Honey-Drizzled Cranberry Brie Pastry Braid
I was an accidental jerk in fourth grade. I’m still totally embarrassed by it. It turns out even nice, otherwise well-intentioned kids can get caught up in accidental jerkiness.
See, fourth grade was the pinnacle of my popularity. I hadn’t grown into my shyness yet, so I was silly and outgoing. My friend group was comprised of all the blonde-haired girls in class. I didn’t know it at the time, but I was part of a clique.
Most of the time we were nice and inclusive. But sometimes we’d block kids out without even realizing what we were doing or why. For instance, one day I got the brilliant idea of creating a language. We’d talk in made-up words and no one would know what we were saying except other girls from our friend group. I pitched the idea to my friends: Wouldn’t it be so funny when the boys couldn’t tell what we were saying (not that they’d bother to stand around and listen)? Wouldn’t it be so funny when the teacher couldn’t understand our secrets? Wouldn’t it be so funny when Amanda couldn’t understand us?
Check out 14 Stunning Holiday Desserts
by Julie Ruble at Foodie.com
Thanks, Foodie, for sponsoring this post.
If you’re sad because you keep scrolling through photos of homes decorated for Christmas and beautiful cookies and homemade gifts and holiday parties and hot chocolate breaks and meticulous Christmas lights and PERFECT FAMILIES, come here and let me give you a dysfunctional hug. You are so not alone.
Super Fancy Chocolate Cheesecake Cake
Just remember that everyone picks out the bright spots to share. Almost no one posts their struggles, especially not the ugly struggles. And if they do, their friends give them the side-eye and they become That Messy Girl Who Shares Too Much. So no one does. Instead we all sit in our messy houses staring at stacks of unaddressed Christmas cards and and feel like we belong on the island of misfit toys.
I’m going to be That Messy Girl today, because I’m not willing to let you feel that way. Or I’m not willing to let you hang out on the island alone, anyway.
Gingerbread Quick Bread with Lemon Glaze
The conversation was about the difficulty of eating healthy while poor. I had just shared my favorite article on the topic and a few friends were chiming in with their own experiences. Then one of my friends said: “People should eat healthy even if they’re poor. They could always just plant a vegetable garden. Seeds are cheap.” It amazes me how often this suggestion gets thrown around willy-nilly, but somehow I hear it every time I discuss food insecurity.
Gentle explanations of why this would be a difficult solution for plenty of people were met with more and more fervent assertions of why if they really TRIED . . . and if they CARED . . . and if they were willing to WORK . . .
I wrote this post as part of the Plugrá Butter Brigade. Thanks, Plugrá, for sponsoring the development of this Gingerbread Gooey Butter Cake Ice Cream Sundae recipe and for making my favorite butter!
My current working hypothesis is that every family has a stellar-gift-giver and a terrible-gift-giver. My brother- and sister-in-law are my family’s stellar-gift-givers. Plenty of people give great gifts, but their gifts are stellar: the perfect blend of thoughtful, fun, useful, slightly poignant. Mike’s dad was a Marine, and after picking up on a couple of nostalgia stories, they paid his way to the shooting range so he could fire an M4 again. They bought Mike’s grandmother a real tumbleweed. I know that doesn’t sound like a good present (actually, it sounds like it could rival coal for the new naughty-list gift) but she loves the southwest and it fit perfectly with her eclectic home decor. Who thinks of this stuff?
Brown Butter Parmesan Mashed Potatoes
Thanks, Tasteful Selections, for compensating me for my time and recipe development! All thoughts and stories are, as always, my own.
Ice packs are a middle school kid’s love language. You probably think it’s pizza or internet memes. I get your confusion: those are definitely treasured displays of affection. But there’s nothing like an ice pack.