Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Shopping, Wrapping, Cooking, Baking

Hey everyone! 4 days until Christmas and I finally have all of my shopping finished! I need to wrap everything but I plan on doing that when I get off work on Friday. They let us know that we get to leave at 2 on Friday, which is a huge deal because most of the time they keep it secret until 30 minutes before they let us go. I greatly appreciate them telling us ahead of time that we get off early.

I have felt under the weather for the past week. I am not sure exactly what it is, but I want it to go away. I got into bed at 8:45 last night and was dead asleep when Kyle called me at 10:15, went right back to sleep and slept all night. Hopefully that great sleep will put me on the mend. Also, I would really like to visit the gym sometime soon since I will be in a strapless dress in a little over a week.

This past weekend was filled with activities including lots of food. I made cranberry cream cheese dip, spicy pretzels, corn dip, and peanut butter fudge. Everything turned out great! We attended a Christmas party at Tyler and Lilia's Friday night and played all kinds of couples games and we had enough food to eat until Spring Break of 2012. Saturday night we went to the Christmas Kickball Pajama party. I have some great pics from this but left my camera sitting on my dresser. Kyle and I both wore adult size pajama onesies and he accessorized with a terry cloth robe and slippers. Most comfortable party ever.

We are headed to my brother's house for Christmas this year. I always love spending this time with them and seeing the girls enjoy Christmas. Next week, I will only work two and a half days and then we are going to Pittsburgh to enjoy NYE at a wedding. I got some great earrings from Bauble Bar (fuchsia boho drop) for the wedding. 

I have no idea what the food plan is for Christmas day but I want to make this dip: chili cream cheese dip and serve with the always tasty Fritos. Yum.

And I just had a light bulb go off in my head for a recipe I could try. Make my super easy peanut butter fudge, and then dip into chocolate almond bark for my own twist on Reese's. Oh I have to make this.

Easy Peanut Butter Fudge

1/2 cup butter
2 cups brown sugar
1/2 cup evaporated milk
1 cup peanut butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 cups confectioners' sugar

Melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Stir in brown sugar and milk. Bring to a boil and boil until your thermometer reaches 234 degrees Fahrenheit (approximately 4 minutes), stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Stir in peanut butter and vanilla. Pour over confectioners' sugar in a large mixing bowl. Beat until smooth. Add the rest of the 5 oz can of evaporated milk if the mixture is too dry. Scoop into 8x8 inch dish and press into form with a spatula. Chill until firm and cut into squares.

Mine actually came out a little oily, and I am not sure if it was the extra evaporated milk or what.Maybe I can try just adding a little regular milk to the mixture next time. But the mixture was definitely too dry once I mixed it with the powdered sugar. 

Spicy Pretzels

What You Need
15 oz Bag of Small Pretzels
6 oz Canola or Vegetable Oil
1 pkg Hidden Valley Ranch Dressing
2 tsp Cayenne Pepper (may use less and then add more if you want them spicier)
1 tsp Garlic Powder
1.5 tsp Lemon Pepper

Mix together seasoning and oil. Place pretzels in large ziploc bag (the gallon size works for one batch), add seasoning mix, and toss periodically for 12-24 hours before serving.

Merry Christmas!

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