Bacon Sweet Potato Bites

I never really liked sweet potatoes until I went to college in Memphis. Growing up I think sweet potato fries looked too much like carrots for me to give them a try. After trying the fries at Young Avenue Deli in Memphis, I became obsessed. I went to Sam's Club this weekend and bought sweet potatoes in bulk; I eat them so often that this is actually necessary. Usually, I just wrap them in foil and throw them in the oven, then stuff them with cheese, spices, and fruit, but I wanted to try something new.

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DIY Chindi Reindeer

This isn't just the story of my incredibly cute Christmas decorations. It is also the story of how dangerous hot glue guns can be. And it’s the story of how I learned my family thinks I am a walking disaster.

Here’s the bottom line, do NOT use a high heat glue gun with low heat glue sticks (which are apparently a thing). The glue will come out too fast and spill all over your hand and before you know it, your skin is blistering under the glue and you can’t peel the glue off or the blisters will open and you realize you really are a walking disaster.

I first saw these reindeer on Olive & Cocoa and fell in love. Until I saw that they were going for $200 dollars, which so wasn’t happening. Then Honestly... WTF? did a DIY version of these adorable critters. But for some strange reason that my ego can’t comprehend, nobody pays me for blogging (totally open to that though...) and I am trying to save money, I didn’t want to spend money buying fabric like the Honestly...WTF? version used. Instead I searched Michael’s ran around Michael’s on a crafting high until I found a cheaper way to get a similar result.

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Supplies: Glue gun and a LOT of replacement sticks. Reindeer from Michaels 2 colors of yarn Bells (optional)

Glue the beginning of the two strings of yarn onto the reindeer. I started at the nose and moved my way down the back of the neck, to the chest of the animal.

Use your glue gun to guide where the yarn should go.

You want to twist the two types of yarn together to add more color, and make sure you aren’t wrapping the animal in the same direction the whole time. Mixing it up will make it a lot more interesting.

This process takes a long time, but you don’t have to do it all in one sitting.

Once the animal is wrapped, tie a little necklace with bells around the reindeer’s neck and admire your handiwork.

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Holiday kisses!

Holiday Fun.

I’ve taken a long break from blogging but things have been crazy lately. Since my last post, I’ve gotten used to living at home again and settled into my first “real world” job.  I was so excited to throw the party for my mom that I wrote about in August, but with sending one brother off to college and taking the other brother on college visits, there never seemed to be time.

 

Luckily I have a new party to plan. Ever since I was little, my family has hosted a party on Christmas Eve. I grew up with these families and now that we are older, all the kids are off living in different cities, at different colleges, and this is one of the few times of the year that we get to see each other- making it a most festive occasion. Since my pinterest boards went unused this summer, I am going pin-crazy for Christmas. I’ll be testing some of the recipes here before Christmas, and then blogging about the party as a whole afterwards.

In more holiday excitement, a few months back I entered a contest on instagram and won! On December 28th I will be headed to sunny Palm Beach for the Red Cross Beach Bash courtesy of Lilly Pulitzer! I can’t wait to share that experience on here with lots of pictures and DIYs so you can have a taste of the party even if you aren’t in sunny Florida.

That’s all the winter madness that is on my plate for now! Plenty of recipes and crafts to come!

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Christmas Morning

Breakfast Casserole
When I was younger I would be up at 5 am digging through my stocking and then waiting at the top of the stairs with my brothers at 7 am, barely able to contain my excitement about running down and seeing what Santa left under the tree. Now things are a little different. We still have our Christmas Eve party, but now that everyone is older, the party usually doesn't end until 1 am. Then my brothers and I  are left to clean up after the party and set out the presents and get everything ready for Christmas Day. We usually don't get to sleep until 3 am, later if one of my brothers starts opening his presents instead of helping. Thanks to years of 8 am classes, I can't sleep past 9 am... so Christmas Morning I sit in my room watching The Year Without a Santa Clause (the best claymation in existence), and waiting for my family to wake up. Patience is not my virtue and I get bored waiting for everyone in my house to wake up. In my experience, nothing wakes people up like the smell of a great breakfast. This year when I woke up at 9 am to the sound of my dad snoring two rooms away, I got my dogs and my DVD and went downstairs and brewed a pot of The Fresh Market's Christmas Blend coffee and baked a sausage and egg breakfast casserole. The smell of this breakfast woke up the house and started a wonderful Christmas! This casserole is the perfect start to any morning, just pop it in the oven--the wonderful smell will wake even the deepest sleeper up and the savory taste will make sure they stay awake!

INGREDIENTS

  • 0.5-1 lb sausage (I honestly cannot say how much sausage I used. I bought 1 lb, but then my dogs and I had a little snack as we waited for the oven to preheat)
  • 6-8 slices of bread
  • 6 eggs, beaten
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1/8 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • pepper to taste

Remove sausage from casing and cook in a skillet over high heat. While the sausage is cooking, grease a 9"x 13" baking pan and line the bottom of the pan with slices of bread. In a large bowl, beat the eggs. Add the milk, dry mustard, onion powder, and salt. Pour the egg mixture over the bread. Add the cooked sausage to the baking pan as evenly as you can. Liberally add the cheese to the top of the casserole.

((Can be refrigerated for 24 hours))

Bake at 325 degrees for 45 minutes to an hour.

Holiday kisses,

Megan

French Onion Soup

French onion Soup- Happiness Homemade Soup is possibly the most comforting food. Its warm and delicious and just makes me happy on cold winter days. As soon as the temperature drops below 60, nothing makes me happier than curling up with a great book and a hot bowl of soup. I thought Fall was finally here a few weeks ago, but the warm weather came back and pushed the lovely cold weather back to the north. This weather may be able to stop me from wearing cozy sweaters and warm scarves, but it can not stop me from craving my favorite winter comfort food.French onion soup is the clear champion of the soups. The caramelized onions, boozey brandy-beef stock, and the pile of melted cheese combine to deliver a healthy dose of happiness with each bite. Don't let the stress that comes with the end of  semester get you stressed or sick, enjoy some warm soup that is good for your heart and soul!

From the Bon Apetit Test Kitchen:

Ingredients

  • 2 medium onions, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon Calvados, Applejack, or other brandy
  • 4 cups low-salt beef stock
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 -8 1/2"-thick slices baguette, cut to fit ramekins
  • 1 cup grated Gruyère or raclette cheese

Special equipment:

  • Four 10-oz. ramekins

French onion Soup- Happiness Homemade French onion Soup- Happiness Homemade French onion Soup- Happiness Homemade French onion Soup, final product- Happiness Homemade

 

I hope this cures everything from winter madness to your sniffles.

xx, Megan