All The Holiday Treats

Every year around this time we all go a little mad with sugar. It is part of that time of year, to consume cookies, chocolate, and candy in large amounts. Now this post is not going to be about being healthy, stick to serving or portion sizes, or any of that (although I do believe it). No, this post is going to break down all of the holiday goodness that we have cooked up or bought this year.

IMG_6536I am going to start with what we buy from stores. There are a couple of “staples” that we have to get for the Holiday season every year and those are: Cordial Cherries (dark chocolate) and a Terry’s Chocolate Orange (again in dark chocolate). This is a staple every November/December in our home and the holidays don’t seem the same without them.

We all know that every year the chocolate/candy companies come out with new ideas of what to pair with their candy. This year the craze was Hot Chocolate! Now, I’m not a huge Hot Cocoa drinker, but I do have it every once in a while. I was quite intrigued, so I tried to sample what was offered and keep an open mind. I picked up the Hot Chocolate Kisses, Hot Chocolate M&M’s, Hot Cocoa Pillsbury Rolls (Like Cinnamon Rolls, but Hot Cocoa), and we also picked up the Mint M&M’s.

Overall, of the new candies I think my favorite was the Hot Chocolate Kisses. They were really nice. I felt the Hot Cocoa M&M’s didn’t really taste any different, I disliked the Mint M&M’s and Hot Cocoa.

As far as baking goes, we stick with our standard chocolate cookies around this time of year. I usually will make a chocolate chip (this year being dark chocolate chip), a chocolate mint cookie, and I always make Oreo Bon Bons (these are a favorite and staple year round in our home). I also will make one non chocolate option when we want something a little different and this year that was Snickerdoodles.

IMG_8391This may seem like a lot (and it actually is), but I make them at the start of the month for the entire month! We will offer these to friends, family, and any coworkers at times as well as visitors to our home. When you are storing them, you place a small piece of bread in with the cookies to keep them moist and chewy. If we run out of any cookies, I’ll top us off with another batch.

Round The Kettle Ep. 5: A New Tradition

Good afternoon! Oy, It’s been a weekend. A weekend full of wonderful memories that were only created because I chose to not a semi unexpected turn of events affect all of the fun we had planned. After an early (think 4:30AM) phone call calling my husband in to work Saturday Morning, any plans that we did have for the weekend that involved both of us or him in some way went out the window. This isn’t a bad thing (a bummer yes, but ultimately there was only one major thing that ended up having to be postponed) and we made the best of the turn of our weekend.

So, how are you??? Are you ready for December? Ready for the Holidays? Ready for the <gasp> New Year???

How is it already December? The year is starting to wind down and we’ve got a very busy month ahead! I’ve been trying to do some forward planning to lighten the load of December a little bit as it has now become apparent just HOW MUCH is going to be happening this month for us.

We start the month with getting everything sorted for the Holidays. I like to get gifts, cookies, and any plans for the actual holiday sorted as early as possible, so that when that last week comes around it isn’t as stressful and we can just enjoy everything that the holidays really offer.

Then we have back to back family visits, along with different appointments, and a car drop off (to ship my car overseas!!!). Once Christmas hits, it’s a final countdown to getting the things that aren’t being shipped packed away and preparing our house and items for the movers to come and pack everything up.

This weekend we are doing a fun little thing that I am starting to actually do every year. I should clarify, I bake loads every year, all throughout the year. I love to have fresh baked something, whether that’s bread, cookies, pie, cheesecake, whatever. It’s just a nice little thing that I enjoy doing and love to be able to offer.

This year though, I want to start dedicating the first weekend in December as “Mrs. Claus Visits” Weekend in our home. Everyone talks about the big guy, Santa Claus, but Mrs. Claus is like that grandma that always has cookies to offer and is full of warmth. I’d love to represent for her and bring a little warmth to start off the month.

So, “Mrs. Claus Visits”…what is it going to be? Well, it’s a weekend full of baking, love, hot cocoa and that good ole cheer that you feel when it’s FINALLY December 1st. Christmas starts to feel real and I want to start doing this every year.

So, we will be spending our Saturday in the Kitchen. I’ll be detailing more about our Holiday treats in an upcoming post, but it’s safe to say that I’m really excited about this. Between a Saturday spent baking and a Sunday afternoon spent being pampered I think this might be the best weekend I’ve had in a long while. It certainly is setting me up for a successful busy December.

How do you handle the Holidays and this busy time of year? What do you do to keep your head level and your mind straight on track?