Cranberry Walnut Cookies

DSC02529 2I spent a very snowy Saturday afternoon baking these white chocolate,  cranberry and walnut cookies for two holiday parties.  My mom often makes a similar recipe this time of year, so there is something about cranberries and white chocolate that always reminds me of Christmas. Walnuts or macadamia nuts (your choice) add the perfect amount of texture and savory to this recipe.  The below recipe yields roughly 2 dozen cookies. I doubled it, and highly recommend baking a larger batch if you can bring them to work or another event, as they go fast!

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You Will Need:

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 cup dried cranberries, chopped
  • 3/4 cup white chocolate chips
  • 3/4 cup walnuts or macadamia nuts, chopped
  • parchment paper

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Directions:

1.  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line 2 baking sheet with parchment paper.

2. With an electric mixer, cream the butter and both sugars together until smooth. Add the vanilla and egg, mixing well.

3.  Sift together the flour and baking soda. Spoon the flour mixture gradually into the creamed sugar mixture.

DSC025244.  Stir in the cranberries, white chocolate chips and macadamia nuts. Drop by heaping spoonfuls, about 2 tablespoons, onto the prepared baking sheets, 2 inches apart.

DSC025265.  Bake until lightly golden on top and the edges are set, 12 to 15 minutes. Cool on the sheet about 5 minutes, and then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

6.  Eat and enjoy! If baking ahead of time, be sure to store cookies in an airtight container or bag.

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Happy Holiday Baking! xo

*Recipe adapted from Food Network

Thanksgivukkah

Thanksgiving (and Hanukkah) are both right around the corner, and although I’m not actually hosting in our tiny apartment, that hasn’t stopped me from dreaming up the perfect tablescape to combine the two.  Using a mix of rustic fall-influenced linens, coppers, and gorgeous deep blues, some of the products below would lend themselves beautifully to this one-in-a-lifetime meal!
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Get the look:
Wishing you all a happy and healthy start to the holiday season, xo!

Spanish Frittata

Josh and I were able to enjoy a lovely Sunday morning in our apartment after returning last night from a short stay at my parent’s home.  We woke up slowly, and after discovering nothing in the kitchen to eat, I hopped to the grocery store across the street (perks of city living) to grab a few items for a delicious brunch. I was craving something savory, but instead of opting for omelets which have been a recent go-to, I decided to go with a frittata instead.  Needless to say, paired with toasted artisanal 9-grain bread, it was the perfect breakfast enjoyed at home. Spanish Frittata

Recipe below:

(Serves 3-4)

You Will Need:

  • 6 eggs
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 small or 1/2 large yellow onion, chopped
  • Chorizo sausage (2 links)
  • 1-2 tomatoes, chopped
  • Spices: Sea salt, black pepper, dried parsley, garlic powder, chili powder, dried thyme (about 1 tsp of each, more S&P to taste)
  • 1 tbsp EVOO

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Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400˚F. Add EVOO to a medium-hot pan and cook chorizo and chopped onion.  Cook chorizo links until browned on all sides, and onions are tansluscent and slightly browning in the chorizo “juice” (about 8 minutes, rotating links). Note: Most chorizo is pre-cooked – if your chorizo is not pre-cooked, you may need to brown in pan longer until thoroughly cooked through.
  2. Meanwhile, add eggs, cheese, and spices to a bowl and whisk.  Add chopped tomatoes into the egg mixture.
  3. Remove chorizo from pan after finished.  Chop chorizo into smaller bite-sized pieces.  I generally quarter the chorizo length-wise and then slice it into 1/4 inch sections.
  4. Add chopped chorizo and onions to the egg mixture as well.  Pour egg mixture into a small ceramic baking dish or pie dish.  Feel free to sprinkle a little more cheese, salt and pepper on the top.
  5. Place in oven for about 30-40 minutes, or until egg is cooked through.  You will be able to see if the center still looks liquidy, or if it’s solidified.  Generally, it puffs up and looks fluffy in the middle when done.
  6. Remove from oven, let settle for only about 2 minutes, and serve with your favorite toast or other breakfast fare.  Enjoy!

*If the Spanish flare is not your thing, try the same recipe using bacon, spinach and mushroom instead 🙂 

Wishing you all a wonderful start to your week! xo

Pinspiration: Holiday Crafting and Baking

Welcome, December! I’ve been eagerly awaiting your arrival.

The holiday season always brings out an excessive need in me to craft and bake, as evidenced by a few of last year’s posts: DIY holiday wreath, cookie-in-a-jar gift, christmas cupcakes with eggnog frosting,…

Here are a few fabulous decorating and baking ideas that I am dying to try out for this Christmas:

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I love this rustic Holiday Wreath by Two Junk Chix

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The earthy look of this organic fireplace and mantle decor from Midwest Living is so appealing

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These salted caramel pears from Inspired Design make the perfect edible centerpiece

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This hat pattern from Ravelry is an inspiration to step up my knitting game this season – handmade gifts are the best kind!

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This “gingerbread men turned reindeer” cookie recipe from Martha Stewart might be the perfect activity for when my nieces come to visit!

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I’m in love with the simplicity and clean look of this tablescape from Lemonade Makin’ Mama – just white candles and loose jingle bells!

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Another fantastic edible gift (or party) idea – Eggnog Fudge from Recipe Girl

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This would be a lovely idea for a crafting party – make your own ornaments with instructions from Downtime. Upcycle.

Are you as pin-spired as I am?  Of course, I’ll be lucky if I actually get to 2-3 of these fabulous ideas!

I’d love to hear some of your favorite craft ideas and recipes for the holiday season. Have a lovely weekend, xo!

[Crock Pot] Mini Asian Meatballs

Good morning everyone! Today I want to share with you a recipe I made for my family on Oscar night.  I made these little meatballs and served them as sliders for an easy, in-front-of-the-TV appetizer.  However, they would be amazing over egg or rice noodles, and mixed in with a veggie stir-fry.

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You Will Need:

For the Meatballs:

  • 2 lbs. mix of ground Pork and Beef (or whatever you want to use)
  • 2 tsp. Sesame Oil
  • 1/2 cup Panko or Breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 tsp. ground Ginger
  • 1 egg
  • 3 tsp. minced Garlic
  • 1/2 tsp of each Salt and Black Pepper

For the Sauce:

  • 2/3 cup Hoisin Sauce
  • 1/4 cup Rice Vinegar
  • 2 Garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 Tbsp. Soy Sauce
  • 1 tsp. Sesame Oil
  • 1 tsp. ground Ginger
  • 1/8 tsp. Red Pepper flakes

Garnish (optional):

  • sliced Scallions
  • toasted Sesame seeds
  • Slider buns or hot dog buns cut into 1/3’s

    I found the slider buns sold at the grocery store to be too large, so I cut up hot dog buns instead!

Directions:

  1. Whisk together all sauce ingredients until blended.  Pour 1/4 of the sauce mixture into the bottom of the crock pot.
  2. Using your hands, knead together all of the meatball ingredients.  Form tiny balls, and start placing them into the crockpot.
  3. Pour remaining sauce evenly over the top of your meatballs, set the crockpot on Low for 6 hours or High for 3 hours. 
  4. If possible, stir your meatballs at some point, or baste them to ensure that the ones on top get just as saucy as the ones on the bottom 🙂
  5. Garnish with sliced scallion and sesame seeds if desired- enjoy!

Wishing you all a lovely day! xo