Tuesday, December 21, 2010

‘Tis the Season

For reflection, remembrance, and looking forward.

I’m all about looking forward this year.  In a little over a week, it’ll be a year since my husband lost his job and the struggles that we have faced this past year have come close to overwhelming me to the point of breaking.  However, despite it all, we’ve managed to not just remain together, but remain strong as well.  In my opinion, that’s nothing short of a miracle. 

When I look back, however, I know that we have come a long way and that things will eventually have to get better.  I know this.  It’s remembering it that is hard.  But, that said, this isn’t the first time I’ve lived through hard times – we had a lot of them when I was a kid.  And honestly, those past hardships are what have formed me into the person I am today.  I just hope that, in the future, my kids are able to take something positive away from all this. 

And now that this is beginning to sound like a rehash of my last blog post…

It’s been a little over a year since my grandfather passed and, for the most part, I do okay in the day-to-day without him.  However, when I’m gathering my Christmas recipes together, I can’t help but think of him, and to constantly remind myself that I’m not making him a basket this year just kills me.  He was always all about the sweets and I know he’d love some of the new things I’ve tried this year.  I guess he’ll just have to live vicariously through his great-grandchildren until I’m able to bake for him again. 

And speaking of baking… my gods, have I been doing a lot of it!  In addition to all the cookies, fudge, Chex Mix, pepperoni bread and what not, I made a three-layer birthday cake as well.  What was I thinking?  Oh, yeah.  That’s right.  It was peanut butter and chocolate.  I wasn’t thinking.  LOL  Oh well, it was well received and that’s all that matters. 

Okay, so now that I’ve depressed everyone yet again… I’ll end this with some fun and happy pictures.  K?

First are my Red Velvet Gooey Butter Cookies.  These things rock.  The recipe is here: Red Velvet Gooey Butter Cookies.  I loved these because they reminded me so much of my beloved Chocolate Crinkles that my mom makes every year, but with yummy Red Velvet instead.  Win.

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And these lovely little flat things are Brownie Cookies, courtesy of my pal, Deena.  Recipe is here: Brownies & Cream Sandwich Cookies (although I didn’t sandwich mine).  These cookies rock on so many levels.  Easy.  Tasty.  Crispy.  Chewy.  Everything a good brownie should be, but in cookie form.  Double win. 

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These are S’mores Cups from my other pal, Alana.  Recipe is here: S’Mores Cups.  These are great for when the kids want to help out.  Quick, easy, almost instant gratification.  Win again.  Although, yeah, mine don’t quite look as pretty as those in the picture on the website.  LOL

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Gift bags for the kids’ teachers.  I almost fainted when I realized Princess has FOUR teachers this year.  Thank the gods for cookies!

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My plants growing in the garage.  Yeah, in December.  They’re really doing well, considering the time of year. 

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And lastly, the Christmas tree at the District.  Pretty, isn’t it?  The lights would change color and flash in time with the music being played.

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Merry Christmas, Happy Belated Hanukkah, and a Blessed Solstice.

Oh, and Happy New Year while I’m at it. 

~Crazy Baking Lady