Christmas in July

Anyone who knows me know I am a Christmas junkie–I’ll listen to Christmas music or watch Christmas movies any month in of the year.  Since we moved recently, resulting in a brand-new DVR, I recorded every Hallmark Channel Christmas movie they played last week (literally–every one. Hubby was thrilled.) 😂

So, I was super-excited to be invited to a Christmas in July party over the weekend. My aunt and her husband decorated the yard with blow-up decorations, they had Christmas treats, and Santa even stopped by for a visit–in his shorts and t-shirt, of course.

It was a fun party, and a great excuse to enjoy some Christmas music in the middle of summer. (It was even better to know I am not the only crazy Christmas fan in my family!) 😉

UNADJUSTEDNONRAW_thumb_a8b9

My savory treat–meat, cheese, fruit, and olives. Super easy and always popular!

I took the party as an excuse to try out a new Christmas recipe–Peppermint Mocha mini-cupcakes. And, for anyone wondering where I got Candy Canes in July, I stocked up in late December just in case the need arose. 🎄

UNADJUSTEDNONRAW_thumb_a91cThese were perfect little bites of heaven–rich chocolate, cool peppermint, and just a hint of coffee. I definitely will be making this one again!

Peppermint Mocha Mini-Cupcakes

  • Servings: 6 dozen mini-cupcakes
  • Print

Ingredients:

For the cupcakes:

  • 1 Stick of Butter (1/2 Cup), softened
  • 1 1/4 Cups Sugar
  • 1 1/4 Cups Hot Coffee
  • 1/2 Cup Unsweetened CocoaPowder
  • 2 Large Eggs
  • 1 1/4 Cups Flour
  • 1 tsp. Baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 2 tsp. Vanilla Bean Paste (or Vanilla Extract)
  • 1/3 Cup Sour Cream
  • 2/3 Cup Mint Chocolate Chips, chopped

For the Icing:

  • 8 oz. Cream Cheese, softened
  • 1 stick Butter (1/2 cup), softened
  • 3 1/2 Cups Powdered Sugar
  • 2 tsp. Vanilla Bean Paste (or Vanilla Extract)
  • Grated Dark Chocolate and Candy Cane Pieces (for Garnish)

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350℉. Add liners to mini-cupcakes trays.
  2. Beat the butter and sugar using a mixer until smooth and fluffy (3-5 minutes).
  3. Add the eggs to the butter mixture, and beat another 1-2 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, add the cocoa to the hot coffee, and mix until there are no lumps.
  5. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  6. Add the flour mixture and coffee mixture to the butter mixture, alternating, and starting with the flour. After each addition, mix until just combined.
  7. Fold in the sour cream, vanilla, and mint chips. Stir until fully incorporated.
  8. Add approximately 1 tablespoon of batter (I use a small cookie scoop) to each cupcake liner.
  9. Bake at 330 for 10-15 minutes, until the cupcakes spring back when touched and/or a tester comes out clean.
  10. Remove from the oven and cool completely on a cooling rack.
  11. Once cool, cream the butter and cream cheese in a mixer on high until fluffy. Add the powdered sugar and vanilla. Beat until fully incorporated.
  12. Use  piping bag to ice the cupcakes. Garnish with grated chocolate and a candy cane piece. Chill until icing is set.

Enjoy!

Cupcake TrayI find mint to be refreshing in the summer, so this was a perfect fit for a hot, humid, July  afternoon. I look forward to trying them again in December. Yum!

Blog Signature

Are you a Christmas anytime person, or and only-after-December 15 person? Or do you fall somewhere in between? And, what is your favorite holiday treat?


Broccoli Cheddar Stuffed Potatoes

Years ago, one of my favorite lunches was a fast-food baked potato topped with broccoli, cheese sauce, and bacon bits.  I gave up the bright-yellow cheese sauce and the salty bacon substitute, but I still love the flavors of bacon, broccoli, and cheese.

I didn't even make it halfway through the steak or the potato! Hubby was thankful for the steak when he got steak and eggs for breakfast the next morning! ;-)

I didn’t even make it halfway through the steak or the potato! Hubby was thankful for the steak when he got steak and eggs for breakfast the next morning! 😉

Enter these twice baked potatoes stuffed with chopped broccoli, crumbled bacon, sour cream, and cheddar cheese. Yum! 🙂

Almost ready for the oven!

Almost ready for the oven!

These are the perfect side dish to a nice, juicy steak, or all on their own as a hearty lunch.

Ready to cook!

Ready to cook!

Broccoli Cheddar Stuffed Potatoes

  • Servings: 3-6
  • Print

Ingredients

3 Russet potatoes
1 head Fresh Broccoli, finely chopped
4 slices Bacon
1/2 cup Sour Cream
1 cup Shredded Cheddar
1/4 cup Shredded Parmesan Cheese
Salt and Pepper to taste

 Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. Scrub Potatoes. Puncture with fork, and wrap each potato tightly in foil.
  3. Bake for approximately 1 hour, until tender.
  4. Meanwhile, place bacon on a baking tray. Bake for 10-15 minutes until crisp.
  5. Cool bacon and potatoes for about a half hour.
  6. Slice the top off of the baked potatoes. Using a spoon, scoop out most of the potato into a large bowl, taking care not to tear the skin.
  7. Using a potato masher, mash the potatoes. Add the sour cream, and continue mashing until smooth. Add more sour cream if needed.
  8. Crumble the bacon. Add bacon, broccoli, and cheddar cheese to the potatoes, and mix well. Add salt and pepper to taste. (I used the masher to make sure everything was incorporated).
  9. Stuff the potato mixture back into the potato skins. This will be heaped on top.
  10. Sprinkle the parmesan cheese on top.
  11. Bake for 30-45 minutes until warmed through and cheese is browned.
  12. Enjoy! 🙂

I like a half potato as a side, or a whole potato as a meal. To rewarm, I just pop it in the oven for about a half hour until it is hot. Enjoy!

Cheese, bacony goodness!

Cheese, bacony goodness!

Do you have a favorite potato dish? A yummy side dish that takes you back to childhood? Please share! ❤

Blog Signature


Pure Pecan Heaven

Over the past few months, I have become quite the Pinterest addict.  I have found recipes galore, fun household tips, clothing ideas, inspirational quotes, and the list goes on and on!

I wrote a post a few months ago about some of the pins I had tried at home. Today, I want to share a recipe that I tried a few weeks ago for a large group that everyone loved. (I have been baking since I was a teenager, and my mom said it was the best thing I have ever made.  And she is a big fan of my baking.)  😉 Read More