Happy Hour--Sparkling Rosemary Grapefruit Gin Martinis

Can we talk about holiday drinks??  Because I'm loving making all of these holiday-inspired drinks.  I hope you are enjoying making and drinking them too.  Anyway, this one is all about the holidays--delicious grapefruit, rosemary, gin, and a touch of sparkling wine to bring all of the festive cheer.  Any type of grapefruit cocktail is a winner in my book. Infuse a little rosemary into the cocktail and it definitely makes it even better.

Five Ways to Make Your Home Feel Festive & Cozy This Christmas

Christmas is getting really close--we are entering the busiest time of the year and there is so much to do.  This time of year I'm all about making and keeping our home holiday and entertaining ready. I usually forgo the Black Friday shopping for an all-out decorating marathon the weekend after Thanksgiving.  This year was no different and since we will be hosting some kind of gathering almost every single weekend of December and I don't want to spend all of my little bit of free time running around like crazy cleaning and decorating.  I'm not saying that my house is spotless at all times, but I try my best to keep it where the main areas can be picked up in a few minutes.  

Christmas Tree Cheeseball and Our Annual Friend's Ornament Exchange Party

A few nights ago I hosted an ornament exchange party with a few of my girlfriends.  Most of us have been getting together for about 15 years for this party, birthdays, and random dinners and it is just so wonderful. Every year we all bring a dish, have a few cocktails and steal each other's ornaments.  It's a ton of fun.

This year one of the appetizers that I made was this super cute Christmas Tree Cheeseball.   I wish that I could take credit for the ideas of turning my cheeseball into a Christmas tree--but, I actually saw one on the internet a few days ago and I knew I had to make one soon.  The one that I saw was covered in olives and sun-dried tomatoes which looked amazing.  However, I really wanted to make a cheeseball with a little bit of sweetness so I decided to go with one of my favorite recipes.  The beauty of this ideas is that you could use any cheeseball recipe and turn it into a Christmas tree--even a store-bought cheeseball.

Happy Hour--Cherry Bourbon Manhattans

With every Bourbon cocktail I make I am becoming more and more of a fan.  I mean, it's a little sweet, a little fruity, and if you are drinking the right one it's so smooth and delicious.  My problem is that I really like the single barrel kinds (you know the ones that cost quite a bit). I don't know why I can't do better with liking more inexpensive things--my budget definitely wants me to.  I've really been loving Four Roses Single Barrel and Blade and Bow.

Spicy Seasoned Ritz Crackers (aka Crack Crackers)

I think you can put just about anything at all on a Ritz Cracker and it will be good.  (Don't go there with your filthy minds, please.) I'm thinking of food items. Every year I make a similar recipe with pretzels, oyster crackers, or cheese crackers, but this year I decided to make it with Ritz Crackers and I'm definitely not sad about it at all.  I call these crackers-- Crack Crackers because they are so addicting.  You CANNOT stop eating them.

Make Your Own Simmering Christmas Potpourri Using Essential Oils

Simmering Christmas Potpourri is one of those delicious smelling treats that I promise you are completely going to love. Once it starts simmering your entire house will smell amazing.  It's so simple to make and can be adjusted to your own tastes.  Also, the longer it simmers the better it smells.  I just love to have a pot on my stove filling the house with all of the aromas of Christmas.

Brownie Cookies with Salted Caramel

Brownies are probably one of my all-time favorite desserts. I love them a little crispy, a little chewy, and very chocolatey.  Adding salted caramel makes them extra indulgent and oh-so-delicious.   These cookies are also very easy to make (compared to traditional brownies) and taste just as good.  The addition of the salted caramel is the perfect accompaniment to the rich chocolate.