Merry Christmas!

nativity scene

Merry Christmas to all of you!

How will you be celebrating?

We’ll be going to Christmas Eve service at church.  Afterward, we’ll have a Mexican type dinner at home.  This meal has been a tradition since the kids were very little.  We’ll let the kids open a present, play a game together and then get ready for bed.

Jim and I always wrap the doorway to the living room after the kids are in bed so the next morning they bust through the paper to get into the Christmas tree and presents.  This is fun for them, but serves two practical purposes.  It buys us some time to get a cup of coffee (I think we’ll have to fix one for our oldest daughter this year too).  And it lets me line all the kids up for a picture before the unwrapping starts.

Breakfast is simple – an egg and sausage casserole, Pillsbury Grands cinnamon rolls (the kids won’t let me change this and it’s easy, which is a bonus) and Frozen Fruit Cups.

I’m trying a new Rachel Ray recipe for our dinner.  It’s just a nice sandwich and salad.  I like to keep it simple and easy so I can play with the kids and lay around in my pj’s.  We’ll celebrate with extended family over the weekend.

What about you?  What are your traditions?  What are you cooking for the holiday?

I pray you all have a wonderful Christmas with family and friends.

photo credit: jeffweese

Homemade Peppermint Marshmallows

peppermint marshmallows done

I found this recipe on Little Birdie Secrets and knew I had to make it.  They were fun and easy to make.  I gave my boys the job of crushing the candy canes with a hammer, which made them happy.  The recipe makes a huge pile of marshmallows – perfect for giving some away and still having enough for your own hot cocoa. [Read more…]

Cranberry French Toast with Cranberry Syrup

cranberry french toast done

Still looking for a Christmas breakfast idea?  You might want to make this french toast.  The prep is all done the day before, so that in the morning all you need to do is slice the bread and fry it.

It’s really a cranberry bread pudding that is then sliced and dipped in eggs and half&half and then fried.  The recipe is adapted from the Country Living Country Morning cookbook. [Read more…]

Butter Toffee Cookies

toffee chip cookies done

This is another recipe from Recipe Girl’s cookie list.  Hers are Sparkling Butter Toffee Cookies.  Mine didn’t come out sparkly, but they are good.  I thought these would be a soft cookie, which is what I prefer, but they are a bit crisp.  They would be a great choice if you need to mail them.

I did double the recipe and added the whole bag of toffee chips, rather than just 1 cup.

[Read more…]

Rolo Turtles

rolo turtles done

Please forgive all the sweets this week.  I’m trying to post plenty of holiday treat recipes in case you’re still looking for baking inspiration.  Tomorrow, I’ll post an appetizer but then it will be back to a few more sweet treats.

You can’t go wrong with sweet-salty candy.  I found these on Mommy’s Kitchen.  Tina always has such yummy things on her blog.  These candies are easy to make, and taste great.  Tina also made some with pecan halves pressed in the top, which sounds great to me, but I decided to go with M&Ms to make the kids happy. [Read more…]

Gingersnap Sandwich Cookies with Orange Cream Cheese Filling

gingersnap sandwich cookies done close

These cookies taste like old-fashioned Christmas.  The flavor combination of molasses, ginger and orange is wonderful.  I found the recipe on Recipe Girl.  She has an awesome list of Christmas cookies.

I did make a couple of adjustments to the recipe.  I doubled it, because I wanted to end up with more than 2 dozen cookies.  I didn’t count how many I had, but it was a lot and it took quite a while to bake them.  They’re so good though, I’m glad I doubled it.  I made a few other adjustments too. [Read more…]

Peppermint Bark

peppermint bark done

Have you ever been wandering the mall at this time of year and popped into a Williams Sonoma store?  They often give out samples of their Peppermint Bark.  Delicious stuff, and at $22 a pound it should be.  But you can make it at home for much less.  I found a copy cat recipe at this site[Read more…]

Homemade Peppermint Patties

peppermint patties done half

I think I make more candy at Christmas than cookies.  I like to dip things in chocolate.

Peppermint Patties are easy to make, but they do take a bit of time.  It’s worth the effort.  The recipe makes a lot of candy, plenty to give some away and keep some for yourself. [Read more…]

Cranberry Nut Bars

cranberry nut bars done

Please make these and share them with a group of people.  If you don’t, you’ll eat the whole pan yourself.  Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

These cake-like dessert bars combine the tart cranberry flavor with sweet cake and the crunch of pecans.  Oh my!  I can’t stay out of them. [Read more…]

Frugal Holiday Cooking and Baking Tips

holiday cooking

Buying extra ingredients for holiday baking and cooking can really add up.  Here are a few ideas to keep Christmas and Thanksgiving adventures in the kitchen affordable.

Make a list of your “must make” recipes.

Make a list of all the foods that you know you want to make.  Start buying those ingredients now a few at a time, until you’ve gathered them all up.  That way you won’t have a huge amount hit your grocery bill at one time. [Read more…]

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