Saturday, December 25, 2010

Christmas time at our house.

Skating in Banff with our new skates, so much fun!  I cannot get enough of Banff during the holidays, it is so festive this time of year and the Banff Springs Hotel is truly magical.

All of the wrapped up gifts under the tree.

Stocking are hung with care!

Grace reading us her letter to Santa Claus.

The Christmas table, everything is from Crate and Barrel. 

Scotty helping in the kitchen?!

Crackers a Christmas tradition of ours.

The Girls double checking their Santa letter!

I make my own reindeer food every year for the kids.  In a big bowl I add oatmeal and a TON of red, green and gold sparkles from the dollar store.  Mix well and fill little clear zip lock baggies from the dollar store.  I got the label off the internet and printed several images onto sticker paper using my jet printer.  I used my Martha Stewart circle cutter to easily cut out the stickers. The kids really look forward to this family tradition on Christmas Eve. 

Spreading the reindeer food on the front porch on a very, very windy Christmas Eve.  With all the glitter Santa should see our front door and the the deer should smell the oaties.

We saw a lot of these faces Christmas morning, thank you Santa! 

Decorating for the holidays is one of the things I love to do.

Christmas baking! The kitchen was very busy this year, we tried to make all of our family favorite recipes to fill up all of our tins!!

This chocolate snowman is from Bernard Callebaut and I unwrap him when I have guests/family over,  place him in the middle of my huge platter from Superstore and surround him with all our baked goodies.   When I put the leftover cookies back into my tins I put the snowman back in the cellophane bag for the next time I set my cookies out.

When I was about 5 years old my Dad made a reindeer just like this one and we named him Joey.  I loved him so much I always said I get Joey when my Brother and I grow up! Oh course my Mom was not ready to give up Joey either!  Last year my family had a homemade Christmas and my Dad surprised me with my very own Joey!!!  I will cherish him forever and now Joey #2 is a tradition for my Girls.  Thank you Dad, xoxo.

Beautiful flowers from Scottie.  Merry Christmas to all.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Colleen's 2010 Christmas Cookie Exchange

Everyone put a lot of time and thought into their cookies and packaging which made our 2010 exchange extra special.

hot apple cider, coffee and eggnog

delicious food

The 2010 Cookie Girls

Thank you for a great year Karen(Aunt), Sandy(Mom) and Valerie(Sister In Law).

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Cranberry-Lemon Shortbread

1/2 lb unsalted butter, at room temp.
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1 egg yolk
 1 tsp finely grated lemon zest
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup finely chopped dried cranberries
3/4 cup icing sugar
1/4 cup 100% cranberry juice 

With an electric mixer, beat butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy.  Beat in egg yolk and lemon zest. Combine flour, salt and cranberries.  Gradually stir flour mixture into butter mixture,  blending until smooth.  Form dough into a ball and wrap with plastic wrap.  Refrigerate for 30 min.  to make it easier to handle.  Preheat oven to 350 F. Roll dough out on a lightly floured surface or between two sheets of parchment paper to 1/2-inch thickness.  Cut into desired shapes with lightly floured cookie cutter or knife.  Place cookies on ungreased cookie sheets and bake until lightly golden around edges, 15 to 20 min.  Cool completely on wire rack.

Icing:  Mix icing sugar and cranberry juice to form a pale pink icing.  Keep covered until ready to use.  Once cookies have cooled decorate each cookie with icing and allow to firm up.

Quick tip,  I used the flooding technique to ice my cookies.  With a piping bag outline each cookie with icing then fill the centre with the with a more liquid icing.  Go back and fill in any holes.  I used a squeeze bottle from Micheals to flood.

Recipe from Inspired by Compliments, Fall 2008.