Ideas for Christmas Dessert
What are you making for dessert on Christmas?
Yes, it seems a little early … but this holiday season seems to be flying by fast. It’s only about a week and a half away and it’s something you should definitely be thinking about. Heck, it’s something you might even need to make once to make sure it’s the dessert for you.
For our Christmas, we try something different — usually chocolate based — every year. One year, it was a peppermint and chocolate cake roll. Another year it was vanilla mousse and strawberry fools.
This year, by request, it’s Chocolate Peppermint Pie. We had it for Sunday dinner at the end of November and it was a raving hit.
Not sure what you are making yet? Here are some fantastic recipes from around the web to help you get thinking and planning:
- Ginger Pear Tarts (vegan) at Vegan Visitor
- Pumpkin Torte at Canary Girl
- Devil’s Food Cake with Peppermint Frosting at Dinner & Dessert
- Grandma’s Coconut Cake at Andrea’s Recipes
- Yule Log at Too Many Chefs
- Banana Cream Pie (gluten free) at Gluten Free Girl and The Chef
Rich, Salted Chocolate Cookies
The first time I made these cookies, it was completely by accident. I wanted to make something uber-chocolatey for a friend when I was visiting her family. However, I was out of a lot of common baking goods. With a little ingeniuity, and some adjustments, I ended up with these.
They are rich and moist, with a hearty bit of saltiness from the salt/sugar sprinkle. It’s everything that a good chocolate cookie should be.
Now, if you want to get your cookies perfectly round like these, invest in a cookie scoop. The inexpensive mini-ice cream scoop is perfect for measuring out cookie dough in perfectly formed balls. It’s practically a guarrantee for perfect cookies every time. Yes, it’s one more thing to have in the drawer, but considering how this can really eliminate some of the mess of baking (who hasn’t dropped a cookie dough coated spoon before?), it’s worthwhile of a little drawer real estate.
Coincidentally, my friend liked these so much that she went home and made them herself from my recipe. She and her hubby ranked these among their favorite cookies ever.
What’s your favorite cookie? Share in the comments!
Kid-Friendly Holiday Crafts
Thanksgiving is barely over, but already the stores are playing Christmas music and my kids’ thoughts have turned to dreams of red-and-green wrapped candy and presents under the tree.
No matter what your religious beliefs, the winter seems to bring about plenty of opportunities to celebrate something. Here are some ideas from around the blogosphere to help you and your kids kick off the winter holidays–whichever ones you celebrate–with a kid-friendly craft:
Make your own advent calendar. Check our Dollar Store Crafts for instructions on how to make a fantastic–and decidedly green–advent calendar from a recycled cereal box. Or try making this Countdown to Christmas wreath from FaveCrafts.
Create a bag to hold coins (chocolate, of course) using these easy instructions from Education.com or embroider this pretty bag from Purlbee.com. Or try making an edible marshmallow Dreidel like this one on EdibleCrafts.craftgossip.com.
It’s still a little early for the blogosphere to be hopping with Kwanzaa crafts, but Kaboose.com has a nice list with easy-to-use instructions.
Which winter holidays do you celebrate? Do you have a great resource for crafts and activities to help you kick off the season?
Deck the Malls and Shop the Madness
The turkey and sweet potato leftovers are still lingering but all I could think about this past weekend was shopping! I didn’t get up at 4 a.m. to venture out on Black Friday, but I sure did consider it. I added products to several websites’ shopping carts, but didn’t follow through on any. I put together a spreadsheet of gifts I need to get, but haven’t checked any off as of yet. Still, I can’t stop thinking about all that needs to be done.
What to get for this or that person, how to cut back on spending, where to find the best discounts, and should I or shouldn’t I take a chance buying gifts that aren’t found on someone’s wishlist. When did this all get so complicated? Maybe when I had kids, although I must say, buying for my own boys is the only fun part of the season lately. Besides them, I feel like I’m on the losing end of a deadline to buy meaningless gifts.
In moments of clarity, I remember back a few years ago when I never started shopping anytime before Christmas week. Now I start stressing once the Halloween candy is gone. Perhaps it’s because I have to worry about remembering to ask for gift receipts or end up reading too many online customer reviews before making a purchase. Maybe I’m trying to keep up with those friends and relatives who already have their shopping done and gifts wrapped (who are these people?!). Continue reading…