Sunday, December 19, 2010

Merry Christmas 2010!



Since I am in my 37th week of pregnancy, my doctor didn’t want me traveling the 4 hours to Houston or Austin to celebrate Christmas with either of our families this year, so they are coming to us!  I have a belly picture to post and update, but I’m not sure when I’ll get around to that so I thought I’d share our Christmas card and wish all of you a Merry Christmas!  Enjoy this time celebrating the birth of our Savior! 

Pin It!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Christmas Baking

A couple days ago, I posted on facebook that I had done some Christmas cookie baking.  I had a request to share the recipes, so I thought I’d post the links to them on the blog so that I could easily get back to reference the recipes in the future.  I wish I could say I used old hand-me-down recipes with fabulous secret ingredients in them, but I didn’t.  I did, however, reference one of my favorite baking blogs – The Brown Eyed Baker

So, with that said, I gathered the ingredients and proceeded to make Buckeye Balls, Peanut Butter Blossoms, Snickerdoodles, Sand Tarts, and I have the dough in the freezer to make cut-out cookies later this week.  Never in a million years would I have had the energy/motivation to do all of that on my own, so I invited some girlfriends over to help bake.  It was such a fun afternoon (although exhausting at 9 months pregnant – I literally napped my way through the next day), that I hope we can make it a tradition every year! 

Without further adieu… click the title or the picture to be taken to the Brown Eyed Baker’s blog for the recipe.

Buckeye Balls


Yield: 6-7 dozen

1 ½ cups peanut butter
6 cups powdered sugar
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
4 cups semisweet chocolate chips
¼ cup shortening

1. Line cookie sheet with wax paper. Mix together butter, peanut butter, sugar, and vanilla with a wooden spoon in a large bowl.

2. Roll dough into 1-inch balls. Set them on prepared cookie sheet and insert toothpick into each ball. Chill in freezer until hard, approximately 30 minutes.

3. Melt chocolate chips and shortening over medium-high heat. Remove the pan from heat. Dip balls in chocolate and place back on cookie sheet. Refrigerate until chocolate is set, approximately 2 hours.

Store in airtight container in refrigerator.




Yield: About 4 dozen

2¾ cups flour
2 teaspoons cream of tartar
1 teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1½ cups sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon cinnamon

1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper or a baking mat and put in refrigerator to chill.

2. Whisk together the flour, cream of tartar, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl. Set aside.

3. Cream together the butter and sugar until pale and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in the vanilla.

4. Gradually stir in the flour mixture, beating on low speed just until the flour is blended.

5. Chill the dough for at least 30 minutes.

6. In the meantime, mix together the sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl.

7. Scoop 1-inch balls of dough and roll in the cinnamon and sugar mixture to coat.

8. Place on chilled cookie sheet about 2 inches apart and bake for 10 minutes.

9. Chill the dough and cookie sheets between batches.

10. Let cookies set on baking sheet for 2-3 minutes and then remove to a cooling rack. Store cookies in an airtight container.


Peanut Butter Blossoms


Yield: About 4 dozen

48 Hershey’s kisses, unwrapped
½ cup shortening
¾ cup peanut butter
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
1 egg
2 tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 ½ cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 375. Remove wrappers from chocolates.

Beat shortening and peanut butter in a large bowl until well blended. Add 1/3 cup sugar and brown sugar; beat until fluffy. Add egg, milk and vanilla; beat well. Stir together flour, baking soda and salt; gradually beat into peanut butter mixture.

Shape dough into 1-inch balls (I used my small cookie scoop from Pampered Chef and got exactly 48 cookies). Roll in sugar; place on ungreased cookie sheet.

Bake 8-10 minutes or until lightly browned. Immediately press a chocolate kiss into the center of each cookie; cookie will crack around edges. Remove from cookie sheet to wire rack. Cool completely.


Cut-Out Sugar Cookies (I’ll post some of my own after I get these baked & decorated!)


Yield: About 24 cookies

Prep Time: 15 minutes | Bake Time: 15-18 minutes

2 cups (10 ounces) all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
16 tablespoons (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened but still cool
1 cup (7 ounces) granulated sugar, plus ½ cup for rolling dough
1 tablespoon light brown sugar
1 large egg
1½ teaspoons vanilla extract

1. Adjust the oven racks to the upper- and lower-middle positions and heat the oven to 375 degrees F. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper or spray them with nonstick cooking spray. Whisk the flour, baking powder, and salt together in a medium bowl; set aside.

2. Cream the butter, the 1 cup granulated sugar, and the brown sugar at medium speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula as needed. Add the egg and vanilla; beat at medium speed until combined, about 30 seconds. Add the dry ingredients and beat at low speed until just combined, about 30 seconds, scraping down the bowl as needed.

3. Place the ½ cup sugar for rolling in a shallow bowl. Fill a medium bowl halfway with cold tap water. Dip your hands in the water and shake off any excess (this will prevent the dough from sticking to your hands and ensure that the sugar sticks to the dough). Roll a heaping tablespoon of dough into a 1½-inch ball between moistened palms, roll the ball in the sugar, and then place it on the prepared baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining dough, moistening your hands as necessary and spacing the balls about 2 inches apart (you should be able to fit 12 cookies on each sheet). Butter the bottom of a drinking glass and then dip the bottom of the glass in the remaining sugar. Flatten the dough balls with the bottom of the glass until they are about ¾ inch thick, dipping the glass in sugar as necessary to prevent sticking (after every 2 or 3 cookies).

4. Bake until the cookies are golden brown around the edges and their center are just set and very lightly colored, 15 to 18 minutes, rotating the baking sheets front to back and top to bottom halfway through the baking time. Cool the cookies on the baking sheets about 3 minutes; using a wide metal spatula, transfer the cookies to a wire rack and cool to room temperature. Store in an airtight container at room temperature.

Here are the Brown Eyed Baker’s tips for adapting that recipe for cut-outs:

How to Adapt for Cut-Out Cookies:
  • Prepare the dough as directed through Step #2 in the directions.
  • Shape the dough into a disk and wrap tightly with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour. (You can refrigerate up to 2 days, or freeze it and take it out and put in the refrigerator about 12 hours before you plan to bake.)
  • Remove dough from refrigerator and let sit at room temperature for 10-15 minutes.
  • Flour the counter, the dough and a rolling pin and roll the dough out to ¼-inch thickness. Dip a cookie cutter in flour and cut out your cookies, placing them on a parchment-lined baking sheet.
  • Refrigerate the baking sheet for at least 15 minutes before baking. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
  • Bake for 8-9 minutes until edges are just ready to turn the slightest bit light brown (you really don’t want much coloring at all on these cookies), rotating the pan 180 degrees halfway through baking.
  • Cool on a wire rack and store in an airtight container.

And I’ll have to get back to you on the Sand Tart recipe – that recipe came from one of my girlfriends and I don’t have it here.  Growing up we always made corn-flake wreaths too, but my mom is making those to bring up to our house this year so I didn’t tackle those. 


I would love to hear from anyone (if there’s anyone still reading this with my lack of blogging lately) else who has favorite Christmas cookie recipes!  Feel free to comment & share!  Smile

Pin It!

Friday, December 3, 2010

34 Weeks and a Day

First up – a little bit about what’s going on with Hadley in there…


Baby's now the size of a honeydew!
From now on, baby's growth is mostly in the plumping up department – though she won't get much longer, she'll put on a pound or more of baby fat before birth. Your baby doesn't have much room to maneuver now that she's over 18 inches long and tips the scales at 5 1/4 pounds (pick up a honeydew melon). Because it's so snug in your womb, she isn't likely to be doing somersaults anymore, but the number of times she kicks should remain about the same. Her kidneys are fully developed now, and her liver can process some waste products. Most of her basic physical development is now complete — she'll spend the next few weeks putting on weight. (taken from the and

How Far Along: 34 weeks and a day (well technically today is +2 days, but the picture is from yesterday)

Total Weight Gain: somewhere between 25-30 pounds (it’s been fluctuating a bunch lately, and I keep forgetting to ask the doctor at my appointments)  Also – I can’t believe I’m posting that for all the world to see – but I do want to be able to look back on this and remember where I was at each point in the pregnancy…

Maternity Clothes: Starting to get a little tired of wearing the same thing every single day.

Best Moment this week: Getting a prenatal massage.  Definitely a must-do for this point in the pregnancy!  It was so relaxing.

Gender: Still a girl for all we know!  - Hadley Ann :)

Movement:  I can feel her all the time now – in addition to the jerky little kicks, I can feel her rolling around and squirming in there.  She also gets the hiccups a couple times a day (and night).  They’re cute at first, but when they’re waking you up at 3am they lose a little cute-ness.

Food Craving: Food in general!  Hadley must be going through a growth spurt this week because I am hungry ALL. THE. TIME.

Sleep: Still not too much trouble here – I wake up once or twice a night still, sometimes because of Hadley kicking, sometimes to go to the bathroom – but I typically don’t have too much trouble getting back to sleep.

What I am looking forward to: Getting the nursery done!  We’re hoping to get the last few things this weekend and finally put some stuff up on the walls in there!

Belly Button: Still in, but hanging on by a thread – and if I laugh or cough it pops out (TMI – sorry!)

Symptoms: Still feeling pretty good – no big complaints here :) Although walking and getting up from a sitting position are getting harder and harder.  I always thought the “pregnancy waddle” was because people just got so big that they walked like they were overweight.  I’m realizing it has more to do with pain than anything else, though!  It’s amazing what kind of aches and pains a little 5 pound baby can inflict on you!

And here’s the latest belly picture…

34 weeks and a day copy

Pin It!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Catching up from November…

I mentioned in my last post about Christmas cards (which are on their way – yay!) that we had a really busy November.  This time of year is always so busy between the holidays, our anniversary and of course, football season, but with a baby on the way, that just added to the hustle and bustle!   I already blogged about our anniversary, but since then, we’ve had 2 baby showers, 2 doctor’s appointments, family in town, and a holiday out of town!

First up – the first baby shower, which was thrown my my sister Katie, sister-in-law Kelly, and friend Amy.   The baby shower was on the 13th of November and I am finally getting around to sharing pictures! 

My sister made the invitations and almost all of the decorations at the shower – she’s so creative! Baby Shower & Pictures 012 copy

Baby Shower & Pictures 003 copy

My sister-in-law made this adorable “bootie bouquet” behind the “cute as a button” chocolates.  When I brought them home, Matt seriously thought they were real flowers!  Baby Shower & Pictures 014 copy

Part of the spread – homemade from scratch cinnamon & caramel rolls courtesy of my dad!  Baby Shower & Pictures 015 copyBaby Shower & Pictures 016 copyBaby Shower & Pictures 022 copyBaby Shower & Pictures 044 copy

Melissa gets the prize for being the most off on the “guess-the-size” game; my grandma was almost right on (although it does look like she’s a little bit high as she’s going around the bump) Winking smile

Baby Shower & Pictures 058 copyBaby Shower & Pictures 063 copy

My sweet friend Liz MADE this quilt for Hadley!  So precious!

Baby Shower & Pictures 073 copy

Some of the guests…

Baby Shower & Pictures 077 copyBaby Shower & Pictures 124 copyBaby Shower & Pictures 105 copyBaby Shower & Pictures 118 copy

Baby James was all tuckered out after all the attention from the ladies

Baby Shower & Pictures 090 copy

Family shot – my mother-in-law came up from Houston, my mom came up from Austin and my grandma came down from Minneapolis!

Baby Shower & Pictures 112 copyBaby Shower & Pictures 115 copyBaby Shower & Pictures 133 copy

Matt and I feel so blessed to have family and friends who care for us and are so excited to celebrate with us during this time!   In addition to this shower, Matt’s office threw us a baby shower the following week!  Unfortunately, I didn’t get any pictures there, but we had a great time and were so blessed by the people in his office as well! 

Pin It!
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...