Monday, December 6

12-Days Catch-up: Decorations, Cookies and Oprah's Favorite Things

I'm behind since I didn't blog this weekend, so here goes the last three of Aly and Molly's 12 Days of Christmas Blog Challenge.

{12} Show us your decorations

This is just too easy, this is what I was going to blog about today anyway!  On Saturday, I put our tree up with lights and vowed to decorate on Sunday while M put our lights up outside.  Last night, we ordered a pizza after I'd wrapped 12 gifts (wrapping is exhausting, y'all!  I do enjoy it though.)  My gifts this year are beautifully wrapped with essence of Sally-dog.  No matter how hard I tried, dog hair ended up stuck to the tape.  Urg.

M and I's tree, complete with dorky Santa topper, train around the tree skirt, and presents! Lots of presents.  Sadly, only three of them are mine :(

Tree with the flash and overhead light off, so you can see the twinkly lights!
The front of our house!  M did such a great job!

Same, but with the flash
I have some other random decorations here and there, but nothing worth documenting.  M had a wreath already, so I decided against making my DIY wreath this year.  Maybe next year when I have more time...

{13} Favorite Cookie Recipe

I used to hate baking, so I have to admit I don't have that many cookie recipes in my cache, but I have a couple that are pretty delicious.

As a Friends junkie, I have of course made the chocolate chip cookie that Phoebe's grandmother leaves her which Monica asks for as a wedding gift.  Turns out, it's just Nestle Tollhouse's basic choc. chip cookie recipe.  But it's absolutely divine.

When M left the Adventure Science Center, the guy who replaced him's wife made us some mint chocolate chip cookies that were to die for.  I haven't made them yet, so I won't share the recipe, plus it's at home :)

The recipe I will share today, I found in this months edition of Real Simple.  M's mom had a Christmas party on Saturday, and she suggested we bring a dessert.  I looked through some of the recipes in there and found several I would've loved to have made, but turns out, I already had all the necessary ingredients for Chocolate Shortbread Cookies

They were fairly easy and quite tasty.  They call for kosher salt, which gives the not-too-sweet cookies a little salty taste, which I absolutely love.  So I didn't think to be Pioneer Woman and take step by step photos, but I will give you the break down and post the pretty picture that Real Simple provided.

Chocolate Shortbread Cookies
Makes 26; Hands on time: 15m; Total Time: 2hr40min
2 cups all-purpose flour, spooned and leveled, plus more for the work surface
1/2 cup unsweeted cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup (two sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup confectioner's sugar
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Marvel at the tastiness and devour!  YUMMMM!

Coarse sugar for sprinkling  
1) In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa powder and salt.
2) Using an electric mixer, beat the butter and confectioner's sugar on medium-high until fluffy; beat in vanilla.  Reduce speed to low and gradually mix in flour mixture until just combined (do not over-mix)
3) On a lightly floured surface or piece of parchment paper, roll the dough out 1/4" thick.  With a 2-inch cookie cutter (preferably fluted), cut the dough into rounds flouring the cutter and rerolling the scraps as necessary.  Arrange 1 inch apart on parchment-lined baking sheets.  Refrigerate for at least 2 hours and up to 1 day.  
4) Heat oven to 350 degrees.  Sprinkle the rounds generously with the coarse sugar and bake, rotating the sheets halfway through, until set, 20-22 minutes.  Cool slightly on baking sheets before transferring to baking racks to cool completely.

{14} Oprah's Favorite Things

I must admit that I don't really care for Oprah.  I get that she's achieved great things and gives a lot of her money, but I think she's kinda crazy, and can be rather rude.  I also think she's reversed racist.  But this is a moot point, because the topic is which of Oprah's favorite things do I want?  There are 44 items so let's see...
1) Magaschoni embellished tunic and leggings
Cute, but overpriced outfit

2) Nordstrom lingerie

3) Le Creuset Cookware Set (custom for Oprah's favorite things)


4) Miraclebody Jeans

5) Sophie Jewelry Box from Pottery Barn

6) Illuminations by Josh Groban

7)  A 5-year Netflix subscription.  That would save me almost $1000.  Crazy!

8) Nikon D3100 Digital SLR Camera

9) Sony Bravia LX900 52" HDTV with 3D (I could do without the 3D

But of course, I don't need any of these things, and thankfully I'm fortunate to not really need anything this Christmas, except to spend time with those I love.


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