Tag Archives: holidays

And so this is Christmas…

The past week has been a whirlwind of activity with Christmas flying by at an unprecedented rate and leaving me wondering if it actually happened.  A glance around the house suggests otherwise as remnants of opened presents and ingredients for meals enjoyed with family lie here and there, waiting to be tucked into their rightful places.  Certainly, I’m not Martha.

Between Thanksgiving and the end of January, our family celebrates five birthdays and three wedding anniversaries, now that my mother has recently married at the amazing age of 72.  Although these occasions do add to the festivities, they can leave me feeling a bit winded and craving days where time allows for the anticipation of fun.  I still haven’t lost my interest in holiday projects, but this year, after purchasing materials for a wreath, still have those materials sitting in a closet untouched.  I suppose there is still time to consider that I, too, might some day be a domestic maven and prepare things well in advance of their need.

There’s always next year, isn’t there?

I hope that your holidays thus far have been safe and memorable, that the calories you’ve ingested have been from truly exceptional food,  and that you haven’t had to choose a new belt notch for comfort.

Now…what should I make with the rest of that enormous roast we made for Christmas Eve?

GingerDoodz: Gourmet’s Favorite Gingerbread Men

Yesterday I was a baking maniac, working to finish working on the remainder of my 12 Days of Cookies, belatedly.  With our bedroom in decent order, and the family room beginning to resemble a place where we can relax again, I was able to put in a full day while the resident hunkster kept one eye on the television and football, and worked through his honey-do list — laundry included.

I asked my 16-year-old to design some faces for Gingerbread Men, one of Gourmet’s Favorite Cookies from December 1959.  Of course you’d never find gingerbread men looking like this in the time of “Leave it to Beaver,”   so I’m thinking Gingerdoodz would be more appropriate.


Well, except for the one I designed.

He’s a bit on the happy side…or just plain loopey.  After all, no one sane would wear an outfit like that, would they?  Definitely a candidate for “What Not to Wear.”

But every group needs a cheerleader, right?

Continue reading

Pumpkin Pecan Bread Pudding: Dessert or Breakfast?

IMG_6794
Everyone has their rituals for special days — whether they involve huge family gatherings, or quiet time scheduled for two, food has a tendency to permeate them all.  I know.  Big surprise.  With respect to Thanksgiving, my mother always insisted that we eat early — 1pm.  I guess her mother did, so the tradition was passed along, allowing for the even more important tradition of getting all the leftovers out at about 7pm to begin the eating frenzy again.  You know, just in case someone didn't have turkey coming out their ears yet.

When I met my husband, my family's early eating time meant that we could eat with them — (a dinner I made…) and then like complete lunatics the loving young people we were, head over to his family's house to eat again, usually at about 6pm.  We could barely move when we were finished, our midsections stretched beyond anything we'd imagined before, and swearing we wouldn't eat turkey for an entire year.  Funny how that works, isn't it? 

Another thing I inherited was the notion of a holiday breakfast — but it wasn't from my family.

I was used to eating at midday, so the idea of a big breakfast not only made me want to crawl under a table to get away from even thinking of eating more food on such a calorie laden day, but cringe at the thought of trying to put a special breakfast on the table while I was in the middle of trying to pull off Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner.  When my husband told me not to worry, that he'd make breakfast, I wasn't soothed by his cheerful smile or the image of two of us doing completely different things in such a small space on such a busy day.

We've all aged, and in the years we've been married, we've established our own traditions.  A holiday breakfast seems to have stuck — and it works, but only when I'm not also making the bulk of the holiday dinner and we're not eating until 7pm.  Plus, believe it or not, my husband is the turkey dude now.  Go figure.  That leaves me time to think of other things — like breakfast.

Hence, the adoption of a recipe I found years ago when I wanted something I could make the night before, pop in the fridge, and then into the oven the next morning:  Fat Momma's French Toast.  Since that time, I've altered the recipe, of course, and it's a bit different each time I make it.  But I tried something truly different a few days ago, and we enjoyed "breakfast" for dinner, another thing we did about once a week when I was growing up.

Funny, though.  As we mulled over the first bites of my latest, we knew it was more of a dessert — no longer French toast.  And with the day old pumpkin braid I had left over from the dinner rolls I made, my Pumpkin Pecan Bread Pudding was born.

Oh, my goodness.  If this is the epitome of a holiday breakfast, then sign me up and I'll forget the dinner.  It's truly amazing.  IMG_6886

Continue reading