Thursday, December 30, 2010

Wouldn't be New Year's without....

my sweetheart.

Alas, we'll be apart for the first New Year ever. And I won't get to see It Happened One Night at the Belcourt as we did on our first New Year's together. We got engaged then. I have, for years, believe I did the proposing, but was recently corrected when telling the story as I recalled it by, "Um, Babe, I remember getting down on my knee at one point, so....."

I digress. So apart for the actual holiday, we're going faux, and we're cramming all the New Year things in all at once and stretched out, too. It's new for awhile, right?

I made a big pot of peas last night. Black eyed peas. With CSA pork blade steaks, onions, garlic. And hot cornbread. Southern tradition for bringing luck in the New Year. Greens will have to wait. (for prosperity.)


Tonight, another skillet of hot cornbread, this time served up with chowder to which oysters will be added. The Mister's family always had a milky oyster soup on New Year's Eve. Over the years I've improved upon it. And put a little of this southern woman into the man's Swedish dish. Because it's what I know to do.

We'll do some kind of marathon series watching on disc over the course of however many weekends. Harder these days with early mornings every day of the week. This will start at some time in the nearish future. In our earliest years, we were all PBS crazy. And since, we've done Deadwood, The Sopranos, Six Feet Under, The Office (with Ricky Gervais,) and his other series, Extras. I'm hard pressed to say which we enjoyed more, though the Mister would unequivocally say The Sopranos and Deadwood are a close tie. This year we've not chosen a series. (Suggestions welcome.)

And getting in while the getting's good prior to swearing off the sugar for a time, I'm making up some Cracker Toffee tonight. And I'm sharing the recipe with YOU.

Chocolate Cracker Toffee

Saltine crackers
1 12 oz bag semi-sweet chocolate chips
2 sticks butter
1 cup dark brown sugar

Preheat oven to 300.

Pam a foil-swathed cookie sheet and line it with

Melt butter and sugar in a saucepan. Let it boil a
little while. Our it evenly over the crackers and bake
for 3 minutes in oven.

Remove, pour chocolate chips over everything evenly
and let it sit for 5 minutes.

When chips have melted, use the back of a spoon to
spread chocolate in an even layer on top.

Chill and then break like toffee and serve. Yum!!

-- Now what I do differently:
I use fewer chocolate chips, because I'm cheap. I find you can use less topping per crackers, and it goes further. So actually, I'm stretching the butter, the brown sugar AND the chips. By rather a lot, really.
I sometimes have subbed part coconut oil for some of the butter.
I also always do nuts. Pecans, almond slices, whatever. I dry toast them in a skillet first, and press them into the top of the crackers once dressed with caramelized butter / sugar and the chocolate chips.
I find popping the cookie sheet into the freezer to be helpful.


  1. Happy new year!

    This Northern girl has a huge batch of Hoppin' John cooking too for the holiday. Easy thing to grow, those beans, and even I will admit that they're lots tastier now that I am not veg any longer :)

    Personally, I really like In Treatment. You'll go through it quickly though because there are only 2 seasons out and the shows are only a half hour. But I agree with Mr. B: tv has been kinda boring since the Sopranos went off the air. Ah well.

    all the best in 2011

  2. Those are one of my favorite treats!!!

  3. Happy New Year to you, El. Hope you enjoyed your meaty beans, and that 2011 holds forth with the small treasures that makes living in a family so enjoyable.

    We've still not decided on a series, but will.

    Elissa, my sister in law calls the cracker toffee plain old crack. It was eaten in one fell swoop of piggishness with everyone with whom it was shared. I came home to find that the Mister had emptied his big bowl as well. :)