Sunday, December 20, 2015

Merry Christmas 2015

To all and to all a good night!

Whatever holiday you are celebrating, I hope you are with friends and family and making the most out of every minute. If it's not so pleasant...well, at least it will be a holiday for the memory books!

This has been a different sort of year for us. Schedules have changed like crazy and I can't seem to find the time to do much of anything.

Normally I bake like crazy, this year, only a couple of batches of cookies
Apple Butter Snickerdoodles

I didn't even send cards this year.
Shocking, I know!

I did manage to get Christmas presents out to my nieces (thank you to hubby for running to the post for me!) but no treats for them to nibble on from Auntie.

I have been spending weeknights running out to try and pick up last minute gifts, Most of my shopping was done online. Had a moment of panic when one shipment, which had a good chunk of the girl child's presents in it, all of a sudden had no tracking information. Really? Was it lost? Was someone hanging on to it because they knew it would stress me out? Either way, it is here...WHEW!

Now that we are just around the corner from the big day, I am starting to swim in my sea of lists. Lists of what I need to get done around the house, grocery lists, guest lists, party lists, meal lists....I am sure I have a list of lists somewhere! I poke fun at myself, but I really do love my lists. They keep me on track!

I host Christmas Eve for my husband's family and some friends of ours. It's a nice, relaxing evening. We eat, do stockings, and watch A Christmas Story on TBS.

Hubby dearest has me making a ham this year, I love, love, love the SMELL of a ham cooking, The eating part, eh, I will leave that up to everyone else.
Keeping it simple this year, the girl and I plan on making (the ham of course)
Warm Spinach Dip
Stuffed Mushrooms
Due to work schedules, the "party" is starting a little late this year. I am thinking that will be enough, plus, everyone else brings something,

Christmas day we are doing brunchy type foods at my aunt and uncles. This is when my side will meet up and do a gift swap.
Historically we have drawn names, but then it progressed to a Yankee Swap. This year we are doing sort of a Yankee Swap, it has a fun little twist. Hoping it is a fun swap...I will keep you posted!

By the time every gets to my aunt and uncle's, they have been nibbling on whatever all morning. My aunt and I handle the food, and we have learned not to have too much.
She makes an egg casserole that most people seem to enjoy.
I will be making biscuits and gravy.
Oh how I love them!

With all the traveling on Christmas, I try to have something either in the crock pot or ready to be thrown in the oven for our Christmas dinner. Haven't checked that item off my list yet. Hm.

The day after Christmas, another aunt is holding her holiday open house. It's the one time a year that all of her side and all of my uncle's side get together.
No big surprise, she wants me to make
Deviled Eggs
I will probably make something else too...not sure what though.
I like having large crowds to sneak in a new dish and see what the reactions are!

Enjoy your holiday my friends...I will be taking a little break until after the New Year.
What are your traditions or plans for this year?

Monday, December 14, 2015

Creamsicle Brownies

I am a sucker for flattery.
Face it, who isn't?

We all blush a little and get uncomfortable when people are giving it to us...but then we go home and bask in the glow of their approval.

We have a set of friends and they are simply in lust with my desserts. I love love love when we are going over there for any reason and I get the call "can you bring eggs and a treat?".

Part of what makes cooking and baking so pleasurable is seeing those around you enjoying every bite. Knowing they are not only looking forward to it, but they are convinced (before they even know what I am bringing) that they will enjoy it.

Not everything is a winner, as is the way baking works, but they still I still bring.

1 (19.9 oz) brownie mix
(oil and eggs to make brownie mix)
2 oz white chocolate (chopped)
1 Cup butter (softened)
3 Cup confectioner’s sugar
2 Tbsp milk
1 Tsp orange zest
Orange food coloring

1. Prepare brownies per box directions
2. Stir in white chocolate
3. Pour into a prepared 9 inch pan and cook 45 minutes
4. Beat butter until fluffy
5. Gradually beat in 3 cups sugar and milk.
6. Remove half of frosting, dye orange and add zest
7. Frost brownies with white frosting
8. Using orange frosting, drop dallops on top. Use a knife to swirl frostings


Come party with me HERE!

Friday, December 11, 2015

Apple Butter Snickerdoodles

It's that cookie making time of year again!

Bread Booze Bacon is co-hosting yet another Blogger Christmas Cookie Recipe Swap!
I last participated in 2013 and had so much fun, I couldn't resist joining in again!
(See the original 2013 post here)

This time around I was paired with The Lawyer's Cookbook
She shared a Pumpkin Butter Snickerdoodle, along with the hint that I could use any type of fruit butter I happened to have on hand.
That being said, I decided to tap into my southern roots and break out the apple butter!

Mmm...the thought of apple cinnamon type cookies was very appealing.
As we know, my hubby is a little snickerdoodle obsessed !

The obstacle in front of me though, was the fact that I was not down south, and apple butter isn't as common up here in New England.
I hit up the local grocery for my normal weekly shop and decided to check out the jelly isle and see what could be found.

Can you believe, I found ONE jar of apple butter....right under a "Clearance, discontinued product" sign! Come on now, this just does not happen to me! Psyched!

So, please, feel free to try her original pumpkin butter, or any other fruit butter!

3 Cups Flour
2 Tsp Baking Powder
¼ Tsp Salt
¾ Cup Butter (softened)
1 ¼ Cup Sugar + ⅓ Cup Sugar (divided)
2 Eggs
1 Tbsp Vanilla
½ Cup Apple Butter
½ Tsp Cinnamon + 1 Tsp Cinnamon (divided)


  1. Whisk flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
  2. To mixer, add 1 ¼ cup sugar and butter
  3. Cream until fluffy
  4. Add in eggs, vanilla, apple butter, and ½ tsp cinnamon
  5. Add flour mixture to wet ingredients
  6. Cover with plastic and refrigerate for 4 hours
  7. Preheat oven to 350
  8. Line baking sheet with parchment paper
  9. Mix 1 tsp cinnamon and ⅓ cup sugar into shallow dish
  10. Roll dough into 2 tbsp sized balls
  11. Roll balls into cinnamon sugar mixture
  12. Bake 13-15 minutes

Monday, December 7, 2015

Rocky Road Fudge

When I make fudge, I usually stick to my basic, tried and true, auntie makes it all the time, recipe. That's all well and good...but branching out and attempting new things is the whole basis of this blog.

I was recipe hunting online and saw this one on the RecipeGirl site.
Easy? Check!
Delicious sounding? Check!
All ingredients on hand? Check! we go!

The first thing I found "odd" was the use of sweetened condensed milk. All the fudge I have ever made called for evaporated milk.
But..being the wild and crazy girl I am...I kept on trucking.

This fudge is so super easy, and super yummy!
I found it a bit sweet for my tastes, so I cut them into thinner blocks than I would regular fudge. That way it is still just a taste.

16 oz Semisweet chocolate, chopped finely
2 oz Unsweetened chocolate, chopped finely
½ Tsp baking soda
⅛ Tsp salt
1 (14 oz) can sweetened condensed milk
1 Tbsp vanilla extract
1 Cup mini marshmallows
1 Cup roughly chopped peanuts
½ Cup semi sweet chocolate chips


1. Line 8x8 inch baking pan with foil and spray lightly with nonstick spray
2. In a medium heatproof bowl, toss 1st two chocolates with baking soda and salt.
3. Stir in sweetened condensed milk and vanilla.
4. Set bowl over 4 qt saucepan containing 2 cups of simmering water,
5. Stir with rubber spatula until chocolate is almost fully melted
6. Stir in marshmallows, peanuts, and additional chips
7. Add fudge to prepared pan and spread in an even layer
8. Refrigerate until set.
9. Remove from pan using foil, peel foil off, and cut into squares


Come party with me HERE!