If you have found me through Mother Letters, welcome to my house. Feel free to make yourself at home and look around.
Put your feet up on the coffee table, see what I have in the pantry, and enjoy our time together.
If you would like to read my entire Mother Letter, click here.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Favorite Christmas Recipes

I have so many recipes that I love during the holidays. I wanted to record and share some of my favorites:
Nothing says Christmas like the smell of gingerbread! I am not a fan of rolling, cutting and decorating cookies, so as much as I like the IDEA of gingerbread boys, it just causes, stress, frustration and a big mess. It's not going to happen. This is my alternative so that I can still get my ginger fix, both taste and smell. I sent these home with cub scouts this year and within 20 min a mom called me for the recipe. Yep, they are that good!

Yummy Ginger Snaps

6 TB margarine
½ c white sugar
½ c brown sugar
2 egg whites
¼ c molasses
2 c flour
½ tsp salt
2 tsp soda
½ tsp cloves
½ tsp ginger
½ tsp cinnamon
Cream sugars and margarine. Beat in egg wites and add molasses. Stir in dry ingredients, mixing well. Spoon by tsp full onto cookie sheet. Bake for 8-10 min @ 375ยบ.

The holidays are not complete, and I am not exaggerating, without homemade Wassail. This will bring visions of old fashioned Christmases on waves of delicious aromas.

5 c sugar
4 quarts water
2 TB whole cloves
4 fresh lemons or 2c lemon juice
12 cinnamon sticks
4 quarts orange juice (prepared)
1 gallon apple cider
Boil sugar and water. Add cinnamon sticks and cloves. Boil 10 min, cool and then add juices. Let stand 1 hour. Strain. Serve hot. Keep leftovers refridgerated. WARNING: This recipe makes 3 gallons of wassail!

I could eat a whole pan of Christmas Jell-o Salad all by myself I love it that much. My mother usually makes this at Christmas time, unfortunately, she did not make it this year and I really missed it! Paul is not crazy about it and so if I make it, I would end up eating the whole thing myself!

Christmas Salad
1 sm pkg lime Jell-o
½ lb. marshmallows
½ pt whip cream
2- 3oz pkg cream cheese
½ pt mayo (or a little less)
1 med. can crushed pineapple
1c pineapple juice
1 pkg cherry Jell-o
Dissolve lime Jell-o in 1c boiling water. Add and melt marshmallows. Add 1c pineapple juice. Cool. Mix cream cheese and mayo together, then add to mixture along with whip cream adn pineapple. Set until firm. Make cherry Jell-o according to directions. When cooled, spoon carefully on top of green layer and set. Cut into squares to serve. Pretty and tasty!

Last year, we began our own tradition of decorating graham cracker houses. Although I glue the houses together ahead of time, (We don't need the kind of frustration that comes with trying to build them with real gingerbread and frosting, at least not until the kids are quite a bit older!) we still need some good old Royal frosting to stick the pounds and pounds of candy, and marshmallow santas and snowmen onto and around the houses.

Royal Frosting
3 egg whites (room temperature)
4c powdered sugar
½ tsp cream of tartar
1 tsp vanilla
Beat all ingredients at high speed for 5-10 min. Use immediately. Can be stored for short time covered with a damp cloth. Re-beating will not restore texture. Yield 2½ cups.

So many of our holiday memories are tied to yummy traditional tastes and smells. I love anything that brings both into my home and helps to recreate memories for me and my family as well as making new memories.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

My Favorite Christmas Message

A few years ago, we received our stake newsletter which had this article on the front page. It is written by a church leader who is one of the most powerful speakers I have heard. I like to read it each Christmas season. I wanted to get it down in more than one place just in case it gets misplaced like so many things do.

Merry Christmas!