Friday, December 28, 2012

Keurig Hot Chocolate.... aka My sister is a Genius.

This past week I was at my sister's house enjoying Christmas and two adorable twin boys.   I may have eaten a little too much ham and may have watched Polar Express a million times or so.   But, one thing I did not do was drink too much coffee and creamer.  Not me.   I definitely did not need this infusion of caffeine after a night of playing trains with twin boys. So we may have used the Keurig- a lot.  And, one night while sitting by the fireplace- I really want a fireplace BTW- my sister made me some hot cocoa.   

Now, hear me out on this.  I love hot cocoa.  But- I only love hot cocoa when it is made with milk.   That watered down stuff that others try to pass off as hot cocoa.  Blech.  And the first time I tried the Keurig hot cocoa- I found it a little too watered down for my tastes as well.   But, my sister had the secret.   She adds some coffee creamer to her hot cocoa.   And it definitely makes a difference.   So I had to pass along this secret to making a watered down cup of hot cocoa creamy and delicious.  

Now, don't be afraid to add creamer to your cocoa.  It definitely needs a generous splash.   And if you're me- a very, very generous splash.   The best part- you can create your own flavored cocoa by adding fun flavors of creamer.   My sister had sugar cookie- mmmmmmm.... I love Natural Bliss Sweet Cream, but this peppermint mocha was delicious as well.

Now, I can enjoy a hot cup of cocoa with a hint of creamy deliciousness from my Keurig.


Saturday, December 22, 2012

Creme Wafers

It's not too late to bake up some more Christmas treats!!  

I have a yummy cookie to share with you.  I have been drooling over all my favorite food blogs and the amazing cookie recipes out there.   However, all of them are starting to run together in my head.   Peppermint seems to be a big theme this year.   Variations of spice and eggnog also seem to be a popular idea.    I thought that I would throw out a cookie recipe that I have not seen out there yet.  

These creme wafers take a touch more work than the usual drop and bake style, but they are festive and quite delicious.   The cookie is not very sweet (as there is not sugar in the dough).   The sweetness comes from the sugar it is rolled in and the creamy buttercream inside.  But what makes this cookie so unique is the texture.  It is flaky and rich- almost like a pie crust with a sugary coating.   

I hope everyone has a very Merry Christmas!!


Creme Wafers:

1 cup butter, softened
1/3 cup whipping creme
2 cups flour.

Cream all three ingredients together and form into three disks and chill.   The dough is very crumbly.  

Heat oven to 375 degrees and roll out the dough to 1/8th thickness and cut into 1.5 inch circles.   Coat with sugar and prick with a fork if you like.   (I also sprinkled a touch more sugar on the tops right before baking because I like the way they look with the sugar coating).   
Bake on ungreased cookie sheets for 7-9 minutes or until set.  Do not over bake.  

Cool cookies and prepare the buttercream filling.

Creme Filling:
1/4 cup softened butter
3/4 cup confectioner's sugar
1 tsp vanilla
2 TBS whipping creme

Cream the butter, then add the vanilla and whipping cream.  Slowly add in the confectioner's sugar.  

Makes about 20 cookies.  

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

It's all about the appetizers.....

Do you ever get so excited at appetizers that your forget that there is an actual meal coming later?  Have you ever accidentally filled up entirely on appetizers and then had your mom yell at you because you did not finish your dinner? Does anyone have a recipe file filled with more appetizer recipes than any other type?  

If you answered yes to any of the above then you and I have something in common.   Not that I have ever been yelled at by my mom for not finishing my dinner (just every time we get together for dinner.....).  Well, I hate to tell you- but I am going to feed the appetizer insanity some more.  

This appetizer is simple, delicious and requires minimal fuss and work.   It would be a great appetizer to serve on Christmas Day while you are waiting for dinner to cook.   Just don't let me eat them all.   Cause then I won't want to finish my dinner.  

I wish I was a super-duper-awesome blogger and had precise amounts and measurements to give you- but- alas-I am not a super duper blogger.  Instead, you just get me.   But, I promise- measurements or not- these tomato-mozzarella bites are delicious and easy.

First, head to the antipasta section of your local grocery.   I found sundried tomatoes and herbs in oil on the bar area.  I also have seen these sun dried tomatoes packaged by the grocery in the deli section as well.  Be sure to buy the kind in oil as the oil helps the bread toast in the oven.   The herbs in this variation also made the tomato-mozzarella bites even more tasty.  Slice some french bread and place a couple of tomato slices on the bread and spread the oil all around.  The place a chunk (or two) of fresh mozzarella on top.   Sprinkle on some salt and pepper.   Then broil in the oven till the bread is toasty and the cheese is melted.   Be sure to watch the bites as they can burn easily.

Presto- a quick, simple and delicious appetizer.
What is everyone making for Christmas dinner?  I am not sure what is on the menu since I will be with my sister, but I am going to try a new crockpot recipe for breakfast.   I will share it soon if it turns out as good as I hope it will.


Saturday, December 8, 2012

Butter, trees and Disco balls

I am a little busy today... with this.... And that is why I do not have any yummy food posts for you.  But, I promise to share some of the yummy cookies I made and some of the recipes I used.  

So instead of food, I am sharing some of my favorite ornaments.  I put up my tree last weekend.  I had some help from an adorable Doodle bug.   He is a big fan of the "clump" method.   Meaning, he likes to clump five to six ornaments together on the same branch.  Needless to say, after he left, I had some ornament rearranging to do.

Here are a few of the ornaments on my tree right now.

One cannot be a baker and not have sweets on their tree.   See that gingerbread boy on the right.  He is one of my favorite ornaments from childhood.  And see those teeth marks in his head.   Those are my teeth marks.   yep.  I tried to eat him when I was young.   He looked so yummy and he used to have a gingerbread smell.  The smell has faded.  The teeth marks have not.

See that Drummer Boy on the left.  He is a silver ornament from my great aunt.  She left me a set of four ornaments and I love them all.   I have few things from my Auntie Bell, but these are very special to me.   And the ornament on the right- homemade with love from a sweet little Griffin- boy.   Homemade ornaments are the best.  

I can't be a crazy cat lady without a few cat ornaments on the tree.   One of my favorite traditions is one my mom started.  My Mom wraps a gift each year and adds on a new ornament.  This mini snow globe is one of the many that I have received from her throughout the years.

And one cannot have a Christmas tree without a sparkly disco ball.   We had one on the tree every year growing up.  In fact, I still have that disco ball ornament.

What kind of ornaments do you have one your tree?  Any special ones?

If you do share your ornaments on your tree- be sure to share a link to your blog in the comments and I will come over and check them out!


Saturday, December 1, 2012


I have so much to be thankful for this year.  I was very thankful that I was able to spend another Thanksgiving with family.   

I made these sugar cookies for a Woodland themed Thanksgiving with my sister.  Thanksgiving morning I was sitting down to take a couple of pictures of my cookies.   I think I got one picture in before I was joined by a cutie pie.... 

And this is what happened next...

As much as I wanted a picture of my cookies- I got something so much more precious.

And these two little cuties loved my cookies.

Not only are deer cookies good to eat, but they are also fun to play with.

Sweet little boy hands holding my cookies.

Once "Pie" caught onto the fact I was taking pictures of him- this was the face that I got.   "No CiCi- No more pit-tures".

I loved seeing this one run around with a cookie in each hand.

And this is the best picture of all.   Cookies gone.  Love.

This blog post is dedicated to my dear sweet nephews whom I love dearly.  My life changed forever with each one of you.  Love you Doodles, Cake Butt and Pie.

Aunt CiCi (Marci)