A love letter to 2012

Dear 2012,

This year I’m going to do a few things different. I’m going to be a better version of me. I won’t let the things that stress me out control my life. I’m going to be more organized. I’m going to be a better friend and family member. I’m going to get my cards sent out on time, and my calls made.

I’m also going to eat better and take care of my body. I’m going to paint my nails and curl my hair. I won’t be afraid to be a little girly, not this year.

I’m going to make my own flavored vodka, something I’m super excited for.

At least I’m going to try really, really hard.

Watch out 2012, I’m putting up a fight this year.

And with the way we rang in the new year, I think we got off to a good start.

I know these are a little late, but I wanted to share some of my favorites from our night with family and friends.

These girls have known each other for a very long time, they just let me take photos with them at parties.

Mister and one of his oldest friends, Alex. We were at Alex’s parents house for the party. They always have great shin-digs. Do people still say that?

Me and Felicia, who is Alex’s fiance. Love her!

Mister and his buddies.

My friend Sarah and I, we like to ham it up for the camera. Imagine.

And finally, a New Years kiss.

Here’s to a Happy New Year!

Even if it is a little late.

 

 

Green Bean Casserole, the good kind.

There’s this thing that I make, it’s pretty awesome. I’m fairly certain it’s the main reason I’m invited to holiday dinners. For Christmas this year I was specifically told that I would be bringing my Green Bean Casserole. At Thanksgiving, my vegetarian friend ate some, realized there was bacon in it, and ate the rest in silence. Afterwards, he begrudgingly admitted to enjoying it after it was confirmed that there is indeed bacon included in this casserole. Yep, it’s that good.

I shouldn’t take so much credit. I got this recipe from The Pioneer Woman, and I have adapted it somewhat. But after trying it last year for the first time I knew that this was the recipe I’d be using for-evah. No bigs.

Your ingredients are simple, which I think is important around the holiday season. We don’t want to make something fussy if we don’t need to. This is also really easy to make ahead. You can put the entire casserole together the day before, sans french fried onions, cover and refrigerate. When you’re ready cover with onions and cook for 30 minutes. Amazingness, simplified. You’re welcome.

Just remember that if you’re trying to share this with someone, and you want to take a picture you’ll need to snap one fast. This doesn’t stay around for very long.

Enjoy!

Green Bean Casserole

by Jessica Scott

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Keywords: side Christmas Thanksgiving American

// <![CDATA[
document.write('’);
// ]]>

Ingredients (Serves 8)

  • 2 Pounds fresh Green Beans, ends trimmed
  • 6 slices of Bacon cut into 1/4 in pieces
  • 3 cloves of Garlic, minced
  • 1/2 large Onion, chopped
  • 4 Tablespoons Butter
  • 4 Tablespoons Flour
  • 2 1/2 cup Milk
  • 1/2 cup Half & Half
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
  • 1/8 teaspoon Cayenne Pepper
  • 1 cup grated Cheddar Cheese
  • French Fried Onions

Instructions

Cut green beans in half and start a large pot of lightly salted boiling water.

Blanch the green beans: drop them in boiling water and allow to cook for 3-4 minutes. Drain green beans in colander and run very cold water over them until they cool down and stop cooking. Allow them to drain, when they are done spread into bottom of 9×13 casserole dish or baking pan.

Add bacon to medium skillet and cook over medium heat. Cook for two minutes and then add onion and garlic and continue to cook 4-5 minutes. Until bacon is done and onions are golden brown. Remove from heat and set aside.

In saucepan melt butter over medium heat. Sprinkle flour into pan and whisk to combine with butter evenly. Continue whisking while it cooks for a minute or two more. Add half and half and milk. Continue cooking, and whisking, while the sauce thickens, this should take 2-3 minutes. Add salt, pepper and cayenne before adding the grated cheese. Stir while cheese melts. Once that has happened, remove from heat and celebrate that you just made your very own white sauce! It’s a totally important thing to know.

Add bacon and onion mixture to sauce, stir to combine. Pour over green beans and top with french fried onions.

Bake for 30 minutes at 350 degrees or until sauce is bubbly and onions are golden.

Powered by Recipage

Merry Christmas Weekend!

Merry Christmas!
Happy Hanukkah!
Happy Festivus for the rest of us!

What ever it is you celebrate I hope you had a great day full of laughter and food and memories.

Yesterday it was sunny and warm here so we took advantage and took the Gypsy to the park.

After we got home I did some baking, we made dinner and then settled in to watch White Christmas which is our Christmas Eve tradition.

This morning we woke up and opened our present from Gypsy. She got us new flannel ¬†sheets, isn’t that sweet? Afterwards I hit the kitchen and made my contributions for dinner this evening. We went to our friends Sean & Colleen where we ate way to much food and then mister took a nap for a minute.

I wanted to share some of my favorite decorations around the house. I love our tree this year, it’s the first one that mister and I decorated together. I think it looks lovely at night.

Besides family snow is the thing we miss most during Christmas. And even though I’ve gotten used to having rain and not snow during winter, this December has been unusually dry. I thought some snowflakes in the kitchen window would be a good substitute.

My Mom gave me this candy-cane holder the last time I saw her. It was my Grandmother’s, and I have always loved it. Isn’t he just the cutest?

So Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night!