Tag Archives: Christmas

Merry Christmas!

I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas! I know we did- lots of games, a walk with mom’s dog, really really good food, and a healthy dose of family 🙂


M taking a peek at my AWESOME cookbook….she’s a great gifter. 🙂 Can’t wait to share some of these recipes!


M and Joey passed Winnie the Pooh back and forth all night to practice for baby Judah! 🙂


Tamales! Our Christmas Day dinner tradition


M and Lindsey had a ‘nunchuck/wrapping paper roll/sword’ fight….




M and Joey on our dogwalking expedition 🙂


Gibbs may have bitten off more than he could chew….he almost knocked me on my butt trying to run to Curtis!!


Curtis and me on our walk!


Merry Christmas from M and K!!!

‘Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, goodwill toward men.’

Luke 2:14


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Filed under Family, Favorite Things, Food Stuffs., Holiday, Pets, Vacation

School’s Out!!!



This is what I’ve been making for dinner lately. I’m not knockin it, it’s delicious. And I’m not gonna lie, either- I almost always have one in my fridge at any given moment. But this past week especially.

M was supposed to let ya’ll know that I was gonna be absent for a bit during the last week of school for finals…….she just got distracted by all the yummy things she was making and fun stuff she was doing. Whilst I sat at the table and slaved over papers that were due (no, I did not have all semester to do them, I never procrastinate.) and studied for tests I was super excited about. Actually it wasn’t that bad, but you get my drift. Finals week, even if you are prepared, is a big, nasty, stressy stressball that is never fun to go through. And it’s finally over. Curtis took me and my friend Tim (or soon-to-be-cousin-in-law, whichever is easier for you to remember) out to the YardHouse for drinks, food, and celebration after our last final. They have hundreds of beers on tap and delicious food, so it was a great end to the semester.

Pepperoni and mushroom pizza- melts in your mouth.

Pepperoni and mushroom pizza- melts in your mouth.

Thanks M, for keeping this thing afloat while I was away!

Keepin this one short, I just wanted to say a quick hi before running off to our Girl’s Christmas. A group of our girlfriends gets together every year for a nice potluck style dinner, gift exchange, and time to catch up and wind down. It’s so much fun!!! There will be pictures later, I promise.

Hope everyone is able to relax a little before Christmas 🙂 Have a great Friday!


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Filed under Family, Favorite Things, Fridays, Holiday

Christmas Cookie Roundup 2012


I am a huge lover of Christmas baking. More importantly, the Christmas cookies. Mm mm mm. I know you can eat cookies anytime of the year, but something about the holiday season almost makes it a LAW that you have to indulge. If I’m wrong, I don’t want to be right.


So in the spirit of the cookie baking season, I have rounded up a list of my favorite things to bake for my Christmas platters!

1. Peanut Butter Blossoms

2. Scotcheroos

3. Eagle Brand Cookies

4. Old- Fashioned Sugar Cookies

5. Peanut Butter Pretzel Bites

6. Peppermint Bark

7. Chewy Gingersnap Cookies

8. Reindeer Chow

9. Marshmallow Snowmen (use as stirrers for Hot Chocolate or coffee!! SO cute!)

10. Amaretti’s

11. Brown Sugar Shortbread

12. Almond Tarts

13. Snowball Cookies (AKA Mexican Wedding Cookies)

14. Nutter Butter Balls

15. Hot Chocolate on a Stick


The pictures of some of the goodies are the courtesy of the original bakers of these goodies! I can’t wait to get started… Joey and Baby Judah are the best taste-testers out there. 😉


Merry Christmas!

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Filed under Food Stuffs., Fridays, Holiday, Holiday Baking

Cranberry Bliss Bars

So the Cranberry Bliss Bar from Starbucks comes back on Tuesday for the holidays and I simply couldn’t wait the last two days to have one. Mom gave me this awesome book (recipe is also on their website on topsecretrecipes.com) for Christmas a few years ago so I busted it out in search of the recipe and thank goodness it was there!

They were a 4 on a difficulty scale of 1 to 10 mainly because there were three different parts to the recipe and also finding candied ginger was harder than tearing Curtis away from the TV on Superbowl Sunday. That’s a huge exaggeration. I just thought it was going to be in the baking aisle with everything else and it wasn’t. It was in the bulk ‘scooping’ part of Pak ‘N Save. For a few minutes there I thought this whole recipe was going awry and all I really had to do was ask for help 😛

So, anyways, once I got past my difficulties these were quite relaxing to make!

Candied cinger is super photogenic!

This is what candied ginger looks like- that also may have been part of the problem, I didn’t know what exactly I was looking for! However, I have learned from shopping with my mom and sisters that you should never be afraid to ask for help! Especially when such a delicious recipe is at stake.

So first I mixed, using a blender, the brown sugar and butter. Once that was thoroughly blended, I added eggs, ginger, vanilla and salt and continued mixing until it was smooth.

P.S. The ginger needs to be diced….

Stages 1, 2, and 3 of the candied ginger

After that was all mixed up and lookin’ delicious, I added the flour and baking powder and (after that was mixed) I added the cranberries and white chocolate.

Now, this recipe suggested using Ghirardelli’s White Chocolate, but Nestle’s White Chocolate Morsels were on sale and they tasted fabulous.

The whole ‘morsels’

….and the roughly chopped ‘morsels’

I didn’t want them to be completely whole so I just chip chopped my knife over ’em a couple times and called it good. And oh, they were.


Smoothed it out in the pan and popped it in the oven at 350 for 32 minutes! (recipe said 25-30)

While it was bakin’ away, I made the frosting and drizzle in about 2 minutes.

the old ‘I don’t want to buy a frosting bag so I’ll use a sandwich baggie with a corner cut off’ trick

The bar-part came out of the oven looking and smelling SO GOOD. I’ve told M numerous times I wish we could send smells via text cuz sometimes pictures just can’t do it justice. However, in this case, that’s not entirely true. This is a photogenic recipe.

I love it when the edges toast a little

Let it cool completely, then frost

Spread the frosting, sprinkle some dried cranberries, and drizzle the drizzle!

Fancy, fancy!!! The way they’re cut in the store is in little rectangles, then into triangles. So I went all the way and cut them the same!

The texture is phenomenal

See? You don’t need smell….yeah, not true. I totally wish you could smell ’em.

Anyways, I made these about 2 hours ago and there’s half a pan left. Curtis has some friends over for the game (which one is that, you ask? Well, you’re asking the wrong person.) and they devoured them. A hit? I think so.

So, if you have a party to attend where a little sugary snack is desired, these are a delectable choice that is far cheaper than the ones at Starbucks and they taste Oh So Good. 10/10 on the Tastes Like Heaven in My Mouth Scale. Yes, it’s a scale.


Cranberry Bliss Bars 


3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) softened butter

1 1/4 cups packed brown sugar

3 eggs

2 tablespoons minced candied ginger

1 1/2 tablespoons vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 tsp baking powder

3/4 cup chopped dried sweetened cranberries (Craisins)

1/2 cup white chocolate cut into chunks


4 ounces softened cream cheese

3 cups (yes, cups!) powdered sugar

4 teaspoons lemon juice

1 teaspoon vanilla extract


1/2 cup powdered sugar

1 tablespoon milk

2 teaspoons vegetable shortening (Crisco)

Preheat oven to 350.

Make cake by beating the butter and brown sugar together with an electric mixer until smooth. Add the eggs, ginger, vanilla, and salt and beat well. Gradually ix in the flour and baking powder until smooth. Mix the chopped dried cranberries and white chocolate chunks into the batter by hand. Pour the batter into a buttered 9×13 inch baking pan. Use a spatula to spread the batter evenly across the pan. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until lightly browned on top. Allow cake to cool.

Make the frosting by combining the softened cream cheese, powdered sugar, lemon juice, and vanilla in a medium owl with an electric mixer until smooth. When the cake has cooled, use a spatula to spread the frosting over the top of the cake.

Sprinkle 1/4 cup of copped dried cranberries over the frosting on the cake.

Make the drizzled icing by whisking together powdered sugar, milk and shortening. Drizzle this icing over the cranberries in a sweeping motion with a squirt bottle or fill a small plastic storage bag with the icing and cut off the tip of one corner.

Cover the cake and let it chill out in the fridge for a couple hours, then slice the cake lengthwise (the long way) through the middle. Slice the cake across the width three times, making a total of eight rectangular slices. Slice each of those rectangles diagonally, creating 16 triangular slices.

Makes 16 bars.

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Filed under Cookies/Bars, Favorite Things, Food Stuffs., Holiday