Tuesday, December 25, 2012

The Best Day!

Merry Christmas everyone! 
Today is my favorite day of the year! I am sure a lot of you feel the same way about today. I don't know about all of you, but we are seriously into Christmas! Of course, the morning was full of family, opening presents, breakfast, and more food. We actually ALREADY took down our Christmas decorations because we are all traveling up to the mountains tomorrow, until after the New Year! 
It is crazy to look around and all of the decorations are already gone! So sad :(

My sister and I in front of our neighbors' lawn decor...... haha

I guess these are the only presents left to open! If only...

We all have a lot to be thankful for in the New Year! I am most thankful for my family! My four sisters are the best anyone could have! I am, of course, so happy to be starting a new year with my husband!!!

I am looking forward to a lot coming in 2013 - a niece from one sister and a wedding for the other! YAY!

I hope all of your are enjoying your break. Remember to REST and enjoy every minute! 

I hope everyone has a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Sandy Hook - In My Thoughts and Prayers

Thank you to Michelle, the 3AM Teacher, for creating this great image for today.

Today, Teachers Pay Teachers has announced that 10% of sales will be going to Sandy Hook Elementary School. If you would like to donate, you can by sending donations to:

Sandy Hook School Support Fund

c/o Newtown Savings Bank

39 Main St.
Newtown, CT 06470 

You or your students can send kind words to:

Sandy Hook Elementary

12 Dickenson Drive

Newtown, CT 06482

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Entertaining at Home for the Holidays

So I have never EVER thought of myself as any sort of good cook - I am a "kids menu" type of eater...mac-n-cheese, cereal, mini corn dogs... haha

So...I can say I was a little bit stressed yesterday when I hosted about 12 people at my house for the very first time since we have moved in! I was not so nervous about everyone in the house...it was the food that worried me! Good food makes all the difference when having people over...if the food is gross, who would want to stay over for dinner?

So I made a few things that seemed really simple and I want to share them with you! 

We started with a few easy finger foods out on the counters when people were arriving...

1. Pizza Roll Ups
(I give credit for these to the amazing teacher I work with who talked about them at lunch this week)
To make these, use Pillsbury croissant triangle. Roll in a few pepperonis (I used 4 thin pepperonis for each one) and then break up cheese. Roll it up, cook it for the time listed on the croissant can, and DONE :) Have some spaghetti sauce for dipping and it makes a great meal starter!
(I used 3 different cheeses...it really is just whatever is your preference)

2. Strawberry Jam and Brie on a Baguette
This is the most amazing finger food EVER! These were a huge hit and there were not any left after the gathering! So delicious!
I learned this from a woman at Publix who had them created and was giving them out near the deli when I went food shopping. SO perfect for a party!
All you do is buy a deli baguette and have them slice it at the store for you. Then I used strawberry (seedless) jam and a fresh cut piece of brie cheese. I put a small amount of jam on each piece of the baguette, then scooped another small amount of brie on each piece (be sure not to use the hard outside portion of the cheese). Place on a cookie sheet and in the oven at 350 degrees for just 5 minutes to warm them! These even re-heated really well later on after they had gotten a bit cold when sitting out.

3. Sloppy Joe Under the Bun
"Classy Joe"
Credit to my mom, who taught me this recipe!
So I made 2 of these, but really only needed one because of all of the finger foods we had.
Use a 13x9 inch pan
Cook about 2 lbs of lean chopped meat. Strain and mix a 15.5 ounce can of the sloppy joe sauce in with it. Spread the meat mixed with sauce in a thin layer over the bottom of the pan. Then use 2 cups of Bisquick baking mix, 2 eggs, and 1 cup of milk. Mix these in a separate bowl. Once mixed up, pour this directly over the meat. Place the tray in the oven at 400 degrees for about 20-30 minutes (depending on your oven - ours was 30 minutes) or until the top is golden like the picture above.
This is a great dish for when you have to feed lots of people because it is filling and tasty! It also reheats really well if you have leftovers!

4. Pretzel and Peppermint Bark
In a Ziploc bag, break up salted pretzels into smaller pieces. In a different Ziploc, crush peppermint candy canes into very small pieces (the smaller the better, because it is hard to bite into larger pieces of candy cane). Melt 2 or 3 bags of white chocolate chips in the microwave. Mix all of these items in a mixing bowl. 
Place parchment paper over a cookie sheet. Once everything is mixed really well, pour the mixture over the parchment paper and spread it into a thin layer over the cookie sheet (on the parchment paper). Place it in the refrigerator to harden. 
Once it is hard enough (about 45 minutes is usually enough), take it out of the fridge and break it up in to smaller pieces. 

Tie it up in a gift bag with a ribbon as a great holiday gift!

Well I hope you find these useful as the holidays are coming and you may have some dinners to host! :) These are all super easy, I promise!!! 
Let me know if you have any questions about how to make these dishes above.


Saturday, December 1, 2012

Getting into the Holiday Spirit!

I love this time of each month...
Time for December Currently :)

I did a little bit of Christmas shopping today and I did the "one for you, one for me" rule...haha! I have three sisters to buy for, and I like to focus on one at a time when I go Christmas shopping. It makes it easier for me to find things that they will like when I only think about them that day!

Today I thought about my sister Caitlin! She is my favorite blogger ever, duh, over at Kindergarten Smiles. While shopping for her today (or should I say "While shopping for YOU today" because I know she will be reading this?) I got myself two items...hahaha! Oooops!

I have to share one of them because I am so excited about it! It is the cutest thing ever, and as I type, I am staring at its cuteness....

I just LOVE it! Kate Spade :) 
Now my finger is wrapped in the cutest bow ever! It reminds me of the idea that you tie a string around your finger when you are supposed to remember something....now what am I forgetting? Oh yeah, to buy things for OTHER people and not myself!

(and NO Caitlin...that is NOT a hint as to where 
anything I got you is from...I just love love love this store!)

Head over to Oh Boy 4th Grade to visit all of the others who linked up with December Currently, as well as the wonderful Farley who has the cutest blog ever

Thanks for reading!
Happy Holidays to all :)
Time to go to Walmart!