My Grandma H was a huge baker who used to bring over JCPenney boxes FULL of cookies and cakes. Honestly there were so many I can't even remember all of them! But when that box came through the front door it was like Heaven!
Since my Grandma is no longer with us, my Dad and I have continued the tradition and each year we spend a day making the cookies using her recipes. It's a great tradition and it's a day full of sugar and chocolate!
This year I decided to try two additional treats. Carrie's Peppermint Bark (which is SO good) and Chocolate Peppermint Crackle Cookies.
I followed this recipe for the CPC Cookies. They turned out great!!
Holidays are a time for traditions and The Walnut Room is just that!
The Walnut Room is a dining room in Marshall Fields, umm I mean, Macy's. Marshall Fields will always hold a special place in my heart!
Anyway, around the Holidays they bring in this HUGE tree and each year there's a different theme for the decorations. I'll still never forget when it was Harry Potter and I hadn't heard of it yet and my Mom and I were like umm owls? This isn't very Holiday-ish. Little did we know!
The room is full of tables that start around the tree and move outward in a huge circle. The room is always full of excitement and holiday cheer. I don't even care how corny that sounds. It really is wonderful.
The theme of the tree this year is The Believe Symphony. It's whimsical and glittery. The perfect combination for a Christmas Tree.
And now onto the food! I started with the Poinsettia which is a cute way to say champagne & cranberry juice :) I had the Chicken Pot Pie and my Mom had the Butternut Squash Tortellaci. We split the Frango Mint (which is only at Macy's, well was only at Field's...) ice cream pie. Frango Mint Ice Cream Pie = YOWZAS!!
I've been going to The Walnut Room for lunch or dinner with my Mom for as long as I can remember. My Grandma used to come with us too. It's a fun girls day and we usually go Christmas shopping after we've enjoyed our meal. It's definitely a tradition I hope to carry on forever.
If you're ever in Chicago during the Holidays you should stop in The Walnut Room even if only to see the tree!
When the weather gets colder it's time to turn up the heat in the kitchen. I'm talking stews, soups, casseroles, etc. The only problem with a lot of these dishes is that they're loaded with calories.
Here's a fool proof and low-cal way to get a tasty and warm pasta dish!
What you'll need:
-Whole Grain Penne -2 small heads of Broccoli -Artichoke Hearts (I used 1 can of artichoke hearts) -Chicken -6-8 cloves of Garlic -3 T. Olive Oil -Salt -Pepper
1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. 2. Chop the broccoli, place in pan and add 2 T. of olive oil and 6 cloves of garlic (+/- depending on your love for garlic)
3. Chop the artichoke hearts, place in dish and add 1 T. of olive oil and 2 cloves of garlic
4. Roast the broccoli and artichoke hearts for 20 minutes. After 10 minutes flip them around in the dish.
5. While the B&A are cooking, boil water for the pasta. 6. Cook pasta as directed. 7. Save 1-2 cups of the boiled water for the pasta before draining. 8. Chop up chicken (I used a rotisserie chicken so I didn't have to prepare my own) 9. Mix the pasta, broccoli, artichoke hearts, and chicken together. 10. Add at least 1 cup of the reserved water to the pasta. Add more if you'd like. 11. Top with fresh Parmesan cheese
You can add more olive oil to the pasta but the broccoli and artichoke will be full of flavor!!
I'm going Christmas shopping with my mom tonight and we're grabbing dinner at the famous Walnut Room! Don't worry, I'll blog all about it!