Monday, December 13, 2010

Cookie Exchange Time

I have been wanting to participate in a cookie exchange for the last few years. I never really knew how it worked until a coworker of mine told me about a party she was invited to. Apparently you are supposed to bake one dozen cookies for each participant, plus a dozen to share at the party. Then you go home with dozen of every body's cookies. You can then package these up as gifts for the holidays. Since then, i knew i would either have to find someone throwing one and crash the party or throw one myself. When i mentioned to some of the people i work with that i was interested in throwing a cookie exchange, they said they were in. So the party was planned.

A couple of years ago i would have bake sales on Fridays at my office. The proceeds helped me fund my need to craft and decorate that didn't always fit in my budget. One of the most popular sellers was a Chocolate Caramel Cookie. I would like to say that I made the whole thing up but I didn't. Like most of the best recipes i have made, the cookies came from allrecipes. I was looking for an all chocolate cookie when i came across this cookie.

MMMM.....was all i said. So I made them.

Chocolate Caramel Cookies
makes 52 cookies

1c white sugar
1 c packed brown sugar
1 c butter (softened)
2 t vanilla extract
2 eggs
2 1/2 c all purpose flour
3/4 c unsweetened cocoa powder
1 t baking soda
1/2 c pecans
48 chocolate covered caramel candies (rolos)

decorate (optional)
powdered sugar


In a large bowl, combine one cup sugar, brown sugar and butter. Beat until light. Add vanilla and eggs. Blend well. 

In another bowl, combine flour, cocoa and baking soda, mix well. Add to the sugar mixture and blend well. Stir in 1/2 cup pecans.

Refrigerate 30 min. This is important, it helps to make the dough more manageable.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F

Shape 1 T of dough around one caramel candy, covering completely.

I use a cookie scoop, to me it is more consistent, and saves time if you are making a lot of cookies.

 Place on cookie sheet and bake 10 minutes. I know they are done when after taken out of the oven the surface of the cookie is a little cracked.

Let Cool.

You can sift some powdered sugar over the top for added holiday pizazz.

I hope you enjoy. Merry Christmas.

I am linking this recipe up to The Incredible Christmas Cookie Party . Link your recipe up or just stop by and check out the other delicious recipes.


Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Christmas Morning Table

When I set my table for breakfast Christmas morning, I think it should be colorful. Full of fun and playfulness.
I found the wicker chargers so many years ago i don't even remember where i bought them from.
The red snowflake plates i bought from QVC, the tall Santa mugs came from there as well (I think they are sold out)

I don't even remember buying these napkin rings but when i opened my buffet drawer there they were and they are perfect for my Christmas morning tablescape (must be Christmas elves)
I'm going to link up to Between Naps on the Porch tablescape Thursday after i give you one last look.

Psst, the red stemmed glasses used to have green and red holly painted on them. I learned the hard way that you shouldn't put hand painted stemware in the dishwasher. Thank goodness that the holly was etched into the glass so all was not lost.

Thanks for visiting.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Christmas table runners and tree skirt

Visit thecsiproject.com

It was summertime a little over a year ago when i found these table runners at an antique mall. Even though they weren't antiques i loved their look.

Since they didn't offer ones that i liked for the different seasons, I decided to try and make them myself. Here is my Halloween runner.
This is the one I made for the Fall.

 And then I made my Christmas runners.

I loved how the fabrics were so cheery that i decided to make a tree skirt out of the same fabrics.
I took an older tree skirt and used it to trace the pattern for the new skirt. Then i folded it to create the panels of fabric. I knew that i was going to paint little pictures and insert them onto the larger panels so i made one of the main panels double width.
I stretched some white cotton fabric in between a quilters ring and painted a few Christmas pictures.

These fabrics are so Christmas to me they have even found their way into my wrapping paper.
I know I can't help myself. I hope they still have the fabrics left, i think i want to make new stockings. :}

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Christmas Dining

Christmas is my favorite decorating time of year. I normally can't wait to take down the boxes from all of the places i have made in to storage areas like the back of my closet, the attic, and under my bed. If i wasn't hosting Thanksgiving this year i would have decorated the dining room a few weeks ago instead of last week. But now it's done and i love it.

Ignore the lighter i left on the buffet. I remember Martha (Stewart that is) said that your wicks should always look as if they have been burned. I would probably not normally have those candles burning.
Notice the runner? I made that. I will show that tomorrow so i can link up to Kate 's linky party.

The small tree next to the buffet is new in this room. I had it in the kitchen last year and I think that it will go back next year. After exploring another blog i found what i want in this room next year so i am going to search Craigslist and Goodwill for the perfect piece of furniture to made a tree stand for a this room.

I have a theme in this room and its tartan. I love it. I can't help it. It started with plates that my mother gave me. She and my father bought them at an after Christmas sale probably 20 years ago. She wasn't a fan but my dad really liked them. So when she was left with only 4 in the set I begged her to give them to me and she gladly handed them over.

I can remember when kilted skirts were popular. It must have been back when I was in middle school or high school and I would have worn the one I had all of the time, if it looked as good on me as i thought it did. But as those things go and fashions change i had to retire the skirt.

Since this nutcracker had a kilt on i thought he would be perfect in this room. In fact i think that my dining room tree next year is going to have nutcracker ornaments and tartan ribbon. (That was me dreaming) But for this year I am very pleased with how the room turned out.

Oops, I almost forgot the mistletoe. Smooch. :)

The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year !!! In the living room

As I mentioned in my previous blog. While i had Thanksgiving decor in my dining room. The living room was ready for Christmas.
I have been collecting for years alot of the things i have displayed. I retire things every year and replace them with new things i have discovered or made.
The iron plate display things i use all year round. I just change the plates with the seasons. I bought them at hobby lobby for half off about 5 years ago and still love them.

The reindeer, i love. The fact that the antlers keep breaking off and my glue gun just isn't going to do the trick much longer i don't love. I might just have to break down and buy something new for next year. :( We'll see.

I added the Santa on the Mantle this year.

Where some say country, i say he is just my style. I'll keep him.

One thing i have always wanted to have was a Christmas Village display. I have bought a few of them over the years but didn't know where or how to diplay them. This year i used a small table near the fireplace and i like how it turned out.

I just wish i had a bigger table. I would get more. Maybe next year. ;)