Tag Archives: food

Rolo Sugar Cookies

23 Dec

Last weekend my Mom, Mother Gerry, hosted a cookie swap at her house and I had to make 12 dozen cookies.  For those of you that are unaware of the cookie swap rules-each participant has to make a dozen cookies for every other participant.  You bring 12 dozen of one kind of cookie and you leave with 12 dozen different kinds of cookies.  I should mention the reason I keep using the number 12, is because that is how many participants were in the swap.  You could have 8 people and would have to make 8 dozen etc, etc.

Anyway-the point of this post is to share with you the delicious cookies I made….Rolo Sugar Cookies.  Though, I have to give credit where it is due and thank my co-worker, Ed, for this recipe.


The only ingredients you will need are Rolo candies and sugar cookie mixture.

Now, of course you can make the sugar cookie batter from scratch, but if anyone knows me they know I am always trying to save time.  SO-there is no shame in buying the pre-made cookie mix and adding the necessary ingredients.

First, you need to start unwrapping your Rolos, and set them aside in a bowl so they are ready when you need them.


Lucky for me, my wonderful friend, Amber was more than happy to help me make 12 dozen cookies on a Friday night. Thats Amber mixing up the sugar cookie mixture.


Once the dough was ready we started wrapping the Rolos inside!



Place on greased cookie sheet and bake at 400 degrees for 8-9 minutes.


Voila! Let cool and enjoy.


Hopefully you are not stressing as the holidays near and have all of your cookies made.  If not, try this easy recipe and enjoy!  Merry Christmas!-Tara


A Very FriendsGiving

19 Nov

For the past 3 years Nathan and I have hosted a pre-Thanksgiving dinner and game night for our friends.  Its great to be able to see everyone and relax together before the hectic holiday season starts.  This has become my favorite event of the year and we always have a full house.  Nathan and I prepare all of the food for the main meal, and ask people bring an appetizer or a dessert to share.

25LB Turkey

This year we had a 25 lb turkey and 10 lb ham!  The usual side dishes made their appearance-the green beans, mashed potatoes, gravy, rolls, and cranberry sauce.  Yet, this year some of the side dishes had a slight spin on them.

Instead of doing corn this year, I made a very delicious Corn Casserole Paula Dean’s Corn Casserole Recipe.  AMAZING! Many thanks to Paula Dean-it turned out great.

Corn Casserole and 10lb Ham

Another difference this year was the stuffing-I fried it!  My coworker Ed gave me this idea and its so simple and oh so good.  Make your stuffing as usual and let it cool enough so that you can roll it. Once you have rolled the stuffing into balls, coat with egg and flour and fry away.

Fried Stuffing Balls!

Elise helping out in the kitchen

I have found that doing prep work early cuts down on the stress of having everything ready at the same time.  The mashed potatoes were made earlier in the day and put in the crockpot to keep warm.  Serving the potatoes in the ceramic pot also cuts down on dishes later.

Make it easy on yourself by making things early.

Finally all sitting to eat

Must be good if Nate is up for seconds:)

After dinner it is game time!  Our yearly tradition is Pictionary with guys vs. gals.  We make up the categories ourselves and think of things for the other team to draw.  I would just like to note that the girls usually win 🙂  This year we also played Cards Against Humanity.  HILARIOUS! This game is always sold out and you have to be on the waiting list if you want to buy it.  I know a few of us have already added it to our Christmas list.

Nate’s turn at Pictionary.  Of course Cheetoes has to see what the fuss is all about.

The holiday season always serves as a reminder of things that are important in life.   I am very thankful to have such wonderful friends and family, both nearby and those far.

I hope you and your families have a very Happy Thanksgiving!

Cheers, Tara

Pampered Chef

14 Nov

A couple of weeks ago I hosted a Pampered Chef party at my house for my good friend, Kristin, who has recently become a consultant.

I have hosted other parties, but this was my first Pampered Chef and I have to say it was quite an experience.   The consultant brings ingredients and a recipe to your house for your group to make together.  In this case we made two recipes-pizza and chocolate lava cake.  While making the recipes, you get to use the Pampered Chef tools to help you decide what you might want to purchase.  Yes, you get to actually use the kitchen tools by making recipes with your friends.  So, it really is a win-win party.  You get to have a party with your friends, make delicious food together, eat it, and shop in the comfort of your home.  Fun girls night!

Kristin-aka the Consultant. She read the recipes and instructions for us to follow.

Becky ended up doing a lot of the prep work, since I seemed to keep wandering away.

According to Pampered Chef they”believe that multipurpose tools are the cornerstone of an efficient kitchen, and we’re committed to developing timesaving tools, tips and recipes that enhance shared mealtime and suit busy lifestyles.”

Elise took control of the coconut for the Chocolate Lava Cake

Kristi just wanted to chop everything

Among my many purchases was a cookie press which I cannot wait to use at Christmas for our cookie swap-and I will let you know how they turn out 🙂

If you love pampered chef and have been wanting to get a jump on Christmas gifts, or would like to host a party here is their site: Pampered Chef

Cheers, T

Irish Weekend in Wildwood

30 Oct

Last month, Nathan and I were in Wildwood, NJ with family and friends for Irish weekend. This is one of the biggest Irish festivals in the country and a quick weekend getaway if you are on the East Coast.  The festival has something for everyone from crafts, boxing matches, music, and of course great food and beverages.  Starting on Thursday night, the festival runs all weekend, and concludes on Sunday.

Nathan and I at the Wildwood Boardwalk

In Jersey we actually go to the shirt store to buy clothing with fun sayings pressed on them.

Our friend Leeihnae found a great place two blocks from the beach for us to rent for the weekend and since it is off-season everything is cheaper!  One of the wonderful things about the festival is the trolley that stops at multiple locations in town to pick you up and drop you off at the festivities.  Once we arrived in town, we parked the car and didn’t have to worry about driving all weekend.

Getting dressed up for Irish Weekend is a must! Leeihnae rocked her green wig all weekend.

Glow sticks are fun for any celebration. My brother, Phil, prefers them as shoe laces.

The streets are closed to traffic, making it an easy stroll to check out the craft vendors, food tents, and of course find your favorite Irish beverage.

So many food options, but my cousin Jen went with the roasted corn.

The establishments and streets are pretty crowded, but you might get lucky enough to snag a spot in the corner like Jen and I did.  We set up our area overlooking the street so everyone in our group would know where to go in case they were separated from us.

Jen and I were able to find a spot overlooking the streets

On our way back, Mother Nature decided to unleash a storm upon us, so we made a mad dash to all get on the same trolley.  Unfortunately, the trolley we rode back on did not have any windows.  As you can see from Nathan’s picture below, we were all freezing as the rain came in from the side.  Luckily, no one came home with pneumonia, just funny stories about the entire weekend.

Trying to keep warm on the trolley in our Jameson hats

If you have the opportunity to go next year, I suggest you go for a fun weekend at the shore before the winter months hit.  Irish Festival

Cheers, T

Cookie Covered Brownie Recipe

29 Oct

A couple of weeks ago Nathan and I were at his Uncle Mark’s house for family dinner.  I have been dying to try a recipe that my co-worker, Ed, shared with me.  This dessert was one of the easiest recipes to make and everyone loved it.  You can’t go wrong with two kinds of cookies covered with brownie, it is amazing!

Ingredients you will need: brownie mix, chocolate chip cookie mix, and Oreos (you can see I went with the generic brand and it worked just fine).  I think next time I will use double-stuffed:)

To start, grease a 9×11 pan and pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees.

Evenly line the bottom of the pan with chocolate chip cookie dough.  You can make the dough yourself but I choose to buy the pre-made stuff and it worked well.

Cover the cookie dough with a layer of Oreos.

Top your Oreo layer with brownie batter.

Bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes.  Of course ovens vary, so to be sure it is done stick a tooth pick in the center.  If it comes out clean, your dessert is ready to be taken out.

Top with ice cream, cool whip, or strawberries and enjoy!

Cheers, T

Wine and Wreath Party Food Edition

10 Oct

As we posted yesterday, this past weekend we threw a Wine and Wreaths party at Elise’s house. We invited our girlfriends over to stop pinning, and start crafting.  We also asked everyone to make a fall inspired dish, which is what this post is all about.

While we had quite the spread of food, from chips/guacamole to fruit  and veggie trays.  We picked the most fall festive recipes to share with you:

Apple Chips:

Tricia sliced apples and placed them on parchment paper before baking them at 225 degrees.  Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar and voila-a healthy snack that even Tricia’s almost 2 year old enjoyed!

Mini Pumpkin Cheesecake:

Pumpkin and cheesecake in the same bite=heaven!

Katie opted for the mini shells at the grocery store to make these mini cheesecakes. 2 packages of 8oz cream cheese, 1 package of instant pudding, 1 can of pumpkin.

Mulled Cider Wine:

This warm beverage was finished before the crafts were.

Kristen combined a bottle of cranberry juice, a bottle of Merlot, and a box of mulled spices.  She brought to a simmer, and let the pot sit on the stove so we could help ourselves.

Pumpkin Dip:

Very simple recipe for those that love pumpkin.

Combine an 8oz container of cool whip, 15 oz can of pumpkin, 1 package of instant vanilla pudding, and 1/2 tsp of nutmeg.  Mix together and serve cold.  We served with gingersnaps, but think graham crackers or marshmallows are just as delicious.

Make any festive fall recipes lately? What is your favorite fall snack?


E & T

Fiesta Friday

29 Aug

After an emotional week last week I was ready for some much need quality time with one of my BFFs by the end of the week. On Friday night we got together for a little retail therapy. I ended up scoring some great finds at Hobby Lobby and Home Goods. I will be back to share those goodies in another post.

After shopping we headed back to my house for drinks and dinner. Jaime was in charge of bringing the drinks and she found a recipe on Pinterest for a cocktail that was similar to sangria. It was de-li-cious and very easy to make.

All you need to make this tasty drink is:

White wine (we used Yellow Tail Chardonnay)
Vanilla flavored vodka (we used Smirnoff)
Cherry 7up
Strawberries (rinsed with tops cut off)

You just mix the wine, vodka and 7up to taste in a pitcher. I’m not sure of the exact amount we used of each ingredient, we just adjusted until we thought it was right. Lastly add the strawberries to the pitcher. To chill we put ice in stemless wine glasses and poured ourselves a glass. So yummy and refreshing!


I made guacamole as an appetizer. My recipe for guacamole is pretty much just throwing the ingredients into a bowl until I think the proportions are even and it tastes right. To make my guacamole I use ripe avocados cut in half, pitted, cubed and scooped into a bowl, tomatoes, lime juice, salt and cilantro. I wish I had taken a picture to share, it was pretty yummy, if I may say so. 🙂

We sat out on the deck talked, laughed, munched on chips and guacamole and drank sangria until Joe got home and fired up the grill for our fish tacos. We love fish tacos!! I made a cilantro lime vinaigrette that I found on…you guessed it…Pinterest! Haha I’m not really sure how we ever survived without Pinterest! Seriously! I will also share the cilantro lime vinaigrette in another post. It turned out to be a great night, very relaxing and made me feel better.

What do you do to relax after an emotional week? I am so ready for the mosquitos to go away so I can enjoy our deck and not get eaten alive.



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