December 12, 2012

Christmas Treats and Memories

Happy 12-12-12!! I know it's been a while since I've posted but it took me a bit to get motivated and feel the spirit of the holidays. I finally started holiday baking this week while listening to Christmas music and it did the trick. It also brought back sweet memories of making Christmas Sugar Cookies with my mom when I was younger. It was a tradition while we were kids but slowly went away as we got older and weren't all home together as often for the holidays. That made me sad. So I concentrated on the good memories such as decorating the tree, baking and decorating cookies. Also, my two younger brothers and I each got an ornament for several years with our name and year engraved on a brass ornament each year. I remember how each year we'd all get excited to see the previous year's ornaments and hang our own on the tree and mom would smile. She has such a pretty smile. I love her!

My husband and I started our own tradition by collecting ornaments throughout the year when we travel. We pick out an ornament everywhere we visit and try to put the year and location if it doesn't already show it. It's fun to decorate the tree each year and reminisce about where we've been each year and add the new ornaments we've accumulated that year. We hope to pass on the tradition someday to our future children and share our stories and memories with them while we drink hot cocoa and decorate the tree.

Some of our favorite ornaments so far...

Japan 2012
Maui 2011

Prague 2007 (My husband's favorite)

Budapest 2007

Back to the goodies. I decided to make a variety of treats. I usually bake more cookies but decided to mix it up a bit by adding some snack mixes and bread.

I baked my first batch of Rosemary and Kalamata Olive mini breads. They turned out really tasty and will be a great addition to any snack tray or meal. I used the recipe from Baking Bites. Their recipe is for one loaf but I was able to make 4 mini loaves out of the recipe.

One of my husband's favorite Christmas treats is the snack mix I put together each year. It's super simple and great to giveaway or put out for your holiday party. I like the colors!! I don't even remember how I came up with it but I assume the colors had something to do with it.

Christmas Snack Mix

1/2 c pistachios (I remove shells to make it easier to eat)
1/2 c pecans (any of your favorite nuts would work)
1/2 c white chocolate chips
1/2 c craisins or dried cherries

Makes 2 cups of snack mix. Can easily be doubled.

I also made some easy Cinnamon Sugar Pretzels and drizzled with green colored white chocolate. Six Sisters has a great easy recipe that I used.

My latest treats were Shortbread Cookies. I love eating them with coffee or hot cocoa all winter long. This recipe makes a lot so whether you plan to gobble them up yourself or share, you'll have plenty. I used the recipe from my all-time favorite blogger and desperate housewife, The Pioneer Woman.

Now get baking and spreading the holiday joy in the form of homemade goodies!!

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