Thursday, December 2, 2010

Karen's 2 Days of Christmas Extravaganza and a CSN Giveaway

It seems like all I do lately is whine, and I’m sorry about that but I’m at it again. I hope you’ll give me this one because I have just spent no less than 15 minutes trying to figure out my username and password for my Domino’s Pizza account… really??? I finally just gave up and made a grilled cheese. Why does everyone think they need to complicate things by asking for a login?

I’m not stupid; I know that you aren’t supposed to use the same password for everything just in case someone cracks your top secret code. Then, heaven forbid, the crook could for instance have access to all of your Domino’s information and order pizzas without permission. Just the thought of that makes me shiver with fear. To keep the identity thieves as confused as I am, I have several different passwords that I shuffle around. I am beginning to believe that the only person that this clever system of mine confounds is me; which leaves me spending precious moments of my life entering every possible combination of letters and numbers until something, anything works. . . or not.

The only problem with this is now I am sometimes limited to the number of times I can fumble around and try the wrong password before I am locked out. In sheer frustration I have considered hiring an identity thief to help me break into my own online accounts. I guess if nothing else, I’ll just write all my passwords down and carry them around in a briefcase handcuffed to my wrist. Sheesh! This is progress?

Moving on, the other thing on my mind are all these Favorite Things and 12 Days of Christmas extravaganza shows that Oprah and Ellen Degeneres do every year. I’m really sick and tired of seeing the audience jump up and down and scream because they get to take home a new car and two week vacation to Australia. I mean I’m happy for them and all (no, let’s get real, I hate them) but I’m tired of feeling like the bridesmaid and never the bride. Now Oprah has done her last Favorite Things show and I never did make it (damn!). Ellen does hers for 12 days but something tells me I’m not going to make it there this year either.

I know that most of you have never gotten to go either so I’m going to do something about it. I’m going to have another giveaway this month and I’m going to call it Part 2 of Karen’s 2 Days of Christmas Extravaganza. My big prize is a very generous $65.00 online gift code to the CSN stores. Take that Oprah and Ellen! So, let’s make everyone else watch us jump up and down with glee at our good fortune. Oh yeah, since I only have one to give away, I’m treating the rest of my “audience” to the consolation prize of a really great chewy bar cookie recipe that is patterned after a fabulous old Italian almond cake recipe. These cookies are so addictive you won’t be able to keep them it the house. These are definitely on the list of my favorite things.

My 2 Days of Christmas, CSN $65.00 giveaway is open to all of my followers in the US and Canada, one entry per person please. On December 10th around noon, I’ll have select my winner so you have plenty of time to make your selection from one of CSN’s 200+ online stores in time for Christmas.

Italian Almond Cookies

3/4 cup (170g) butter, melted
1-1/2 cups (300g) plus 1 tablespoon granulated sugar, divided
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1-1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1-1/2 cups (225g) all-purpose flour
2 ounces (60g) sliced almonds

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a medium size bowl, combine butter and 1-1/2 cups of the sugar; stir until creamy. Add the eggs, salt, vanilla extract, almond extract and flour; stir well.
Spray a 9” pan with non-stick cooking spray. Spread dough in the prepared pan. Sprinkle the sliced almonds evenly over the top, followed by the remaining tablespoon of the sugar.

Place in the preheated oven and bake for approximately 35 – 40 minutes.

Remove from the oven and cool in the pan for approximately 10 minutes before carefully turning out onto a large flat plate or cookie sheet. Carefully invert onto a cutting board and slice into 2” square cookies. Slice again diagonally for bite size cookies if desired.

Makes 16 – 2” cookies
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