08 December 2011

On the Eighth Day of Christmas...Rose is a Rose Guest Post

Holiday Traditions- Old & New

Hi, I'm Ellie from Rose is a Rose (www.roseisarosedesigns4you.blogspot.com).  Jac has kindly invited me here to share some holiday traditions with you.  

Christmas has always been a time of the year with family and a house filled with love.  Our home is even more full of love with our 2 y/o boy and another boy expected in the next 6 weeks.  I'm itching to create so many wonderful memories with my boys and can't wait to incorporate some old AND new traditions!  I thought I'd share what we do in our home and maybe one of things you'll incorporate into your family's special Christmas time traditions this year or the next.

And YES, these are all food related in some way...I'm 34 weeks pregnant--what do you expect?!!

1. Homemade Sugar Cookies and Icing
I can't remember a year where I didn't join my mom in the kitchen and bake sugar cookies followed by hours of decorating with icing and sprinkles.  These are moments frozen in time that no one can take away from me.  Here is the stand by recipe (simple and yummy) and our secret icing recipe (ha!)

Traditional Sugar Cookies from Betty Crocker

3/4 cup shortening (part butter or margarine softened)

1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla or 1/2 teaspoon lemon extract
2 eggs

Mix thoroughly shortening, sugar, eggs and flavoring. Blend in flour, baking powder and salt. Cover: chill for at least 1 hour.

Heat oven to 400 degrees. Roll dough 1/8 inch thick on lightly floured cloth-covered board. Cut into desired shapes (This is one of the best parts!! We had LOADS to choose from as kids and my mom always let us pick!) Place on ungreased baking sheet. Bake 6 to 8 minutes or until very light brown.

For the icing we just had powdered sugar and added milk to it (a teaspoon at a time, stirring until you get the right consistency).  We always had 4-6 bowls of icing and then add our food colorings to it for LOTS of options.  Sprinkles and red hots are also great additions.

2. Kid's Tree Garland {NEW}
I know this is nothing new to most people, or really that fancy or crafty for that matter.  However, I've always wanted to have garland on my tree that may not normally meet my home decor standard, but would be made with love and by the hands of my children.  This year I got out some twine (left over from another project), and got out some Cheerios, Frosted Cheerios and Apple Dapples (green only)  and away we went.  My little guy was very happy...he normally only has access to Kashi cereal or plain cheerios!!

Here are some other great garland ideas to try with kids:

3. Elf Treats {NEW}
I saw this fantastic idea here (http://unconfidentialcook.com/2009/04/08/emmas-tiny-treats/).  We are going to be putting out treats for Santa's Elves this year too along with the Santa plate and cookies we usually leave out.  You can use a pill box or match box to put your's in, or you can be like me and make your own (MUCH BIGGER) box.

I made some Elf Donuts

And will add these Peanut Butter Thumbprint MINI cookies as well to this box.

Anyone have any other mini treat ideas for Santa's Elves? 
Want to come up with a few more treats to add to the box!

4. Cinnamon Roll Giving {NEW}
Instead of giving cookie plates to friends and neighbors, this year I am going to be making trays of YUMMY Cinnamon Rolls AHEAD of time!! (http://www.kingarthurflour.com/blog/2010/12/10/freeze-cinnamon-buns-in-20-minutes/ ).  This link tells you exactly how to make them ahead of time with best results!  I will be using disposable foil baking/cooking containers and include a nice fun and festive label on top with baking instructions and quick recipe for the glaze/icing.

I will deliver these a week  before Christmas (Don't you wish you were MY neighbor?).  They can choose to keep them frozen until Christmas Eve, Christmas morning or any other day for that matter!  What a great gift to give someone you care about--the gift of taking ONE thing off their to-do list.  We always like to have special pastries/treats for breakfast around the holidays and especially when you are the host of all the guests.  This way it is one less thing they have to plan and worry about!  Besides, don't we all get PLENTY of cookies?

Hope you enjoyed these ideas and I'd love to hear what traditions you plan on carrying on or implementing this year.  Hope you'll visit my blog and follow along  in the New Year!  I'll be doing MUCH more blogging and staying in this winter with a newborn and toddler.  I'll be sharing lots of fun crafts and tutorials as I try not get too stir crazy and would love to have some new readers to make me not feel SO alone :)

Bye for now!
Ellie Rose


2 1/2 cups flour

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