Friday, December 23, 2011

Christmas Time

Ross and I basically started our holiday decorations with one pre-lit fake four foot tree I use in my preschool classroom at Christmas time and a few salt-dough ornaments that my class and I made last year.  When we realized that was all we had we planned a trip to ACE.  There we bought colored lights to hang outside the house and garland for the fireplace.  I also forgot to find a tree skirt so instead of spending more money I used our red fleece Stanislaus blanket turned inside out and folded in half, then wrapped around the bottom of our tree.  It looks perfect.   PS Ross is the only one in this family who has a stocking right now... mine was at my mom's so it won't be up here until Christmas Eve.

I consider myself a somewhat crafty person so when I got the urge to make us an advent calendar to add to our decorations I google searched how to make one with little pockets for trinkets to hide in or a marker to be moved from day to day.  When I found a design I liked (but no template) I went to the sewing box and found a mixture of scrap fabric from previous quilts I have made that were Christmasy in color and style.  And so the sewing began.  After four short days and one early sewing disaster I finished our hand made advent calendar.  

Embroidered numbers

Finished product with a white cross as the marker 
Now as we wind down the countdown until Christmas plans are yet again not so quiet.  At least this time I had a little bit of a heads up about company. We are so excited for all of our guests in the next few days!  Brie and Josh stop by today on their holiday get-away, mom and sisters come in tomorrow and on Sunday we are having co-workers over for dinner, it's more or less a tradition now.    
Needless to say I can’t tell you how excited I am about the next week!!  Friends, family, and great food who wouldn’t look forward to that.  I definitely can’t wait for our traditional crab dinner on Christmas Eve!  I am also looking forward to being “santa” for my new family.  Santa has some pretty clever stocking stuffers this year ;).
Oh wait, what is a Christmas blog without holiday baking!!!  Today I got an itch to make some peppermint bark and sugar cookies.  I saw an awesome idea months ago for sugar cookies on the Food Network from Sandra Lee.  Instead of buying sprinkles (which can get expensive) use regular sugar put in a baggie and drop liquid food coloring drops into the bag and shake it up, keep adding drops until you get the color you like. (I used two for the green and I had leftover red and white sprinkles)

Peppermint Bark
It's easier if you put the colored sugar on a plate and
 lay cookie cut-out in sugar before baking :)

Finished Cookies!

I wish you a very merry Christmas and may you have many blessings in the New Year!!
My next post won’t be until after Ross and I return from our “month on the road, January vacation”.  Hopefully that post will include beautiful pictures of our new family addition. 

~ Miss Kasie ~

p.s. Here's my sugar cookie recipe (easiest dough ever)!

3/4C sugar
2C Flour
1 T Milk (I ended up using 3 tbs to get the right consistency)
1C softened butter
1 Egg white to brush on cut out before dipping in sprinkles (I didn't use this, I tried once and it didn't cover with more sprinkles than with out the egg white)

Preheat oven to 350
Cream butter and sugar
Add flour and milk
roll out dough to 1/8in and begin using cookie cutters to make your cookies
* if using sprinkles then dip the cutouts in sugar now and place on cookie sheet *
** if using frosting then place on cookie sheet **
Bake for 15-20min.  *** This was a bad idea, I did 15 for the first sheet, too brown.  11min was perfect.  But I do NOT recommend 15min. for a sugar cookie it's too long.

Happy Baking!

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