So I just wanted to show everyone that I stayed true to my word and made my gingerbread house. I originally wanted to make a Groundhog Day one, but there isn’t a lot of ground hog day candy out there…except to make the ground hog out of. So I went with Valentine’s theme. And even though I am not a big fan of Valentine’s Day (it’s so not fair to men), I do love Valentine Day décor. I think it’s all the pink. I love me some pink. I must say that it was just as fun, if not more fun to decorate the gingerbread house this time of year. No pressure to get it done. I just sat there watching cheesy romantic 80’s movies and making myself sick on conversation hearts. BTW, when did “email me” become a romantic saying?
The theme of my Love Shack was Love Yourself. No, not in the “no mom, don’t come in my bedroom” 14 year old boy love yourself kind of moment. But in the Whitney Houston greatest love of all loving yourself kind of way.
I don’t actually remember the day or the year it happened, but I remember the moment. Which is odd, but consider the source…me. I was watching Oprah (before I started to dislike her) and she had on Mariel Hemingway. I wasn’t really interested in what she was saying but she got on the subject of body image and how much she used to hate herself. Here sat this very pretty woman, with a very famous father talking about how much she used to hate her body. And what she said next stayed with me till this day. I remind myself of it any time negative self-image talk creeps into head. She said, “Would you say to your best friend what you say to yourself?” You wouldn’t go around calling your best friend a cow and mooing at her while you held her stomach in your hand. You wouldn’t call her thunder thighs. You wouldn’t tell her that she was ugly. You wouldn’t tell her she was fat. And yet, I suspect that most of the people reading this blog have said that to themselves at some point in their life…maybe even this morning. We need to learn to be our own best friends.
Why is it that self-loathing is more than acceptable, but self-acceptance is either denial or being stuck up? Telling people you are awesome or pretty is considered a no-no. But telling people you feel fat or your face looks like a pizza is totally acceptable. How did we allow this to happen? How did this become the standard?
Now don’t get me wrong, I am not about over inflating ones ego or telling people they are good at something when they are not. I mean clearly American Idol has taught us that there are some people who think they are awesome at singing and they are not. I am not. I can literally get my dog to cover her ears when I sing. I don’t believe in the everyone gets a ribbon in sports crap to make kids feel good about themselves. Feeling good comes from accomplishing things. Just showing up and breathing while there, really doesn’t deserve a ribbon. A little adversity makes you a better person. Promise. But no harm comes from thinking you are attractive. No harm comes from celebrating all that your body can do; instead of focusing that you have cellulite on your thighs (buy Photoshop, and just like the celebrities that use it, you won’t have it either).
Each one of us has something to offer. Maybe you haven’t figured that out yet. Maybe you have. Stop hating. Start loving…Yourself.
In my frenzy of buying Valentine candy, I bought a bunch of heart shaped marshmallows. Which I used one. So that basically left me with two bags of strawberry, heart shaped marshmallows. So bust out the Rice Krispies. If you like the flavor of Nestle Strawberry Quick, then these is the marshmallows for you. Since they are on the sweet side, I decided to add freeze dried strawberries to give a balance of sweet and tart in these. They went over really well with the referees that they were given to. I bought mine at Trader Joe’s. But my guess is that your more healthy grocery stores most likely carry them as well. They are a fun and festive Valentine treat.
Love Yourself Strawberry Rice Krispie Treats
16 ounces Strawberry flavored marshmallows
6 TBSP unsalted butter
9 cups Rice Krispie cereal (or knock off)
1 cup freeze dried strawberries
Butter a 9-x-13-x-2-inch pan. Or be lazy like me and use baking spray.
Over low heat melt 6 TBSP butter in a large pot (I like to use my stock pot because I am a messy person).
Once butter has melted, add marshmallows. Continue to cook over low heat while they melt. It may take a little time. Don’t turn up the heat to try and make it go quicker, you could end up with burned marshmallows or your treats could end up too hard once they firm up
When most of the marshmallows have melted and they resemble marshmallow crème with a few lumps, remove from heat and add the cereal and sprinkle in freeze dried strawberries (try not to dump those all in one place).
Using a wooden spoon, stir, stir, stir some more, until all the cereal is fully coated and other parts of the pot are not hogging all the marshmallows (so evenly coated).
Pour into prepared baking pan. Take a rubber spatula and either spray it with non-stick spray or simply get some water on it (I just put mine under the faucet real quick). Using the spatula, press the cereal/marshmallow mixture down into the pan, attempting to create a flat, even surface.
Cover with foil and let sit for a few hours to firm up.
Take foil off. Place wax paper down that is a little bit longer than the baking pan. Flip the pan over onto the wax paper. Cut into squares. Some would say 2-inch. But whatever size you would like works. You can also use cookie cutters to make them fun shaped.