I was lucky enough to have three beautiful baby showers! The first was in Dallas, hosted by three of my mom’s oldest and best friends: Janie, Janet, and Spike. Highlights were the little bundt cakes, homemade toasties, great friends, and lots of beautiful and thoughtful gifts.
A few weeks later several of my best friends threw me a shower in San Antonio. It was a fiesta theme with tasty Mexican treats, Topo Chico, and friends from near and far! Thank you Abby, Jaci, Linda, Emily and Melissa for a fabulous shower!
I am lucky to work with an amazing group of friends who threw me another fiesta shower! Current and former students surprised me by attending and we played some fun games and received many thoughtful books and baby supplies. Thank you all!
I am so very fortunate to have such thoughtful and giving friends! Thank you to all who hosted and celebrated with me. Our baby girl is lucky to have so many who love her already!
For Valentine’s Day this year I decided to make Nutella Cookies. The recipe was a Pinterest find (originally from Ambitious Kitchen) and they turned out great! They are a little more of a brownie consistency than a crispy cookie, but they are fudgy and super easy. I wrapped them in cellophane and voila, valentines for coworkers and friends.
Nutella Cookies (recipe for 12-15 small cookies)
- 1 cup Nutella
- 1 egg
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1/2 cup flour
- Sea salt or Kosher salt for sprinkling
Mix first four ingredients with a stand or hand mixer. Preheat oven to 350° and place bowl of mixed ingredients in the freezer for 10-20 minutes. Remove bowl from freezer and create small 1″ dough balls. Place on ungreased cookie sheet, about 2-3 inches apart, and bake for 9-10 minutes. Remove from oven, sprinkle with a touch of salt, and lay out on a cookie rack to cool. Enjoy!
A few months ago, Kyle and I took a cooking class at Central Market all about crepes. As a Christmas gift, Kyle gave me a Cuisinart crepe pan – and the time had come to make some crepes! They were easy, fun, and delicious.
- 2 cups flour
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- pinch salt
- 4 eggs
- 1 and 1/3 cups milk
- 1 and 1/2 cups sparkling water
- 4 tablespoons butter (for cooking)
Combine flour, sugar, and salt. Add the eggs and milk. Whisk until combined. Add sparking water and whisk again. Cover and let sit for 1 hour. Heat a small non-stick pan (8 or 10″). Coat with a small bit of butter. Pour 1/3 cup of batter into pan, and swirl to coat (might only be 1/4 cup depending on pan size). Cook for about 1 minute, flip, and cook for 1 more minute. Stack between parchment paper. Makes about 15 – 10″ crepes. Allow crepes to cool and freeze if you are not going to immediately use.
- 8oz fresh ricotta cheese
- 1 egg
- 1/4 lb fresh mozzarella, grated
- 1/3 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
- 1/4 cup parsley, minced
- 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
- 2 cups marinara sauce
- extra Parmesan cheese, grated
- about 8 crepes (use recipe above)
Drain ricotta, overnight if possible. Combine ricotta, eggs, parsley, and lemon zest. Season with salt and pepper. Spread some of the marinara sauce onto a glass baking dish. Spread a few tablespoons of the ricotta mixture into each crepe, roll, and place seam side down in dish. Spoon additional marinara sauce over all crepes. Sprinkle with additional Parmesan cheese. Cover pan with foil and bake at 375° for 20 minutes. Remove foil and bake an additional 20 minutes or until bubbly.
- Take cooked crepes, one at a time, and place back in hot non-stick pan
- Spread 1+ tablespoons of Nutella in center of each crepe
- Fold in half once, then in half again. Enjoy!
These are fun to make and so good! I look forward to trying new fillings soon.
This year our family members brought all their dachshunds to San Antonio for Christmas – a total of seven! In honor of this exciting occasion, Kyle and I hired LAFMIL Photography, a local photography company that specializes in pets and supports Diamond Dachshund Rescue, to come out and take photos of the family on Christmas Eve. My favorites are definitely the ones of the dogs romping around the yard – they couldn’t be any cuter!
Abe and Lisa with LAFMIL did such a great job! I highly recommend them and look forward to future dachshund photo sessions. Happy New Year!
As long as I can remember, every Christmas our family has enjoyed homemade Crispix Mix. The recipe came from Peggy, my wonderful grandmother figure, who would bring us a huge assortment of treats every December. We have tweaked it over the years, mostly adding more heat, but the flavors and memories have remained the same.
- 36oz Crispix cereal
- 1/2# pecans
- 1/2# roasted peanuts
- 5 oz pretzels
- 1 and 1/4 cups butter, melted
- 3 teaspoons Tabasco
- 4+ tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
- 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 6 or more large garlic cloves, halved
- juice of 2-3 small to medium sized lemons
Pour 1/2 of each of the Crispix, pecans, peanuts, and pretzels into a large turkey roaster (or split between two large foil roasting pans). Combine all other ingredients in a blender and puree. Drizzle 1/2 of liquid over Crispix. Add second 1/2 of the Crispix, pecans, peanuts, and pretzels to the pan(s) and drizzle remaining liquid. Mix gently with hands. Bake 2 hours at 250°, carefully stirring every 20 minutes. Cool and store in air tight containers. Enjoy!
For years we have been talking about going to Boston. The first weekend in November we finally made it happen! It was a cold but sunny trip, and we saw, walked, and ate a lot in 3 days. I absolutely loved it and can’t wait to go again! Here are the highlights:
A fabulous dinner featuring clam chowder, lobster bisque, and lobsters at Legal Seafood.
Amazing mushroom risotto at Trattoria di Monica in the North End. Followed by cannolis at Mike’s Pastry. Yum!
Pizza from Regina Pizzeria in the North End. Awesome.
The Back Bay Hotel – very cool place, used to be the Boston Police Headquarters!
One last pic from the bridge
It was so nice to wear some winter clothes and escape Texas for a bit! I am ready to plan the next getaway…