Friday, December 8, 2017

Cookie Swap {Recipe}

Hello Friends!!

Yesterday, I did something really fun and totally new (to me). I participated in a cookie swap. It was part of my Junior League fun. We had to make 4 dozen cookies. As part of the Cocktails and Cookies, every participant brought cookies and their recipe. At the event, we could eat cookies, enjoy drinks, and meet people. It was nice to finally meet some new people in Boston!



The event was so much fun! About 20 of us showed up with 4 dozen cookies each. The table was so packed with cookies we had to start combining Tupperware in order to get them all to fit! I had some AMAZING cookies. There were some that were super cute. Everyone did an amazing job, I was so pleasantly surprised.





My favorites were a Nutella stuff chocolate chip cookie, chocolate chip snowball cookie, and an M&M cookie. It was hard to narrow it down. Ultimately, I had so many cookies that I didn't end up having dinner. For the swap, I made about 50 Snowball Cookies. They were walnut flavored. I had seen them quite a bit on Pinterest. When I asked friends to choose from a couple of cookies this one won by a landslide.







The cookies are not hard to make, even though they look super hard to make. They are sweet and melt in your mouth. I really enjoyed making the cookies. I made them fairly small in order to get a lot so that was time-consuming, but they bake very quickly.



Here is the recipe I used:


Prep Time:20 minutes
Cook Time:14 minutes
Total Time:1 hour and 15 minutes
Yield: About 6 dozen
also known as Russian Teacakes or Mexican Wedding Cookies

Ingredients

1 cup (2 sticks/226 grams) unsalted butter, softened slightly
5 tablespoons (63 grams) granulated sugar
2 teaspoons (10 ml) pure vanilla extract
¼ teaspoon (1.25 grams) salt
2 cups (240 grams) all-purpose flour,
2 cups (about 240 grams) finely chopped walnuts
1½ cups (about 188 grams) confectioners’ sugar, for dusting cookies twice (will need more)

Directions

  1. Using an electric stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment, or handheld electric mixer, cream together butter and sugar. Beat in the vanilla and salt. 
  2. Gradually add flour; beating after each addition. 
  3. Stir in the nuts; mix until fully incorporated. 
  4. Divide dough in half and refrigerate in plastic food wrap for approximately 45 minutes.
  5. Meanwhile, arrange the oven rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 350ºF. 
  6. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper; set aside. 
  7. Place confectioners’ sugar in a small bowl; set aside. 
  8. Measure dough using a small, 1-inch spring-loaded scoop making sure each scoopful is level. 
  9. Roll dough between palms of hands to achieve a small rounded ball.
  10. Place dough balls 1½ inches apart on prepared baking sheets. 
  11. Bake in preheated oven until the cookies are just beginning to brown, about 12 to 14 minutes. Do not overbake. The underside of the cookies should be only lightly browned. And the cookies should not crack—a sure sign of overbaked teacake cookies.
  12. Cool cookies on baking sheets on wire racks for approximately 2 minutes. 
  13. While cookies are still warm, gently roll them in the confectioners’ sugar. ** IMPORTANT TO DO*
  14. Place the sugar-coated cookies on wire racks to cool completely. Roll cookies once again in the confectioners’ sugar.
Yield: Makes about 6 dozen (about 72) small cookies when using 1-inch size (very small) cookie scoop as indicated in the recipe. Of course, larger cookie scoops will make larger sized cookies and yield less of them.
Which cookies do you like for the Holidays?
XOXO

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

6 Ways To Enjoy Spending Time Alone

Hey Y'all

I think this is something that is very important to master. Even myself who actually enjoys time alone very much, I find myself needing some extra help. There are times I want to be alone, but I also want to do fun things. So now is the time to beat that stigma and enjoy your time alone, enjoy doing things alone, go out and explore the world. There is great power in being alone for some experiences. There are tons of articles praising traveling alone or going to restaurants alone.


one// Find a Hobby

This is one is probably the easiest and best way to enjoy spending time alone. Personally, I always thought I was a hobby-less person but eventually, even I found stuff I enjoyed doing. It can be anything from knitting blankets (like me) to photography, reading, flying kites, or anything else that makes you excited to spend your free time. It will be a passion of yours, not a chore. If you're sitting there thinking, "I don't like anything that much" that just means you have to keep searching and trying new things. Its out there for you, I promise. 


two// Boost your Creativity

I always thought (and still think at times) that I am not a creative being. As someone who is terrible at drawing, or basically any type of art to the point that doodling stresses me out, I figured creativity is just not for me. Until I realized that being creative takes on many different roles and shapes within our lives. Any type of problem-solving uses creativity, you can be creative in the way you dress, raise children, do your makeup, your cooking, the way you work or study, etc. We are all creative beings and we all need time to foster our creativity. Spending time alone can help us boost our creativity and refine it so it can shine in our lives.

three// Take Time to Grow

Some steps need to be taken alone. It’s the only way to really figure out where you need to go and who you need to be.”    – Mandy Hale
This is really the cornerstone of spending time alone. The idea that by being alone you can really focus on yourself and your needs. It might not always be so obvious what your needs are or what you need to accomplish for yourself, but as you practice alone time you will get there. All these components build upon each other so as you start to figure out how to be alone you will be growing as a person. The more you learn to enjoy your own company and meditate, refresh, and renew yourself the better you will feel afterward.

four// Go on an Adventure

This is probably my favorite thing to do. Especially now that I've moved there is so much to explore and see. Even if you haven't moved you cannot tell me that there isn't something you haven't seen or haven't done that you've always wanted to try. Be a tourist in your own city/town. Enjoy the sights. Really slow down and see what the area around you has to offer. You don't necessarily have to go on a trip to be able to adventure, but if you do decide to go on a trip alone that's awesome as well.

five// Take yourself out on a Date

This one can be the most intimidating to do because the idea of going to a movie and dinner alone can sound sad or scary. There is great power in having the confidence to go out into the world and wine and dine yourself. Put down the phone or all the other things we use to distract ourselves and take in the world around you. There is no shame in being alone, don't let that deter you from going out. You'll see you make great company.

six// Get to Know Yourself

What lovely surprise to finally discover how unlonely being alone can be” – Ellen Burstyn
Sometimes being alone with your thoughts can be, well, intimidating. But don't let that stop you! You can be your own best friend. Go out and do something you've always wanted to do, something that might scare you a little and learn from that. There is great power in knowing what you like and don't like and even more power in being able to figure that out for yourself. I know I'm not the only one that automatically assumes I don't like something without even trying it out, then when I actually gain the courage to try it, I end up liking something brand new. Go out and try the world. There is so much to do.

Do you have any tips for being alone?
XOXO

Friday, December 1, 2017

Holiday Bucket List

Hello Friends!

Christmas is right around the corner. I still cannot believe that this year went by this fast. Along with the holiday season, it is also finals season. So excited to finally be done with this semester and get ready to deck the halls! I am looking forward to some really fun things this semester. I feel like New England is a great place for Christmas because it'll start matching all the songs. With that in mind, I decided to make a Holiday Bucket List!



  1. Spend time with family & Friends
  2. Enjoy a snow day
  3. Decorate my house
  4. Have a Christmas Movie Marathon
  5. Go ice skating
  6. Send out Christmas Cards
  7. Go to a Cookie Swap
  8. Participate in an Ornament Swap
  9. Cozy up by the fire
  10. Go to a Christmas Tree lightening ceremony
  11. Go on a Christmas Lights Tour
  12. Visit a Christmas Tree Farm

What are you planning on doing this Holiday Season?
XOXO