Tag Archives: holiday

DIY Holiday Nails

With Christmas right around the corner, I have been painting and re-painting my nails almost every other day, trying out new holiday looks! I’m loving all the metallic and glittery colors for this time of year. They’re so festive! This weekend, I wore Sally Hansen’s Gilty Pleasure, which is a really pretty metallic gold color.

After I got dressed for work this morning, I decided to switch to red because I’m wearing a green blouse and I just felt very Christmasy! So I painted my nails Right Said Red (also by Sally Hansen) and glammed them up a bit with an accent nail using Essie’s Luxeffects Set in Stones top coat. I love the chunky glitter in this top coat and I think the silver and red are so pretty together!

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Stay Chic! xo…Alane

Fudgy Nutella & Sea Salt Cookies and Dark Chocolate Gingersnaps

This weekend was filled with Holiday parties, Christmas shopping (I finally started!), and baking! Every Christmas, my best friend and I get together at least once (let’s face it, we love food and baking so we try to do it as often as possible) and bake all day long. So yesterday was our first bake-a-thon and we decided to try out some new recipes – Fudgy Nutella Sea Salt cookies and Dark Chocolate Gingersnaps. I found both of them while browsing Pinterest a few weeks ago (yes, I’m a Pinterest addict).

We started off with the Nutella cookie recipe because it had to chill in the freezer for 10 minutes. The recipe only makes 12 – 14 cookies, which is clearly not enough, so we decided to multiply it by 6. For anyone who decides to try this recipe and wants to make 6 dozen cookies, buy two of the big containers of Nutella (I think they are 26 oz. each). You need a total of 6 cups, which is 48 oz. so the two containers will give you 52 oz. This recipe was very easy to follow – there are only 5 ingredients (nutella, brown sugar, egg, flour and sea salt) and all you do is combine the first 4 and then add the sea salt after the cookies are baked. I suggest using a stand mixer to mix the ingredients together, especially if you are thinking about multiplying the recipe. The dough gets very thick and fudgy with the Nutella and flour and the hand mixer we had could not stand up to it. Once all of the ingredients were mixed together, we chilled the dough in the freezer for 10 or 15 minutes (we didn’t really time it) and then made 1-inch balls on our ungreased cookie sheets. When it was time to bake, we put them in the oven at 350 for 10 minutes, but we discovered that they needed more time because they looked a little too fudgy in the middle. On average, we left each tray in the oven for about 12 minutes. Once they were done, we took them out of the oven and sprinkled sea salt on them. We then waited impatiently for them to cool…

Results: Deliciously chocolatey & chewy (almost like a brownie) and I love the combination of sweet and salty! I would definitely make these cookies again, especially because its such a simple and quick recipe that you can enjoy right away!

Nutella

Next up were the Dark Chocolate Gingersnaps. This recipe had a more extensive list of ingredients, but overall, it was very easy to follow and pretty quick to whip up a batch… or two or three. Because this recipe only made 24 cookies, we multiplied it by 3 so, again, we would have 6 dozen cookies. I don’t really have any suggestions as far as this one goes. As I said, it was really easy to follow and we didn’t modify anything. We baked them for exactly 14 minutes, just as the recipe instructed, and they were perfect. The only thing we left out was the powdered sugar at the end. The cookies were going straight into containers and we didn’t want them to get messy, so we figured we would sprinkle powdered sugar over top when we serve them.

Results: Very gingery with just a hint of chocolate! I will have to try these alongside regular gingersnaps (I will be making my standard gingersnap recipe this weekend) and see how different they taste from one another. Again, although there were more ingredients, it was still a simple recipe that can be made in less than an hour.

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So, if you’re looking for some different types of cookies this holiday season, I highly recommend trying one or both of these recipes! They turned out great, were very easy to make, and did not involve a lot of time.

Go get your holiday baking on (or eating, whichever you prefer :))!

Stay Curious! xo…Alane

Thanksgiving Traditions

Happy day-after-Thanksgiving! I hope everyone had a lovely holiday and was able to spend time with family and friends. We spent the day at my aunt and uncle’s house, indulging in non-stop eating and drinking. Needless to say, I was in a food coma halfway through the evening and am not even hungry this morning. My aunt cooked a beautiful 18-pound turkey for 16 people and it was absolutely delicious! My favorite part of the meal, however, is always the stuffing – maybe because of all the bread that’s in it. I can’t forget dessert, though! We had the traditional apple and pumpkin pies, but being the Italians that we are, we also had a huge tray filled with sweet Italian pastries from Brooklyn and my family’s favorite after dinner drinks – Sambuca, Grappa, and Disarrono. We came home completely stuffed and I went straight to sleep. Oh, and did I mention I won the pool for the second football game?! Yay for dumb luck!

Two of my favorite Thanksgiving traditions, however, have nothing to do with food. The first one we do between dinner and dessert. A few Thanksgiving’s ago, my aunt brought out this game called Table Topics, and we’ve played it every year since. You have a stack of cards with questions on them and pass them around the table. The person asking the question has to pick the person they want to answer the question. Some examples of questions: “If you had one million dollars, which charity would you donate it to?” “If you could own any business, what would it be?” “What life experience has made you the strongest?” I love this tradition because it is a great way to get to know your family and friends better.

My second favorite tradition is one that we do every holiday after dinner and dessert and, of course, a few drinks. We play a card game called Screw your Neighbor. Everyone starts with $3.00 and if you lose a round, you have to put a dollar in the pot. When you run out of dollars, you’re out of the game. The object of the game is to try to have a higher card because the person with the lowest card has to pay. So if you have a low card, you can pass it to your neighbor and hope that they have a higher card…basically you screw your neighbor. It’s a really fun game and if you win the jackpot, then it’s even more fun!

How did you spend your Thanksgiving this year and what are some of your favorite Thanksgiving traditions?

I hope everyone has a safe Black Friday! Happy Thanksgiving! xo…Alane