Mulled Wine

When my family gets together for Thanksgiving, it is given that you are to bring something to pass or share as long as you live on your own and not a broke college student. —> Little sister, you are the exception for now! 🙂 So this year, I was on pie duty! A friend I work with made a bunch of pies and t0 sell. She said why would she make all the mess of making pies for only few pies. I agreed and I benefited from it. I bought 4 pies (2 pumpkin, 1 apple and 1 cherry) for our Thanksgiving dinner, Carl got 1 blueberry pie and his parents an apple pie.

I wanted to bring something else and I thought sangria sounded good. Carl crinkled his face and said isn’t that for summer. I told him I just saw sangria on Bobby Flay’s Thanksgiving special episode. (I had been watching the Food Network all morning) I decided how about Mulled Wine; I have never made it before and sounds good for the holidays.

I found two recipes; one from Ina Garten Mulled Wine and one from Williams Sonoma Mulled Wine, I combined the two. I used the measurements of Ina’s recipe minus the anise, we don’t like the black licorice taste. I used 14 Hands Cabernet Sauvignon which was good. I used the lemon from the Williams Sonoma recipe. I really like the cider spice taste of this wine. When I tested it on Sunday it was delicious and it was great even the days after. I added some brandy for a zip as well, I read that in the reviews.

We got to my parents house on Wednesday night so I could make my batch a head of time and it could sit over night. For some reason, it did not taste the same as it did when I first made it. I made it in bulk, 4 bottles of cheaper wine so that could have been it, I didn’t use as much apple cider because I didn’t want the wine watered down. I didn’t bring my brandy and my parents were out so I had to use bourbon instead. My family said it was good and they liked it; however, I was disappointed and Carl even said it tasted different. UGH! I will make it for the three christmas gatherings we have this next month but I will do it in single batches then combine and go for the better wine.

Learned my lesson-cheap wine isn’t always the best. 🙂 BUT mulled wine is awesome!

Holiday Cheers!



Birthday 2013!!!

My Birthday was at the beginning of the month and it was another great year.

Carl was a surprise as always! When I got home that afternoon, I had beautiful flowers and fun presents.


I got a new tea tumbler from Teavana, a cereal bowl from Williams Sonoma to go with my set (one broke a while back), Cities Sample #4 CD and a Williams Sonoma gift card. Arie got me a red Kong leash to walk him. I love the leash! 🙂


Great minds think alike! Carl and I got each other the same exact birthday card for our birthdays this year.

Carl and I did a little shopping and then we worked our way to the Twin Cities. We stopped at a couple of pubs and then Carl had reservations for us at Fogo De Chao for supper! Holy cow, I have never eaten that much before!

Birthday_Girl Birthday Girl downtown.

Friday was a lot of fun and then the birthday celebration continued and we had supper with three other couples for my birthday. We had a GREAT time with them all; I am so thankful and blessed for my friends.

Then the birthday continued into the next week. Carl had gotten us tickets to see Amos Lee in concert. AMAZING, he is one of the most talented singer songwriters I have ever seen perform.

Here are a few pictures, a little grainy because they’re from a cell phone.

State_TheatreThe theatre prior to Amos came out.

AmosLee Hard to see, but it’s amazing Amos Lee.

I had a wonderful birthday and many thanks and love goes out to all the those who made it so special for me.

– Blondie!

Welcome To My Kitchen…

About 2 weekends ago, Carl and I went to a co-ed Pampered Chef party, oh was I in heaven. I had a few things in mind that I wanted to get. I know my sister mentioned to get the awesome can opener! I was all over that.

Here are the goodies we got.

We picked out two sauces that we had a chance to try at the party. They were a Beer Barbecue Sauce and a Carolina Mustard Sauce. So delicious!

I also wanted just a few little kitchen utensils. I picked out a silicone basting brush, a mini stainless steel whisk and an citrus peeler. I needed a citrus peeler for my oranges. My Papa used to use one all the time when he peeled oranges for me.

Best thing we got was the smooth-edge can opener. Carl has cut his finger a time or two trying to open the cans!

I have a big nice Williams Sonoma baking pan but I didn’t have a nice square baking pan and thought that was a must have.

As a thank you for buying so much we got a free set of bamboo snack bowls.

I am excited for my new additions to my kitchen! 🙂

Happy Sunday Evening!

Great Finds!

This morning we had planned to run errands at Target to get groceries for the week and a few other odds and ends. Well, of course the Halloween stuff is all marked 70% off and then across the aisle is the Christmas decorations. In Carl’s words, “They did their job and hooked you in.” I couldn’t resist and had to get these cute trees.

They had all different colors. Carl liked these two. Now I just have to get my lights and garland for the railings.

After Target we ran home, unloaded the groceries and ran to the mall to exchange the cook book I got for my birthday for a different one. We had one similar to it already. We found a great cookbook and I also got two more cereal bowls to match my set.

Here is the cookbook-

The recipes look great! Can’t wait to try them and use my new flat whisk!

Then we went to Teavana because I had to get another tin to store my fruit tea Carl got me and I wanted to get another loose leaf tea strainer for my mug.

Here is a picture of the tin and strainer I got. I got sucked in and ended up buying a new tea tumbler. Score because it holds more and it is less work with doing the loose leaf! 🙂

Then I stopped at DSW to see if there was a cute pair of black flat shoes for work. I have been wearing my heels, which hurts after so many times. I found a cute pair. I think they look kind of grandma like. But they are comfortable and cute.

We did our Mall run in less than an hours time! 🙂 Quick like a cat.

Also, I will be posting a couple of wines that I bought! 🙂

Now to sit and watch football and enjoy the day.

– Cheers