December 17, 2014

Planning a Cookie Exchange Party and My Go To Recipes

I planned my first cookie exchange last year and had a blast! Now it's something I look foward to attending every holiday season. They are great to put on with church groups, spouse gatherings, or just your girlfriends or family! It not only is a great way to get in the holiday spirit but you also learn new recipes and get to take home tasty treats!
Below I have included some ideas for planning a Cookie Exchange Party and my favorite cookie recipes. 
My Hot Chocolate Cookies were fun to make and give at this year's party.
 I always include a print out of the recipe for everyone to take.
Bring baggies, containers, and/or paper plates so everyone can take home a variety of cookies. 
Serve your cookies on festive platters with a recipe name tag and bring enough for everyone to take home baggies full. 
This year's party, hosted by my friend Megan of Keys Photography, included prizes for Most Creative and Seriously Delish! My cookies won Most Creative.
Don't forget drinks! Megan amde tasty Pink Lemonade (in kids and Adult versions!) 
We had this party at a local restaurant in their party room. 
We had lunch first then noshed on cookies and candy.
Have crafts or activites for the kiddos and 

Some of my favorite cookie recipes: 

  1. Ooey Gooey Hot Chocolate Cookies (shown above)
  2. Super Soft Sugar Cookies
  3. Candied Bacon Chocolate Chip Cookies
  4. Pink Velvet Chocolate Chip Crinkle Cookies
  5. Cranberry Sauce Sandwich Cookies
  6. Coconuttie Snickerdoodles
  7. Chocolate Potato Chip Cookies 
  8. Oatmeal Trail Mix Muffin Cookies
  9. Reeses Peanut Butter Chocolate Pudding Cookies
  10. Best Ever Peanut Butter Cookies
  11. Chocolate Pumpkin Cake Cookies
  12. Vegan Sunflower Butter Cookies
  13. Peppermint Patty Cookies
  14. Homemade Peanut Butter Dog Cookies

How delicious does this look?! 
My little Ava and I at last year's party! I can't believe how much she's grown! 

December 16, 2014

2 Ingredient Apple Cider Punch and Thanksgiving Recap

This year we spent Thanksgiving in Destin with our family from all over. We ended up having 18+ people for dinner! Lots of good food and full bellies for everyone ;)
I have posted our menu below and today I wanted to share the Apple Cider Punch I made (it was a hit and I swear it's the easiest drink ever!). 
Only 2 ingredients are needed for this tasty punch.

Ingredients:

  • 3 parts Apple Cider (serve chilled and well shaken)
  • 1 part Ginger Ale

Directions:

  1. Fill a glass (or pitcher) 3/4 of the way with apple cider.
  2. Fill the rest of the way with ginger ale. 
  3. Serve and I promise everyone will ask for the recipe. It's so tasty!

Another favorite drink is Ashton's Warm Caramel Apple Ciders. Simple fill a glass with apple cider, heat for 30 seconds in the microwave, top with whipped cream and drizzle with caramel. Delish and made in a minute! 

My little cutie and I in our matching pink aprons on Thanksgiving. She is such a good helper! 

Our menu: 

(view the pictures below)
Appetizers:
Dinner: 

The view from our condo in Destin.
Shenanigans in the kitchen! 

 Ashton making his famous Bread Bowl Spinach Dip 
This Parmesan Asiago Dip from weolive.com was amazing! 
Uncle Bill's fresh steamed shrimp! 
 
Dad and Ashton hard at work prepping oranges for my 
Dad frying his turkey. 
 
Uncle Mike's Pumpkin Crab Soup and my beautiful cousin Lauren enjoying a bowl. 
Mom's Squash Casserole
Mushroom Gravy
Mom's Brussel Sprout Bake
We were lucky enough to have ham, fried turkey, and this tasty smoked turkey too! 
Buffet style is the way to go! 
Nothing better than eating out on the balcony overlooking the Florida beach. 
That is a plate of heaven right there y'all! 
Thanksgiving sunset! 
The minion cousins!
Ava loves her some pie! 
Uncle Bill's Pumpkin Bread Pudding. 
Happy Thanksgiving from my family to yours! 
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