Eat, Drink & Be Merry!

“We elves try to stick to the four main food groups: candy, candy canes, candy corns, and syrup.” — Buddy the Elf.

Wouldn’t it be nice to eat like a Christmas elf? Or maybe even Santa Claus himself? Instead of milk and cookies for the big guy and carrots for the reindeers, we are mixing it up this year! Don’t be a cotton-headed ninny muggins and treat yourself, Santa, and his reindeer with these two amazing holiday recipes!

White Chocolate & Cranberry Blondies

½ cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
1 cup light brown sugar, packed
1 large egg
¾ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 ⅓ cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
½ cup dried cranberries
½ cup white chocolate chips
4 ounces cream cheese, softened
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1 ⅓ cups powdered sugar
¼ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Milk, (to thin)
⅛ teaspoon finely grated orange zest, optional
¼ cup white chocolate chips, melted (see note)
¼ cup dried cranberries

Preheat oven to 350°F. Line an 8×11 pan with foil and grease the foil.
In a large bowl, whisk melted butter and brown sugar until well combined, at least one full minute. Add egg and vanilla extract, whisk until combined.
In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking powder and salt. Add flour mixture to butter mixture and stir with a rubber spatula until the ingredients are combined. Stir in ½ cup of dried cranberries and ½ cup of white chocolate chips.
Scoop the batter into the prepared pan and spread into an even layer (I moisten the palm of my hand with water and gently press it in).
Bake for 18-22 minutes. The bars are done when they have puffed slightly, are very light brown, and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. They will appear a little underdone but they will continue to cook as they cool. Be careful not to over bake them. Cool completely on a wire rack before frosting.
Using a hand mixer or stand mixer, beat the cream cheese and butter until smooth. Add the powdered sugar, vanilla, and orange zest (if using) and beat until combined, scraping the sides of the bowl as needed. Add a splash of milk, if necessary, to thin the frosting. You can also thicken the frosting by adding a bit more powdered sugar, if necessary.
Spread the bars with the frosting . Scatter the dried cranberries on top. Drizzle melted white chocolate over the cranberries.

Italian Potato Salad

2 pound potatoes (cubed and boil)
6 slices bacon (fried and chopped )
1 stalk celery (chopped)
5 green onions (chopped)
½ cup Italian dressing
½ cup Parmesan cheese (grated)

In a large bowl, add all ingredients together and gently toss.
Serve salad with additional grated Parmesan cheese.