Monday, December 20, 2010

Be Jolly By Golly Blogfest!


Melissa and Jen are hosting an around-the-blogosphere holiday party - click on the image above to head over to Jen's blog and see who's participating - I hear there are over 80 blogs you can visit to see Christmas trees, holiday decorations, fav recipes and drink ideas to make it a jolly holiday!

My middle child helped me choose the tree this year - I blogged about our tree earlier in December, about trying to get it decorated... but it's all ready for Christmas now
Some of my favorite ornaments are related in some way to cookies. This gingerbread girl is actually made from sand paper, pompoms and foam pieces - I went into my daughter's first grade class and made them with the kids (way back when.) The fun part was rubbing the Cinnamon stick on the sand paper to make them smell delicious. The kids then had a little baggie with decorative bling that they could use any way they chose.

Baking Christmas cookies is one of my favorite holiday happenings - I like to do it as often as possible during the month! Yesterday we baked chocolate chip cookies; today we've got oatmeal and roll-out sugar cookies on the agenda. Tomorrow: snickerdoodles!

I found a great sugar cookie recipe a few years ago, in the Penzey Spice Catalog! Easy because you don't have to refrigerate it before rolling, and they always come out well.

1 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 large egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 cups flour
2 ts baking powder

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cream butter & sugar. Add egg & vanilla. Mix until well blended. Add flour and baking powder and blend well. Form dough into smooth ball. Roll on lightly floured surface to 1/4" thickness. Cut with cookie cutters. Bake 6 minutes (they shouldn't brown at all.) Remove, cool & decorate with colored frosting.

Vanilla Frosting Recipe:
2 cups powdered sugar
2 tsp butter
2 Tbs milk
1 tsp vanilla extract

Mix all ingredients until smooth. Separate into smaller bowls to add food coloring.


Drinks are another fun part of the holidays - when my parents owned an Inn in Vermont, I'd go home over the holiday break and work for them. I served breakfast, washed dishes, and tended bar at night. I can't even count the number of mugs of hot chocolate I must have served over the years... with and without peppermint schnapps!

One of my suggestions during the very first holiday week soon became an Inn staple: Hot Spiced Cider. We set up a coffee burner on one end of the bar, and the pot of cider would not only stay warm but fill the whole bar with the scent of simmering Cinnamon. Mmmm.

Lots of places serve hot cider with rum. We had a secret ingredient... Apple Jack whiskey.

Grey Bonnet Inn Hot Spiced Cider

Heat 8 cups of apple cider with 4 whole Cinnamon sticks and half an orange, cut into slices. Let simmer for at least half an hour, to allow the flavors to mingle. For each mug of cider, pour 1 shot spiced rum (like Captain Morgan) and 1 shot Apple Jack whiskey in the cup, then fill with hot cider. Garnish with an extra long Cinnamon stick as a stirrer and a wheel of orange hanging from the rim.

And remember... Be Jolly By Golly! Happy Holidays!

30 comments:

  1. Your tree is lovely. Thanks for the cookie recipe. Love the ornament with the penguin pouring the chocolate. So cute.
    Happy Holidays!

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  2. That recipe looks short and sweet, the way I like them!
    Have a great Holiday!

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  3. What a nice tree!

    Have a Merry Christmas!

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  4. I love hot spiced cider, apple with bite. Your tree looks beautiful you have some very unique decorations on it.
    Merry Christmas.

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  5. Thats a huge tree! love the cute little ornaments!

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  6. I adore that Hershey's ornament. So cute. Hot Spiced Cider is one of my favorites! It's great to curl up in front of the fire with. Have a great Christmas!

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  7. What great tree decorations, esp the Hershey's ornament. Cuteness! And yeah--hugeous tree. Merry Christmas!

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  8. I love that last ornament - so cute!

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  9. I like your ornament. I need to try the hot cider.

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  10. Your tree is a lot of fun! Plus, I'm excited to give this sugar cookie recipe a try. Thanks. =D

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  11. I love that Hershey's ornament! Have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

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  12. The penguin with the hot chocolate is actually a Hallmark ornament from the 90s I'd picked out for one of my sons...until my younger daughter claimed it as her own! Funny how they all choose what's "theirs" on the tree.

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  13. wow your tree looks enormous and beautiful! I love all the decorations

    Wishing you a very merry Christmas,
    Lyn
    W.I.P. It: A Writer's Journey

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  14. Stopping by for the blogfest!

    Your tree is entirely too much fun! I love it!

    Happy Holidays,

    Shannon

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  15. What a big and beautiful tree!

    Everyone was so smart and took close-up pictures of their favorite ornaments. I wish I had thought of that (and wasn't so tired last night when I took the pix and whipped up my post). Really, they look great. Love the sandpaper gingerbread that smells of cinnamon. :)

    Merry Christmas!
    ~Lola

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  16. Your decorations show such a happy outlook. That's great.

    Happy Holidays!

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  17. The decorations made me smile, and the tree is gorgeous! Happy Holidays!
    ~Kelley

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  18. Beautiful tree. The ornaments are awesome!

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  19. The tree is so happy-looking and bright! I'll have to give that sugar cookie recipe a try. Merry Christmas!

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  20. Love your decorations! I also love the idea of adding Apple Jack Whiskey to hot apple cider. That's going to be a big hit with my dad, I'll tell you that right now! Have a Merry Christmas!

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  21. Beautiful tree! I love hot spiced cider. I'll have to try your recip:).

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  22. Thanks for all the wonderful comments! Our tree isn't very traditional, but full of odd assorted ornaments we love!

    Jennie-hope your dad loves the new twist to hot cider - and Marie, hope you like it as well! It was always a huge hit with the guests at the Inn!

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  23. Your tree is stunning. I love the gingerbread man! Thanks for sharing and have a wonderful Christmas.

    Be Jolly By Golly

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  24. Oh those are some of the best decorations I've seen! And what a beautiful tree! I'd love to try that hot cider too. Thanks so much for sharing and have a wonderful Christmas! ;)

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  25. The cider sounds wonderful. I'm sure it makes the house smell like the holidays! Thanks for sharing.

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  26. I loved this!! Thank you so much for participating!!!

    I love the ornament with the penguin diving into the chocolate syrup! How super cute!!

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  27. Your tree is so full of awesome. I love it!

    And food-oriented decorations are awesome.

    Thank you so much for participating in our blog fest!

    Merry Christmas!

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