Saturday, December 6, 2008

Apparently, I don't hate baking, and Happy Feast of St. Nicolas!

We had some friends over yesterday to decorate gingerbread cookies, and it was a fun-filled morning that was also full of sprinkles, candies, snowy-white frosting. It was one of the mornings where we had so much fun that I forgot to take pictures...sorry about that.

After everyone left, however, I went a little crazy and decorated the remaining cookies to take to church tonight for the kids to enjoy while the adults have a progressive dinner party. You know what? It was fun. I really dreaded it, but I had the best time. I felt so creative and, well, capable. That's not a feeling I usually get from handling a pastry bag. So, here are the results:

Now, why the gingerbread? you may be asking. Today, December 6th, is the Feast of St. Nicolas, and children all over Europe are exchanging gingerbread cookies in honor of the Saint who loved the spicy little morsels so much that he gave them to people wherever he went. In return, St. Nicolas the modern-day legend is filling their shoes with candy and presents. Beware, however, of Père Fouettard (Father Whipper), St. Nick's counterpart who travels with him carrying a bundle of switches for the not-so-nice children. And you thought threatening kids with coal in their stocking was effective!

So...take some time to be generous today! Whether it be cookies or simply your time, St. Nick's legacy is that of giving of oneself to others. Have a great day!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Adventures in Baking

Today I thought I would do something I've never done before--bake dark chocolate cupcakes with a creamy ganache filling in my new Christmas pans. For our church dinner this evening. Where other people would actually be eating them. What could go wrong???

Um, yeah. Apparently things with molten centers should not be inverted too quickly. Or, at all.

At least my little boy enjoyed them.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Let the countdown begin!

It's December 1st! Break out those Advent Calendars!

For our calendar we number slips of paper from 1-25 (I created a table using a pretty Christmas font for ours, but that's just me). We use these slips of paper to celebrate by doing a small activity every day until the 25th. First I choose the numbers for which I know we have something already planned (eg. Christmas Parade on the 13th) I write those activities first. Then, I flip the rest over so that I can't see the numbers and I write a Christmas-themed activity, such as singing a Christmas carol, reading a Christmas story, coloring a Christmas picture, watching a Christmas movie, etc. I try to be as random as possible so that it's a surprise for me, too.

That's what we do--what do you do for your Advent Calendar?