Friday, December 19, 2014

Friday Favorites Features **Party Returns Friday, January 9th**

No party today, just my features from last week's shindig.


I love how Joan@Scavenger Chic repurposed a family heirloom--her grandma's sled!
Winnie@Something Sweet shows us how to make Rich Challah Bread with Whole Wheat Flour. This looks amazing!
Amy@Her Tool Belt built this Rustic Christmas Tree by herself. Maybe I'll try this next year. Pinning!

**We'll return on January 9th with a giveaway opportunity to kick things off in the new year**
 I hope you have a wonderful, magical holiday, thanks for linking up and visiting!!
I have a few posts scheduled for next week and then I'll be taking time off to enjoy my holiday.




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Thursday, December 18, 2014

{Recipe} Christmas Morning Cranberry Cheese Bread

I've mentioned our annual cranberry bread making tradition but never shared the recipe on the blog.
Until now!
You can see that our recipe card is well worn and used. I got the recipe from a coworker and we've been making this bread for over 20 years but only at Christmas time.  We always have it as part of our breakfast on Christmas morning.  We also give it out friends and family so we usually make a lot.  If the idea of cheese in a cranberry bread sounds weird to you, just give it a chance. It doesn't taste cheesy at all, it adds a richness to the bread but you can leave it out if you like.
Ingredients:
(This will make one really big(9x5x3) loaf filled almost to the top or you can use foil loaf pans, filling them half way) It rises!
***
2 cups all purpose flour
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp freshly grated orange peel*(I use a box grater)
2 TBS shortening
Juice from one orange *(grate peel first)
1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese (about 6 ounces)
1 beaten egg
1 cup cranberries (halved or chopped up in food processor)
1/3 cup finely chopped walnuts
***
Preheat oven to 350F.
Grease loaf pan(s).
A food processor really speeds up the process. We use it to grate the cheese and to chop up the cranberries and the nuts(not washing in between because it's all going to get combined anyway). Grate the orange peel on a box grater before juicing the orange.
Measure flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt and peel into a bowl. Cut in shortening. Add water to juice to measure 3/4 cup (or use orange juice), mix in with cheese and egg. Stir in cranberries and nuts.
Spoon batter into pan(s).   We fill the pans about half full of batter because it rises quite a bit. Bake 60-70 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.  If you're baking smaller sized pans, it will cook much faster so keep an eye on it.  This year's batch was 3 times the recipe and we got one large pan and nine mini foil pans out of it.  We've done up to 6 times the recipe in the past.
I just noticed that the card says to remove bread from pan and let loaf stand for at least 8 hours. We never do that.   It's delicious right out of the oven.  It does get better the next day though.  We let the pans cool and wrap them in plastic wrap and foil if we're freezing them.
Serve lightly toasted with a little butter if you want to be decadent. To be really decadent, spread butter on both sides and fry it up.  Makes a great breakfast, dessert or snack.
What's your Christmas morning traditional breakfast?
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Wednesday, December 17, 2014

{Get Crafty} Paris Postcards Garland

This has to be one of my easiest holiday projects.
I received a tin of Paris postcards last Christmas from Miss High School (formerly Miss Middle School)and found them when I opened up our decorations this year.  I think they're too pretty to use (at least for now) and how fitting are they for this year?
I wanted to display them but still be able to use them if I wanted to later (so no holes or glue please).
I already had the mini clothespins and I bought a roll of festive ribbon to hang them on.
I've scaled back my decorations this year so this was a quick and easy fix for the dining room mirror.
The whole project is reusable! Can you think of any other way I could use the postcards for decorations in future years?

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Monday, December 15, 2014

{Travel} Weekend Update in NYC Part 2

I'm picking up where we left off last week, catch up here.
It's always nice waking up in NYC.
Free breakfast at the hotel is also nice.
Those potatoes were out of this world!


We strolled down to Bryant Park which looked like a winter wonderland.
Getting arty in black and white. 
Spies or celebs?
There was an ice skating rink set up in middle of the park.
Skating rink selfie!
The park was also hosting a Winter Market with lots of vendors (this one had tons of tote bags with funny sayings).
We did a little shopping and continued our walk to MOMA.
Have you ever seen these spray paint artists? They are mind blowing. Google them!
A quick look at St. Patrick's Cathedral (open during renovations) along the way.
These two hadn't been to the MOMA yet (see my last visit here).
It was my second time and I still don't think I saw everything.

We had lunch at Cafe 2 in the MOMA, always delicious!
There was a new Matisse exhibit that we got to see after lunch, but no photos were allowed.
We ended our day in the overwhelming and amazing MOMA store and this pretty much sums up how I(and my feet) felt. Then it was back to the hotel and onto the train home.
A fast trip but a good one! Until next time NYC....
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