Sometimes you get weird stuff in the Christmas swap

In case you were unclear, this post is a throwback to Christmastime–or winter-holiday time for anyone celebrating something else….YUP I’m inclusive.

So I feel like I need to give a little background to this post. My dad’s girlfriend (oh hey T) introduced this amazing game into our Christmas celebrations a few years ago. The gist of it is that everyone stands in a circle and most people are holding a present (all if you want to make sure everyone ends up with a prize…..I’m still resentful of 2012 when me and Meg ended up empty handed. T reads a story about the Right family…and you pass presents around whenever the words “right” and “left” are announced. It gets INTENSE…especially in my family because we love a good holiday punch. Long story short I ended up with a boxed Italian christmas cake “Panettone” that was regifted into the game by my godfather.

This box o' mystery. Do people really buy this for themselves? It's not all that bad to be honest...

This box o’ mystery. Do people really buy this for themselves? It’s not all that bad to be honest…

You’ve all probably seen them before in the grocery store. Like me you’re probably wondering what the F you do with this box of strange. Turns out Giada from the Food Network has the answer! You make a bread pudding!

Simple to make. Easy ingredients.

Simple to make. Easy ingredients.

It’s actually super simple to make—and BONUS: it tastes amazing. I made it for the New Years Eve party I went to. A bit of truth for you, this is some full fat sh*t. You gotta just roll with it on this one…lower fat alternatives just don’t hold up as well.

Panettone Bread Pudding:
-1  box panettone bread, crusts trimmed, bread cut into 1-inch cubes
-8 large eggs
-1 1/2 cups whipping cream
-2 1/2 cups whole milk
-1 1/4 cups sugar
-vanilla

Butter/Pam a dish and arrange the bread cubes in it. In a large bowl whisk all the other ingredients together and then pour over the bread cubes, and press the bread cubes a bit to make sure they’re covered. Let stand for about 30 minutes, occasionally pressing the bread cubes into the custard mixture. Bake at 350 for 45 mins until the pudding puffs up and the center is set.

Bread pudding is always the right choice

Bread pudding is always the right choice

I topped it with some homemade whipped cream. It went over pretty well.

In other newsssss….I just got back from a trip to San Fran to visit L! A group of us went, and we had a total blast celebrating birthdays and L’s new San Fran life.

The fog gets crazy in San Fran. It literally covered the bridge the day we arrived

The fog gets crazy in San Fran. It literally covered the bridge the day we arrived

We seriously had so much fun. Here’s a quick recap of the shenanigans we got into:

-self guided wine tasting tour where we got daytime buzzed drinking wine all day and playing bocci ball
-amazing dinner with L’s bro and sis in law and their 4 beautiful and way too lovable babies
-brunches
-sight seeing of the Golden Gate Bridge, the Ghirardelli  factory, the Full House houses, and so much more
-night tour of Alcatraz
-soaking up the sunshine…I was beginning to forget what it felt like
-meeting up with CB!!!
-fun bars, new friends, cocktails and Cards Against Humanity

The Ladies outside of the Cliff House after brunch

The Ladies outside of the Cliff House after brunch

 

K&CB together again!! #viadelmoro4life

K&CB together again!! #viadelmoro4life

 

Gettin' our drank on with amazing cucumber type cocktails with Death Star ice balls.

Gettin’ our drank on with amazing cucumber type cocktails with Death Star ice balls.

Check out this sweeet 20 piece knife set that C and D got me for my bday :) woot woot

Check out this sweeet 20 piece knife set that C and D got me for my bday 🙂 woot woot

The Story of How I Kicked 2012’s A**

Well…we’re a solid 2 days into 2013 now. So far so good I’d say. And with a new year comes the inevitable blitzkrieg of resolutions (I mean seriously, have you read Facebook lately?). But this isn’t really one of those things. Last year I made a resolution to actively try more things/new experiences. And I thought now would be a good time to share with you how I totally crushed it.

I’m going to give you all a little breakdown of some of the things I tried this past year.

January: Joined the gym; started personal training; started a BLOG! (yup…my baby’s a year old!) Accepted a salary position at my job.

February: Took the Foreign Service Exam (sadly didn’t pass…sigh); actively participated in karaoke; Joined the Massachusetts Women’s Political Caucus; Went to the trampoline park!

The ladies and I hit up the trampoline park and spent an evening bouncing around.

The ladies and I hit up the trampoline park and spent an evening bouncing around.

March: Went to Chicago; signed up for online dating (yikes); went on the first date with my boyfriend.

The ladies and I at the Bean!

The ladies and I at the Bean!

the couple

April: Went to Gotye show; tried Paint Nite for the first time; went to a High School party with my bestie in our mid-20s.

 

Gotye show 1 of 2 this year. This time at the House of Blues.

Gotye show 1 of 2 this year. This time at the House of Blues. Look at how close we were!

First Paint Nite experience!

First Paint Nite experience!

May: Went to Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zero’s show; went to Feist show; tried a scorpion bowl; date night at Top of the Hub

Awesome Feist show at the House of Blues!

Awesome Feist show at the House of Blues!

Yup…there he is…standing right in front of me!

June: Visited Indiana and road tripped though Ohio for my friend E’s amazing wedding!! Was a date at a NJ wedding; participated in a Young Professionals Day of Service with the MA Women’s Political Caucus; saw Hello Dolly with my mom and sis!

the BEAUTIFUL couple!

the BEAUTIFUL couple!

Hello Dolly!

July: Watched my first UFC fight night; went kayaking; saw the Totem Cirque du’Soleil show; went to Rufus Wainwright and Ingrid Michaelson show!

IMG_0979

Kayaking like a champ

August: Went swimming in an indoor/outdoor salt water pool; had a lady boating adventure in New Hampshire

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The view of the lake from the boat

That time we played ladder ball and pretended to be Olympic commentators lol

That time we played ladder ball and pretended to be Olympic commentators lol

September: Went paddle boarding on the Cape; jumped off the boardwalk (so scary lol); white water rafting in Maine; Pentatonix show; had High Tea; went to Phantom Gourmet Food Phest; saw Gotye again at BofA Pavillion.

Going through the rapids!

Going through the rapids!

some singing action

some singing action

Mom, Z and the sis at Phantom Phest!

Mom, Z and the sis at Phantom Phest!

October: Pottery painting; went to a political rally and met Elizabeth Warren!; The Royal Concept Show; Halloween Scavenger Hunt in Salem; Haunted Corn Maze!

I painted the crap outta this tea pot!

I painted the crap outta this tea pot!

Oh you know...that time M and I met Elizabeth Warren

Oh you know…that time M and I met Elizabeth Warren

The time I the haunted corn maze scared me half to death

The time I the haunted corn maze scared me half to death

The Royal Concept and Frank + Derol were AMAZING

The Royal Concept and Frank + Derol were AMAZING

November: wine tasting and outdoor concert at Nashoba Valley Winery; saw the new version of The Nutcracker; took a gun shooting lesson; took a trip to Philly.

yummy wines on the grass at Nashoba Valley

yummy wines on the grass at Nashoba Valley

watch out...cause this girl can shoot.

watch out…cause this girl can shoot.

Philly Cheesesteaks in Philly!

Philly Cheesesteaks in Philly!

December: Attended a video game tournament; saw Seussical the Musical; saw The Slutcracker; hosted my first dinner party!

Local theater production of Seussical the Musical

Local theater production of Seussical the Musical

If you haven't seen this yet...go see it next year ;)

If you haven’t seen this yet…go see it next year 😉

Got to use my punch bowl at my ladies night party!

Got to use my punch bowl at my ladies night party!

Overall, I got to do some really fun things in 2012. I have loved keeping this blog and am so excited that more people are starting to read and follow it. I also did some awesome crafts and made some great treats but since they’re already on the blog I left those out.

I wanted to thank everyone who takes to the time to check out my ramblings and kitchen shenanigans; you helped make my year extra special!

I hope everyone had a great New Year’s and are planning some epic adventures for the year to come!

Meat and Po’tater Casserole

When you read the title, imagine it with a southern accent…because that’s how I hear it haha…

So last week I went over to a friends house and we whipped up a tasty meal. She had found a recipe for Meat and Potato Casserole online so we figured it was worth a try. We did however make a few changes….namely that we used sweet potatoes instead of regular potatoes.

Its actually pretty simple to prepare and doesn’t cost a fortune to put together…so clearly I’m a fan. I WILL however point out some key things that you’ll likely miss if, like me, you read and prepare one step at a time.

Meat and Potato Casserole

Ingredients

  • 4 cups thinly sliced peeled potatoes
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 package (10 ounces) frozen corn
  • 1 can (10-3/4 ounces) condensed cream of celery soup, undiluted
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 tablespoon chopped onion
  • 1 cup (4 ounces) shredded cheddar cheese, divided
  • Minced fresh parsley, optional

Now before you read ahead, Note: YOU COOK THE POTATOES FIRST. After you peel, slice, and butter’em up you have to bake them for about 20 minutes! We sort of missed that part and it set us back time-wise so I thought I would tell you guys up front.

Directions

  • Toss potatoes with butter and salt; arrange on the bottom and up the sides of a greased 13-in. x 9-in. baking dish. Bake, uncovered, at 400° for 25-30 minutes or until potatoes are almost tender.
  • Meanwhile, in a large skillet, cook beef over medium heat until no longer pink; drain. Sprinkle beef and corn over potatoes. Combine the soup, milk, garlic powder, pepper, onion and 1/2 cup cheese; pour over beef mixture.
  • Bake, uncovered, at 400° for 20 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Sprinkle with remaining cheese. Bake 2-3 minutes longer or until cheese is melted. Sprinkle with parsley if desired. Yield: 6 servings.

It was super yummy and you can spice it up by adding other spices or veggies. And it all totally holds up when you take it for lunch the next day!

Note for vegetarians: This recipe can totally work with meat substitutes like lentils and soy-fake meat (sorry I can’t remember the actual name)

On an unrelated note: Its holiday fair season! woohoo! I can not express how much I love a good fair/yard sale. I happened to get a MAJOR steal when I went with my fam the other weekend! I got this AMAZING crystal cut punch bowl set complete with 12 glasses and stand bowl for….wait for it…..SIX DOLLARS. I basically died. I love it so much and CAN NOT wait to use it!

Punch Bowl Set!

 

How have the rest of fared at these fairs?…see what I did there…college money well spent.