This weekend, in an effort to try to bring some much-needed Christmas spirit into my house, I decided to do some holiday baking. That usually does the trick–along with snow, christmas tree decorating and holiday music. Since those three just weren’t cutting it, I decided to go with baking.
Round one was friday night and involved Gingerbread Bears. (Bears being the only stencils I had) I had bought a box of gingerbread mix from Trader Joes (cheating, I know!) and set to work in my mother’s large kitchen. Can I tell you how much easier it is to make things when I have about 5 million countertops?! That little teensy kitchen in my last apartment just doesn’t compare. I’m thinking my next apartment needs a gourmet kitchen. I’d never use it, but it needs one.
Once we got to the part of rolling out the dough we realized we had a problem: my mothers two rolling pins were missing. As in, she took them both to the lakehouse and left them there for the winter. Never fear, my mother had a genius idea. Let’s use a wine bottle! Coming from a family of Italian vinos, it wasn’t hard to find a bottle (or ten.)
My mother demonstrating how we are rolling out the dough:
Once they were all baked, the fun really began. My mom and I made some frosting ourselves and added some food coloring for some festive colors. Unfortunately the red was more pink but I rolled with it.
My favorite was the hula dancer. The bear spoke to me and told me to put a grass skirt on it and a bikini top, who was I to deny it?
They all came out ridiculously cute, if you ask me.
Saturday night I brought a plate of these to my friend Steph and Joe’s house out near Detroit. I’m pretty poor this holiday season and what better way to spread joy than through gingerbread yumminess?
I hadn’t seen these two since Vegas and it was really nice to catch up with them over tacos and The Hangover. I shared stories of Europe and we talked about everything that had gone on in our lives since we last saw each other. And Steph and I may have drooled openly about Bradley Cooper in his black suit.
Luckily, the cookies were a success! I was really happy with TJ’s mix, it was spicy and just all around very yummy. Even my frosting came out not so bad! (I was a little wary of my powdered sugar and milk combo)
Sunday I was determined to get some christmas shopping done so I headed out with my dad into town but unfortunately came back empty handed. During another shopping trip I managed to pick up a book for my dad and a raging longing for a cat that I saw at the adoption center at Petco but still nothing for my mom. Sigh. I have five days left right?
My mom and I set about on our second round of cookies after a nice walk in the woods with my dogs and a yummy meatloaf dinner (I could get used to living at home. Mom’s home-cooked meals are SO much better than anything I could make!). We decided on two Martha Stewart mixes: sugar cookies and nutballs.
Once again we pulled out a bottle of wine to roll out the cookie dough (this time it was a Pinot Grigio) and I set to work decorating them once they were baked. Again, we made our own frosting and this time added some Almond extract for added flavor. I’m not a fan of almond but shh don’t tell my mom.
It was a messy process. We got a little lazy and decided not to put the frosting in ziploc bags like we had with the gingerbread bears. I was literally using the whisk and the spoons to create my little masterpieces. VERY sloppy.
Next up were the nutballs. My mom was pretty much in charge of those but I got the really fun job of powdering them with sugar. By the way, I should never be trusted with this job. I got it ALL OVER ME, despite my wearing an apron. By the end of it I looked as if I’d dumped the bowl on myself. I rock at baking.
This was like, pre-mess. When the powdered sugar was still IN the bowl. I wish I had a picture of me after the explosion but I didn’t want to risk my mom yelling at me for being incompetent in the kitchen (which she does regularly).
It was overall a very nice weekend and I definitely found a little bit of christmas spirit, even if it’s not one hundred percent here and I couldn’t bring myself to decorate the tree. There are five more days left to get in the mood.
Hope you all had a wonderful weekend!