This is a weird Christmas, kids.

Today has been full of Christmas-ey things. My day began by dressing my 2 year old nephew in a suit and taking him to his preschool Christmas concert. Little kids are adorable singing anything, but I just couldn’t contain my laughter at the song that one of the classes sang.

J-E-S-U-S

Like B-I-N-G-O.

But about a Holy baby instead of a farmer with a dog.

Serious.

Then, I stumbled upon this awesome light display. I want to meet these people.

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Jammy Jams.

After receiving this lovely plate of Christmas cookies from our neighbor,

I realized that I had not posted my homemade jams! So here we go, finally.

I made strawberry and blueberry jams, and a tangerine marmalade. I am going to use these jams to fill my croissants on Christmas morning. You can too!

This will be kind of a long post, but that’s okay. Jams are pretty easy, when it comes down to it. I made recipes for one to two jars (blueberry and strawberry make one, while the tangerine marmalade makes two). Make sure you sanitize your canning jars, which you can easily find in a grocery store, before making your jams.

Blueberry Jam

2 packs of blueberries
1 3/4 cups sugar
juice of 1 whole lemon
1/2 packet of Certo liquid pectin (it’s a Kraft product and can be found in your grocery store)

1.) Combine the blueberries, sugar and lemon juice in a pot and bring to a boil. Mash the blueberries as they cook.

2.) Add in the pectin and boil for about 10 minutes.
3.) Skim off the foam with a spoon.
4.) Ladle the hot jam into the jar, and seal.
5.) Submerge the jar in boiling water for 5 minutes. It’s easiest if you have the proper tongs for this, but if you don’t, I’m sure you can find a way to get the jar out without burning all of the skin off your hands.

6.) Set can aside to cool. The jam will be ready to eat the next day!

Strawberry Jam

2 cups of strawberries
3 cups of sugar
1tbs of lemon juice
1/2 packet of Certo liquid pectin

1.) This is the exact process of the blueberry jam, sub strawberries, so I’m not going to type all that out again. I think you can figure out what to do.

Tangerine Marmalade

This one is a bit different so I will type is all out. It can take up to 2 weeks to set, so plan accordingly!

5 tangerines (if you prefer orange, you can sub 3 oranges in place of the tangerines)
2 lemons
1 cup of water
1/4 tsp of baking soda
2 cups of sugar
1 packet of Certo liquid pectin

1.) Peel the rinds off of the tangerines and lemons using either a knife or a carrot peeler, whichever you find easiest. Set aside.

2.) Cut up the fruit and remove all of the seeds.  Set aside.

3.) Combine water and baking soda in a pot. Cut small slices of the rinds into the water. You can decide how much you want to put in, depending on how chunky you would like your marmalade to be.

4.) Bring to a boil, then cover and simmer for 20 minutes.
5.) Add fruit, and simmer for another 20 minutes.
6.) Add in pectin and bring to a boil for 10 minutes.

7.) If you want to, you can strain some of the chunks out. Spoon the marmalade into jars, seal, and submerge in boiling water for 5 minutes. Allow to cool and set. As I mentioned before, the setting process can take up to two weeks.

Now you have three lovely spreads for your toast, croissants, or whatever else you like to eat with jam!

Sometimes, people just suck.

Guess who had a stressful weekend? Oh yes, I did.

This past Saturday, there was supposed to be a craft show a few miles from where I live. I was so excited because craft shows are great places to get Christmas gifts for friends. When I arrived, there were approximately 15 food trucks and -15 crafts. That’s right. No crafts whatsoever. Irritating. Food trucks are great when you’re hungry, but I had just eaten so that didn’t help ease my annoyance. I decided (about 10 minutes later) to go 20 minutes down the road to a little town center because my mother told me that they had a lot of stuff the day before. However, before I even got on the main road, some idiot hit me while I was stopped at a stop sign. The excuse was, “We’re going through a lot. My brother died yesterday. He got shot and died.”

Hmmm…considering that was the only thing they said to me, I’ll just assume they didn’t have insurance. At least there was no damage.

By the time I got to the second place, the police had blocked off everything within a mile radius for a parade later on in the day. I had to park at a hospital and walk into town, only to find about 2 open stores that had…nothing. Excellent. So I tried Kohls. Again, niente. Waste of an entire day.

In fact, the only amusing part of the day was my 5 minutes stroll through an antique store that had this gem standing in the middle of it:

I suppose Edward Cullen could be considered an antique since he’s old as hell. But he’s also not real…so I guess you fail, ridiculous antique store. An Edward cardboard cutout with a red lipstick kiss on it is not only modern, it’s unsanitary. Someone put their lips all over that thing and you should not be selling it. End of story.

Sunday sucked too but that’s not even worth talking about. 

And I thought urine jokes were for kids.

The Universal Technical Institute. I saw a commercial for it recently. Thought I should share.

This is a real place people. Its like Ivy Tech or The university of Phoenix. One of those places. Only the Universal Technical Institute didn’t think about what they were calling their university.

Got it yet? No? Let me give you a hint. Here’s their website:

http://www.UTI.edu

I hope you didn’t need to click on it to realize what’s going on here. I’m shocked this place isn’t a urology school.

THE GREATEST COOKIE EVER CREATED!

Here’s the deal, kiddos. I have developed a fantastic, rich, delectable cookie. My dad asked me to create a new cookie from Christmas. I’ve been dreaming of the “millionaire bar” that I ate in Liverpool and the salted caramel macaroon that graced my mouth in London and came up with an amazing recipe! It only takes about 45 minutes in total and is very easy.

If you are anything like my family, you’ll try to eat one of these cookies in one or two bites. Don’t do it. These babies need some sweet lovin’. Three or four bites at least. They are rich and need to be savored. I swear, these cookies are just music to my ears…uhh…mouth? Yummy.

Chocolate Shortbread Thumbprint Cookies with Salted Caramel

Ingredients:
1 stick of salted butter, softened
3/4 cup + 2tbs of flour
1/8 tsp of salt
3/4 cups of powdered sugar
1/4 cup of cocoa powder
1 tsp of vanilla
2 tbs of cool water
14 caramel squares (like Kraft; you can find them in the candy isle)
2 tbs of milk
About 1 tsp of sea salt

1.) Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
2.)Cream butter in a medium sized bowl.
3.) Add flour and salt and mix on low. Gradually mix in the powdered sugar and cocoa powder. The dough will be very crumbly at this point.
4.) Mix in the vanilla and water.
5.) Spoon dough onto a cookie sheet, about an inch apart. Bake for 9-11 minutes.When the cookies come out of the oven, use the underside of a 1/2 tablespoon to create a “thumbprint” center. Cool on a wire rack.
6.) While the cookies are cooling, melt the caramel squares into the milk, using a double boiler.

7.) Spoon the caramel into the thumbprints and let set for about 5 minutes.

8.) Sprinkle the sea salt on top of the caramel centers.

Eat up!! Makes about 16 cookies.

Are you Hungry for some Games?

Okay, so I know I’m a little bit behind on this, but I just started reading The Hunger Games series.

Over a year ago, my sister was telling me that I had to read them and I just ignored it…I was too busy writing my senior thesis. Well, I finally got around to it yesterday and I’ve already finished the first book..no shit. Amazing. Go read it if you haven’t already.

They’re making it into a movie, too, in case you just joined the world today. Who’s excited now? Yep. Me.