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Archive for December, 2011

New Year’s Eve, 2011

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Technically it is New Year’s Eve. But I’m getting my Happy New Year wishes in early!

I want to thank all of you for following along with me on this blogging journey. I started my blog this year, and it has been a wonderful experience. To know you are reading my crazy ramblings, leaving comments, and even making the recipes…is Just So. Cool!!!! I am so excited for 2012. To learn more about taking pictures, to create new recipes, and to hopefully figure out Facebook (I am a little slow at figuring out technology)!!

As I end this last post for 2011, I want to wish you all joy, peace, and happiness for the new year!

Have a safe, and fun, New Year’s Eve…and I’ll talk with y’all next year :)

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Cinnamon Lover’s Scones

Here is a recipe for some scones I made on Christmas morning. Nick and I had breakfast with my parents and my brother. My mom was doing most of the cooking, but requested “a biscuit or something”. So I went with the “or something”!!!

I stayed away from chocolate (for once!), as I know not everyone likes chocolate for breakfast. Weird, but true!

These are loaded with cinnamon chips and a layer of cinnamon goodness. Decadent while warm and served with butter, these are also equally yummy at room temperature. The texture of the scones is just right- not too crumbly, yet not too heavy. If you like cinnamon, I highly suggest making these for breakfast, brunch, or just a lazy weekend morning.

Cinnamon Lover’s Scones
Adapted from King Arthur Flour
Makes 12 scones

2 3/4 cups flour
1/3 cup + 1 tablespoon sugar, divided
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup cold butter, cut into pieces
2 eggs
1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons half and half, divided
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste (or vanilla extract)
1 cup cinnamon chips
1 1/2 tablespoons + 1/2  teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 cup light brown sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons water

In a small bowl, stir together the brown sugar and 1 1/2 tablespoons cinnamon. Slowly add in 1 to 1 1/2 tablespoons water- stirring until it is a spreadable consistency. Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, 1/3 cup sugar, baking powder, and salt. Using a fork or pastry cutter, cut in the butter until the mixture resembles small pebbles. Stir in the eggs and vanilla bean paste. Add in 1/2 cup half and half and stir until the dough just comes together. Add in the cinnamon chips.

On a floured surface, dump out dough and gently knead a few times until the dough is smooth and stays together. Roll out into a 9 inch circle (doesn’t have to be exact). Spread on the cinnamon mixture from the small bowl- leaving 1/4 inch all along the edge. Gently fold one side of the dough towards the center, then fold the other side all the way over- like you are making an envelope. This should leave you with more of a rectangle shape. Roll out until it is 3 inches by 18 inches. Cut this into 6, 3 inch squares, then cut each square in half. Transfer scones onto a parchment paper lined cookie sheet. Place scones in the freezer for 30 minutes (this will let the butter harden back up, in order to give the scones a flaky bite).

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. In a small bowl, combine the remaining 1 tablespoon sugar with 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon.
Remove scones from the freezer, and brush with remaining 2 tablespoons half and half. Sprinkle on the cinnamon-sugar mixture. Bake in a preheated oven for 15 to 20 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove from the oven and let cool. Enjoy!

Notes: If you don’t have cinnamon chips, you can use white chocolate chips- just add 1 teaspoon cinnamon to the dough (add it in to the dry flour mixture).

Cinnamon filling

Question of the day: Which do you prefer- scones or biscuits?

Made with love, not calories!

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Normally I post a recipe on Monday’s…and I post a lot earlier in the day! Obviously not today.

I had the day off from work, and after sleeping in, I spent the day with Nick and his friend (now my friend, too!) Erin! We headed off to Melt, for a late lunch/early dinner (it was a madhouse, but the food is well worth the wait).

I had my usual…Wake and Bacon
“fresh amish farmed fried eggs,crisp bacon, american”

Nick also had the Wake and Bacon, but added turkey to his.

And Erin had the special sandwich of the month: The Mighty Macaroni Melt …
“Homemade Macaroni and Cheese coated with seasoned breadcrumbs then fried to a delicious golden brown. Add more cheese! Choose your favorite.”
 

After we finished eating, we headed over to Whole Foods. I’ll give you one guess as to what I bought.

Any guesses?

That’s right…CHOCOLATE!!! I know- total shocker!!!

I found some new-to-me chocolates.

YUM!

Starting from the left:
“Theo” Orange Dark Chocolate (70% cacao)
“Theo” Gingerbread Spice Milk Chocolate (45% cacao)
“Theo” Cherry & Almond Dark Chocolate (70% cacao)
Bottom:
“Equal Exchange Chocolates” Chocolate Caramel Crunch with Sea Salt (55% cacao)

I can’t wait to bust into these :)

Anyways…I’ll be back on Wednesday with a recipe!

Question of the day: Do you splurge on new-to-you items at specialty food stores? If so, what do you buy?

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Merry Christmas Eve!

MERRY CHRISTMAS EVE!!!!

Milk and cookies are ready for Santa’s arrival!

And according to NORAD, Santa is currently in Guyana, and will be making his way to Brazil! Pretty soon he will be making his way to the States, so I had better get to bed!

I wish all of you a wonderful holiday- filled with love and surrounded by loved ones.

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Photo Friday

I played Santa’s helper yesterday at work, and handed out candy canes to all my co-workers!

Like my reindeer ride?!!!!

See the antlers and red nose??

Oh, and how do you like the standing water in the side yard? In December- 3 days before Christmas. In Northeast Ohio.

Downtown Willoughby holiday lights

What is it with cats and boxes?!

Question of the day: Totally unrelated to the above pictures…what kinds of goodies are you leaving out for Santa?

For your listening pleasure: A really CUTE Christmas song…”Milk and Cookies” by Clint Black

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Eggnog Cookies

Eggnog Cookies!

I really like eggnog. Rich, creamy, and non-alcoholic for me! I drink mine with unsweetened almond milk and a little pinch of nutmeg!

As you can tell by the picture at the bottom of this post, we had some eggnog at one point during the last week! It was stored on the inside door of our fridge, and every time I opened the door, it stared at me. I mean really- it stared at me! And I caved. I couldn’t take the pressure! The carton came out and the eggnog went into making cookies! Now all that’s left is an empty eggnog carton and some cookie crumbs!!

Eggnog Cookies
Makes 24 cookies

Cookies:
1 standard-sized French Vanilla cake mix
1/2 cup eggnog
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract or rum extract
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Glaze:
1 cup powdered sugar
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 to 2 1/2 tablespoons eggnog

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper- set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, mix half of the dry cake mix with the eggnog, eggs, vanilla or rum extract, and spices. Stir until well combined. Slowly stir in the remaining cake mix.
Using a large-sized ice cream scoop, scoop dough onto prepared cookie sheet. Bake for 10-12 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool for 5 minutes. After 5 minutes, move cookies onto cooling racks and cool completely.

For the glaze- in a small mixing bowl, whisk together the powdered sugar, nutmeg, and 2 tablespoons eggnog. Add more eggnog to reach the consistency you prefer. Spread, or drizzle, onto cooled cookies. Set cookies aside to let the glaze harden. Enjoy!

Eggnog glaze

Do you like your eggnog with, or without alcohol?

Made with love, not calories!

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Weekly Running Recap

Ok readers- I am not making excuses this week. I made a decision and I refuse to feel guilty about it.

I did not run this week, and if I don’t run until after Christmas- I am going to be just fine.

Work and baking are making me way to short on time. So I am setting aside the workouts for a little while. Will it be harder to start up again- a little over a week from now? Nope! And I’ll tell you why (even if you don’t want to know!)…

I have been buying some new running clothes!

This is big for me people. Normally I get my clothes at Wal-Mart or Target…cheap, but works well for me. Well, I started wearing running skirts, and fell in love with the Skirt Sports brand. They fit well, have pockets for gels, or camera, or cell phone, or ipod- and they look pretty! Well, they are offering some  fantastic deals on some of their products…a different one everyday for 12 days!
There have been a few items that I have admired from afar (I’m cheap, and their items are not!), but I couldn’t pass up these prices.
I bought the Tough Girl Skirt and the Wonder Girl Dress! That’s right- I bought a dress to run in…I AM SO EXCITED!!! I can’t wait to try it out (yeah- I can be a girly girl when I want to be!)!

I’m going to wrap this up now, as I have cookie dough ready to be baked and my ovens have been pre-heated and just beeped to tell me they are ready to go!

Have a good week everyone!

*Disclaimer- Skirt Sports is not paying me to talk about their products. I simply love the skirts that I own, and am looking forward to wearing these new-to-me items (that I have paid for).

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