Friday, December 31, 2010

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Merry Christmas to me.

thanks, asshole. merry christmas to you too.

i've been MIA the past two days because some jerk decided to bash my got fixed today. i'm poor now.


Monday, December 27, 2010

Recipe: Blue Cheese Mashed Potatoes


Blue Cheese Mashed Potatoes
 (adapted from *baked bree)


4 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and quartered
1 (8-ounce) package fat free cream cheese
1 cup reduced fat blue cheese
3 Tablespoons honey
salt and pepper
1 tablespoons chopped fresh chives 


Preheat the oven to 350.
Boil the potatoes in a large pot of water.  Cook the potatoes until a knife comes out easily.  Drain the potatoes and put in a large bowl. Mash the potatoes.  Add the cream cheese.  Mash that together.  Add the chives (i used way more than a tablespoon...i used an entire little container between mixing and leaving some for on top).  I save some for garnish.  Add the blue cheese.  Add the honey.  Season well with salt and pepper.  The blue cheese is salty, so season slowly and taste as you go.  You may also need to add a little more honey to balance the flavors.

You can eat them now, but I added an entire extra cup of blue cheese to the top and put these in the oven until the cheese had a brown look to it. When it wasn't browning quick enough, I put it on broil for about 5 mins. Garnish with the remaining chopped chives.

EVERY SINGLE PERSON had seconds!! Not just small amounts either...big portions!! They were so delicious and I felt special for having one of the better contributions for our dinner party :) If you like blue cheese....I highly suggest you try these! You can't go wrong with a simple recipe, especially if you find the ingredients on sale!

delicious...i want more right now....
*also, you can use full fat products, but trust me, you could NOT tell the difference at all and they were as decadent as the "real" thing would be!

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Merry Christmas from my family to yours!

after realizing our lives hadn't changed much from last family sent out the following this year....

George is still working at his virtual job and receiving a “virtual paycheck.” He doesn’t mind not being the breadwinner because working from home gives him the freedom of traveling to his favorite destination, Fire Island. In his free time, George enjoys watching Desperate Housewives, Say Yes to the Dress, Oprah, and basically anything that requires using the word “fabulous.” His goals are to own the Lifetime network and to become the first male on the DC Rollergirls roller racing team.

Carol is still working full time at the Department of Energy and enjoying every minute of it.  Her hobbies include snowboarding, speed skating, competitive diving, modeling, baking cupcakes and making all her own clothes.  In her free time she volunteers as a greeter at Walmart—so if you see her there, give her a big hello!

Madeleine is still living in an Arlington trailer park and working at BAE Systems, but now works in the mailroom.  This is something she has been working for since joining BAE.  She is working in Rosslyn which is much closer to her trailer – just 3 miles! She and her pup Sienna love to come to a real home on the weekends and terrorize Ellie!  One of Sienna’s main hobbies is enjoying time with the kids, and taking home their arms and legs for souvenirs. This year Madeleine has added a porch with a bug zapper to her place. 

Claire graduated from Virginia Tech and has since been living off the land and spending time “finding herself”.  We as parents encourage her to be a free spirit and to explore the world before her.  She backpacked through Africa to see the World cup this past summer.  There she learned to create natural herb potions that will bring her luck throughout her travels.  She will continue her quest to find the meaning of life. We love supporting her financially while she explores all life has to offer.

...this went to everyone we know and love....i think its safe to say that we are bunch of nutjobs..... 

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Sequins for Christmas!

i want my mantle to look like this when i grow up!

it's almost christmas!! are you finished with your shopping yet?!?!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Recipe: Carrot & Parsnip Soup

Carrot & Parsnip soup was the highlight of this meal by FAR. It was the most simple thing to make, and so delicious!! The spice really gave it a depth that I didn't expect from carrots or parsnips. Overall, a really good winter soup!
(adapted from *Crepes of Wrath)
Clearly, I had to make it non-vegan....but either way it's easy to adapt back to vegan if that floats your boat.

4 carrots, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch rounds
2 parsnips, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch rounds
3 shallots, quartered
2-3 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon black ground pepper
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon coriander
1 teaspoon ginger
5-6 cups chicken stock
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Place the diced carrots, parsnips, and shallots on a line baking sheet in as even a layer as possible. Drizzle with the olive oil. Combine the salt, pepper, nutmeg, and ginger and sprinkle over everything. Roast for 30-45 minutes, until the vegetables are tender.
2. Place the roasted vegetables in a food processor or blender (or use an immersion blender) and add in 3 cups of stock. Puree the vegetables, then add in another cup of broth, continuing to puree and add stock until the soup has reached your desired consistency (I used 6 cups of stock). Pour into a pot and heat through, adjusting seasonings as needed. Serves 4. Can be made up two 3 days ahead of time and stored in a sealable container in the fridge.

I served mine with a walleyed filet in a garlic butter sauce.


Gingerbread Cupcakes !

I found this recipe from, and like usual, it did not disappoint! it has all the great taste of a gingersnap cookie with the fluffiness of a cupcake! ......and the butter glaze...ohhhh man. amazing. it had the consistency/taste of krispy kreme glaze...defining using this glaze again very soon! Enjoy!!

i apologize for the heinous picture/lighting!! i made about a million batches of sweets that night and was in no mood to take pretty time :)
Gingerbread Cupcakes


Makes 10
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2/3 cup packed dark-brown sugar
  • 1 cup unsulphered molasses
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature, lightly beaten 
  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Line 10 jumbo muffin tins with paper baking cups, and set aside. In a small saucepan, bring 1 cup water to a boil. In a bowl, combine boiling water and baking soda; set aside. In a large bowl, sift together flour, ground spices, salt, and baking powder; set aside.
  2. In an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter until light. Beat in the brown sugar until fluffy, 1 to 2 minutes. Beat in the molasses, baking-soda mixture, and flour mixture. Beat in the eggs.
  3. Fill the cupcake papers three-quarters full, making sure that the batter is divided evenly. Bake cupcakes until a toothpick inserted in the center of them comes out clean, about 30 minutes. Let cupcakes cool a few minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely before decorating.
Read more at Gingerbread Cupcakes - Martha Stewart Recipes


Makes 1 1/2 cups, or enough for 10 large cupcakes
  • 2 1/2 cups sifted confectioners' sugar
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons milk


  1. Place 1 1/4 cups confectioners' sugar in a medium bowl. In a small saucepan, melt 4 tablespoons butter over medium heat. Remove the pan from heat; immediately pour the melted butter into the bowl with the sugar. Add 4 teaspoons milk; whisk until mixture is smooth. Working quickly, dip the top of each cupcake into the glaze, and place cupcake right-side up on a wire rack.
  2. Repeat step 1; glaze remaining cupcakes. Allow glaze to set, about 20 minutes, before decorating.
Yummy Butter Glaze up close! with gold sugar sprinkles of course :)

Read more at Butter Glaze - Martha Stewart Recipes

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Christmas Collage 2010

click the picture to make it bigger and then right-click and set it as your desktop background for the holidays!

{photos courtesy of}

White Chocolate Peppermint Marshmallow Fudge - yes please!!

a wintertime treat for the snowy, cold days
White Chocolate Peppermint Marshmallow Fudge
(recipe from Crepes of Wrath)

2 1/2 cups granulated sugar
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 5 oz. can (2/3 cup) evaporated milk
1 Jar (7 1/2oz) Marshmallow Fluff
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon peppermint extract
1 12 oz. package white chocolate chips (the higher the quality, the easier it is for them to melt)
11 candy canes, crushed (I crushed mine as small as possible, to avoid chipping any teeth)

1. Combine the sugar, salt, butter, evaporated milk, and Fluff in a medium pot and melt together over medium-high heat. When melted, bring to a boil and stir while it boils, so it doesn’t burn, for a full 5 minutes. Remove from heat and add in the vanilla extract, peppermint extract, and white chocolate chips. Return the pot to low heat (the lowest your burner will go) and stir until the white chocolate has melted (white chocolate does not melt as easily as milk or dark chocolate, so you may need to stir a bit more vigorously than you’re used to).
melty melty

add the peppermint!
2. When the white chocolate is melted, stir in half of your crushed candy canes, then add in as much as you want, reserving a bit to sprinkle on the very top. Pour into an 8×8 or 9×9 pan (I used an 8×8, but I would have preferred a 9×9). Set aside to cool, and cut the fudge when it is room temperature. Makes 24-28 pieces of fudge.
finished product - ta-da!!! :)

i highly recommend this SUPER EASY fudge recipe!! Enjoy!

it'd be super cute to package up in cubes and put it in a clear bag with a festive ribbon, love it!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

California: Santa Monica pt 2 - w/ special guests!

DANA AND TREVOR CAME TO SAY HELLOOOO!! and they brought lina and dewey!!

it was so amazing to see them! Thank you guys again for making the 2.5 hr trek with the pups!!!!!

i love my dana :)

Meet Dewey - the precious pup!!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Dear Santa,

....I've been good this year

California: Santa Monica

Spent the day with Michelle and Christy walking around the Santa Monica Pier and 3rd St Promenade! it was so cute!!

such tourists!

bigger view of the santa monica pier
Hi, from the beach!

Monday, December 13, 2010

California: San Francisco!

gorgeous, *REAL* christmas tree at the wharf! it was huuuuugee and smelled so good!

California: San Francisco!

 a little bit of sightseeing, and quite a few pretty pictures!

i own all of these bad boys....

oh hello, taffy land. nom nom nom!

A pretty, yet foggy, view of the Golden Gate Bridge

Greetings from Alcatraz! The zoom on my camera is incredible!

i'm baaaaack!

it's been a long 10 days in sunny california....coming back to a dreary winter in DC is going to be a difficult transition!

i'll be sharing my trip with you this week! it was amazing :)

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Napa Valley - FINALLY's been 4 years since i turned 21 and that means i'm four years too late on getting to napa valley.

if you haven't been - go. if you dont like wine - go. basically, if you have a heart beat - GO! it's amazing...especially now since the weather is mild and people aren't swarming the vineyards! it was so beautiful, and so fun, and SO friendly, and surprisingly, so inexpensive! $10 a tasting isn't bad when the winery is empty and all the employees want is someone to chat with - they just keeeeep on pouring whether its on the list or not. HEYO cab sauv that scored 94 pts!
 black stallion winery! beautiful tablescape!
 me and donnell at black stallion!
 silverado winery!
 me and donnell outside of silverado
 SOLO - silverado reserve!

holiday greetings from us to you!
one of my best girlfriends from college lives in fairfield cali and napa is basically in her backyard! how convenient! lindsay and her bf brent took me to three wineries - and all three were great! we went to Black Stallion, Silverado, and Rombauer! they are located on the Silverado trail and all worth going to check out!  we had the best weekend together and it really makes me miss them not being in the area anymore.

 my awesome hosts - lindsay and brent
Rombauer Winery - great chardonnay!

i got in late friday night, we hung out and caught up on life - it had been wayyy too long since we chatted, so (clearly) i filled her in on the new gossip, and her the same. saturday we got up and made a delicious breakfast and started our day right with bowl-sized glasses - i dont hate it!! then we headed out to the three wineries and got back in time to watch the hokies murder fsu in the ACC Championship! go hokies!  on sunday, they took me to a mexican restaurant in vacaville and then we headed into san fran (40ish mins away). we drove over the golden gate which was not nearly as exciting as i imagined it in my head. it was raining and cold - blegh! we drove down the curly twisty turny part of lombard st and it was AWESOME. the hills in san fran are no joke - i saw a woman holding onto the wall of a building as she carefully shuffled her way down a sidewalk...thank god for the flatness of DC. we hit up ghirardelli square and a little bar near there and then (sadly) that was the end of our weekend together. bah....please move back to DC, donnell!! i miss you too much already!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Greetings from San Fransisco!

 Lombard St. - twisty turnyyyyyyy!!
 Ghirardelli Square - ritzy and beautiful and RAINY!
The original Ghirardelli store! 

I'm in San Fransisco all week for Dreamforce '10 - leave a comment if you're here - this conference is going to be a great time! 

I'll blog more about my FABULOUS weekend in Napa Valley later!

Friday, December 3, 2010

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Sneak Preview...

...of my newest necklace creation...
..found these beautiful beads at a bead shop in Rehoboth Beach, DE..
{can't wait to wear the final product}


{meet my new *sparkly* shoes}
i <3 them.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Bring out your Winter clothes!

oh my goodness - its December! time flies!

time to bring out the mittens, scarves and earmuffs....sigh.