Peppermint Chocolate Chip Sugar Cookies

Chocolate Peppermint Cookies

I cannot believe we are 3 days from Christmas. I really can’t. This is my favorite time of year with all the family gatherings and yummy food.

Every year I’m running around last minute finishing things up. And by last minute, I mean Christmas Eve day. This year I’m all done early! I was able to enjoy this weekend not stressing about everything I have to do. I’m hoping I am able to continue this tradition from now on. But if you’re like the (usual) me and don’t have a lot of extra time for things like baking then this is the perfect recipe!

Hope everyone has a wonderful holiday season!




Makes 24 cookies

What you’ll need:

1 cup flour

1/2 tsp. baking powder

1/4 tsp. baking soda

Pinch of salt

1/2 cup shortening

1 cup sugar

1 egg

1 tsp. vanilla

1/2 cup mini chocolate chips

1/4 cup crushed candy cane (about 3 whole candy canes)

What you’ll do:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line baking sheet with parchment or wax paper. Set aside.

In a small bowl, stir together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.

Cream together shortening and sugar until smooth.

Add egg and mix until fully combined, then add vanilla.

Slowly add flour mixture and mix until just combined.

Stir in mini chocolate chips and crushed candy cane.

Roll tablespoonfuls of dough into a ball and place on baking sheet about 2 inches apart.

Bake for 8-10 minutes. Let cool for 5 minutes and baking sheet then transfer to cooling rack.

Apple Walnut and Cranberry Salad

Apple Walnut & Cranberry

Happy Monday all! I am so excited to be the newest contributor for Playdates + Pearls. Congrats to Samantha and her family on the newest addition! Baby Harper is finally here and I’m loving my Instagram feed full of her pictures!

Can you believe that Thanksgiving is almost here? I think I may still be in denial. I’m making my grandma’s pumpkin pie and haven’t made it to the grocery store yet for the things I need. I know I am going to regret this when I head there tomorrow after work. I am the queen of procrastination. I am lucky enough to have the day before Thanksgiving off so I’m able to spend time in the kitchen for whatever dish I’m bringing. Most people don’t and I remember when I didn’t how stressful it felt getting everything prepared. I don’t believe cooking needs to be stressful, especially during the holidays when it’s all about spending time with family and friends. This salad is super easy to prepare and it tastes amazing! The dressing is very light brings out the flavor of the salad. I love me some mashed potatoes and pumpkin pie but it’s also nice to have a “lighter” dish with dinner. And bonus… add some leftover turkey to it for lunch the next day!


I usually bake and cook with unsweetened dried cranberries but for this salad I prefer the sweetened ones.


Serves 6

What you’ll need

6 cups chopper romaine lettuce

3 small apples, sliced

1 cup dried cranberries

1 cup crushed walnuts

1/2 cup feta crumbles (or more if you’re a cheese whore like me)

1/2 cup olive oil

1/4 cup red wine vinegar

1/2 tsp. worcestershire sauce

2 tbsp. sugar

1 tbsp. poppy seeds

What you’ll do

In a large bowl, toss first 5 ingredients together; set aside.

In small bowl mix together remaining ingredients.

Right before serving, pour dressing over salad and gently toss.

Thanks again Samantha for having me today! I hope everyone has a wonderful Thanksgiving!




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