Archive | December, 2013

Baking / Christmas Cookies

20 Dec

While Bradley and I were in NY for Thanksgiving, I picked up a few of my mom’s recipes that I grew up on. One of them was this Christmas cookies recipe. One of my favorites, they are called German Love and have an amazing lemon glaze on the top.

This is the physical recipe from her cookbook, handwritten a few times over.

IMG_4241
Step 1: Mix butter, egg, sugar, and vanillaIMG_4440Step 2: Add flourIMG_4441Step 3: Add everything else, including a ton of spices (that’s what makes these cookies great!)

IMG_4442

This is what it should look like after that. Now you’ll chill it for an hour or two. I tend to clean the kitchen while cookies chill, but you could also put your feet up and enjoy a sweet cup of joe with eggnog creamer if you prefer.
IMG_4444

Step 4: After it’s chilled, flour a cutting board and roll out the dough to about 1/8 to 1/4 inch thick.IMG_4454 IMG_4455As you can see, I like to over-flour things because I hate when batter sticks to me, the board or the rolling-pin. IMG_4456Step 5: Cut dough in to squares/rectangles, and other geometric shapes with a knife.
IMG_4457Step 6: Put them on a sheet ready for the oven and cook for about 10 minutes. They won’t grow so you can crowd a cookie sheet if you need to.

IMG_4459Step 7: Make a little glaze for the top, lemon juice, water and powdered sugar. I added red and green food coloring for extra Christmas joy.
IMG_4461Step 8: After the cooking come out, transfer them to a cooling rack.
IMG_4458
IMG_4462Step 9: After the cookies have cooled, drizzle icing over top. I like to put a piece of plastic wrap under the cooling rack for easy clean up.
IMG_4463 IMG_4464

Enjoy with a cup of strong black coffee, milk or eggnog!IMG_4465

——

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1/2 cup molasses
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon peel
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon cloves
  • 1 teaspoon all spice
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg

Glaze:

  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon water
  • food coloring

Directions:

  1. Cream together butter, sugar, eggs and vanilla
  2. Add flour
  3. Add walnuts, molasses, lemon peel, cinnamon, clove, allspice, and nutmeg
  4. Cover with plastic wrap and chill in the fridge for 1-2 hours
  5. Set oven to 375
  6. Roll out on floured cutting board (1/8-1/4 thickness) and cut into squares with a knife
  7. Place cookies on sheet and bake for 10-12 minutes
  8. Take out and place on cooling rack
  9. While cookies are cooling make glaze by mixing lemon juice, water, powdered sugar and food coloring
  10. Drizzle glaze over cookies with a spoon and allow time to set

These are great cookies to bring to the family’s house for Christmas or if you’re going to a cookie exchange, whip up a batch! They are some of the most simple to make and simply tasty cookies out there.

What are you go to Christmas cookies?

Advertisements

Casual Day / Green Jeans and Black Boots

19 Dec

Today, I’m enjoying the last day of work before a long Christmas holiday! These last few days have been casual around GenJ so I had an excuse to wear these comfortable green jeans to work. Paired with black suede boots and a cozy sweater, these cold days have nothing on this new go to outfit. IMG_6982 IMG_6998 IMG_7043Sweater: Old Navy — Pants: Target (similar) — Boots: Target (similar) — Necklace: Old Navy (similar: here and here)

Kinfolk Workshop / Natural Holiday Decor

18 Dec

Last Friday, I had the privilege of attending my first Kinfolk event. They provide different themes for each month’s gathering and December’s workshop theme was Natural Holiday Decor. Kinfolk’s website describes the event as follows:

We are looking to good old-fashioned nature to creatively refresh us, as well as to provide the materials needed for bringing something fresh indoors. The earth’s widespread palette of color and texture are a tried-and-true source for creating unique decor not merely for the holiday season.

Rebecca Gallop, my dear friend who I met in college and has since become a well-known blogger, prop styling, and wedding designer, hosted this particular event. She, along with the ladies of Sweet Root Village, taught us how to bring the outdoors inside and make them into beautiful decorations for the holiday season.

I’m excited to show you some pictures I took from the event! It was a great workshop where fellow creatives came together, ate a great meal, and made beautiful wreaths and garlands.

The location was just around the corner from the National Portrait Gallery and the Spy Museum and is called the Loft at 600 F. You’ll see how beautiful this space is in the next few pictures!

IMG_4525

Here is what the entrance to the building looks like. Rebecca had set up this sign to direct us upstairs.IMG_4526

What did I tell you? This loft is darling and super classy! I can’t wait to host the Gathering Project’s first workshop here in January.
IMG_4532

They decorated with natural greenery and those glass balls hanging from the rafters have tiny candles in them.IMG_4541

This was the workshop space where we crafted natural greenery in to holiday decor for our homes. IMG_4535 IMG_4537 IMG_4539

The natural light in this space was gorgeous!IMG_4540 IMG_4542

Rebecca shared with us a way to make beautiful greenery imprints on cloth! (this project featured: hammers and strong arms)IMG_4543 IMG_4547 IMG_4548

Favors at our lunch spots! Such beautiful taper candles by Talia Olmstead and a forage guide to greenery by Jennifer Olmstead.IMG_4549

Lunch showcased amazing soups, accompanied by a mixed greens salad and hearty bread. IMG_4550 IMG_4551 IMG_4555 IMG_4557 IMG_4561

After lunch, we started the wreath and garland making! I couldn’t help but snack on some fresh pomegranate and delicious chocolate cake while listening to Lauren teach.IMG_4563 IMG_4565

They brought so much fresh greenery from the generous Wollam Gardens. I used cedar branches for my wreath.
IMG_4566 IMG_4567

Finished product!IMG_4569

By the afternoon, the entire loft smelled of the natural outdoors.
IMG_4570 IMG_4571 IMG_4573 IMG_4574

As soon as I got home, this wreath went up on my front door. Such a nice touch to the apartment!IMG_4578 IMG_4581 IMG_4582If you ever get the chance to attend a Kinfolk event, I would highly recommend you do. It was so much fun to taste amazing food, learn a new skill, and meet other creative types! You won’t be disappointed.

Sharpie Therapy / 5

17 Dec

sharpietherapy1

So many worship songs have such amazing lyrics. I can’t help but write them down. Today, I’m taking Sharpie Therapy to a new level and trying out some new fonts! What do you think? I’d love to see some of your favorite worship songs in sharpie art. Send them to joodlesdoodles@gmail.com and I’ll share them here in an upcoming Sharpie Therapy column. 🙂afterlight (1) afterlight (2) afterlight

Weekend Recap / 7

16 Dec

This weekend involved staying up late, good friends, and spending time around home with my husband. Friday morning at 12:00am, Bradley and I watched a midnight showing of The Hobbit part 2. He’s a huge Tolkien fan and I’ve definitely adopted a love for the Lord of the Rings and Hobbit because of him. (Note: We did take naps before the movie, so this was one of the only midnight showings I’ve been able to stay awake through.)
IMG_4521

Saturday I got to spend the day with Grace. Bestie and partner in Sharpie Therapy. I’m so glad she was able to come for the weekend! Wish we lived closer together but when we do get to see each other it’s magical (her word). 🙂

IMG_4591We met up with friends at Panera, had some great lunch, and Sharpie Therapied all afternoon. Spreading the love and the sharpies. Love these girls!

IMG_4588

L to R: Abigail, Rachel, Tatum, Me, Grace

It started snowing so I began drawing. Nothing perfect but I had some fun with a chisel tipped sharpie.

IMG_4592

Then on Sunday, Bradley and I headed to church and then spent the rest of the day fixing up the apartment, watching some football, and ordering family Christmas gifts. The picture below is today’s Sharpie Therapy picture. If you don’t follow us on Facebook, click through using that link and like us to see all our daily Sharpie Therapy art!IMG_4594

Workwear: Mint Blouse and Red Sweater

12 Dec

Jumping on the mint trend that has been roaming our closets for years now, I’m presenting this outfit full of color and class. Or at least I hope.

I love how everything worked together and the beige flats provide the perfect classic finishing to the outfit. I didn’t want to add a necklace because the red/mint top combo and the black/brown pants combo seemed interesting enough. Enjoy!afterlight (4) afterlight (3) afterlight (2)Blouse: Old Navy — Sweater: Old Navy — Pants: Old Navy — Belt: Target — Flats: Target

Cooking / Guacamole

11 Dec

Guacamole has become a favorite in my house recently. I’ve made my husband a guac convert! He’s still not keen about avocados but guac seems to be a completely different story. 🙂

Today, I’m going to share my guacamole recipe with you! I wasn’t very good at getting the right balance of ingredients until a few months ago (maybe that’s why he didn’t like it). 🙂 We visited Plaza Azteca, an amazing Mexican restaurant, and watched them make the guac table side.  I have now learned all their secrets!

IMG_3459

Ingredients

  • 2 Avocados
  • Bunch of roughly chopped Cilantro
  • 1/4  Yellow onion, diced
  • 1 tbsp Jalapeno pepper, diced
  • 1/2 Roma Tomato, diced
  • 1 Lime, juiced
  • Salt, to taste

Directions

  1. Place avocado, lime juice and a pinch  salt in a bowl and begin cutting together with two knives.
  2. Add onions, tomato, and jalapeno and combine with a spoon.
  3. Sprinkle in cilantro and another bit of salt and mix.
  4. Sample with tortilla chips and adjust if necessary
  • If bland: add a little salt or lime juice

IMG_8950
IMG_9985

Sharpie Therapy / Friendship

10 Dec

sharpietherapy1
I was planning on showing you guys some more of my Sharpie Therapy Christmas stuff but that will have to wait until next week. I have been thinking about my friendships this week and happened about a few great quotes.

This first one makes me think of a few friends I have that I can be real with. You know what I mean because you thought of a specific friend or two when you read the quote below. A friend who you can share your heart with but also be a little silly with and, yes, maybe even act stupidly along side sometime.  Go send a text to that friend and thank them for allowing you to be yourself. Bets are you are already talking to them. 🙂afterlight (1)

This next quote is something I’ve had to remember. I’m not one that makes friends easily. It’s actually something I’ve had to learn. I have never had many friends. Part of that is because I’m an INFJ and we prefer to have a few super close friends than thousands of surface-y friendships. However, I’ve learned that the #1 way to make friends is to reach out and take the first step toward friendship. Whether that is a call for coffee or a friendly FB post, reach out to a new friend!IMG_6097Now this quote is all about the loyal friends in your life. Loyalty is big for me and something that makes it on the top 3 list of friend qualities I hold most dear. These are people who never leave your side even when the times are tough. These are the Best friends. Call your best friend up tonight and let them know how much you appreciate them. Then show them the same loyalty in return.
afterlightWhat are some of your favorite quote on friendship?

Weekend Recap / 6

9 Dec

This past weekend was amazing! It felt like Christmas, birthday and vacation all in one. This is mostly because of the snow that came down yesterday. You can ask Bradley, I was basically giddy all day. 🙂

IMG_8087IMG_9565

And I was happy to have gotten these guys at Target right before Thanksgiving. So cute!IMG_2095

On Saturday, my friend Chelsea and I launched the facebook page for a new project we are working on called The Gathering Project. It’s a day long workshop in January where local artisans will be teaching guests about bringing warmth into winter through their individual skills: wreath making, table styling, lettering and typography and drink mixing. We are so excited!IMG_0025

I also started working on Christmas present for a few of my friends. However, since they are all reading this now, I can’t post any more pictures than these few below. 😉 I love making gifts for those special people in my life. Homemade presents are the best!IMG_0094 IMG_0446IMG_6060

As you can see, the Sharpie Therapy of the day also had to do with snow. 🙂 Such truth in this verse.
IMG_7224Did you have fun this weekend? Maybe making gifts or wishing you were enjoying the snow? I’d love to hear all about it.

Your Style / Mixing Prints

5 Dec

Two weeks ago I asked my readers to send in their mixing prints styled outfits. I was featuring my own outfit where I paired a polka dot shirt with a striped sweater and wondered what you guys could come up with! My sister-in-law Heather put together quite the incredible mixed prints outfit using the color blue.

Remember how I mentioned, when you’re mixing prints in an outfit, it helps to have a base color? Heather’s base color was blue. Each piece she is wearing has that color in it, which helps tie the whole outfit together!

Thanks for sending in your pictures Heather! It’s an honor to feature you on my blog today. 🙂

photo (15) photo (16) photo (14) After seeing this feature and my original post, if you would like to be added to this blog reader showcase of mixed prints in an outfit, send your pictures my way! Just email me: joodlesdoodles@gmail.com.