Sunday, December 19, 2010

Be Jolly, By Golly - Come be jolly with me!

I'm posting for the Be Jolly By Golly blogfest a bit early; tomorrow is going to be a bit crazy and I have another special post in the evening, too.  I can't wait for the virtual holiday party, anyway!

So come on in... it's our first year having Christmas in our own house (with both sides of the family visiting, which sounds like the start of a joke... "What happens when two atheists, two evangelicals, a tarot-card reading spiritualist and whatever my sister-in-law is get togther to celebrate the birth of Baby Jesus?" We have our first big tree:
You probably can't see, but there is a lot of pink and orange in that tree. Thank you also, Baby Jesus, that my husband is color blind.

Here's our side board in the dining room with sparkling icicles and little purple-and-bronze Christmas trees:
Yeah, photography is not my day job. Also, I am pretty sure the Grinch snuck into my house and stole my camera just to up my Christmas Stress, so I took those with my iPhone.

Would you like some hot chocolate? It's my favorite drink during winter. This is my favorite recipe to use:
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 to 3 teaspoons HERSHEY'S unsweetened Cocoa
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract 
As the milk heats, combine dry ingredients. Add hot milk to the cocoa and sugar, then add a splash of vanilla. And some marshmallows. Maybe whipped cream. And sprinkles or chocolate shavings. Maybe a little chocolate syrup.

You know. However overboard you want to go. 'Tis the season, after all.

It's almost impossible to pick a favorite Christmas cookie, so I'm just going to go with the beloved and Most Traditional - the Spritz Christmas Tree. My grandmother made them, my mother made them, and now I don my little retro apron and make them. But not yet this year. I borrowed this image from IPB living:
Best eaten while hot and soft off the cookie sheet, in my opinion. Go ahead.

You need a cookie press for this one, of course, but the recipe itself is pretty simple:
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 cups all purpose flour 
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • a few drops of green food coloring to desired color
Cream butter and sugar until fluffy, then add vanilla and eggs and mix well. Add flour slowly until well mixed. Then add food coloring to get the desired Christmas-y green. Refrigerate at least two hours and then fill cookie press.  After pressing out the Christmas Trees, decorate with sprinkles and colored sugar (my favorite part when I was seven and still now that I'm twenty-seven). Bake at 375 degrees for 10-12 minutes.

Merry Christmas, everybody!


W.B. said...

I think you're a pretty good photographer. :) The Christmas tree is nicely decorated, and I'm taking the hot chocolate and cookie recipe. :P

Merry Christmas!

Carol Riggs said...

Oh, I LOVE your tree! Beautiful. And your recipes sound scrumptious. Hey...good idea to post early. I wonder if I should too, especially since I'm on the West Coast and 3 hours behind the other side of the U.S.

Christine Danek said...

Lovely decorations. Your photography is great. Nothing like hot chocolate and cookies. Yum.
Happy holidays!

Old Kitty said...

Aww brilliant blogfest!! I love the tree - it's gorgeous!! And pink and orange - absolutely lovely!! And thank you for the yummy recipes - ooooh warming and gooey - just right for this time!!

I just know you're gonna have a pretty lively christmas gathering with both sides of the family! Yay!! Take care

Mary Vaughn said...

Are you telling us pink & orange aren't Christmas colors? Who knew? :p

Merry Christmas.

Colene Murphy said...

Mmmm awesome recipes! Love the decorations too!! Merry Christmas!

Lola Sharp said...

There is very little better than the eating of warm, freshly baked cookies. Mmmmm.

Your tree is festive and fun. I like those snowflake lights too. WANT.

Merry Holidays!

notesfromnadir said...

Such beautiful pictures of that tree, hot chocolate & those cookies. Nothing like fresh out of the oven cookies & that hot chocolate.

Elaine AM Smith said...

Christmas tree shaped cookies go so well with hot chocolate - yum!
Your tree looks beautiful.
I wish you the best of luck with your Christmas guests - Happy Holidays ;)

Vanessa Morgan said...

Your Christmas tree and decorations are really lovely, Guinevere. Your favorite drink is very much like the one I posted (also with vanilla and unsweetened cocoa).

Avalon Cat Cartoon said...

Christmas headbonks and blogfest purrrs from Avalon the cat!

Nicole Zoltack said...

Awesome pictures. Love hot chocolate! Yum! Merry Christmas! :)

Abby Minard said...

Your tree and decorations are so pretty! Can't go wrong with Spritz cookies! My grandma used to make them too :)

Chris Phillips said...

Nice tree. Merry Christmas!

Tara said...

"Whatever my sister-in-law is"...HA. Sounds like a page from my family tree :)

Love your sense of humor.

Renae said...

Love your decorations and that hot chocolate sounds fabulous!!

Jemi Fraser said...

Yummy!!!! And I love your photos - gorgeous! :)

Stephanie Thornton said...

Your tree is beautiful! And the hot chocolate and cookies are making my mouth water.

Merry Christmas!

Kelley said...

Your tree is beautiful! Happy Holidays!

Michelle Merrill said...

I love your hanging snowflakes! Have a Merry Christmas and good luck with all the family there :)

Talli Roland said...

Love the tree! Love the treats! Happy Christmas. :)

Susanne Drazic said...

Your Christmas tree is so pretty. I've got to get a cookie press so I can make some of those cookies!

gideon 86 said...

Great Tree and fantastic hot chocolate and cookie recipes.

Happy Holidays to you and your family.


Jennie Bailey said...

I love those lighted snowflakes! They look fabulous. Hot chocolate is one of my fave holiday drinks, with a little bit of peppermint in it even! Have a Merry Christmas!

Meredith said...

Thank you so much for the spritz cookie recipe! Best thing ever. And your hot chocolate is so fancy! Have a very Merry Christmas with all your family!

Jamie Burch said...

That hot chocolate looks so yummy and your tree is beautiful!

Happy wishes for a wonderful holiday! :)

alexia said...

Great pics! Merry Christmas!

Missed Periods said...

"What happens when two atheists, two evangelicals, a tarot-card reading spiritualist and whatever my sister-in-law is get togther to celebrate the birth of Baby Jesus?"

All I know is I wish I could be a fly on the wall at your Christmas.

Jen @ Dear Mommy Brain said...

Following you from Life in the Pitts!

Melissa said...

I adore your snowflake lights! Were they expensive? I'd really love to get some for myself.

Thank you so much for participating in our blog fest!

Merry Christmas!