holiday punch to try

Cocktails, alcohol or mock, are always a good idea when it comes to holiday gatherings.  What is not so fabulous is playing bartender while your guests enjoy your hard work.  This is where a large bowl and a ladle come in handy.  Mix these big batch drinks before the first ring of the doorbell and free yourself from drink duty.  Your friends and family will be more than happy to serve themselves (and spend more time with you)!

holiday punch to try | www.prettyplainjanes.com1Red Nose Punch 2Peppermint Eggnog Punch 3Icy Holiday Punch 4Jingle Jangle Punch 5Jingle Juice 6The Best Party Punch…Ever

Cheers!

holiday punch to try | www.prettyplainjanes.com

 

 

 

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tomato, basil and mozzerella strata

tomato, basil and mozzerella strata | www.prettyplainjanes.comBrunch, it is just the best.  Who doesn’t love a lazy late morning going into early afternoon over delicious food in sweet and savory?  Where it’s perfectly acceptable to go for the 2nd mimosa before noon.  Everyone should brunch, especially on New Year’s Day.  And this strata should be made for said day.  It’s easy, incredibly delicious and can be served at room temperature.  A perfect dish to compliment your orange juice and bubbly.

tomato, basil and mozzerella strata | www.prettyplainjanes.com tomato, basil and mozzerella strata | www.prettyplainjanes.comIf you have never had strata (or have never seen The Family Stone) you may wonder what on earth it is.  Think baked french toast but savory (86 the maple syrup).  You prep the night before and simply throw in the oven the next day.  I repeat, this is easy and incredibly low maintenance.  It needs to be in your life.

tomato, basil and mozzerella strata | www.prettyplainjanes.com tomato, basil and mozzerella strata | www.prettyplainjanes.comThere are thousands of ways you can make this dish.  The bread is your blank canvas.  Whatever cheese, veggie and/or meat, herb combo is totally up to you.  It’s a great way to use up things that you need out of your fridge.  Just be sure you always have one flavor pow (like sun dried tomatoes, goat cheese, pancetta, olives, etc…)

Happy Brunching!

tomato, basil and mozzerella strata | www.prettyplainjanes.com

 

 

tomato, basil and mozzerella strata

tomato, basil and mozzerella strata | www.prettyplainjanes.com

Ingredients

  • 1 loaf of french bread torn into 1" to 2" pieces
  • 1/2 cup sundried tomatoes roughly chopped
  • 8oz fresh mozzerella cut into 1/2" strips
  • 1 bunch basil, chiffonade cut (aka leaves piled on top of each other, rolled and then cut in strips)
  • 6 eggs
  • 3 tbsp butter (1 for greasing dish, the other 2 melted)
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp fresh cracked pepper
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan

Directions

  1. Preheat oven 350F and grease 9X13 baking dish with 1tbsp butter.
  2. Place torn bread on baking sheet and toast in oven for 8 minutes (or until lightly toasted).
  3. Put bread, mozzerella, sun dried tomatoes and most of basil (reserve a little) in baking dish.
  4. Whisk eggs, milk, melted 2tbsp butter, salt and pepper in a large bowl.
  5. Pour egg mixture over bread mixture and top with grated parmesan.
  6. Cover with plastic and chill in fridge overnight (or at least 8 hours).
  7. Preheat oven 350F and take plastic off strata. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes or until center is set.
http://prettyplainjanes.com/2014/12/18/tomato-basil-and-mozzerella-strata/

Posted in brunch, recipes, vegetarian, what's cooking | Tagged | 1 Comment

snowball cookies

snowball cookies | www.prettyplainjanes.com

 

I’m not sure if these cookies are a “northern thing”- but my husband stared at me blankly when he got home from work and I was rambling on about these snowball cookies from my past that suddenly reentered my life with all of their powdery glory.  These are seriously straight from my grandma’s kitchen circa Christmas eve 1990.  (Okay, I actually found this recipe on Pinterest- BUT they taste identical and did not disappoint my fond memories).

snowball cookies | www.prettyplainjanes.com
snowball cookies | www.prettyplainjanes.com

So, after Josh admitted he in fact had zero Christmas memories of these cookies I swiftly shoved one in his mouth, sure that he would say “ooooh yeah! I remember these!”.  Instead he acted like he had peanut butter stuck to the roof of his mouth and replied with, “umm… I don’t know babe.  It’s kind of like I need a big glass of water or something?”.

Whatever.

He doesn’t get it.

Disregard his comments, because these are fabulous.  They aren’t anything like my usual fluffy soft cookies, they are more of a shortbread-ish cookie- but they taste like Christmas to me.

snowball cookies | www.prettyplainjanes.com

snowball cookies | www.prettyplainjanes.com
Happy Baking,
snowball cookies | www.prettyplainjanes.com

 

snowball cookies

snowball cookies | www.prettyplainjanes.com

Ingredients

  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup nuts, finely chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • powdered sugar for rolling

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Mix butter, 1/2 cup powdered sugar, and vanilla in stand mixer. Add in flour, nuts, and salt. Shape dough into 1-inch balls and place about 2 inches apart onto prepared baking sheet. Bake for 8 to 9 minutes, or until cookies are set but not brown. Prepare a bowl of powdered sugar while the cookies are baking. Immediately after baking, roll them in the powdered sugar. (This is a bit messy, and be careful because the cookies are super hot! Just go with it.) Allow cookies to cool completely then roll in powdered sugar a second time. Store in an airtight container until you gobble them all up (or for a week).
http://prettyplainjanes.com/2014/12/17/snowball-cookies/

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fancy holiday ponytail

fancy holiday ponytail | www.prettyplainjanes.comWe love a good ponytail.  Especially one that is fabulously fluffy and can be worn with a comfy sweater or fancy sequins.  This pony will take you from wrapping last minute gifts to sipping champagne at your office party.  All you need are a few bobby pins, an elastic hairband and some hairspray!

fancy holiday ponytail | www.prettyplainjanes.com*It would be best to start with dirty hair as opposed to freshly washed.  In order to have a bit more lift you can use dry shampoo or tease around the crown.

  1. Curl hair with a large barreled curling iron.  Grab one side of hair and secure in the back with a bobby pin.
  2. Take a section from the opposite side except fold over existing poppy pin (from the step 1) and then secure that with a bobby pin (going down vertically works best).
  3. Grab rest of hair, gather at nape of neck and secure with elastic hairband.
  4. Take small piece of ponytail and wrap around hairband.  Secure with bobby pin and spray.

We were pretty excited over how gorgeous this pony turned out.  Even Bing loved it!

fancy holiday ponytail | www.prettyplainjanes.comAdd this trick to your holiday hair arsenal, you will not be disappointed!

xo,

fancy holiday ponytail | www.prettyplainjanes.com

 

 

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christmas jumpers

More than likely you have been invited to one or two of those “ugly sweater” Christmas parties over the years.  An event I believe invented for the excessive amount of 80s holiday sweaters overflowing at Goodwill stores across the nation.  With this going on for a couple of decades now the inevitable was going to happen – ugly Christmas sweaters are in, very in.  And they are not ugly.  They are cute, and with a better fit.  The absolute easiest and most perfect thing to wear to your holiday gatherings.  There is still time to get your hands on one of these holiday jumpers (as they call them across the pond).  I really can’t decide which one I love more – it’s between #3 and #5 for me:
christmas jumpers | www.prettyplainjanes.com1New Look reindeer sweater 2ASOS holiday sweater with rudolph winter scene 3New Look sequin winter sweater 4ASOS sweatshirt with pepsi santa holidays print 5New Look santa sweater 6ASOS holidays sweater with reindeer face and pom pom

If you are wanting to dress up your man as well fear not.  ASOS also has some to die for options for the guys.  This classic snowflake is right up my man’s alley but I have to admit I’d love to see him in this hysterical option:

christmas jumpers | www.prettyplainjanes.com

Merry Christmas Ya Filthy Animal!

xo,

christmas jumpers | www.prettyplainjanes.com

 

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