Christmas Nummies: Chipits Toffee Crunch Blondies

Christmas is all about friends and family coming together, enjoying the company of one another, and exchanging little tokens of our affection to show how much we care.

It’s also about food. Lots and lots and lots of food.

Therefore, I thought I’d share one of my favorite treat recipes. I actually found this recipe on the back of a bag of Chipits Skor bits and tried it just for a lark. My husband ended up eating half the pan, and my two friends (one of whom can be fairly picky with her food) ate the other half. And a favorite recipe was born!

(This isn’t really a CHRISTMAS recipe, per se, but delicious none-the-less and a great treat to have around for guests!)

Chipits Toffee Crunch Blondies

Photo 12-18-2013, 5 39 01 PMIngredients:

1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup brown sugar, packed2 eggs
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup SKOR bits (plus the rest of the bag for the end)
1 cup chocolate chips (if desired…and trust me, they’ll be desired!)

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and prepare a 13×9 (3.5 liter) pan. I’ve actually never tried this yet, but I suggest lining the pan with parchment paper, because the squares can be a bit difficult to remove from the pan otherwise. Either way, lightly grease your pan.

Beat the butter, brown sugar, and eggs until well blended.

Add all of the dry ingredients and mix well. This step might be a little bit of a workout, and you definitely want a really good spoon. As delicious as they are afterwards, at this stage your squares are like quickly-drying cement.

When you think you’ve got everything mixed well, add in the SKOR bits and your chocolate chips and put some muscle into it again to get them folded in.

Spread the whole thing evenly in your prepared plan. A hint: used your fingers for this part. The dough will not stick to your fingers, but it will stick in huge clumps to your spoon. Pat everything down nicely.

Bake at 350 degrees for about 25 minutes or until the tops of the squares are golden brown. Remove from the oven and immediately sprinkle with the remainder of the SKOR bits. Let the whole thing cool. Be patient. You don’t want to be trying to remove the squares while they’re warm…it’ll be a huge mess.

When cool, cut into bars of your size preference. Enjoy! ๐Ÿ˜€

Accountability Tuesdays Week 4

We’ve made it to another Tuesday and that means two things:
1. I’m currently mid-flight on my second of four plane rides that are bringing me back out to Northern Alberta for 14 more straight days of work, and…
2. It’s time to hold myself accountable again. Booooo….

Okay, enought flitting about. Can’t put it off forever.

Health and Body Image Goal
I will say this…my 14 days at home are not good for the waistline. There are just too many opportunities for treats at home, things I can’t have when I’m in camp. Garlic fingers and pizza, fried pepperoni, chocolates and cookies, and way too much soda. It is really quite terrible on the willpower, of which I already have very little. Can you guess where this is headed? I felt pretty decent when I got home for my turnaround,ย  but after two weeks of fatty snacks and sitting around the house playing with the baby I’m not really in a great way. On that note I’ve got some plans for this shift that involve the use of a set of toning bands and a lot of loose-leaf tea, so here’s hoping for a better outlook next week.

Editing Goal
Should I just hide my head in shame right now and be done with it? You guessed it, I still haven’t so much as glanced at my manuscript yet. I know, I know, I’ve been a very bad author. But, but, my printed copy is in the luggage right under my feet, and I swear it will end up in my hands – along with a good red pen – sometime this week. I promise.

1, 000, 000 Word Goal
I didn’t get as many blog entries written in advance as I was hoping this week, but I still wrote a bit, so let’s count it up. It looks like I only wrote blog posts this week, but I did manage to pluck out 4812 words worth of them. Still not up to snuff, in my opinion, but actually better than I thought I had done, so I guess I’ll give myself a little pat on the back for that. Additionally, since it’s almost the end of the month I thought I would share that I have thus far written a grand total of 20774 words this year. Thats nowhere near the count I need per month to reach my million word goal, but it’s about 20000 words more than I probably would havd written had I not made the goal. So, huzzah, I guess!

Stay tuned for next week’s accountabilities! Maybe I’ll write some love scenes for February. โ™ฅ

Taking Lucid Dreams to a New Level

As long as I can remember, I’ve had very vivid dreams. Where some people can tell me the general plot of their dream and who was present, I could tell you what the characters were wearing, the layout of the room we were in, the exact emotions I was feeling, and any other number of finite details. I kept a dream journal once, out of a curiosity of whether I might be able to interpret some of them, but it was ridiculously time consuming. I could wake up from a dream and start scribbling in a notebook, and my arm would get sore before I’d finished. I have dreams in that journal that take up more than ten letter-sized pages, front and back. I don’t have dreams, you see, so much as subconscious full-length motion pictures.

But last night’s dream took the cake in a way that compels me to write about it. I’m going to give you a basic outline of how the dream panned out, and at the end I’ll explain why this one in particular freaked me out a bit.

So the dream took place in the area of the Kearl Lake plant where I used to work. There’s an area set aside from the actual plant where that area’s workers have trailers set up for lunch rooms, changing rooms, offices, and so on. That’s where I was. I was wearing all my outdoor work gear; boots, coveralls, outerwear, toque, etc, and I was wearing a backpack. As near as I could figure, I’d just arrived for my shift, but I couldn’t seem to recall how I’d gotten there. Additionally, it was nighttime, even though I work day shifts.

So I’m wandering around the trailers, and there seems to be some kind of party going on. For a while I was just wandering around confused and couldn’t figure out what was happening, but after a while I realized that PCL (one of the construction companies that works on the site) was throwing some kind of festival or something. I could go into great detail, but suffice it to say that there were parades going up and down the streets, carnival rides in between the site equipment, and food stands around the trailers.

Aside from the crazy carnival stuff occurring, there were a few things that differentiated this dream from reality. For one thing, one of my cousins was there, even though he works at a Sobeys store in Nova Scotia. I remember him trying to tell me something about the woods outside the site, and he began sinking into some kind of quicksand. It turned out to be a joke he was playing on me. Ha ha, very funny. Then my husband’s cousin, who is working on becoming a continuing care assistant (also in Nova Scotia) appeared, and she started dragging me in and out of the trailers, snagging treats and things for me, which I stuffed in my backpack. At one point we were guarding some kind of large signature board, which, evidently, everyone who visited the carnival was supposed to sign. Sometime after this I went looking for my coworkers, but every trailer I went into looked the same, that is, a lunch trailer with no appliances and three people I didn’t know sitting there looking at me like I was nuts. I kept leaving and moving to another trailer, and it kept being the same trailer with those same three people. Eventually, at some point, I realized that people were lining up for the bus to take us back to camp, and I wanted to go join the line but my boots had disappeared and I couldn’t find them.

I really could go into a lot more detail, but for the purposes of this story, this is all you need to know: the dream made very little sense. It wasn’t an outrageously insane dream with purple elephants and giant plants trying to eat people, but it was definitely removed from reality. There were people there who shouldn’t have been, things happening that shouldn’t have been happening, and all in all nothing made any sense.

So here’s the weird thing…I was absolutely convinced it was real. Remember at the beginning when I said that I couldn’t remember how I’d gotten there? I was genuinely freaking out throughout the entire dream because of that fact. I could remember falling asleep in my own bed at home after spending the day with my husband and daughter, and then all of a sudden I was at the work site, wearing my work clothes. Throughout the dream I kept trying to find my supervisor to tell him that I thought I was losing my mind because I couldn’t remember anything from the past 6 days and I had no idea how I’d managed to get on a plane and show up at site without recalling any of it. And yes, I’ve had dreams before that I would have sworn were real while I was dreaming them, but this one was truly intense. I can actually remember thinking, “The only way this would make sense is if its a dream, which I know it isn’t!” I can vividly recall paying particular attention to the way my legs felt when I walked, the way the wind cut at my face, the way my fingertips burned from the cold, and thinking, “I can feel everything, so I have to be awake!”

Needless to say, by the time I woke up I was pretty freaked out. I’ve never had a dream quite that vivid before, one in which I was actually desperate to prove that it was a dream, but every instinct and physical sense I have was telling me otherwise. It was a new level of weird, that’s for sure, which is why I felt the need to share it.

So how about it? Have you ever had a dream like this, that was so unbelievably vivid you were actually starting to think you were losing your mind? Please share, so I don’t feel like the only lunatic here!

Launch of My Dreams

A reminder: This post courtesy of Julie Jarnaginโ€™s 101 Blog Post Ideas for Writers.

24. Describe your dream launch party

Unlike the previous post, I can actually answer this one because it’s my “dream” launch party and thus does not have to make sense if I’m totally off on what a launch party is supposed to be like.

Obviously my family and friends would be there, especially my daughter because I love any excuse to show off how adorable she is. ๐Ÿ™‚ There would be lots to drink, and even more to eat – I would want tons of treats, finger foods, sweets, everything you’ve got! There would definitely be some excellent music (stick to stuff that was produced before the turn of the millennium…I don’t care how old and un-hip that makes me sound), and I would strongly encourage dancing.

Basically what I’m describing here is a Cape Breton wedding reception, but hey…a party! ๐Ÿ˜€