Thursday, December 29, 2011

Holiday Cheer

How many girls can we fit into one picture?!

Thank you to all my family...

…and friends…

…and to my good boy, Bax...

…for coming to kick off the holiday weekend with us!


Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Pepperoni Pizza Bites

Another big hit at the party!
This recipe is originally from one of my favorite bloggers, Hannah.  The girl has good taste in style AND food!  

3/4 cup flour
3/4 tsp baking powder
1 Tbsp Italian seasoning
pinch of red pepper flakes
3/4 cup whole milk
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
1 cup bite sized pepperoni
1/2 cup pizza sauce

1.  Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
2.  Grease a 24 cup mini muffin pan.  
3.  In large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, italian seasoning, and pepper flakes. 
4.  Whisk in egg and milk.
5.  Stir in cheeses, pepperoni, and sauce (you can also save sauce to serve with, but I liked mixing it all in).
6.  Let stand for 10 minutes.
7.  Divide evenly in muffin cups.  
8.  Bake 20-25 minutes.


(Caution:  I made 4 batches of these and they were all gone by the end of the night)


Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Christmas Treat: Santa Hat Brownies

Again…what would I do without Pintrest?!  This was not my idea at all, but when I saw them, I had to recreate for the cocktail party!  Now, I was running a little short on time and while I was getting ready, my mom helped put these together.  I would normally pipe the cream cheese/powder sugar mix, but she decided to "ice" them like cupcakes and spread on with a knife.  I think they still turned out…better yet, they tasted even better!

1 box of brownie mix 
(and ingredients to make brownies)
cream cheese
powdered sugar

1.  Mix brownie mix together, as directed on box.
2.  Divide brownie mix evenly in greased 24 cup mini muffin pan.
3.  Bake about 20 minutes at 350 degrees, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
4.  Cool brownies completely.
5.  Stir together cream cheese and powdered sugar (I do this based on taste, there's no magical amount, just until creamy and sweet).
6.  Hull strawberries and set aside.
7.  Cover top of each brownie with cream cheese mix, top with strawberry and place dollop of cream cheese mixture on top.


Warning:  Don't make too many of these.  Everyone says, "they are too pretty to eat," so I instead send them home for kids to enjoy!


Sunday, December 25, 2011

Christmas Decor

I had so much fun decorating for the holiday season this year.  Above is the big "D" I made for above the fireplace.  A very tedious craft, but I love the final product and have gotten so many compliments on it.

Our Christmas tree came together quite well, but my favorite part about decorating it is looking at all the ornaments from the past and also hanging some new special ones from friends and family.

I absolutely love receiving photo cards from our friends and family, and what a great way to display…I will definitely be doing this again next year!

This Peppermint Wreath was another tedious project that paid off.  However, I'm pretty sure the guy at Rite Aid thinks I must have some horrible breath with the way I was buying bag and bags of mints every day!
(there were some delicious meatball in that crockpot earlier!)

Here is the Ornament Wreath I made to add a pop of festivity to the dining room.  It added such a nice touch and wasn't nearly as heavy as the Peppermint Wreath!

Up close and personal ;)

One of my favorite decorations was this little dish I found at a local store and just added some mini ornaments in it for a beautiful display on the coffee table.  I found the little topiary and added a festive bow to pull in the silver and gold in the living room and dining room. And how can you not have some red and green kisses out for the holidays?!  

Found these two little wreaths at a local store, The Kellogg Company, and I think they added a nice elegant touch to the secretary.

Of course, you know I must have some sweet treats around the house.  I just made the chocolate covered pretzels and rolled them in all sorts of festive toppings.  Filled the vase up with some festive M&Ms and popped the pretzels in there.  Only problem was, people thought they were too cute to eat!

And more chocolate covered pretzels to place around the house to snack on.

Mmmm….peanut M&Ms! 

Just some little festive treats on the server to pick up.  The perfect combination of salty and sweet!

Christmas without cake balls?  I don't think so!  The red ones are regular yellow cake, and the white covered ones are red velvet cake….just for my sissy!

Oreo truffles with a touch of peppermint on top for some added color. 
(Sorry about the clarity…apparently I may have been detoxing from all the wine and egg nog!) ;)

Homemade baked goodies made with love by myself and my mama!  We love to bake!!

Perfect little Christmas appetizer…and healthy too!
(Anyone else already ready to start eating fruits and veggies again yet?!)

Homemade Peppermint Bark that was apparently a bigger hit than I thought!

Is it really Christmas season without homemade Chex Mix?  

And now I'm exhausted!  Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night!


Merry Christmas

Wishing everyone a Merry Christmas,
Lauren and Baxter


Saturday, December 24, 2011

Yummy Crab Dip

Sadly, this is my only picture of this amazing dip.  It was gobbled up so quickly I didn't get to snap one fast enough.  
Here is the recipe…you must try, as it's a great crowd pleaser.

16 ounces cream cheese, softened
16 ounces lump crab meat
1/2 of medium onion, chopped
2 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
2 Tbsp dijion mustard
2 tsp Old Bay (however, I kept sprinkling as I mixed, so I used more…but we are in Bawtimore, hon!)
2 tsp minced garlic
2 Tbsp lemon juice

Fold in all ingredients.  
Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes or until slightly browned on top. 



Friday, December 23, 2011

It's Finally Here!

I'm hosting my very first Christmas Cocktail Party, something I've always wanted to do!  
I can't wait to share the details with you later, but for now my head is spinning with tons to do. 
Is it too early for a glass of vino?!  ;)
Merry Christmas to you and yours!