Christmas II: The Sequel

It’s January. Most people have un-decked their halls. They’re all jingled out. Their presents have been opened and their stockings have been emptied. They have replaced Delilah with Seacrest on their car radios, they’ve stuck their sparkly sweaters in the back of the closet for next year and they’ve begun all those dreaded resolutions.

As it turns out, Kenny and I are not most people. This is why:

Snow. (There’s much more than that now, but it’s dark outside and I can’t get a good picture.)

This Christmas, the only thing missing was snow. And since you can’t force snow on Christmas, we decided that we’d just have to celebrate Christmas when in snows. So we are! Tomorrow is the inaugural Christmas II: The Sequel.

Christmas II has all the perks of actual Christmas, but without the crowds, the stress of shopping or the traffic (at least not more than the usual Chicago traffic). It’s going to be awesome! And this is why …

The Decorations
Our apartment remains entirely decorated. It’s not that we’re lazy or really busy or anything, but we just really enjoy Christmas decorations! We’re thinking of launching the trend of an Easter tree, a 4th of July tree, etc. There’s a lot of potential there we think. So Christmas II comes fully decorated.

The Sounds
Unfortunately, Delilah won’t be joining us on The Lite for Christmas II. But as it turns out, half her shows are prerecorded anyway, so if we just listen to a Bing Crosby’s White Christmas and throw in a few sappy monologues about snuggling by the fire, we’ll be close enough.

The Gifts
There has to be presents on Christmas II! But after getting an iPad and a Coach purse for real Christmas, we weren’t really in the market for spending more money. Plus, Christmas II is supposed to be stress-free! So gifts are limited to things that can currently be found in our apartment. It’ll be a lovely test of creativity.

The Activities
Christmas activities are the most important part of Christmas II! That’s what makes it awesome! We’re going to build the gingerbread house that we never got around to building in December, go ice skating at the University of Chicago, watch a few Christmas movies we missed, drink hot cocoa and maybe even bake cookies!

The Sights
Snow! Lots and lots of snow! I’m dreaming of a white Christmas II!

*   *   *

The first ever Christmas II: The Sequel, presented by Emily & Kenny, will take place on Saturday, January 14. I will be sure to take lots of pictures and share them here.

Special shout out to the best boyfriend EVER who came up with this idea! I knew he was the man for me because we had a mutual love of two very important things: Disney World and Christmas.

Merry Christmas II!

Apple Pie with Cinnamon Roll Crust

I’m not easily intimidated in the kitchen. With a photo and a recipe, I’m usually pretty invincible. This has been both a blessing and a curse. I’ve tried some things that I swore would be a breeze that turned out to be a nightmare, and I’ve kicked butt at some things that have looked impossible. Sometimes, though, I get a little carried away by this.

The other day on Pinterest, I stumbled across this photo of a cinnamon roll pie crust.

And Little Miss Know It All over here was two seconds away from buying a roll of Pillsbury cinnamon rolls and rolling them into a pie plate. Luckily I read the directions first.

I figured out how to make this crust properly, filled it with apples and cinnamon and brought my apple pie with cinnamon roll crust to family Christmas!

Oh! One more thing. It turns out that I actually don’t own a pie plate, and I didn’t realize it until I started baking at midnight the night before Christmas Eve. So I made it in a spring-form pan instead, which actually turned out awesome since it displayed the darling crust! Check it out!

Apple Pie with Cinnamon Roll Crust

2 Pillsbury Pie Crusts (the already made kind that all you have to do is unroll)
1 tablespoon melted butter
2 teaspoons cinnamon

Apple Pie Filling:
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
7 medium apples
3 tablespoons butter

To make the crust, you will need to unroll one sheet of pie crust, spread with the melted butter and sprinkle with cinnamon. Roll into a log.

Slice the log into 1/4 inch pinwheels. Press into the bottom and sides of a pie pan or spring-form pan, making sure not to leave any spaces between the rolls.

To make the filling, start by peeling and chopping seven medium apples. In a separate bowl, mix the brown sugar, flour, cinnamon and nutmeg. Toss with the apples.

Fill the crust with the apples. Cut the butter into tiny chunks and scatter on top of the apples. Use cookie cutters to cut out a few pieces from the second pie crust. Place on top of the apples.

Cover with aluminum foil, place on a cookie sheet and bake for 45 minutes in a 450ºF oven. Remove the foil and bake for an extra 15 minutes until the top crusts are golden brown.

This is where it gets cool! If you used a spring-form pan, after the pie cools, pop off the edges to show off your awesome crust! Add to your holiday dessert table for instant holiday cheer!


Happiest of Holidays

Hi! My name’s Emily, and I write this blog called EmJoyable! I just wanted to remind you in case you forgot considering it’s been forever! I’ve missed you, friend! Anyways, I feel like I have so much to catch up on that I don’t even know where to begin. In the spirit of Inspired Thursdays, I thought it was fitting to share everything that inspired me to celebrate this holiday season to its fullest! Hear’s to hoping that your holiday was just as charming, sparkly and lovely as mine was. 

*   *   *

Kenny and I went to the giant Macy’s on State Street more times this season than I can count! Between the giant tree at the top, the elaborate window displays and the floors upon floors of sparkly jewelry, cozy sweaters and stunning dresses that I couldn’t afford in a million years, it felt like we couldn’t go a week without dropping by to say hello! 

We also got to go see A Christmas Story the Musical which was absolutely incredible! I’m kind of a nerd and I love musicals, plus A Christmas Story is just awesome anyways! I had a blast!

I had some seriously great baking sessions, which included cinnamon roll apple pie and pie pops among other things! Keep your eyes peeled for the next few Mondays for some amazing recipes!

I got to go to Zoo Lights twice this year! Once with the boy and once with the family (and boy), and it just never gets old! (I’m the one who looks like a lion)

The Sweets Table at family Christmas. Enough said.

I got to hang out with a very darling little wiener dog named Max! Oh yeah, and the rest of his family!

I got to celebrate my fake birthday with my family downtown, which was lovely! We ended the day with some Goose Island beers and a sweet Irish Pub for dinner.

On my real birthday, Kenny took me to this darling Patisserie I’ve been wanting to try forever. It was adorable! 

We got dinner at The Melting Pot and it was just incredible! We got Fiesta cheese fondue, then a pretty mediocre salad, followed by eight different kinds of raw meat and veggies cooked by yours truly. Then, the BEST part, was obviously the half dark chocolate half white chocolate fondue! The perfect birthday!

*   *   *

So that was Christmas and my birthday in a nutshell! All that’s left now is New Year’s Eve! I’ll see you then! 

I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas

My boyfriend was spot on the other day when he mentioned that “I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas” is severely underplayed. It was particularly fitting this evening at Zoo Lights at the Lincoln Park Zoo.

There was even a hippo there! I don’t know why anyone would want one for Christmas, but to each their own!

Anyway, tonight was the ultimate Christmas date night. Everyone needs to have at least one night (if not several!) devoted solely to Christmas and soaking up everything that the season has to offer. Tonight was that night. It was perfect!

*   *   *

When I got off work (near union station), I walked down Adams to State Street and up to Macy’s, where I met Kenny. We walked over to Millenium Park and went ice skating. It was just darling!

The picture doesn’t quite do it justice, but seeing the glowing skyline reflected back in the bean was beautiful!

After the Zamboni came out, we left to grab dinner at Panera. It was delicious, as always! We hopped on the 151 and headed north to Lincoln Park Zoo for Zoo Lights. It was so cute! We got hot cocoa and cider and saw the lights and the animals. There were lights everywhere!

Even inside was Christmasy! I love ribbons!

And I learned that I am, in fact, a human.

After the Zoo, we walked down Chicago’s Magnificent Mile and the millions of lights that frosted it.

Then we took the bus back home (chatting w/ a very strange, very drunk man). We made coffee, ate gingerbread cookies and watched Elf

Best. Night. EVER! 

Tomorrow is Woodfield Christmas shopping, Starbucks’ Grandma’s Turkey Sandwich, ice skating at Wrigley field and our friend’s Christmas party! I LOVE the holidays! I hope you can take advantage of all the holiday festivities that your town has to offer!