December 21, 2014

My Favorite Molasses Spice Cookies

Every once in a while, when you're really hungry, that plain old blue box mac & cheese can taste completely awesome. I'm sitting here blogging about fantastic homemade Christmas cookies while eating neon orange pasta, and happy as a clam. It's been a lovely Sunday, full of Christmas hymns and peaceful joy. We have been doubly blessed this Christmas season, both as a family and with opportunities to help others. Service adds an extra-special feeling of Christmas spirit, and I'm so glad my boys are old enough to feel it with us! I remember the first year we had them pick out toys to donate to a toy drive, and it was a disaster. They could not comprehend why they didn't get to keep the presents they picked out!! Now they have as much fun with it as we do, picking exactly what they would want, to give to some other lucky boy. Love it!! I have yet another batch of this cookie dough chilling in the fridge, Christmas music playing, boys napping, clouds rolling in, and I think I'll go join the napping trend. Tonight we'll watch White Christmas and start the relaxing part of our Christmas week!

December 20, 2014

Gingerbread Pancakes

People keep asking me if I'm ready for Christmas. Um, YES! It helps when you start getting ready somewhere around the first of November, and take a break for Thanksgiving. If I started after Thanksgiving, I have no idea how I'd be ready in time. And rushing around the week before Christmas is no fun! The Geologist is off work all next week, hooray!! We kicked off our Christmas vacation today with a trip to the community center pool. It has a dragon water slide and a pirate ship. We'll be spending a lot of time there the next two weeks. :) And I will be eating leftover pancakes for dinner this evening. 

December 19, 2014

Soft & Thick Cut-Out Sugar Cookies

Rollin' out one of those old family favorites today! Actually, I haven't made them since I first posted them back in 2012. I like the pictures so much from back then that I'll just keep them! :) They're the boys' favorite, requested every year, because they are treat AND activity! Who doesn't like playing with sprinkles and frosting? They were always my favorite Christmas treat too, and I spent hours painstakingly decorating them perfectly. Seriously. Ask my family, they'll be happy to mock me for it. :) These days I leave the detailed decorating to the boys, but still take great pride in my frosting abilities. Oh, and they're seriously scrumptious. So if you've got a few hours and need a family activity idea during this Christmas break, I've got you covered!

December 17, 2014

Polar Express Hot Chocolate

We are a family of believers. We treasure imagination and belief in things you can't exactly prove, childlike wonder and fantastical mysteries. My boys will believe in Santa Claus for years and years, just like I did. As you can imagine, the story of The Polar Express is a family favorite. We have the book and the movie and went on a Polar Express train ride in Utah. Today's recipe, a brand new family favorite is inspired by that classic Christmas Eve adventure!

How many of you love hot chocolate? Hot cocoa? Show of hands! Okay, then how many of you think those terms are interchangeable? Have you ever had hot chocolate that didn't come from a powdered mix? I hadn't. In fact, I rarely drink hot cocoa, I usually stick to hot apple cider (also from a powdered mix). But the other day I was craving a really great cup of hot chocolate, and the powdered stuff just wasn't cutting it. Now, you have to understand, The Geologist is a hot chocolate fanatic. We always have at least 5 different types on hand, often more. So I figured he had the good stuff, right? Wrong. At least for that particular craving moment, it was incredibly disappointing. Later we watched The Polar Express movie and I remembered the line from the book: "We drank hot cocoa as thick and rich as melted chocolate bars..." and decided I had to make real, full-on, melted chocolate bar hot chocolate. So I browsed pinterest, made my own adjustments (upping the chocolate ratio, duh) and created the most insanely delicious hot chocolate (emphasis on the chocolateEVER. It is now a Christmas staple in this house. I hope you like it!

December 16, 2014

Weekly Menu Dec 16

This week we have: 
Gingerbread Pancakes
Polar Express Hot Chocolate
My Favorite Molasses Spice Cookies

...and a few old favorites!

For today, Dec 16...