Leave of Absence

If it hasn’t been obvious since I’ve been MIA since December – yikes! – I’m officially on a blogging hiatus until after the wedding. As much as I miss having this as my creative outlet, the wedding is the focus of my creative energy these days and I don’t think I can give this project the attention it properly deserves.

But in less than 57 days I will be enjoying the best day of my life and celebrating so many blessings and I could not be more excited about that!

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Until then, may your next few months be filled with love and happiness!

Image by Megan Dandeles Photography

Glad Tidings

I’m feeling extremely merry and blessed these days. Excited to have so many wonderful people in my life to celebrate the holidays with – whether it be coworkers, friends or family.

A surprise date to the Boston Holiday POPs last night pushed my festive mood beyond what the holiday-cheer-o-meter can comprehend — I even sang along. In public.

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Although I’m a few days early, I know the next few days will be very busy, so I wanted to take the moment to wish you and yours a very cozy, snowy, wonderland-y, cheery and magical Christmas full of loved ones and glad tidings.

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“I will honour Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year.”
– Charles Dickens 

Cookies To Knock Santa’s Pants Off

One of the lines near the top of my list of “things I could eat until I’m sick ” is the general descriptor “anything from Momofuku Milk Bar.”

Cue the recipe for their seasonal creation-extraordinaire: Corn-Flake Candy Cane Cookie.

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RECIPE: Corn Flake–Candy Cane Cookies
By Christina Tosi
Momofuku Milk Bar, NYC

Ingredients:
CORN FLAKE CRUNCH
5 cups corn flakes
1/2 cup milk powder
3 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon kosher salt
9 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

COOKIE DOUGH
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1 1/4 cups sugar
2/3 cup tightly packed light brown sugar
1 large egg
1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/4 cups mini marshmallows
18 large candy canes, broken into 1/4-inch to 1/2-inch pieces
2/3 cup mini chocolate chips

Instructions:
To make the corn flake crunch, preheat the oven to 275°F.

In a bowl, break down the corn flakes by hand until they are half of the original size. Toss the milk powder, sugar, and salt with the corn flakes. Pour in the melted butter and stir to coat evenly. Spread corn flake mixture evenly on a parchment paper–lined baking sheet and caramelize in the oven for 15 to 20 minutes, until slightly toasted and crunchy. Let cool for 20 minutes.

To make the cookie dough, cream the butter and sugars in a stand mixer with the paddle attachment on high speed for 2 minutes. With a rubber spatula, scrape down the sides of the mixing bowl. Add the egg, peppermint extract, and vanilla and continue creaming on high speed for another 6 to 8 minutes. With a rubber spatula, scrape down the sides of the mixing bowl. Add the flour, salt, baking powder, and baking soda. Mix on a low speed for 30 to 60 seconds until the mixture comes together but is still shaggy and streaks of flour remain. Add the corn flake crunch, mini marshmallows, candy cane bits, and mini chocolate chips. Mix on a low speed for another minute until the mixture is evenly speckled with the corn flake crunch, marshmallows, candy canes, and mini chocolate chips, being careful not to mix more than necessary.

Scoop the dough with a 2 3/4-ounce scoop or form 2-inch balls and place on a parchment paper–lined baking sheet. Pat down the cookie dough rounds, cover with plastic wrap, and chill for 30 minutes or up to 3 days. Do not bake the cookies from room-temperature dough.

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Arrange the chilled disks of cookie dough on parchment paper–lined baking sheets, 3 to 4 inches apart. Bake until cookies have puffed, spread, and browned around the edges, 10 to 12 minutes. Let cool completely on the baking sheet before transferring to a plate or an airtight container.

Source: James Beard Foundation

Editor’s note: Eat until your pants no longer fit.

Cheers to the Holiday Season

We spent the weekend hanging out with friends, making appetizers, decorating Christmas cookies, and finishing our Christmas shopping. (Note the words “going to the gym” were not on that list. Yikes!)

In recent weeks I’ve also become addicted to DVRing and rewatching episodes of Barefoot Contessa – I’ll blame the festive holidays and a sinus infection for the serious couch time on this one. However, that woman makes everything look so easy, it gives me the urge to throw a party just to celebrate a good dentist visit.

In the celebratory spirit, here’s some fabulous entertaining ideas from everyone’s favorite work distraction greatest source of ideas, Pinterest:

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Rock Candy Champagne Cocktails
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Crostini and dip
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Campari, Gin and Orange Cocktail
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Ham & Gruyere Thumbprints
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Smoked Salmon Crisps
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Papery Presents

I’m a stationary junkie. If it’s made of paper and wonderfully designed, I’ll probably buy it. That’s why my favorite stocking stuffers are notecards, prints and personalized stationary. Preppy, pretty colorful ones – like these!

Navy Anchor Noteset

From Design Darling

Navy Pink Rugby Stripe

Navy/Pink Rugby Stripe

orange foil

Orange and Gold Foil Notebook

Kraft To Do

Kraft Paper To Do List

joyeux noel

Joyeux Noel Print

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Here’s a Note Flat Cards

christmas print

Christmas print

Award Nomination…

For world’s worst blogger here! I’m horrified by how long it’s been since I’ve last posted. I really have little to no excuse other than it seems to be the busiest time of year (in a good way!) and I’ve been using extra time for wedding stuff.

So, as I slowly dip my toe back into the water, let’s start with a long list of awesome things you should check out:

Cyber Monday was dangerous for me. Particularly since I’m obsessed with all the jewelry at J Crew right now.

My massively stylish friend Christine was sporting a DIY “Creme de la Creme” sweatshirt similar to the more spendy Zoe Karssen version when I saw her in Minneapolis. Genius!

Maybe it’s the recent trip to Minnesota but I’m feeling an affinity for modern Scandanavian items like this awesome Herringbone Blanket.

We basically bought out the Wedding Chicks website on Monday when they had 50% off for Cyber Monday. Even if you’re not getting married, there are some festive gifts for the holidays:

Loving this Essie polish I treated myself to as a birthday gift!

Was in desperate need of a new iPhone case and was feeling the Kate Spade vibe.

I’m fighting the urge to make these and eat them all day long.

A bit out of season in the wintry months but I’m in love with these bath robes!

Feelin’ foxy. Even though I’m pretty sure I rocked a similar sweater with a duck as a child, I’m eye one of these bad boys.

These are awesome and perfect for the holidays.

What gems have you discovered recently??