Monday, December 31, 2012

Twenty-Twelve in Review

Happy New Year's Eve Y'all!
Twenty-Twelve was one heck of a year! As I look back on all of my posts over the last 12 months I am quickly reminded of why I blog. I had almost forgotten about so many amazing things we experienced, accomplished, celebrated, etc. this year! I also think it is safe to say that 2012 was definitely our best year yet! I am not quite sure how 2013 will top this year.

Here are a few highlights from 2012:

Weddings, weddings and more weddings!
We celebrated more marriages this year than ever before! I absolutely loved standing with 3 of these ladies on their big day, and attending the others this year. My cup truly runneth over with love for all of these newly married couples!
L-R: Channing & Trey’s Southern Affair {April 28}; Ashley & Drew’s Cinco de Marriage {May 5}; Brynn & Palmer’s Farm Wedding {May 19}; Lindsey & Ryan’s Gaylord Palms Wedding {June 23}; Anna & Phil’s Charleston Wedding {September 28}; August & Jonathan’s Winter Wedding {December 15}

Despite our crazy busy year we were able to get away for a few vacations too!
L-R: We rang in 2012 with friends in Charleston; We spent a relaxing cabin weekend in Blowing Rock; We joined Matt’s family for a summer vacation in Folly Beach; We celebrated our anniversary on a cruise in the Bahamas
2012 was also a big year for our careers. I left my old job and started a new one, and we also celebrated Matt’s 1 year anniversary of his growing law firm!

We partied a lot in 2012. Here are just a few of our favorite parties…
L-R: Charlie's 6th Birthday Pawty; Brynn’s Bachelorette in Savannah; Lindsey’s Bachelorette in Orlando; Ashley’s Bachelorette in Orlando; Mel’s 25th Birthday Bash

 Matt traded in his Pathfinder for the Buick, and I traded in the Corolla for the Jetta!


  We celebrated our one year anniversary in November!

 We rented out our old home and purchased a new home!
 
Whew! What a year! I can’t believe we did all that in just 365 days! I can honestly say that 2012 gave Matt and I some of our most favorite moments together. We are truly grateful for everything and count our blessings often. We are excited to see what’s in store for 2013…

Have a safe and happy New Year's Eve! xo

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Sunday, December 30, 2012

Crockpot Buffalo Chicken

Slow cooked to perfection, this simple but tasty recipe only calls for 3 ingredients! For only $7, this batch of buffalo chicken lasted us two meals this weekend - buffalo chicken sandwiches and buffalo chicken enchiladas.
Crockpot Buffalo Chicken

Ingredients:
3-5 lbs skinless, boneless chicken breasts {can use frozen}
12 oz bottle Texas Pete Buffalo Wing Sauce
1 packet Hidden Valley Ranch dressing mix

*You can adjust the spiciness of your recipe by using mild to hot wing sauce.

Directions:
Place chicken breasts into lined crockpot. Sprinkle ranch mix over top. Pour buffalo sauce over chicken. Cover and cook on low for about 3 hours {or high for 2 hours}. Shred the chicken inside the crockpot with two forks. Stir to coat chicken. Continue cooking shredded chicken in crockpot on low for about another hour or until chicken absorbs most of the sauce. 
I’ve said this again and again, but you have to buy these liners for your crockpot! I can’t tell you how much cleaning time it will save you. 
{ranch packet}
{buffalo sauce}
{4 hours later}

Husband approved. 

The following day I used the leftover buffalo chicken to make enchiladas...

Buffalo Chicken Enchiladas

Ingredients:
5 flour tortillas {I used soft taco size}
2 cups leftover buffalo chicken
1 10 oz can red enchilada sauce
1 cup 2% Mexican blend cheese, shredded
3 oz goat cheese, crumbled
2 green onions, chopped
1/2 cup fresh cilantro, coarsely chopped
Avocado, if desired

Directions:
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spray a small baking dish with non-stick spray. Fold a few heaping tablespoons of shredded chicken into each tortilla, roll and add to dish, seam side down. Pour enchilada  sauce on top of tortillas and add shredded cheese. Bake for 20-25 minutes. Immediately after taking enchiladas out of the oven, add crumbled goat cheese on top. Garnish with the green onions, cilantro and avocado and serve.

One pot, two meals. Not bad!

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Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Christmas Vacation

My little seester and her hubby came up from Orlando to spend a few days before Christmas with us in our new home! To maximize our mini vacation, I created a detailed agenda for the weekend…
Friday: After a few festive cocktails at home, we headed to the Epicentre for a big dinner at Vida Cantina. I should also mention this was a weekend full of “photo bombing” each other. The creeper to the left is Lindsey’s hubby.
After dinner we met up with Mel and Travis at Mortimers for way too many shots and vodka redbulls. The agenda stopped there, but we somehow ended the night with table service at Suite…
Saturday: I made a big breakfast before we headed Uptown to go ice skating! 
Afterwards we ate lunch at Cabo Fish Taco, followed by a long winter nap on the couch while Elf played on repeat.
Saturday evening we set the table and enjoyed a few Hot Caramel Pear Ciders and some appetizers.
A few days before they arrived, Lindsey and Ryan surprised us with a delivery of Omaha Steaks...
 So for dinner I cooked restaurant style steaks, parmesan-roasted green beans and balsamic roasted red potatoes!
After dinner we exchanged prezzies and sipped on some bubbly.
  Our evening ended with a Christmas movie marathon, the perfect ending to a busy day.
Sunday: I made eggs, potatoes and pancakes for breakfast before Lindsey and Ryan hit the road. 

After L&R left, we packed up and headed to Winston-Salem to spend Christmas with Matt's family! 
Christmas Eve: We sipped on spiked eggnog from official "Christmas Vacation" moose mugs.
Charlie continued to wear his festive Christmas bandana
 Christmas Day: We spent time with family, ate a lot and opened all our gifts!
Everyone got matching beach chairs and towels!
Hope you all had a very merry Christmas!
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Monday, December 24, 2012

Hot Caramel Pear Cider

Consider leaving Santa a Hot Caramel Pear Cider cocktail tonight…
Hot Caramel Apple Cider
64 ounces Trader Joe’s Pear Cinnamon Cider
12-14 ounces Smirnoff Caramel Vodka
2 tablespoon cinnamon
½ cup sugar



Mix pear cider and caramel vodka in a large pot. Heat over medium-low, stirring occasionally until liquid just begins to steam. Meanwhile, mix cinnamon and sugar together and rim your mugs or glasses with the mixture. Pour cider into your rimmed glasses, serve and enjoy!

Note: do not over heat or else the alcohol will burn off.


Yields 6-8 mugs of cider

Merry Christmas friends! xo
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Thursday, December 20, 2012

Marble Fudge Bars

With back to back to back Christmas parties to attend this week I needed to bake a seriously large batch of something that would hold up well throughout the week. After an unsuccessful pin search, I went through my recipe history and stumbled upon my cookie exchange post from last year. One of my friends brought unbelievably tasty Marble Fudge Bars. Not only does the recipe call for 5 simple ingredients, there is no baking required! Yippee! 
 Marble Fudge Bars
1 bag semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 bag butterscotch chips
1 cup peanut butter
1 bag mini marshmallows
1 cup lightly salted peanuts

Pour peanut butter, butterscotch and semi-sweet chips in a bowl and microwave for 5 minutes. Mix in nuts and let cool {approximately 15 minutes}. Combine marshmallows and stir well. Pour into a 9x13 dish and refrigerate {2 hours minimum}. When ready to serve, cut into very small squares.

As I mentioned, these hold up really well if you keep them in the fridge. One batch lasted me 3 parties!

Do you have a quick and tasty Christmas party recipe?
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