Thursday, January 29, 2009

Try a New Recipe Thursdays - White Sangria

It is probably obvious by now if you read this blog that some of my favorite hobbies are cooking and entertaining. I really love finding and making new recipes and experimenting in the kitchen. One of my house-mates in grad school used to make the most delicious white sangria for parties. I've been dying to try it again - it is the perfect way to forget about the blahs of winter so I just might make it this weekend. Enjoy!

1 Bottle of white wine (Riesling, Albarino, Chablis, Gewurztraminer, Pinot Gris, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc)
2/3 cup white sugar
3 oranges (sliced) or may substitute 1 cup of orange juice
1 lemon (sliced)
1 lime (sliced)
1/2 liter of ginger ale or club soda (ginger ale for those with a sweeter tooth!)

Pour wine in the pitcher and squeeze the juice wedges from the orange,lemon and lime into the wine. Toss in the fruit wedges (leaving out seeds if possible) and add sugar. Chill overnight. Add ginger ale or club soda just before serving. If you'd like to serve right away, use chilled white wine and serve over lots of ice. If you are feeling ambitious, trying adding apples, strawberries, peaches, handful of fresh blueberries, raspberries, kiwi, a shot or two of gin, brandy or rum, or a cup of citrus-flavored soda.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009


Woohoo, it FINALLY snowed enough to matter in Philadelphia! When I moved up here from the south a few years ago, I envisioned many a cozy day spent indoors watching the snow, snow angels, snow walks in the park and lots of "snow days" off of work, but it turned out it was not to be. I can't even think of a significant snow storm (I mean 6+ inches) since I've lived here. This one wasn't quite that, but it still looked pretty and all of the ice on top made it enough for me to justify working from home today (though admittedly I definitely could have made it into the office had I wanted to).

I am a big snow fan and am hoping for even more white stuff before it becomes spring. To all of you across the country that got a real winter storm, enjoy. I am jealous.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Be Back Soon...

A little in over my head all of a sudden but hope to be back with you later this week.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Blog Award

Thanks to DC Prep who tagged me for the Honest Scrap Award. Along with this award, I am supposed to list 10 honest things about myself. So here goes...

1. My favorite accessory is definitely a scarf. In the fall and winter I wear one almost every day and usually try to match them to my outfits so I can keep them on when I'm chilly.
2. Having clutter in the house really bothers me. I make sure to tidy up and throw away and extra mail, newspapers, etc. before bed almost every night. I have tons of bins and other modes of organization that I swear by.
3. I love receiving magazines and catalogs. I subscribe to many magazines, including Self, Glamour, Better Homes & Gardens and Bon Appetit. Every time I go to the airport I treat myself with UsWeekly or InStyle :)
4. I am left-handed.
5. I went to college and graduate school in the south. I think I am a southern girl at heart and want to move back some day.
6. My favorite professional sport to watch is baseball. My husband and I watch the Phillies on tv pretty much every night during the summer. We attend several games in person each year too, and I only eat hot dogs when we go to the game. For some reason I find them gross in all other instances but love them at the game.
7. I would travel just about every weekend if I could. I really enjoy going to new towns and cities and staying in hotels. Boutique hotels are my favorite, and I especially like the decor and style in the Kimpton Hotels.
8. I don't enjoy most movies - weird, I know, but I usually can think of so many other things I'd rather do with my two hours than watch a movie.
9. We have way too many proper drink glasses relative to the amount of entertaining we actually do. I think I went a little overboard on my registry as I have 12 of each of monogrammed cocktail glasses, water glasses, martini glasses, white wine glasses, red wine glasses and champagne flutes. Hopefully I will have more time for entertaining later in life.
10. I love to cook and try to make a proper dinner every night, even if it means we don't eat until 8 or 9pm. It is a good way for me to unwind at the end of each work day.
I tag anyone who wants to play along!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

A New Era

Congratulations to our new President, Barack Obama. I watched the inauguration live with some co-workers and was so touched to see the spirit in the room and the collective sense of pride. It also was great to see so many Americans (and other citizens of the world) stop to comemmorate this exciting moment in our history. We should all be proud to be Americans today and every day.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Try a New Recipe Thursdays - Birthday Edition

Happy Birthday to me today. Next time you're celebrating a birthday, try these Classic Vanilla Cupcakes. Yum.

1/2 cup unsalted butter softened
1/2 cup vegetable shortening softened
2 cups sugar
4 extra large eggs (l cup eggs)
1 tablespoon vanilla
2 drops lemon and almond extract (optional)
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup cornstarch
2 tablespoons baking powder
2 1/2 cups milk

Line two twelve-cup muffin pans with cupcake liners. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Blend butter with shortening until light and fluffy. Add in sugar and beat well. Add in eggs and extracts. Mix dry ingredients together and fold into batter, alternating with milk. Blend on slow speed to combine, scraping down bowl sides and bottom often. Blend until smooth, about 3 minutes. Fill cupcake liners two-thirds to almost full. Place in oven, immediately reducing heat to 350 degrees F. Bake until cupcakes test done (tops should gently spring back when touched), about 20-24 minutes depending on size of cupcakes. Approximately 24 medium cupcakes - 36 smaller cakes.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Out from Under the Covers

I've finally emerged from home after a horrible case of the stomach flu. Not fun, but the important thing is I am back just in time for the weekend. Lots to look forward to with my birthday celebration upcoming as well as the Eagles in the Conference Championship Game and Monday off work for MLK Day!! I think Mr. Prepster is going to take me here for my birthday dinner. Such a pretty setting and I can't wait to drink out of one of their lovely wine glasses. We will need to bundle up because it is supposed to be in the single digits here in Philly. Anyone seen any preppy and cute scarves, hats or mittens lately? I am in search of some new ones.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Updating Blogroll

I plan to update my list of blogs over the weekend. If you would like to be included, leave a comment or shoot me an email. Happy Friday!

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Try a New Recipe Thursdays - Peanut Butter Kiss Cookies

After taking a holiday hiatus, Try a New Recipe Thursdays is back! I'd like to share one of my favorite easy dessert recipes - Peanut Butter Kiss Cookies. Most people only make this type of cookie at Christmas time, but for me they are a year-round staple and always go over well with friends. This recipe makes a lot of cookies and is very easy.

1 cup butter
2/3 cup creamy peanut butter (can substitute reduced fat)
1 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
2 t vanilla
2 2/3 cup flour
2 t baking soda
1 t salt
16 oz. package chocolate kiss candy

Combine butter, peanut butter and sugars; blend until creamy. Add eggs and vanilla; blend. Mix flour, salt and soda, add to cream mixture; stir well. Roll dough into quarter size balls. Roll ball in bowl of sugar. Bake dough at 350 degrees for 8 minutes, take out, place chocolate kiss in center of each cookie. Bake an additional 2 minutes.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

J.Crew Quinn Cami

Anyone have this item? I am such a sucker for ruffles. What do you think of it? I saw it on sale today and think it could be a pretty cute "going out" top and would transition well into spring. I know, this purchase would be in direct contradiction with resolution 3. below, but... this cardi is cute and on great sale too. Here's a set with them together. With the prices the combo is pretty tempting (I already have the bag shown).

Resort Look by Preppy in Philly

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

9 Resolutions for '09

Here's what I hope to "improve" about myself this year...

1. Work out at least twice per week (gotta start somewhere, right?)

2. Drink more water (hopefully a consequence of actually achieving 1.)

3. Invest in more special, interesting clothes that I actually need and will wear for years to come instead of mindlessly purchasing whatever tops are on final sale each season at J.Crew

4. Cook more, eat out less

5. Find reasons to have friends over for appetizers, dinner, drinks, etc., i.e. actually use all of my cute wedding serving plates and things!

6. Read more quality books (my list of books read last year consisted of way too many with the word "shopaholic" in the title)

7. Attend church more regularly and give thanks for my wonderful marriage, family and good health

8. Keep in better, closer contact with my two siblings

9. And finally, pay off my student loans

Monday, January 5, 2009

Happy New Year!

Hello blog friends and Happy 2009 to all. After a very busy Christmas season I'm looking forward to unwinding a bit in January and catching up on my blogging. This weekend was a good start to what I hope will be a more relaxing 2009. Mr. Prepster and I spent New Year's Eve and the weekend here, and it was just lovely! We were lucky enough to be upgraded to a room with a fireplace... so cozy. We played Scrabble, watched movies, went to a very cool restaurant for NYE dinner and then another very yummy restaurant later in the weekend and generally just spent a couple of days just being together without distractions or interruptions. This is the first year we haven't done a big NYE reunion with friends from out of town, but honestly (and not that we don't love seeing our friends), I don't think we missed anything. I'm pretty confident we'll all see each other plenty with the multiple weddings that are scheduled for this summer and fall. Oooh, and I wore one of my favorite Christmas gifts, my new pink Victoria Ruffle Cami, on NYE. Those who have been following this blog know that I've been coveting this top forever... And I'm happy to report it is even cuter than it looked online!