It was kinda dopey of me to try to start a blog as we were heading into the holiday season. We were much busier than anticipated. I wisened up pretty quickly and decided to wait to really give this a go until we were into the new year. HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!
The holiday lunch at Cooper’s Hawk was a nice way to kick off the holiday season. Cooper’s Hawk’s newest location left something to be desired, but it was good company nonetheless. Check out my (Jennifer S.) Yelp review here: http://www.yelp.com/biz/coopers-hawk-winery-and-restaurants-arlington-heights#hrid:JSKtkT7oM2ofRcbeQKxeow
I spent the next seven hours making homemade fruitcake with my Grandma. Traditionally, she does fruitcakes, fudge and Chex mix every year that she eventually passes out as gifts to family and friends. Grandpa passed away in April 2010 and he usually helped her. For Christmas 2010, Grandma enlisted the help of her caregiver and still made everything. This year, I encouraged/talked her out of making everything. So, I learned to make the fuirtcakes and have a nice visit all at the same time.
These fruitcakes turned out delicious! Don’t let anyone fool you…these were really good. We don’t use citron in the batter. We mainly use lots of cherries and pineapple, so there really isn’t anything weird in there. I’m hoping to do it again next year with my Grandma.
We have had the opportunity to spend more time with our new neighbors, John & Kayla. They had an ornament/housewarming party a few weeks ago. I made Paula Deen’s Caramel Apple Cheesecake Bars with Streusel Topping. They were a hit! Here’s the recipe: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/paula-deen/caramel-apple-cheesecake-bars-with-streusel-topping-recipe/index.html I also made about six pounds of cocktail meatballs. They were eating these until five in the morning, so I am pretty confident that they were a hit as well. John & Kayla live right across the backyard in a condo very similar in size to ours. There were probably 35+ people at their place. It was crazy crowded & loud, but we had a good time! I came home at a reasonable time to catch up on Yelp reviews. Our son, Michael, came home to log a few hours on the XBox and my hubby stayed until 6am playing poker. He came home with more money than he left with, so I really couldn’t complain. My favorite picture…a photo of a handcrafted ornament from a friend who forgot to bring one as a gift: