Christmas Stuff

I have two words:  Gingerbread Houses.  They are a must.  I always make one with my siblings around the holidays, and it is always so funny.  Drab gingerbread houses are a big no no.  Homemade gingerbread houses are also a big no no.  To avoid these, buy a gingerbread house kit from the grocery store, and make your gingerbread men look like they are doing weird stuff.  Sometimes our gingerbread men are having a party on the roof, or they are having a dip in the pool out front (yes in December…yes it is supposed to be weird).  Just because you gingerbread house is weird doesn’t mean it shouldn’t look good.  Make sure the details are nice and not sloppy.  When people look at this gingerbread house they should go, “oh that’s nice,” and then they should go, “wait a minute.”  Simply put, your ginger bread house should put a little ‘ho-ho-hold up’ in the holidays.

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Thanksgiving…But now it’s Christmas

This Thanksgiving, my family went to my brother’s in-laws’s house.  They are Greek, so they make regular Thanksgiving food and Greek food.  The Greek food was amazing.  There was baklava and pastitsio, which are some of my favorite foods.  I had a little bit of Thanksgiving food, which was also amazing.  I was so happy that there was baklava and tiramisu because I’m not much of a pie person.  The tiramisu was homemade and IT WAS THE BEST TIRAMISU THAT I HAVE EVER HAD!  Now I’m not a huge tiramisu person, but this was insanely good.

Pop out the advent calendar.  Put lights up. Pick you Christmas tree.  Make some food.

Now it’s time to get into the Christmas spirit.  My must try recipe for the first weekend in December is a type of chocolate pretzels that are so easy to make.  I can not emphasize how easy they are and there is no mess.  All you need for this recipe is pretzels (preferable the waffle shaped ones), Hershey Kisses, and M&Ms.

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Get out a cookie sheet, then preheat the oven to 350, and spread a layer of pretzels on the cookie sheet.  Next, place one Hershey Kiss on each pretzel.  Pop these in the oven and check on them about every minute.  It’s important that you don’t overcook them or else the chocolate gets hard and not melted.  Once the chocolate is melted, place one M&M in the center of each kiss.  Voila…you are done.



P.S.  comment what you would like to see in the rest of my December posts.

Snow Day Cooking!

Yesterday there was a Snow Day!  It was such a blessing because going to school for 5 consecutive days is such a struggle.  I woke up and nobody was home (also a blessing), but there was almost no food in my house because my parents always forget to go grocery shopping.

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I looked up pancake recipes online because I had all the basic cooking ingredients (sugar, flour, etc.).  I found a recipe for cinnamon roll pancakes, so I made them and they were so good.  They are really thick and filling, so you can’t eat too many of them.  Here is the recipe I used:  I would definitely recommend making these.

In other news, I’m a huge tea fan right now.  I went to a friends house a few days ago, and her dad made Indian style chai tea.  It was so good.  I have been trying to recreate it ever since.  I haven’t made it quite the same, but I have made my own creation now.  I use Bigelow Vanilla Chai Tea.  Then I add ginger powder and cinnamon to the pot of tea.  After that, I put sweetened condensed milk in my cup of tea.  What I make isn’t exactly what I was originally going for, but I like it.

P.S. I have now been told that the Indian chai tea uses cardamom and not cinnamon.  I haven’t made any with cardamom yet because haven’t seen at the grocery store.

Cookie Brownies!




For those of you who don’t know what a cookie brownie is, it is brownie batter baked with cookie dough on top.

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This is a picture of cookie brownies from the Today Show. To read their full article click the link:

Cookies and brownies are fan favorites because they are two of the most classic desserts.  There are so many different ways to make cookies and brownies.  The great thing about cookie brownies is that you can use virtually any method of making cookies and brownies.  You can use box mix for brownies and cookies, or you can make one or both from scratch.  This new trend is starting to catch on, so in some places, cookie brownie mix already exists.  I have tried the Bakers Corner brand of cookie brownie mix and it is just a good as from scratch.

If you still feel like making cookie brownies completely from scratch here is a good recipe for doing so:


Psst…Get ready for next weeks blog because it’s almost Thanksgiving.  Brace yourselves.

My Trader Joe’s Favorites

One of my all-time favorite grocery stores is Trader Joe’s (shout out! please sponsor me!).  It is perfect for when you are too lazy to cook but you still want to eat some good food.  Some of my favorites from Trader Joe’s include:  Kringle (seasonal), Strawberry Yogurt O’s, almond croissants, pork gyoza, frozen Indian food, cookie butter, dried mango slices and mushroom ravioli.

The Kringle has a different flavor for each season.  I recently had the pumpkin one for spooky season and it was delicious, but my favorite Kringle is the Christmas Kringle.  The Christmas Kringle is like a pastry meets a Cinnabon and it is amazing!

The Strawberry Yogurt O’s and the almond croissants are my favorite breakfast foods.  The almond croissants are from the frozen section, and you just let them thaw overnight and cook in the oven.  They taste almost as good as some of the croissants I had while I was in France.

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The Indian food, pork gyoza, and mushroom ravioli are always perfect for easy and delicious dinners.

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Fall is Here and So Are the Pumpkins!

When October rolls around, I am ready to wear jeans, leggings, and sweaters.  Sometimes this is a bit of a struggle when it’s still 85 degrees in Northern Virginia.  One thing that cannot fail you when fall rolls around is food, especially pumpkins!  Pumpkins cannot be avoided in the fall so you might as well embrace it.

Snicker doodles are one of my favorite cookie types.  I figured that in the spirit of fall I would make Pumpkin Snicker Doodle Cookies.

The recipe I used was from Live Well Bake often and the cookies turned out great.  I made these cookies super late on a school night and I was still able to easily follow the directions.  I’m an impatient person so I made the dough one night and baked the cookies the next night, which worked out great.

Here are some pictures of my cookies:


  1. Whisk together 1 and 1/2 cups of flour, 1 teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice, 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda, 1 teaspoon of cream of tartar, and 1/4 teaspoon of salt in a medium bowl, then set this aside.
  2. Use a mixer to combine 1/2 cup of softened, unsalted butter, 1/2 cup of sugar, and 1/4 cup of brown sugar until combined.
  3. Mix in an egg yolk, 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract, and 1/4 cup of pumpkin puree.
  4. Combine the dry and wet ingredients and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  5. Preheat the oven to 350 and take the dough and roll it into balls of about 2 tablespoon.
  6. Mix 2 tablespoons of sugar and 1 teaspoon of cinnamon in a small bowl and roll each ball of cookie dough in the mixture.
  7. Place the cookies on a cookie sheet with parchment paper and bake for about 13 minutes.

Here is the link to see the original recipe:

Pumpkin Snickerdoodles

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