Excuse me for not going in chronological order recapping the holidays here. You get the idea.
We had a wonderful Christmas with lots of family. I won't bore you with the details of present opening and lots of over-eating, but here are some pictures from Christmas day showing the crazy amount of presents for only seven people (all of us adults).
and since we ran out of room under the tree, we moved to in front of the fireplace . . .
The day after Christmas, we had a party at our place. It was great to visit with our friends and see people who were in from out of town. I was terrible about taking pictures that evening, but my brother-in-law snapped a few shots of all the food before the shindig began (excuse Justin and me in the background).
I have numbered the food I made and linked to recipes (click picture to enlarge):
1. Chocolate cupcakes with vanilla buttercream frosting. I cheated and used boxed chocolate cake mix (shhh, don't tell anyone) and then made homemade frosting. The frosting was so delicious and very easy to make.
2. Ginger cookies. Easy to make and very tasty. I would recommend refrigerating them for a bit before rolling them into balls. I used my new silpats Justin gave me for Christmas to bake these and they worked like a charm!
3. Semi-sweet and white chocolate covered Ritz peanut butter sandwiches. I took another shortcut and used the pre-made Ritz peanut butter sandwiches.
4. Pretzel turtles. Rolos work best for these. I could only find the Dove chocolate covered caramels and they seem to be more gooey. I did half with pecans and the other half with M&Ms. These are so easy to make and very addicting.
5. Ham and cheese in puff pastry. We made two of these and they were almost all gone. These may have been one of my favorite items. We used swiss cheese instead of gruyere to save a little money. I will definitely be making these again.
6. Spinach and artichoke dip (not pictured because it was still in the oven). This recipe is supposed to be the same as the one from Houston's. It is not exactly the same, but regardless, it is still very tasty. We copy Houston's and serve it with salsa and sour cream.
7. Bacon wrapped dates stuffed with goat cheese (not pictured because they were still in the oven). These are one of my new favorite appetizers. I love the sweet and salty combo. The recipe called for blue cheese, but I used goat cheese because (1) I like it better and (2) I already had some in the fridge.
All of which lead me back to number 8 on my resolutions list!