Dec 27, 2011

Christmas 2011

We are trying to catch up on sleep after traveling all over NC the past week. We enjoyed spending time with family and celebrating the Holidays.
First Christmas:
We love spending time with my little brothers.  This little guy says he is now "Ryans best friend".  Every time we go home they are always together:)
We needed to get out of the house one day and decided to go has been forever since I have been bowling, but we had a blast and I got my new personal high score!  Ryan played one of the worst games he has ever played and he still beat me!
And back home Jake and I decorated Christmas cookies...I look forward to this tradition every year!
I didn't take a lot of pictures of everyone opening up happens very fast!  Here we are after presents....
Second Christmas:
Ryan and I have been looking forward to attending our new church for Christmas Eve service for several weeks now.  Ryan's parents and some neighbors joined us.  The service was geared towards families and children and kept very simple, but it was a great reminder of what Christmas is really about.  Then we headed to Ryan's family's Christmas.  My MIL and I love the Pioneer Woman and both watched her Christmas special and decided to cook the entire meal:)  The only difference was we used green beans not brussel sprouts.
I think the whiskey gravy was my favorite part!
We all must have been really good this year because there were lots of presents under the tree on Christmas morning:)  Ryan and grandma got coffee makers.
I got a some glasses in a really big box!
I know they say good things come in small packages, but in the case it came in a big package!!  After a huge meal and hours sitting around opening presents we ended the day with walking the dogs and a movie!
Hope you all had a great Christmas and enjoying the last few days of 2011!!

Dec 21, 2011

Christmas Baking

I have spent the last few days baking away in the kitchen!  For some reason this really gets me in the Holiday Spirit!!  My MIL and I had an entire baking day Monday.  We have done this for about 3 years now and started to make this a tradition, but it was nice to be so close this year!!!  Here are some of our creations:)
First....I'm not sure what to call these??? They are a lot like rice crispy treats, but made with corn flakes not rice crisps.
Then we made peanut butter pretzel truffles....

These truffles are so good.  I actually usually keep them refrigerated until time to serve.  Here is what the inside looks like...

Lace cookies....

and my favorite Almond Cream Cheese Coffee Cake!
I also had a cookie swap with my book club!  I always have a little too much fun with this group of girls!
Here are all the goodies I came home with!  Excited to try out some new recipes:)
I still have to decorate cookies with my brothers and make my yearly batch of chex mix!  Hope you all have a very Merry Christmas!

Dec 15, 2011

Chicken Enchilada Casserole

When I go to the grocery store I am always looking for new products that are gluten free friendly.  I of course always buy them and immediately go home and figure out how to use them.  Recently I found a Progresso Soup that I used to make a Chicken Enchilada Casserole.  I turned out great!
1 Can of Progresso Chicken Enchilada Soup
3/4 cup of Water
1 cup uncooked rice
1/2 tsp cumin
Pinch of Salt and Pepper
A few shakes of Franks Red Hot Sauce
1 can black beans- drained
1 bag frozen corn- we used roasted corn from Trader Joes
1 lb boneless skinless Chicken Breast
1 cup shredded Cheddar Cheese

1.  Turn oven to 375.  Grease a casserole dish.
2. Combine soup, water, rice, cumin, salt, pepper, beans, corn and hot sauce in casserole dish.
3.  Top with raw chicken.  Cover and bake for 30 min (or until chicken is done).
4.  Now stir mixture around and on top of chicken.  Top with cheese and bake for another 5-10 min uncovered.

Now just enjoy:)  I also love making casseroles and crock pot recipes that do not require pre-cooking...just dump all ingredients and bake!

Dec 6, 2011

Bar Cart

I have been in search for a bar cart for some time now.  When deciding what to do in our formal living and dining area Ryan said "all I want is a bar area".  So my mind immediately started thinking of chic ways to have a "bar area" in our new room.  I decided we needed a bar cart!  During the past two months I have found many carts...

Although I fond some really cool ones they seemed to be too expensive, too small, too short, too old or too much work to refinish.  I finally found one that was tall enough for Ryan to serve drinks from and that matched the design of the room.

So if you come over to visit you can relax in our new sitting area and make yourself a cocktail!