As we wind down 2013, we’re all being bombarded with the “Best of”, “Worst of”, and “[Just wish it would go away already]” 2013 lists that always come around this time of year. Many, however, are at least mildly entertaining, useful, or otherwise worth the read. Here are a few lists that I’ve deemed the “Best of the Best of 2013”:
Wishing a happy and healthy New Year to you all! I hope you’ll come back to visit in 2014! xo
I 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!
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
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.
4. 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.
5. 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.
Happy Holiday Baking! xo
*Recipe adapted from Food Network
Before beginning this post, I want to acknowledge the tragedy that happened in CT yesterday. I don’t think there are any words to describe the horror of the situation, nor are there any words that can bring healing at a time like this. All we can do is hold our loved ones and pray for the good in the world. I know that all of our thoughts are with the people of Newtown today. If you need a boost in morale this morning (as I’m sure many of us do), this is a great place to start: 26 Moments That Restored Our Faith in Humanity This Year
Last night my friend Anthony and I got into the spirit of the season by braving the throngs of tourists to see “The Tree.” Any NYC implant will tell you the same story – when they were young they used to visit the tree with their families, but have not once gone to Rockefeller Center post-Thanksgiving in the last 5, 10, or 30 years that they’ve actually been living in Manhattan. A few Happy Hour beers and $1 oysters helped boost our courage, and off we went uptown (in a cab, because we were TOURISTS, duh) to take in the lights and sights.
Snow globe window display at Saks
Nativity scene inside St. Patrick’s Cathedral
Flowers for the Madonna inside St. Patrick’s Cathedral
That is one BIG tree!
The famous red ornaments
My hot date in front of Radio city
Wishing you all a lovely weekend! xo
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:
The earthy look of this organic fireplace and mantle decor from Midwest Living is so appealing
These salted caramel pears from Inspired Design make the perfect edible centerpiece
This hat pattern from Ravelry is an inspiration to step up my knitting game this season – handmade gifts are the best kind!
This “gingerbread men turned reindeer” cookie recipe from Martha Stewart might be the perfect activity for when my nieces come to visit!
I’m in love with the simplicity and clean look of this tablescape from Lemonade Makin’ Mama – just white candles and loose jingle bells!
Another fantastic edible gift (or party) idea – Eggnog Fudge from Recipe Girl
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!