Saturday, December 22, 2012

Tis the Season

This has been an incredibly long Christmas season. I thought I would like having the extra week because Thanksgiving was a week early, but now I'm just ready for Christmas! I over baked this season and I'm over it! I feel like I haven't left the kitchen. I have made cranberry bread, chocolate chip meringues, sugar cookies, chocolate peanut candies, Christmas crack, and rollo turtles.

Now my kitchen is clean, my waistline slightly larger and we are ready to celebrate with our families.

Hope you have a wonderful holiday season!

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Peanut Butter Kiss cookies

These have always been a family favorite. My aunts always made these for holidays and other various events. These are so easy to make too! Only 4 ingredients (5 if you count the Hershey's kiss).

Peanut Butter Kiss Cookies
makes approx. 32 cookies
1 cup peanut butter
1 cup of sugar + extra for coating
1 egg
1 tsp of vanilla
unwrapped Hershey kisses

-Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
-Mix peanut butter, sugar, egg and vanilla.
-Use hands to roll dough into 1" balls. Roll each ball in a small bowl of sugar coating the dough.
-Space evenly on a cookie sheet and bake for about 12 minutes.
-Remove pan from oven and push Hershey's kisses into the cookie.


Monday, December 17, 2012

Christmas Cocktail Party

Last year we had a cocktail party in our condo and I couldn't wait to have a house with more space to entertain! This year I was so excited to throw another cocktail party for Christmas in our new house. I spent at least a month planning out the menu and decorations. I used the linens from our wedding for cocktail tables and the buffet. We moved all the furniture out of one of our rooms to make more space and hung ornaments from the beams. I served a table full of appetizers including some yearly favorites spicy meatballs, marinated shrimp on cucumbers, jalapeno deviled eggs, PB crunch buckeyes, Rollo turtle treats, and peanut chocolate candy. Just to name a few.

We had such a great time and look forward to making it an annual party! Thanks to all those friends that came and enjoyed the night with us!

And of course it's not a party, without a party dress! I have been wanting to make a red full skirted dress for awhile but didn't have a pattern for the dress I really wanted to make, so I went back to my trusty sweetheart neck pattern. Someone once mentioned that I make a lot of similar dresses, which is true. Once you get familiar with a pattern or a style that you think flatters you, then it's your go-to! It's not a lot of fun making a new pattern and then realizing it doesn't fit or look good on you.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Peanut Chocolate Candy

Our tradition on Christmas Eve has been to gather with family at my Dad's cousin's house. Every year it's a little different crowd. As kids we would run around their basement and as adults we drink just enough cocktails to go to midnight mass tipsy. It's always a good night and they always have the best food! Shrimp cocktail, ribs, meatballs the size of my fist (well maybe child size fist) and all kinds of cookies and treats. One of my favorite treats are these Peanut Chocolate Candies. These are pretty easy to make in the crock pot, so I decided to make them this year.

Peanut Chocolate Candy
2 14-16oz jars of peanuts
1 bag of semi sweet chocolate chips
1 bar of German Chocolate (found in bakers aisle)
2 bars of White chocolate Almond Bark

Place items in crockpot in order they are listed. Break Almond Bark into smaller pieces to get it to fit. Close lid and cook on low for 2 hours. After 2 hours open lid and stir together. Close lid for another 30 minutes. Stir again and place spoonfuls onto cookie sheet covered in wax paper. Let cool for at least an hour or put in fridge. Store cold before serving.


Note- this makes a TON! I had to use 4 cookie sheets and then I used the little pan from our toaster oven because I didn't know what else to use.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Christmas Party dress

This past weekend was Dan's work Christmas party. The party was downtown at Tavern on South a bar next to Lucas Oil Stadium. Dan's company rented out the entire bar and had lots of great food, anything you wanted to drink, and a fun DJ. We literally closed the place down as we were the last ones to leave.

A few weeks before the party, I started thinking about what to wear since this would be the first time I would meet Dan's new coworkers I wanted it to be something special. I bought a dress and also had an idea for a dress to make.

It was definitely a last minute decision on what to wear, but I'm glad I wore this dress since I put some hard work into it.

Working on the dress the night before the party. 
Nothing like last minute. 

I got this fabric a few months ago in Chicago at Fishmans Fabric. 

We were having too much fun to take pictures, so this is all we have from the night. 

Isn't this the prettiest centerpiece? We got to take it home from the party. Also I forgot to mention, we won a door prize for dinner at a new restaurant in Indy! Woohoo! 

Monday, December 3, 2012

Fried Rice

A few weeks ago Dan really wanted fried rice and neither of us knew how to make it, although it seems like a recipe that most people should know or figure out pretty easily. We got this basic recipe from Dan's mom and spiced it up a bit. We liked it so much we made it again last weekend for our friend Brandon who was staying with us.

Fried Rice
Meat of your choice (boneless pork chops, 2-3 chicken breasts, shrimp, etc)
4 cups of prepared rice
1/2 cup frozen peas
3 chopped green onions (chop both the white and green)
2 eggs
1/4tsp salt
2 tsp of garlic srriracha
Soy Sauce
Sprinkle of red pepper flakes
4 Tbsp vegetable oil


  • Cut meat into small pieces. Place in a bowl with about 1 tsp of garlic srriracha sauce and a little soy sauce. Let marinate for 5-10 minutes before you cook it in the pan. (you may choose your own marinade)
  • While cooking chicken, prepare rice. We used minute rice. Once rice is prepared, stick the pan in the refrigerator to cool it down.
  • You may have to wait up to 30 minutes for rice to cool. Once it is cool, wet your hands and run through the rice to separate it.
  • Beat eggs in a small bowl with salt.
  • Heat 1Tbsp oil over medium heat. Cook green onions 1-2 minutes and remove from pan. Set aside.
  • Add eggs to pan and scramble, you may need a little oil. Once scrambled, remove and set aside with onions.
  • Next heat peas and the meat in pan, again set aside.
  • Heat 2 Tbsp of oil. Add rice and stir fry it 2-3 minutes. Add soy sauce, meat, peas, eggs and onions. Add any additional spices you prefer such as red pepper flakes