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Monday, November 26, 2012

Cookies, cookies, cookies!!!!!

It's that time again!! Cookies, cookies, cookies!! There is a lot more to it than just cookies, though....it's really all about the traditions. I am a sucker for traditions. In our family....we have a ton!! Everything from when we get the Christmas tree (and put it up and decorate it...) to the "pickle" hidden in the branches!! As far as I am concerned...the traditions are what make Christmas so special. For a lot of people....baking Christmas cookies is a dreaded chore....that makes me a little sad!! And....for a lot of people....chocolate chip cookies qualify as Christmas cookies....that makes me even sadder!! There are SO many great recipes out there....EASY recipes that produce great tasting (and looking...) cookies with minimal effort. There are, also, quite a few tips to help make this a FUN experience instead of a stressful one!! Make the dough ahead of time. The measuring and mixing....and resulting mess....is the "hard part"!! Once the dough is done (and many of them NEED refrigeration time, anyway....) you can move on to the "fun" part!! Also....there is no law that says you have to make 40 dozen in one day!! If you find a recipe for an all butter, crispy cookie...the butter flavor intensifies when they "sit" a little bit....so those can be done first and wrapped well and stored.Start some new traditions, this year....find some great recipes, roll up your sleeves, and pull a chair up to the counter for some special little ones. Take it from me....the time you spend baking Christmas cookies (especially with the kids...) is time well spent. The "sweet memories" that those baking sessions make will last a lifetime....or, in our case, start a business!!

This recipe is for a "kid friendly" gingerbread cookie....not too spicy!!
Original recipe makes 2 1/2 dozen 

Directions

  1. In a medium bowl, cream together the dry butterscotch pudding mix, butter, and brown sugar until smooth. Stir in the egg. Combine the flour, baking soda, ginger, and cinnamon; stir into the pudding mixture. Cover, and chill dough until firm, about 1 hour.
  2. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease baking sheets. On a floured board, roll dough out to about 1/8 inch thickness, and cut into man shapes using a cookie cutter. Place cookies 2 inches apart on the prepared baking sheets.
  3. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes in the preheated oven, until cookies are golden at the edges. Cool on wire racks.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Some week......

This has been some week!!!

One, frankly, that I would like to put behind us....so I am moving on!!

All of us are different. We have different tastes in music, art, home decor, food....we like different things...hobbies, vacation destinations, cars....but, in some ways, we are all the same. We need to feel safe. Nothing takes that safe feeling away faster than Mother Nature. You are told and told again to "prepare"....and most of us do. We buy the food and the water....the ice and the batteries. We bring the lawn furniture in, take the birdfeeders down, move the cars away from the trees and clean out the gutters (again....) but, the bottom line is....this just makes you "feel" prepared. There was nothing that all of those New Jersey communities could have done to "prepare" for what they are going through. Most of the people got out....and that was about all they COULD do.
            For me...my house is my haven. It is where I feel safe....until the power goes out. Without power we have no lights, no TV and no hot water....but we also have no heat, no sump pump and no connection to the outside world. While you are experiencing these....let's be honest MINOR inconveniences.....you feel like you will, surely, go insane. But....then the power comes back....and you can think clearly, and you get warm, and you realize....that by some HUGE stroke of luck....the lack of sump pump wasn't even an issue (not ONE drop of water in the basement!!!) and then you turn on the TV and you have service to all of your devices again....and you see how very, very, very lucky we were!!!
            I, for one, am looking forward to things getting back to normal. I want my busy, busy routine. And, at the end of the day, I want to come home to my warm, SAFE, house. But....I will NOT forget how very close we came to not having that luxury....and I am going to be very thankful, each and every day that everything that is important to me is safe and sound.....and keep all of those people, who cannot say the same, in my thoughts and prayers. (I am, also, going to try to convince myself that the "rudeness" I am encountering in people is actually frustration....because that will make me feel a little better!!!)
            I am, also....moving on!! It helps me to think about something else....so I have chosen Christmas!! I would appreciate if you would refrain from any judgement. I really DON'T want to hear that it's too early....because I wholeheartedly disagree!! I think we need a little Christmas...the light, the hope, the kindness, the giving.....and, yes, the candy canes!! Whatever we can do to make us smile!! I'm not going to put the Christmas CDs on at the shop....just yet....but I think I will play them in the car!! And, just in case you are on board with me...there are some Christmas movies on TV this weekend.....providing of course...you have your power back. If not....find a friend who does....we need a little Christmas NOW!!!!!