Friday, December 18, 2015

Eggnog Cake Cookies

Eggnog Cake Cookies
Can we talk about pain for a moment?  Pain is what happens when you are, oh say, 39, haven't worked out in about three months and then decide that you are going to finally get back to The Dailey Method class that you haven't been to since you purchased that five class package over the summer when you were feeling motivated.  I am now still feeling pain in muscles I was not even aware existed.  This says two things, 1) I am lazy and deserve this pain and 2) the class is incredibly effective.  I do this because I want to be able to bend over and touch my toes when I am 70 and for reasons I don't fully understand, after I take the class, I am at peace with myself and the world around me.  Considering my anal nature and tendency to overthink and stress about anything and everything, achieving inner peace, even if it is temporary, is an achievement.    

Thursday, December 17, 2015

News, Quirks, Insights and Other Odds and Ends - December 2015

Chocolates in Paris
It is 60 degrees outside, it has been raining for two days straight, and this is Chicago in December.  We are in bizarro land.  Below: some reads over the past month that were a welcome break from the holiday insanity.

Not even Yoga is politically correct. We can just call it stretching class.

Apparently, how you dress does matter.  Should I take it personally that my significant other sent me this article?

A peek inside the difficulties of quitting an addiction.  This story talks about heroin, but it is also about the daily, unexciting but difficult grind of getting up everyday and living life.

Foods that TSA will confiscate.  If you do put them in your checked baggage, pack them well so you don't come out on the other end with vodka gravy jam.

This article is about a Father/Daughter relationship but it might as well be a message to all parents.  It's not the things we buy our kids, it's our behavior everyday that counts.

Our phones are turning us into old people with hunched backs.

Some sore throat remedies from folks who depend on their voices more than the weekend karaoke crowd.

Where would we be without Will Ferrell?  Laughing a whole lot less.  His SNL appearance was classic.

The food companies do some very shady things to keep you eating.  Be warned before you grab that bag of chips.  There is a science behind not wanting to stop eating once you start.

Monday, December 14, 2015

Cranberry Bliss Bars

Cranberry Bliss Bars
I don't do traditional holidays.  Every other year, my son is with his Dad for (name the holiday) and I don't have family within driving distance.  Don't break out the tissues for me just yet.  This unconventional way of life can have an upside.

When my son is away for whatever reason, be it camps or at his Dad's house, it gives me time to regroup, clean up the house, and get my affairs in order so I can be completely on when he comes back to me.  I also never take the time I have with my kid for granted because I know that time is limited.
Packing from The Container Store
So, even though I don't celebrate holidays in the traditional sense, I do love to make holiday treats which I promptly give away to neighbors and teachers so I don't devour them all while I work from home.  These bars have to be the best invention ever to come out of Starbucks, besides the Peppermint Mocha.  I have been searching high and low for a recipe that makes a good imitation and this one is it.  Thank you, Pinterest!  This is about as close as you are going to get to the stuff at the Starbucks counter and dare I say, perhaps a little bit better.       

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Chocolate Raspberry Rugelach

Chocolate Raspberry Rugelach

I have been putting off making rugelach for years.  I would always get motivated, buy the ingredients, and then get sidetracked by work or my kid or just procrastinate and forget about the project all together.  I realize that this does not speak volumes about my work ethic.  On the upside, I finally made them and so glad I did.

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Roasted Chicken Chili

Roasted Chicken Chili
I am pushing 40 and that means that holidays like Thanksgiving land me in my fat jeans for about a month after the bountiful feast.  What to do when I still have to feed my boy who has an ever expanding appetite and I have a taste for something substantial and warm given the cold turn of season?  Finally try Ina Garten's Chicken Chili is what.  This recipe is essentially roasted chicken, vegetables and lots of spices.  Healthy, hearty, and great for this time of year.  This recipe makes a ton so you might want to cut it in half if you are not feeding a viking army.