Sunday, December 21, 2014

5th Annual 3Bs Baking Day!

Jeffrey and I are finally on our way home to Texas for the holidays! I say finally because it has been such a busy few weeks and I am so happy to have 2 weeks off. I started out last week with one of my favorite days of the year, 3Bs baking day! My beautiful girlfriends and I get together to make goodie boxes for our friends and family for Christmas. Usually I write a couple of blogs out of the treats made on this day, but alas, my CF card from my camera was destroyed when I bought a new converter and they are all gone! Lucky between Emily and I we took a few photos on our iPhone's to show some of our hard work. 
Last year Meg was pregnant with Liam, this year he joined in on the fun. We toasted our hard work with a Christmas cocktail!

Christmas Cocktail:
1 part Cupcake or Vanilla Flavored Vodka
1/2 part pineapple juice
1/2 part sparkling cranberry juice

We made some of our traditional favorites, my Toffee Cracker Cookies and Peppermint White Chocolate Popcorn. Also a delicious Simple Fudge I blogged about a long time ago. Our new recipes this year were our Cinnamon Sugar Mixed Nuts and Chocolate dipped Fortune Cookies.

All boxed up and ready to deliver!

Cinnamon Sugar Mixed Nuts
2 egg whites
2 Tbsp water
1 cup sugar
1 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
4 cups nuts: we used pecans, almonds and walnuts
Preheat oven to 225. Whisk egg whites and water until foamy. Add nuts and stir to coat. In a separate bowl mix sugar, salt and cinnamon, then toss in with the nuts, coating completely. Spread onto 1-2 baking pans (I used 2). Cook for 1 hour, tossing every 15 minutes. They will become crispy on the outside and delicious!

Chocolate Dipped Fortune Cookies
1 pound of chocolate (your favorite kind)
fortune cookies (I found them at Walmart)
We used dark chocolate for 1/2 of them and White chocolate for the other half. Heat about 1 cup chocolate in a bowl for 30 second intervals, stirring between, until smooth. Working with a small amount of chocolate at a time works best, then refill and repeat when you run out. Work quickly, dipping the bottom end of the fortune cookie into chocolate and then sprinkle with Christmas themed sprinkles (do not dip or else it will be too concentrated amount of sprinkles in one space). Place on wax or parchment paper to cool.

Here are our annual pics by the Christmas Tree! Of course Em's hair is always the star of the picture and Meg and I are usually being goofy!

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup

I am so ready for Christmas vacation! 2 more weeks of crazy until we leave town. I really need some time away from work and life to focus on family and fun! Here are some flash back photos to Christmas past to get me excited for this one!
Baking Day, it's coming next week! Yay! What will we cook this year?
 Fun at the Elfert Family Christmas!
 Christmas Jammies...what will they look like this year??
 My girls! This year Molly is out to play!!
 Yearly dinner we make for the family! What will we cook this year?

It's cold and flu season! So many people are getting sick. This soup will make you feel so much better, even if you are just suffering from the winter blues.

Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup
Whole chicken pieces: Breast and 2 legs
1/4 cup flour
salt and pepper
1/4 cup olive oil, divided
1/2 parsnip, diced
1/2 onion, diced
2 stalks celery, diced
2 carrots, diced
8 cups chicken broth
1/2 tsp tumeric
1 bay leaf
1/2 tsp dried or fresh thyme
1-2 springs of fresh rosemary
1 package frozen egg noodles- thaw and separate before adding them in
3 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley

 Add flour, salt and pepper to a gallon bag. Toss chicken in flour to coat.
 In your dutch oven, heat 2 Tbsp olive oil on medium high. Add floured chicken pieces. 
 Cook for a few minutes on each side until skin is browned.
Remove chicken and set aside.
Add 2 more Tbsp of olive to pan and the diced vegetables.
Cook until tender, scraping the brown bits off the bottom of the pot.

Add 6 Cups of chicken broth to the pot along with rosemary, thyme, bay leaf, and a sprinkle of pepper. Bring to a boil.
 Add chicken pieces to the pot and cook for about 30 minutes or until chicken is cooked through. Halfway through cooking the chicken in the soup, add egg noodles to the pot. 
 Remove chicken once it is cooked and pull it apart.
 Add chicken back to the soup and add 2 more cups of broth because soup will become very thick as the noodles cook. Add fresh parsley and finish cooking for about 5-10 more minutes.


Sunday, December 7, 2014

Goat Cheese Stuffed Roasted Tomatoes

It has been over a week now but I would love to share our fun Thanksgiving week with our parents!
We picked them up from the airport and headed to a lovely lunch at the famous "The Ivy" in Beverly Hills. We didn't have a celebrity siting, but we felt like celebrities as we dined in this adorable place.

 Then we went over to the Hollywood Costume exhibit, where all the famous movie costumes are on display. It was really neat! The exhibit is up until March, I encourage you to visit it.
 Outside the LACMA at the lighting exhibit! Hmmm not sure what this face I am making was, but it was our best photo, ha!
 Our cutey potutey parents!
On Thanksgiving day, Mommasita and Jeffrey!
 Our delicious Thanksgiving spread! Third times a charm, we had a much easier time preparing our dinner this year. It was a hit!!
 Ended Thanksgiving night with a game of cornhole in the front yard.
The next day we got into the Christmas Spirit and decorated our house!

Goat Cheese Stuffed Roasted Tomatoes
Plum tomatoes on the vine
4 oz goat cheese
1/4 tsp dried oregano
2 Tbsp olive oil
sprinkle of salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 375
Place tomatoes on a baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and salt and pepper. Roast for 15 minutes or until they begin to wilt and split open.
Place goat cheese in a bowl and heat in microwave for 30 second. Stir in salt, pepper and oregano.

Place in a ziploc baggie squeezing all the cheese to one corner.
Remove the tomatoes from the oven. Use a spoon to scoop out the seeds from the tomatoes.
You may find it is easier to gently squeeze them out.
Cut a hole in the corner of the ziploc bag of cheese and squeeze the cheese into the middle of each tomato.

Serve as a side dish or as an appetizer for your next party!