Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy 2011...

Wishing you all a Happy New Year...
I am looking forward to another great year of blogs, love and happiness!
bye bye 2010.... hello 2011

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

What's on your Menu??

I found this link party at "I'm an Organizing Junkie" to share your menu for the week! Since today is Wednesday and I have yet to cook a meal at home in December... not really, but pretty close...
I thought I should join the recipe sharing!

Tonight I am actually cooking at home! I am making a roast with potatoes and carrot ts in the Dutch Oven! I am also baking Dulce de Leche Blondie Bars... OMG, I cannot wait for this!

4 tbsp. oil

1 (2-3 lb.) chuck roast
1 can mushroom soup undiluted
1 env. dry onion soup
12 oz. water
1 c. red wine (opt.)
Salt, pepper & garlic powder to taste

Add oil to Dutch oven pot. Brown chuck on top of stove in Dutch oven pot. Brown roast on both sides, seasoning well with salt, pepper and garlic powder. Mix soups, water and wine and add to roast and cover. Bake at 350 degrees for 2 1/2 hours. Turn at least 2 to 3 times while baking.



Dulce De Lech Blondie Bars

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
2 eggs
1 1/2teaspoons vanilla
1 (14-ounce) package caramels
1/2cup evaporated milk

Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease 13X9-inch baking pan. Sift flour, baking soda and salt into medium bowl; set aside. Beat butter and brown sugar in large bowl with electric mixer until creamy. Add eggs and vanilla; beat until smooth. Gradually stir in flour mixture. Spread half of batter in prepared pan. Bake about 8 minutes; cool 5 minutes on wire rack.
Meanwhile, melt caramels with evaporated milk in nonstick saucepan over very low heat; reserve 2 tablespoons. Pour remaining caramel mixture over baked bottom layer. Drop tablespoonfuls of remaining batter over caramel layer; swirl slightly with knife. Bake 25 minutes or until golden brown. Cool completely in pan on wire rack. Cut into squares. Reheat reserved caramel, if necessary; drizzle over bars.


On Friday, I am hoping that Taylor and I will just go out to a nice dinner and come home before the madness of NYE starts! I want to make the DC Cupcake girl's champagne cupcake recipe that was on Oprah yesterday!

Strawberry Champagne Cupcakes

1/2 cup fresh strawberries , diced
1/2 Tbsp. good Champagne (sweet rose Champagne suggested)
2 1/2 cups flour , sifted
1/2 tsp. baking powder , sifted
1/4 Tsp. salt
8 Tbsp. (4 ounces) unsalted butter
1 3/4 cups sugar
2 large eggs , at room temperature
2 1/4 tsp. pure vanilla extract + seeds from 1 vanilla bean
1 1/4 cups whole milk , at room temperature
Champagne Butter cream Frosting
16 Tbsp. (8 ounces) unsalted butter
4 cups confectioner's sugar , sifted
1 tsp. whole milk
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1/8 tsp. salt
1/2 cup good Champagne (sweet rose Champagne suggested)
Strawberry Layer
24 fresh strawberries
1 cup good Champagne (sweet rose Champagne suggested)
Chocolate Ganache
2 cups high-quality semisweet chocolate chips
1 cup heavy cream
For Serving: 12 glass Champagne flutes 12 long spoons 12 indoor-safe sparkler candles Step 1: Baking the Mini Strawberry Champagne Cupcakes Preheat the oven to 350°. Line 2 mini cupcake pans with 36 mini baking cups or grease pans with butter if not using baking cups. Dice up 1/2 cup of fresh strawberries and soak in 1/2 cup of Champagne. Set aside.Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt in a bowl.Place the unsalted butter in the bowl of a stand mixer or hand-held electric mixer. Add the sugar; beat on medium speed until well incorporated. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing slowly after each addition. Combine the vanilla extract, vanilla bean seeds and milk in a large liquid measuring cup. Reduce the speed to low. Add one-third of the flour mixture to the butter mixture, then gradually add one-third of the milk mixture, beating until well incorporated. Add another one-third of the flour mixture, followed by one-third of the milk mixture. Stop to scrape down the bowl as needed. Add the remaining flour mixture, followed by the remaining milk mixture, and beat just until combined. Gently fold in the diced Champagne-soaked strawberries, just until incorporated. Scoop batter into baking cups and bake for 10 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a cupcake comes out clean. Transfer the pan to a wire rack to cool completely. If using paper baking cups, peel off all of the paper baking cups from the cupcakes at this time.Step 2: Making the Champagne Buttercream FrostingPlace the unsalted butter in the bowl of a stand mixer or hand-held electric mixer. Add the confectioner's sugar; beat on medium speed until well incorporated. Add the vanilla extract, milk, salt and Champagne, and beat on high speed until light and fluffy. Place frosting in a disposable piping bag with a large round tip.Step 3: Preparing the StrawberriesSlice 24 strawberries lengthwise and soak in 1 cup of Champagne for approximately 10 to 15 minutes. Step 4: Making the Chocolate GanacheFill a medium saucepan with an inch or 2 of water and place over medium-low heat. Place the chocolate chips and heavy cream in a medium glass bowl over the saucepan and melt the chocolate chips. Stir occasionally until the chips are completely melted. Remove the bowl of melted chocolate from the saucepan. Pour the ganache into a plastic squeeze bottle. (If a squeeze bottle is not available, you can drizzle with a spoon.)Step 5: Assembling Layers in Champagne Flutes Line up 12 glass Champagne flutes. Insert 1 mini strawberry Champagne cupcake in the bottom of each glass. Next, pipe a swirl of Champagne buttercream frosting on top of each cupcake. Add several slices of Champagne-soaked strawberries, and a drizzle of chocolate ganache. Repeat layers. Finally, place a third mini strawberry Champagne cupcake at the top of each glass, pipe with a final "Georgetown Cupcake signature swirl" of Champagne buttercream frosting, and top with a final drizzle of chocolate ganache.Step 6: ServingInsert 1 indoor-safe sparkler candle in the top of each glass. Light the candles at midnight, serve with spoons, and enjoy!



Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Getting Clean & Organized...

Our New Year's Resolutions got an early is what I have been up to since Christmas!!

We have been giving a lot of these....

to a lot of these beautiful family members!

We have been eating a lot of these...

Cleaning up a lot of these large piles of junk...
My husband just recently discovered that he has a HUGE tie fetish.

Thank goodness we have been putting together a lot of these nice helpful cleaning & organizing tools...

So, to wrap up Christmas I wanted to share with you what our favorite gifts were to give as well as receive!

My favorites that I gave were:

1. TOMS Shoes to both Taylor and my Brother.

2. Handmade Decor for my Mother's house. (Read more here)
3. Jon Hart makeup bag for my Sister.

My favorites that we received were:

1. Michael Kors Watch

2. Electronic Tie & Belt Organizer

3. Shark Steam Mop

Now onto New Year's Eve and Day plans! I will be serving brunch for our family & friends! Check back for more on that!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Handmade Gifts at the last minute...

I feel like I am the only person in the world who still has SO MUCH shopping and preparing to do! I still need to hit the mall and Target... I am crazy! Today, I visited Hobby Lobby so I could finish up 2 of my handmade gifts! For my brother-in-law and his girlfriend, I made a "Gift Card" Tree! For my mother, I added a little burlap and decor to a few candles!
Here is what I have been doing today...

I began with an aluminum tree from Hobby Lobby. ($4.99-- then Half off)

Then, I shopped for a lot of gift cards... Target, Starbucks and Chipotle!

I put it all together on the tree with some red/ gold ribbon & this is the perfect gift for a brother or sister in law!

My next project for the day was to tidy up some plain vanilla candles to give to my mom for Christmas! I cannot say what all she is getting from me because she reads my blog.... But I promise, you will want to check back for the reveal of that project!

I grabbed a few plain vanilla candles 50% off at Hobby Lobby...I added some burlap ribbon, with a touch of gold above it...Lastly, I poked some metal crosses through all of the ribbon...
The ribbons were all hot glued around the candles, the crosses were warmed up with a lighter like this... before I could poke them through!

AND here is the final product!

Now, wish me luck to get finished with my shopping tomorrow!

Merry Christmas :)

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Christmas Home Tour

Kelly, at Kelly's Corner is hosting a party on your Christmas Home tour.... So I went all around the house and took some pictures of our Christmas decor! I have enjoyed decorated this year and I am already what I want to do next year!!! Merry Christmas to you all!


Front Door Wreath

Garland inside the front door... read more about that here!

Christmas Doormat

Dining Room/ Kitchen Vignette

Our Outdoor lights

Our Stockings are hung on the entertainment center with care...

Isn't this the cutest Dog Stocking you have ever seen??

THANK YOU Ballard Designs, oh how I love you :)

One cute little family!

The greatest gift is giving... Merry Christmas to you!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Celebrating 1 year...

Last night Taylor and I celebrated our first wedding anniversary. A year ago we were here....

Then this year, we had a stay-cation at the Omni Hotel, enjoyed a delicious dinner at Bob's Steakhouse and shopped all day long! Here are a few pictures from our weekend! Enjoy!

Hotel room was covered in red and white rose petals, it was so beautiful!

We visited the Chesapeake Energy building where it is lit up for Christmas! This was so cool!

Delicious ribeye at Bob's-- we have already made our reservations for Valentine's Day!

To end the night we had s taste of our 1 year old cake, with Champagne and chocolate covered strawberries!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Show Us Your Life....

Welcome to The Anderson's... Come on in!

Kelly's Corner is hosting another "Show Us Your Life party". This week is about entryways and foyers. I want to show you the Christmas entryway and the plain ol' day to day entryway. Now, remember I have not lived here very long and this is one section in my house I need a lot of help with. Taylor and I bought and returned 2 different rugs, because we just cant find one that we like!
Enough talk... here are some pictures of what I have so far!

Don't you just love that rusty white bucket... I got that for only $18 at an antique store and I swear it is my most favorite decor in the whole house! (It's the simple things) This table on the wall in the entryway and needs a LARGE mirror above it or some shelves. I am not sure what would be best! Any ideas??? The next area to the entryway is the hall that leads into the family room. I have to give Taylor credit for this wall. He hung the frames and made sure that they were perfectly lined up! He did a great job!!

Go over to Kelly's Corner and show your own entryway!