Recipe: Buttery Pecan Cookies

1 Cup of softened butter

1 teaspoon of maple syrup

3/4 cup of sugar

2 1/2 cups of flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

an egg

1 small bag of pecans.

 

1.) In a mixing bowl, add the butter (softened) and sugar together. Continue mixing until the mixture is fluffy.

2.) Add in the (1) egg and maple syrup.

3.) In the same mixing bowl, continue mix the flour, baking powder, and salt.

The mixture at this point should seem like dough.

4.) kneed the dough into a ball, wrap in plastic wrap. Then place dough into the fridge for 1 hour.

One hour later….

5.) Preheat oven to 375 degrees

6.) Roll it thin with a rolling pin, into shapes.

7.) Cookies go in until bottoms are a tad golden brown.

 

  • S.B

 

 

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My Christmas Traditions.

One thing I have been thankful for is that my family was rich with tradition. Growing up, during December, we had a special thing going on (almost) weekly. Christmas was my mother’s and my grandmother’s favorite time of the year. My grandmother would start putting up her Christmas village in November. Her Christmas village, as a child and even as an adult, was the most fascinating time of the year. This year, to my dismay, she is only putting up one table (her village typically is over five tables). Below I have listed my holiday traditions, that I have been doing since I was seven years old.

25 days of Christmas – Starting the first of December, I would receive a candy box, that would have chocolate hidden behind the numbers. Every day after dinner, I would search for the correct number (day in the month) and I would pop open the door and a small piece of chocolate would be there.

Kathy Treats – Last year I made a blog post all about Kathy Treats and how to make them. Everyone knew it was Christmas season when my aunt would bring home, salted pretzels, M & M’s and Hershey Kisses. This year, I did not shop early enough for the Hershey Kisses, they go into stores starting in November, and they stop selling the last week of November. They are impossible to find in December. Instead this year, I will probably find white chocolate melts, and do it that way.

St. Nick’s Day and Ornament giving – On St. Nick’s Morning, we would receive an ornament to place on the tree. This ornament would be specific to the year you had. The year I learned to play guitar, I got a guitar ornament and the year I learned how to drive, I got a steering wheel. The ornament would have my name on it and the year that it happened.

Christmas Eve – On Christmas Eve, we would get to open one gift. Which was always fresh new Pajamas to wear on Christmas Day.

Santa’s Hat – on Christmas day the person to hand out the gifts would be the person wearing Santa’s Hat. It was always really important to me, because I came from a huge family, and I was considered one of the youngest.

Tis the season to be merry.

  • S.B

Speak Love: Donation Post

In the next coming months, I will be able to make a greater impact in my community, specifically with my college. As many people know I am part of the movement called, Speak Love. Which is an all-inclusive group that focuses on love and accepting one another no matter what our walk of life is. Nick Jackson, who started Speak Love, is also my friend and mentor who has helped me through this journey with setting up the Gateway Branch. Although, we primarily focus on suicide prevention speeches at high schools and colleges, we would be taking a new route with Gateway.

Not only will we be focusing on suicide prevention, we would also be focusing on poverty within education. Many of the volunteers for Speak Love understand what it’s like to only have a few bucks in our pockets, trying to make ends meet. Hopefully, through donations we would be able to donate the little things that mean a big thing. These times would include socks, diapers, pencils, notebooks, ext. However, we cannot make this part possible if we do not have people willing to donate the items.

Which is why I am now asking those who read this blog to donate to this cause. Every penny counts and I know that Speak Love and Gateway would be grateful knowing that there are people out there willing to donate. Below is the link if you can do so.

 

With much love and respect,

 

  • B

 

https://www.gofundme.com/gatewayspeaklove

 

Quaker Steak and Lube: Review

Earlier this month we decided to try out Quaker Steak and Lube. When pulling up I found that it was cool that it was next to the motorcycle shop. On top of that it looked like a real workshop. Brandon, unlike me had prior knowledge to why Quaker Steak and Lube looked the way that it did. When we went inside, I had learned that the location we were visiting was the first Quaker Steak and Lube location in Kentucky; on top of that I learned that the restaurant was designed that way, so that people could eat while their vehicle got worked on.

All around the inside they prided themselves with the best wings with over 15 different flavors in Kentucky. They even had a wing challenge, that ended with your name on the “Hall of Flame” wall if you completed it. Neither of us took part in the challenge, mainly because my mouth can’t withstand hotter than hot wings. The inside also included life sized race cars and other racing vehicles. I didn’t get a chance to ask whether the vehicles hanging from the wall had raced prior to being hung up, but the ecstatic was memorizing.img_2094.jpg

The menu was really cool in the sense that at the bottom of each page it included a timeline of the journey of Quaker Steak and Lube. Our waitress, who went by the name of Princess, could tell us all the specials and ‘known for” items. Although she recommended the loaded manga fries for a started, we ended up going classic with the Pick-Up Pickles, which she reassured us was another great pick.

The Pick-Up Pickles, came out steaming hot and they put their own twist on fried pickles with a spicy Jalapeno ranch sauce, which was just as delicious as the pickles. Although, it turned out to be extra we also ordered a side of regular ranch. Which, would have been nice to know it costed fifty cents extra, but at the end of the day fifty cents isn’t that big of a deal. The pickles were also spears not chips which I thought added flavor, since most restaurants have fried pickled spears.

Brandon ended up trying something different, that he typically wouldn’t have ordered anywhere else. He ordered the Crispy Pork Belly Tacos, which he upgraded to three and had the black beans and rice as a side. Brandon, who has admitted multiple times, doesn’t like pork belly, ended up enjoying the tacos very much. He said that the black beans and rice, was a nice touch and left him wanting more.IMG_2093.jpg

I ordered the “pick Up Cheese” Burger, which I got with Pepper-Jack cheese, and extra pickle. Now, everyone knows how I am with extra pickle. If it’s not my kind of extra, I’ll probably complain. Not only was the burger the size of my face, the kitchen had made sure that there was extra pickle on my burger as well as on the side- I was highly satisfied. The burger, was so filling that I couldn’t even finish the final few bites. I upgraded my order of fries to the Loaded French Fries, which were also just as filling as the burger.IMG_2092

 

Neither of us saved room for dessert, but we still ended up with a fun side dessert, when our server gave us Twizzlers to go. Overall I believe that our meal was around $30 / $35. I don’t entirely remember because this happened a few weeks ago. However, for once I will say, that price does not matter when it comes to this place. Everyone should be able to experience a fun environment like Quaker Steak and Lube.

 

-S.B

Speak Love – TIE

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Click the photo to see what exactly went on at Gateway today!

If you haven’t already make sure to subscribe to the YouTube Channel to receive more updates on Speak Love and it’s journey to Gateway!

 

  • S.B

October Playlist

On October 1st, I woke up and the first thing I said was, “IT’S BOOT SEASON!” Now that is not the only exciting thing about it officially being October. During the first week of October, I download my “Halloween Playlist” back onto my iPhone and my laptop. This playlist typically consists of 10-15 songs, it just depends on what I want to include on it. I include all the traditional Halloween music, however sometimes I like to include Disney Channel Soundtracks, such as the movies that I grew up watching, that were considered spooky. This year however I am keeping it strictly Halloween themed. Also if you want the playlist, visit my Spotify!

 

This is Halloween from The Nightmare Before Christmas

Thriller by Michael Jackson

The Monster Mash by Bobby (Boris) Pickett

Ghostbusters by Ray Parker Jr.

Spooky Scary Skeleton by Andrew Gold

I Put a Spell on You by Annie Lennox

Time Warp from Rocky Horror Picture Show

Spooky Scary Skeleton (remix) By The Living Tombstone

Seven Wonders by Fleetwood Mac

Bad Moon Rising by Creedence Clearwater Revival

Werewolves of London by Warren Zevon

Somebody’s Watching Me by Rockwell ft. Michael Jackson

Medley: This is Halloween/Werewolves in London/Ghostbusters from The Sing Off

The next chapter

As most people know, I have been house jumping for almost two years now. Straight out of high school I ended up house jumping at few different friends’ houses and had quite a few jobs to keep me afloat. Earlier this year Brandon and I decided that we would try and find an apartment of our own, and thus we would be roommates. It seemed far-fetched at the time, mainly because I had struggled to get approved by multiple different apartments. And at first, it was hard. Brandon and I started looking at a dozen different apartments, most were weeded out due to issues with pet policies or distance. However, after searching for nearly five months we ended up directly down the road to where we had currently lived. In August, we got approved at the apartment of our dreams. It had everything we were looking for, including some bonuses.

We have spent nearly two weeks in our new home, and everything is slowly but surely coming together. Our family has grown as well. We started out with just Alfred, the guinea pig, then in early August Brandon adopted a bearded dragon, named Glaurung. About three weeks ago, we needed up adopting a kitten, and her name is Nala. I never thought I would be anything but a dog person, yet here I am, taking care of a reptile and a kitten. All the animals get along, except for Alfred and Glaurung. It’s not that they are aggressive towards each other, it is just that, for a short period of time their cages were next to each other and that ended up causing some sort of conflict between them. Glaurung’s crickets that would make noise, Alfred getting up at 2 am and making all sorts of noises with his cage. That’s okay though, because Nala gets along with both Glaurung and Alfred.

On other notes, Brandon continues to work on his book, and I am still getting my poetry together and making notes about what the poems mean to me. Hopefully by Christmas or New Year’s I will have a rough draft of what I would like my first poem book to look like. I don’t really know when Brandon’s first book will be finished, but I know he’s also working on short stories and some other creative writings.

I still would like to continue to blog about new food places that Brandon and I go to, we just haven’t been able to get out of Northern Kentucky since we have moved into our new home. Financing our money is now a huge priority. However, hopefully soon we will be able to eat somewhere awesome and I can write about it. There are so many restaurants that I haven’t been to that I would love to write about, maybe even ones I have been to, that I just haven’t talked about.

Brandon and I, for the first time in five years, did not make it to comic-con. Rent is due this week, and therefore we had to make some budgeting cuts. We were both super upset, because so many people and vendors we love were going. However, there is always next year. It will always be a tradition, just like hosting Friendsgiving and Friendsmas. Which we do plan to host again this year. Which will also be documented just as the Christmas Recipes will be.

I am also a part of a really cool organization called Speak Love, which is an all inclusive group that focuses on loving and respecting one another, no matter our walk of life. I’ve known about the group for about five years now, and every year I go to the Anthony Munoz Conference, however Nick (who started Speak Love and is my mentor) came to me and told me that he thought I would enjoy volunteering with the group. He was right, I am not trying to start a branch at Gateway, so more students can be a part of it. Speak Love means so much to me right now, just because I struggled so much to find peace in my heart and now I feel like I have that.

All our friends are doing well as well. New chapters in their lives have begun and I couldn’t be happier to be a part of all of them. I don’t want to spill the beans on them, because a lot of our mutual friends have a more private profile, but I can tell you that Hypha is doing great (Also I know she reads this blog faithfully, so if I don’t at least mention her I know I am going to be in for it). Everyone in my life seems to be doing well, Phoebe started school a few weeks ago, and although I told her Kindergarten doesn’t last forever, that there are other grades that come after that, she still says she loves school. My grandparents are enjoying the traveling lifestyle, which I’m so happy that they are doing. My grandparents have done so much for all their grandchildren (especially me) the last five years, and now that all of us are all grown up, it’s time that they start thinking about themselves.

That’s about it with my life right now. Not really traveling, but still writing. Still (trying) to do well in school, although it’s hard with being a part-time worker and having other stresses. But I’m learning to cope with those stresses a lot better, through therapy. I am happy for all of my friends with their lives and how they are living. Overall, after a year of drought, I’m finally getting some rain, so now I’m just going to wait and see how many plants grow.

Until next time,

S.B