New Year, New You with Firmoo! #giveaway

Firmoo Giveaway

Can you believe we are closing in on 2015? You guys, it’s already mid-December. It’s my birthday month so I’ve been treating myself lately just because I feel like it:

  • I’m about to turn 29 so I’ve decided to start a battle strategy for my skin. I’ve researched a few new skincare products and splurged and I feel great about it.
  • I bought myself a casual coat for no reason so I can look cute while walking my dog.
  • I impulsively bought a plane ticket to Atlanta to see my girls Melia and Andrea in January.

Basically, I’m doing what makes me feel good. I’m ready to crash into 2015 and try new things, do more of what I enjoy, and not care what anyone thinks about it.

Do you need a change for 2015? Do you want to try a new look? Well I have some awesome news! I’m giving one lucky reader a pair of FREE Firmoo glasses.

Remember when I got my new Firmoo frames and I was absolutely head over heels for them?

Firmoo Glasses

I’ve gotten so many compliments on these glasses and I think it’s because I spent an hour poring over each option, doing the digital try on, and just making sure they were perfect. Well now it’s your turn! Whether you need prescription lenses (because you’re blind as a bat, like me) or just want some new, funky frames for fun, you can enter to win!

How to enter the Firmoo Giveaway:

  1. Like Firmoo on Facebook and follow them on Twitter
  2. Leave a comment on this blog post when you’ve done so and in the comment tell me your favorite Firmoo frames

How to earn an EXTRA entry:

Like Mac+Molly on Facebook
Share this post with your friends

Good luck to all who enter and here’s to a wonderful, crazy, and brand spankin’ new 2015!

Contest ends December 31. Open to U.S. only. One entry per person and you must be 18+ to enter. Firmoo provided me with a free code for glasses for this giveaway. All opinions are my own.

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Frosted Eggnog Sugar Cookie Bites

eggnog sugar cookie bites recipe

Can you believe how close Christmas is? The bad thing about having a late Thanksgiving is that you don’t have as much time to prepare for Christmas. I start my shopping on Black Friday and Cyber Monday (all done online, I work for a deals website DUH!) and usually I’m finished by now. Note that I said usually. For some reason this year I haven’t found exactly the right gift for a few people on my list. I started to wonder if maybe it was because I moved away and lost touch with a few people. Then I realized that wasn’t it at all. I was over thinking everything and just needed to relax and think about what I know about each person. Every name on my list now has an idea next to it or is crossed off and I am not stressed about finishing. Don’t stress about the holidays. It will take all the fun out of them and this is the time of year you should be having fun. Go out for festive martinis, get dolled up and wear bright red lipstick while you wrap presents with a glass of wine. That’s what you should be doing in December, not fretting over the small stuff.

If you ARE stressing about the holidays, (who am I kidding, I know we all still are) take a second and bake something. I know it sounds like I’m adding something to your to-do list, but really take a minute and bake something. I don’t care if you go to the store and get pre-made cookie dough in a roll and slap some on a sheet pan, in fact, I’m all for that! There is nothing better than smelling something baking and peeking into the oven to see if it’s done yet. Oh wait, there is something better. Eating it!

Here’s a recipe I made when I was feeling a little bit frazzled this past week. Plus, I get to serve them at my wine club, so it was actually another thing checked off my to-do list AND a stress reliever.

Eggnog Sugar Cookie Bites Recipe:

1-1/4 cup all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
6 Tablespoons butter – room temperature
6 Tablespoons sugar
1/8 cup powdered sugar
1 large egg
1 Tablespoon eggnog
1/4 teaspoon vanilla

Eggnog Frosting Recipe:

1 cup powdered sugar
3 Tablespoons butter – room temperature
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1-3 Tablespoons eggnog

Pre-heat your oven to 375-degrees and grease a 8×8 square baking dish.

In a medium size bowl, whisk together your flour, baking powder, salt, nutmeg and cinnamon. Set aside.

eggnog sugar cookie dry ingredients

In a large bowl with a hand mixer or using a stand mixer, cream together your butter and granulated sugar for about 30 seconds on medium speed.

eggnog sugar cookie ingredients

Next, add your powdered sugar and beat on medium for another minute, until it’s light yellow and fluffy.

eggnog sugar cookie batter

With your mixer on low, mix in an egg, the vanilla and the eggnog.

eggnog sugar cookie wet ingredients

Once everything is combined, keeping your mixer on low speed, add the flour mixture 1/3 at a time until everything is incorporated into a dough.

eggnog sugar cookie batter ingredients

eggnog sugar cookie dough

Spread the dough evenly in your greased baking dish. I used my hands because it was easiest. It helps to spray your hands with oil, too.

eggnog sugar cookie bar dough

Bake 12-14 minutes at 375-degrees, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Let cool completely. And I mean COMPLETELY. I let mine sit over night. Don’t ever frost anything before it’s completely cool. Besides this getting you put on the naughty list, the frosting will be a sticky mess and you’ll be mad at yourself. Trust me.

To make the frosting, add 3 Tablespoons room temperature butter to a mixer (or bowl with hand mixer) and cream together on medium low with 1 cup powdered sugar.

When the sugar and butter are creamed together, add your vanilla extract and mix until combined. Now, you’ll add eggnog one Tablespoon at a time until your frosting is the right consistency. I ended up using 2 Tablespoons and you’ll probably use between 1-3.

eggnog frosting recipe

Frost your cool cookie bars with the eggnog frosting and then dust the top with nutmeg.

eggnog sugar cookie bars

I cut them into squares that were really about 1/4 of the size I wanted to because I had to share them. You don’t have to do this, you could eat it with a fork or cut them into 4-inch squares and go to town. Whatever floats your boat!

eggnog sugar cookie bars

If you’re still stressed and are just not a baker, do ONE thing this week that makes you think “Hey, it’s the holidays! I’m happy!” Promise?

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Creamy Beer Cheese Soup

homemade beer cheese soup recipe

I tried making this once when I lived in Chicago. Notice that I haven’t attempted it again until now, over a year later. Everything was going great, until I had to add the beer. Of course I wanted to use a craft beer and I’ve put this memory so far out of my mind that I can’t even remember what kind it was. All I remember is that the bottle was not a twist off and I couldn’t get the bottle open. I was struggling with it forever and placed it on my counter for leverage, I tried to pop the lid with all my might and it slipped right out from under me and shot across the kitchen. I picked it up, sat it down, glad it was open and didn’t break. As I’m cleaning up the minor spill, I knocked the entire open bottle over. Not only did I knock it over, I knocked it right onto my laptop.

My fiance tells me that liquids and computers DON’T mix, so I was frantically trying to clean it up so I wouldn’t have to tell him what I’d done. As I’m finally getting the mess under control, I smell something burning. Of course, my creamy cheese soup was now a brown, sticky mess burnt to the bottom of my pan.

Fast forward to December 2014 and it was time to try again. So, finally, here is the finished product.

Beer Cheese Soup Recipe:

*Serves 4
4 Tablespoons butter
1 celery stalk – diced
1 carrot – peeled and diced
1 jalapeno pepper – seeded and diced
2 cloves garlic – minced
3 Tablespoons all purpose flour
1 cup chicken broth
1 cup milk (or heavy cream if you want to go for it, which I did)
12 oz. bottle of pale beer – I used a pale ale
12 oz. sharp cheddar cheese
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon ground mustard
Salt
Black Pepper

In a saucepan, melt your butter on medium heat and add your celery, carrot, jalapeno and garlic.

homemade soup

Let them cook until they get tender, 6-7 minutes.

homemade soup recipe

Add your chicken broth and simmer until it has reduced by about half, about 10 minutes.

Sprinkle your flour over the veggies and cook on medium-low heat until the flour is no longer bright white and becomes a thick paste, about a minute.

homemade cheese soup

Pour in your beer and milk or cream and stir constantly until everything thickens, about 10 minutes.

homemade beer soup

beer cheese soup ingredients

Once it’s thickened, add in your cheese and stir until melted.

homemade beer cheese soup ingredients

Add your spices and stir.

Remove the soup from heat and let it stand for 10 minutes to cool some.

Ladle your soup into a food processor with the spout open or a blender with the lid cracked. You want air in the soup, do not create a vacuum with the lid. You’ll want to do this in stages because you don’t want your blender any more than half full if you’re blending hot liquid.

beer cheese soup blended

Once you blend some of the soup smooth, pour it into a serving bowl (or another pot) and repeat until all of your soup is blended and creamy.

Beer Cheese Soup

Top with popcorn. Or more jalapenos. Or extra cheese. Or bacon. Or croutons. Or all of the above. I love soup toppings!

homemade beer cheese soup

While I was writing this, I started thinking of a few other times I had chaos in the kitchen. Ben still reminds me of the time I threw a spatula clear across the room. I know I’ve wasted so much time and money on food that ends up being a complete disaster. At the time, I am just miserable. I get mad at myself, I feel like an idiot with no cooking skills, but you know what? Who cares. Everyone makes mistakes. You cannot learn without practice. I bet Ina Garten has burned something. At least once in her life. Okay, maybe not Ina, but I bet some other amazing cook has. It happens. It is not the end of the world and you learn from your mistakes, learn to control your temper and keep on cooking. All the mess ups will be worth it when you finally sit down to a perfect bowl of beer cheese soup.

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