Rice Krispie Treats

Rice Krispies1

12 Days of Christmas {Treats}

Did you know….

1.  In Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, Tiny Tim was originally going to be called ‘Little Fred. ‘Dickens had two brothers called ‘Fred,’ Frederick and Alfred, the latter of whom died young. He probably altered the name to ‘Tiny Tim’ because the alliteration made the name catchier. (Although I can appreciate the connection to his family, I gotta say that ‘Tiny Tim’ sounds better than ‘Little Fred’).

2.  Harper Lee’s friend gave her a year’s wages for Christmas, on condition that she give up work and write. She wrote To Kill a Mockingbird. (You want my opinion? That was a huge waste of money. That’s right. I’ve never been a fan of To Kill a Mockingbird. I don’t even know if I can really explain the reason, I just didn’t like it.)

3.  There is a species of snail called Ba humbugi. The Fijian snail is named after Scrooge’s famous exclamation in A Christmas Carol, although Scrooge only utters the words ‘Bah, humbug!’ twice in the whole story (though he exclaims ‘Humbug!’ a number of times). (Umm….okay. I’ve got nothing else to say about this one.)

(Source: The Huffington Post)

Rice Krispies4

Rice Krispie Treats. I know some of you are probably thinking that they don’t really count as a ‘Christmas’ goodie, considering they’re available in stores year-round. My sister Ashley disagrees with you though. When I was planning what I would post for Day 4 of the 12 Days of Christmas Treats series for the blog, she suggested I make some of these for her (she’s a fan). After thinking about it for a minute or two, I agreed…so I guess I disagree with you too. These most definitely count as Christmas Treats.

Rice Krispies2You may be able to buy these in stores, but I do think that they’re worthwhile to make on your own. I’m not exactly sure why, but they do taste different…and better than the pre-made treats. It probably has to do with the freshness of the marshmallows (as ‘fresh’ as processed marshmallows can be anyway) and butter. They didn’t last long in my house. If you’ve never had homemade rice krispie treats, then I’m very sorry for you. They’re not only very tasty, they’re also RIDICULOUSLY easy to make. As in less-than-10-minutes-easy. You’re welcome.

Rice Krispies3

This time, I’m giving you guys two very strong, very emphatic recommendations for the price of one. The first I don’t think really needs much of an introduction or justification. I mean, who DIDN’T grow up listening to this book being read to them at Christmastime?  Who DIDN’T grow up watching the cartoon narrated by Boris Karloff?  Hearing him sing “You’re a Mean One Mr. Grinch” is worth watching the movie in an of itself, but I just love the traditional animation given to the Whos. This movie brings back so many memories and feelings of nostalgia for me. I watch it every year, at least twice at Christmas.

I still remember the first time I saw the second movie poster in the hallway of a movie theater as I was coming out of another movie (I don’t even remember what was now). I flipped out. I was so excited, guys. Without knowing a single thing about the script or story line, I made up my mind that I HAD to see it. I went in with super high expectations- and by the time I went out, I didn’t find myself disappointed. I don’t care what the critics had to say about this movie- it’s good. It just is. Never in a million years would I have though about giving the Grinch a back story explaining why he hated Christmas, where he even came from, or why he was living alone with a dog at the top of a mountain. Luckily someone else did. I won’t spoil it just in case there are some people who haven’t seen the movie- I will say though, that it’s a very creative idea (you may even shed a few tears). Jim Carrey stars as the Grinch. I will admit: Even beneath all that makeup and the Grinch suit- you will DEFINITELY know that Jim Carrey is in there. Like every other major comedian out there, he has his own trademark ‘schtick’. He takes the part and makes it his own. I’ve always been a Jim Carrey fan though, so I don’t mind when he goes into ‘character.’ It doesn’t ever take away from the story or other acting- it could just be due to how the script was written, but I couldn’t really see anyone else playing this part. Plus, according to IMdb:  “The prosthetic make-up Jim Carrey wore took 3 hours to apply. Carrey felt so horribly confined and uncomfortable in the latex skin he needed counseling from a Navy SEAL who taught him torture-resistance techniques.”

I think he deserves props for that alone, wouldn’t you agree?

*************************************************

Rice Krispie Treats

Recipe Courtesy of Kraftrecipes.com

CLICK HERE FOR PRINTABLE VERSION

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons butter or margarine
  • 1 pkg (10-1/2 oz.) JET PUFFED Miniature Marshmallows
  • 6 cups KELLOGS RICE KRISPIES Cereal

Directions

1. Melt butter in large saucepan on low heat. Add marshmallows; cook until marshmallows are completely melted and mixture is well blended, stirring constantly. Remove from heat.

2. Add cereal; mix well.

3. Press onto bottom of 13×9-inch pan sprayed with cooking spray. Cool completely. Cut into 12 squares.

****************************************************

Vanilla Almond Butter Bars

Pic 1

One of the best things about loving to cook is the desire I have to try new types of food. This wasn’t always the case for me, in fact when I was young, I was a pretty finicky eater. I had a specific list of foods that I knew that I liked, and it was pretty much all I was interested in eating.

Now that I cook for fun, I’m usually always up for trying new foods and new ingredients. The upside to this obvious, but the ‘negative’ part to it gets a little bit more complicated. See, when I find a new food that I like, I usually get somewhat addicted to it to the point where I feel like I HAVE to have it in a regular rotation for a while-especially when it’s something that isn’t too complicated to make.

Pic 3

This year alone I’ve had a HUGE variety of ‘food phases.’ Heck, I’m still in some of them: buffalo wing hummus (which I could make by throwing the ingredients in the food processor),  oven roasted veggies, chicken schwarma wraps, Kashi Go Lean Crunch cereal smothered in vanilla yogurt, bananas and peanut butter on toast, Shiritaki Noodle & Zucchini Lo Mein. I’m telling you guys, my cravings have no shame.

One of the cravings that has always stuck with me is the craving to have something sweet right after I’ve finished dinner. It doesn’t have to be something ‘too’ sweet or decadent like cake or candy or ice cream (not that those things aren’t ALL wonderful). I just want something that’s sweet enough to balance out the savory flavors from dinner, but still light enough to not be too heavy or put me in a food coma ( because I usually try to save those for the Holidays).

Pic 4

I’d always been a fan of raw almonds, but before I started reading food blogs and cookbooks, I didn’t even know there was such a thing as almond butter. But since there seemed to be a lot of people that were fans of it, I decided to take the plunge and buy some for myself.

And I was hooked. That first jar of Maranatha started an obsession with almond butter that I have yet to get over (and honestly hope that I never do). Don’t get me wrong, I’ll always love my peanut butter (after all, it is EXTREMELY cheaper), but I find that almond butter’s flavor isn’t as assertive as peanut butter’s is, and sometimes when it comes to flavors, less is more.

I’ve heard of and seen lots of recipes for no-bake bars that feature peanut butter in them (I’ve tried some, and they’re great), but not so much for almond butter. This recipe’s my little contribution/homage to almond butter. It satisfies the sweet tooth craving I get after dinner without making me feel too full. I’m sure that I’ll be stuck in a phase where I have to eat one at least every day for the next month or two. Another plus side to it is that the ingredients are actually pretty healthy so far as sweets go. Make sure you don’t leave out the vanilla extract guys, it adds something really special to the flavor of the almond butter- plus I love vanilla flavored ANYTHING, so I’ll look for excuse to throw it in a recipe if I think it’ll work…and it did. Rather nicely, I think.  I used Honey Bunches of Oats cereal with the Quick Oats to give the bars some varying textures, but if there’s another cereal that you prefer, feel free to use it. The bars are pretty versatile and ridiculously easy to make. Seriously, I think they take less than 10 minutes to put together, and a few hours to harden. So that means you literally have NO excuse not to make them. Right? Of course right.

FEED(ME) BACK: What’s your favorite thing to eat when you have a sweet tooth?

********************************************************************

Vanilla Almond Butter Bars

Yield: 16 Bars

CLICK HERE FOR PRINTABLE RECIPE

Ingredients

  • 1 cup creamy or chunky almond butter
  • 1 cup of honey
  • 2 cups of whole grain oats (either quick or rolled will work fine)
  • 1 cup Honey Bunches of Oats with Vanilla Clusters cereal, or Honey Bunches of Oats with Cinnamon Bunches cereal, slightly crushed
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract

Directions

1. Combine almond butter and honey in a 2 qt saucepan and place over medium heat. Allow to simmer until almond butter has completely liquefied and blended together with the honey. Remove from heat.

2. Stir in vanilla extract.

3. Fold the oats and cereal into the almond butter and honey mixture until evenly combined.

4. Use a rubber spatula to press the mixture into an 8” square cake pan or baking dish, making sure to spread mixture into an even layer.

5. Cover pan with plastic wrap or aluminum foil and refrigerate overnight, or at least for one hour.

6. Cut into squares.