Chocolate Mint Cookies

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Growing up, my mom always made chocolate mint cookies for Christmas. I remember helping to put the little Andes mints on the top when the cookies came out of the oven, and I’d often attempt to sneak a few into my mouth for good measure. Of course, when there weren’t enough mints for the last tray of cookies it was glaringly obvious who was guilty of stealing them, but a bit of mischief was part of the fun of baking with Mom.

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Homemade Eggnog

Homemade Eggnog

Growing up, my mom always made eggnog around Christmas time. As kids, I remember going into the fridge to grab a snack, and then getting really excited when I saw the gallon jugs of milk replaced with gallons of homemade eggnog (non-alcoholic, of course).

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Winter Drinks to Keep You Warm

We’re hanging out again over at FOLK Magazine & Blog this week! We’ve got two beverage recipes for you that are perfect for this holiday season.

The first is a recipe for Tiffany’s Spiced Sweet Tea. A twist on traditional sweet tea, this spiced up version can be served warm or cold so you can enjoy it any time of year. Check out the recipe here!

The second recipe is for glogg – Scandinavian mulled wine. This recipe tastes best on cold, snowy nights by the fireplace alongside close friends and family. Click here for the glogg recipe!

With some spiced sweet tea and a little mulled wine, you may even find yourself looking forward to winter. See you over at FOLK!

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Fudge

When I made the Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Truffles last week, my taste-testers (i.e. family and friends) ate them up in no time. I took that as a good sign, so I’m at it again with the no-bake no-egg cookie dough creations. This time in the form of fudge!

Just like the truffles, this recipe comes from The Cookie Dough Lover’s Cookbook, by Lindsay Landis. I originally borrowed this cookbook from a friend, but after making two delicious and indulgent treats I think I may be ordering it for myself. I hope my taste-testers are OK with trying out a few more cookie dough recipes!

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Our Open “Haus” Menu

I recently shared a few creative and simple entertaining ideas inspired by my brother and sister-in-law at their open house for FreshGround Roasting. As that event was being planned I thought, “Why not make this a weekend event and host an open house at our place the next day?”

OK, I’ll admit it was quite busy cooking, cleaning and setting up for two consecutive open houses. But it was totally worth it! We had a great time on Saturday with FreshGround. Then on Sunday, my husband and I invited friends, family and neighbors to our open “Haus” (our play on words since our last name is Hauser).

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Garlic and Sun-Dried Tomato Corn Muffins

Usually when I have friends and family over to eat, I mix up my menu with tried-and-true dishes I know everyone will love alongside a few new recipes I’ve never attempted before. I figure if the new dishes don’t turn out, I can fall back on the old favorites and pretend the failed recipe never existed. I mean, why not add to the adventure of entertaining by making something new?

A couple weeks ago, I saw a corn muffin recipe that gave classic cornbread a savory makeover. I’m always a little nervous when I make new recipes for guests, but I think this one has officially earned a spot in my regular entertaining repertoire.

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Creative & Simple Entertaining Ideas

Last Saturday, Tiffany and I hung out with my brother and sister-in-law at their open house for FreshGround Roasting. We had a blast preparing appetizers, decorating and learning about coffee. One of the things that I loved was how my sister-in-law, Krista, set out the food. We had hearty appetizers, local cheeses, amazing cupcakes from The Sugar Path and fresh fruits and veggies. Krista used vintage and household items to make the spread look as good as it tasted.

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Chicago Trip & Guest-ifying Your Home

I’m so excited to be in Chicago visiting Sarah and her hubby for the first time since we started the blog!  We’re looking forward to doing lots of blog-worthy activities on this little weekend trip.  Today we’ve got an open house for FreshGround Roasting, tonight we’ll be eating at Maya Del Sol (their favorite restaurant), tomorrow we’ve got an open house here at Sarah’s, and in between we’ll be doing lots of exploring and picture taking!

I wanted to do this quick post because when we got in last night and Sarah showed us to our guest room, I squealed with delight when I saw the “guest table”.  The guest table was a little refinished dresser stocked with a bottle of water, 2 glasses and a basket of essentials.  Sarah said she got the idea from a recent trip to our house, where I had bottled water and some snacks on the nightstand in their room.  I got the idea from an article I read about how to make guests feel more at home.

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Ditch the Drip & Perfect the Press

So it seems like we’re unintentionally running with the coffee theme these last couple days! Between Tiff’s AMAZING soap recipe and the tutorial for today, I think it’s time to stock up on some coffee beans! Well, it’s always time to stock up for me…I just can’t get enough coffee! (Can you tell I’ve already had too much today!?)

Anyway, I’ve got to tell you my EXCITING news. I’ve reached a monumental moment in my coffee life. I’ve ditched the drip! Despite the fact that my drip maker has a wonderfully convenient timer that will automatically start brewing my morning addiction before I even make it downstairs, the reality is that’s it’s just not my favorite way to make coffee anymore.

My hubby and I have enjoyed experimenting with different brewing methods, and one that I love is using a French Press. You’ll get a bold brew that really highlights the natural flavors of the coffee. You can also get a press that makes a great looking pitcher. You’ll definitely impress your dinner guests when you pour this at your table!

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