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Friday, December 30, 2011

Happy New Years Eve

It is time to ring in 2012!
Happy New Years Eve everyone!  See you all in... 
I hope your night is filled with bubbly, sparkles, good friends, family, love and laughter!  Lets start of 2012 right!

Looking Back

As the last few days of 2011 are winding down I find myself looking back on the major happenings, lessons, and memories of the year.  2011 was a year filled with ups and downs, lots of celebrating, good friends, and family.  While I like to think that I have grown up a lot this year, I still feel like there is a lot to learn.  This being said though I am excited for the new adventures that 2012 has in store for me!  A lot can happen in a year, just take a look!

Here are some of the biggest and most memorable moments from 2011!

We rang in 2011 in style!
Mark and I celebrated a wonderful year of dating!

I started this little blog!
I can safely say that I have enjoyed watching my blog grow, And I can not thank each one of you enough for the support you give me and my blog.  I am so thankful for each one of you that read and comment on my blog daily!  You all really do make my day with your sweet comments and words of encouragement!  So thank you!

I traveled to the beautiful country of Jamaica to participate in my 5th Mission Trip with the Butler Intercollegiate YMCA!  So thankful for this opportunity!

I fell in love with running!  And have been running and running and running ever since! 

I got to celebrate with many friends as they graduated from Pharmacy school!
I packed up my life in Indianapolis and moved back home to Minnesota. Not one of the easiest decisions I made, nor one of the easiest moves. However I learned a lot from this experiences, and believe it was the right decision.
I stood along side my best friend and watched her marry the man of her dreams!  It was such an honor to stand up there with the both of them!
Lets see what else did 2011 bring about... well 
I toured the foundation house,
and went to the lake not once but twice!
Celebrated birthdays, and anniversaries

and attended more weddings!
Reconnected with Good Friends
and last but not least just simply enjoyed life!
Hard to believe another year is gone!  So as I sit and ponder my New Years resolutions I am going to give thanks as well.  For the lessons, memories and experiences I was given in 2011!

Thursday, December 29, 2011

A New Year Around the Corner-Top 5 Recipes from 2011

Wow, it is Thursday already, and the new year is right around the corner!  Where did 2011 go?  When I look back at 2011 there are several big moments that stick out to me.  But you will have to wait and read about those BIG moments tomorrow, because today I am sharing my top 5 all time favorite recipes (cooking moments) from 2011!  After all Happily Ever Healthy did start out as a cooking blog!

I have to say I kinda enjoyed looking through some of the older cooking posts.  I am happy with where my blog has gone, lets just say the blog has improved a bit with time!  But as promised here are my top 5 recipes (in nor particular order) from 2011!

Lets start with breakfast.  A meal I use to detest but now wouldn't dream of missing!
1. Oatmeal Pancakes!
Delicious any time of the day, and even better when you add banana!
If you like a pumpkin version check out Pumpkin Oatmeal Pancakes
2. Pumpkin Coffee Cake
A little experiment that turned out fabulous!
Perfect for any festive brunch, or when you want something sweet!

3. BBQ Chicken Burrito Bowls (Remade)
One of Marks All time Favorites... along with
Stir Fry!

4. What is a year without a little chocolate!
My Mom's Chocolate Sheet Cake!

5. And last but not least... my Tzaziki CousCous Salad!
The remake, with so much more flavor.  This was the first recipe to be featured on a website!

Well there you have it... my top 5 recipes from 2011!
Have you ever gone back and looked at where your blog started?

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

A Festive Red Velvet

Are you ever stumped on what to make for dessert?  Especially dessert for say an important dinner or a holiday?  If you answered yes to both questions then you are like me!  Christmas eve my mom looked at me and goes "So what are we going to have for dessert tonight... anything?" I just looked back at her with a blank (probably half asleep) expression.  I hadn't given any thought as to what we would have for dessert, to be honest I thought we would eat cookies!  Christmas Eve dinner in the Wolfe household is kind of a no brainer.  We always have that wonderful Chicken Wild Rice soup I shared with your here.  But dessert, there is no set dessert for Christmas eve.  So the question of what are we having for dessert sent me straight to the cupboard of cookbooks!  I am not sure how many cookbooks I looked through.  I looked through everything from William Sonoma, to the Mayo Clinic and even The Barefoot Contessa, but nothing stuck out to me.  To me I like things simple on Christmas Eve, however simple doesn't mean lack of flavor!

Just as I was feeling a bit desperate to find a recipe I remembered my latest issue of Cooking Light!

  The December issue was stocked full of delicious desserts, desserts that looked both simple, elegant and adorable (think cupcakes and mini bundt cakes)!  Flipping through the magazine again made my mouth water (cooking light has amazing pictures)! I finally decided on a very festive looking Red Velvet Cupcake (yes red velvet is my favorite, but hey red is festive for Christmas)! 
You can find the recipe I used here (there is also a chocolate and vanilla cupcake recipe from the issue).  I followed it to a T.  I was very happy with the way these little gems turned out.  They are probably the best red velvet cupcakes I have made.  And the cream cheese frosting isn't to shabby!  I swirled in a bit of red food coloring like the recipe called for, and I ended up with a swirly almost candy cane like effect!
  I will warn you these cupcakes can seem a bit involved, but I thought the end result was worth it.  I ended up having extra cream cheese frosting so I am looking for an excuse to use it!  Suggestions are welcome!      Now go put those aprons on and get to baking! 
What do you all make for a holiday dessert?

4 Day Work Week

I have to say it was a bit hard to get up for work this morning!  My mind is reminding my body however that today is Tuesday, even though it feels like a Monday!  Hello 4 day work week.  I  am hoping these 4 days of work go quickly, because I am already looking forward to the upcoming 3 day weekend!  Nothing like a long relaxing weekend, especially when you have a special guest coming!!  

Now while I  try to convince my brain to do some work  run and get a very large coffee from Starbucks (shot of Espresso maybe?), you sit back and enjoy this movie trailer from the cutest (who doesn't love zoo animals) movie I have seen!

PS!  I got this cookbook for Christmas!
I squealed with delight when I opened it (cannot wait to try a million recipes form it)!  If you have not checked out the cooking blog Peas and Thank You then I highly suggests you go do it now! 
And the recipe for these little gems will be coming soon!
Happy Monday I mean Tuesday everyone!

Monday, December 26, 2011

With the hustle and the bustle of Christmas behind us, I can safely say that my family had a very wonderful Christmas.  Not just because of all the gifts that were received (though they were an added bonus), but mainly I think Christmas this year was so wonderful because we took the time to relax and enjoy the holiday as a family.  We took the time to slow down, enjoy conversations and take in little moments that can sometimes be overlooked with the craziness of the holidays.  

Here area few little moments from our holiday weekend!
 A favorite Wolfe family Christmas cookie, Peanut Butter Blossoms! 
 Festive Red Velvet Cupcakes-Recipe to come!
 Beautiful Tree in the Foyer!
Peaceful drive to the country!
I am hoping you all had a very Merry Christmas, and enjoyed a time filled with family and wonderful friends!

Happy Holidays!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Happy Holidays

With Christmas Eve just a day away (I know I can hardly believe it) I decided to take a few days off from blogging to enjoy the holiday season with my family!  
I wish you all a very Merry Christmas, and Happy Holidays!  Enjoy the time spent with family and friends during this wonderful Holiday Season!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Thursday-Things I am Looking Forward To!

Wow, it has almost been a week since my last post, and Christmas is nearly here!  That is hard to believe.  My little sister is home and I have to say it now is starting to feel more like the holiday season with my entire family home!  

Before I share a few things I am looking forward to in the coming weeks I wanted to say a big Thank You to you all! Thank you for the sweet sweet comments and birthday wishes for my dad!  I think he truly had a wonderful day.  The three of us had a fun afternoon of shopping and celebrating!  Not to mention we had an absolutely fabulous meal!

With a season filled with family, cheer, giving and wonderful friends it is hard not to have many many things to look forward to!  Here is just a quick list of things I am most looking forward to in the coming weeks!

Of course I have to start with...
 I am most looking forward to all the traditions, Christmas Eve Service (one of my favorite) and time spent with family and wonderful friends! This really is the most wonderful time of the year!
Keeping with the Christmas theme...
I am looking forward to hopefully a little holiday baking tomorrow after work with my mom and sister!  Since I was sick the whole first half of the week it sorta turned my week upside down!
Source: via Hilliary on Pinterest

Christmas Presents, I am really looking forward to giving my gifts to my family!
But first I have to wrap them (not my strongest talent)!
I wish my wrapping could look something like this!

And last but certainly not least

I am looking forward to, and over joyed that in about a week I will get to see this guy
yes I am really really looking forward to his visit!! Just in time for the New Year!
Can you believe I have not seen Mark since October?  That is far to long!  To say I am really really looking forward to his visit is a bit of an understatement, I am ecstatic!

Well my lovely bloggers, what are you looking forward to as Christmas and New Years quickly approach?