Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Hot Chocolate Bar & Homemade Hot Chocolate Mix Recipe

I am all about traditions, and Christmas is my favorite time of year.  Every year when we decorate the Christmas tree, we drink hot chocolate and listen to Christmas music.  When we are finished, we watch "It's a Wonderful Life" in the dark with only the movie and the Christmas tree lights.  The ornaments that are on our tree are ones we had growing up, and we add to them each year with new ornaments for every member of our family (even the pets).  Watching the kids decorate the tree and talk about which ornament is who's, where we got it, and where it should be put is one of my favorite parts of the Christmas season.  I feel like when they are adults and decorating their own Christmas trees that they will remember doing this and talk about their memories and carry on the tradition with their families.


My kids and I make homemade hot chocolate mix every year using the same recipe that I used to make with my grandmother when I was little.

Monday, November 7, 2016

Thanksgiving Tablescape

There is something about this time of year, when summer fades into fall and fall fades into winter.  From football season through Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas, all of these celebratory occasions make everything seem cozier and more inviting.  I love planning (if you are a reader of mine, you already know this) for this time of year while it is still summer (don't worry, I don't start putting up the Christmas tree in July, I at least wait until after Halloween).  I have been planning my Thanksgiving table for a few months now, playing with this arrangement and that arrangement, and I finally came up with something that I really like, that really shows more of our family style.  We are not extremely formal, but I do want a touch of formality mixed in with our laid back style.  I also love greenery and plants, and anytime I can mix in those things, the more it feels like "us."



Texture is a key component

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Hearty Beef Chili

When my husband and I first got married almost 16 years ago, I had no idea how to make chili.  I searched every cookbook that I had (this was before Pinterest), and I could not find one that I truly liked.  That's when I decided to come up with my own version of a hearty beef chili.  It took a few tries, but I finally came up with my current recipe.  My husband has always loved it, and now so do my children. 

My chili has also evolved into a family tradition.  Every year on Halloween, I make a big pot of chili that we enjoy after a night of trick-or-treating. My family expects this chili, along with some Halloween cupcakes, when everyone is tired of walking the neighborhood asking for candy.  I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as my family and I do.

See recipe below.