown sugar

3/4 cup butter or margarine, melted

Steps

1. Heat oven to 350°F. Lightly grease 12-cup fluted tube pan with shortening or cooking spray. In large -storage plastic food bag, mix granulated sugar and cinnamon.

2. Separate dough into 16 biscuits; cut each into quarters. Shake in bag to coat. Arrange in pan, adding walnuts and raisins among the biscuit pieces.

3. In small bowl, mix brown sugar and butter; pour over biscuit pieces.

4. Bake 28 to 32 minutes or until golden brown and no longer doughy in center. Cool in pan 10 minutes. Turn upside down onto serving plate; pull apart to serve. Serve warm.

 

Now here is the hard part – I put this list in order of what I like/prefer, so really, at least to me, there is no #2 on this list as both of these next two are absolute favorites of mine and are typically found around this time of the year.

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2. White Fudge Oreo’s

It’s an Oreo dipped in white fudge. They are usually only found during the winter months and are addictive and so bad for you…BUT THEY TASTE AMAZING!

There’s no physical baking or cooking for you to do. It’s just finding them at your local grocery or drug store and buying them.

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1. Peanut Butter No Bake, featuring Special K

First of all, not THAT Special K – unless you were thinking of the bran cereal from Kellogg’s, then yes, that one.

These are one of my favorite cookies that are made pretty much every year by my mother. I’ve tried making them before and I don’t have her powers (read: patience and attention to detail and touch). But yeah, these are amazing.

There’s really not much to this recipe:

SPECIAL K COOKIES (NO-BAKE)

1 c. white sugar

1 c. clear light Karo syrup

1 (12 oz.) jar chunky peanut butter

4 c. Special K cereal

Bring sugar and Karo syrup to a boil. Add peanut butter. Pour over 4 cups Special K cereal. Blend. While warm drop by spoonful on waxed paper. Let cool.

You’ve still got time this weekend to kick out some cool treats for holiday gatherings!