Tuesday, December 30, 2014

2014 in Pictures

It is hard to believe that 2014 is coming to a close. It was a big year filled with lots of ups and downs. Before we welcome 2015, here are a few of my favorite memories from this past year:

January - the Hiberian with some of my best friends from Wofford 
February - celebrating Mary Loyal's birthday in Charleston and making brownie truffles
March - cheering on Wofford at work
April - just another day at the office and President Samhat's inauguration
May - the bike race and Lash's graduation
June - our trip to Chicago and celebrating my birthday at the beach
July - Party on the Moon and the Fourth of July Parade
August - Costco runs with Ashley and accepting a new position at work
September - our annual trip to Litchfield for Labor Day and going on a blind date
October - making Gooey Pumpkin Bars, going to a conference with my office, Homecoming, and Halloween
November - celebrating Sara's birthday, a 7 am basketball game
December - Junior Leaguing, an encounter with Olaf, Christmas with the fam

Monday, December 29, 2014

What I Baked on Sunday

Another Cookie Recipe

As soon as your Christmas food coma passes, make these! You will not be disappointed. Self restraint is required since the batter is just as good as the final product. (This e-card sums up my thoughts on eating cookie dough fairly well). Note to the baker, read the whole recipe before starting. I had my oven preheated and ready to go when I realized that the batter needed to sit for two hours. My afternoon project turned into a late night in the kitchen.

Truffles Cookies

4 oz unsweetened chocolate, chopped
3/4 stick (6 tablespoons) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips, divided
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup sugar
3 large eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla

  • Melt unsweetened chocolate, butter, and 1 cup chocolate chips in a 1-quart heavy saucepan over low heat, stirring occasionally. Cool.
  • Stir together flour, cocoa, baking powder, and salt.
  • Beat together sugar, eggs, and vanilla with an electric mixer until pale and frothy, about two minutes. Mix in melted chocolate mixture and then flour mixture at low speed until combined well. Stir in remaining cup of chocolate chips. 
  • Chill covered, until firm, about 2 hours.
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 
  • Roll heaping teaspoons of dough into 1-inch balls with dampened hands and arrange 2 inches apart on ungreased baking sheets. Bake in batches in middle of oven until puffed and set, about 10 minutes (cookies will be soft in the center). Transfer to racks to cool. 
Yield: Approximately 6 dozen cookies.

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Monday, December 22, 2014

What I Baked on Sunday

Easy Appetizer 
Whipped Feta is my new go to for an appetizer. It comes together in under five minutes and is a crowd pleaser. I made it for the first time a few weeks ago and then made another batch last night to take to a dinner tonight.

Whipped Feta 
Recipe from How Sweet Eats

8 ounces feta cheese, crumbled and at room temperature
3 ounces whipped cream cheese, at room temperature


  • Add crumbled feta to a food processor and pulse until small crumbles remain.
  • Add in cream cheese and puree for 4-5 minutes, scraping down the sides when necessary, until feta is super creamy.
  • Serve as desired. I topped mine with cracked pepper and a drizzle of olive oil.

Friday, December 19, 2014

The Friday Five

1. Watching:
Thanks to Hallmark, I've finally found another Christmas movie that rivals Christmas Kiss. I think I like it so much because I can relate to the main character. Watch it if you can.  

2. Eating:
Coconut flakes. On everything including toast with almond butter, banana slices, and cinnamon as well as mixed into plain yogurt with blueberries.

3. Listening to:
Michael Buble's "Cold December Night"

4. Recipe I'm pinning:
Averie Cooks Pretzel Chocolate Chip Cookies because I love the salty sweet combo.

5. Things making me laugh:
Get it?
Staching through the snow!

Happy Friday!

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Gift Giving Guide

In need of some last minute Christmas gifts? Check out some of my favorites below:
An Owl Spoon Rest

I don't think Santa has room in his sleigh but I am drooling over HGTV's Dream Home. 

Friday, December 12, 2014

The Friday Five

1. Watching:
I stumbled upon Reckless the other day on Netflix and I am totally hooked. It's a combination of Friday Night Lights, Nashville, and Scandal. Too bad they canceled it after the first season.

2. Eating:
These Chocolate Truffles from Costco. I have yet to be disappointed by a Kirkland brand product.

3. Listening to:

Carrie Underwood's "Something in the Water"

4. Recipe I'm pinning:
Chocolate and peanut butter is one of my all time favorite combinations. I can't wait to try Iowa Girls Eat's No-Bake Chocolate Peanut Butter Cheesecakes

5. Things making me laugh:
This happened this week:
Have an office dance party. It is Friday after all. 

Happy Friday!

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

What I Baked on Sunday

Christmas Cookie Edition

Andes Double Chocolate Peppermint Crunch Cookies

1 cups unsalted butter
2 tablespoons instant coffee granules
2 cups plus two tablespoons all-purpose flour
3/4 cup baking cocoa
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
1/2 cup. granulated sugar
2 large eggs, room temperature
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 package (10 oz.) Andres Peppermint Crunch Baking Chips
1 - 4 oz. bar of semi- sweet chocolate, chunked (I used chocolate chips)


  • Preheat over to 350 degrees.
  • In a small saucepan melt butter with coffee granules over low heat until granules are completely dissolved. Remove pan from heat and let cool to about room temperature.
  • Sift together flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl and set aside. Beat butter mixture, sugar, brown sugar and vanilla in a large bowl. Beat at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy. Beat in eggs. Gradually beat in the flour mixture 1/3 at a time, beating at low speed just until blended. Stir in Andes Peppermint Crunch Baking Chips and chocolate chunks/chips.
  • Drop rounded tablespoons of dough 2 inches apart onto an ungreased or parchment lined baking sheet. Bake for 10-12 minutes. Let rest on baking sheet for 1 minute then transfer to wire racks to cool completely.

Yield: Approximately 4 dozen cookies.

Salted Caramel Christmas Bark
Recipe from Jenny Cookies 

1 (11 oz) package of Kraft Caramel Bits (Kraft Caramels work too, you just have to unwrap them all)
1 (11.5 oz) package of Ghiradelli Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips
1 (11.5 oz) package of Ghiradelli Milk Chocolate Chips
Sea Salt
 2 tbls water

  • Line a standard jelly roll pan with foil.
  • In a microwave safe bowl, microwave the Kraft Caramel Bits with 2 tbls water for 2 minutes, stirring half way. Remove from microwave and stir. If not fully melted, microwave an additional 30 seconds.
  • Mix bag of milk chocolate chips and bag of semi-sweet chocolate chips in separate bowl and melt in microwave for 2 minutes, stirring half way. If not fully melted, microwave an additional 30 seconds.
  • Spread melted chocolate onto pan.
  • Pour melted caramel over top of chocolate. Swirl with a spatula.
  • Sprinkle sea salt over top. Use a lot! It tastes amazing.
  • Put pan in freezer to set (about 30 minutes). Once bark has set, remove from freezer to break into pieces.
  • Store in refrigerator in an air tight container until ready to serve.
The original recipe called for two bags of everything but I thought one was plenty. If you use two bags, you can layer it. This makes a great gift!

Monday, December 8, 2014

Weekend Recap

Last week was full of lots of festive activities including events with both work and Junior League. By the time Friday rolled around, I was ready to put my feet up. After work, I headed to the gym and the grocery store before heading home for the night. Nothing says a wild Friday night like a copy of Real Simple, a glass (or two) of red wine and a Hallmark Christmas movie.
Saturday, I made a batch of paleo pancakes before heading out to run some errands. I was thankful for the hearty breakfast since my errands took much longer than expected. I felt like I was in Target for hours and ended up picking up quite a few things that were not on my list. I also ran into Barnes and Noble to return something and could not believe how long the line was.
Saturday night, we headed to Converse to watch the Spartanburg Philharmonic perform Handel's Messiah. The show also included some songs from Frozen so I made sure to get a picture with Olaf.
The show was incredible and definitely got me in the Christmas spirit. 
Sunday, I spent some time in the kitchen before heading to Colleen's for a Christmas party. It was a great weekend spent with great friends.