Eggnog Pudding Shots

Just typing out the title of this post makes me crave this wonderful and simple dessert that I want to share with you today! Seriously, it is so good and so easy. I got the idea after we went to a friends house on Halloween. Our friends made butterscotch and one other flavor (that I can’t remember) pudding shot and they were so good. Since then, I knew I wanted to come up with a version for Christmas 🙂

Although the holiday season is now over, if you have any eggnog you are trying to figure out how to use, I highly recommend giving these a try!

DSC_0118

Eggnog Pudding Shots

  • 3/4 Cups Eggnog (low fat works)
  • Vanilla Instant Pudding (one small box)
  • 1/2 Cup Kahlua
  • 1/4 cup dark rum
  • 8 Ounce Tub of Fat Free Cool Whip
  • Nutmeg

Combine eggnog and instant pudding using an electric mixer. Slowly add in both alcohols until fully mixed and smooth. Gently fold in Cool Whip until smooth (do not over mix). Refrigerate until ready to serve. Before serving, top with dash of nutmeg.

On two occasions this holiday season I made this recipe. Both times they were a hit. Enjoy!

Crazy for Peppermint

Wow, how has Christmas already come and gone? Is it really already New Years Eve??? I am always so sad when the holidays are over. I just love all the decorations, the parties, the time spent with family, the gifts :-), etc. Time just seems to fly by and now it is time to pack up the decorations and take down the tree 😦

Thankfully this last weekend, we were able to have one last celebration. We did a mini Christmas with the hubby’s side of the family! On Christmas Eve/Day we celebrated with my family so this past weekend we had Christmas all over again.

On Friday night when the Mr.’s parents arrived the four of us went out to a cute Italian restaurant in the Roosevelt neightborhood called Marcello’s. It was delicious! Saturday morning I made breakfast (Sausage Breakfast Rolls – will share another time) and then we headed out to Woodinville for a little wine tasting! We only did two stops. We went to Apex (had a deal there) and Patterson’s Cellar.

On Saturday evening, the East Side Pieps (brother and sister-in-law) joined us for a big dinner, presents and games! Despite my pork roast taking twice as long to cook than expected, the dinner turned out delicious. We also played a few rounds of Things which is a really, really fun game for a group!

On Sunday we went out to a nice brunch after church at Louisa’s in the Eastlake Neighborhood. I had never heard of it, but will definitely go back one of these days! Wish I would have taken pictures. The food was awesome and the cafe was super cute! I ordered the Six Veggie Scramble…yummy!

Ok, back to my food related items…this year, thanks to my new kitchen aid mixer, I have really been into baking. Also, as the Mr. loves ice cream and we have an ice cream maker, I have been wanting to try out some ice cream recipes! For some odd reason this season, I have really been drawn to peppermint recipes. No idea why, probably just because it seems to fit with the holiday so well. Anyhow, there were two recipes I made this year that were absolutely amazing. The first was a Peppermint Pound Cake and the second was Peppermint Ice Cream! Enjoy!

DSC_0124

Peppermint Pound Cake and Peppermint Glaze (from NancyCreative)

  • 3 cups sugar
  • 3 sticks butter (1 1/2 cups), softened
  • 5 eggs
  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 teaspoons peppermint extract
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a bundt pan. In large bowl, blend sugar and softened butter. Add eggs one at a time, stirring well after each addition. Alternate adding flour and milk to mixture, blending well. Add peppermint and vanilla extracts, and stir until blended. Pour batter into prepared pan and bake for 70-80 minutes. Let cake cool in pan for 10-15 minutes, then carefully remove from pan and cool completely. While cake is cooling, make the glaze.

  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 4 Tablespoons milk or half and half
  • 1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract
  • 3 crushed candy canes, for garnish

Mix first three ingredients together, blending well. Drizzle over cooled pound cake. Sprinkle with crushed candy canes, and let glaze set.

DSC_0126

Sadly I don’t have any photos of the ice cream. But do trust me that it is awesome and easy. Definitely worth it if you have a ice cream maker!

Peppermint Ice Cream (from Your Homebased Mom)

  • 1 1/2 C whole milk
  • 1 1/2 C half and half
  • 2 C whipping cream
  • 1 1/4 C sugar
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla
  • 1 1/2 tsp peppermint extract
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 C crushed peppermint candy

Mix together milks. Add in sugar, salt, vanilla and peppermint. Stir until sugar is dissolved. Pour into ice cream maker and add in crushed candy cane. Process in ice cream maker.

Happy 2013!

M.I.A

Wow, where has time gone lately??? Sorry I haven’t been blogging! It has been a crazy busy late fall/early winter. I can’t believe it is already mid-December. So much to do before Christmas which is just a week away! Although life has been busy, I would say for the most part it is all busy in good ways. Even work is going good despite it being crazy busy! The only downside is I haven’t been in the kitchen very much cooking 😦 Thankfully that all changed this last week. Man, I have done some serious cooking/baking! Can’t wait to share all the recipes with you. Stay tuned for several yummy ones (assuming I find the time to start regularly posting!!!)

Before I go into details on the appetizer I want to share with you today, let me give you a high-level run down of what has been going on in my world:

-My good friend Becca had her baby on November 14th! Owen is such a cutie! We were lucky to be able to go visit them all in the hospital on the 15th and he is just darling! Last Monday we brought them dinner…it was so much fun to spend some more time with the Ochiltree family. I can’t say I cooked anything though. We brought over Zaw pizza which I LOVE. I did make a yummy salad though (arugula with pear, blue cheese, pecans and a champagne vinaigrette dressing).

-Over the last few months, on Monday evenings, the Mr. and I have been attending a newlyweds small group. Our church offers this small group as part of their community groups. Over 10 weeks or so, a few couples get together over a meal at the mentor couples house and chat. We go over topics like money, dreams/goals, kids, family/in-laws, etc. It was a great way to get to know other couples at our church (our group rocked!) and also continue to growth in each of our relationships by continuing to focus on how to communicate with one another. I am sad our group is over, but thankfully we run into our mentor couple at church (and hopefully the other couples too) and already there is talks of the group getting together to catch up in the next couple months.

-During the first weekend in December, Erin, Katie and I traveled south to Portland to meet up with Ashley to have a girls holiday weekend. The four of us have been bff’s (yes, I did use that) since 2nd grade. We don’t get to spend nearly enough time together so every year we try to get together around Christmas for a girls day or weekend! It has been harder the last few years, however, this year it all worked out! We had a nice day and a half to spend together and catch up and also do a little Christmas shopping.

-Also, that same weekend, on Sunday, the Chi O ladies had their annual Christmas cookie exchange. My little sis Jessica hosted this year and I was so happy I was able to attend! In the past, I haven’t been able to join in due to conflicts so I was super excited especially as I hadn’t yet been to the Ingle’s new home! Jessica did such a wonderful job hosting and it was so nice kicking off the holidays spending time with my sisters! Lysico!

-On the 8th, the East Side and West Side Pieps went out together to cut down Christmas trees. Later that evening we all went out to a nice dinner at the Local 360, which was delicious, and then to the Holiday Pops at Benaroya Hall. It was such a festive evening. We love spending time with the East Side Pieps 🙂

-That same weekend, on the 9th, we hosted a few friends for a holiday dinner. I was so excited to host a holiday event as it meant I got to pull out our china and set a fun holiday table. I also got to test lots of new recipes which all turned out great! Promise to share the full dinner details another time, today I am only going to share the appetizer I made!

-This last Sunday we went with my side of the family to get our picture taken with Santa (yes we still do them every year!) and then went to the Elf at the 5th Avenue Theater and then out to dinner. It was such a great family day!

-We have had or still have SEVERAL holiday parties/events: the Mr’s office party was a week or so back, my book club had a holiday gathering (wine and book exchange – which was a BLAST), the “other” Liberty party was this last weekend as was the Bettger’s holiday party, the hubby has his annual book and booze event next week, I attended a ladies holiday party at the country club…and at this minute, I can’t remember what else we have but we are enjoying them all! 🙂

– Tonight we went to an early screening of Les Misérables. My sister-in-law gave us tickets. Sadly they couldn’t join us. I really, really enjoyed it. Excited to hear what others think of it. It was pretty long, but it was so good I didn’t realize 2.5hrs had gone by.

OK, enough about what is going on, time to turn it over to my appetizer recipe I just have to share with everyone. I made this recipe two Sunday’s ago when we hosted a holiday dinner. I give it two thumbs up. The recipe came from Skinnytaste. I just love this blog! The recipes always turn out amazing and you don’t feel horrible after making/eating as they are all healthy (or at least healthier!). Definitely recommend reading this blog if you don’t already!

DSC_0104

Skinny Spinach and Bacon Stuffed Mushrooms (from Skinnytaste)

Ingredients:

  • 14 oz (1 package) fresh mushrooms, stems separated
  • 2 garlic cloves, sliced thin (I used pre-chopped garlic from Costco)
  • 4 cups fresh baby spinach
  • 4 slices center cut bacon (to save time I used precooked from Trader Joes)
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1/4 cup Italian seasoned bread crumbs
  • 2 tbsp shredded Parmesan cheese
  • Cooking spray

Preheat the oven to 400°F. Lightly spray a foil lined baking pan or baking dish with cooking spray. Remove stems from mushrooms and mince fine (I put my stems in my mini food processor to mince)Heat a medium sized skillet. Rinse spinach and add to the skillet; cook until it wilts (about 2 minutes). Remove from the pan, squeeze excess liquid and chop fine. Set aside. Dry skillet, add bacon to the skillet and cook on low heat until bacon is cooked through. Set aside on a paper towel. Coarsely chop. Clean skillet and add olive oil to the pan. Add garlic and saute until golden, about 2 minutes. Add minced mushroom stems and saute until soft, about 2 minutes. (at this step I put the chopped bacon in with the mushroom stems to warm the bacon as mine was pre-cooked) Remove from heat and combine mushroom stems with sauteed spinach, bacon, bread crumbs, and Parmesan cheese. Season mushroom caps with salt. Fill mushrooms with spinach mixture, rounding tops off. Place on an oven safe dish and lightly spray the tops with oil. Bake 20 minutes or until golden. Makes about 11 medium sized mushrooms.
DSC_0093

These mushrooms turned out amazing! I am already planning on making them again on Christmas day to share with my family. Super easy (especially since I cheated on a few things) and amazingly tasty. These were gone in minutes! Hope everyone is enjoying the holiday season.

Take care and HAPPY HOLIDAYS!