Wednesday, December 19, 2012


This was my favorite season.  My whole life, I would wait for the day after Thanksgiving to happen so that all the decorations would come out.
This year is different.
I had a mix of Christmas and Thanksgiving decorations out for weeks, and I mean, well after Thanksgiving happened.
I've had no time to do the things I've wanted to do this season.  I just mailed my Christmas cards yesterday.  I'm usually that annoying person who sends them the day before Thanksgiving so you get mine first.
My husband was away on business for a week, working at a photography studio which has been busy and non-stop since the summer, with a move to a new studio in the mix as well, it's just be a stressful year.
I made it about a week and half with cookies, and that's it.  I can't find the time this year, and when I finally do have a moment, it's spent sleeping!
I've been really down about not finishing up this season, but then I realized, I started this for FUN when I was laid off.  I had all the time in the world at that point!  No one is forcing me to do this, I should be doing this for FUN not for the stress of getting them perfect so that I can blog about them.
I will be back after the new year, but on my own terms.  This blog should be fun, and it's just become another task on my to do list that I never reach.
I'm taking the rest of the month off for ME.   I may post something if I make something, but I am not about to lose my shit to make a new cookie everyday.  After the year I've had, as well as my family has had, we deserve to just enjoy each other this year, not sit in the kitchen like a slave.  A death, a broken back, and the adoption of a teenager is what I've been focused on, and now I will focus on the family around me this season.  And I hope I encourage all those moms who think they have to be superwoman at Christmas time and bake everything they see on pinterest, to relax and enjoy their families.

May you all have a blessed and happy Holiday Season!

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Day 6: Peppermint Biscotti

I did a biscotti a few years back and it was a mess so I vowed not to try them again, but here I am, trying it. I will never learn my lesson!  They may not look as cute as this picture, but at least they tasted good.

Peppermint Biscotti

3/4 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup Imperial Sugar® / Dixie Crystals® Granulated Sugar
3 eggs
2 teaspoons peppermint extract
3-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup crushed peppermint candies
FROSTING: 2 cups (12 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips
2 tablespoons shortening
1/2 cup crushed peppermint candies
 In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in extract. Combine the flour, baking powder and salt; stir in peppermint candy.
Gradually add to creamed mixture, beating until blended (dough will be stiff). Divide dough in half. On an ungreased baking sheet, shape each portion into a 12-in. x 2-1/2-in. rectangle.
Bake at 350° for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown. Carefully remove to wire racks; cool for 15 minutes. Transfer to a cutting board; cut diagonally with a sharp knife into 1/2-in. slices. Place cut side down on ungreased baking sheets.
 Bake for 12-15 minutes or until firm. Remove to wire racks to cool. In a microwave-safe bowl, melt chocolate chips and shortening; stir until smooth. Drizzle over biscotti; sprinkle with candy. Place on waxed paper until set. Store in an airtight container. Yield: about 3-1/2 dozen.

"We elves try to stick to the four main food groups: candy, candy canes, candy corns and syrup."

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Day 5: Coconut-Cranberry Macaroons

I needed a break from chocolate today.

Coconut-Cranberry Macaroon

2/3 cup sugar
2 large egg whites, lightly beaten
1/2 cup dried cranberries, finely chopped Finely grated zest of 1 orange
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon fine salt
3 cups (about 8 ounces) finely shredded unsweetened coconut
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment. Whisk the sugar, egg whites, cranberry, orange zest, vanilla and salt in a large bowl. Toss the coconut with the egg mixture until completely coated.
2. Moisten your finger tips with water. Form about 1 heaping tablespoon of the batter into pointed mounds or pyramids on the prepared pans, spacing them about 1-inch apart.
3.  Bake until the edges are golden brown and the entire macaroon is nicely toasted and dry, 16 to 20 minutes. Transfer to a rack to cool. Serve. Store macaroons in a tightly sealed container for up to a week. 

"Have you seen these toilets? They're GINORMOUS!"

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Day 4: Oatmeal Peanut Butter Cookies

If you like Girl Scout Peanut Butter Sandwich cookies, you need to make these STAT!!

Oatmeal Peanut Butter Cookies

3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup quick cooking oats
3 tablespoons butter, softened
1 cup confectioners' sugar
1/2 cup smooth peanut butter
2 1/2 tablespoons heavy whipping cream
1. In a large bowl, cream together 1/2 cup butter or margarine, 1/2 cup peanut butter, white sugar, brown sugar, and vanilla. Add egg and beat well.
2. In another bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Add these dry ingredients to the creamed mixture. Stir. Add oatmeal and stir.
3. Drop by teaspoons onto greased baking sheet, and press each mound down with a fork to form 1/4 inch thick cookies. Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 10 minutes, or until cookies are a light brown.
4. To Make Filling: Cream 3 tablespoons butter or margarine with the confectioners' sugar, 1/2 cup smooth peanut butter, and the cream. Spread filling onto half of the cooled cookies, then top with the other half to form sandwiches.

" You smell like beef and cheese, you don't smell like Santa!"

Monday, December 3, 2012

Day 3: Cream Cheese Sugar Cookies

This was posted on Pinterest as the "best sugar cookie recipe".  So of course I had to try.  They may be right...

Cream Cheese Sugar Cookies

1 cup white sugar
1 cup butter, softened
1 (3 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 egg yolk
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1. In a large bowl, combine the sugar, butter, cream cheese, salt, almond and vanilla extracts, and egg yolk. Beat until smooth. Stir in flour until well blended. Chill the dough for 8 hours, or overnight.
2. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
3. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough 1/3 at a time to 1/8 inch thickness, refrigerating remaining dough until ready to use. Cut into desired shapes with lightly floured cookie cutters. Place 1 inch apart on ungreased cookie sheets. Leave cookies plain for frosting, or brush with slightly beaten egg white and sprinkle with candy sprinkles or colored sugar.
4. Bake for 7 to 10 minutes in the preheated oven, or until light and golden brown. Cool cookies completely before frosting.

"What's a Christmas-gram? I WANT ONE!"

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Day 2: Peppermint Truffle Cookies

Try these with different flavor Hersery Kisses in the middle.

Peppermint Truffle Cookies

8 ounces bittersweet baking chocolate
1/2 cup butter
1 cup sugar, divided
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon McCormick® Pure Peppermint Extract
 2 cups flour
 36 milk chocolate kiss-shaped candies, unwrapped
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Microwave chocolate and butter in large microwaveable bowl on HIGH 1 to 2 minutes or until butter is melted. Let stand 10 minutes to cool slightly. Add 1/2 cup of the sugar, egg and peppermint extract. Beat with electric mixer on medium speed until well blended. Gradually beat in flour on low speed until well mixed.
2. Shape dough into 1-inch balls. Press a chocolate candy into the center of each ball, forming dough around the candy to completely enclose it. Roll in remaining 1/2 cup sugar to coat. Place 1 inch apart on greased baking sheets.
3. Bake 9 to 11 minutes or until cookies are set. Cool on baking sheets 5 minutes. Remove to wire racks; cool completely.

"Walter: *whispering* We should call security... 
Emily: *whispering* Good idea.
Buddy: *whispering* I like to whisper too."

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Day 1: Haystacks

I wanted to start with a family favorite.  This is no bake and as easy as it comes!!


1 bag of butterscotch chips
1 bag of chocolate chips (i like dark chocolate with a high cocoa content to cut the sweetness)
1 bag of Chow Mein Noodles

Take both bags of chips and put in a huge microwave bowl.  Melt in the microwave in 30 second intervals.  Removing it and stirring until all melted.  Add the Chow Mein Noodles to it and stir until noodles are completed covered.  Take a spoon and a fork and place little bite size pieces onto parchment paper and let dry.
That is it! Easy and Delish :)

"SON of a NUTcracker!"

Happy December!

Yes yes, I know, I took a little vacation.  I needed it.  Work has been super busy, we had family come and visit, and time just got away from me.  But with the welcoming of December comes the 2012 Cookie Challenge!  Yes, I've decided to do this again for the 4th year in a row.  Every year I struggle with the "Am I going to do this?!"  Well, after many people asking me to do it, I've decided to bite the bullet and just do it already!

So, from now until Christmas, you will get a new cookie recipe as I make them in my home.  There will be some repeat recipes from years past because, well, they have become staples in our Holiday Traditions now!

If you have a recipe you have found that you would like me to try, link me and I'll give it a whirl! :)

Now sit back and get ready to drool everyday :)

The Housewife In Training.

ps-I will be ending every post with an Elf quote...just for some fun!
"First we'll make snow angels for two hours, then we'll go ice skating, then we'll eat a whole roll of Tollhouse Cookie-dough as fast as we can, and then we'll snuggle."

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Service interrupted.

I will be back tomorrow.  Sandy hit us and I didn't menu plan, because I didn't know if we would have power or not!  I may do 2 posts tomorrow, the Thrifty Tuesday one and the Wacky Wednesday with photos from the storm in our area.  Hope everyone is safe!  Now off to clean up.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Things I Love Thursday

1.  Coconut oil.  My skin has never felt better.  although I have to deal with the dogs trying to lick me to death after I put it on, it's totally worth it!!

2.  SiriusXM.  The 90s on 9 channel has been on FIRE this week.  My husband and I were jamming out all weekend to it.  The boy couldn't have been more embarrassed by us if we tried.

3.  ChefTap.  A new app I discovered for my Kindle Fire.  It can download recipes from any website and reorganize it for you in one place.  As much as I love pinterest, this keeps things organized and all in one place without having to click on a million webpages to get your recipes.  It will even pull all the recipes from your pinterest boards!  Any blog you want to use.  ANYTHING!  it's flippin' fantastic.

4.  Kindle Fire. I never thought I would find myself needing this.  My husband won one at a conference he went to 2 weeks ago, and I use it now as my recipe reader thanks to ChefTab.  No more cookbooks, magazines, or papers all over the counter.  I put this in my recipe holder and just work from it.  Totally worth it for that reason alone.

5.  Target.  I mean, who doesn't?  I could be there for hours, and I never leave empty handed.  I also can't wait for the Target Lady commercials to start for Black Friday :)

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Wacky Wednesday

While in college, somehow we ended up with a coconut.  I don't really remember how we got it, but we did. We wanted to eat it.  The problem?  We only had a butter knife.  Here is a walk through of us trying to get into the goddamn coconut.

"Hmm maybe I can peel it?"

"Ok peeling didn't work.  Maybe I can stab it?"


"I'm gonna cut this bitch for finding this thing!"

"Take it outside and just throw the bitch"

"I promise it will be good Patty"

"At least the coconut has a sense of humor"

"We.Will.Always.Win.  Stupid coconut!"

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Thrifty Tuesday

1.  Looking for a great little gift for someone's stocking? This is little but powerful, and totally useful!

" The best nights with friends always start with the perfect soundtrack. Crank up the music and the fun with the OrigAudio Rock-It 3.0—which was featured on ABC's Shark Tank—and turn virtually any object in your home into a speaker using sound vibrations. Attach the Rock-It pod to a cardboard box, cooler, drawers, cups, lamp shades—you name it—then, plug the system into your music device, press play, and rock the night away. The system features a rechargeable lithium ion battery for up to 10 hours of playtime and has daisy chain capability: the more objects you connect, the louder the sound. Rock and roll is here to stay—but it doesn't have to stay put." $19.00

2. Do you have a wine lover on your list?  Here's a stocking stuffer for them.  

"Don't just rely on the luck of the draw when it comes to choosing wine for a party. Serve vino with this in-bottle wine aerator, and you'll be flush with better flavors. Made from hand-blown borosilicate glass, this gadget fits directly into any bottle and aerates the wine as it’s poured, expanding the aromatic profile of your Pinot Grigio and softening the tannins of your Shiraz. The SoireeHome accessory—the only wine accessory to have been endorsed by Zagat—includes a vacuum pump, which removes the air from an opened bottle, along with an aerator stand and travel case." $16.00

3. Need some art work for your home?  Love the look of canvas prints?  Amazon Local has a deal for cheap canvas prints of your favorites photos.  Pricing varies on what size you would like, but a 16x20 is only $35!

4.  If you do a lot of online shopping, you really should sign up for  Especially with Christmas around the corner.  To use, go to their site, and then click on the store you want to shop.  It will bring you to their website and buy through that link instead.  You will make money back for each purchase!  and yes, this is true.  not a scam.  You will get a check in the mail 4 times a year.  Every little bit helps :)

5.  For you moms out there, where do you get your diapers?  Why not try  Free shipping, and right now a coupon code of 20%-OHBABY.  An easy way to get your needs without having to cart the baby out with you!

Monday, October 22, 2012

Menu Monday Oct 22nd-26th

3 new food magazines arrived at home this past week. So you know what that means?  It's new recipe time! Here is our week's plan with all the recipes as well  :)

Monday-Mix and Match Meatloaf combo from Food Network Magazine Nov. issue.  This recipe will come later since the recipe is decide as you go.
Tuesday-Penne with Vodka Sauce
Wednesday-Oven Fried Ranch Chicken
Thursday-Lemony Chicken Saltimbocca
Friday-Steak Kabobs

Penne with Vodka Sauce

Kosher salt
12 ounces whole-wheat penne
1 28-ounce can whole plum tomatoes
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
2 shallots, minced
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/2 cup vodka
2/3 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese, plus more for topping
Handful of fresh basil leaves, torn, plus more for topping
 Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the penne and cook as the label directs. Reserve 1/2 cup cooking water, then drain the pasta.
 Empty the tomatoes into a bowl and crush with your hands. Meanwhile, melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the shallots and cook, stirring occasionally, until slightly softened, about 3 minutes. Add the garlic and red pepper flakes and cook, stirring, 30 seconds.
 Remove from the heat and stir in the vodka, tomatoes and salt to taste. Return the skillet to medium heat and simmer, stirring often, until the alcohol cooks off, about 7 minutes. Stir in the heavy cream and cook until the sauce thickens slightly, about 3 minutes. Stir in the parmesan and basil. Add the pasta to the sauce and toss to combine, adding some of the reserved cooking water to loosen, if needed. Season with salt. Serve topped with more parmesan and basil.

Oven Fried Ranch Chicken 

1 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup mayonnaise
4 sprigs thyme, leaves stripped and chopped
1 1/2 teaspoons paprika
3/4 teaspoon onion powder
3/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
 Kosher salt
2 3-to-4-pound chickens,
each cut into 8 pieces
Cooking spray
 3 1/2 cups breadcrumbs (preferably panko)
 1/3 cup chopped fresh chives
 Freshly ground black pepper
 Whisk the buttermilk, mayonnaise, half of the thyme, 1 teaspoon paprika, the onion and garlic powders, cayenne and 1 teaspoon salt in a large bowl. Add the chicken and toss to coat; cover and refrigerate at least 3 hours or overnight.
 Position racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven and preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line 2 baking sheets with aluminum foil and set a wire rack on each; coat the racks with cooking spray.
 Combine the breadcrumbs, chives, the remaining thyme and 1/2 teaspoon paprika, 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper in a shallow bowl. Remove the chicken from the marinade and dredge in the breadcrumb mixture, pressing to adhere.
 Put the white meat on one wire rack and the dark meat on the other rack, skin-side up. Coat the chicken with cooking spray. Transfer to the oven, placing the dark meat on the bottom oven rack; bake until the crust is golden and a thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the meat registers 165 degrees F, 50 to 55 minutes. Let cool slightly on the wire racks, 10 minutes. Season with salt.

Lemony Chicken Saltimbocca

4 (4-ounce) chicken cutlets
1/8 teaspoon salt
12 fresh sage leaves
2 ounces very thinly sliced prosciutto, cut into 8 thin strips
4 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1/3 cup fat-free, lower-sodium chicken broth
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon cornstarch Lemon wedges (optional)
1. Sprinkle the chicken evenly with salt. Place 3 sage leaves on each cutlet; wrap 2 prosciutto slices around each cutlet, securing sage leaves in place.
2. Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add 1 tablespoon oil to pan, and swirl to coat. Add chicken to pan; cook for 2 minutes on each side or until done. Remove chicken from pan; keep warm.
3. Combine broth, lemon juice, and cornstarch in a small bowl; stir with a whisk until smooth. Add cornstarch mixture and the remaining 1 teaspoon olive oil to pan; bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Cook for 1 minute or until slightly thickened, stirring constantly with a whisk. Spoon sauce over chicken. Serve with lemon wedges, if desired.

Beef Kabob Marinate

1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup tomato-based chili sauce
1 tablespoon ground cumin, or more to taste
 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1. Whisk honey, soy sauce, chili sauce, cumin, and vegetable oil together in a bowl.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Flashback Friday

While looking through photos for today's post, I had a revelation.  Girls learn the stank face pretty early.  Here is the proof that stank face starts early in a girl's life.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Things I Love Thursday

1.  I have super thick, super curly hair.  I have toyed with the idea of getting a Keratin treatment, but have yet to make the leap.  I saw the Organix Keratin Shampoo and Conditioner in Target and decided to try it.  It is fantastic!!  It loosens up my curls making blow drying about a 10 minute process instead of almost an hour!  I hardly even need to use a brush when I blow dry!  It's seriously a miracle.

2.  I needed a new frying pan/saute pan and went with the Green Pan at target.  BEST.THING.EVER.  Nothing sticks to it.  At.All.  Put an egg in it and you can run it all around the pan with no sticking like a commercial.  Every time I use it, I want to make out with it, because I love it that much.
3.  My new Glad Plug-ins.  These fall scents are so full of scent that the whole house smells like fall from just 2 of these litttle puppies.

4.  I swear Modern Family gets better with every episode.  Last night's episode was outstanding.  Love it!

5.  My Kindle is my BFF.  That is all.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Wacky Wednesday

After last night's debate, I deleted what I had ready for today because while the blog is called Housewife in Training, it was meant as a joke.  I will never be a "housewife".  It just doesn't do it for me.  So when Romney stated that he had binders filled with women and since we apparently need to be home in time to make dinner, I decided to post some of the best photos that popped up after the debate. I was rather impressed with how quickly people come up with these things.   For more fun you can check out

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Thrifty Tuesday

1. Have you participated in a flash sale before?   If not, you need to!  Items are dirt cheap, and you get that  exciting feeling of "winning" it like ebay.  My favorite is With Your Heart Jewelry on Facebook.  They schedule at least one sale a week during an evening.  They post the photos of the item and you comment with SOLD and your email address to win.  All items are in limited quantities  so you need to be fast.  The jewelry is great and super on trend.  They take about a week to receive in the mail.  And this company donates to needy children with every purchase made.  A total WIN-WIN.
With Your Heart On Facebook

2.  Do you have an android phone?  If so, you need to download the Amazon App Store.  Everyday you get a free download to an app that you would normally pay for.  Sometimes you can get a pretty pricey app for $0!

3.  Need new towels?  How about this deal. 6 piece Spa Rayon from Bamboo Cotton for only $39!  I have these towels and they are phenomenal!!!

4.  Need a new camera?  Check out these deals on Canon cameras, including a Rebel!

5.  We all need to be a little more green in our lives, so why not pack a lunch with these.  Cut back on the brown bags and plastic sandwich bags in these cool patterns that kids and parents will both like!