Sunday, December 26, 2010

What a holly, jolly Christmas so far

     The holidays started officially for us yesterday (thursday) as we hosted 6 young girls, ready to do some holiday baking.  Groovy Girl had her first cookie bake-off.  They poured, measured, cracked the eggs, learned the "scoop and sweep" flour method as she took them through her mini-baking lesson.  This is the same girl who two years ago "hosted" her own cooking show, which I taped but never got uploaded to a computer because the dog ate the Flip camera.Yes, that was not a very merry moment.  Her friends had a wonderful time as they made cookies and watched The Polar Express while they cut out,  baked and decorated the cookies.  Decorating and eating ranked the highest in fun factor.   I think gumdrops were being eaten as fast as I could cut them up.  I love to listen to children talk; they are generally so uninhibitated and yesterday was no exception as they shared their own baking experiences and knowledge with each other!  Hopefully, we've begun a new tradition with this holiday party.

    Four days ago I needed to make a treat for my daughter's school party;  luckily we still live in a school district that allows homemade snacks and that no one in her class is allergic to peanuts because we whipped up these delicious Double Peanut Butter Cups thanks to Kathy at Bermudaonion.  I didn't take a photo of mine (there is one with the recipe at Bermudaonion) but the Christmas platter came home empty and she told me several students had seconds. 

     In my family it is tradition to have oyster stew on Christmas Eve but my husband is allergic to certain types of shellfish so when I got married I had to throw the tradition out. We've done clam chowder for the last few years but I'm never quite satisfied with what my clam chowder tastes like compared to what I've eaten on my travels to the East Coast. This year I tried a brand new recipe from Clinton St. Baking Company Cookbook, which I also discovered thanks to a Weekend Cooking post at Bermudaonion.  As soon as I read her post about this cookbook I knew it was the perfect Christmas gift for my mother-a cookbook collector and brunch lover.   I found one last copy sitting on the shelf at my local Barnes and Noble, which, sadly, is our own local bookstore.  Local trumps indie when your making that last dash for gifts.   My family is totally okay with receiving books for gifts that have been "test" read by the giver so I spent hours  perusing the contents of this fabulous book.  I still plan to give it to my mom with the straight up knowledge that I may have to borrow it from time to time.  I've already tried two recipes from it-both were delicious and I just ooooh'd and aaahhhh'd as I looked through it.  This will be on my list of must-eat eateries when I visit NYC.  Thank you Kathy for brightening my holiday cooking TWICE!

If you missed out on getting yourself something merry this season, buy it here-Clinton St. Baking Company Cookbook

Enjoy the video (never did get the video to upload after three days of puttering with it)now, photos of the baking party.  Merry Christmas to all and to all a good day, filled with roasting fires,  a few perfect presents, time to read and a dinner table filled with good food.  Don't you just love a young girl who bakes in a huge string of pearls. 


Peppermint Ph.D. said...

What wonderful wonderful fun!! Stay warm...the snow looks deep out your kitchen window!!

(Diane) Bibliophile By the Sea said...

What a great thing to do with the girls.

bermudaonion said...

The party sounds like so much fun! Just listening to the girls chatter would be delightful! I'm glad the double peanut butter cups were a hit and I hope your mother likes the cookbook as much as I do.