Monday, December 19, 2011

Christmas Kitchen

Gray days outside. Twinkle lights inside. Seems like a good day to be in a warm kitchen. Do you like to make Christmas cookies and candies? Some of you probably finished ages ago. I might be a little late, but the baked goods will still taste good.

What are your family favorites? There are 3 must haves for us - fudge, iced sugar cookies and chocolate chip cookies. After those I like to throw in something new. This year I've found a yummy sounding recipe for a lemon snowdrop cookie. (Next to chocolate, lemon is my favorite flavor!) And a recipe for a soft ginger cookie. One of my grandsons loves gingerbread, so these look good. And on the maybe list - a chocolate sandwich cookie and a cherry shortbread. Can you see the 10 pounds being gained?

We are also planning the holiday menus. Traditionally Christmas Eve is cheese fondue, viande seche and all those candies and cookies for dessert. Easy meal with little preparation. Fondue allows for a leisurely conversation and enjoyment of being a family together. A great way to unwind, catch up and breathe.

Christmas Day there will be a brunch - egg and sausage casserole is the centerpiece. I'm looking at a make-ahead french toast casserole.. Anybody have any suggestions or recipes to share? Then dinner will be beef tenderloin, twice baked potaotes, creamed spinach, and a corn casserole. Desserts will be pies and leftover cookies. We're still deciding about which pies. My daughter-in-law, A, won't be here to bake the apple pie, her specialty, but a friend has talked me through the "perfect" apple pie. (One of those beach conversations from last week.) I'm going to try it since one of my granddaughters LOVES apple pie. Also have found what looks like a very tasty recipe for a peanut butter pie. When I mention the possibility smiles break out. I'll let you all know how it goes.

So that's some of what is going on in my kitchen. It isn't Christmas at my house without the cooking and baking. I'm exceptionally lucky because my family considers cooking and cleaning up a group activity. Think of it as "The Big Chill" without the choreographed dance moves. Good times. And we only have to remove all sharp objects a couple of times.

Tell me about your holiday kitchen.

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