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the original sweet & salty

April 29, 2012

easy sweet recipe using saltines

Long, long,  ago – when I started my first serious full time job, the woman I worked for brought in a dessert that she had made from saltines crackers.  At the time, it seemed very mysterious and unusual.  Looking back, it was the first time I really enjoyed the combination of sweet and salty.  With salted caramels being so trendy, I was reminded of the old favorite saltine recipe.  It is one of the few dessert recipes I have committed to memory, because the measurements are so easy to remember.  A nice thing about the recipe is that it only uses four simple ingredients.  More recently, I made it for my twenty-something son and he went nuts over it.  Makes sense….when I think about it, I was his age when I first went nuts for it.  The recipe:

2 sleeves of saltines, 1 stick of butter, 1 cup brown sugar, 2 cups of chips


  • 2 sleeves of saltine crackers
  • 1 stick of butter (I use unsalted)
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 cups chocolate chips

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.  Cover a cookie sheet with a piece of aluminum foil and give it a light coat of cooking spray.

Arrange the saltines on the foil, covering all the space.

Arrange crackers in a single layer to cover all the space on the pan…you may need to use a couple broken ones to fill in all the spots.  Take 20 of the crackers you have left and seal them in a zip-loc bag.  Use a rolling pin to crush them up and set the bag aside.

Use a rolling pin to crush 20 of the saltines in a zip-loc bag

Put the butter and brown sugar into a medium size saucepan and stir until it is boiling strong enough that it can’t be stirred down.  Then, pour it slowly over the crackers, covering them the best you can.  I use a dull knife to carefully spread the mixture evenly, trying to cover most of the cracker layer.

Bake in the oven for 5 minutes..the topping will be bubbling.  Remove the pan from the oven and let it sit for about a minute.  Sprinkle the chocolate chips evenly over the top.  After a minute or two the chocolate will be soft and you can use a dull knife to spread the chocolate evenly over the crackers.  Then, take the bag of crushed cracker crumbs and sprinkle over the top of the hot chocolate.

Let cool slightly, then put the cookie sheet in the refrigerator to set.  After about 45 minutes or so, remove the cookie sheet and break the crackers into irregular pieces.  Store in a plastic airtight container in the refrigerator…enjoy!




11 countries in 60 seconds

April 26, 2012

field trip friday

You can take the same field trip that I am enjoying today without ever leaving your house – actually, without ever even leaving your chair.   A perfect day to stay put on a cold, dreary New England day. Today,  I am going to take you through eleven countries in sixty seconds….are you ready?

Three friends traveled through eleven countries in fourty four days.  They  took 18 flights and traveled 38,000 miles. From this trip, they created three one minute video travel logs:  Move, Eat, and Learn.  All three are inspiring and visually exciting, but the one I keep watching over and over again is Move.

Please watch below…enjoy!

What do you think?

I LOVE sharing my very favorite online video.  I am not big on videos online… Sure, I am savvy to Tupac’s hologram video and yes, I know who Tosh is.  And, I know that the honey badger went viral, but come on….is Move not the most inspiring sixty seconds EVER?  Doesn’t it put a smile on your face?  Truly beautiful.  Play it a few times today…it’s worth the three minutes.  :)


prank gone good

April 25, 2012

diy chalkboard magnets

I walked in the living room over the weekend to find my son’s interesting sense of humor in action…our front door (which is metal) was covered on the inside in magnets…you know, the free advertising kind of magnets…they are business card size?  Apparently he picked up a few handfuls at some event he attended and thought it would be funny to load the door up with them.  So, the next day, as I am removing the magnets (apparently, part of the joke was that he was not planning on removing said magnets) carefully so they didn’t scratch the paint, I am thinking that there must be something clever I can do with all these new- found magnets.  I have often thought I would like to purchase magnetic sheets to experiment with, but I really didn’t want to spend the money on them.  Now I have TONS for no cost to me (except spending a good amount of time removing them from my door).

Well, I was thinking of attaching pictures by printing favorite photos onto labels with a color printer and stick them onto the magnets, but couldn’t think of any metal surfaces I was interested in putting photos on.  Then I remembered the chalkboard Con-Tact paper I had.  When I discovered such a product existed, I had to have it, but have not ever put it to use.  I originally thought I would use it for gift tags, but I have so many gift tags that I love already I never had reason to use it.

Now, the idea of using the Con-Tact paper on the magnets seemed like such a cool idea and SO SIMPLE to execute!  I simply stuck the advertising side of the magnet to the Con-Tact paper and trimmed them appropriately.  They are so easy to cut…

Here are some of the magnets I created….

I think these would also be great with the days of the week for the fridge.


Any kind of silhouette is really fun to do.






Chalkboard Con-Tact paper                                 $8 roll

TONS of business card size magnets                    $0

Old piece of chalk (from the junk drawer)             $0

“Making good” on my son’s prank                        priceless


‘clean’ or ‘dirty’ magnet for the dishwasher

 This project is being submitted to Celebrating Everyday Life recycled & repurposed diy project link party.


orange appeal

April 19, 2012

do they still make tang?

When I was out and about last weekend I decided to try and find something to rock the orange.  Yes, I decided to give in to the orange invasion.  If you have been in the stores at all this season you have witnessed the orange take over.  It is everywhere.  In Manhattan recently, I saw fashionistas all over the city carrying huge orange bags…a big departure from the usual all-black attire.

What exactly is the appeal of the color orange?  What are the things that come to my mind when I think of the color orange?  Construction sites…  Prison uniforms…  Mario Batali (okay, I do like him).  TangTang was the ‘space’ drink I enjoyed as a kid …do they still make that stuff? ….and as I got a little older,  Tango.  Tango was an interesting (albeit disgusting) mix of some kind of artificial orange beverage mixed with vodka.  Back in ‘the day’ it was considered a much higher end beverage than my usual sloe gin fizzes.

I do give in to so many of the trends as time goes on….no matter how adamant I am about avoiding them.. I always give in.  I figure I will get some token orange item and get it over with…satisfy the orange. I can’t go with too much of it because I know it looks awful against my skin.  This was confirmed years ago when color ‘seasons’ were popular.  I was told I was a winter. Apparently winters DO NOT look good in orange.  Winter or not, I definitely agree that orange is not my color.

I decided to walk up and down the aisles of Jo-Ann Fabric & Craft Store to get some inspiration and a light bulb went off as I got near the yarn section.  I will make a lightweight scarf!!  Granted, I know very little about knitting other than the basic knit.  I try to mix things up by using two yarns simultaneously or varying the size of the knitting needles.  In this way, I can make a scarf look different without really knowing that much about knitting or learning any other stitches. If you pick interesting colors and yarns and/or mix up the sizes of the knitting needles, you can make people think you are an experienced knitter and they will never know you need to use a reference on the internet to remember how to cast on!  Here are the yarns and needles sizes I chose:

I used one 15″ knitting needle and one 17″ knitting needle and held the two yarns together and knit them as if they were one.


I merely did straight knitting, but put the two yarns together and knit them as one.




By the way, if price were no object, my orange item would definitely be a pair of Tory Burch flats…now THAT’S an orange crush!


jonathan livingston?

April 16, 2012

a picture is worth a thousand words

What a beautiful beach day.

Before the clocks were set ahead last month , I could never get out of work soon enough to see the beach before dark.

There were so many seagulls tonight.  I love running down the sand and watching the seagulls take flight.  It reminds me of the book Wave by illustrator Suzy Lee.

It is one of my favorite picture books … such a joyful book with beautifully simplistic illustrations.

The book is about a child’s day at the beach where she is followed by a flock of seagulls.





Just like skimming rocks, running after seagulls never gets old :)




fun for free

April 16, 2012

thank you Jimmy Fallon!

I am at a point in my life where I have no expendable income.  Like so many parents, I am helping my twenty something’s with college to get a good start in their lives and I’m pretty caught up in paying all this ‘good start’ off!  This leaves no budget for non-necessities…..least of all for any entertainment expenses.  So I am always on the lookout for any good fun for free.. my most recent excursion?

I attended a taping of “Late Night With Jimmy Fallon!”   Jimmy Fallon happens to be my favorite comedian and I am a big fan of his late night television show.  My favorite segment of the show is ‘thank you notes’ and I was able to score tickets for a Friday episode –the night ’thank you notes’ is a regular segment.

My favorite of Jimmy’s thank you notes at the taping I attended:

“Thank you Swanson’s Hungry Man Microwavable Meals for showing me that steak, mashed potatoes, and a brownie can all be cooked the exact same length of time.”

To attend the taping, I hopped the train and made a trip to “30 Rock” the address made famous by Tina Fey’s comedy show.  I recently read her memoir “Bossypants” which made the trip to 30 Rockefeller Plaza all the more ‘fun’.

An added bonus… a beautiful spring afternoon in the city.  (Athough the show airs after midnight, it is taped earlier in the afternoon)

Even though it was such a warm day, the ice skaters were still out since the rink stays up until mid-April.

The taping was incredible!  What a show!  So much more entertaining than watching the show on television and much cooler than I ever imagined.  It’s not like I have never been to a taping…..I have been to SNL, quite a few David Letterman shows, and even Rosie back when she had a show.  But, this was definitely my favorite of the bunch!

When we got seated in the studio we were greeted and entertained by a comedian.  ‘The Roots’ , the house band,  performed a number for the studio audience after the warm up by the comedian.  If you have ever seen the show you know what an incredibly talented bunch of musicians make up the band.  Next, our announcer  and Jimmy’s ‘sidekick’ Steve Higgins introduces himself to everyone and, before you know it, the show begins. The day I attended, the guests were Christian Slater and Bethenny Frankel.

Jimmy is the best.  I really encourage anyone that is ever in the New York area to attend a taping – you can get information on obtaining tickets on his website.  If you aren’t one to stay up late and watch the show, you can always watch episodes….full episodes or segments… on the show’s website: .  (I highly recommend the Bruce Springsteen Friday episode if you opt to watch an episode…he performs three songs…. if you are not into Bruce, any episode is good)

Thanks so much Jimmy for a wonderful ‘fun for free’ experience!!

After the taping, as I left the studio, I was walking behind Bethenny….as she started to head out of the building, I heard her talking on her cell phone to Jason (if you have ever seen her reality show, you recognize that name as her husband’s)…  I had my camera in my bag, so as I walked out the door,  I snapped a photo….

My paparazzi moment:

You know you are cool when Ben & Jerry’s makes a flavor out of you!