A Cookie Exchange

Our annual, neighborhood cookie exchange came and went last week.
 Not wanting to miss out, but having little time on my hands 
(what with our newborn and what have you!) 
I opted to go the simple, yet stylish route this year....with a twist.

What's that mean exactly? 
7 layer bar, of course. 
Their SO good and so quick you really can't go wrong.

Everyone and their mother's brother's sister has a recipe for one of these bad boys - but I'll share mine anyway. Why not, right?

Gather your ingredients:

1 stick butter, melted 
2 cups graham cracker crumbs (or enough to cover the melted butter) 
1 -8 oz bag chocolate chips 
1-8 ox bag butterscotch chips 
2 cups coconut (or however much you want) 
1 small bag chopped pecans or walnuts 
1 can eagle brand condensed milk, drizzled over the top 

layer in 9X13 inch pan 
bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes, until golden 

Parchment lined pans is a must, by the way.
(fyi:I doubled the recipe, hence the two pans)

Go ahead and enjoy a little release of that holiday stress while making your graham cracker crumbs!

Pour melted butter into the bottom of the dish, cover with graham cracker crumbs.

Layer on your chocolate and butterscotch morsels.

Followed by the coconut and nuts (I used walnuts).

Drizzle over the condensed milk and bake.

So yummy; but let's face it, not exactly festive, are they?

Time to pull out that star cookie cutter and start cutting.
Yeah, it's a messy, sticky job, but the results couldn't be better. 
It takes this everyday cookie to the next level - at least I think so!

Until next time, 
Read more ...

Ham Hock Terrine

The holidays are coming, which means the parties are too! 
Are you looking for something to serve/take that's just a bit different this year?

If you like ham, try this Ham Hock and Mustard Terrine, from BBC Good Food Magazine.
 (of course)

 2 small ham hocks (2+lbs each)
500 ml cider
2 carrots, chopped
2 celery sticks, chopped
1 large onion, chopped
2 bay leaves
6 thyme sprigs
6 whole peppercorns

Cover ham with water and set over high heat. Bring to a boil, reduce to simmer for 3 hours or until meat falls off the bone.

At which point, it will look something like this.

Allow the meat to cool in the stock.

Meanwhile, grease the inside of a 1 liter (9x5x3)
loaf pan then line with cling film. 

Once the meat has cooled, remove from the stock. Strain the stock through a fine sieve and set aside.
Shred the ham, removing as much of the skin and fat as possible. 

Combine with: 

2 Tbs whole grain mustard
small handful of parsley, chopped

Press into the lined loaf tin.

Bring the stock back to a boil and reduce by half. 
(you'll need about 1 pint of stock)
Remove the stock from the heat and add one packet of gelatin, stir well. 

Pour enough stock into the terrine to just cover the ham mixture. Tap the terrine against a solid surface to remove any air bubbles. Cover with cling film. Refrigerate 4-5 hours over or overnight.

Turn the terrine out onto serving platter. 

Serve with capers, toast and mustard.

People will be seriously impressed with the look and sound of this dish - it'll be our secret that it's so easy to make!

Until next time, 
Read more ...

A Christmas Welcome

Nothing says Christmas like a well decorated front porch (or stoop or door or whatever you may have).

That's why I've done it up this year.

From garland to wreaths to pots to planters - I've got a little bit of everything. 

Throw in a reindeer and a vintage sled and I really have covered it all!

My planter is a combination of greens, both cedar and fraiser fur, eucalyptus, red dogwood twigs and pinecones. 

Keeping with my rustic elegance theme, I kept the bows and bling to a minimum this year - opting to leave the bows off the garland and decking the wreath with only a bit of ribbon and raffia.

The wicker planter costs were kept to a minimum by working with what I had on hand, namely: vinca vine, coral bells, decorative kale, eucalyptus, red boxwood twigs and faux greenery.

In fact, the only thing I purchased for this planter were two bundles of greenery trimmings, which were actually split between four planters. 

Moving on to the back door...

In the winter, our screened-in porch doubles as a makeshift mudroom. So this year, I decided to give it a little Christmas cheer as well. 

Remember those four planters I mentioned earlier - here's number 3. Just a combination of greens dressed with a simple bow. Perfectly paired with another vintage sled and a trio of lanterns.

The utilitarian side of the porch is accented with a vintage water bottle stuffed full of greenery.

This is the door that I frequent the most and now I smile every time I use it!
Happy Holidays!

Linking in with:

Until next time, 
Read more ...

A Christmas Open House

It's that time of year, time to open the doors and welcome friends and family for a Christmas tour. 

So, come on in - have a look around, you know you want to!

Let's start in the dining room...

A welcoming wreath hangs from the window bay while a reindeer patiently

waits in a field of greens with golden accents to greet all who stop by.

Gifts await delivery.

I've already shared a lot of our decor this year.

You've seen our entryway;

and the mantel;

and the tree.

Funny how these little birds seem so springy in the spring, but are the perfect shade of green for Christmas as well. 

But not the breakfast room...

With it's gingerbread house centerpiece 
( a fun project with my daughter, although it's clear neither of us will have a future as a cake decorator).

Even the built-ins received a bit of Christmas cheer.

Advent calendar, holiday cards and lots of red.

I hope you've enjoyed our little tour.

Just the outside left to share now - but that will be another day.

Linking in with:

Until next time,
Read more ...

Our Christmas Tree featuring DIY ornaments

Nothing's better than a real tree at the holidays - the smell alone is worth it!
Mess aside, there isn't anything I don't like about a real tree. 

This year, we decided to go for a smaller tree. A little disappointed at first, but now I see it fits this corner just perfectly. 

We usually decorate with white lights, golden balls, and other traditional ornaments. 

This year, I added the raffia garland and a couple handmade ornaments that my oldest and I made together. 

Can you pick them out here?

That's right - the green yarn and jute twine balls. 

And, of course, you can't forget what's under the tree. 
Brown paper packages tied up with strings...

These are a few of my favorite things!

Anyway, enough of the song lyrics and on to the DIY ornaments. Just a quick play by play as these are pretty simple.

Grab your yarn, jute twine (or whatever fits your theme), and styrofoam balls.

Start wrapping being sure to cross over the end of your yarn to ensure a tight fit. Keep going until you've covered all of the white styrofoam. 

Once it's covered, tuck the finishing piece around a couple of times and tie it off. 

And there you go. An easy addition to your tree that is completely customizable. Plus, it's a fun project to keep the little ones busy in the run up to the holidays!

I can't believe Christmas is so close. I've only got a little decorating left - then it's time to get the shopping done! 

Linking in with:

Until next time, 
Read more ...
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Lijit Ad Wijit