Merry almost Christmas! This is the week that everyone’s tying up loose ends, cramming in all their shopping, cleaning, wrapping, shipping/mailing, baking, and generally going nuts. So it only makes sense to procrastinate our responsibilities. Let’s sit down and have a chat!
This is my first year hosting the holiday and I’m kinda nervous! It’s important to me that our families come together at our house so we can celebrate Noelle’s first Christmas at home. I’ve been thinking about the menu for a few weeks and finally narrowed it down. If you don’t have yours planned yet or need some last minute additions, here’s my plan:
- dark chocolate raspberry coffee cake for snacking during presents
- buttermilk waffles with ALL the toppings
- overnight ham egg & cheese strata
- fruit salad and bacon!! (but not together)
Time saving plan: Prepare fruit salad the night before. Prep overnight strata the night before. Make coffee cake that morning when I wake up. Stick strata in the oven. Have family help with making the waffles. Put husband on bacon duty.
Daytime munching includes shrimp cocktail, cheese/crackers, seasoned pretzels, candied nuts, cookies. My mom’s bringing the shrimp and pretzels. The candied nuts are already made. Covered tightly, they’re good for a week or two. (It’s taking every ounce of self control in me.)
- herb roasted turkey (made this last year, it’s awesome)
- baked potatoes
- green bean casserole
- honey butter rolls
- salad (I’m thinking spinach, goat cheese, strawberries, candied nuts)
Time saving plan: There will be 12 of us for dinner plus a couple kiddos, so a turkey made most sense. We’ll make the turkey that day. Salad and baked potatoes are easy. My MIL is bringing the green bean casserole. I’ll start the rolls the night before!
- peanut butter blossoms
- cake batter chocolate chip cookies
- seriously soft molasses cookies
- Snickerdoodles (if I can squeeze them in!)
- sky high chocolate mousse pie
Time saving plan: I already baked the cake batter chocolate chip cookies and molasses cookies. They’re in the freezer. Thaw the night before in the fridge. Making the pb blossoms and chocolate pie on Saturday. Tuxedo cake was the original plan for dessert, but the pie was a special request. And it’s fantastic even after a day or 2 in the fridge!!
I feel like the menu is all pretty manageable, especially with family there to help!
Having a baby and hosting Christmas officially makes you a grown up, so excuse me if I channel my inner child with glittery pastel pink and blue Christmas cookies.
These are the sugar cookies I decorated on Facebook LIVE last week. Did you catch the video? I demonstrated how to make royal icing and decorate basic sugar cookies. Nothing crazy complicated, but I know that many of you are working with royal icing for the first time this year. Once you decorate a batch or two of sugar cookies, your confidence will soar. You’ll be a sugar cookie pro in no time.
Oh and I’d like to share that 2 of my piping tips died in the garbage disposal that evening as I was cleaning up. Why does this happen EVERY TIME.
Anyway, look at some of the December baking challenge photos! ↑↑
Your work is beautiful and most of you are decorating sugar cookies with royal icing for the first time this year. I love it!
Speaking of cookies! A bunch of girlfriends and I got together for a cookie exchange last week. I made peppermint mocha cookies last year and this year, I didn’t stray far: peppermint white chocolate cookies! I used red AND green candy canes and instead of drizzling with white chocolate, I dunked them in dark chocolate. Some of you have asked how I prevent these cookies from spreading too much. My tip: don’t crush up the candy canes too small. Otherwise they quickly melt inside the cookie dough as the cookies bake and all that excess sugar spreads out. And, of course, make sure you’re chilling the cookie dough.
Here are some more cookies from the exchange. I don’t have the recipes, but my favorites were the lemon ricotta cookies and thumbprints!
Noelle! My daughter is 3 months old this Saturday. She’s doing wonderfully and growing too fast!!!! She is just the happiest babe.
I felt very lost and isolated during her first couple months. While we had friends and family visit often, I was recovering from my C-section and spent all my time at home trying to acclimate to this completely unfamiliar and challenging role as a mother. I couldn’t run, bake, walk the dogs, meet girlfriends for dinner, or do anything that remotely felt like “me.” I was in a sleepless haze. And now? I can handle it. I got this. What seemed impossible feels like second nature these days. It truly does. After 5-6 weeks, she started smiling and we established a loose “routine.” Things became more manageable. Now she’s double the age and it’s EVEN BETTER. Here’s why:
- She’s growing, so she can hold more in her tummy and feed less frequently. This makes me feel more like human and less like a cow.
- She sleeps through the night (what a miracle!) and is more awake/alert during the day. She loves to kick and play.
- She can hold up her head and react to familiar voices and people. She’s a little person now!
- Because we’ve been working towards a schedule, I can easily predict her needs. I feel slightly less clueless.
In the beginning, I didn’t understand. I was SO excited and grateful for her arrival, loved her so much, but the change left me defeated and hopeless. I couldn’t come up for air. I’m still learning, she’s still learning, but I’m really getting the hang of this! So for any new mamas or moms-to-be reading, be comforted in the fact that you will quickly adjust. It doesn’t get easier, it gets better.
How adorable is this onesie ornament? My sister got it for us. I tracked it down on Etsy. It’s the cutest ornament on the tree. And, of course, the most special.
Speaking of the Christmas tree, here are the boys looking extremely thrilled in their Christmas accessories. Franklin’s halfway sitting and ready to exit this situation ASAP.
What’s on your Christmas menu?