Thursday, December 18, 2014

An Instagram Year

Looking back on my Instagram photos from the past year I can't believe what a FUN year it was!  I spent loads of real life time with online friends, had fun adventures with my children, met STEVEN TYLER, and put my liver through the wringer.

All in all - it was a great year.

I'll be taking a little break until after Christmas to hang out with my family and generally revel in the holiday.  But I will still be on Instagram.  Follow along!  Can't wait to party with you!

Friday, December 12, 2014

Charm Hour :: Spiced Pineapple Punch

I can't express to you how vital a good punch recipe is.  A good punch recipe gets you out of mixing individual cocktails, it looks quite swanky, and it's a really simple way to add a festive flair to even the most mundane event.  This time of year, nothing seems mundane - a punch makes your party fancy without hardly even trying.  Just pour the ingredients together and serve.  


Thursday, December 11, 2014

Holiday Party Girl :: Gingerbread Cookies

Guess what I discover recently? I had never made a true gingerbread house!  I decided to rectify it immediately and set about prepping, cutting and measuring cookie dough to build the perfect house.  Turns out, that's a lot of work for something you can't eat.

Instead, I checked out the gorgeous gingerbread houses at the Seattle Sheraton {on display until January 4th} and made their gingerbread cookies instead.  These cookies are amazing.  I'm making another batch right now.

Sheraton Seattle’s Gingerbread Cookies

8 ounces butter
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup molasses
1/2 cup milk
5 cups flour
1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2 tablespoons cinnamon
1 tablespoon cloves
1 tablespoon ginger

Heat the butter, sugar, molasses and milk in a heavy saucepan on medium heat until butter is melted and sugar has dissolved. Sift the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves and ginger and add to the butter mixture. Cover the dough and refrigerate for one hour or until it is easy to handle. On a well-floured surface, roll the dough to 1/4 inch thickness. Cut out with a cookie cutter dipped in flour. Place on greased baking sheets and bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 9-11 minutes or until edges are firm. Remove to wire racks to cool. Yields approximately two dozen medium-sized cookies.

Tuesday, December 09, 2014

Weekend Party Girl :: Sour Cream Coffee Cake

Tune into Q13 FOX News this morning - ALL MORNING - for my holiday entertaining ideas

My family loves coffee cake.  I love coffee cake.  Around the holidays it seems like the perfect breakfast - especially for Christmas morning!

Sour Cream Coffee Cake

1/2 cup melted butter + 2 tablespoons at room temperature
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups + 2 tablespoons flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup brown sugar

Preheat oven to 350. Blend together melted butter, eggs, 1 cup of the sugar and vanilla. In a separate bowl combine 2 cups flour, baking powder, salt, and 1 teaspoon cinnamon. Pour dry ingredients into butter mixture blending until just combined. Add sour cream and combine with as few strokes as possible. Pour batter into an 8x8 baking dish.
With a pastry cutter (or a fork or your fingers) blend together remaining sugars, cinnamon, flour, and butter. Spread evenly across the top of the batter.
Bake for 45 minutes to one hour until a toothpick comes out clean. Remove from oven and let sit for a few minutes before serving.