Thursday, December 29, 2011

Italian Pinwheels

Here is another recipe for one of our favorite party foods - Italian Pinwheels.
My daughter loves these pizza like appetizers and often requests them on spaghetti night instead of garlic bread.  I prefer mine with a side of marinara sauce - yum!

Refrigerated cresent rolls make them easy to prepare. 
Serve them at your next party and everyone will love you!

Italian Pinwheels

1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup sliced pepperoni, finely chopped
1/4 tsp. dried oregano
1 egg yolk
1 can (8 oz.) Pillsbury cresent rolls
1 egg white, beaten

Heat oven to 375 degrees.  In a small bowl, mix cheese, pepperoni, oregano and egg yolk.
Unroll dough; separate dough into 4 rectangles.  Firmly press perforations to seal. 

Spread each rectangle with about 3 T pepperoni mixture.  Starting at the shortest side, roll up each rectangle; pinch edges to seal.  Cut each roll into 6 slices.  Place, cut side down, 1 inch apart on an ungreased baking sheet.  Brush with beaten egg white
Bake 12 to 15 minutes or until golden brown.  Serve warm.

Source -

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Spinach Balls

This recipe is a holiday tradition in our house.  I have been making these spinach balls for at least 20 years and they always make an appearance around the holidays.  I usually serve them at our annual Christmas party, but they make a tasty hors d'oeuvre for a New Years Eve party too. 

I often cut this recipe in half if I am serving several other appetizers.  I use two eggs when I do this and half of each of the other ingredients.  Give them a try and let me know what you think.

Spinach Balls

2 - 10 oz. packages frozen chopped spinach
3 C Pepperidge Farm Herb Stuffing Mix
3/4 cup butter, melted
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
1/2 tsp. thyme
1 med. finely chopped onion
3 eggs, well beaten
1 tsp. pepper
1 1/2 tsp. garlic salt

Cook spinach according to package; drain and squeeze out all of the water. 
Add remaining ingredients and mix well.
Shape into balls.  Bake at 325 degrees for 15-20 minutes on a lightly greased baking sheet.

Makes 44 spinach balls.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Hello Monday - a little late :)

The holiday break has me all confused, so I'm a little late with hello Monday.

Hello holiday banner.

Hello Santa riding through our neighborhood.  Nice to see you!

Hello Grandma's famous banana cake made into cupcakes. 

Hello Larabars that arrived in my mailbox.  You were a nice surprise :)

Hello Starbucks holiday mug. 
You make me happy.

Hello daughter on Christmas morning with her new Mac and new boots.

Hello cousins.

Hello holiday cupcakes in a jar. 
I'm glad you made it all the way to Houston :)

Hello to another holiday weekend coming up :)

Happy New Year friends!!!

Linking up to Hello Monday with Lisa Leonard.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Cookie for Santa

Can you believe Christmas Eve is only a few nights away! 
Actually I'm pretty relaxed at this point.  All of my shopping and wrapping is complete - yay!

I thought tonight was the perfect night to try out Picky Palate's cookie for Santa recipe.  This cookie was so quick to prepare that I'll be able to whip out another one for Santa in no time! 

This huge cookie is delish and you can make it using only one bowl! 
I did use my hand mixer, just because I was being a little lazy, but the recipe says a spoon will work out just fine.

Make one for Santa, a friend or yourself :)

XXL Chocolate Chip Cookie for Santa or a Friend
Recipe from Picky Palate

2 Tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
2 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
2 tablespoons beaten egg
1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
6 tablespoons all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 cup chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. and line a small baking sheet with parchment paper.
Place butter and sugars into a medium mixing bowl, beat with spoon until well combined. Add beaten egg and vanilla, mixing to combine. Add flour, baking soda and salt. Stir a couple times, then add chocolate chips, stirring to combine. Scoop dough into the middle of your prepared baking sheet.

Bake for 12-15 minutes, until baked through.
Let cool for on baking sheet for 10 minutes before removing.
Place on a cute plate for Santa.  Don't forget the glass of milk!

Makes 1 serving for Santa

Monday, December 19, 2011

Hello Monday

Hello cute Pinterest Christmas craft. 
I had fun making my 18 year old daughter paint her thumb and participate in craft time :)

Hello cake batter rice krispie treats with holiday sprinkles.

Hello sweet Kaitlyn. 

Hello swim girl. 
We love watching you compete at your high school swim meets.

Hello ornament wreath that I've been working on since last Christmas :)
(and no I did not drink all of that wine by myself!)

Hello cousins.

Hello fabulous girlfriends. 
I had fun with you all at our Christmas party!

Hope you all have a great week!

Linking Up to Hello Monday with Lisa Leonard.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Reese's Popcorn Munch

Reese's cups are our all time favorite candy around this house, so I thought it was only fitting that I made Reese's Popcorn Munch to give as party favors for our annual Christmas party we host each year.  The party was last night and we had so much fun hanging out with friends and family :)

The recipe is super easy.  I used our air popper to make the popcorn with 1/3 cup of unpopped popcorn.
You can microwave the chips, but I prefer to melt them in a glass bowl over a pan of hot water.  I don't have to worry as much about them burning that way.

This popcorn munch is so, so good!! 
I put mine in clear cellphane bags so you can see all that chocolate, peanut butter goodness, but you could also put it in a cute tin or popcorn box to give to neighbors or other special friends.

Reese's Popcorn Munch
Recipe from Inside Brew Crew Life

6 cups popped popcorn
1 bag of mini Reese Cups, cut in half (not the ones in wrappers)
1 cup Reese's pieces candy
1 cup Reese's Puff cereal
1/2 cup white chocolate chips, melted with 1 tsp. shortening
1/4 cup peanut butter chips, melted with 1 tsp. shortening
1/4 cup chocolate chips, melted with 1 tsp. shortening

Mix popcorn, reese's cups, and cereal in a large pan lined with waxed paper. Drizzle with melted white chocolate and toss until everything is coated. Sprinkle with the reeses pieces. Place pan in refrigerator and let set for about 5 minutes. Remove from the refrigerator and break into chunks. Drizzle with the melted peanut butter and melted chocolate chips. Let set again. Spoon munch into a clear cellophane bag and tie with ribbon for an instant homemade treat gift.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

White Chocolate Cranberry Snickerdoodles

I've been cranking up the christmas music, turning on every holiday light in the house, wearing pretty aprons and baking cookies this week. 

Baking cookies is one of my favorite things to do around the holidays. The house smells fabulous and the christmas lights make my kitchen look all cozy.  Last year I started a small kitchen ornament tree and I love, love, love it!  I have a little whisk, rolling pin, spatula, toaster, blender and a mixer of course! The ornaments have come from Target the past two years, so I was kind of bummed when they didn't have them this year.  I need to find some cupcake ornaments :)

I would love to begin baking cookies earlier in the month and freeze them, but I have a
freezer the size of a shoe box, so that doesn't work out too well for me.  So I'll just bake a bunch this week and serve them at our holiday party this weekend.

I have my traditional favorites I bake each year, but when I found this recipe last week I thought I would give it a try.  They are so, so good! There may not be any left by the weekend!

White Chocolate Cranberry Snickerdoodles
Source - Joy's Hope

1 bag Betty Crocker Snickerdoodle Cookie Mix
4 oz. cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup butter, softened
1 T water
1 egg
1 cup sweetened dried cranberries
1 cup white chocolate chips

Beat together cream cheese and butter until smooth.
Open cookie mix.
Set aside cinnamon sugar packet.

Add water, egg and cookie mix to cream cheese mixture.
Stir until soft dough forms.
Add in cranberries and white chocolate chips.

Cover & refrigerate at least 30 minutes.

Drop rounded spoonfuls of dough into cinnamon sugar. (I use my Pampered Chef cookie scoop)
Roll to coat.

Place two inches apart on ungreased cookie sheet.

Bake a 375ยบ for 8-9 minutes until edges are set.
Cool one minute then transfer to cooling rack.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Bake-A-Box Cupcake Box Review

I'm a freak about my cupcakes.  Seriously...ask any of my girlfriends.
Each cupcake I make has to be uniform in size and frosted to my perfection or they don't make the party.
And they have to arrive just as pretty as they were when they left my kitchen.  If they don't - I am not a happy cupcake camper :(

I have several plastic cupcake carriers I use, which are nice, but sometimes I just need to deliver cupcakes and not worry about getting my carriers back.  Cardboard cupcake boxes are perfect for those situations, but where do you get them??? Bake-A-Box!

Bake-A-Box is a family owned small business specializing in cake, cupcake and pie boxes.  They use only premium materials to make their boxes, ensuring a sturdy, beautiful and convenient product. 

They were nice enough to send me a few cupcake boxes to try out and I love them!  The cupcake inserts keep my cupcakes in place, so I don't have to worry about them sliding around during delivery.  Whether you have mini cupcakes, jumbo cupcakes, or any size in between, they have a cupcake insert to fit.  I love the window boxes so you can see the yumminess inside :)

I love that you don't have to order boxes in huge quantities.  I don't have the room or money to spend on a lot of boxes.  Bake-A-Box has a solution for you whether you have 10 customers or 10,000!

Be sure to check them out.  Their boxes are perfect for giving holiday goodies to your friends and neighbors!!  You can follow them on Twitter or Facebook too!

Note - Bake-A-Box sent me boxes for this review, but I was not compensated in any way.
All opinions are my own.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Girls' Night In

Thanks to Duncan Hines for sponsoring my writing. There's no limit to the baking possibilities, so grab your favorite Duncan Hines mix and Comstock or Wilderness fruit fillings and Bake On!

The holiday season can get a little crazy with all of the the shopping, decorating and wrapping a girl has to do! Why not take some time out with your friends to relax and host a girls' night in?  Nothing fancy,  just tell them to wear their sweats or yoga pants so that every one is comfy. 

I think this is the perfect time of year to have friends over because my house looks all festive and cozy with the tree, candles and holiday lights.

I love hosting girl's night in because it gives me an excuse to try a new recipe or two :)
Cupcakes are always on the menu at my house.

Here are some ideas for your girls' night in:

Host a craft night.  It doesn't have to be anything elaborate.  Just a fun, easy craft that you can complete in an evening.  I think my girlfriend's and I should make these cute ornaments with all of the wine corks we have saved.  Not that we drink a lot of wine or anything :)


Pop some popcorn, put out a bowl of holiday colored M & M's and watch a movie together.  You don't even have to run to the Redbox since there are so many good holiday movies on television this time of year!

Give each other manicures so your nails look nice for any fancy holiday parties you may be invited to.
Maybe something like this!


Bake cookies together and have a cookie decorating contest.  Let everyone take some home in a cute little holiday tin or gift bag. 

Whatever you decide to do, just relax, laugh a lot and have fun!! 
You can stress about the holidays tomorrow :)

Remember to check out Duncan Hines' website to find some great recipes for your holiday get-together! I was selected for this sponsorship by the Clever Girls Collective.