Friday, December 30, 2011

Tis' the Season

Merry Christmas!!

I know, a few days late, but you know what, not many people know that you're supposed to celebrate Christmas many days after the fact.

If you know me, you know that I love Christmas. A lot. I love the excuse to decorate, to bake, to entertain and to gather with family and friends. I love the traditions I have with both my family and friends. I love being in the kitchen and baking up a storm all day long with my Mom. Especially with the Christmas music playing and family coming and going. My memories of Christmas of today and in years past are the sights, smells and sounds that evoke that wonderful nostalgia. Every year we make Christmas cookies, a tradition I've known since long before I can remember. They are sugary, colorful and just plain good! It has evolved from me and my family making them, to me and my best friend Meghan and now to whoever can make the day of epic baking proportions.

Christmas Cookies

Another tradition is Snow Village. What started as one little church my grandmother bought me has now turned into a collection of over 30 houses which takes up over half my parents living room. My sister and I have it down to a science on how to put it all together and make this tiny little Christmas town. I love how my nephews and niece get close enough to imagine this little town coming to life before their very eyes, and I admit it, I do it too. :)

Super Suds

Fifty-Sixth Precint

Dinah's Drive-In

Snowy Hills Hospital

Every year it seems I take on a Homemade Christmas challenge. Whether it's crafting jewelry, knitting scarves, making books, or printing photographs for gifts, I'm always into the homemade gifts with a personal touch. Of course when it's crunch time I wonder why I put myself through the madness, but the end result is usually worth it. This season I made lovely little French Macarons, inspired by a cookbook I bought at Anthropologie, called Les Petites Macarons: Colorful French Confections to Make at Home by Kathryn Gordon and Anne E. McBride. I kept seeing this beautiful cookies on Pinterest and fell in love. Then I saw the cookbook and I was over. I was committed. The task turned out to be very challenging technically but I really enjoyed making these little delights. Below are a peppermint and chocolate ganache macaron and a pink-colored almond with vanilla buttercream macaron. I only had time to make these two batches (other batches didn't make the cut) but I hope to keep this new trade going for future events. 

All in all, it was a wonderful Christmas season and I look forward to what the new year may bring. I know this time last year I did not expect to be living on Cumberland Island!  

Au Revoir 2011, you've been a good year, and let's welcome 2012 with hope at all the possibilities the future may hold. :) 

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