St. Party’s day and Graduation

I’ve been a bit of a slacker with the blogging, I’ve been super busy with school and work. Since St. Patrick’s day is Monday I am planning on making some delicious cookies for the occasion! Triple Chocolate Guinness and Sugar Cookies with a Royal Baileys Icing! So look forward to those recipes to come!

As for graduation and it’s right around the corner and I’m freaking out a little! I have ordered invitations for my party and they have officially arrived, I just need to send them out. The stressful part is trying to figure out what I’ll be doing with my life after graduation. I have been looking for jobs to send my résumé out but I haven’t actually sent any out yet because I don’t know what I should do. I have lived in Orlando my whole life and I am ready to get out! I love Boston and I would love to live there (or Massachusetts in general) one day, and I wouldn’t mind living in other states. My current lease isn’t up until October. So the dilemma…….. Do I immediately apply for out of state jobs and hope that if I get one I can find someone to sublease my current place, or do I stay with my current job at a cookie bakery or look for a local professional job until my lease is up and then move out of state?

Moving out of state also requires moving expenses I have to save up for (I already have a good chunk in savings). I’m hoping that once I talk to my Aunt I’ll have some good parental guidance on what the better decision would be for my life.

How did post graduation job applications go for you? Any advice?

– K

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas! Pt. 2

Christmas Morning Jen and I left bright and early for the drive up to Charleston. The drive from Orlando to Charleston was a little long but I like road trips so it wasn’t unbearable.

The first day/night we hung out at the house, getting settled, reading, and then had a family dinner and opened presents. For presents we do a movie and candy combo white elephant exchange! This year my Aunt and Uncle got us all a couple of presents which were very thoughtful and perfectly picked for each of us.

For the rest of the trip we took evening walks on the beach, a carriage historical ride around Charleston, and a driving tour through a park filled with Christmas lights!! Most evenings were spent together as a family while days were for exploring!

It was a great Christmas!

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It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas! Pt. 1

I’ve spent the last two Christmases in New York City where it was cold, amazing, and snowed. It definitely felt like Christmas compared to the weather we usually have in Florida for Christmas. So when the idea of spending Christmas in Charleston South Carolina was thrown out there I was a bit hesitant. I loved Christmas in New York! I love being with my family no matter what but I was pleasantly surprised with how much I really enjoyed Charleston at Christmas time.

As usual my sister Jen and I spent Christmas Eve with my dad side of the family, church and then dinner at my Cousin Debbie’s house.

It was wonderful as always being with my family and since Jen and I leave early Christmas morning we usually open presents Christmas Eve as well!

My first Christmas present I actually received earlier in the month! I got a Kitchenaid mixer!!! I got it early because Kohl’s had a great deal, Jen and Wade split the cost as a joint Christmas present!

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Jen also got me a couple of other little presents so that I would have something to open since I went to Kohl’s and got the mixer myself. She got me my first Alex & Ani bracelet! Which was perfect because I have a necklace that was my moms that actually matches.

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And knowing my love of all things bulldog,the next present was perfect!

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Holidays are my favorite because my family always gets together and I love being able to spend time with my family.

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It was great that Wade was able to spend Christmas Eve with my family as well!

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Where do you spend your Holidays?

-K

Growing up!

My friend Lesline is graduating Nursing school and asked me if I would make cookies for her graduation party! I was so excited for her to graduate and I was excited that she asked! She found a picture online of what she wanted the cookies to look like, they were scrubs and hearts with a life line. I used my sugar cookies recipe that I used for my halloween cookies.

I was really happy with how they turned out!

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Lesline was so excited about them and they were a hit at her graduation party!

I can’t wait until I graduate in May!

-K

Fall’s not over yet!!

Just because thanksgiving has come and gone doesn’t mean that fall is over. The first day if Winter is December 21st so until then pumpkin is welcome to stay! I had the weekend after thanksgiving off so what else was there to do but bake! And just because I’m still enjoying fall doesn’t mean I’m not super excited for Christmas, so to set the mood I put on a Christmas playlist on spotify!

I baked pumpkin bread and of course what goes better with pumpkin than chai!

Pumpkin Chai Bread

2 cups butter *softened
2 cups sugar
2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground chai tea
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla
1 15oz can pumpkin
3 cups flour
1 cup white whole wheat flour
2 Tbsp milk
7 oz chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 325 degrees and grind the chai tea in a coffee grinder.

In a large bowl beat the 2 cups of butter with an electric mixer on medium speed for 30 seconds

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Add sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and the chai mixing until combined

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Add the eggs and the vanilla until combined

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Mix in the pumpkin

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Slowly mix in the four 1/2 cup at a time, I also added 2 Tbsp of milk here as well

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By hand mix in the walnuts

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Divide the mix into two bread pans (I buttered and floured mine which helps the bread come right out of the pan) and sprinkle the top with a little bit of cinnamon and chai.

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Bake for 1 – 1 1/2 hours checking every 10 minutes after the first hour. Let cool in the pans for 30 minutes before slicing

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This pumpkin bread is so delicious!

As for my Christmas baking music, Michael Bublé is and will always be my favorite for anything, but I also enjoy She & Him and my most recent find……. Pentatonix version of my favorite Christmas song, little drummer boy!

If you didn’t notice my old school mixer, it’s as old, if not older, that I am and is on its way out. That’s why I’m asking for a nice new beautiful Kitchenaid mixer for Christmas! Kohls has a really good deal going on at least for the next day or two so I’m hoping to get it before Christmas. It sure would help with the Christmas cookie baking! Even with that, I’ll still be sad to see my mixer go, there’s a sentimental attachment that goes with it back to my moms baking 😥

What are you asking for for Christmas?

– K

Thanksgiving and a Knights Blackout Friday

Every year since I was 2 (with the exception of one) my family has always had thanksgiving at my cousin Lauren & Leon’s house. It’s my favorite family tradition!! Leon hunts and always tries to have fresh turkey and other treats for us such as venison and gator depending on how well his hunting season goes, but there is never a shortage of food or leftovers!

Lauren & Leon live in Umatilla which is about an hour and a half away from where I live in orlando and since my sister is back from Pittsburg we drove up together. The family was all there with the exception of my Aunt Lois who is older and having a hard time with her memory. The food was as good as ever, we didn’t have any venison or gator this year but I was very pleased that Lauren made my Aunt Lois’ onion caserole! It’s my favorite thanksgiving dish! I was even lucky enough to be sent home with a whole caseole to myself (1of the 3 that were made).

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Lauren & Leon live on a lake in between orange groves and every year there’s always shooting practice in the side yard. This year it was switched up a bit and there was skeet shooting down by the lake. I hadn’t shot guns at thanksgiving until this year, but I have gone to a gun range with Maria and her dad a couple of years ago, which I’m pretty good at.

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I went up to shoot twice and each time I missed all 3 targets, but I’m glad I gave it a try, and I wasn’t disappointed because it was my first time shooting skeet and my first time shooting a Remington which isn’t easy (at least not for me).

I always love seeing my family and am always thankful for them because they are a constant part of my life. The women in my family are amazing! They’re beautiful, smart, inspirational, and strong. I truly couldn’t ask for better women to look up to!

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I didn’t do any Black Friday shopping but I did go to the UCF game against USF with my friend Kristy! And as per the title of this post, it was a blackout game (all students wear black for support of UCF) not in the drinking fashion.

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We did a little tailgating and enjoyed the game, WHICH WE WON!!!!

I had a great holiday full of family, friends, and good food, all which I am truly thankful for everyday!

Hope yours was as good!
Happy thanksgiving!

– K

Vermont Maple Bacon Scones!

I have been dying to use the Vermont maple syrup that I bought in Massachusetts, I hadn’t made scones in a while and maple scones sounded so yummy but I wanted to add something else to them. I decided to go with bacon to make Vermont maple bacon scones! They were so good and didn’t last very long!!

Vermont Maple Bacon Scones

2 cups white whole wheat flour
1 cup unbleached white flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/3 cup sugar
1 Tbsp baking powder
3/4 cup unsalted, butter *cut into chunks*
1 egg
1/4 cup Vermont maple syrup *the best kind there is!!!*
1 1/4 cup heavy cream
6-9 strips of bacon *I used apple wood smoked to balance the sweetness of the scones, you can always add more or less bacon*

Cook your bacon, cut it into tiny pieces and set aside. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.

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Start by mixing the dry ingredients well in a large bowl before adding the cold butter cut into chunks. Use a pastry blender or your hands to mix the butter into the dry ingredients until it is mixed into coarse crumbs.

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Beat the egg lightly and add it with the maple syrup and heavy cream, mixing thoroughly, do not whip!

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Using a ice cream scoop, scoop out the dough onto two cookie sheets lined with parchment paper. Leave about 1 ½ inches between scones.

20131130-182543.jpgThese scones were Maria approved! 😉

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Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, scones should be golden brown.

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After baking you can drizzle maple syrup on top before serving for a nice presentation and little bit more maple syrup!

What’s your favorite thing to put maple syrup on?

– K