Tagged: Walnuts

Cinnamon Swirl Coffee Cake

I’m not sure if you’ve gathered this about me by now, but I’m not really much of a baker. I can safely say this is the truth for a few reasons.

First and foremost, I’ve always been more of the “creative” type in the kitchen and I always have a very hard time following recipes. It’s not that I’m incapable of doing so. It’s just that baking is so exact that, personally, I can never get that excited about it.

What’s so exciting about following directions??

Nothing, I say!

That’s what I’ve always loved so much about cooking. Sure, there are techniques that I may need to know or ratios that are important but, ultimately, every time I whip something up in the kitchen the best part, for me, is that I don’t need to think about measuring or having things precisely a specific way and I know that whatever I make will still turn out delicious!

Another thing about baking is that the result of baking is so rarely healthy that I can’t  justify even bothering to bake something. Sure, there are some baked goods that I adore. I love a buttery croissant or cheese danish, I swoon over carrot cake, and I have a hard time saying no to brownies (especially if there are nuts in them!). Luckily, though, it’s always pretty easy for me to refuse a slice of chocolate cake, apple pie, or a big deli blueberry muffin.  As someone who typically advocates eating healthy, when I DO bake it’s usually something  like my banana oat muffin/bars or something similar, where there is no white flour or butter to be found!

For Easter this year, though, when I decided to make breakfast for the family I knew that I wanted to have something sweet to accompany the quiche I was making and although fruit is delicious (and was had in abundance) I decided to give baking  something a whirl.  Another pastry that I enjoy and my husband in particular loves is coffee cake. Nothing too crazy about it. Not some fancy, fruity, glazed nonsense.  Just a lovely cinnamon swirl coffee cake.

I found a fairly basic recipe for a standard classic coffee cake and spruced it up to make it my own (because I just can’t help myself). The batter is spiked with lemon zest and cinnamon and uses white whole wheat flour to get some fiber in your diet! I also used plain, nonfat greek yogurt to replace the traditional sour cream used in most coffee cake recipes and this recipe turned out perfectly moist and tender.  The cinnamon swirl contains oats and walnuts to bulk it out because I wanted as much swirl as possible without adding anymore sugar to the recipe.  The resulting coffee cake was delightful, especially paired with a steaming hot cup of English Breakfast Tea with milk and honey (or ya know…coffee…if you’re like most people.) I hope you enjoy this recipe!

coffee cake

Cinnamon Swirl Coffee Cake

For the Coffee Cake
1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 teaspoons lemon zest
2 cups white whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup plain, nonfat greek yogurt

For the Cinnamon Swirl
1/4 cup brown sugar, packed
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Prepare a 9×9 inch baking dish with some nonstick spray and set aside.

To make he cinnamon swirl: combine the sugars, oats, walnuts, and cinnamon in a small dish. Add the vanilla and the softened butter and, using your hands, smush everything together until the butter is distributed and the mixture is crumbly. Set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer (or with a hand mixer if that what you’ve got) cream together the butter and sugar for about 5 minutes on medium speed until fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, vanilla extract, and lemon zest and mix until just combined.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt. Slowly add 1/2 of the flour mixture to the butter mixture with your mixer on low speed. Add 1/2 of the yogurt and combine. Add the remaining flour and combine, followed by the yogurt.

Spread half of the batter into the prepared baking dish. Top with half of the cinnamon swirl mixture. Top with the remaining batter, making sure you spread it out to cover the swirl, and top with remaining cinnamon mixture.

Bake the coffeecake for 45-55 minuets, or until a toothpick (or heck, I always just use a knife) inserted in the center of the coffeecake comes out clean. Let cool for about 10 minutes before serving…preferably to people you love…because you’re not going to want to share this coffeecake with just anyone.

 

Do you have a favorite breakfast pastry??  

Do you prefer coffee or tea??

Last, but certainly not least,  don’t forget to grab a badge and link up with your favorite real food recipe, today!!

Twenty-Something & Starving

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Real Food Recipe Roundup # 4 – Apple Flax Muffins

Good morning, all!!  I hope you’ve had a great week so far!! Happy First Day of Spring!!!

Does anyone have any exciting plans for the weekend??

We’re finally painting the nurseryyyyyyyyy!!!!!!! Eeeeeee!!!!!!!

Seriously, this pregnancy is going by so fast. Today I am officially in my third trimester!! WTF?!  (I’ll be posting a bUmPdate tomorrow for anyone interested.)  Little miss Emma is going to be here before I know it and I genuinely cannot put into words how excited I am to meet my little yogi! 😀 😀 😀

Today I’m pleased to share with you a super delicious muffin recipe I came up with this week that tastes just like the fall…right in time for spring!! Ha. Oh well. It was so rainy and chilly at the beginning of the week that I felt like the warm spices would do me some good…and I was right…because these muffins rock. They’re dense and chewy from the oats with a tiny bit of sweetness from the apples and brown sugar. You’ll notice that there is no butter or oil or added fat at all in these muffins either! That’s because flax seeds are high in omega-3 fatty acids (which, as a momma-to-be, are essential to my diet!)! I promise these muffins are still perfectly moist without any additional fat. I guess, technically, these are more like little baked oatmeals than muffins but tomato-tomatoe. I’ve also included some alternative ingredients to keep these both gluten free and vegan if you so desire. Please note, though, that the nutrition facts I’ve included at the bottom are for the recipe as it is written below.

Apple Flax Muffins

  • 1 1/2 cups rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
    (you can use oat or almond flour to keep this recipe g-free)
  • 1/2 cup flax meal
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon cloves
  • 1/8 teaspoon ginger
  • 1/3 cup dark brown sugar
  • 3 large apples, grated
    (skin and all)
  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1/4 cup egg whites
    (I added these strictly to add some more protein to these muffins. If you’re vegan go ahead and leave these out and these muffins will still turn out great!)
  • 3/4 cup chopped walnuts
    (optional, but I love walnuts in my apple muffins!)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

In a large bowl, combine the oats, flour, flax meal, baking powder, salt, brown sugar, spices, and walnuts (if using). Whisk well to combine and set aside.

In a separate large bowl, whisk together the grated apple, almond milk, vanilla extract, almond extract, and egg whites (if using).

Add the apple mixture  to the oat mixture and stir until just combined.

Scoop mixture into a muffin tin prepared with a bit of nonstick spray.

Bake muffins at 350 for 25 to 30 minutes or until golden brown and set.

Let cool ten minutes before removing to a cooling rack and serving!

Nutrition (calculated on myfitnesspal.com) Per Muffin:
Calories: 156
Total Fat: 7 grams
Carbohydrates: 20 grams
Fiber: 5 grams
Protein: 5 grams
Sugars: 8 grams

apple flax muffins

These muffins freeze really well, too! Just pop it in the microwave to thaw and heat through and you’ve got breakfast in no time!! I’ve been serving mine up this week with some cinnamon cream cheese wedges from the laughing cow. I’m obsessed. They’re 35 calories of delicious, cheesy, noms!!!

Also, you may be wondering why on earth I’d photograph my breakfast on a Pampered Chef catalog? Silly me. That’s because I’ve started my own Pampered Chef business!!! I was a consultant a few years back and I loooved it, but I had a hard time keeping in touch with my recruiter who was based out of Baltimore. Not convenient. I just kind of decided on a whim that now is as good of a time as any to start throwing parties for people and earning them free and discounted products…because come on now…who doesn’t love free stuff?! Especially free KITCHEN stuff. OOoooooo man I’m just too excited. I know that I’ve already picked out at least a dozen products that I can’t wait to earn for myself…and I’m looking forward to helping other folks do the same!! (My mother-in-law is dying for the executive cookware set!) If you’re in Central PA and you’d be interested in hosting a show – please feel free to contact me!!! If you’re not in Central PA and you’d like to host a catalog show – go ahead and contact me, too!!

Last, but certainly not least,  don’t forget to grab a badge and link up with your favorite real food recipe, today!!

Twenty-Something & Starving

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How ’bout them Apples

Well hello there! I hope you’re all enjoying your weekend so far! 🙂

Did you do anything exciting today?

Me? I slept until 10!!

Ooops!!

I’m pretty sure I fell asleep on the couch last night around 10:30…woke up at 12:30 and brushed my teeth… actually went to bed…and ya know…slept for another nine and a half hours!! I guess I needed it! I did feel pretty great when I woke up.

Johnny and I took our time this morning before we did anything. We had some breakfast together and watched NFL Gameday Morning. It’s not exactly my faaaavorite past time, but I do enjoy spending time together in the morning  just hanging out with Johnny and the puppies on the couch. It was super rainy today, too. The perfect day for an extra long morning lounge!!

apple crispWe did get up eventually, and we went to the gym around 1ish. I was sooooooo pleased I was able to run a full two miles today without stopping to pee!!! I felt so great! I hope it wasn’t a fluke and that I can keep it up. It’s up to Baby, really, but I’ve got my fingers crossed!

apple and nutsWe made a quick pitstop at Wegmans to grab some groceries before we came home to lounge some more. I needed to snag a few items for  my Chicken Corn Chowder which I made for dinner tonight. It was perfect! So toasty warm and cozy! I also pretty much knew immediately when I woke up this morning (because I pretty much only think about food) that I wanted to have a dessert tonight! I’ve had a serious sweet tooth lately (who am I kidding? I always have a serious sweet tooth!) but I wanted something I didn’t need to feel too awful about eating (like alllllllll of the Christmas Cookies I had this year!) So I thought long and hard about what I wanted until…apple crisp with froyo

LIGHTBULB!! Apple Crisp!! It’s been quite a while since I’ve had a good apple crisp. I know that they can be quite heavy with lots of butter, brown sugar, and white flour. I lightened mine up by using white whole wheat flour (and hardly any at all), lots of oats, coconut oil, and honey. I also made them in individual portions which made it super easy to control myself. This recipe is so simple and guilt free…I may eat the leftovers for breakfast. Don’t judge me. 😀

Honey Walnut Apple Crisp

  • 3 granny smith apples (I leave the skin on mine), cored and chopped into bite sized pieces
  • 1 tablespoon + 1/3 cup white whole wheat flour
  • 1 tablespoon fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon + 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 cup of rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil (you may want to warm it in the microwave for 30 seconds to make sure it’s liquid)
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • Optional: Vanilla Frozen Yogurt/Ice Cream

close up of apple crisp with froyoPreheat the oven to 375 degrees fahrenheit.

Spray four ramekins (or one big dish…whatever you have will work) with nonstick cooking spray and set aside.

In a large bowl, combine the apples with 1 tablespoon white whole wheat flour, lemon juice, and 1 teaspoon of cinnamon. Stir well and set aside.

In a separate bowl, combine the remaining flour, spices, oats, and walnuts. Mix well to combine. Add the coconut oil and honey and mix well to incorporate.

Divide the apple mixture evenly among the four servings (or pour them all into a single baking dish). Top each portion with equal parts of the oat and walnut mixture.

Place the individual ramekins on a sheet tray and pop them in the oven for 45 minutes or until the apples have softened and the crisp is golden brown. Top with vanilla frozen yogurt or ice cream if you desire. (I desired two scoops…one for me and one for baby.)

Serve and enjoy! Or, ya know, if you’re me…take lots of pictures and try not to drool all over your camera before proceeding to devour your whole little crisp in about 3 minutes flat…and scrape the bottom of your little crispy container for all of the melty, delicious, froyo soup at the bottom. YUM!!!spoon of delicious

By the way… if I dooooo have this for breakfast tomorrow… I plan to top it with some honey greek yogurt. Froyo soup is for dessert only. Even I have SOME standards.

all gone

 

 

This Snow Sure is Chili

So how many of you East Coasters out there had a snow day today?!?

Lucky. You. 

I wish I could say the same. I was up extraaaaa early to make sure Johnny and I had enough time to scrape all of the ice and snow off the car and get to work on time. The roads weren’t too shabby this morning, though. Especially compared to last night! Yikes! Our usual 40 minutes commute took an additional hour. It was insane. I’ve been living in Central PA for almost four years now and they just never seem prepared for snow.

Oh well, ya know what I do when it snows?

Make cozy foods.

Like chili! And oatmeal!!

I don’t know how you feel about chili, but I effing love it.

Beef Chili. Chicken Chili. Turkey Chili. Green Chili. White Chili. Bean Chili. On a train. In the rain. You name it, I love it. It’s definitely up there as one of my most favorite foods of all time. One of the many delicious reasons I love chili so much is all of the fun ways you can serve it!! You can top it with cheese, cilantro, red onions, green onions, tortilla chips, sour cream (if you’re into that sort of thing), with cornbread, over rice, over spaghetti (Cincinnati style), on a baked potato, on french fries – the options are endless!! I’ve pretty much come to the conclusion that I just love any food that I can customize and play with! On any given day I can mix up whatever pot of chili I’m feeling like and I can top it with whatever I have on hand and it’s like a party! But ya know…with just me…and chili….which sounds kind of lame but I swear is actually really exciting!

Johnny enjoys chili…but not the same way I do.  He thinks that I make too many “southwestern” inspired dishes. Boooooooo!! Chili powder, garlic, cumin, cayenne, chipotle. I go through these spices faster than anything else in my pantry. I can’t help myself. I’m so drawn to the smokey/spicy/sweet combination that so many southwestern dishes offer and chili is no exception and the best by far! I have tried many-a-different version of chili. This, of all my recipes, is my favorite. It’s not too complicated to make and the it’s the perfect combination of lean ground beef and beans with a hearty portion of peppers and onions, too. It’s even more appropriate for me these days (meaning “being pregnant” days) since it’s super important to make sure I’m getting enough iron and fiber – which this recipe is chock full of thanks to the beef and bean combo!! Johnny describes my chili as “weird – it’s spicy and sweet all at the same time!” Well, my love, that’s exactly what I was going for!  Here is the recipe!!

My Favorite Chili Recipe Ever

  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 1 red onion, diced
  • 1 green bell pepper, diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 28 oz can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 can of tomato paste
  • 1 can of black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 can of kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 can of pinto beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 chipotle in adobo, minced (plus 1 tablespoon of the adobo the chipotles come in)
  • 3 heaping tablespoons chili powder
  • 2 tablespoons garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 tablespoon oregano
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • Salt to taste
  • Optional Garnishes: Cilantro, Scallions, Avocado, Lime, Cheese, Sour Cream, Red Onion, Tortilla Chips

Begin by heating 2 teaspoons of olive oil in a large pot over high heat. Add the peppers and onion and let them cook, stirring frequently, for about 5 minutes. They will start to char in some places from the high heat and this is exactly what you want!! Add the beef and garlic and continue to cook until the beef is brown. (If your using a less lean beef, you may want to stop and drain off some of the fat).

When the beef is brown,  lower the heat and add the crushed tomatoes and tomato paste to the pot. Make sure you scrape the bottom of the pan with your spoon or spatula to get up all of the good stuff from the bottom! Fill the crushed tomato can halfway with water, swirl it around to get out any extra tomato hanging out on the sides of the can, and add it to the pot. Add all off the spices and stir well to combine. Add the beans, stir, cover, and simmer for 45 minutes to 1 hour (or as long as you can patiently wait before digging in!).

Serve with whatever topping you like!

This time around I had cheese, avocado, red onion, and some tortilla chips for scooping….and it was perfection.

chili!Now did I mention something about oatmeal up there before? I seem to have gotten particularly excited about chili. Oh well! I love to enjoy a cozy bowl of oatmeal from time to time. Sometimes, though, I just don’t feel like standing over a pot in the morning to make myself a cozy bowl. The instant stuff just doesn’t do it for me anymore these days. I had some suuuuper ripe (like I had to use them up before the turned to mush) pears on hand this week and I whipped up a quick, healthy, and easy baked pear oatmeal for breakfast! If your New Year’s resolution is to watch you waistline this is a hearty recipe that will definitely tide you over until lunch (unless, maybe, you’re pregnant and find you’re eating everything in site…then you may want to have some clementines on hand to munch on the side…or maybe that’s just me…) Here is the recipe!

Baked Pear Oatmeal

  • 2 1/4 cups rolled oats
  • 1/2 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 1/4 cup reduced fat vanilla soy milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar, packed
  • 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
  • 4 ripe pears, peeled and diced
  • 1/2 cup walnuts, chopped

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

In a large bowl, whisk together the oats, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, salt, and baking powder. Set aside.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the soy milk, eggs, extracts, brown sugar, and maple syrup. When the mixture is combined, add the pears and whisk gently to combine.

Add the soy milk mixture to the oat mixture and mix well until everything is combined.

Pour the mixture into a baking dish sprayed with a little nonstick spray. Bake at 375 for thirty minutes or until golden.

Serve immediately! (Or, let cool completely before slicing and placing the squares into individual baggies and freeze! Reheat in the microwave for 2 minutes or until warm through!)

bakedoatmeal

Ridiculous, Cheesy, Perfection

I can’t believe tomorrow is Christmas Eve!!!

I had a fabulous Pre-Christmas weekend with my family (I’ll recap it after today’s recipes!!) But  good heavens, I can’t wait to get home tomorrow, hunker down with some Wonton Soup and Sesame Chicken from our favorite Chinese take-out place, snuggle up on the couch, and watch Santa Claus is Coming to Town!! We will also be exchanging gifts with my husband’s family – which they do on Christmas Eve. I will also shamelessly prepare a big pan of break-and-bake chocolate chip cookies to enjoy.  This is the way I’ve spent every Christmas Even for quite some time now and it’s traditions like these that I love and I think make the holidays so special?? What do you and your family do on Christmas Eve? What is your FAVORITE holiday tradition?  

Now last week I promised I would share a recipe with you that, I’m telling you, is the epitome of ridiculous, cheesy, perfection.  To cut through the richness of this AMAZING mac & cheese, I served it with a light kale and pomegranate salad. This salad is pretty fabulous, too, I can’t lie to you. It’d be great as a meal all on it’s on with a nice piece of bread to go with it. It’d also be great with a little crumbled feta or goat cheese in the mix. However, I didn’t think 6 cheeses were necessary on the evening I prepared this! I will share that recipe below, too!!

macandsalad

 

5 Cheese Pancetta Mac & Cheese

  • 2 lbs cavatappi pasta, or pasta of your choice
  • 1 lb white cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 8 oz extra sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 8 oz gruyere cheese, shredded
  • 8 oz parmesan cheese, grated
  • 8 oz reduced fat cream cheese, cut into cubes
  • 8 oz diced pancetta
  • 1 small yellow onion, diced
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
  • 2 cups fat free milk
  • 2 teaspoons black pepper
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons nutmeg

Begin by bringing a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the pasta to package directions.

Meanwhile, melt 1 tablespoon of butter over medium high  heat in a large pot or sauce pan. Add the pancetta and onion and saute until the pancetta is crisp and the onions begin to soften and caramelize, about 15 minutes. Add the remaining butter and flour and stir well to combine. Let the flour mixture cook for about 3 minutes, until the flour begins to brown. Slowly whisk in the 2 cups of milk and reduce the heat to medium low. Add the cream cheese cubes and continue to whisk until the cream cheese melts into the mixture.

Combine the remaining cheeses in a large bowl, and reserve 1/2 cup for topping.

Add the remaining cheeses to the cream cheese mixture and whisk very well until all of the cheese is melted. This sauce will be on the thicker side.  Keep whisking.  Add the black pepper and nutmeg. Whisk a bit more.

Drain the pasta just shy of al dente and add it directly to the cheese sauce. Fold the pasta into the cheese sauce and transfer it to a large baking dish sprayed with a little nonstick spray. Top with the remaining 1/2 cup of cheese and place in a 350 degree oven for 25 minutes, or until the top is bubbly and brown.

Let sit for about 5 minutes before digging in!!

macandcheese

 

Kale and Pomegranate Salad

For the Pomegranate Vinaigrette

  • 1/4 cup pomegranate juice
  • 1/8 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoon dijon mustard
  • 1 garlic clove, grated or minced fine
  • Salt & Pepper to taste

Combine all of the ingredients in a mason jar or a container with a tight fitting lid. Make sure the lid is secure and shake, shake, shake until everything is combined! Taste and add more salt and pepper to your liking.

For the Salad

  • 2 cups kale leaves, cleaned and chopped into bite sized pieces
  • 3/4 cup pomegranate arils
  • 1 large pear, sliced thin
  • 1 small red onion, sliced thin
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts

Combine all of the ingredients in  a large salad bowl. Toss well to combine and add as much dressing as you like! This salad is safe to make an hour or two ahead of time, as kale is sturdy enough to hold up to the dressing!!

kalesalad

 

If you make either of these recipes, please let me know how the come out for you!!!

Now onto my weekend recap!!! We spent Friday night in NYC with Bill and Susan and had a fabulous Italian Dinner at Daniela on 8th Avenue. The muscles were amazing and I ate my fill of them and sopped up the ridiculous creamy tomato broth with the hot, fresh bread they provided. Susan and I went splitsies on Penne al la Vodka, which was perfect – and a linguine dish in a garlic white wine sauce with calamari, muscles, and clams. You couldn’t pick a favorite!!

Of course we stopped by the tree in Rockefeller Center!! The weather was a bit warmer than we anticipated, so there was no snow on the ground. It was lovely to walk around and not freeze, though!!

Here is my obligatory photo with the hubs by the tree!! It’s so pretty. I love it so much.

1502473_10100858637969682_495313551_n

Saturday, we met up with some of my extended family for dinner at the Palisades Mall and had a fabulous time!! Here are some photos of the action!

Me & My Papa Bear
I always have the worst eyes in pictures!!! But here I am with my Dad!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here's Susan and I being pretty and wearing adorable scarves!!
Here’s Susan and I being pretty and wearing adorable scarves!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I photo bomed their picture with Uncle Santa!
I photo bombed Bill and Susan’s picture with Uncle Santa…muhuhaha!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Me, Chris, Johnny, Uncle Bob, & Sarah
Here I am with my little brother Chris, Johnny, my little sister Sarah, and my Uncle Bob (Santa!!)

 

 

 

 

 

 

A wonderful time was had by all!!! We exchanges cookies and wine (among other gifts) and enjoyed our holiday time together!!

Sunday morning Susan and I met up with our great friend Desirae for breakfast at my most favorite diner. I finally met Desirae’s boyfriend and we discussed our little buns in the oven! I’m afraid I have no photos of that to share, but it’s all good.

Johnny and I ended our weekend meeting up with Melinda and Kyle and our friend Sue, her husband Matt, and their little man Juddah, who is probably the cutest little thing I’ve ever seen!!

Finally, woo this has been a marathon post, I’d like to wish my mother and her best friend Debbie BOTH a very happy birthday!!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY MOMMA & DEBBIE!! 

That’s all for now, folks!!

Have a very Merry Christmas!!!

XX/OO