We sure hope your Christmas was wonderful and happy and full of fun! Ours was, and we are still enjoying it as family is here with us, although we are missing others.
I found as I was editing the pictures from the photos we took on Christmas Eve of my grandsons, that I had such a huge grin on my face just looking at them, in spite of the fact that we never got the "perfect picture" ! They are all so special and perfect to me. Here is a slideshow of them:
Having Christmas on Sunday was so special. It made our normal Christmas morning routine very different, but I loved feeling the true Spirit and reason for the season. My son-in-law Adrian joined my husband, Jacob and me in singing with the choir at church. It was such a great feeling to be up there all together singing praises, and to see our dear friends at church and wish them Merry Christmas. There was such a feeling of love there. Tyler, Lindsey and Madalynn also sang and/or played in their respective wards. Christmas hymns bring so much joy to the season.
Because of our varied schedules, gift opening began on Christmas Eve and continued into late in the day on Christmas. It was a lot of fun! Look what my husband and kids pitched in to get me!
So, between these two gifts, I was pretty spoiled this year. If you missed out on of picking up these beauties, you can still get them here and here! We used the Cocoa Grande machine on Christmas Eve with our Hot Cocoa Bombs. I made bread in the KitchenAid this morning. I will show you the results tomorrow! It is rising as I write.
I always love seeing what everyone else gets for Christmas and how happy it makes them. My son got my daughter-in-law a gift that I found so clever! My 7 month old grandson is teething a lot now. He is always chewing on everything. Tyler found her this teething necklace that looks so cute for her to wear, but when she is holding Spencer, he can grab it and safely chew on it. Here it is in action:
My daughter received an excellent stylus set that will help her to do great art work on her tablet. She got her husband shower speakers so he can listen to music while showering, and sing along!
My mom sent everyone beautiful handmade pillows, pillowcases and quilts. Those are great things to start making now to prepare for next year! I have a couple of tutorials for pillowcases here and here. Also for pillows and quilts (and here) if you want to check out some ideas.
Well, I can't even begin to continue to list the nice and thoughtful and beautiful gifts we each received. But, of course, the best part has been the time we have spent together, the goofy laughter and jokes and the love we have all felt.
I am so thankful for being able to talk face to face with loved ones far away! What a blessing technology can be. I am so thankful for my family, from my own nuclear family to my extended one. Last night we all went over to the Mesa LDS Temple together and took in the Christmas lights there and saw the Nativity Display. In a quiet moment, I looked around and felt the Spirit of Peace touch my heart and I realized again just how thankful I am for my Savior Jesus Christ. Somehow, this year, that feeling has been stronger than ever and I want to express to all of you that I know He lives and I love Him and He love me and He loves you. If you want to know more, click here!
So, that is just a glimpse of our Christmas this year. Now can see why I have a Pinterest board labeled I Love Christmas!
Now it is time to get ready for the New Year! Talk to you tomorrow!
I know we have been a little absent lately. It is difficult to sit down and blog when family is home and I am trying to enjoy every minute with these guys!
But, the cooking and the holiday activities continue. I woke up early this morning to put the finishing touches on Cocoa Bombs for Christmas Eve. I made the chocolates pictured above yesterday. If you want the recipe for those, I made them last Easter and posted the recipe here.
I received an early Christmas gift from my son and daughter-in-law! It is the Cocoa Grande to heat the milk for Hot Cocoa Bombs! (or you can make regular hot cocoa in it) They gave it to me early so that we can use it on Christmas Eve. I am so excited. It makes the milk foamy, too, so the cocoa seems extra special.
You can order one here, while it is still cold outside.
Since we will be drinking Hot Cocoa, and Hot Orange Punch, Cookies are in order. When I saw this idea on Domestically Speaking, I fell in love with it and decided that I had to try it for our family party. I am going to use my favorite sugar cookie recipe. I already have the dough chilling in the fridge while I am writing this post. She used a delicious looking frosting to stick on her candy canes. I am going to use Wilton Candy Melts for mine because they harden so quickly. I also found the idea done on foodfolksandfun. They baked their own cookies instead of using store cookies and she gives an icing recipe. They had some cute pics as well.
Check out Facebook later, and I will put up pictures of how our sugar cookies turned out. Here is the recipe for sugar cookies that I always use. It makes a good, tasty rolled cookie.
Life is good! We feel so very blessed this year and we are filled with gratitude. Another blessing happened yesterday, my teenage son found a job! He has been looking for a while, so this was a great gift. I won't be posting again until after Christmas, so I hope that you all have joy, love and happiness in your lives this year and always. Remember to continue to #LIGHTtheWORLD, as many have done throughout December this year. The theme for today is to be a peacemake as Jesus was-how appropriate for what can be a stressful time of year for many. Tomorrow, the Christmas Eve theme is Jesus Cared for his Loved Ones, and so can You. How perfect when family and friends will be gathered.
Merry Christmas to you all from 3 Winks! See you in a frew days!
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The other day I was watching a local morning show. They had a chef from the Four Seasons Restaurant on the show doing a segment about the PieCaken, the dessert answer to the Turducken. It was an amazing thing. If you can't decide if you want to eat a piece of cake or a piece of pie, you can have a PieCaken. He quickly showed how he made it and I thought, "I have to try this!". But, I had a
few roadblocks because, for one thing, the end result was so huge! When the chef made it , he used pecan pie and pumpkin pie in a spice layer and a maple layer of cake. It looked so cool when he sliced it, but it also looked like a lot to eat. I didn't think a pie would fit into my regular 9" round cake pans either.
I researched around the internet a bit to see who else was making this thing. One media commentator said that this dessert had been around for quite a while in the dessert underground. I didn't even know that there was a dessert underground! So I was talking to Alicia about my desire to make one and blog about it and also my dilemmas and she suggested that I turn it into a cupcake version! Genius! (Then I saw today that it had been done before, but I still think my daughter is a genius!) We decided that we would try to make it a little lighter and use angel food cake with a cherry pie filling.
Here is how we made our version of the Piecupcaken:
First I used my mom's Pie Crust Recipe and a 2 inch bisquit cutter to fill my mini muffin tins with crust. Bake them at 400 degrees F. for 15 min.
Meanwhile, mix up an angel food cake mix.
Cool the shells briefly when they come out of the oven and then fill them with cherry pie filling. Put cupcake liners in a regular sized muffin tin and put a ladle full of cake batter in the bottom. Then, set the filled pie shell in the middle of the batter. Top the little pie with more cake batter.
Bake in a 350 degree oven for 25 min. I tried this for 20 min, but the fluff of the cake didn't hold up as well as at 25, even though the cake batter did cook all of the way through at both tries.
When it comes out of the oven it looks like a regular cupcake. We were worried that the angel food batter would be too fluffy to hold up, but it was fine! You can see the pie peeking through a little bit, but there was no sogginess on the bottom or anywhere.
We frosted them with a light and fluffy Marshmallow Cream Frosting. We found the recipe for it on Kraft. Add a few sprinkles and there you have it! A Piecupcaken! A pretty, delicious and original Christmas dessert!
One of the benefits of this pie, cake mash-up is that the crust does allow you to have a fruity center of the cake, without it getting soggy and the fruit sinking to the bottom of the cake.
While we worked on this we came up with some other flavor combinations to try:
So many possibilities! Let me know what combinations you come up with!
Creators of Hot Cocoa Bombs! (copyrighted)
Helen Reynolds: Mother of six children , grandmother to ten and counting! I love to cook, craft and create things and I especially love doing that with my family, So, when my lawyer daughter, Lindsey, and my artist daughter, Madalynn, and I came up with the idea of Hot Cocoa Bombs, this blog was born. Then, one more daughter, with her technical and science skills, plus creativity has joined in to round us out! Read more about us here!
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