Saturday, December 31, 2011

Sausage Cheese Balls

 I like pulling out the colorful party picks at New Year's and Sausage Cheese Balls are a classic appetizer that looks great with a party pick.

Here's how I make mine.  I finely chop 1/4 cup of celery and 1/4 cup of onion.

I add 3/4 lb of ground turkey 2 cups of rice flour, 2 tsps baking powder, 3 cups of shredded cheese, 1/4 tsp garlic powder, and 1/4 tsp ground white pepper.

Mix it all together,

and form into balls.

Bake at 350 for 25 minutes.  Throw a party pick in each ball.

I'm bringing these to an ugly vest party tonight.  I play to win and my vest is so hideous it'll make your eyes bleed.  I'll try to remember to take pics of the party to share.

Thanks for popping in and cooking with me.  I'm linking these up to Gluten-Free Homemaker's Gluten-Free Wednesdays and Remodelaholic's Recipe Swap.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

A Look Back at 2011

I had big goals for my home for 2011.  Unfortunately, I didn't get as many of those crossed off the list as I'd have liked, but I did have a pretty productive year.  I tackled organizing and prettifying my shoe closet.

See the before and after here.

I created this sunburst silverware clock for my dining room from some vintage silverware.
Tutorial here.

We took a couple steps closer to calling the kitchen "finished" by completing the cookbook shelves
Tutorial here.

and installing the drawer microwave.
Retrofitted installation here.

The gallery wall got a makeover with the addition of some shelves to make rotating out artwork easier.
Handy dandy instructions & the awesome hubster here.

I transformed a couple of Craigslist finds.  The rec room snack bar dresser got some paint and stain,
See the transformation here.

and my wing back chair got a fun makeover.
See the before here.

Thanks for popping in and looking back with me.  Hope you come along for the new year.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Catching up on the Weekend

The boys were super excited to be on break this past Friday and each invited a friend to sleepover.  WD's friend and teammate, Bieber Hair, stayed over. WD & BH spent pretty much the entire day and a half like this:
Sitting together on their laptops.  I don't get it, but they are on vacation.

SB and Princess were kept occupied with the making of a gazillion glittered snowflakes.  I let small children use spray adhesive and glitter, you can only imagine what my floors look like.
Matching hoodies - "We're twins!"

SB & P also helped make biscuits for all of the dogs we know.

The two took turns with each step.  We ended up making 2 kinds of biscuits, Pumpkin Molasses biscuits as well as Peanut Butter biscuits.

They even helped box up and deliver the treats.

Christmas Eve we hosted our friends for our annual "Orphan's Christmas" dinner.  They're from Buffalo and we're from Rochester, but we both like to have our kids wake up in their own beds Christmas morning.  We've been getting together for 8 years now.

Some of the desserts - ignore the crackers, the packages hadn't been put away yet.

It's such a fun tradition.  We always play games like Cranium and the girls always win, though there were some accusations of cheating this year.  I can't help it if I know my friend so well that when she puts down a pointy lump of clay, I can shout out mannequin for the win.

After our friends head home, we put out cookies and milk for Santa and the boys go to bed.  I try to make it in bed before midnight.  The boys were up whispering at 5:30(much later than last year,) and I kept them quiet until almost 6:30 when CG got up.  They're allowed to check out their stockings and Santa gifts on their own, but have to wait for CG to be up to unwrap the other gifts.  The gift opening started in an orderly fashion.

Both boys were really pleased with their gifts.

By 7:30 this is what my living room looked like.  I left that mess for a few hours.  Sometimes a mess is a happy thing.  We spent the day hanging out, trying out the new games, and building Legos.  CG and SB even spent the entire day in their new Christmas pjs.  The perfect low-key Christmas day.

Thanks for popping in and sharing my weekend with me.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Christmas Baking

I've been in go mode for the past week, and haven't had a moment to sit with at my computer and visit with my on-line friends lately.  It's just been go, go, go.  I hope to carve out some time today and tomorrow to do that.  Here's what I've been up to - I was called for jury duty - yuck.  I know it's my civic duty, but the week before Christmas?  There was a road trip to Wilkes Barre for an elusive item on my BFF's son's Christmas wish list.  I'd show it to you, but I wouldn't want to ruin the surprise.  I've also been baking.  I made Gingerbread Stars and Frosted Sugar Cookies for the staff at SB's school.

I also made melted snowman cookies

and snowman heads

for SB's class party. 

 How did I make it to his party this week when I was called for jury duty?  I may have mentioned that I carry a knife with me at all times(a leathermen, because they're useful,) and my firm belief in the right to use deadly force in defense of yourself or others when questioned during voir dire.  This was a jury being pulled together for a stabbing case.  I know shirking jury duty is horrible, but SB jumped up and gave me a big hug when I walked into his class.  He won't always be so excited to see me.

I also made these Cheesecake on a Stick Christmas trees.

I started with my no-crack-never-fail cheesecake recipe that I've shared with you here.  Skip the crust, it'll just crumb up the chocolate when you dip them.  Bake and let cool.  After it's refrigerated for a few hours, I use my cake leveler to slice it up into 12 wedges.  You can use a clean piece of wire or dental floss to slice it, too.  You'll end up with much cleaner slices than with a knife.

Next place a popsicle stick into each wedge.  If you push too close to the surface, it may crack a little, but it'll all be covered in chocolate, so it won't matter.  Freeze these overnight.

Melt 24 oz of semi-sweet chocolate, and dip or spoon the chocolate over the frozen cheesecake pops.

The chocolate will set up pretty quickly.

Meanwhile melt yellow candy melts and pipe into stars.  Pop them in the freezer for a few minutes to harden.

Melt green candy melts and pipe a squiggle on each chocolate covered cheesecake.

Press a star into the top of the squiggle before it sets up.

Thanks for popping in and baking with me.

Gluten-Free Wednesdays button

Sunday, December 18, 2011

More Christmas Decor

I've shared a few glimpses at this year's Christmas decor around my house like my sheet music wreath and glittered bell wreath here and here.  Here's a few more looks at some more Christmas touches around the house.  Every year, I decorate a rosemary tree with cookie cutters for my kitchen peninsula.

I like to place garlands over the doorways, and love the way this one frames the view into the great room.

I showed off the ginormous fresh tree here all decked out in silver and gold.  Down in the basement rec room, we have a more colorful tree.  This little faux tree needs a bit of fluffing to look right, but one tree is all I can remember to keep watered.

It's trimmed with vivid color, sports team ornaments, and storybook characters like little Olivia(the pig.)

This year's mantel got a dose of color, too.  Last year I went with a black & white photo wreath.

This year It's all about color.

Thanks for popping in and checking out my Christmas home.  I'm linking up to Between Naps on the Porch's Metamorphosis Monday.

Cottage & VineThe DIY Show Off