Colorful Cookie Inspiration

In an effort to curb the consumption of holiday sweets around here this year, I told everyone in the house that they could pick just one thing that they’d like me to bake. If you only knew how much sweet stuff we end up with that I don’t bake myself, you would understand that I’m not being mean, it’s just self preservation!

I could already guess what their choices would be, just as I’d already made the decision as to what my own choice would be. Kentucky Brown Sugar Pecan Bars are my very favorite holiday cookies, so the choice was easy! Continue reading Colorful Cookie Inspiration

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Giving Thanks

Thanksgiving Day is almost over in our part of the world, and I’ve been cooking pretty much since yesterday Tuesday. Despite the recent post about spice jars, I realize that this is not a cooking blog (and it’s a good thing too, because if it was I’d only be posting once or twice a year being the reluctant chef that I am! 🙂 ), but I do want to share a bit about our Thanksgiving dinner here simply because I’m so chuffed that it turned out as well as it did!

When it came time to plan the menu, I was just feeling sort of lazy, and I didn’t want to think about whatever it was that I usually make and go recipe hunting, so I did a Google search for “Thanksgiving menu” and came up with this Thanksgiving 101 Menu from Martha Stewart. I thought it looked good, and everything was all in one place Continue reading Giving Thanks

Thankfulness and the SOHO Spice Board Review

Wednesdays are music lesson days here at Chez Nadine, which means a trip to the Army post and usually a couple of other stops there while LittleOne is in her piano lesson. Since Thanksgiving is tomorrow, I thought I’d see what I could do in the way of cooking and preparations before we leave in the early afternoon. I’m very thankful that we were finally able to procure a can of the elusive Libby’s Pumpkin for ITMan’s favorite pie, though he had to travel all the way to the Mannheim Commissary to get it!

So I pulled out all the ingredients and got to work. And other than the fact that my pie making came to a screeching halt when the ground cloves container turned up empty and I’m thankful that I discovered this before my trip to the Commissary later, there’s a little something I’ve been meaning to share with you all for about a year about what not to do in your kitchen, Continue reading Thankfulness and the SOHO Spice Board Review

Christmas Tree Bread from Sunset Magazine

Spiral Shaped Christmas Tree BreadLisa contacted me about Christmas Tree Bread last week after she read a Note at 9rules. In the Note, I said it’s just not Christmas without Christmas music from the Andy Williams Christmas Deluxe album that my natural father brought home from Japan around 1968, or the Christmas Tree Bread that my mom’s been baking for 40 years. I’ll bet Lisa thought I forgot about her or I made the whole thing up or something, but no. Yes, Lisa, there really is a Christmas Tree Bread recipe!

The recipe is from Sunset Magazine, and it’s really the biggest reason that I have a KitchenAid mixer. It’s a huge recipe, calling for about nine cups of flour, and it’s just difficult to do in a regular size mixer. Usually, I make the bread dough around the 23rd of December, so that I can shape it and bake it on Christmas Eve and it’s ready to eat on Christmas morning. Nobody gets one tiny bite until Christmas morning, but around the 27th, when we’ve plowed through all three loaves from the first batch, I usually make more so that we can continue to enjoy it for breakfast (and sometimes lunch) until New Year’s Eve at least. In the past, ITMan and the kids have asked me to make it for other holidays but I’ve refused, wanting to keep this a special Christmas-only thing.

Christmas Tree BreadI thought about making a batch early this year, so I could take pictures and all, but then I’d have to decide whether to let everybody dig in or freeze it until Christmas. In the end I decided not to tear holes in tradition around here, because if I do it once, they expect me to do it again, and I like tradition just the way it is! Recipe follows! Continue reading Christmas Tree Bread from Sunset Magazine