98: Christmas Cookie Overview

Do you bake the same cookies every year? In preparation for the big cookie baking season ahead, take some time today and look through your cookbooks for recipes you’ve always wanted to try. This is the time to get those out and do a test run. You don’t want to wait until the week you need 12 dozen cookies for the cookie swap! You need an opportunity to tweak it and make sure it’s going to work for you. Here are ten of my favorite holiday cookies:

  1. Snickerdoodles
  2. Shortbread
  3. Thumbprints
  4. Bourbon Balls
  5. Rum Balls
  6. Buckeyes
  7. Haystacks
  8. Gingerbread
  9. Lemon Snowflakes
  10. Turkish Delight (this is a 4-pack from Amazon, and my favorite brand!!! Authentic and delicious!)

Make a note of all of the cookies you want to try, print them out or copy them, and put them in a 3-ring notebook inside page protectors. This is a cheap and easy way to make your own personalized cookbook. For even more fun, you can make up your own cover page, or decorate the notebook as you like! Enjoy!

54: Easy Suppers for Busy Times

Christmas can be a hectic, overscheduled time of year. One very easy way to keep your family healthy and sane is to have a simple family dinner together as often as possible. This is made even easier by cooking in a slow cooker or picking up a prepared rotisserie chicken from your local market or Sam’s Club (my favorite for under $5!)

Family dinner guru Leanne Ely has some wonderful menu plans for slow cookers (crockpots) and rotisserie chickens at her website SavingDinner.com.

Her recipes are fantastic and are sure to please even the pickiest eaters in your family! Give them a try!

Photo courtesy of mercedesfromtheeighties.

90: Try a New Cookie Recipe

Last week, I asked you to review your cookbooks and look for cookies you’ve always wanted to make. Well, today, think about making one of those new cookie recipes. You can do it today, or this week some time, but try one out! Your kids will be so thrilled to get them in their lunches this week! I’d like to hear about everyone’s cookie adventures, so post a note in the comments when you’ve completed this mission! Happy baking!

Here’s one of my favorites for fun! These are easy!

Lemon Snowflakes Recipe (pdf)

Lemon Snowflakes

INGREDIENTS

1 package lemon cake mix
2 T lemon juice (or 1/2 T lemon extract)
1 egg
2 1/4 cups frozen whipped topping, thawed
2 cups confectioners’ sugar

DIRECTIONS

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix the cake mix, lemon juice, egg and whipped topping together. Beat with an electric mixer on medium speed until well blended (batter will be sticky). Drop batter by teaspoonfuls into the confectioners’ sugar and roll to coat. Place cookies onto parchment paper-lined baking sheets and bake at 350 degrees for 8 to 10 minutes or until lightly browned.

TIPS

  • Using a small scoop makes scooping out the batter much easier.
  • Use parchment paper or they will stick.
  • Making sure the cookies are lightly browned is the key to their doneness.
  • You can make modifications to this recipe such as using chocolate cake mix and chocolate whipped topping, or any other flavor cake mix. It’s so easy!



97: Hosting Christmas Dinner

Last year, we hosted Christmas dinner here for 13, and I’m not eager to repeat that until I get a double oven and another big refrigerator. Don’t get me wrong, a lovely time was had by all, but getting the meal components synchronized was just beyond my reach this time. One of the biggest issues was cooking beef tenderloin for that crowd for the first time. Lesson learned? Don’t try something new on the big day. You should have made it successfully at least once. Don’t leave it to chance.

Just like the cookie recipes I mentioned three days ago, you are going to want to do the same with your Christmas dinner menu. Start looking through your cookbooks and recipe cards. If you have new things you want to add to your traditional menu, now’s the time to start trying them out and tweaking them to work for you. You also want to put together a notebook to collect all of your information if you are hosting a big dinner. How many guests? Who’s coming? Does anyone have food allergies? And the list goes on!

If you’ve never hosted a Christmas dinner before, don’t be afraid to commit to this! There is great joy to be had by opening your home and breaking bread together. If you are kitchen-challenged, enlist a friend to help you coordinate your guests and ask them to bring a dish or two, and you order a ham or turkey done by your favorite place. In our neck-of-the-woods, we have a wonderful grocery chain, Publix, who does a terrific job with hams and turkeys, among other things. Other good meat places are Sonny’s, Honey Baked Ham, and various other restaurants. If you are a backyard gourmet, try smoking your meat for this.

I’ll be posting some great holiday recipes here during our countdown, so stay tuned and get ready to try some yummy holiday goodness!