I offer you Straight No Chaser singing The 12 Days of Christmas. You must promise to listen to this all the way through because it is different than all the others and truly creative and just totally fun!!!
And today and tomorrow are about FUN, FAMILY and FRIENDS and FOOD!
Brian Andreas, creator of Story People, makes great whimsical art with wonderful little bitty stories. Sometimes they tug at your heart strings. Other times they are reminders of how good life is. Enjoy this one and do click on the link I have provided to see what other wonderful things he has to offer.
These are my personal favorite cookies for the Holidays. Enjoy!
Best Ginger Cookies
Best Soft and Chewy Ginger cookies
4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
4 teaspoons ground ginger
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cups shortening
3/4 cup butter
2 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup molasses
3/4 cup coarse sugar or granulated sugar
In a medium mixing bowl stir together flour, ginger, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves, and salt; set aside.
In a large mixing bowl beat shortening and butter with an electric mixer on low speed for 30 seconds to soften. Gradually add the 2 cups granulated sugar. Beat until combined, scraping sides of bowl occasionally. Beat in eggs and molasses. Stir in the flour mixture with the electric mixer.
Shape dough into 1-inch balls. You can freeze these now or roll the balls in the 3/4 cup coarse sugar. (Turbinado, which is raw sugar, works well)
Place about 2-1/2 inches apart on an ungreased cookie sheet.
Bake in a 350 degree F oven for 12 to 14 minutes or until cookies are light brown and puffed. (Do not overbake or cookies will not be soft and chewy.) Cool on cookie sheet for 2 minutes. Transfer cookies to a wire rack to cool. Store in a tightly covered container at room temperature for up to 3 days.
Makes about 5 dozen cookies.
Today, I will start you with Christmas humor. You might need it if you still have shopping to do. After you've had a laugh, read the recipe for some really good Christmas Wassail and do make it but fair warning... Recipe for Christmas Rum Cake
1 or 2 qts. of rum
1 cup butter
1/8 tsp. sugar
2 large eggs
1 cup dried fruit
1 tsp. baking soda
Before you start, sample the rum to check for quality.
Select a large mixing bowl, measuring cup, etc. Check the rum again. It must be just right! To be sure the rum is of the highest quality, pour 1 level cup of rum into a glass and drink it as fast as you can. Repeat.
With an electric mixer, beat butter in large fluffy bowl. Add 1 seaspoon of thugar and beat again. Meanshile, it’s important to make sure the rum is of the finest quality—try another cup.
Open the second quart of rum if necessary. Add 1 arge leggs, 2 cups of fried druits and beat till high.
If the druits get stuck in the beats, just pru it loose with a drewscriver. Sample the rum again for cinscistincy.
Next, sift 3 cups of salt and feffer (it really doesn’t matter). Sample the wum again.
Sift 1 pint of lemon goose, add 1 bablespoon of brown thugar, of whatever color tou can find. Mix well. Grease oven, turn cake pan to 350 greeds.
Noe, pour the whole mess sinto the boven and ake. Check the crum again and go to bed.
Now on to the good stuff. awesome Wassail, complements of Pumpkin Ridge Golf.
Wassail Recipe -- Serves? Depends on how much you drink
8 packs of spiced cider
1-2 Tablespoons of Molasses
1-2 Tablespoons of Brown Sugar
Nutmeg – grate some in – I don’t
have a measure on it, but to your taste
If you need to pause during the hustle and bustle of the season, this will certainly do it for you. I invite you to click on the image below and then close your eyes and just listen.
George Winston's playing of Johann Pachelbel's Canon in C is simply beautiful. It comes from his album December, which I highly recommend.
This is my favorite holiday appetizer. And, the most requested recipe I have.
I let the bakery slice the baguette.
Toast the slices in the oven if you choose. Or not. I dare you to try this and not love it.
3/4 cups chopped dates 1 small apple, pealed, cored and chopped 1 small pear, pealed, cored and chopped 1/2 cup cranberries or craisins 1/2 cup chopped pecans 1/3 cup apple juice or wine 2 lb wheel of brie 1 baguette, thinly sliced
Preheat oven to 350F.
In a large bowl, combine dates, apple, pear, cranberries and pecans. Add wine or apple juice. Set mixture aside to allow fruit to marinate and soften for at least 2 hours.
Cut Brie wheel in half horizontally to make two layers. Place one layer, rind-side down, in a serving dish. Spread with 2-1/4 cups of the fruit mixture. Place remaining half of Brie on top of fruit with rind-side facing up to enclose the fruit. Spoon remaining fruit mixture onto center top of Brie Wheel. Seal with plastic wrap and refrigerate up to two days.
Bake Brie, uncovered, in a 350 oven until it melts and the edges and the center is warm, approximately 25-30 minutes. Do not overcook as it will be runny and difficult to spread.
To serve, spread melted Brie onto sliced Baguette.