I frickin' made caramel.
Wow, when you're trying to catch up on a backlog of things (blog posts/tasks/emails/etc), where do you start first? Do you start at the most recent and work backwards? Do you start at the beginning and just continue to add the heap of things to do, slowly making your way towards the present? Do you just wipe the slate clean, and vow to keep on top of things?
This is exactly the dilemma I find myself in. Giant backlogs of potential blog posts and emails. As I may have mentioned, since changing jobs and buying a netbook (which resulted in the desktop being turned on maybe once a week), I have found it difficult to find my groove in recreational internet usage. Mike has main control of the netbook, as I have an ipod touch (which isn't super conducive to typing much more than a 140 character tweet), and I don't have the freedom at work of having my own private office - so I'm not comfortable taking a quick break to read a blog or two before getting back to work. And since I have found it difficult to find my groove, though really this should be a good thing as I was too tied to the computer in that past, things like email correspondence and blog posting have become almost non-existent. Awful, I know. Especially since I don't get that many emails, I feel awful that I just can't seem to get my act together. Seriously. There are only like 3 emails that I need to write. Why can't I just do it?!
Instead, I sit here writing about how I'm so behind.
Claire's Peanut Butter & Boar Cookies - a pregnant castaway's dream
(Peanut Butter and Bacon Cookies - omg is all that can be said)
But I do need to catch up on blogging too, so I guess that starts now.
Now I bet you wonder how I'm connecting the title of the this post (lost...) with what I've been talking about (lost opportunities to keep up with my internet obligations - haha ha, ok this might be a stretch) and what I'm showing (food), well folks, it all comes around.
I'm starting the catch up game with some of the goodies I made for Tuesday when my craft group (there's 4 of us now and maybe a 5th who came for the first time this week) came over to craft and watch the LOST season 6 premiere at our house. Luckily the group will placate me and come over to the house to watch LOST instead of meeting at Panera on Tuesday nights. As we don't have a DVR, it's really my only choice lest I need to only experience LOST the day after online. And frankly, I'm not willing to do that after sinking 5 years into the show.
To make the experience enjoyable, and hopefully lure them back week after week until the season is complete, I went a bit gung ho on the snacks for the night. Buffalo Chicken Dip (guaranteed crowd pleaser) and Peanut Butter & Bacon cookies were the big winners of night. I can hear you already saying "Sarah, seriously? Peanut Butter & Bacon cookies? That is not right." I hear ya, and I understand the hesitation. It sounds wrong, but I was intrigued Tuesday morning when I saw mention of the recipe while browsing my blogroll before climbing out of bed. I was concerned about the amount of food I had (I needed enough to say "party") and I thought I could work them into my LOST theme (if only in my head, I called my chicken dip - Mr Cluck's Buffalo Chicken Dip - for those not-as-die-hard-fans, Mr Cluck's is the fast food place Hurley works at before he wins the lottery). Luckily the recipe is very simple, seriously only 5 ingredients, so it was easy to pull them together after work in the couple hours before my friends arrived. I was a bit skeptical, but didn't have a chance to try them out before everyone arrived, so it was up to the guests to let me know how they turned out.
The first person brave enough to try was actually a doctor, which I find incredibly amusing, and oh my, did they get a raving review. So much so that nearly everyone rushed to get one of their own. The salty/sweet mix is pretty great - we're just late jumping on the bandwagon, that Elvis sure did know what he was talking about.
The Splendid Table's How to Eat Supper - Rustic Shortbread Jam Tart
recipe #32 in the cookbook challenge
In addition to the Chicken Dip and PB&B cookies (and the chocolate cake & crab rangoon that Jen & Sarah provided), I also knocked out another Cookbook Challenge recipe (30 some recipes down, 60 some remaining) but as I thought might happen, the Jam Shortbread tart wasn't really LOST-fare. Too risky to try to eat while handling yarn, but at least Mike had a week's worth of breakfast, right? I mean, it was jam, flour, butter & maybe some sugar, so it couldn't be too far off from being toast with jam.
I also made caramel crunch corn (aka Dharma Caramel Corn) from a Martha Stewart Living scan I found on my old ipod on slow afternoon at work. This was perhaps my biggest victory because the night before I MADE CARAMEL! Holy crap. No one is as impressed with this as I am. Granted, caramel is only water & sugar (and then some butter added so it'll go over the popcorn), but I don't think normal people know that. They just weren't impressed with the feat (I told everyone...Mike, people at work, etc). But come on, people! They charge like 50 cents for a little bite-sized piece at the candy store, trust me, I know, I'm a huge caramel fan. It doesn't come cheap. And I made it myself! In a pot on my stove. And it tasted awesome. I foresee some homemade holiday caramels in my future.
Hopefully I didn't set expectations too high for future Tuesday night craft group, but this was an Occasion. From now on, I promise to not tempt with weekly pans of oh-so-bad-for-you Buffalo Chicken Dip, but I can't guarantee that I won't provide a dessert for those who wish to partake.