Entries Tagged as 'anne'

Erin’s Baby Shower

January 24th, 2011 · 3 Comments

On Saturday I went down to Tinley Park for Erin‘s baby shower. I’d never been to Tinley Park before and honestly? It was pretty easy to get to and only took about 40 minutes tops, no traffic! Erin’s shower was at an Italian restaurant called Gatto’s and her mom, sisters and friends reserved a space for us to celebrate. When I walked in, I had a tiny socially awkward panic thinking I didn’t know anyone, but very quickly I saw Blagica and Claire. We sat together and chatted, enjoying a nice Italian lunch of salad, calamari, penne, and chicken vesuvio.

Erin mingled around at each table and she looked so adorable. The last time I saw her was September. She was about 3 months along, I think? Honestly, she wasn’t looking too pregnant. She’s looking pregnant now! The baby is due three days before our wedding February. Erin introduced me to some people I didn’t know and told them I was getting married in a month. She went on to say how she and Scott had totally planned on attending and were even looking at rental properties, when they found out they were expecting. She said she was so bummed. Joyous. But bummed. Erin & Scott, I know I’ll have a lot going on when we’re on Kauai, but I will for sure be thinking of you guys. Can’t wait to meet your baby girl!

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Oh. P.S. I wanted to note the gift I got, since it was made by local crafty ladies. Since I worked with Erin and Scott on Chicagoist and that is where Erin and Scott met, I got them two Chicago-themed onesies.

The onesie on the left has the Chicago flag and was made by the talented Anne Holub, who we are all friends with. This gift got a small applause.. so .. winner! On the right, the Bean Baby onesie reminded me so much of our old Chicagoist bean tshirts that I couldn’t resist. Erin and Scott “got it” immediately, so that was awesome too. The Bean tshirt was made by Leigh Kelsey, who has an Etsy shop called Rhymes With Twee, and once applied to be a Chicagoist contributor… so it was all so perfect!

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2010 Cookie Party Recipes

December 20th, 2010 · 1 Comment

1st Place
DIRTY BALLS
by Amanda

Finely crush 1 pack oreo cookies – do not leave chunks, do not use double stuff.

8oz cream cheese softened.

Mix oreo cookies and cream cheese with mixer until well combined.

Roll into balls and refrigerate about 30 minutes.

Melt white dipping chocolate and dip balls in the chocolate.

Allow to dry on wax paper

Refrigerating balls make it easier to dip in chocolate.

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2nd Place
RED VELVET COOKIES
by Amanda

1 pouch (1 lb 1.5 oz) Betty Crocker® sugar cookie mix
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa
1/4 cup butter or margarine, softened
1/4 cup sour cream
1 tablespoon red food color
1 egg
3/4 to 1 cup Betty Crocker® Rich & Creamy cream cheese frosting
1/4 cup chopped nuts

Heat oven to 375°F. In large bowl, stir cookie mix, cocoa, butter, sour cream, food color and egg until soft dough forms.

Roll dough into 1-inch balls; place 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheet.

Bake 8 to 9 minutes or until set. Cool 2 minutes; remove from cookie sheet to wire rack. Cool completely, about 15 minutes.

Frost cooled cookies with frosting. Sprinkle with nuts. Store tightly covered at room temperature.

From: Betty Crocker.

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3rd Place (tie)
OREO PUDDING BARS
by Jen

35 OREO Cookies
6 Tbsp. butter, melted
1 pkg. (8 oz.) PHILADELPHIA Cream Cheese, softened
1/4 cup sugar
2 Tbsp. cold milk
1 tub (12 oz.) COOL WHIP Whipped Topping, thawed, divided
2 pkg. (3.9 oz. each) JELL-O Chocolate Instant Pudding
3-1/4 cups cold milk
make it

PROCESS cookies in food processor until fine crumbs form. Transfer to medium bowl; mix in butter. Press onto bottom of 13×9-inch dish. Refrigerate until ready to use.

WHISK cream cheese, sugar and 2 Tbsp. milk in medium bowl until blended. Stir in 1-1/4 cups COOL WHIP; spread over crust.

BEAT pudding mixes and 3-1/4 cups milk with whisk 2 min.; pour over cream cheese layer. Let stand 5 min. or until thickened; cover with remaining COOL WHIP. Refrigerate 4 hours.

From: kraftrecipes.com.

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3rd Place (tie)
ROLO COOKIES
by Loden

2 1/4 c. flour
3/4 c. cocoa
1 tsp. soda
1 c. sugar
1 c. packed brown sugar
1 c. butter, softened
2 tsp. vanilla
2 eggs
1 c. chopped nuts (your choice)
60 Rolo candies
4 tbsp. sugar

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In small bowl, combine flour, cocoa, and soda; blend well. In large bowl, beat sugars and butter until fluffy. Add vanilla and eggs; beat well. Slowly add flour mixture; blend well.

Stir in 1/2 cup nuts. For each cookie with floured hands, shape about 1 tablespoon dough around caramel candy, covering completely. In small bowl, combine 1/2 cup nuts and 4 tablespoons sugar. Press one side of each ball into pecan mixture.

Place, nut side up, on ungreased sheet. Bake at 375 degrees for 7 to 9 minutes. Cool slightly and remove from sheets. 60 cookies.

From: cooks.com.

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MINT CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES
by Stephanie

1 pouch (1 lb 1.5 oz) Betty Crocker® sugar cookie mix
1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon mint extract
6 to 8 drops green food color
1 egg
1 cup creme de menthe baking chips
1 cup semisweet chocolate chunks

Heat oven to 350°F. In large bowl, stir cookie mix, butter, extract, food color and egg until soft dough forms. Stir in creme de menthe baking chips and chocolate chunks.

Using small cookie scoop or teaspoon, drop dough 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheet.

Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until set. Cool 3 minutes; remove from cookie sheet to wire rack. Serve warm or cool completely. Store tightly covered at room temperature.

From: Betty Crocker.

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CHOCOLATE ESPRESSO SNOWCAPS
by Rachelle

1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
4 teaspoons instant espresso
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
2/3 cup packed light-brown sugar
1 large egg
4 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, melted and cooled
1 tablespoon milk
Confectioners’ sugar, for coating

In a medium bowl, sift together flour, cocoa, espresso, baking powder, and salt. With an electric mixer, cream butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in egg until well combined; mix in cooled chocolate. With mixer on low, gradually add flour mixture; beat in milk until just combined. Flatten dough into a disk; wrap in plastic. Freeze until firm, about 45 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment. Shape dough into 1-inch balls.

Pour confectioners’ sugar (about 1/2 cup) into a medium bowl; working in batches, roll balls in sugar two times, letting them sit in sugar between coatings.

Place on prepared baking sheets, 2 inches apart. Bake until cookies have spread and coating is cracked, 12 to 14 minutes; cookies will still be soft to the touch. Cool cookies on a wire rack.

Makes 18

From: Martha Stewart

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REINDEER POOP
by Rachelle

1 jar (16oz) dry roasted unsalted peanuts
1 jar (16oz) dry roasted salted peanuts
1 pkg. (12 oz.) semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 bar (4 oz.) German Chocolate-broken into pieces
3 #s or 2 planks White Bark-broken into pieces

Put ingredients into a 4 or 5 quart crock pot in the order listed. Cover and cook for 3 hours on low. Do not remove the lid during this time.

Turn of and cool slightly. Then stir to mix thoroughly and drop by teaspoonfuls on waxed paper. Let cool thoroughly. Approximately 170 pieces.

NOTE: At about the 2 hour mark I smelled burning. When I opened the slow cooker the peanuts were burning and the chocolate was scorched to the sides of the pot. I tried to scoop out the burned stuff and get the rest on waxed paper as soon as I could. I also used too large of a scoop so my pieces were big. If I’d used the smaller scoop, they’d have been more bite-sized.

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CHRISTMAS STAINED GLASS COOKIES
by Mary (Mom)

1 (12 oz.) pkg. chocolate chips
1 stick of butter
10 1/2 oz. pkg. colored mini marshmallows
1 c. chopped nuts
7 oz. pkg. coconut

Melt the chocolate chips and butter, stirring often. Cool to room temperature. Add nuts and marshmallows. Fold and mix together. Divide in half.

Sprinkle coconut on waxed paper. Form the mixture into a log and roll in coconut. Wrap waxed paper and refrigerate several hours.

Slice into cookies and enjoy.

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CHINESE NEW YEAR COOKIES
by Anne

1 (6 oz.) pkg. semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 (6 oz.) pkg. butterscotch chips
1 (3 oz.) can chow mein noodles
1 c. salted peanuts, chopped

Melt the chips in a double boiler. Mix in noodles and nuts. Drop by teaspoon on waxed paper. Yield: 36.

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CLASSIC SPRITZ COOKIES
by Katie

1 1/2 c. butter
1 c. granulated sugar
1 egg
2 Tbsp. milk
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 tsp. almond extract
3 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Thoroughly cream butter and sugar. Add egg, milk, vanilla and almond extract; beat well. Stir together flour and baking powder; gradually add to creamed mixture, mixing to make a smooth dough. Do not chill.

Put dough into cookie press and press cookies onto greased cookie sheet. Bake 10 – 12 minutes or until lightly browned around the edges. Remove cookies from sheet; cool on rack.

Makes 7-8 dozen cookies.

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HOLIDAY BARK
by Jessica G.

8 ounces white chocolate, chopped
12 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
7 ounces salted cocktail peanuts (1 1/2 cups)

Place white chocolate in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water, stirring occasionally, until chocolate melts. Remove from heat.

Melt bittersweet chocolate in a heatproof bowl set over a pot of simmering water, stirring occasionally.
Stir in peanuts. Spread on a parchment-lined rimmed baking sheet, spreading peanuts in a single layer.

Drop spoonfuls of white chocolate on top, and swirl chocolates with a skewer. Refrigerate until set, about 1 hour. Break bark into large pieces. Bark will keep, covered and refrigerated, for up to 2 weeks.

Makes 1 1/4 pounds

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5-LAYER BARS
by Kristin

1/2 cup chopped pecans
1 cup butterscotch morsels (I used only chocolate chip since I didn’t have butterscotch)
1 cup shredded coconut
1 cup semisweet chocolate morsels
1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, melted (I drizzled a bit more butter than the recipe called for)
1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Combine graham cracker crumbs and melted butter. (I sometimes just melt the butter in the 9×13 pan in the oven while it preheats.) Press into bottom of a 9 by 13-inch baking dish. Sprinkle remaining ingredients of mix over crumb mixture. (I usually do chips, then nuts, then coconut). Pour sweetened condensed milk over the layers. Bake for 30 minutes. Allow to cool and cut into bars.

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JACK-N-GINGER COOKIES
by Jill

1 14.5 oz. box gingerbread cake & cookie mix (I could not find a gingerbread mix so I made my own gingerbread mix based on a recipe from allrecipes.com)
1/4 cup Jack Daniel’s Old No. 7
2 T butter, melted

Preheat oven to 375. In a large bowl, mix gingerbread mix with 1/4 cup Jack and melted butter. Roll out a small amount of dough to 1/8 inch thickness on lightly floured board. Cut out cookies with shaped cookie cutter(s); arrange one inch apart on a baking sheet. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes. Cool on a wire rack.

Glaze:
1 cup powdered sugar
2 to 2 1/2 T Jack Daniel’s Old No. 7

In a small bowl, mix powdered sugar and 2 to 2 1/2 T of Jack to a spreading consistency. Frost cookies as desired.

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4th Annual Cookie and Tree Trimming Party

December 19th, 2010 · 4 Comments


Katie, Loden, Anne, Kristin, Jessica, Stephanie


Mom, Amanda, Jessica, Rachelle, Halle, Jill

On Saturday I hosted my annual cookie and tree trimming party. I had been in New York all week for work, and while I got back in time and took Friday off, it was still a lot to cram into one day to be ready for Saturday. Unlike the last few years, I was not hung over for the party, but I kind of felt like I was. I was really tired! Always something… ha.


Mom & Jess

Friends and family came over and each brought a few dozen cookies. We laid the cookies out on trays and sampled them over the course of a few hours. This year is kind of strange the way Christmas falls and it seems to have snuck up on everyone. That, and the fact that I held the party a little later on in December, made up for a smaller party than usual. I remember last year it was crazytown. This year was more relaxed. I actually tried every cookie and talked to every person. Both parties were fun. Just different.


Dips!

To counterbalance all of the sweets, I also served dill dip with vegetables, pimento cheese, and a blue cheese with walnut spread. I’ll have some recipes for these at a later date. As always, we also had hot apple cider (spiked or not) which my mom and Jess were in charge of. I’m still using Julene’s Chicagoist recipe for the cider!


Halle


Halle

We passed the time talking and eating. Unlike last year, there were not many kids at the party this year. Just Jessica and Halle. Of course, everyone was cooing over Halle. She’s such a beautiful little girl and has such a great temperament. Jess spent most of her time behind the couch trimming the tree! Ha! She is shy and really into the tree, so she didn’t mind. Unlike last year when Jess and Tessa only decorated the tree up to the height they could reach, this year Jess got help and the tree is fully decorated up to the top.


Christmas Tree 2010

These were all the tasty cookies we sampled:

  • Rolo Cookies (Loden)
  • Christmas Stained Glass Cookies (Mary)
  • Holiday Bark (Jessica)
  • Chinese New Year Cookies (Anne)
  • Chocolate-Espresso Snowcaps (Rachelle)
  • Reindeer Poop (Rachelle)
  • Classic Spritz Cookies (Katie)
  • 5 Layer Cookies (Kristin)
  • Jack & Ginger Cookies (Jill)
  • Red Velvet Cookies (Amanda)
  • Dirty Balls (Amanda)
  • Mint Chip Cookies (Stephanie)
  • Oreo Pudding Bars (Jen)


Jen Voting

Everything was so delicious! Once everyone had a chance to sample everything I handed out voting cards and everyone made an anonymous vote. Tied for 3rd place were Jen’s Oreo Pudding Bars and Rollo Cookies. In second was Amanda’s Red Velvet Cookies and in first place? Amanda again with her Dirty Balls! (That sounds kind of disgusting!).


Amanda opening her gift for winning


Amanda with her prizes

I’m declaring the party a success again this year! I’ll post the recipes for the cookies later on today or tomorrow!

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