Signature Pretzel MMmmm Cookies

I have been working for year on making a signature dessert. I have mentioned before that have a strange addition to baking and there is nothing quite as satisfying as having people rush to you at a party exclaiming “These are delicious!” or “You are such a great baker!” or occasionally “What’s your secret ingredient?” to which I always respond “Love” but in reality is “butter and 2 different types of sugar”. When I began venturing away from the recipe book a few years ago and starting to make my own creations, I started to think about how great it would be to have a dessert that people linked to me. I wanted to be that person who was invited to a party and the host thinks to herself “I hope she brings a batch of those delicious _______”. And one day, after a particularly long few hours of stress baking, it came to me. My own cookie recipe. Disclaimer: This is a big world so there is a chance that there is another person out there in the world who also have a similar or even the exact same cookie recipe that I am about to present. But it actually leads me to my next point. I was going to keep this a secret. It was going to be my own, just for me. But that I realized how sad that was. I thought about how the point of baking is to share sweetness to everyone. I thought that a delicious cookie could make a bad day into a good day and even be considered comfort food during the worst of times. So I knew that I had to share.

Happy Baking!

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups of all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp of salt
  • 1 stick of butter (soften at room temperature)
  • 1/2 cup of coconut oil (room temperature)
  • 2 cup of granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup of coconut sugar
  • 1 Tbsp of Dark Molasses
  • 1 tsp of vanilla
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 bag of Pretzel M&Ms (I have yet to try this with just regular M&Ms and pretzels but I’m sure it would work fine)

1) Preheat the oven to 375 F

2) Combine butter, coconut oil, both sugars, molasses and vanilla into a smooth paste

3) Add Eggs in one at a time, mixing in between

4) Mix in the baking soda and salt

5) Gradually add in the flour until everything is well combined

6) Put all of the M&Ms into a blender and pulse into a powder with a few chunkier pieces (FYI this makes a TERRIBLE noise but just power through)

7) Incorporate the pretzel-chocolate powder into the batter until everything is combined

8) Put this mixture in the refrigerator for 15 minutes

9) Roll the chilled batter into 1 inch balls and place the evenly along a baking pan lined with wax paper

10) Bake for 13 minutes

11) Resist the temptation to eat them right off of the hot baking pan and let them cool for 10 minutes

12) Enjoy!!!

The Ref is Out of Line

I am not a sports person. I tried to be. I have an older brother who entire life is sports. He has gone over rules, stats, players, even team mascots but I am utterly useless. No matter what I tried, I could not retain any of it. Probably because I am unfortunately one of those terrible people… who just doesn’t like sports. I did have a thing for hockey for a very short time in my life after I watched the Mighty Ducks movie. But that ended quickly after the third movie ruin the franchise. In short, I never got into sports and thus didn’t know any of the rule for anything ever. Which is what make the story of the brief time in my life when I got a part time job as a intramural sports referee all the more interesting. I have mentioned before that I had almost every typical job that every person had while they were at college. One of those jobs came from an ad in the school paper looking for student referees. The orientation made it all look so easy. We had a choice between softball and flag football. Remember how I said that I know nothing about sports? I ended up picking flag football because I thought that would be easier (seriously, I DO NOT get sports). Ignorance is not always bliss. One that first day, they gave us all a rundown of the rules and to this day, I still do not fully understand them.  So on the one and only day I was a referee, I mixed up the two teams, made two really wrong calls, got yelled at repeatedly by both side and then by the end, I’m pretty sure I was just making stuff up (“You strike out!” stuff like that). It got so bad, they ended up switching me over to the ultimate Frisbee side, a spot usually reserved for the older kids who have earned an easy night. You see, while the whole flag football thing was happening, on the other side of the field, there was a series of ultimate Frisbee games going on and only one ref was needed to monitor them because it was “super easy”. This is how it was explained to me: whoever got the Frisbee to the other side gets the point. Simple enough. But the person who explained this to me forgot to mention that the teams switch sides after every play (or was it every quarter… seriously, I don’t know anything). In her defense, every college student really should know the rules to ultimate Frisbee. It’s basically mandatory and will eventually be part of the SATs. But in my defense, I just got taken off refereeing flag football because I tried to tell a person not to block the goalie. And it wasn’t like anyone was wearing uniforms, so I didn’t know who was on whose team. At least the Frisbee guys were nicer. There was more “Excuse me Miss Ref. I think you gave the other team our point” instead of “What the Hell Ref?! Are you blind?!” that I got from the flag footballer (I almost responded “Yes, I am actually partially blind” just to get them off my back but I knew karma would really get be for that one). So at the end of the day I wasn’t just done, I was finished. Completely wiped out physically and mentally. I left that job the next day (probably to cheers from my co-workers) and never looked back, decided that something just weren’t worth the money. But I do wish sometimes I would have stuck by it. Then I could actually know things. It’s not too late for me though, I can still learn. Just this time… I’ll learn from off of the field.

Putting the Fuse in Confused,

C

Hair Dying

I feel that everyone have very different opinions about hair dye. It can be used for many reasons but my favorite reason for dying one’s hair is definitely as a form of expression. I personal love dying my hair . It think it’s fun and refreshing but I have been known to go a bit overboard at times. I have dyed my hair many times in the past, in all kinds of colors and styles. It all started in elementary school. You hear me right, 5th grade. A popular girl that I’m going to call “L” came into the class one day with not only a brand new cartilage piercing, but also strips of pink in her light brown curly hair. All of the girls were on her at one. We were all fascinated and jealous to the core. By lunch time, the blond girls were highlighting their hair with actual highlighters. I was disappointed when it didn’t work on my dark brown almost black hair. I remember asking my mom about it the moment I got home and she of course said no. However, my cousins who were around my age had been experimenting with highlights at the time (and when I say experimenting, I literally mean that because my aunt was putting house-hold cleaning bleach on small sections of their hair). I was offer this as an alternative but I said refused. It wasn’t colorful. After a while of watching me desperately draw on my hair with different markers (and I think actual paint at one point) my mom and dad had a discussion about what to do and eventually gave in. I was shocked that they were actually okay with this but now I’m pretty sure that discussion was just my dad saying, “Let her do it and let her learn her lesson,” because, oh boy did I. [It was the same thing he said when I wanted to wear a bikini to my first day of summer swim team practice, another horrible cringe worthy story that I probably won’t ever tell. I just kind of hope that one will completely disappear from my memory. ]

My mom had a friend in who owned a little beauty store and so she brought me in one day. When my mom voiced her concerns, her friend cheerfully said, “Lot of the young girls are doing it now, I think it’s a trend.” She helped me find a hair dye called “Cherry” and warned me that my hair was probably too dark for it to show up really well but it would show up a little. And it did. My mom helped me put it in and I was slightly disappointed that it didn’t show up as vibrant as Lindsey’s but it shone in the sun and I was happy. The next day at school, I walked in to class spinning my hair around waiting for compliments, but nobody really noticed. Except for a few of the other girls. Now I definitely wasn’t part of the popular crowd, I hung around mainly with myself, so as you can imagine this made me look….well frankly desperate. I hear “L” at one point saying “She just did it too copy me.” in a tone of aggravation and annoyance that made me just want to die (Haha, Die-Dye. Punny). It made me surprisingly sad, regretful. I even went up to “L” and tried to explain that I wasn’t trying to copy her and I’m sure you can all imagine how well that went. I had the color in my hair for a little bit, my mom’s friend made sure to give me the temporary stuff (another reason my mom gave in). And you would have thought that was the last time I would have attempted to color my hair but even thought I still felt my stomach do flips when I think about “L” comment, I was hooked. I did eventually let my Aunt put the bleach in my hair and I actually really liked it (now the pictures from that time make me shake my head but in the early 2000s, it was pretty nifty).

When I got older, my mom and I experimented with home highlighting kits together  but most of those just looked terrible. I’ve had red highlights, purple tones and a smattering of other. All looked okay for a little bit and was only acceptable because I was in high school. When I was in college, I had this “thing” I would do where I was get one of the “Splat” kits from CVS, bleach about an inch of the underside of my hair, on the left side and then give it vibrant color. I had neon blues, pinks, reds, I think green at one point. Then I would cut my hair short, cutting off the bleached section, have normal hair for a while and when my hair was long enough, do it all over again. Last year, dyed my entire underside of my at the time very long hair a dark purple. I don’t know if I will ever completely give it up. I told myself when I got a real job and was a grown up, I would stop but then I dyed my entire head red just a month ago. I go back and forth on the topic so much. Every year I tell myself I’m too old to dye my hair but I suddenly blink and poof! Color! Maybe I’ll never stop. Maybe I don’t want to stop. Maybe it’s time that we redefine the normal. Maybe it’s time you see a girl with exotic pink and green hair walking down the street and instead of saying “Wow, she has weird hair”, you’ll say “Wow, why is she walking a ferret?” It is the time for acceptance. For expression. For more color.

Putting the Fuse in Confused,

C

I feel that everyone have very different opinions about hair dye. It can be applied many reasons but my favorite is definitely as a form of expression. I personal love dying my hair . It think it’s fun and refreshing but I have been known to go a bit overboard at times. I have dyed my hair many times in the past, in all kinds of colors and styles. It all started in elementary school. You hear me right, 5th grade. A popular girl that I’m going to call “L” came into the class one day with not only a brand new cartilage piercing, but also strips of pink in her light brown curly hair. All of the girls were on her at one. We were all fascinated and jealous to the core. By lunch time, the blond girls were highlighting their hair with actual highlighters. I was disappointed when it didn’t work on my dark brown almost black hair. I remember asking my mom about it the moment I got home and she of course said no. However, my cousins who were around my age had been experimenting with highlights at the time (and when I say experimenting, I literally mean that because my aunt was putting house-hold cleaning bleach on small sections of their hair). I was offer this as an alternative but I said refused. It wasn’t colorful. After a while of watching me desperately draw on my hair with different markers (and I think actual paint at one point) my mom and dad had a discussion about what to do and eventually gave in. I was shocked that they were actually okay with this but now I’m pretty sure that discussion was just my dad saying, “Let her do it and let her learn her lesson,” because, oh boy did I. [It was the same thing he said when I wanted to wear a bikini to my first day of summer swim team practice, another horrible cringe worthy story that I probably won’t ever tell. I just kind of hope that one will completely disappear from my memory. ]

My mom had a friend in who owned a little beauty store and so she brought me in one day. When my mom voiced her concerns, her friend cheerfully said, “Lot of the young girls are doing it now, I think it’s a trend.” She helped me find a hair dye called “Cherry” and warned me that my hair was probably too dark for it to show up really well but it would show up a little. And it did. My mom helped me put it in and I was slightly disappointed that it didn’t show up as vibrant as Lindsey’s but it shone in the sun and I was happy. The next day at school, I walked in to class spinning my hair around waiting for compliments, but nobody really noticed. Except for a few of the other girls. Now I definitely wasn’t part of the popular crowd, I hung around mainly with myself, so as you can imagine this made me look….well frankly desperate. I hear “L” at one point saying “She just did it too copy me.” in a tone of aggravation and annoyance that made me just want to die (Haha, Die-Dye. Punny). It made me surprisingly sad, regretful. I even went up to “L” and tried to explain that I wasn’t trying to copy her and I’m sure you can all imagine how well that went. I had the color in my hair for a little bit, my mom’s friend made sure to give me the temporary stuff (another reason my mom gave in). And you would have thought that was the last time I would have attempted to color my hair but even thought I still felt my stomach do flips when I think about “L” comment, I was hooked. I did eventually let my Aunt put the bleach in my hair and I actually really liked it (now the pictures from that time make me shake my head but in the early 2000s, it was pretty nifty).

When I got older, my mom and I experimented with home highlighting kits together  but most of those just looked terrible. I’ve had red highlights, purple tones and a smattering of other. All looked okay for a little bit and was only acceptable because I was in high school. When I was in college, I had this “thing” I would do where I was get one of the “Splat” kits from CVS, bleach about an inch of the underside of my hair, on the left side and then give it vibrant color. I had neon blues, pinks, reds, I think green at one point. Then I would cut my hair short, cutting off the bleached section, have normal hair for a while and when my hair was long enough, do it all over again. Last year, dyed my entire underside of my at the time very long hair a dark purple. I don’t know if I will ever completely give it up. I told myself when I got a real job and was a grown up, I would stop but then I dyed my entire head red just a month ago. I go back and forth on the topic so much. Every year I tell myself I’m too old to dye my hair but I suddenly blink and poof! Color! Maybe I’ll never stop. Maybe I don’t want to stop. Maybe it’s time that we redefine the normal. Maybe it’s time you see a girl with exotic pink and green hair walking down the street and instead of saying “Wow, she has weird hair”, you’ll say “Wow, why is she walking a ferret?” It is the time for acceptance. For expression. For more color.

Putting the Fuse in Confused,

C

Cringe: A Poem

Nails on a chalkboard, when your boss needs to “talk”,

and the feeling of stepping in a puddle while wearing clean socks

 

An ant struggling in your soup, when knees crinkle and crack,

Mama Frogs who give birth to babies straight out of their backs

 

A finger nail that was split, unknown gunk smeared on your blazer,

Find a hair that isn’t yours stuck right in your razor

 

Spit in your eye and someone else chewing on YOUR pen,

People who throw up in their mouths, and then swallow it again

 

Biting hard on your tongue and when someone you hate starts to giggle,

Hoop Earrings that are pulled and ripped straight down the middle.

 

Skidding knees on sidewalks and the smell of fresh chum,

Eating some crackers while you are still chewing gum

 

Sand stuck up your butt, biting the inside of your cheek,

Finding a wriggling half worm in your apple or peach

 

Stepping on a Lego, seeing your neighbors trying to creep

and bad rhyming poetry that puts you straight to sleep

 

I’m super sorry about that,

~C

 

My Own Brand of Hypochondria

I have taken to calling this month HypochonJuly due to the fact that I have decided to see 4 different doctors/specialists within a 9 day span. So I have decided to do this for a few different reason. 1) I am trying to take as little PTO days to do this so I scheduled appointments back to back 2) I finally have real people insurance and am very overdue for most of these 3) I have this constant nagging feeling in the back of my head that I am dying of some rare disease. So I don’t want to say that I have hypochondria because I don’t. At least I haven’t been clinically diagnosed but also, could a person who put off her annual checkup with her family doctor for 4 years really be considered a hypochondriac?? I don’t think so.

At the same time though, I would be lying if I said that I can’t watch the health part of the news anymore because every time a disease is brought up, I tend to think I have already caught it. And I tend to jump to the craziest conclusions when the littlest thing happens to my body. Like when I feel a tooth hurt a little bit and think I need a root canal. Or when my throat is sore and puffy and I think that my tonsils need to be drained of fluid. Or when wake up one morning with my eye stinging and think that I have an eye ulcer. Oh wait. All three of those things ACTUALLY happened to me. It’s crazy I know. WebMD is made fun of for making people misdiagnose themselves to something much more serious but it’s been right with me about 90% of the time. And because of these and many other hospital adventures, it probably why I am the way I am. I am so prone to the most obscure brands of illness and now I always assume the worse if coming. Which is not a bad way to prepare for the zombie apocalypse but I already packed my survival bag months ago and waiting around for it to just happen got too boring. Either way, I am now going to be poked and prodded by many a doctor and am prepared to be told that either nothing is wrong with me or everything is wrong everything. No matter what, I am prepared and mentally ready. So in conclusion, no I am not the traditional kind of hypochondria, I am my own kind. The one that suspects because it’s most likely true. The one that goes above and beyond because it’s actually necessary. The one that is never surprised at the doctor’s office. I never say “Really? I had no idea.” I tend to say ” Yeah, that sounds about right.” which just makes it easier on everyone involved in the situation at the end. Cause no matter what, surprises in life may be nice, but expectation of the worst has definitely kept me from having some potentially really horrible days. It’s all about perceptive and paranoia. The foundation to keeping you in check for the unexpected which I feel everyone can use a little more of in their life anyways.

Putting the Fuse in Confused,

C