Monday, December 28, 2015

In December drinking Horchata

In December we always find ourselves singing the Vampire Weekend song that first inspired me to become familiar with Horchata. My first Horchata recipe was a variation of an almond rice milk, but this year I found another similar recipe to try and I am always for trying new things, especially when it comes to cooking in the kitchen, so I gave it a go and voila!

Better yet, this recipe just uses rice milk, which makes it 1) super easy, 2) nut-free friendly for those with sensitivities, and 3) less costly as almonds can sometimes come at a premium.

3 cups of water
2 cups of white rice
1 cinnamon stick
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
4 cups of milk
1 1/4 cups of granulated sugar

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Land's End Wine Tote

Wine and Tote

Land's End now carries single totes and tartan canvas. Check out the new collection!

Courtesy of Land's End

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Grandma's Rocky Road

Grandma Slone was notorious for her Rocky Road. For as long as I can remember, every year at Christmas time we were always provided with a fresh batch to take home and enjoy. And boy did we! It was always such a delicious, special treat.

Now that Grandma has passed on that legacy, I realize that not only is it a special treat for the recipient, but it's also a special treat for the giver since it is so easy! You start with only 3 ingredients to make a smooth, delicate fudge and then add whatever you please (or whatever may be in your pantry). Grandma always added marshmallows, I know that for sure...

3 cups semisweet chocolate chips
1 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk
1/4 cup of butter
1 cup chopped nuts (pecans, walnuts, peanuts, your choice!)
1 cup chopped pretzels
1 cup mini marshmallows

Place the chocolate chips, milk, and butter in a large microwavable bowl. Cook for 3-5 minutes until melted, stopping to stir every minute.

Fold in the nuts, pretzels, and marshmallows until well blended.

Pour the mixture into a greased glass baking dish and refrigerate until firmly solid. Let come to room temperature before slicing into squares.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Meyer's Iowa Pine Hand Soap

Even though the living room is overtaken by the scent of pine, I still can't get enough. So every sink is now accompanied by this seasonal favorite.

* Image courtesy of Mrs. Meyer's *

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Shortbread Cookie Recipe

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas... and that means Christmas cookies all over the house! One of my favorites that I like to kick start the season with is the Shortbread Cookie recipe. It's so simple and fool-proof and the ingredients are almost always already on hand.

3 ingredients and 5 steps!

Hands down the easiest cookie recipe out there and always seems to yield in very satisfying results:

Cookie Batter:
2 sticks of butter, softened
2 cups of flour
1/2 cup of powdered sugar

1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees.

2. In a large mixing bowl, blend together the butter, flour and sugar until it forms a dough.

3. On a floured surface, using a floured rolling pin, roll out the dough to your desired thickness.

4. Using cookie cutters (if you don't have cookie cutters, you can just use the top of a glass and make circle cookies!), form the cookies and place on a parchment paper lined baking tray.

5. Bake in the oven for about 10 minutes, until the dough has settled, but before the cookies brown.

Let cool before frosting.

1 cup of powdered sugar
Drop of water

Start with the sugar, add a tiny amount of water (you don't need much) and stir. Continue to add water to the desired consistency. Use food coloring and/or sprinkles as desired.

Thursday, December 10, 2015

The Season of Red and Green

'Tis the season to be jolly, and what says jolly more than poinsettia plants around the house.

Coming in different colors and sizes, this year the classic mini is my favorite:

Saturday, December 5, 2015

Trees along 360

It's begun! 

At this time of year the beautiful pines alongside highway 360, a.k.a. Capital of Texas Highway, are morphed into decorated Christmas bliss. 

While not technically legal, and not for those faint of heart considering you decorate alongside a two-lane highway of cars, it has become a family tradition for many, year after year.

Again, 360 is well-known for its traffic, so sometimes you have to sneak a peek in between cars...