This year, I got the best Christmas gift anyone could ask for. I got to marry the man of my dreams and my best friend, and I’m so excited to celebrate this year as Kevin’s wife. We will be spending the next few days with our families, so Kevin and I are having our own Christmas dinner tonight. I wanted to try to recreate our steakhouse dinner we had on our honeymoon, so we got some really nice steaks to grill and we’re going to try making potatoes lyonnaise for the first time. My mouth is watering already.
I hope you have a wonderful holiday season full of love, cheer and good food.
Thanks to everyone who entered my two giveaways! Here are the winners.
First, the winner of the Tuttorosso prize pack, Arlene!
And the two Lone Star Steakhouse gift card winners, Teresa and Michelle!
Congratulations! I’ll send you each an email with what I need to get your prizes to you. Have a wonderful holiday season!
What are your favorite holiday traditions?
Look at me with a blog series. Two posts count as a series, right? Basically I’m not creative enough to come up with my own recipes so I turn to Pinterest to tap into other people’s originality. Last week my office building had a bake sale to support breast cancer. I don’t bake very often, so Pinterest to the rescue.
I was able to find this gem of a recipe for chocolate marshmallow cookies.
The recipe was pretty easy to follow and the cookies bake up quickly. However, my batches did not come out nearly as pretty.
It seems that I would either wrap too little cookie dough around the marshmallow causing marshmallow to ooze out everywhere, or I would wrap too much dough and have really tall cookie mounds. Taste-wise, the cookies were a little too sweet for me, but I also realize I shouldn’t be shocked by the sweetness of a recipe for chocolate cookies wrapped around marshmallows then rolled in sugar. However, my coworkers seemed to really enjoy them, and I got some great compliments on the recipe.
These might be good with a light sprinkle of sea salt to balance out the sweetness and to give them a s’mores feel.
What is your biggest Pinterest success?
I love Pinterest for wedding planning ideas, new workouts and recipes, but sometimes I get nervous attempting to recreate recipes or crafts. Whenever I try new recipes, I like to browse any comments or reviews for tips and tricks. I saw one pin floating around many boards for easy Pad Thai and was intrigued to try it, so I thought I’d share my experience with you.
The recipe required minimal ingredients and didn’t seem too complicated, so I decided to give it a shot one weekday evening. The source of the pin was very thorough and had step-by-step instructions with photos.
Although not exactly like the photo, I thought it was a successful attempt. I couldn’t find flat rice noodles so had to settle for lo mein noodles. I added a half tablespoon more of brown sugar because I thought it needed to be slightly sweeter. The chopped peanuts and cilantro are a must to bring everything together. I also did not add the optional Sriracha, but I think it is needed to give the dish more depth of flavor. Although it didn’t taste quite like the Pad Thai in restaurants, I thought it was a delicious mid-week meal. The cilantro and green onions gave the dish a fresh flavor, and the sauce wasn’t too heavy.
I’d call it a Pinterest success and recommend that you give it a try.
Last night, Kevin and I went to our first Halloween party of the season. Kevin doesn’t get very excited by the idea of dressing up, but he was a really good sport. We decided to be 80s fitness enthusiasts, and boy, were our outfits bright!
We had a lot of fun laughing at how goofy we looked, and I was so excited that Kevin dressed up. It’s hard to believe we’re already coming up on Halloween.
What are you dressing up as this year?
Today is exciting for a couple reasons: it’s the first day of October (Parko’s and my birthday month) and it’s exactly two months until our wedding! We haven’t made too much planning progress lately because a lot of our to-dos require a final guest count, which we won’t have for a few weeks. It’s like no matter how much you plan and do in advance of the wedding, you are forced to scramble at the last minute after you have a guest count. It’s just part of the process to try to be a pain in the butt.
Over the weekend I rang in the fall months with the easiest caramel apple French toast recipe.
It all starts with Pepperidge Farm’s fall line of breads.
The pumpkin spice flavor is still but my favorite, but the caramel apple flavor is perfect for French toast. The slices are a little on the thicker side, so it soaks up the egg nicely. I beat two large eggs, dipped in the bread and cooked up in a skillet. Upon removing from the heat, I spread with some margarine and sprinkled with cinnamon sugar.
Easy and perfect to welcome in October. I didn’t even need syrup. Now if only the Central Florida weather would join the welcoming committee.
What is your favorite month?
My good friend Justin just completed a road trip from south Florida to Colorado for a new job and new adventure. I’m so excited for him but a little sad that he won’t be in Orlando anymore. Along his road trip he stopped in Orlando for an evening to say goodbye to his friends who live here. We met up at Broadway Ristorante & Pizzeria in Winter Park (but on University toward UCF).
To be honest, I wasn’t expecting much for a small, random strip mall pizza place. It ended up being really delicious. I would return. We started out with some mozzarella bread. It’s such a simple appetizer but so delicious.
We ordered a variety of items at the table from strombolis to pizzas to wings to calamari tossed in buffalo sauce. They have tons of wing sauce flavors, which sounded really good.
I decided to order a meatball calzone.
The meatballs were very flavorful and the calzone had plenty of mozzarella and ricotta. After being baked, the entire calzone was brushed with melted butter. I’m so glad we were able to try this place and get together with Justin before he left the state.
Last week I also had a breakfast pot luck at work. I’m always looking for quick and easy recipes for get-togethers and pot lucks. For this one, I made Emeril’s bacon cheddar cheese scones.
They were a huge success and my coworkers voted the dish second place in the “savory” category. I did make a few modifications to the recipe after reading the reviews. I used seven slices of bacon, a whole pint of heavy cream, chives instead of onions and extra sharp cheddar cheese.
The first place winner in the “savory” category (who I voted for) went to sausage pinwheels that were made with crescent rolls. They were delicious. The first two winners in the “sweet” category were creme brulee french toast and raspberry cream cheese coffee cake. Everything was wonderful–you really can’t go wrong with breakfast foods.
Do you prefer sweet or savory dishes?