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Mrs. Sundberg's Recipe Collection - 12 tried-and-true--one for each month of the year--featuring an introduction and tips from Mrs. Sundberg herself

I've always been a proponent of living in the moment

January 3, 2011

Listened to the show Saturday and it was not bad. It wasn't a live broadcast but that didn't matter much to me. It was Christmas Day, and I listened and sang and danced a bit as usual and now have the Christmas show to look forward to this week. An important thing, something to look forward to. Of course I've always been a proponent of living in the moment, but something down the road to hang your hopes on does, indeed, give one a bit of impetus. Purpose, even.

It's the in-between week once again when we're all waiting for the New Year to roll in, and what do we do in the meantime but box up the Christmas things and eat cookies from the freezer and four-day old meatballs from the fridge and contemplate who we are and who we want to be and come up with resolutions and goals and such to get from here to there.

I'm alone in the house today. The kids are outside making snowballs in the rain, and Mr. Sundberg is away in Ohio giving a motivational speech titled, "Adult Children of Aging Parents." I like being alone during the turn of the year, as it's the only time I can really think clearly about the important abstract things that slip in and out of my thoughts when the kids are hollering for macaroni and cheese, homemade.

I must have shared along the way that I don't partake in the whole resolution-making deal. I see that it is certainly fine and productive for some, but not for me. I tend to blow a big promise to myself out of the water by January's end, and that only leaves a person feeling silly and foolish and sometimes downright incapable. I gave that all up the year I tried to quit swearing. Instead, I choose a word to think about and focus on and aspire to for a year, and it's my hope to make the word a deeper part of my life. It was "perseverance" one year, and "courage" the next. I've now become indelibly familiar with "attention" and "truth" and "nutmeg." (Yes, I did choose "nutmeg" for my word one year and was that ever interesting.

I've narrowed my words for 2011 down to three, and I'll decide sometime on New Year's Eve, just before midnight, the only other hour of the year besides the one on Christmas Eve when things seem to hang in a kind of balance and rightness. When the world pauses to take a breath, deep and cleansing, all together now. I don't share my word if I can help it. One of the hopes is that someone along the way will figure it out. If not, no matter. It's my word with which to do what I will, and who knows where it might take me over 365 days and nights.

Wherever you are this New Year's Eve, I wish for you comfort in the year ahead, enough adventure to keep things hopping, and a word to get you through it all, wherever the road may lead.

I've only recently become a nut person, and this recipe came to me at a party where only spicy food was served. I like it because it's simple and healthful and produces one of the more perfect things to snack on while indulging in good conversation.

Hot and Spicy Cocktail Nuts

1/2 cup butter
1 T Worcestershire sauce
1 T paprika
1 tsp hot pepper sauce
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp pepper
Pinch cayenne (or to taste)
1 pound unsalted nuts

Melt butter in a large skillet over low heat. Add the Worcestershire sauce, paprika, hot pepper sauce, salt, garlic powder, onion powder, pepper, and cayenne and mix well. Add the nuts and toss well to coat. Cook for 20-25 minutes, stirring frequently over low heat until the nuts are lightly toasted. Drain on paper towels and serve hot, or store in an airtight container at room temp until ready to serve. Makes a pound of spiced nuts.

Enjoy!

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