December 30, 2010

Captain Rodney’s Cheese Bake

Some of our good Family friends stopped by for some Christmas Eve festivities last week, and brought along this DELICIOUS concoction! We have since ordered at least 5 bottles of the Captain Rodney's Boucan Glaze to be completely stocked for New Years as well as my Alpha Xi game night, birthday/Super Bowl party, etc. THAT'S.JUST.HOW.GOOD.IT.IS! I have copied the recipe from their website below. If you click on the "Purchase Online", the glaze is on the second page. I believe it's made out of Tennessee, but I don't know what stores sell it, so online was my best bet. Enjoy!

Captain Rodney’s Cheese Bake

  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • One 8 oz pack cream cheese
  • 2 cups grated cheddar cheese
  • 2 green onions (chopped)
  • 6 Ritz crackers (crushed)
  • 8 slices bacon (cooked and crumbled)
  • 1/2 cup of any Captain Rodney’s Glaze
Mix mayonnaise, cream cheese, cheddar and onions in greased quiche pan. Top with crackers and bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes. Top with bacon and Captain Rodney’s Pepper Glaze. Serve with crackers.

DJ Earworm - United State of Pop 2010 (Don't Stop the Pop) - Mashup of T...

DJ Earworm's 2010 edition!

Ke$ha - Tik Tok
Lady Antebellum - Need You Now
Train - Hey, Soul Sister
Katy Perry Featuring Snoop Dogg - California Gurls
Usher Featuring - OMG
B.O.B. Featuring Hayley Williams - Airplanes
Eminem Featuring Rihanna - Love the Way You Lie
Lady Gaga - Bad Romance
Taio Cruz - Dynamite
Taio Cruz Featuring Ludacris - Break Your Heart
B.O.B. Featuring Bruno Mars - Nothin’ On You
Enrique Iglesias Featuring Pitbull - I Like It
Young Money Featuring Lloyd - Bedrock
Jason Derulo - In My Head
Rihanna - Rude Boy
Lady Gaga Featuring Beyonce - Telephone
Katy Perry - Teenage Dream
Bruno Mars - Just the Way You Are
Mike Posner - Cooler Than Me
The Black Eyed Peas - Imma Be
Jay-Z + Alicia Keys - Empire State of Mind
Usher Featuring Pitbull - DJ Got Us Fallin’ In Love
Travie McCoy Featuring Bruno Mars - Billionaire
Eminem - Not Afraid
Iyaz - Replay 

Comparison Alert

Have you shopped Vineyard Vines lately?? I simply adore them, however I can't always afford their styles. Below is one such find, that I happen to have gotten from Land's end for a 1/3 of the price Check it out:
Below is the Vineyard Vines Cripple Creek Cardigan for $125
Vineyard Vines Cardigan

Here is the Land's End Women's Regular Original Fine Gauge Ruffle 
Crew Cardigan Sweater for $49.99
Land's End Cardigan

I gave a few of these out over the Holiday as gifts. They're super cute, and very comfortable.
Additionally, I was wondering if you guys had any cool ideas of what to do with old ties? My mom and I came across a TON when cleaning. I saw this idea on the news the other day, but I'm no where near as crafty without a pattern. It's a tree skirt:

Any help or input you have is greatly appreciated!

I am not sure how much I'll get to blog over the holiday weekend, so I wish you all a HAPPY NEW YEAR!

December 29, 2010

Christmas Gift Highlights!

Hi Everyone! I hope you had a wonderful Christmas with your friends and families! I apologize for being slightly MIA the last week. I made my way south for the holiday with my family, and man was it heaven! My sister had herself a Lilly Pulitzer Christmas, I enjoyed some lovely gifts, and the BF got a Purdue Hockey jersey and camelbak. Overall it was a huge Christmas. It was so great to see such good friends and enjoy the time together.

One big gift that is making a huge impact on southern tailgating style is this:

Tervis Tumblers are all the rage and we gave them out as gifts to our friends for their almumaters! They are great for both hot and cold liquids and maintain temperature long after your standard plastic cups melt your yummy ice. They also have tops to prevent spilling and they can be personalized with monograms. You can find more awesome designs at their website:

Another AMAZING gift that I received was the VINEYARD VINES Purdue Tote!!! I.CAN.NOT.WAIT to use this! I had to have everything shipped because of lack of suitcase room, but it will be totally worth the wait! Check it out below or at

I hope you each got what you wanted for the holidays and I will outline some of my highlights of gifts in another blog.

December 22, 2010

24 days of Christmas Recipes- Day 22

A little bit of everything today...

Looking forward to some Holiday shenanigans with the family. Of which, I look forward to making and experiencing some of my previously mentioned family traditions.

 The below recipe just looks tasty, and I thought it'd be great to include to stay warm what with all this snow lately! PS I learned over Thanksgiving that using the actual gord is not always worth it (Pumpkin pie fest 2010).

Apple-Cheddar-Squash Soup


  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 medium onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 medium apples, thinly sliced
  • 1 large white potato, diced
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped peeled butternut squash, fresh or frozen
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried sage
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup apple cider
  • 4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 ounces thinly sliced prosciutto, torn into bite-size pieces
  • 2 cups grated sharp cheddar cheese, plus more for garnish
  • Chopped chives, for garnish (optional)
  • Crusty bread, for serving (optional)


Melt 4 tablespoons butter in a large pot over medium-low heat and add the onion, apples, potato and squash. Season with salt and pepper and cook until the onion is soft, about 8 minutes. Stir in the sage and flour. Add the cider and cook over high heat, stirring, until thickened. Add the broth and milk, cover and bring to a boil; reduce to a simmer and cook, stirring, until the potato is soft, 8 to 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, heat the remaining 1 tablespoon butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the prosciutto and cook until crisp, turning occasionally, about 2 minutes. Drain on paper towels.
Add the cheese to the soup and stir over medium-low heat until melted. Puree in a blender in batches until smooth; season with salt and pepper. Garnish with the prosciutto, more cheese and chives, if using. Serve with bread, if desired.

Per serving: Calories 532; Fat 34 g (Saturated 19 g); Cholesterol 117 mg; Sodium 807 mg; Carbohydrate 35 g; Fiber 5 g; Protein 24 g

December 20, 2010

24 Days of Christmas Recipes - Day 20

Hi Everyone!

This weekend was jam packed with adventures (hence the lack of postings, sorry). The BF and I went down to Indianapolis for one of his old roommate's wedding. It was lovely. The bride was GORGEOUS and the view from the reception (as seen below) was spectacular!

We pre-gamed as McCormick &Schmidt which got me in the mood for the below recipe:


2 oz blended whiskey
1/2 oz sweet vermouth
1/2 oz dry vermouth
1 dash bitters

However, as much as I love whiskey (bourbon), I ended up switching to my Dirty/Nasty (Blue Cheese Stuffed Olive, extra dirty martini). All in all, good time with wonderful people. 

Are you counting down the days? I'm super excited!!!

December 17, 2010

24 Days of Christmas Recipes - Day 17

Heck yes Holiday Cocktail recipes!

Candy Cane Cooler


For Infusion:

  • 2 cups fresh mint leaves, de-stemmed
  • 1 bottle quality vodka


Thoroughly wash mint leaves and place in a decanter or jar. Empty vodka into container and muddle slightly to release the essential oils. Store in a cool, dark place for at least 3 days - longer if you want a stronger taste.

For cocktail:

  • 1 tbs. crushed candy cane or peppermint candy
  • 1 1/2 oz. mint-infused vodka
  • 1/2 oz. B&B (Benedictine and brandy)
  • 1/2 oz. half-and-half
  • Ice
  • Peppermint stick
  • Mint sprig for garnish
Place crushed candy cane bits into pint glass. Muddle the candy cane slightly, breaking up the bigger pieces. Do not over-muddle into a powder. Add vodka, brandy and half-and-half and stir. Pour into a shaker with ice. Shake lightly to chill and strain into old-fashioned glass full of ice. Add a peppermint stick and stir. Garnish with a mint sprig.

December 16, 2010

24 Days of Christmas Recipes - Day 16

ANOTHER APPETIZER! Last night I had my December Junior League meeting, which got me in the mood for holiday parties with good friends, awesome food... and cheap wine :). Thank you Trader Joe's for your Two Buck Chuck (Charles Schwabb) wine selection, for without I would be broke and sad.

Below is a fun recipe which I hope to try this season... only 8 more days to shop!

Hot Artichoke-Spinach Dip Recipe
Takes only 25 mins! Feel free to use any brand of the below ingredients, however this is what my recipe calls for.


  • Kosher salt
  • 1 10-ounce bag baby spinach
  • 1 cup packed fresh basil
  • 3/4 cup canned cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • 6 ounces Neufchatel cream cheese
  • 1 clove garlic, smashed
  • 1/2 cup low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 14-ounce can artichoke hearts, drained, squeezed dry and finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 3/4 cup shredded low-fat mozzarella cheese
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper
  • 2 or 3 dashes Worcestershire sauce
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Cooking spray
  • Baked chips, for serving


Preheat the oven to 450. Bring a pot of salted water to a boil and prepare a bowl of ice water. Stir the spinach and basil into the boiling water and cook until bright green, about 30 seconds. Remove with a slotted spoon and immediately plunge in the ice water. Drain and squeeze dry, then roughly chop.

Puree the beans, cream cheese, garlic and chicken broth in a food processor until smooth, scraping the sides as needed. Transfer to a medium bowl and fold in the spinach and basil, artichokes, parmesan and 1/2 cup mozzarella. Add the cayenne, Worcestershire sauce, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and black pepper to taste.

Mist a deep 1-quart casserole dish with cooking spray. Spread the dip mixture in the dish and top with the remaining 1/4 cup mozzarella. Bake until golden and bubbly, 20 to 25 minutes. Serve warm with baked chips.
Per serving (1/4 cup): Calories 100; Fat 5 g (Saturated 3 g); Cholesterol 19 mg; Sodium 338 mg; Carbohydrate 7 g; Fiber 2 g; Protein 6 g

December 15, 2010

24 Days of Christmas Recipes - Day 15

Ok, so I missed a day... yesterday was really busy!

Please find below a take on the Alpha Xi Delta (Purdue) cheese ball that we all know and love from every Founder's day and Easter event (not to mention any other Alumni party)! I'll be the first to say that cheese balls aren't the healthiest of appetizers, however they make beautiful coffee table pieces for your guests to enjoy before whatever dining activities you plan or during any of your holiday cocktail parties. My favorite part about them is the fact that they're super easy, and you can make them in advance! Enjoy!

Virginia Ham & Cheese Ball

  • 8 ounces ground or finely chopped country ham
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 3 dashes hot pepper sauce
  • 3 pinches dry mustard powder
  • 8 ounces unsalted Virginia peanuts, finely chopped
  • 1 maraschino cherry half
  • Assorted crackers, for serving


In a large bowl, combine ground ham, cream cheese, hot sauce and mustard until well blended. Roll into a ball and then roll in chopped peanuts. Garnish with cherry on top of ball. Serve on cheeseboard with crackers.

December 14, 2010

Preppy Girl Green: Christmas Break Give-A-Way!!!

Preppy Girl Green: Christmas Break Give-A-Way!!!: "Exams are over! Hallelujah! ...In order to continue the happy mood, I'm giving away a Preppy Girl Green x-mas break gift. (perfect for relax..."

December 13, 2010

24 Days of Christmas Recipes - Day 13

I found this French Onion Tart Recipe on the food network and it looked really tasty and very easy!

Confession: I desperately want to make a turkey... this will be the first year in the last 3 years that I won't have made one. I'm trying to convince the BF to let me do it for our New Years shin dig... I love cooking! Now if only I could find the antidote to my love of food....


  • 1 sheet frozen puff pastry, thawed in refrigerator
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 large Vidalia onions or other sweet variety, thinly sliced
  • 4 thyme sprigs, plus more for garnish
  • Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper
  • 1/3 cup good quality beef stock


Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
On a work surface, roll the puff pastry into a roughly 10 by 16-inch rectangle. With a sharp knife, trim uneven edges to make a perfect rectangle. Evenly cut off the outer 1 inch of each side of the rectangle in strips; put the puff sheet on the baking sheet. Dip your finger in water and run around the top edges of the rectangle and replace the removed strips of pastry along the edges of the sheet, pressing lightly to adhere. With a fork, pierce the interior of the tart shell to prevent rising; do not pierce the adhered edges. Bake until the outer edges have puffed and are golden in color; about 15 minutes. Set aside.
Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large skillet over medium-low heat. Add onions and thyme sprigs and season well with salt and pepper, to taste. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions begin to brown. Add the stock, a tablespoon at a time, as the pan gets dry, scraping and stirring the brown bits that are stuck to the bottom oft the pan. When the onions are caramelized to a dark golden color, remove from the heat and discard the leafless thyme sprigs (the leaves fall off while cooking).
When ready to serve, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Evenly spread the caramelized onions on the cooked pastry shell and heat in the oven until warmed through, 5 to 7 minutes. Remove from oven, to a cutting board and cut into wedges. Arrange on a serving platter and garnish each wedge with a sprig of fresh thyme. Serve immediately and enjoy!

December 12, 2010

24 Days of Christmas Recipes - Day 12

Based on today's BLIZZARD, I am including my Uncle Don's Turkey Chili. It's wonderful and easy in a crock-pot! I will forewarn, you may want to drain the all the cans except the broth as the quantity tends to increase in quantity as it cooks.

3 lbs. ground turkey
3 onion diced
Large Medium Hot salsa (32 oz.)
2 cans hot chili kidney beans
1 can regular chili kidney beans
3 cans diced tomatoes-chili
1 can beef broth
Lace with Chili Powder (2 times)
1/3-1/2 lbs. brown sugar (*you can use a brown sugar substitute as well)

optionals: mushrooms and/or 2 jalapenos- chopped thin.

I like to cook for the longest setting (typically 8 hours), however you can cook for 4-5 hours and still be fine.

Top with Fat Free Cheese and/or sour cream

Also good served with jiffy mix corn muffins.

I hope you all are staying warm during this crazy stuff!

PREPPY ADVENTURES! (or just plain adventures)
Yesterday Dan and I made a trip to Kuma's Corner... so addicted... and probably the cause for my stomach ache last night... in combination with the Half Acre beer we picked up from the brewery. Then last night we ended up going to Zoo Lights at the Lincoln Park Zoo with Matt & Lisa. It was rainy and gross, but the lights are pretty. Check out some pictures below:

December 11, 2010

24 Days of Christmas Recipes - Day 11

Because I saw this on deadspin this week and thought it was HILARIOUS... I'm providing a gingerbread recipe for today! (It's Peyton Manning....yea....)


This recipe has been in my family for a long time. The smell will send friends and family running for the warmth of the kitchen. A note about good cookie baking: Halfway through, I always rotate the tray in the oven so the cookies bake evenly on all sides. This recipe is no exception.


The foundation:

  • 1 1/2 sticks lightly salted butter, softened
  • 1 2/3 cups sugar
  • 1 orange, zested

The dry ingredients:

  • 4 cups all-purpose flour, plus 1/2 cup additional for rolling, if needed
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon ground dry ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

The wet ingredients:

  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup dark molasses
  • 1 lemon, juiced
Easy Orange Frosting, recipe follows
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle, add the butter, sugar and orange zest and beat until smooth, 5 to 8 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, dry ginger, nutmeg, allspice, cinnamon, cloves and salt. Whisk to blend. Set aside.
In another bowl, whisk together the eggs, molasses and lemon juice.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
When the butter and sugar are integrated, lower the speed of the mixer and add the dry ingredients. Add the egg mixture and when blended, remove the bowl from the machine. Divide the cookie dough in half. Press the first half of the dough in between 2 sheets of waxed paper or plastic wrap and chill for 15 minutes. Repeat with the second half. This step will make it easier to finish rolling out the dough when it has chilled. It will also mean you only have half of the dough getting warm as you roll it.
Lightly flour a flat surface. Use a floured rolling pin to gently roll the first half of the dough about 1/2-inch thick. Lightly flour the cookie cutter(s) and cut the shapes, making as few scraps as possible. Use a metal spatula to gently transfer them, cookie by cookie, (the cookies should be similar size) to a baking sheet. Repeat with the other half of the dough and transfer them to another baking sheet. A note about crowding the tray(s): these particular cookies can spread a little. Leave room between the cookies. Better to use 3 baking sheets with fewer cookies than to crowd them on 2 trays. Bake until brown around the edges, 8 to 10 minutes.
Got scraps? Form the scraps into a ball, press it flat and chill in the refrigerator. These cookies may be a little more "tough" because the dough will have been worked a little more than the others.
Why not have a little frosting on your gingerbread.

Send your pictures of any of your baking adventures during this holiday season! :)

December 10, 2010

24 Days of Christmas Recipes - Day 10

Today I am highlighting a wonderful Sausage Strata. This is something my family does every year for Christmas. It's super easy to make ahead of time, and just pop in the oven to cook while you're opening gifts Christmas morning. 

Sausage & Cheese Strata

12 slices white bread, trimmed
3/4 lb. grated cheddar cheese
2 c. browned pork sausage
6 slightly beaten eggs
2 1/4 c. milk
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. dry mustard
1/4 tsp. pepper
Put 6 slices bread in baking dish. Cover with cheese. Add layer of sausage, cover with 6 slices bread. Combine remaining ingredients and pour over bread. Before baking, sprinkle with bread or corn flakes mixed with 1/2 stick melted butter. Cover and refrigerate overnight or at least 6 hours. Bake at 325 degrees for 55 minutes in pan of warm water. Let stand 10 minutes before cutting if going to cut into squares.
I hope that you and your family can add something so tasty to your holiday traditions!

December 9, 2010


Check out more at



24 Days of Christmas Recipes - Day 9.5

Ok Kids,

I meant to include this other recipe I saw on the Fabulous Beekman Boys last night (on Planet Green). I greatly enjoy their farm antics and they're just hilarious! Last night they had a recap episode of their first season, and holiday special. Below is a recipe they highlighted of a fruit cake, that is literally soaked in booze... I'm actually intrigued and kind of want to try it! It look fairly easy too!

Most fruitcakes are heavy with lots of strangely colored dried fruits. This fruitcake has only fruit that we really like.  It can be adapted to include (or exclude) whatever fruits you like. Makes two 1 ½  lb fruitcakes.
1 ¼  cups chopped dried Calimyrna figs (about 6 oz)
4 ½  cups chopped dried fruits, best quality, organic / local wherever possible. Here’s what we like: ½  cup     dates 1  cup       candied pineapple
1  cup       dried apricots
½  cup      dried cherries
½  cup      dark raisins
1  cup       golden raisins
½  cup light rum
1 ½  cups unsalted butter, room temperature (3 sticks)
1 ½  cups white sugar
1  cup packed brown sugar
8 large eggs
1 tbsp pure vanilla extract
1  tsp baking soda
½  tsp salt
3  cups all purpose flour
1 ½  cups pecans, toasted
The day before
  • Chop the dried fruits in good-sized pieces.
  • Combine dried figs, mixed fruits, golden raisins, and rum in large bowl.
  • Cover and let stand at room temperature overnight, stirring occasionally.
Make the cake
  • Preheat oven to 325°F.
  • Butter baking pans or forms.
  • Beat 1 1/2 cups butter, sugar and brown sugar in large bowl until light.
  • Beat in eggs 1 at a time, then vanilla, baking soda and salt.
  • Stir in flour in 4 additions.
  • Stir in pecans, dried fruit mixture and any soaking liquid from bowl.
Bake the cake
  • Divide batter among prepared pans. Place pans on baking sheet and place on center rack of oven.
  • Bake until tester inserted into center of cakes comes out clean, about 1 hour 20 minutes.
  • Cool cakes completely in pans on racks.
  • Wrap in plastic or aluminum foil.
  • Let stand at least 1 day and up to 3 days at room temperature.
  • Wrap in cheesecloth, and if you wish, baste with liqueur of your choice.
Storage & Serving
  • Store several weeks at room temperature or months in a refrigerator
  • Serve at room temperature
  • If the cake becomes dry, use a pastry brush to brush the outside of the cake with brandy
If this all sounds too-complicated given all the other things you have to do during the holidays, let us do the work.   The Beekman 1802 Generous Fruitcake is available every year from Nov 1 – Jan 1.  Click here for more details.
To see Josh put this recipe all together, click here

24 Days of Christmas Recipes - Day 9

These look amazing and I am definitely going to be trying them soon!

Chocolate Peppermint Pinwheel Cookies


  • 1 batch Sugar Cookies, recipe follows
  • 3 ounces unsweetened chocolate, melted
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 teaspoon peppermint extract
  • 1/2 cup crushed candy canes or peppermint candies


Divide the dough in half and add chocolate and vanilla to 1 half and incorporate with hands. Add egg yolk, peppermint extract, and crushed candy to other half of dough and incorporate with hands. Cover both with plastic and chill for approximately 5 minutes. Roll out doughs separately to approximately 1/4-inch thickness. Place peppermint dough on top of chocolate and press together around the edges. Using waxed paper or flexible cutting board underneath, roll dough into log. Wrap in waxed paper and refrigerate for 2 hours.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Remove dough from the refrigerator and cut into 1/2-inch slices. Place cookies 1-inch apart on greased baking sheet, parchment, or silicone baking mat and bake for 12 to 13 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through cooking time. Remove from oven and let sit on baking sheet for 2 minutes, then move to a wire rack to cool completely. Store in an airtight container for up to 1 week.


December 8, 2010

24 Days of Christmas Recipes - Day 8

I'm running out of recipes folks... SEND ME YOUR FAVORITE HOLIDAY TREATS!

Below is a recipe that the BF and I watched on Saturday during our snow storm... it looks quite tasty and I hope to try it at my next available moment!

Paula Deen's Pork Crown Roast with Stuffing:


  • 16-rib crown roast of pork
  • House Seasoning, to taste, recipe follows
  • 1/4 cup chopped onion
  • 2 tablespoon butter, melted
  • 2/3 cup uncooked instant rice
  • 1/8 teaspoon poultry seasoning
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1/2 cup chopped dried prunes
  • 1/4 cup chopped dried apricots
  • Canned apricot halves, drained


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Sprinkle roast on all sides with House Seasoning; place, bone ends up, in a shallow roasting pan. Insert a meat thermometer, making sure it does not touch fat or bone. Saute onion in butter until tender but not browned. Add rice, House Seasoning, to taste, and poultry seasoning and water to onion; stir to moisten rice. Bring rice mixture to a boil, then remove from heat. Cover tightly and let stand 10 minutes. Stir dried prunes and dried apricots into the rice mixture. Fill center of roast with rice mixture. Place a folded strip of aluminum foil over exposed ends of ribs. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes per pound to until thermometer registers 170 degrees. Garnish with apricot halves, if desired.

House Seasoning:
1 cup salt
1/4 cup black pepper
1/4 cup garlic powder
Mix ingredients together and store in an airtight container for up to 6 months.

December 7, 2010

Christmas Countdown 2010 - Find out how many days until Christmas 2010

Christmas Countdown 2010 - Find out how many days until Christmas 2010: "Set as your homepage to count the number of days until Christmas 2010!"

24 Days of Christmas Recipes - Day 7

Well kiddies, I have quite the mid-week toddie recipe for you today! Per my good friend Mr. Joe Jackson, please find below his recipe for a Christmas Candy Cane Martini!

Christmas Candy Cane Martini
1 shot Vanilla Vodka
1 shot Godiva White Chocolate Liqueur
1 shot Rumpie
...throw a mini candy cane on the rim

Check out Joe's Blog at the link to the left or at:

Additionally, you might check out some cute cocktail attire to go along with a fun holiday evening at the Just Dandy Blog: Just Dandy: What to wear: Christmas Party

Or, you should REALLY REALLY Check out the new apparel at Sears!

Some examples of the new lines:

PS I think my Secret Santa carpet bombed my cube with Lilly Pulitzer Decorations!!! LOVE IT!

December 6, 2010

24 Days of Christmas Recipes - Day 6

The below recipe is my friend Sarah's family cookie recipe. Her mom used to send us huge packages of them when we were living together in the sorority house!

1 (14 oz.) pkg. caramels
1 (5 oz.) can evaporated milk
1 (18.25 oz.) pkg. German Chocolate Cake Mix
3/4 c. butter (melted)
1 lg. egg
1 (6 oz.) pkg. chocolate chips
1 c. chopped pecans

Combine caramels and 1/4 cup milk in small saucepan. Cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, until smooth. Set aside. Combine cake mix, butter, egg and remaining milk. Spoon 1/2 mixture into greased 13x9 pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 6 minutes. Remove from oven and sprinkle with chocolate chips and pecans. Spread caramel mixture on top. Spoon remaining cake mixture on top of caramel layer. Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes. Cool and cut into squares. Yield: 3 dozen (small squares).

Additionally I am including some picks of when I made the Cranberry sauce recipe and the spiced tea recipe:

The Cranberry sauce took my about an hour to cook and can. The spiced tea took less than 10 mins. I will warn, the cranberry sauce recipe made 12- 8 oz jars worth, where as the spiced tea only made 4- 8 oz jars... I would recommend doubling or tripling the spiced tea recipe. I need to go get more Tang to make more!

24 Days of Christmas Recipes - Day 5


I'm sorry guys the Chicagoland area comcast internet service was out yesterday, preventing me from adding my daily recipe :(. So here ya go!

These cookies are perfect for cookie cutting!


  • 8 ounces unsalted butter
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour 
  1. Beat the butter, sugar, salt and vanilla together until smooth and creamy.
  2. Mix in the egg yolk until well incorporated, scraping down the sides of the bowl at least once.
  3. Add the flour and mix just until incorporated.
  4. Scrape onto a lightly floured board and knead a few times, just until the dough smooths out.
  5. Turn onto a sheet of plastic wrap and roll into a log, wrap up and refrigerate for several hours or freeze.
  6. Before baking, preheat the oven to 325°F.
  7. Line your baking sheets with parchment.
  8. Slice the dough into slices about 1/8" thick and place them on the sheets about an inch apart (they won't be spreading very much, but they need air room around each cookie).
  9. Bake until JUST beginning to turn golden around the edges, about 16-18 minutes.
  10. Note: you can do many things with these cookies.
  11. You could roll the dough out and cut shapes.
  12. You could slice them even thinner and sandwich them with chocolate or jam or lemon curd.
  13. You could make them and then dip them half into chocolate.
  14. You could just make them and eat them, which is my favorite.
  15. Whatever you do, they will be delicious.

December 4, 2010

24 Days of Christmas Recipes - Day 4

Once again I have run into more unknown and FABULOUS recipes that I didn't know. Last night my little town had it's annual Victorina style Christmas celebration (and it's continuing throughout the weekend). My boyfriend and I watched the local tree lighting while munching on popcorn, then we walked the streets enjoying the live window displays, before heading to the local pub for a lovely dinner and some great hometown beer! At this pub, they had a selection of Holiday Cocktails/Martinis that we just couldn't pass up! Below is one such drink we greatly enjoyed:

White Christmas Martini
Godiva White Chocolate Liquor
Southern comfort
Creamy Eggnog (preferably Oberweis!)
They shook all of this in a martini shaker, and in a martini glass at the bottom they had crushed green peppermint and the sprinkled it on top as well after pouring. It was very festive and tasty!

Additionally, I wanted to include a personal favorite from home. My Mom makes these every year as well (if you haven't caught on, we make a lot of cookies during the holidays...) It's another slightly labor intensive treat, and you definitely should keep an eye on it the whole time... but it's well worth it for this mix between a cookie, a brownie, and fudge! Enjoy :)

Chocolate Chewy Scotch Bars (48 bars)

- 1 package (12 oz ) or 2 cups semi-sweet chocolate pieces
- 1 can (15 oz ) sweetened condensed milk
- 2 tablespoons butter or margarine
- 1 cup butter or margarine
- 2/14 cup ( 1 lb. package) firmly packed brown sugar
- 2 eggs
- 2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt 
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1/2 cup chopped nuts 
- 1/2 cup flaked coconut

  1. Preheat oven to 350°.
  2. In saucepan, melt chocolate chips, condensed milk, and 2 tablespoons butter over low heat, stirring occasionally.
  3. Set aside.
  4. In another saucepan, melt 1 cup of butter.
  5. Remove from heat and beat in brown sugar and eggs.
  6. Stir in all remaining ingredients.
  7. Spread half of mixture in an ungreased 15x10 jellyroll pan.
  8. Drizzle chocolate mixture over dough in pan, and spread evenly.
  9. Dot top of chocolate mixture with remaining brown sugar dough and swirl a butter knife through the dough to marble.
  10. Bake 35 minutes or until golden brown.
  11. Cool and cut into bars.
  Additionally, I'd like to share the winter wonderland I awoke to this morning:

I hope you all have a fun winter day and Stay warm... and to my sister and her friends at the SEC championship game at the GA Dome... GO GAMECOCKS! Or as Dad would say (off the Purdue BOILER UP) COCKS UP!

December 3, 2010

Stellar SC Belts from Tucker Blair!

You should check out Tucker Blair's newest Needle-point belts! I'm digging the Red SC one!

Check it out here:

Dear Abby- Be Kind to Others

DEAR ABBY: As we head toward Christmas, would you remind people to please treat others as they, themselves, would want to be treated?
I work in retail, and it's amazing how many customers are rude. They don't acknowledge us, they'll talk on their cell phone throughout transactions and become angry at us if something beyond our control goes wrong. If we were to treat them this way, they would surely file a complaint against us.
Abby, can you remind folks to remember what the reason for the season is, and to act toward others with kindness, patience and respect -- no matter what? -- MINDFUL IN FAIRBANKS

DEAR MINDFUL: There is something about Christmas that can turn the most angelic individuals into gremlins. And that "something" is the pressure to buy, buy, buy -- accumulating debt that can't be repaid for months or even longer. Add to that, no place to park and long lines in understaffed malls, and the "joy" of the season can curdle into frustration.
But readers, please hang onto your tempers even if those around you are losing theirs. The folks behind the counters are people, too, and they feel as pressured if not more so -- than you.

Candlelight - The Maccabeats


This goes out to all my Jewish friends celebrating the holidays!

24 Days of Christmas Recipes - Day 3

Along the same lines as yesterday's recipe, the below Spiced Tea makes a great gift for friends, family, and co-workers and is also easily made.


Spiced Tea
2 cups sugar
1 18 oz jar tang
1/2 tsp ground cloves
2 tsp ground cinnamon
3/4 cup instant tea

Mix, and spoon into an air-tight container of your choice. You mix roughly 2 table spoons of recipe with 8-10 oz of hot water for a delicious Holiday tea!

December 2, 2010

Must have of the Holiday Season!

Booze Box!

24 Days of Christmas Recipes - Day 2

Today I am introducing the second day of my (hopefully annual) '24 Days of Christmas Recipes'! I had my recipe all ready for today, but while watching then News this morning, I just had to include another! They were making several variations of Latkes, and you may not know but these are potato pancakes typically served during the Jewish Holiday of Hanukkah. PS I LOVE LATKES! If you are ever in the Chicago area, I highly recommend the South-side Jewish Deli, Manny's. It's famous in the area and relatively throughout the country. Below is one of the recipes they highlighted; it's the traditional which is perfect for serving with apple sauce (For those of you who haven't tried this, I realize this might sound a bit odd... but TRUST ME, it's the PERFECT topping!).

I like really crispy latkes that are only slightly creamy inside. I don’t use yolks in my batter as egg yolks make doughs and batters tender. Egg whites hold the ingredients together but don’t make it soft or cakey.

2 pounds Russet potatoes, peeled and shredded (after shredding the potatoes, place them in a large bowl with ice water-they won’t oxidize and turn rust colored)
Neutrally flavored oil for frying (I prefer canola)
1 large Spanish onion, peeled and grated
3 egg whites, beaten with a whisk until frothy
3-6 tablespoons flour
2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon fresh cracked pepper
Place the shredded potatoes in a large clean towel and squeeze out all of the moisture; make sure the potatoes are completely dry.
Place all of the remaining ingredients in a large bowl and add the potatoes. Mix all of the ingredients together until thoroughly combined.
Heat a large skillet with 1-½ inches of oil. Drop spoonfuls of latke batter into the oil.
Flatten it slightly with the back of a spoon. Brown the latkes on both sides. Remove to a platter lined with paper towels.
To re-heat: Place the latkes on a cookie sheet and heat in a 400 degree oven until hot.

Additionally, here is the homemade cranberry-apple sauce they paired it with:

Apple-Cranberry Ginger Sauce
This is a beautiful garnet-colored tart applesauce. It is a perfect complement for the crispy latkes. The addition of ginger adds a deep citrus spice flavor that balances the vegetables in the latke.

6 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and chopped
1-cup fresh or frozen cranberries
1/3 cup sugar
1 whole cinnamon stick
2 teaspoons chopped crystallized ginger
½ cup apple cider or juice
Pinch of kosher salt
1. Place all of the ingredients in a medium saucepan. Cook uncovered over medium heat until the cranberries pop. Continue cooking until the excess moisture evaporates. Remove the cinnamon stick and stir to combine. The applesauce may be stored and covered in the refrigerator for up to one week or frozen for up to 2 months.

All of these recipes and more can be found at Source:

So as not to completely copy other people's recipes, below is my great-Aunt Joan's Cranberry Conserve.  This is a type of cranberry sauce that we have as a treat with our Thanksgiving/Christmas dinners (perfect with Turkey). Guilty confession: it ends up like an apple sauce, and my mom and I were know to sneak to eat it straight from the jar! Yes, IT'S THAT GOOD! Plus it's super easy. I'm planning on making some this weekend while I work on my Christmas cookies. I'll try to include pictures so you can get the general idea. Enjoy!

Cranberry Conserve

1 Medium peeled orange- finely chopped
2 cups water
2 cups sugar
1 quart stemmed cranberries
1/2 cup seedless raisins
1/2 cup chopped walnuts

Combine orange water and cook about 20 mins. Add cranberries, sugar, and raisins. Bring slowly to a boil, stirring occasionally until sugar dissolves. Cook rapidly about 8 mins. As mixture thickens stir frequently to prevent sticking.
Add nuts the last 5 mins of cooking.

Allow to cool on the stove, then ladle into 8 oz mason jars.Wipe screw area, and place on flat lid base. You can use a circle piece of cloth in a Christmas/Holiday pattern before tightening the lid completely. This makes a great gift during the holidays!

Happy Holidays!

December 1, 2010

24 Days of Christmas Recipes - Day 1

Every year I grew up making 'Candy Cane Cookies' with my family. They are a bit intensive, but well worth the effort, and everyone I've ever had the joy to give them to has appreciated them. Please find below these delicious almond cookies. I had to cheat and find a picture on line, as I can't seem to locate any pictures of my own. As the month progresses, I hope to include my own baking efforts for the Holiday season. PLEASE SEND ME YOUR FAVORITE HOLIDAY RECIPES! :) I love to try new ones all the time!

- 1 cup shortening
- 1 cup confectioner sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 1/2 cup flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon red food coloring

Combine all ingredients except food coloring. Divide dough in half and put red food coloring in one batch. Blend well; place in two pieces of wax paper and wrap. Chill in fridge over night or several hours. Remove and pinch off a palm size piece of each and roll into worm-like (roughly 6-8 in) strips. Wrap white and red dough and hook to a candy cane shape. Bake at 350 for roughly 20-25 mins (watch until white appears golden brown).