I have seven days until I start school again.
Where has the time gone?
Usually, I feel like Christmas break is almost too long. Like I get bored and feel like it’s been ages since I stepped foot on campus. I do not feel this way this week. Alas, school doesn’t ask me about these things (though, it totally should).
Since I have seven days of nothingness left, I’m making a To Do list.
1. Write my dang Christmas thank you notes and put them in the dang mail. I’m not proud of this, but for the past…. forever I have had a very bad habit writing these thank yous and then forgetting to put them in a mailbox. I mean, that’s the easy part, right? Right. Except for…not. I apologize to all those gift-givers in my life for continually failing to send you my thanks because I just can be bothered to remember to put the cards in the dang mailbox. I vow this year will be different (fingers crossed).
2. I’m going to read Anna Karenina. I’ve owned the book since high school and just never felt like I had enough time or energy to tackle how massive it is. I mean… it’s intimidating just to look at. This week, though! I’m gonna do it! Hopefully my strict diet of only teen lit will not keep me from finishing a classic (Russian (eek)) novel with a slower plot and a lot fewer supernatural love stories. I’m not saying real books are boring but…
3. Deep clean my room. Like for real deep clean. I kind of let things get out of control there in the last week of finals and in my packing frenzy that followed. I’ve found, like Hannah, that I am about 1000x less anxious and stressed out when my things are organized and clean. When I don’t have to dig through piles of things to find the thing I’m looking for. When I can see the surface of my desk. So this week is going to be dedicated to making sure I can at least start the semester organized and clean.
4. Miraculously get in good enough shape to run 13.1 miles in a week. Yeah… that half marathon thing is coming up. And (surprise! (not really a surprise)) I’m totally not even close to ready. This is mostly my fault and a little bit not my fault. Mostly my fault because I took three weeks off of training for finals and before that had not been pushing myself very hard. A little bit not my fault because I got a stomach flu around Week 4 of my 12-week schedule and then the actual flu this past week, Week 11. Maybe if I was really hardcore, I would have found a way to train around this. But I’m not hardcore. So I didn’t. I feel almost completely better from my bout with the actual flu, so I’m hoping that somehow, Sunday won’t be atrocious.
5. Not watch the entire series of Alias by myself. The Accountant and I started watching it this week, and I am so obsessed with it. I love Sydney Bristow. Like, so much. And I have a compulsive need to know how things end. Butbutbut! The Accountant and I started watching it together. And it would not be very nice of me to skip ahead and watch the rest of it without him. So this week, I will be patient (this is so hard for me omggggg).
6. Bake/cook something out of each of my new cookbooks. My family is the most generous group of humans on the planet, and accordingly, I have some sweet new swag to use in the kitchen. Including new cookbooks!! Like the kitchen nerd I am, I am itching to try out about 3000 new recipes out of them. Sometimes, I get distracted by recipes I find on the internet or ideas that I have in my own brain, though and I forget to check the wealth of knowledge I have in my cookbook stash.
Weirdly enough, these bars are the product of one of those distractions. As I said in my previous post, I’m obsessive about the s’mores flavor combination lately. So I decided to make some simple bars using those flavors.
Makes one 8×10 pan
1 1/2 cups graham crackers, finely crushed
1/4 cup granulated sugar
4 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
1 stick unsalted butter, melted
1 cup brown sugar, packed
1 tsp vanilla
pinch of salt
1 cup all-purpose flour
large marshmallows, cut in half
2 cups milk chocolate, melted
- Preheat your oven to 350°F. Line your pan with parchment, giving yourself a few inches extra so you can pull the bars from the pan to slice after they’re complete. Grease your parchment (just in case).
- Combine crust ingredients and then press into the bottom of your pan until you have an even crust. Bake for about 10 minutes, until crust becomes slightly golden. Let cool.
- Next, let’s make the blondie layer. Mix your butter and brown sugar in a bowl until smooth. Add egg and vanilla, again beating until smooth. Last, stir in your flour and salt until combined. Man, aren’t blondies so easy?! I love them!
- Now, pour over your prepared crust and bake for 20 minutes. You want the middle to appear set. Remove from oven and cover with your marshmallows, cut side down. I expected the marshmallows to spread a little more than they did, so if you want total coverage, you need to place them pretty close to each other. Then place back in the oven for another 5 minutes, to complete the baking process and to melt the marshmallows a bit.
- While your blondies are baking, melt the milk chocolate in a glass bowl over a pot of simmering water. Be careful to keep the temperature on the low side so you don’t burn your chocolate. Then it turns into a clumpy, grainy mess and you have to throw it away and start all over. I keep my burner between low and medium heat and stir until smooth.
- Once the blondies come out of the oven for good, pour the melted chocolate over the marshmallows. Smooth to cover the entire pan.
- Let bars and chocolate cool completely. This requires some patience, as it can take a few hours for this to happen. You can speed up the process with the fridge if you’re so inclined. Once completely cooled, remove parchment from the pan and slice into squares. These are best within a few days of baking.
Recipe from my brain, with help from Smitten Kitchen.
Alright, as you can see, I have quite a bit to do in the next seven days. So I’m going to get to it!