Well, hello there. Is it the holidays already? How on earth did that happen? I say it each year but this year it feels especially true: where does the time go?!
Tonight is the first night of Chanukah. We’ll be celebrating with latkes and applesauce. We’ll also be having the elegant salad from Lady Gouda. For an even better applesauce than mine, go to the Hippo’s site and use her Nana’s recipe. On a non-cooking note, for some great children’s books about Chanukah, go here and read all about them- just in case you need some good bring-to-dinner gifts.
We’ve also managed to put up our tree in honor of my husband’s Christmas holiday. I have to admit, I find the tree really pretty. Although, it was my husband’s job to decorate it this year so he’s been doing it slowly, over the last week or so and as a result not all the ornaments are up yet. In fact, he didn’t put up any of the really pretty, personalized ones that we have, instead, he used the cheap, $10 Walgreen’s ones we bought twelve years ago for his first tree. I suppose there’s some sentimental value in those but… I like our pretty ones better! As he points out, I could be helping but, you know, I’m not.
I’ve even managed to finish most of the holiday shopping (each year our list gets smaller but the children start to edge out the adults!). And, of course, have begun and completed the holiday baking for friends and co-workers (at least round one. I’ll do another round this weekend to bring with me as we go on all our playdates next week. We have a LOT of playdates. I’m excited.).
A bonanza of cookies (chocolate peanut butter and chocolate peppermint).
Peppermint brownies (I confess, I used boxed brownie mix- I love the Ghirardelli Triple Chocolate Brownie– and added peppermint extract- about 2 teaspoons and crushed candy canes into and on top of the batter).
I also made caramel peanut popcorn which is just so. good. that I promise to share the recipe with you when I have better photos. (I’ll make more during round two of the holiday baking extravaganza). Here’s what I did manage to get:
The plain popcorn, the popcorn in the process of becoming enveloped in yummy, decadent caramel and the dregs of the caramel left in the pot. Yum.
Then there was the packaging.
I do have one more baking project before the end of the week. At one of my schools we have a weekly morning meeting and since it’s the last one before vacation, I wanted to bring yummy things. I’ll bring some cookies, of course, but then I was given these by a friend:
They are crying out for some buttermilk biscuits and/or scones. So I will make those and bring these beautiful jams with me for the meeting (H. & J. if you’re reading this, you’ve ruined the surprise! But at least you know what to expect). It will be festive- how can we go wrong with “Holiday Jam”?!
Whatever you do for the holidays, I wish you laughter, love, joy and an enormous amount of delicious food. Enjoy!
And a P.S. of sorts. This was our holiday gift to ourselves. Introducing our Baby Boy, due in about 7 weeks (brought to you by some amazing technology):