Holiday Decor 2015

Even though it’s a little late, I didn’t want to miss the opportunity to share the decorations we put up this year to celebrate the holidays. I wasn’t much into the holiday spirit this year, but now that we are packing up all of the decor, I’m sad to see it go!

Have I ever mentioned how excited I was/am to have a mantel that I could actually decorate for the holidays?! We got our stockings from Target. The little deer families were gifted from my mom and they looked so cute keeping watch for Santa. Continue reading

Falling Off the Radvent Wagon…and Cookies!

I know. I’m sorry. I knew, in my heart, that this would probably happen. Attempting to write a post every day during the busiest month of the year probably wasn’t the best idea.

But, to make it up to you, I have today not one but two Christmas cookie recipes!

I, like many, have a set of recipes that I make each holiday season, specifically baked goods. I only make these things during the month of December, and, even if there are other recipes that make guest appearances, these are the ones I absolutely have to make each year, no excuses.

So first up we have cran-pistachio cookies. This recipe is originally from The Girl Who Ate Everything. I fell in love with these cookies the first time I saw them, and re-fell when I actually made them and ate them. Yum.

The second cookie is the festive cherry bite. I feel like people either love or hate maraschino cherries. I get that they are so ridiculously processed, but I don’t eat these things on anything except in these cookies. I won’t even eat the one on the toothpick in my fruity drink from Bahama Breeze. So get your fill here, kids.

I think my love for both of these cookies stems from the final steps in each recipe, specifically that you only barely cook them in the oven, and then let them set on the cookie sheet before stuffing them into your mouth. Gooey. Delicious. Don’t forget to save some for Santa.

I promise to make a concerted effort to pick up my Radvent slack starting tomorrow (now that I am done with finals, and nearly done with Christmas shopping and planning). Until then… Christmas Puppy.

Is Santa here yet?

Cheers!

Cran-Pistachio Cookies
Originally from The Girl Who Ate Everything
Makes about 2 dozen cookies

1 pouch Betty Crocker Sugar Cookie Mix
1 box (4 serving size) pistachio instant pudding and pie filling mix
1/4 cup flour
1/2 cup butter, melted
2 eggs
1 cup dry roasted salted pistachio nuts, chopped
1/2 cup dried cranberries, chopped

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. In a large bowl stir cookie mix, pudding, and flour
  3. Add melted butter and eggs and stir until incorporated
  4. Add pistachios and cranberries and mix well
  5. Drop by rounded spoonfuls onto a parchment lined cookie sheet
  6. Bake for 8-10 minutes, until the cookies are just set and the bottoms are a light brown; do not overbake!
  7. Allow to cool for 5-10 minutes on the baking sheet before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely; once cooled, store in an airtight container.

Cherry Bites
Family recipe
Makes about 2 dozen cookies

1 cup butter, softened
1 egg, well beaten
1 ½ cups sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 ½ cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 11oz jar Maraschino cherries, drained and chopped

  1. In a large bowl, blend together butter, egg, sugar, and vanilla extract
  2. In a medium bowl, stir together flour and baking powder
  3. Gradually blend flour mixture into butter mixture
  4. Gently fold in chopped cherries
  5. Wrap mixture in wax paper and chill in refrigerator for at least 1 hour
  6. Preheat oven to 375 degrees
  7. Once chilled, roll into small balls and baked on ungreased cookie sheet for 8-10 minutes until just set and the bottoms are a light brown; do not overcook!
  8. Allow to cool for 5-10 minutes on the baking sheet before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely; once cooled, store in an airtight container.