I hope the start to your holiday season is going well! I have been finding moments to get in the spirit amidst the end-of-semester madness. I took my first final today. One down, four to go! In the meantime, I've been enjoying the holiday decorations and have started my Christmas shopping. After all gifts have been given, I plan on doing a gift review of some of the items I found for others that might give you some ideas on future holidays. The exception to this waiting is the redonkulously cute llama and flannel jacket and coat I picked out for our dog, Buzz. He can't use the internet, so the secret is safe on here!
Ryan and I took some time last week to go see the Christmas lights downtown. One interesting element was a "Singing Tree" whose lights would change depending on what sounds you made while near it. The technology wasn't perfect, but it was fun to play around with!
Yay lights! Big setups like this feel so magical!
While walking through the trees, I couldn't help but notice that one of the trees was decorated with what looked like miniature toilet paper rolls. I'm not sure if that's what they were going for or not! It reminded me of a project I made in high school art class. We were given wooden boxes and told to construct a scene on the inside, also all made out of wood. When we finished we painted them all one color (I chose white). I chose to make an the inside of an outhouse (I don't remember why) complete with a mini wooden toilet and toilet paper roll. Seeing this Christmas ornament reminded me of the art project, which I don't think my mom kept, haha!
Milwaukee also strings LED chandeliers at the intersections downtown each December.
Ryan and I wanted to make some Christmas-themed recipes. This week we tried out some non-traditional beef wellington recipes and a friend's pretzel dip. We sauteed mushrooms and onions and put them away to cool. We based it on this recipe here. For the dip, we mixed together what I thought an uncomplimentary combo that actually turned out quite addicting: 1 can of cream of mushroom soup, two blocks of cream cheese, two packets of onion soup mix, and milk as needed to get a "dip" consistency. Not healthy by any means, but yummy!
For our first wellington, we used the sauteed onions, portabella mushroom caps, spinach, mustard, and thyme. We decided if we make it again to add a lot more seasoning and maybe some loud cheese like pepper jack! I enjoyed it best with a healthy dose of salt and pepper along with some melted shredded cheddar cheese. It baked beautifully!
Check out that closeup. Scoring the pastry made it look super fancy.
We were creative with our second pastry. We used leftover sauteed onion, spinach, and mustard from the first wellington, but then added sliced ham and cheddar cheese. It turned out super good! We thought this one was a lot better than the original.
One week into December I finally put up the tree in my apartment! Last year I made 30 pinata ornaments. 10 each of donkeys, unicorns, and cacti. That's what fills up most of the tree. I also have some round colorful bulbs, a hippie van ornament, and a merman. I hope to collect at least one unique ornament per Christmas season and grow my collection from there!
Lastly, in the spirit of the holidays, I made some simple peppermint pancakes. I used the Kodiak Cakes dark chocolate protein cake mix and combined it with chocolate protein soy milk and crushed peppermin candies. I thought I would be able to smash the candies with a potato masher, but ended up having to grab the hammer from my toolkit and make quite a bit of noise for an otherwise quiet Sunday morning! I liked using the soy milk as the liquid component of the cakes. I find this flapjack mix to otherwise be a bit bland. Between the mix and the protein milk, one serving of these pancakes contained 19 grams of protein! Good deal!
Sticking with a peppermint theme, I used peppermint mocha flavoring in my coffee.
Peppermint is one of my favorite holiday latte flavors and in turn I enjoy this coffee creamer as well. I have been trying to cut down on sugar (which flavored coffee creamer is full of) so I used half a tablespoon of creamer with half a tablespoon of half and half. It took awhile to get used to but now tastes normal. In the new year I hope to adjust to just half and half so I can develop my coffee taste buds and actually be able to pick up on the differences in coffee roasts and flavor elements. That's enough about coffee and future goals for now, though. I hope you all have a great weekend! For those of you also in the midst of finals, happy studying!
Hi my name is Emilee and these are my adventures as a young adult living in Milwaukee. Here I will share my experiences as I navigate through college. Thanks for stopping by!