Gingerbread House

Gingerbread House

If you follow me on Instagram, you might have seen the gingerbread house Amber and I made. It turned out so cute! Neither Amber or I would consider ourselves bakers. We can follow instructions and she's creative, but those are the only skills we brought. So, if you're looking to make a gingerbread house from scratch but have no idea where to start, I thought I'd share the recipes I used, I used the gingerbread recipe from Sally's Baking Addiction, but I doubled it. We had enough left over to make some cookies, like the tree you see in the photo, but not enough to make another house. The design of the house came from https://bestgingerbreadhouses.com/gingerbread-house-templates/. The original dimensions were 13cm x 8 cm, but that seemed too small, so we increased it to 18 cm x 13 cm. Yeah, I'm not a fan of working in centimeters either. We were afraid to cut out the window - maybe next year. I used...
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Feast of the Seven Fishes

A while ago I posted a bucket list of things I wanted to do/see/learn. One of those was celebrating Christmas Eve with a Feast of the Seven Fishes. We are neither Italian nor Catholic, but my family was great about going along with the idea, so we had seven fishes on Christmas Eve this year. I have to thank my brother for doing most of the cooking. Our seven fish dishes certainly tasted good, but, man, was I stuffed. Crab Dip Seafood salad Cioppino Oysters, Brussel Sprouts and Pancetta Gratin Baked Cod Linguini with Clam Sauce Fried smelts And we had cookies for dessert, of course. I think my favorite dish was the linguini. Clam Sauce with Linguini Serves 4 Ingredients 1 (16 ounce) package linguine pasta 1/2 cup butter 3 cloves chopped garlic 1 pound fresh mushrooms, sliced 2 (6.5 ounce) cans chopped clams with juice 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley 1 teaspoon salt 1/2 teaspoon ground white pepper 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese Directions Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook for 8 to...
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Christmas Meme

I found this meme over at Jessica Aspen Writes and I do love Christmas. Egg Nog or Hot Chocolate? Both please! Of course, I drink hot chocolate all year-long, egg nog is a special holiday treat. I never make my own, neither David nor Amber will drink it, but every year my mom makes a batch- delicious. At home, I have to settle for the store-bought king, not nearly as good. Does Santa wrap presents or just sit them under the tree? Warps them up of course, at least for the most part. There have been some years when certain presents were just too tough fit in a box or bag, so those just sit out. Colored lights on tree/house or white? We've gone with colored lights, both on the tree and on the house. I got tired of all white, it seemed just too ordinary. Do you hang mistletoe? Usually we have plastic mistletoe that we hang up. I actually can't picture it being hung anywhere this...
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Festival of Lights

I love Christmas lights, and happily my husband does too. He hung ours outside the Saturday after Thanksgiving and they'll be lit every night through New Years. Some evenings during the month we take a little extra time and drive through some of the neighborhoods in our town that tend to have the best light displays, oohing and aahing appropriately. The lights highlight of the season though has to be our annual trip down to Oglebay's Festival of Lights in Wheeling, WV. This year, David and I, along with Amber and one of her friends, headed down. It's been a busy month, so we went on a Saturday evening, maybe not the best choice, since it was packed, but that's okay. It's a six mile drive with over 70 displays, some old favorites like the the poinsettia wreath and snowflake arches and some brand new this year, like the carousel. There's Snoopy and Cinderella, goofy golfers and giant snowmen. The gardens, beautiful...
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The Best Christmas Pageant Ever by Barbara Robinson

The Best Christmas Pageant Ever by Barbara Robinson (Suggested reading level: Grades 3-6) This is actually the second time Amber (10) and I have read this book. the first time was in 2008 and I don't think she remembered the story. She really enjoyed it this time around, got a kick out of the Herdman's antics,but still catching the meaning of the story. The Herdmans are the worst kids in town. They're mean, dirty and have a tendency to catch things on fire. They're also thieves, but they've decided to join the Christmas pageant this year. And they get all the big parts because all the other kids are afraid to try for a part that one of the Herdmans wants. Everyone is ready for this to be the worst Christmas pageant, but just the opposite happens. People are reminded about the true Christmas story, not a cleaned up, nicened up version. They looked like the people you see on the six o'clock news...
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