Wednesday, December 29, 2010

The Last of the Holiday baking...for a while at least

Today is a co-worker's birthday.  This co-worker is the one that bakes yummy, delicious treats for everyone else on their birthday. So... in return, myself and a couple others decided to bake treats to bring in as a Happy Birthday and Thank You! My treat: mini chocolate cheesecakes

all baked up

drizzled with white chocolate
Hopefully they taste as yummy as they look... and that everyone (especially the birthday girl) likes them.

No more baking for a while. I am going to be taking a vacation from sweets... I feel as though I should be rolled around in a wheelbarrow.  Instead... I will head back to dance tonight, I stop making so many goodies!!

Monday, December 27, 2010

A Very Merry Holiday to You!

How was everyone's holiday? My favorite part... was the long weekend! Being able to sleep in and move at a snail's pace is always wonderful.
My holiday was really good, just really busy. Christmas Eve, Jay and I headed to his Dad's place for drinks and dessert. My contribution was the yummy chocolate shortbread peppermint cookies! We then scurried over to my mom's house for Christmas Eve dinner. Yes, dessert was before dinner. Who cares? Mom made lasagna... mmmm... yum!

Christmas Day, Jay and I headed back to my mom's for Brunch. This time my contribution was.... CINNAMON ROLLS!! With cream cheese frosting. YUM!

Post baking...pre icing!

homemade cream cheese frosting/icing
 Sadly, I didn't get a picture of the cinnamon rolls all gooey and iced. But let me tell you... they were tasty! From scratch, they were awesome... I will just give myself a little pat on the back. Jay's entire house smelled like cinnamon rolls. The cats loved it. :)
Christmas Day: my family

Jay and I
Christmas Day dinner was with Jay's mom. Afterward... you could have rolled us both out the door. So much food in such a short amount of time. Delicious... yet too much! I think I need to go running... like everyday this week.

The rest of the weekend was pretty relaxing. Jay and I headed to the movies on Sunday and saw "Black Swan".   The movie was frightfully intense, with some serious tension, sexual and otherwise. I was a bit surprised that Jay agreed to go, since it was a ballet based movie, but he seemed to enjoy the intensity and complexities as much as I did.
I love dancing, and can be very intense in my focus, but I am glad I do not reside in this main character's world... nor in the world of that elite level of dancing.

Now.... looking forward to another long weekend ahead. And a whole new year!!! Happy Holidays everyone!!!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Holiday cookies...continued!!

Last night was another cookie night! I know, I know... fudge and cookies in the same week? Well, since its the week of Christmas, my baking mojo is in high gear!  Just wait until you see what I am planning to bake up later this week.

Last night, mom came over to lend a hand in the cookie making. We decided to make...Chocolate Peppermint Shortbread cookies! Yum. They look and taste even better than they sound.

the chocolatey balls get smushed before baking

then the cookies get dipped in melted white chocolate

then dipped into crushed up candy canes!

close-up of the tastiness

so festive!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Holiday baking....

...continues! I obviously put my baking skills on the back burner with my trip home. But after a desperately needed trip to the grocery store, it was time to make fudge! My mom has made fudge every year around the holidays for as long as I can remember.  Once I started cooking on my own in college, I begged her for the recipe and continued the tradition myself. She still makes fudge, so now we get double the amount!! I like to tweak the recipe and add different things than the regular plain or with nuts fudge I grew up with. Last night I made two types of fudge, plain and peanut butter!! Mmmm... yummy!
all the ingredients in the pot

getting melty

almost there!

Finished Peanut Butter fudge!

finished Plain Fudge!

Monday, December 20, 2010

More on my trip home

Obviously I was not in Chi-town for just one day... the rest of my trip was packed full of catching up with friends!
Friday, Dad and I just bummed around, running errands and being lazy. Which was WONDERFUL. Ahhh... sleeping in is the best vacation!
Saturday... I headed back downtown to visit with my amazing friend Sarah. She moved back to IL from Denver in March... and I miss her!!! Getting to spend the afternoon with her was so much fun. We talked. The entire time. Except when we were stuffing our faces with Chicago-style, deep dish pizza!!

Hi Sarah! Sorry I took this awkward photo while you were eating :)

Sarah and I!!!
It was great to catch up with Miss Sarah... and I desperately want her to move back to Denver. Miss you!!!

Sunday I got up early to get all packed up and met some friends from high school for breakfast. Its been 2 years since I have seen either of those girls... but we managed to pick up as if we've not been separated. Talk, talk, talk... reminisce about high school, junior high and elementary school.  My favorite quote of the morning was between my friend Coral and Keleigh... Coral: "I just can't believe I had a mullet in elementary school", Keleigh: "Umm... that was a bad haircut, but I wouldn't classify it as a mullet."

Hahaha... fun times all around. It was a great trip home. Now back to reality!

Friday, December 17, 2010


It has been an eventful trip so far... traffic getting to the airport on Wednesday night was HORRIBLE. I was actually afraid that I would not be able to make it to the airport in time.  Luckily, I made it. And, just in time to be told that the plane was delayed... a whole hour. Gross. Regardless... I made it back to IL!

Yesterday, part of my Christmas present from my dad was to attend the Chicago Symphony Orchestra Brass concert. Fantastic!! We headed into the city early to hit up the German market in Daly Plaza and H&M on State Street.

Tasty treats at the Market. Sadly, H&M was very disappointing and I did not find the amazing stuff that I normally do.
A trip by the Bean

The CSO Brass takes a bow
We headed back to the German market for some treats for the ride home... and so I stopped to take pictures of the beautiful Chicago at night... with holiday lights!!
Tree at the German market

The Chicago river... looking quite festive!

Sugared Almonds round out the treats!
It was a great day!! Busy and fun. It is much, much colder in Chicago than it has been in Denver... so we got home, got some tasty Italian beef for dinner and hunkered down to watch some t.v.  I got to warm up in my awesome fuzzy Christmas socks from Dad! More to come... I am sure!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Leaving on a Jet Plane

Headed back to Sweet Home Chicago tonight. Just for a few days to spend some time with my dad. Excited to get away for a few days, but not so excited to deal with the frigid temperatures, bone-chilling winds and snow that go hand in hand with a Chicago winter.
Being in Colorado for the last 8 years has spoiled me. No longer can I deal with the harsh mid-western winters. But... I will survive, especially if it means spending time with dad. Hi dad!
I hope to update and upload pictures and all that jazz while I am in IL. And really, really, looking forward to a few days off!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010


Last night was a GREAT Monday night. Why?  Because I got to spend the evening with Jay at the Colorado Avalanche game!  They were playing defending Stanley Cup champions, the Chicago Blackhawks! Now, being a Chi-town girl, one would assume that I would also be cheering for the Blackhawks. Not this girlie. Chicago Bears? Bring it on! Chicago Cubs? I bleed red and blue. Bulls? Meh. Blackhawks? Sorry, but I didn't start watching hockey until I moved to Colorado. So Avs... you've got me. Thanks to the amazing Claire, who explained the game to me... I love watching hockey!!!

It was a great game last night...

Here come the Avs...


the dancing ice crew

me and my man
Avs Win! Avs Win!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Dance filled weekend...

As I explained earlier this week, we had dance workshops scheduled all week long with an amazing former Riverdance dancer, Jordan. She seriously was amazing. And tough! After Friday's holiday party, Saturday morning was spent being lazy... in preparation for my workshop Saturday afternoon and a dance show with the pipeband on Sunday.

Saturday's workshop was brutal. Tough on my feet and legs for sure... and it wasn't until our school's owner/teacher yelled at me to stop dancing before I hurt myself... I probably would have kept going and pushing myself. Ignoring the fact that I am at least a decade older than everyone else I was dancing with... with the exception of Jordan.
Jordan shows a move in the new reel step
I made it home, with some energy left to get me in the door and showered before collapsing on the couch. I somehow recovered in time for Sunday's show in Georgetown with the pipeband. It was a beautiful day up in the mountains... and a great way to end the weekend.
Historical downtown Georgetown

Holiday Party

This year I got to experience my first ever HRO holiday party. It was not like the holiday party at my last firm, nor was it like the holiday party of Jay's we went to last year. This was different... and Nice. Tasty food catered in... lobster mac 'n cheese, triple cheese mac 'n cheese, beef sliders, buffalo chicken sliders, two different kinds of tamales, black bean salad, fresh vegetables...etc., etc.  And booze! Wine and champagne and beer. All good stuff too. It was nice to walk around, talk to the people I knew and meet some that I have only ever dealt with via email or over the phone. Sadly I didn't take any pictures of the gorgeous decorations, the video games set up in a conference room or how good everyone looked being dressed up a little bit more than usual. 

All in all, a good night!

Friday, December 10, 2010

Day 2

Day 2 of dance workshops was last night... this one was not strictly for the Pipe Band dancers, but for the actual school that I dance with. Wow. Talk about getting my bum kicked. I have sore spots I didn't know could get sore! And lets not get me started on my feet... ouch, ouch, ouch.

BUT... class was a blast! Jordan (our gorgeous Scottish workshop teacher) is amazing and fun and really breaks everything down for you. In a short span of time we got a new hardshoe step and a new softshoe reel step.
I can't wait to start practicing them on my own! One more day of workshops left... let's hope my legs are back in working order by then.