Happy New Year’s Eve!

December 31–  Everyone  has their own feelings about the last day of the year.  If your year has been tough, you are ready to say “good-bye” and start fresh.  If this has been an epic year, you might be anticipating what the new year will bring.  It is all your perspective.

As I have shared before, I am a goal setter.  I start thinking about how I can improve, how can I be the best me, and what steps do I need to take.  I like to focus on one word that encompasses my goals and thoughts for the next year.  There is power in writing down your goals.  My goals in 2017 and my goals in 2016 were different and somewhat the same but something I could focus on.  I’m still working on my 2018 goals.

I wanted to share something that my sister and her family does each year.  This simple tradition has been such a blessing to them and a great way to celebrate memories.  Each year they begin with an empty jar.  Throughout the year they add memories to the jar.  It might be a significant movie ticket, written memory of something funny one of their children did, a photo, a drawing, matchbook, you get where I’m going.  Sometimes my sister will just journal that day to capture a feeling.  All the memories are placed in the jar.  On January 1 of the next year, they make a special breakfast and go through the jar. The memories of the previous year are celebrated and reflected on.


There is so much power in celebrating memories and honoring the previous year.  It gives them a moment to reflect and make goals for the next year.  I found this quote from Victoria Erickson that I really like:


Have a great last day of 2017!  See you in 2018!

Looking Forward,



Cookbooks- My Favorites

I have shared before that I LOVE COOKBOOKS.  My collection is vast and eclectic.  Some of my cookbooks have tags and writing all through them as I have taken notes or made changes through the years.  I have special cookbooks that have been signed by the chefs. I take reading a cookbook very seriously.  I read my cookbooks from cover to cover before I will even cook one recipe out of it.  Cookbooks share stories from the chef.  You can understand the inspiration and influences as you read along.  You learn new techniques and terminology.  I love curling up with a new cookbook.  Page by page the stories and recipes unfold.

I know each Christmas (and other times of the year) that my husband, Chris, will search for the perfect cookbook for me.  He knows that he must write a little note on the inside cover complete with the date.  Over the years, I have grown to cherish many of my cookbooks but I wanted to share a few today in case you are looking for a last minute gift idea.


Date Night In Chris gave me this cookbook last year.  I love it.  The book is organized by seasons and has a complete menu for your date night in.  We have looked forward to creating this meals together.  Each dinner has a dessert and cocktail to create.  Chris loves making cocktails so it is a win-win cookbook for us.


The Southern’s Cookbook Recipes, Wisdom, and Stories– This is one of those cookbooks that is so fun to read.  The editors of Garden & Gun pulled together great stories and recipes all in one place.  You will love the “talk of the south.”


Back In The Day Bakery Made With Love–  So true confession- I am obsessed with Cheryl and Griffith Day!  Their bakery in Savannah, Georgia gives me all the feels and is complete happiness.  When you visit the bakery, you will see Cheryl and Griffith in the back busy creating something yummy.  This cookbook is their second book.  I have own both  (obsessed) and both are signed (true obsession).


Yes, I’m with Cheryl and Griffith Day at Back in the Day Bakery

The next time you are in Savannah, Georgia, you must stop by Back in the Bakery!  It does not disappoint and it is hard to make a decision. So do what I do, get one of each and share!


Bread and Wine–  This is my favorite book to give as a gift.  One of my best friends gave me a copy and I fell in love.  Shauna Niequist tells beautiful stories of friendships that develop over food.  She encourages you to invite others over.  Break bread together and form relationship.  Shauna shares great recipes and wonderful insight on life.  She has many great books. Present over Perfect is her latest and it reminds us to present in every moment we have and don’t worry about the perfection.  I hope to meet Shauna one day. She is a true inspiration and mentor through her words.



The Silver Spoon For Children is my favorite children’s cookbook right now.  The illustration are made where children can follow along and begin cooking like an Italian. Make pasta, meatballs, chicken Stuffed with marscapone, foccaccia, and the list goes on. I am a believer in having my children in the kitchen.



Last recommendation is a cookbook that has been well loved that I did not want to take a picture of the front.  It has lots of battle wounds (in a good way) from the kitchen.  I have used my Gourmet Cookbook for the past ten years.  It is my kitchen buddy and has helped me cook some delicious food.

Let me know your favorite cookbooks.  I’m always looking for new ones.

Looking Forward,



White Chocolate Cranberry Almond Cookies

I love baking cookies during the holidays.  I make my traditional sugar cookies recipe that I have been making since I was a little girl.  We add in the some Ginger Molasses Cookies.  Sometimes I like to add in Pretzel M&M Hugs

This year I experimented with some of my favorite ingredients- Almonds, Cranberries, and White Chocolate.  It was a win in the kitchen.


1 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
2 t  vanilla extract (I used Mexican Vanilla)
2-1/4 cups all purpose flour

1 t baking soda
½ t salt
2 cups white chocolate morsels
1 cup sliced almonds
1 1/2 cup dried cranberries
8 oz  melting white chocolate (for drizzle)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Line your baking sheets with parchment paper.  
Using your mixer, beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy.  Add eggs and vanilla.  
Then add flour, baking soda and salt.  Mix well.  Now stir in almonds, 1 1/2 cup of white chocolate morsels, and 1 cup of dried cranberries.  
Drop rounded spoonfuls of dough, 1 1/2 inches apart, onto baking sheets.  Then take the extra white chocolate morsels and dried cranberries and add a few pieces on top to each cookie.  This will make your cookies have a great look of fullness of pieces.
Bake for 8 to 10 minutes.  Cool on the baking sheets for 2 minutes and remove to wire racks to cool completely.  
Melt the melting while chocolate and drizzle over the cookies.