Saturday, December 31, 2011

Christmas update: parties No. 3 & 4

We try to make Christmas cookies with our little cousins, Zach and Amanda. Last year, someone was always sick, so we didn't get a chance. This year we choose a few different recipes to make for our party the following night.

The kids made gingerbread cookies, chocolate chip cookies and peppermint bark.

Amanda sifting

The gingerbread had orange zest in them, which was really good.

Zach zesting...

Next we made peppermint bark. I used white and milk chocolate. While I heated the chocolate in a double boiler, Zach happily beat the daylights out of some candy canes.

I laid one layer of milk chocolate on a parchment paper-lined cookie sheet. Once that set, Zach and I folded the peppermint into white chocolate and layered it over the milk chocolate. That set in the refrigerator until the party.

As for the party: A Very Walters Christmas... I'm hoping this will be a new tradition. Kyle and Blair (my sisters' boyfriends) had been working very hard on the front and back yards over the past few weeks in preparation for this party, and they looked awesome. They re-paved the front walk with bricks, hung lights, mulched (more and less), and borrowed a fire pit.

Kelly, Katie and I made a few things, including a party ham, baked brie and marinated mushrooms. But our party guests were awesome, and brought a ton of food. 

baby Nathan

red velvet cake balls



1- raspberry, rosemary, walnuts, honey
2- spiced mango chutney

Randall sandwich

Hope your holidays were very happy!
Happy 2012, y'all!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Christmas update: party No. 1, The Hils

Happy New Year everyone! I hope your holidays were very happy! Myself, I had four parties (2 Christmas, 1 birthday, 1 baby shower), three Christmas dinners, and (mostly) beautiful Florida weather. How do I get on a plane after all this?

The first party was the Hill's Annual White Elephant Christmas party. With Madaline being 16 months pregnant, I went over early to help her shop and cook. We wanted to try something new this year, so we bought dates, and cheese, and…. bancon! I know I don't have to say it, but these were the best things I've ever tasted. Madaline also whipped up a few batches of cookies.

*I got an iphone! It's lots of fun, but it doesn't take the greatest pictures, so please excuse.

I found a recipe for a mushroom bruschetta. We thought that would be a fun spin on the traditional (which we also made), so I cooked three different types of mushrooms in lemon zest, garlic and a little lemon juice.

 We decided to assembly line the bacon wrapped dates, so I sliced and stuffed and Madaline wrapped. We used an Irish cheddar.

for the Greeks

the sweeties

I wish I had a picture of the bacon-wrapped cheese-stuffed dates for you, but they barely made it from the oven to the table before getting gobbled up.

Here's something: I've never really enjoyed mulled wine; I make it for the smell. This year, I found a recipe from Ina that called for apple cider and honey in addition to the usual spices (cinnamon sticks, cloves, allspice, etc.). It was amazing! Try it!

Amy and Dora (and Sophia)

me and the Sara(h)s


bath towel… this one made the rounds.

"Meet me under the mistletoe"
a keyboard from someone's old PC

Did you go to any parties? Did you go to the Hills' party? How was the food?

Monday, December 12, 2011

commercial break

just a little food humor for your day...

I hope all you jews and gentiles are enjoying this holiday season! I'll be back after a quick hiatus with some party foods for your all Christmas needs, just as soon as I finish this daggum paper.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

the moon is right, the spirit's up...


Most of you who know me well know that I have a strict "no Christmas between January 1 and Thanksgiving" policy. I know this is probably because growing up, we would wake up on December 26th and there would be no sign of Christmas whatsoever in our house. It could've been July for all we knew. Obviously, this has carried over into adulthood, although I allow it a little longer than my mom did. But now that Christmastime is here, I have shifted from autumn-themed recipes to holiday roasting and baking. I am helping co-host a party next weekend, so this week between finals and papers, I will be looking for some impressive party treats. Any ideas?

I know I promised you a cranberry bread recipe today, but Sanne's got the funk that's been going around. Hopefully she will get to feeling better soon, and it won't continue making the rounds in our house. Susie is still here, however, and he has made us his specialty.

don'tcha wish your roommate was Indian like mine...
our nameless tree

every time a bell rings

Later, I decided to make the apple cheddar bites that I didn't have time for Thanksgiving weekend. Silly me, they took 15 minutes, start to finish. You probably have an apple lying around, some leftover cheese bits from T-day and perhaps some crescent rolls or pastry crust of some sort. Here's what you do with it:

Bam. Leftover recipe #2.

Have you started decorating yet? Any holiday baking plans?