I Found It!!!

I feel like it’s way past time that I follow up on my last post. The most amazing thing happened the day after I posted this; I found the recipe that I thought was lost forever!!! I was just minding my own business, scrolling through Facebook when, WHAM, this lovely recipe pops up in link that a friend posted. I was shocked, then suppppper happy, then kinda pissed that I couldn’t find it when I was really looking for it, then ridiculously happy again. First thing I did – PIN IT, of course! Not lettin’ that sucker get away again! Second thing I did – make them, of course.

My lovely friend, Cassie, came over and we had a baking extravaganza. I made cut out cookies and the Peppermint-Dark Chocolate Slice and Bake Cookies that I thought were gone forever and Cassie made gluten free cut out cookies with dairy free icing. 

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We had so much fun watching Christmas movies, catching up, and making treats. I firmly believe that baking with friends is good for the soul. 

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The finished product! Ok, so the substitute cookies I made were good, but the real recipe was soooooo good!! There was just something about them…the cookies weren’t as crumbly and I just really liked the texture of these ones better. 

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I realized when I was halfway through mixing the dough, that I don’t have a rolling pin. But I have a whole pantry full of empty beer bottles! (Don’t worry, Mom, I don’t drink that much. We just never take our bottles to the bottle return.) Every Christmas needs a little red neck action. 

Oh, and this happened:

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Yeah, it made me really sad. So I did this:

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Still works! 

This concludes my adventures in holiday baking. Let’s recap: I lost my fave shortbread cookie recipe, broke half of the cookies I made with my substitute shortbread cookie recipe, found my fave shortbread recipe, used a beer bottle to roll out my cookies, and broke my stoneware in half. Good times. :p

One last photo….because it’s just too cute not to post.

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(Instagram)

Bucky enjoying his Christmas stocking.

Best Christmas Cookies I Really Should Save The Recipe For

It’s Sunday night, and that means it’s time to prep my food for the week. This week, on the Nutrition plan, breakfast is a yummy-looking oatmeal bake.

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It smells so so good and I can hardly wait to eat it in the morning….so I ate a sugar cookie to take my mind off the oatmeal. But seriously, the food on the Nutrition plan has been super good and it’s been nice to not have to think about what to eat (because when I do, I usually end up throwing a frozen pizza in the oven). The only challenge…besides eating more veggies a day than I’ve eaten in my entire life combined…is that is the holidays and there are sooo many tasty Christmas goodies! And Starbucks Peppermint White Mochas. But life is about balance, and a cookie now and then is good for the soul.

On that note, I promised that I would post the recipe for Gluten Free Dark Chocolate Dipped Peppermint Shortbread Cookies. Welllllll, when I went to make said cookies for my grandma’s ornament party, I couldn’t find the recipe…like, anywhere. Seriously, who makes a fabulous recipe then doesn’t write it down ANYWHERE?? How did I not even pin it on Pinterest?? I pin everything (and this is why)! So, I googled every version of gluten free shortbread recipes I possibly could in order to find the one I used last year. Well, I didn’t find it…but I did find one that came close. Shove It In Your Face blog (whose name I love, by the way) posted a recipe for Simple Dark Chocolate Dipped Shortbread that is super simple (duh, that’s part of the title) and tasty. The recipe calls for regular flour, but the post says that you can sub alternative flours pretty easily. I made them with rice flour and they turned out quite nicely. I did have to bake them a bit longer than the recipe called for. I baked them for the time called for in the recipe and they were suuuuuuper crumbly..like I broke half of them trying to dip them in chocolate crumbly (which Brandon was grateful for). I think they’d have been okay if I baked them a tad longer. But they were still very tasty! And, don’t worry, they’re safely pinned now. I dipped them in chocolate and sprinkled them with crushed candy canes for a festive touch.

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(Instagram)

I posted the finished product on Instagram and my cousin in California mentioned that they looked good….So I texted him this with the caption, “Mmm, so tasty:”

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I know, I’m so mean. Muahahahaha 

Enjoy each and every Christmas cookie you eat this holiday season! …And maybe throw in a carrot or two for balance. :p

It’s Christmas Time!

Christmas is my very most favorite time of year! Yesterday, I kicked it off in the best way possible. First of all, I taught Cardio30. It was super freezing and looked like it might snow and I was listening to Christmas music on my way to class, so I got the brilliant idea to rewrite Christmas music to apply to Cardio30…”Oh the weather outside is frightful, but Cardio30 is so delightful!” Cute?? Yeah, my class didn’t think so either.

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Class ended and I walked outside to a blanket of snow and big fluffy flakes falling from the sky.
By the time I got home, which was later than usual due to slick roads and an accident right outside my neighborhood, I was more than ready for something warm and pepperminty. Drink Click protein makes a yummy mocha flavor and their website has a recipe for a candy cane mocha. It was soooo tasty and warm and the perfect post-cardio recovery drink (minus the whipped cream and candy cane.. But I thought it added a nice touch to the photo).

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The icing on my Christmas cookie of a day was my grandma’s annual ornament exchange party. Sadly, the icy roads prevented a few people from coming, but a few hearty souls braved the roads. I love LOVE our ornament party! I love seeing the ornaments that people bring and going home with something new. Or two something’s in last night’s case.

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These are the ornaments I got!

All the guests went home from the party with these adorable party favors.

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They each had a packet if cocoa, a bag of homemade marshmallows, and a bottle of homemade vanilla (the label says “from the kitchen of Joan and Whitney” because I made the labels so, technically, I contributed to the creation of the vanilla).
So that was my start to the Christmas season and it was a wonderful one! I have my company Christmas party tonight, our club Christmas party and secret Santa exchange next week, and Brandon’s company Christmas party the following week, so the festivities continue! I just love this time of year!