Thursday

Peppermint Chocolate Gingerbread Men {Christmas Cookie Recipe}

Full of flavor, these designer looking cookies are actually quite simple to make! 



Gingerbread cookies are a tradition in my household. A tradition that began when my husband and I were so very young, just starting out in life. I was a new mom still in my 20's. We lived in a little apartment and I had just quit work to stay at home full time with my kiddos.

At that time my husband worked on commission and had a very bad month. We knew his check was never the same from month to month, and was usually not forgiving at Christmas, so we were prepared.

 But, that first December was even more difficult that we expected. And we knew there would be no money for gifts outside of our little family. Being one who liked to bake, I always had an ample supply of flour, brown sugar, and such on hand. So I rifled through my cabinets and found that I had enough to make several dozen gingerbread men!

My oldest son, who was all of 2, and I set about making gingerbread men. We had the best time. He giggled as he saw them take shape. He waited as for them to come out of the oven and cool. He ate ALL of the broken ones. We made faces, smiles, frowns, and crooked little mouths.

We had so much fun! It became a tradition. And after 11 years of tweaking, the recipe below is the recipe we now make each year at Christmas. And that little 2 year old, who is now nearly 14, still smiles as he cuts out gingerbread men!


These cookies are really simple, there are no special tools required. The snowflake was an added touch this year, I bought a shaker full of them, but we usually make these without snowflakes. Once you have made your gingerbread men you just dip them in Chocolate that has been heated with a little vegetable oil and then when they are completely cool use a tablespoon to drizzle a mix of powdered sugar water and peppermint extract. Peppermint extract is found right next to the vanilla extract in most stores.

And the recipe above is printable!
To print: click on the recipe, click again to make sure it if fully expanded. Select 'file' and 'print' from your browsers window. (If you are using google chrome you may need to right click and open the recipe in a new window, click again to expand it, and then select the wrench from the top of the page to find the print button). If you have any trouble try saving the recipe to your desktop by right clicking on it and saving it and then printing from there.


I shared this recipe before, but as I am making these today though I would post them for anyone else looking for a fun holiday treat. :)




Saturday

Christmas Quote Quiz!






Can you name the author for each quote about Christmas? (Answers follow, below.)


There's nothing sadder in this world than to wake Christmas morning and not be a child.

This is the message of Christmas: we are never alone.

I will honour Christmas in my heart and try to keep it all the year.

At Christmas, all roads lead to home.

The perfect Christmas tree? All Christmas trees are perfect!

Blessed is the season which engages the whole world in a conspiracy of love.

Christmas waves a magic wand over this world, and behold, everything is softer and more beautiful.

One of the most glorious messes in the world is the mess created in the living room on Christmas Day. Don't clean it up too quickly.

At Christmas play and make good cheer, For Christmas comes but once a year.

Never worry about the size of your Christmas tree. In the eyes of children, they are all 30 feet tall.

Answers


Erma Bombeck

Taylor Caldwell

Charles Dickens (from A Christmas Carol)

Marjorie Holmes

Charles N. Barnard

Hamilton Wright Mabie

Norman Vincent Peale

Andy Rooney

Thomas Tusser

Larry Wilde

Merry Christmas, Everyone!




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Monday

Free Printable "Dear Santa" Letter

Each year the second week of November is Santa letter writing week!
This year I have made up a fun free printable Santa letter printable.

This is a great opportunity to teach children about letter writing, to ask Santa questions, to share about life, and of course (as Santa is always interested) to ask for gifts!

To print this letter: click on it to expand it (click again to make sure it is fully expanded) and then select file and print or right click on it and select printing options from the menu. If you have any trouble right click save the letter to your paint on your computer and printing from there.



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Roasted Pumpkin Seeds {recipe}

Every year from our jack-o-lanterns we make roasted pumpkin seeds. 
Here is my favorite recipe:


Roasted Pumpkin Seeds
2c. raw pumpkin seeds with shells
 about 2tsp. butter, melted
and about 3tsp. salt
Directions: Heat oven to 300 degrees
Toss seeds in bowl with melted butter and salt.
Spread seeds in a single layer on cookie sheet.
Bake for about 45 minutes or until browned.
Stirring occasionally.
When cooled shells should be dried and easy to eat, 
if they are not, reheat and cool.





Thursday

Where have I been? Hint: Pottery & Pike Place

Some of my favorite followers may have noticed that Holiday Haven... well, kind of stopped. BUT I have an awesome reason why my attentions were diverted.

I have always wanted to work from home and so when my amazing hubby bought me a kiln, I took some classes. And after nearly two years of applying myself every. single. day. to this art, I now have a growing business. 

With exciting news: as of February this year I was accepted to sell at Pike Place Market in Seattle, WA
A look at my work:












Working in my studio.

My booth at Pike Place Market

Packing up to go home.


As with any new business I have a ton links if you are interested:
My pottery facebook page: www.facebook.com/potterysong
My Etsy Shop: www.etsy.com/shop/potterysong
Website: www.potterysong.com

And you can see my business with PikePlaceMarket on their website by looking under the ceramics tab: http://www.pikeplacemarket.org/find-a-craftsperson


 As for Holiday Haven: don't worry, I am doing some renovation on this site, but I will still here at Holiday Haven to share all of our holiday fun with you!



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