Firecrackers! A Great Superbowl Treat!

When I was in Florida over the holidays I went to a cocktail party and someone had brought firecrackers. Not the burst in the sky kind and not the party favor kind that you pull and a prize pops out.

These firecrackers are a snack made with saltine crackers and are also known as Alabama Firecrackers. I had never heard of them and I love trying new things. 

I was warned to stay away from the plate of firecrackers unless I liked spicy food. Well I love spicy food so I was all in.

The thing is, I didn’t think they were that hot. My husband doesn’t like real spicy food and he was okay with them in small doses. I on the other hand could have emptied the entire plate but people were watching.

They are easy to make and are perfect anytime of the year but they would make a great snack for Super Bowl parties. (Come on Vikings…..you gotta get there this year!!)

 

FIRECRACKER RECIPE

Ingredients:

1 lb Saltine Crackers (I only used 3 sleeves of the crackers instead of all 4)

1 cup Vegetable Oil (I used Olive Oil)

1 (1 oz) pkg dry Ranch Dressing Mix

1/4 cup Red Pepper Flakes

2 tbsp. Garlic Powder

3 tbsp. grated Parmesan Cheese

 

Here’s what you do:

1. Place crackers on a cookie sheet in single layer.

2. Blend the oil and remaining ingredients in a small bowl.

3. Brush the mixture over the Saltines until the crackers are coated.

4. Bake for 10 minutes at 200 degrees.

5. Remove from oven and place the crackers on paper towels to cool.

5. Cool completely, then place in air tight container for storage.

 

 

Let’s just say. I have eaten these for breakfast, lunch, mid-day snack, dinner and a bedtime snack. 🙂 ENJOY!

 

 

Does Your House Have a New Year’s Resolution?

We all seem to make them…New Year’s resolution to achieve some big goal. Have you ever stopped to think that your house may have them too?

Let’s start with the most popular resolution. LOSING WEIGHT!

Is your house bursting at it’s seams? Way too much ‘stuff’ crammed in the basement, the closets, the storage spaces? 

Perhaps it wants to shed some of that weight and be able to breath a little easier with some extra space.

 

Another popular resolution is GETTING HEALTHY!

Getting healthy is much different from losing weight. You may have shed the pounds but if you are still unhealthy at your core that weight loss may not make a difference.

     Your house wants to get healthy too! Don’t put off maintenance and repairs to keep the house in top healthy condition. Check your furnace, change furnace filters, fix leaky faucets, replace windows with broken seals, repair missing shingles. 

If your home isn’t healthy it isn’t worth as much when you go to sell it. You may be forced to fix all these core issues due to an inspection anyway which means you will have to lay out the money all at once and in a short period of time. Now is the time to listen to your house and get going on making it healthy.

And last but not least…….IMPROVING YOUR OVERALL APPEARANCE!

Oh yeah….we have all been there. Too many gray hairs showing your true age, a hair style that was popular in the 80s, clothes purchased 2 decades ago?

Your house wants to be released from the outdated look too. A fresh coat of paint with current and updated colors, lighting that shoots the room right up to the 21st century, and kitchen appliances that aren’t considered antiques.

 

 

 

With the New Year here, have a little chat with your house and see what improvements it may want to make. Make a New Year’s Resolution with your house.

Keeping your home in good repair and up to date will make it easier and your ‘to do’ list shorter when it comes time to put it on the market.

If you need assistance in deciding which New Year’s resolutions your home may be needing, hire a trained professional home stager to obtain the best return on your investment.

 

 

 

 

 

A ‘Spicy’ Twist to a Classic Holiday Candy

 

I’m not sure why Peanut Brittle is associated with Christmas but it seems as though this is the time of year when most people make it; or you see the boxed version in the stores. 

I grew up making Peanut Brittle every holiday season with my Grandma and my Mom. Watching the candy thermometer until it got to the exact temperature, stirring constantly, making sure it didn’t get too hot or burn to the bottom of the pan.

I was thrilled when I came upon this spiced up version of an old classic. I love spice! Mexican spice, Indian spice it doesn’t matter….and there really isn’t any spice better to me than Cayenne Pepper. (I so miss Caribou Coffee’s Spiced Mocha that they used to serve this time of year which included Cayenne Pepper but I digress).

I came across this recipe in the Better Homes & Gardens magazine six years ago and I have made it every year since. It actually comes from a recipe book put out by the actress Sandra Bullock’s sister, Gesine Bullock-Prado. 

SPICY BRITTLE!! (yes it has Cayenne Pepper in it so it is fabulous)

2 cups sugar

½ cup corn syrup

¼ cup unsalted butter

1 tsp. salt

1 tsp. cayenne pepper

1 tsp. baking soda

3 cups salted, dry-roasted peanuts

1. Spray a large sheet pan with nonstick baking spray. In a large, heavy stockpot over medium heat, combine the sugar, corn syrup, butter, salt and cayenne pepper. Stir until the sugar dissolves.

2. Clip a candy thermometer on the side of the pot and boil mixture without stirring until temperature reaches 300.

3. Immediately remove the pot from the heat. Sprinkle baking soda over the syrup and stir. The contents will bubble vigorously. Stir in the peanuts.

4. Quickly pour mixture evenly onto prepared sheet pan. Use a small spatula (sprayed with nonstick baking spray) to spread the brittle in the pan while it is still warm.

5. Cool completely and break into pieces

This peanut brittle is the perfect blend of sweet, salty and spicy. The spice keeps the candy from being too sweet. The salt keeps the spice from being to spicy. The flavors keep you reaching for another piece, and another piece. There really is no reason to stop.

Package the candy is a tin or clear bag, tie with a bow and you have a fabulous homemade Christmas gift or Hostess gift.

Enjoy and Merry Christmas!