Ok, my dear friend Claire, a.k.a. "I was the actress who played Pippi," has recently tagged me in this skeletons-in-the-closet virus effecting blogs everywhere. Evidently I'm supposed to share some little-known facts about myself with you all, the number of which is determined by my favorite number. I think my favorite number in this case will actually be determined by how many little-known facts about myself I can come up with.
1) I can't tell time. In college, I was a slave to my Ironman digital watch, and I gave it up when I entered the work force. I usually consult my computer or cell phone for time checks, so I consider time telling a sort of a lost art like thank you note writing or Latin. However, when I went to Japan where I had no cell phone, I had to purchase a digital watch that looked like a real grown-up one.
2) I am terrified of vomiting, food poisoning and the stomach virus. This fear reached OCD proportions when I moved out and on my own after college, at the pinnacle of my anxiety. When I hear of the SV "going around," I worry about it so much that I make myself sick. I avoid buffets whenever possible, post-game tailgate food, and not a meal goes by that I don't worry about what kind of bacteria I may have just injested. Psychotic and irrational, huh? Ah, but you love me anyway.
3) I used to have the top of my ear pierced - not super-extreme, but whatever. This may surprise some of you, others may not be at all. I did it in Destin after my freshman year in college and kept it until after I graduated. I came this close to getting my nose pierced, too, but chickened out at the last minute.
I tag MK and KK.
It's Monday and MLK day, and I'm off work. YAY! And, as Monday dictates, here's this week's Delicious Dish. I found this one in Rachael Ray's magazine, but it's also online.
One 14-oz. bag soft caramels
One 10-oz. bag pretzel nuggets (I couldn't find these, so I used the honey pretzel twists and broke them into 3 pieces.)
12 oz. dark chocolate, finely chopped (I don't like dark chocolate, so I used a bag of milk chocolate chips.)
2 cups almonds, toasted and finely chopped (I used slivered almonds and chopped them up in smaller pieces myself.)
1) Unwrap the caramels, then, using a rolling pin, roll out each one into a 1/8-inch-thick oval (I found it to be easier to just do this by hand). Wrap a caramel around each pretzel nugget, pinching the ends to seal.
2) In a double boiler over simmering water, melt half the chocolate, stirring occasionally, until smooth. Add the remaining chocolate, remove the top of the double boiler from the saucepan and stir until smooth (I just put it all in there at once).
3) Place the almonds in a shallow bowl. Line a baking sheet with wax paper. Using a fork, dip a caramel-covered pretzel in the chocolate to coat, tapping off any excess chocolate. Transfer the pretzel to the almonds and toss to coat; place on the prepared baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining pretzels. Let stand until set, about 3 hours.
* My special advice - this isn't a whip-it-up-in-a-few-minutes type of project. They're delicious, but a little time consuming. I'd get all your pretzels ready for dipping before you even melt the chocolate. It's just as easy to make a bunch as it is just a few, so they'd make great handmade gifts.
On a sad note, Rick Burgess of the Rick & Bubba radio show out of Birmingham lost his youngest son, 2-year-old Bronner this weekend. I don't know the Burgesses personally, but I've been a big fan of their show for many years. When you're saying your prayers tonight, please lift up our brothers and sisters in Christ, The Burgesses, and pray that they'll find the strength to live day to day.
"The Lord is close to the brokenhearted; he rescues those who are crushed in spirit." Psalm 34:18