Monthly Archives: December 2011

Our 1st married Christmas!

MERRY CHRISTMAS! We truly enjoyed our 1st married Christmas season and look forward to building our own family traditions. From celebrating with family & friends, baking holiday treats and crafting to cooking and listening to jazzy holiday tunes, this will be a season to remember!

Max’s Wine Dive! Several of our friends, including Dave, have or will soon turn the big 3 0h! So the girls got together a planned surprise celebration for the guys.

Max’s Fried Chicken, two words, A-Mazing!

Cranberry cheesecake with candied pecans and caramel sauce

We ended our night at Esther’s Follie’s!

White chocolate covered graham crackers for office holiday treats!

Macadamia Butter Crunch Popcorn

This is one of my new favorites and the flavors are perfect for the holidays.  I followed this recipe from Martha Stewart.com:

(Thanks Tally)

Ingredients

  • 25 cups (from about 1 cup kernels) popped popcorn
  • 4 cups raw whole macadamia nuts, toasted (about 1 pound)
  • 1 1/4 cups packed light-brown sugar
  • 5 tablespoons light corn syrup
  • 10 tablespoons (1 1/4 sticks) unsalted butter
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons coarse salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 200 degrees. Put popcorn in a large bowl. Add the nuts; set aside. Put sugar, corn syrup, butter, and salt in a medium saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring, until mixture comes to a gentle simmer, about 4 minutes. Stop stirring; continue cooking until mixture lightens in color, 5 minutes more. Remove from heat; stir in baking soda.
  2. Pour sugar mixture over popcorn and nuts; toss to coat. Transfer to rimmed baking sheets; bake, stirring every 20 minutes, until almost dry, about 1 hour. Let cool on sheets on wire racks.

With the nephews (left to right, Ethan, Benjamin and Ezra) at the park 🙂 and they LOVE Abbey!

When I saw these at Anthropologie, I knew I had to DIY….here’s the Anthro version:

And here is my version:

Every home should have fresh flowers, especially during the holidays. These Peonies are what we chose for our Christmas dinner table center piece. They (Central Market) even added fake snow!

A candlelight Christmas Eve service at Riverbend.

Abbey and Scarlett’s first Christmas together!

And the finale photo of this post….our wonderful Christmas dinner! Dave made this pepper crusted beef tenderloin topped with sauteed chanterelle mushrooms, sauteed asparagus with garlic and a creamy buttery cheesy side of scalloped potatoes. We paired it with a Ripasso wine…..such a great way to end our first married Christmas and 6 month anniversary!

Oh and the dinnerware is our new china! Dave gave me 2 place settings for Christmas, only 10 more to complete our set.

Hope your holiday was merry and bright!

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Holiday Happenings

When the holiday season comes around it seems like we can’t pack enough into the weekends. We try to see as many friends and family as we can, this last weekend Monique and Lenard came over for dinner and games….we set the table in our cute newlywed way and enjoyed an evening of food and fun!

Monique and me (that’s not a reindeer):

Our menu (per Monique’s request!)

Our cute little table, we can’t wait for a Christmas dinner set…

We had a great time and look forward to celebrating more this holiday season!

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In weeks past…..take 2

Anyone who knows Dave, knows he LOVES to cook and create delicious experiences in the kitchen! Here are a couple of meals he has created over the past few weeks:

In Dave’s words ” Bacon wrapped yardbird with garlic and goodness. served with penne pasta and a basil infused white wine cream sauce. delish!” And he was right, DELISH!!

Another one of Dave’s recent creations were these wonderfully braised beef ribs with veggies and a green salad, keep it coming sweetheart-xoxo:

Finally, something I love to bake, mini pies….my usual are blueberry minis but I’m saving those for our New Year’s tradition so stay tuned for those. In the meantime, I baked up these yummy mini pecan pie tarts….so goooood!

Here is the recipe I followed (slightly modified from http://www.browneyedbaker.com):

Pecan Tassies

Yield: 48 tarts

Prep Time: 45 minutes | Bake Time: 20 to 25 minutes

For the Dough:
1 cup unsalted butter
6 ounces cream cheese
2 cups all-purpose flour

For the Filling:
1½ cups light brown sugar

1 cup chopped pecans

1 cup of whole pecans for  on top
2 eggs
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
½ teaspoon vanilla extract

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare mini muffin pans by greasing cups if it is not a nonstick pan; set aside.

2. To make the dough, beat together the butter, cream cheese and flour on low speed of a stand or hand mixer until all of the flour is incorporated. Divide the dough into 48 pieces and roll into balls. Place on a plate or in a zip-top bag and refrigerate for about an hour.

3. Either press the dough balls into the muffin cups and up the sides, or flatten the balls slightly with your palm and use a rolling pin to roll into a disk about 2-3 inches in diameter (a little larger than the size of the muffin cup opening) and place into the muffin cups.

4. To make the filling, mix together the brown sugar, chopped pecans, eggs, melted butter and vanilla extra with a spoon and then evenly divide it between the dough-lined mini muffin cups. Top each with some additional chopped pecans.

5. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until the tops are set. Cool for a few minutes in the muffin cups and then remove to a cooling rack to cool completely. The tassies can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature.

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In weeks past….take 1

Like most we’ve been super busy with the holiday fun in the weeks that have passed us by in a hurry. Including cutting down our first Christmas tree together at Elgin Tree Farm! We had to find one that Dave could look at or up to and not down upon, so we settled for an 8 footer.

Heading to find our TREE!

 

Dave cut down our 1st Christmas Tree

 

I’m holding up the tree ….

 

Dave put up the lights (more than once 🙂 and of course added the star, without a ladder!

 

One of my most favorite ways to celebrate the holidays is to decorate around the house by adding fun touches! This is an ornament that I love to display.

 

My first time ever making garland, I used it to hang our stockings by the fireplace!

 

We picked up a wreath at the tree farm too, smells awesome!

to be continued…..

 

 

 

 

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Weekend photos…highlights from the turkey break! (oops, this post is WAAAY behind, blame it on the laptop)

Hope you had Thanksgiving full of food, love, college football and lots more to be thankful for. Dave and I packed up the truck with the pooches and our niece Ariel and made our way to Lubbock last week. We had a great visit with my sister and our nieces, my brother and his grandparents (we have different dads) and of course my dad, grandparents and uncle. Our cupcakes were a hit and the feast was Delicious (our apologies for no pics we must’ve been too busy stuffing our faces).

Highlights from the turkey break:

Ada and I went on a date to see The Muppet Movie, 2 thumbs up!! “I’ve got everything that I need, right in front of me!”

Texas beat A&M 27-25 in College Station! Who knows when they will meet again, so the Longhorns get the bragging rights and Dave is one happy fan! This is for you my love:

Here are a few weekend photos:

Love the leopard nail stickers, they came in handy for traveling without chipping 😉

The windmill farms are growing in west Texas:

We burned a red candle to put a hex on A&M and it worked!

And finally, a puppy pic…my younger brother J3 (Juan III) has a puppy named Rex and he’s sooo cute!

Hope your Thanksgiving was a good one!

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