It’s time for another edition of Friday Dance Party here on Acorns On Glen. It’s the time where we give thanks for making it through another week and for being alive and present here on Earth. How do we celebrate another week of living? We dance. So, are you alive this Friday? Are you and your family safe and sound? Take a few seconds now to be in the moment and realize what a great life you truly have. Did you give thanks for that?
Good, now let’s dance.
I’ve been set free several times this week. I just haven’t been in the groove much at all this week. It all started when I realized that last weekend was Labor Day weekend. For some reason, I thought it was this coming weekend. How do I totally miss a holiday weekend? When someone at work mentioned the long weekend ahead, I thought they were joking. Then I began to think about what I would have felt like if I had come into the office on the actual Labor Day Monday and no one would have been there. That would have really set me free.
At the beginning of this week, it hit me that Summer was drawing to a close. Another feeling of being set free. Where did Summer go? It seems like a couple of weeks ago that I went home for a visit over Memorial Day. Like a few days ago that we left to spend the Fourth of July in Las Vegas. Are you telling me that it is time to officially not wear white, harvest the remainder of the vegetables from the garden, winterize the swimming pool in the backyard and, the worst part, begin to locate all of the winter snow shovels so I can put them inside the garage in anticipation of our first snow storm. Am I really beginning to think about snow?
I also thought this week was close week. Close week is the time every 28 days that my company closes their books and sees how much money they made or didn’t make. When my company exceeds their profit forecast, it is chalked up to excellent execution. When they don’t make their profit forecast, it’s the accountants fault. Those damn accountants…they must have made ANOTHER mistake. Needless to say, close week is fairly stressful and I got all crazed and fired up for it a week too early. Close week is next week. Wasting all this energy on something that didn’t happen really set me free.
And now this weekend I’m being set free on the Jersey Shore. We’re off to Asbury Park…home of Bruce Springsteen and Jon Bon Jovi. Actually, I’d be just as happy to get a glimpse of Snooki or The Situation. I would set my family and friends free as they watch me take off my shirt, do a little dancing with some fist pumps and then leave with my new friends (drunk, of course) and go do some GTL. I can only hope!
So with a week’s worth of being set free, it’s time to give thanks for making it through. We did it again! So let’s dance this week and be set “Free” from Graffiti6, a London-formed duo that began in 2009. Let’s give thanks for all that we have and all that we’ve done to close out another week. By chance, if you see me on the MTV channel with my Jersey Shore friends, let me tell you in advance that I am so sorry for setting you free. I know the feeling!
I know that what happens in Vegas is supposed to stay in Vegas, but I won’t give too much away from our trip. As usual, the weather was hot and so was the Strip. Lots of great food, some wild cocktails, a trip to see Celine, some shopping and lots of gambling has to add up to a great time and this trip was no exception. Turn up Elvis and enjoy my random thoughts and shots from our trip. It’s good to be home, but Viva Las Vegas!!
All of us here at Acorns On Glen want all the Fathers out there to have the absolute best day possible. This is the first Father’s Day since my Dad passed away and so now, more than ever, I want everyone to realize the importance of calling up your Father and saying “I love you”. Such simple words to mutter, but so important for your Father to hear. So here’s to the all the Dads out there. May each of you understand how important you are in your children’s life and how much you are loved. Tell us, how are YOU going to celebrate?
I’m on a mission today. I want to bring romance back to Valentine’s Day. Remember when you were young and you watched how Valentine’s Day and LOVE were expressed? People bought a dozen roses to give to their loved one. You bought a beautiful card and wrote a lovely note or a little poem in it and signed it with “With Love” in your own hand writing. Do you remember in grade school when you would decorate a small paper bag with red hearts and paper lace, tape it up on the chalkboard ledge and all of your fellow students would drop little Valentine’s Day cards into it addressed to you? Remember when couples celebrated with a great meal staring at each other over candles and champagne flutes?
Most people today seem to have lost the skills to be emotionally intimate. Dating has become less about meeting someone face to face and going on a first date and more about hooking up on an online dating website. Lovely cards replaced by short texts saying “143” (I Love You–one letter, four letters, three letters). Romantic dinners replaced by dinners were you arrive late because work was crazy and you have to be home by 10 because there is something on TV you want to watch.
Enough already. Today I want everyone who has a special someone to tell them ‘I Love You’ by spoken word versus a text. Bring home some flowers and a hand written card. Maybe a romantic dinner? I want people to express their love in a personal and tender fashion. I want people to show their love in an old-fashioned manner. I want romance to come back to Valentine’s Day. Will you help me?
There are many ways to bring in the New Year. So whether you want to bring it in all sweet and sentimental or you bring it in rowdy and crazy, the choice is for you to make. Whatever way you choose, please know that all of us here at Acorns On Glen want to wish you, your family and your friends a very Happy New Year 2012 and may even your wildest and craziest dreams come true. We look forward to spending more time with you in 2012. Our best to you in the New Year…………and where is the Advil for our friend below?
This brittle has always been a Christmas staple in my household. I can remember my mom making this brittle as a very young child. It’s funny about old memories. My memory of my mom making brittle is as clear as it was when I was actually watching her. I can remember what the pan looked like that she used, I can remember the exact spoon and even what the candy thermometer looked like. I can also remember eating pounds of it, including it at breakfast, lunch and dinner. Over time, I have taken her recipe and made some modifications. The biggest one is that I replaced peanuts with whole cashews. The cashews give the brittle a little more crunch and a little bit more creaminess. I also try to eat only a few pieces now versus half the container like I used to do when I was a kid. One thing I haven’t changed from my mom’s recipe is that I try to stretch the brittle as thin as possible. It is a lot more delicious when your pieces are thin versus thick. Here’s how we made the cashew brittle this year:
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, plus more for pan
- 2 1/2 cups salted, roasted cashews
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup light corn syrup
- 1 tablespoon baking soda
Butter a large baking pan; set aside. Combine cashews, sugar and corn syrup in a medium saucepan. Set over medium-high heat and bring to a boil, stirring constantly.
Insert a candy thermometer. Continue boiling, without stirring, until temperature registers 295 degrees, about 6 minutes. When sugar begins to brown, stir nuts gently to ensure even cooking. Remove saucepan from heat, and stir in the butter and baking soda; the mixture will begin to foam up, so mix quickly. Pour onto the prepared baking pan.
As soon as the brittle is cool enough to handle, use your fingers to stretch the brittle as thinly as possible over the baking pan.
Allow the brittle to cool completely, about 45 minutes, then break into bite-size pieces.
This cashew brittle is salty-sweet perfection. Be careful though, it can become addictive. You won’t be able to stop eating it once you start. I like this brittle as well for all the memories it has brought me through the years. It’s nice to include something in your Christmas cookie collection that reminds you of Christmas past. So there you have it. Our Christmas cookie and treat selection for 2011. I love how the flavors are all unique and stand up well on their own, but also how they complement each other when you make a tin up for a friend. Coconut pyramids that look like little modern pieces of art, the long biscotti with its red cranberries and green pistachios in the mix, the pretty cookie press cookies that are too cute to eat and the salty-sweet cashew brittle. The four of these really make a nice little treat for Santa, but better than that, for you and your family to enjoy over the Christmas holiday. Thanks for baking with us! Do you and your family eat all of your Christmas baked goods or do you share them with other family and friends too?