Thursday, December 29, 2011

Merry Baking Christmas

I blame Pinterest.  Or maybe that damn Martha Stewart for making me think I could be super woman this year and give everyone wonderful, handmade with love gifts, make memories with my children, see Santa, put up Christmas decorations, host Christmas Day dinner, visit all our family and actually enjoy the holiday season.  As if!  Next year I really need to prioritize.  One thing I will not do is make EVERYONE baked goods.  Or make such a variety of them.  My 3 1/2 year old's teacher asked her what her mother did and she stated that "My mommy makes candy".  Hmmmm.....I think I may need to take a step away from the kitchen in the New Year.

I did learn that I really like to make bread and another tip - Be the daycare mother who brings the classmate gifts a couple of days BEFORE they have their holiday party.  That way your candy gift won't just be tossed to the bottom of a bag along with all the store bought candy canes that the children won't be allowed to eat since they are hopped up on sugar from all the cupcakes and treats from school.

Crockpot Apple Butter - My MIL's favorite!

My new Christmas obsession - Candy Cane Hershey Kisses!  Why did I not know these existed until now!!!  These are kisses in sugar cookies rolled in sugar.  I made them in white, green and red.  Very festive!

Another Hershey candy cane Kiss creation.  Sandwiched between 2 pretzels.  So easy that Emily helped.  You put one pretzel on a baking sheet, unwrap the Kiss & place it on the pretzel (Emily's job).  Heat in a 350 oven for 2-3 minutes and then place the other pretzel on top to make a sandwich.  Yummy!!

Same principle as above but regular Hershey Kiss melted and then press a holiday colored M&M on top.

Co-worker gifts.  Goodies above and also haystacks, raisin cookies, and peppermint fudge (which I forgot to take pics of).

Rice Krispie treat ornaments

Emily's classmate gifts.  Its hard to see because of the glare but there is a red Cherry Sour in the bag of whoppers. 

The way I finished off many a night of Christmas baking.......

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

2011 Christmas Card

I am becoming quite fond of staging "photo shoots". My husband is becoming increasingly less fond of this pastime as he is always in charge of getting Lindsay or the dog to stay and look at the camera. (Is it bad that my 1-year-old responds to the same commands as the dog?) This wasn't exactly how I envisioned the Christmas pictures but they didn't turn out that bad and I didn't use any editing software for the photos. Have I mentioned how badly I want Microsoft Photoshop!!!

Christmas Stripe Ribbons Christmas
Customize your Christmas cards this holiday at
View the entire collection of cards.

Here is another of my staged Christmas photo shoots. I did use Picnik for editing.  How bad is Lindsay going to hate me when she gets older and sees all these naked pictures?! 

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

North Pole Breakfast

Emily is 3 1/2 so this is the first year that she really "gets" Christmas.  I have been counting down the months until I could start talking to her about Christmas....and also for using "Santa is watching".  Elf on the Shelf is all over Pinterest and the web these days and I have to agree that it is awesome.  I can't wait until next year when I can do fun things like stage a snowball fight with Emily's toys and the elf or have the elf turn the milk green.  This year I thought just a simple introduction to the elf and his "magic" would be enough to absorb.  So this year we started a new family tradition of North Pole breakfast with a visit from our family elf.  Wonderful timing as NBC had a new Elf on the Shelf cartoon on the night before!


Our special breakfast consisted of orange glazed rolls and hot cocoa with chocolate mint marshmallows.  And coffee for mommy and daddy of course. 

The rolls were a big hit with both Lindsay and Emily.  Lindsay may have no clue whats going on but she likes the new additions to her diet!
The holidays are about memories and traditions.  I want my kids to look back at their childhood and think, "Wow, we had a lot of special moments.  Remember when...."  And, if they inherit their memory from their mother (I have a fabulous short-term memory but don't remember the street address of my first home or whether or not my childhood house had a chimney) then they can rest assure that mommy-dearest has every tradition and milestone documented.  Behold, Emily's first sip of cocoa.....

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Belated Gobble Gobble

Are you still considered a blogger if you think of tons of ideas for blog posts, take tons of pictures but never actually get them to the blog?!  I've been so busy doing fun things to put on the blog, that I haven't had time to post anything.  Lindsay's first birthday party took the most time as I have definitely learned the value of punches.  I was trying to be cheap and didn't buy the hole punch  I think I now have arthritis in both thumbs.  The Thursday after Lindsay's party was Thanksgiving.  2011 has been a very hard year for our family but we have so much to be thankful for.  This was our first holiday without Dan, Matt's father.  Everybody did their best but it just seemed like something was missing or a little off.

Like all holidays, Thanksgiving was busy.  I love holidays and look forward to them but sometimes I wonder is it worth the rushing around and hassle.  That sounds very grinchy.  Maybe I need to go drink some cocoa and take a hot bath :).  I started off the holiday in a relaxing frame of mind with mulled wine cider and sweet potato biscuits.  My mom has the most delicate tea cups!

I was in charge of the of the Thanksgiving turkey for lunch on my mom's side of the family.  I've had this honor about three times since I've been married.  I don't mind doing a turkey.  Everyone is always so scared of a turkey and I agree its a big piece of meat to cook but its usually pretty simple.  That being said, the very first time that I ever cooked for Matt's mom and dad was Thanksgiving of 2002 and I made a turkey.  Dan carved the turkey and it was raw.  How embarrassing!  Well, I never made that mistake again!  This year was my first year trying a brine and it was fantastic!  I usually do a different recipe each year but this recipe from the Food Network may be a keeper.  I did use powdered ginger instead of candied and everything turned out great.  Pretty bird.

Pretty girls :).

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