Monthly Archives: December 2012

Daily Inspiration

Please check out my blog’s sister site – Cooking in Christians – a collage of what I find beautiful, fabulous and inspirational.

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Birthday Brunch

Luckily for my family we get to celebrate two birthdays on December 25th – Jesus’s and my mom’s! And what better way to kick things off than with a Martha inspired brunch!?  Check out my menu below:

Bloody Mary Bar

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White Cheddar and Apricot Puffs

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Chocolate Filled Croissants

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Winter Fruit Salad with Basil Syrup

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Potato, Scallion and Goat Cheese Frittata

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Cider Braised Slab Bacon and Smoked Country Apple Sausage

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And voila! Happy Holidays!

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PS. I doubt it was my breakfast… but I must have been on the nice list because my husband got me a gorgeous new big girl camera… translation – I will be able to post legit food pictures now… goodbye iPhone photos!

Gift Exchange

It’s that time of the year… the Friday before the Holiday Weekend – and the numerous gift exchanges with coworkers.  I’m fortunate to work with such a great group of people, but I’m not sure my waistline is as appreciative of the cookies, cakes and bottles of wine sitting on my desk right now.

Earlier this year I tried to think of a creative and cost effective gift idea for this holiday season.  Much thanks to my foodgawker account I saved a Homemade Vanilla Extract recipe a while back.

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It’s super simple and pretty awesome (in my opinion).  I just ordered 10 Tahitian Vanilla Beans from Beanilla and some gorgeous square glass containers online.  Once they arrived I simply sliced the bean open, put it into the jar and filled it with vodka (they recommend not using super high end vodka because of possible flavor additives, but I probably wouldn’t go the Taaka route either…).

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After three months or so of fermenting they’ll be the perfect addition to your holiday cookies! 

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Healthy Holiday Eats

With the holidays in full swing I’ve been trying to eat healthy when I’m not at events (I’m so glad no one can see the half eaten peppermint brownies on my desk as I type away…).  That being said I’ve been starting my day off with half a Meyer lemon (from my tree!) squeezed into hot water.  It’s supposed to jump start your metabolism and is surprisingly tasty. 

I like to eat throughout the day so I’ve been making Greek Yogurt parfaits with homemade granola and blueberries (can’t forget the drizzle of honey!).  A great lunch idea is something my sister got me turning onto… Trader Joe’s sells low carb tortillas and I put a little hummus, mixed greens, and roasted chicken or turkey breast, a couple veggies (cucumbers, tomatoes, etc.) and you’re good to go!

For dinner at home this week I was pleasantly surprised with some of this low-cal finds.  Check them out!

Balsamic Chicken with Roasted Tomatoes, Mozzarella and Asparagus


Pork Chops with a Mustard Maple Sauce : I served with Couscous and green beans…  it’s a tad on the vinegary side but if you’re into that (like me!) it’s a hit… and at 254 calories a serving… you’ll get over it! 🙂

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Football Funday

On Sunday we hosted a “Football Day” for our friends… due to an extra bloody mary (or two)… I blew it on taking appetizing pictures of anything we ate… but here was our menu:

Drinks:

Bloody Mary Bar

Mimosas

Appetizers:

Homemade Honey Mustard Pretzels: they were not good and were immediately deleted off my Pinterest

“Healthy” Buffalo Potato Skins: EPIC (in my opinion)… i put the toppings on the side so people could assemble as they “deemed fit”

Grilled Sausage with a Spicy Dipping Sauce: easy and uninspiring… but feeds the masses

Entrees:

Because Sunday was a full day affair we had different options available.  We made everything from polish sausages to burgers to chili.  We like to do a “toppings bar” so everyone can assemble their own but I also converted a chili recipe to a “crock pot recipe” and had bread bowls easily accessible.

Chili Recipe: I just browned the meat and sauteed the onions, then put all the ingredients into a crock pot for the day… sprinkle with cheese and diced onions in a bread bowl and… voila!

Having a massive sweet tooth you can’t forget dessert… Creme de Menthe Brownies

Enjoy!

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