Friday, December 28, 2012

Peach and Vanilla Champagne Jello Shots

How can I be the "jello shot queen" without a champagne jello shot recipe for New Years Eve!?

This year I decided to jazz them up and add some peach schnapps and a splash of vanilla extract to the champagne.


I used only Knox gelatin to keep them firm so you can pick them up with your fingers.

My batch made about 20 star shaped shots total -- but I bet you could cut them a little closer and get a few more out of it.

I keep the scraps in the fridge in little party dixie cups for late night when people don't really care how cute they are. They just want more ...

This year since there will be no champagne toast or partying for me, we are going to go to Passion Fish for an early four course dinner with friends.

Nick and I almost had our wedding reception at Passion Fish. We also had an amazing dinner there for Valentines Day one year. It's one of my favorites, I can't wait!

Maybe later we will have some sparking cider and I'll get a kiss on the couch from hubby at midnight ... if I can make it that long. A kiss on the baby bump too!

Happy New Year friends. Eat some champagne jello shots for me!  xoxo

Check out last years Champagne Jello Shot on That's so Michelle

Peach and Vanilla Champagne Jello Shots
1 bottle champagne (3 1/2 cups)
1/2 cup peach schnapps
4 evelops Knox gelatin
1 small splash vanilla extract
4 tablespoons sugar
1 star shaped (or any shape you like) mini cookie or fondant cutter

1. Pour 2 cups champagne in a medium sized sauce pan (no heat yet) sprinkle on your 4 envelopes of Knox. Let sit for 2 minutes letting the gelatin activate. Turn on medium heat and stir with a fork or whisk until the gelatin dissolves.

2. Add your 4 tablespoons sugar and splash of vanilla. Let the sugar dissolve. When champagne is at a low boil turn off the heat.

3. Spray a 9" x 13" brownie pan with cooking spray.

4. In a separate bowl pour 1 1/2 cups champagne and 1/2 cup peach schnapps. Add your hot champagne mix and then add to brownie pan. (4 cups total)

5. Refrigerated overnight. Slowly and carefully cut out and remove your jello shots. Refrigerated until serving.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Best of our Holiday in Roanoke Virginia

This Christmas we spent a few days in Blue Ridge Mountains in Roanoke, Virginia with my husbands grandparents. The time we spend there is always so relaxing, everything moves at a slower pace than here in the city and we can just sit back and enjoy their company.

This trip I was really interested in looking at some of Nick's baby photos. Grandpa pulled out some old slides he had recently found and we took a stroll down memory lane the old school way. 

I hope our little boy looks just like this.

Grandma always seems to know the foods I love. Smoked salmon and cream cheese on crispy garlic toasts with fresh dill.

I cuddled up by the fireplace with a cup of hot tea while the men watched football. (Fingers crossed for my husbands Cowboys this weekend)

Look at their magnificent Christmas tree! Grandpa played Christmas songs on the piano right next to the tree one night while we all had some humming bird cake. Unforgettable.

The sun setting over the Blue Ridge Mountains while we headed to the famous Roanoke Star and then out for an amazing Thai food dinner.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Apple Cider and Buttered Rum Jello Shots

Merry Christmas friends!

If you follow my Facebook page, you know we took a vote. Apple cider and buttered rum jello shots or champagne jello shots.

Behold .... a jello shot is born.

I meant to get this post up a couple days ago but ran out of time before we headed out the door to visit our grandparents in Southern Virginia (photos coming soon).

My mom came up with this whole concept and They. Are. De-licious. Don't worry I only smelled them ... but a room full of people will vouch for me.

I added red food coloring to the apple cider so there would be a color difference in the layers (apple cider and buttered rum are actually very similar in color) and the Knox makes them perfect for picking up with your fingers.

I hope everyone had an amazing Christmas morning. I know I did.

P.S. I'm still going to make a new champagne jello shot, look for that post on Friday. (For a kid friendly non-alcoholic version just use cold water mixed with 2 tablespoons of butterscotch syrup instead of schnapps)

Apple Cider and Buttered Rum Jello Shots
(makes 18-24 cubes)
2 cups apple cider
1/3 cup butterscotch schnapps
1/4 cup light rum
1 cup water
6-10 drop red food coloring
4 envelopes Knox gelatin
1 10x10 square pan

1. Pour 1 cup apple cider into a medium sauce pan. Add 3-5 drops of red food coloring into your cider until you get your desired red color. Sprinkle 2 envelopes of Knox gelatin on top. Let it sit for 1-2 minutes. Turn on the heat stir and dissolve all of the gelatin and bring the cider to a light boil. Turn off the heat.

2. Spray non stick cooking spray on your 10x10 pan. Add 3-5 drops of red food coloring into 1 cup of cold apple cider. Pour that cup of cold cider into your hot cider. Pour that into the 10x10 pan.

3. Let the apple cider gelatin set. Should take 30-60 minutes.

4. Pour 1 cup water into a medium sauce pan. Sprinkle 2 envelopes of Knox gelatin on top. Let it sit for 1-2 minutes. Turn on the heat stir and dissolve all of the gelatin and bring water to a light boil. Turn off the heat and add 1/3 cup butterscotch schnapps and 1/4 cup light rum.

5. Pour your buttered rum gelatin on top of your set apple cider gelatin. Let it set overnight.

6. Run a warm butter knife along the edges of your pan. Flip over the pan releasing the jello. Cut the jello into strips and then into cube. Keep cold until serving. Make the night before serving.

Monday, December 17, 2012

16 Weeks and It's a ...

So I don't have any fun treats for you today (booooooo - I know) but I will soon.

I had a "Christmas light bulb" jello shot failure last weekend and this weekend I made candy cane jello shots for a holiday party but the color swirls caused the jello to separate when you pick them up. They were really pretty (and people ate them of course) but a little disappointing. Here is a step by step how to from Good Cocktails in case you want to try them anyway. 

News from Babyland: I did some Christmas shopping at Target this weekend. I saw this little Snuga Monkey and I couldn't resist. His belly lights up and plays soothing music and nature sounds. He is so soft and cute, I could hang out with this monkey all day. Speaking of little monkeys ...

We had our Infantsee4D appointment this Sunday and got to find out that we will be having a sweet little... BOY.

We cried a little when they told us. I can't remember the last time I was that happy. It was an overwhelming feeling of intense joy. I squeezed Nick's hand and it was like the whole world stood still at that moment. A boy!!!

I've cried several times since we found out. I think of getting him ready for school, putting his little coat on him and him sitting with his dad watching football. I think of him playing with the Honey Bear or getting embarrassed when I try to kiss him goodbye before school.

I am in love already.

P.S. Don't make fun of me for the toothbrush in the photo. Nick just got back from being out of the country (for two whole weeks) for work and I was forced to become one of those people who take photos of themselves in the bathroom.

Total weight gain: 14-15lbs
How I'm feeling: Yay! I feel better! This is that wondrous "feel good" period they talk about. Don't get me wrong, I still get tired very early and have some round ligament pain and pressure but nothing like I was feeling in the first trimester. I did have to leave work early one day last week and when I asked my boss if I could head out early ... I started crying. Ridiculous. I have no idea why I was crying and I couldn't even say that without crying even more. Totally embarrassing. Thankfully my boss has two kids at home and understands how it goes. 
Maternity clothes? Still wearing my magical leggings and black work pants. I bought a maternity shirt (above) at Target but it's not really necessary yet.
Stretch marks? No. Is this question silly? When do those stretch marks show up? I thought it wasn't until after the baby.
Sleep: Pretty good. Especially since Nick is home now.
Exercise: Meh. I don't want to talk about it.
Best moment this week: Finding out it's a boy <3
Miss Anything? Brie cheese. How can I keep going to Christmas parties and not be able to eat brie cheese. It's a crime!
Movement: Okay ... so I think so. It's not that strong yet but I am pretty sure at bed time is when baby starts flipping around. It's almost like I can feel little somersaults!
Food cravings: Wings. Ranch buffalo wings. I need them. All the time.
Anything making you queasy or sick: This morning the smell of the brakes on the Metro.
Have you started to show yet: Yes! Just my little baby bump above. People started asking me more questions at work last week too.
Gender prediction: I was right. A boy!
Belly Button in or out? In
Wedding rings on or off?
On but tight.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Egg Nog Pudding Shots with Cookie Spoons

This blog post was requested from a lovely reader who is having a holiday party and asked if I had a recipe for egg nog pudding shots. I didn't ... but it was definitely a good idea!

I used Brit + Co.'s recipe and it was perfect. My only adjustment was the sugar wafer cookies that serve as a edible spoon.

While I like to think I am "Martha Stewart-esque" I don't own mini spoons and I didn't really want to go out and spend money on mini spoons either. The cookies "spoons" are adorable, about 2 bucks and you get to eat them too!

Pudding shots are really, really easy.

1. You just take 1 box of instant vanilla pudding mix (make sure it's instant, I bought the cook and serve by mistake and had to go back to the store) and mix it with 3/4 cup of egg nog with an electric mixer.

It should look like this. It will be a little bit runny at first.

2. Next you add 1/2 a cup of  Bailey’s and 1/4 cup rum and 1 (8 ounce) tub of extra creamy Cool Whip that has been thawed in the refrigerator. Mix it lightly (don't over mix it just make sure there are no lumps). It should look like this.

3. Spoon or pipe the pudding mix into a shot glass top it with whipped cream and nutmeg or sprinkles and stick in your cookie spoon and serve. (Store in the fridge until you serve)

You can put the egg nog pudding mixture in the freezer to make it firm like soft serve too.

Once again I couldn't have any ... but my mom was in town this weekend and she said it was delish! I'm bringing the left over pudding to work. Is that allowed? Egg nog pudding shots at work?

I guess I will find out!

Just 15 days until Christmas and less than a week until we find out if we are bringing a beautiful little boy or girl into this world!

Egg Nog Pudding Shots (makes 12-14 large shots)
3/4 cup cold egg nog
1 small box vanilla instant pudding
1/2 cup Bailey’s
1/4 cup brandy, rum or bourbon
1 (8 ounce) tub extra creamy Cool Whip, thawed in refrigerator
1 package of sugar wafer cookies
Nutmeg or sprinkles and whipped cream (optional)

Sunday, December 2, 2012

14 Weeks and Blue Puppy Onsie

My mom sent us this little onsie that I used to wear as a newborn. She said even though I was a girl she liked me in blue because it matched my eyes (they are now light green).

She sent it so our little lemon drop can wear it too. I swear it still smells like a baby. We even have been trying to get Honey to smell it so she can get used to the scent.

Sometimes I put on my chest near my shoulder and hold it like baby is actually there. It sounds silly but it melts my heart.  I can't believe we are going to have something so tiny and precious of our own.

Week 14: Baby is the size of a lemon

Average size: 3.4 inches, 1.5 oz.
Liver, kidney, and spleen are continuing to develop...

Total weight gain: I still don't know but I'm sure it's more than 12lbs (last week). I feel really chubby lately and I'm pretty down on myself about it. I wish I was one of those people who only gained in the tummy. I see it pretty much all over. Especially my face.
How I'm feeling: I'm feeling better. Not nauseous at all and I have some energy back. I still get winded pretty easily though and the other day I carried a tray of cupcakes out to the car (we have to park semi far away) and by the time I got to the car it felt like I had walked a mile. I can't imagine what it will be like when I'm HUGE. I'm still getting headaches too. 
Maternity clothes?  Nothing new but I desperately need maternity tights. I hate tights but have to wear them at work.
Stretch marks?
Not yet
Not great. I'm so tired at the end of the night but I sleep even lighter than I used to. We live next to a hospital and last night I heard a helicopter flying around the hospital for about 30 minutes. Car alarms kept going off and the people above us' dog kept thumping on the floor. It was not a good nights sleep. I still have to take Unisom every night or I will just toss and turn and never fall asleep.
Just my walk to work from the metro and back. It feels like enough right now but I swear I am opening that workout DVD this week.
Best moment this week:
Making our appointment to find out the gender of the baby. We will know in 2 weeks. We can't wait!
Miss Anything?
Still missing my raw tuna and craving it. I miss my old wardrobe too.
Movement: None yet
Food cravings:
Thai food -- which husband took me to get for lunch over the weekend. I NEEDED Pad Thai. Also red meat. I crave steak a couple nights a week.
Anything making you queasy or sick:
Still can't take the smell of the dog in the car. Also I opened the pantry where we keep the garbage a few days ago and there must have been SOMETHING bad in there. I literally ran to the bathroom to throw up. Terrible.
Have you started to show yet:
Definitely have a little bump. It still could be interpreted for pretty big pot belly though.
Gender prediction:
Still think it's a boy.
Belly Button in or out?
Wedding rings on or off?
On but they are getting tight.
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