As Christmas feelings warm my heart and the year comes to a close, and I write about the happenings here at our home, Cedarhill, I would love to share with you as a lasting "thank you"..... And passing along a reminder that I appreciate you, my dear readers, so much xoxo
I am the type to pick up Christmas gifts all year long. Not actually looking for them, but running across something special as I am out antiquing, treasure hunting, etc. So!....I really had not seen any store decorations or done any window shopping and gazing just for the fun of it. So yesterday in the last hours before Christmas Day, we decided to do just that, go window shopping, only not to any big fancy department stores or malls. We chose a town about an hour's drive from here, in the heart of Virginia. A sweet little place, actually being the town where I went to college. A place where we knew we could take the dog, leash him up, and stroll the streets. It was a cold blustery day, exactly the kind of day that says, it's Christmas around here. Most all of the street decor was simply the pretty lamp post wrapped in fresh pine garland and a big red bow. I wore my new fur earmuffs and wooly gloves and I was toasty as could be. Not one store did we venture in, choosing to just stroll and look at the pretty window displays and enjoy the day. There were no crowds and we were met with friendly greetings from all passers-by, many stopping to pet Ben. We did stop in the town bakery and treated ourselves to a Christmas cookie. The entire day was such a sweet retreat, ....... no hustle, no bustle, just enjoying the season.
google image of my college town
And speaking of Christmas cookies, this is my mantra just for this week. I think it's okay don't you? :) :) :)
(just a cute little ornament I sent to my son and his family for their tree)
And speaking of son and cookies, I have been in a baking frenzy the last two days and wanted to share with you some easy peasy recipes. Seems I was into peppermint this year for some reason. Maybe because my oldest can't be here and he loves peppermint. On my mind a lot...... :). I took a Betty Crocker box mix of Mississippi Mud bars , following their directions but adding some Ande's chocolate mint chips to the crust and then topped with the filling. Baked and then soon as it came out of the oven, while it was very hot, I sprinkled some more mint chips on it, spread them and melting them. Wowzer.....good good good!
(don't you love my green utensils I found at a yard sale this summer?)
Another goodie I made was Peppermint Bark. That stuff is expensive to buy and so easy to make. All I did was melt some chocolate candy coating blocks and spread it out on parchment paper as thin as I could get it. Let it harden completely and then melt vanilla blocks the same way. When melted I add a few drops of peppermint oil. Working very quickly spread that over top of the hardened chocolate as thin as possible. I crushed up candy canes and sprinkled those on top. Let harden and voila.....you have peppermint bark. Break up in pieces. I made a lot for shipping and to enjoy here for the holidays.
Along with that shipped Peppermint Bark went their gifts. Shipping doesn't allow for fancy wrapped presents and pretty bows but I did have some fun with the packages anyway. In my booth last Christmas, I sold quite a bit of vintage wrapping paper and this was the last of it. I absolutely loved the Santa paper. I think the grand-girls, Boo & Al will too. :)
You have probably seen these on Pinterest or blogland somewhere but I just discovered them. I always like to have something a little whimsical and fun on the food table and these Strawberry Santas will be it for this year. I experimented first at a little dinner party we had last weekend and they were a huge hit! And so simple to make too! They will be on the table Christmas Day as the fruit to go with our dinner. Simply cut off the pointed end of the strawberry and save. And also, cut off a little of the other end so the berry will sit flat. (give that part to the chickens). I found several different fillings but this is what I used. Just whip some low-fat softened cream cheese with a little confectionery sugar to sweeten. I also added a touch of good vanilla. Put in a baggie. Make a tiny snip on the corner and lightly fill the strawberry cavity. Replace the strawberry tip that you cut off as his hat and use the filling to make a pom pom on the hat. I used mini chocolate chips as his eyes. Now how cute is that???? :)
This last photo is my oldest son with his 6th month old daughter, my grand-daughter Miss Boo. It was taken seven years ago and we were so lucky to have them with us that Christmas. This year Bobby G. and I will be getting the grandest gift we could possibly get. My youngest son and his wife are due with their first child on Dec. 26th. How special is that?!!! This new grand-child is showing signs that he is on the way, so if you don't hear from me next week, you know I am on the road. :) :) :)
Merry Merry Christmas