At the first hint of chill in the air, my thoughts turn to Christmas. My mind and heart begin to fill with visions of sugar plums indeed. My weekly menu turns decidedly toward comfort food and I begin rummaging in my brain for homemade Christmas gift ideas for my loved ones. I begin hauling out first the autumn decorations and later the Christmas, decking my halls and every other available surface. I take delight in the season, the magic, wonder and glory of it all. This blog was born from that delight. Here you will find dinner ideas, crafts, decor, stories, memories, and music. Some ideas will be entirely mine, but I will also include anything cute I come across that I think you might like to see, credit given to the creator or source. Please leave me your ideas in the comments and any other feedback you'd like to give.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Gingersnap Cookies Recipe

When I posted on Facebook about these D-licious cookies that I make, the recipe was requested. I thought I'd share it here, because just about any sweet made with molasses and ginger falls into the Christmas category. So here it is:

Gingersnap Cookies

3/4 C Shortening
1 C brown sugar
1 egg
1/4 C molasses
2 1/4 C flour
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ginger
1/2 tsp gr. cloves
1/4 tsp salt
granulated sugar for rolling

*Mix shortening, brown sugar, egg, and molasses.

*Stir in dry ingredients.

*Shape into 1-1 1/2 inch balls and roll in sugar.

*Bake on a lightly greased cookie sheet for about 8 minutes at 350'.

*Remove from cookie sheet immediately.

Usually these are perfect when they are just beginning to crack on the top. Don't overcook them! They are best when they are soft and chewy. Err on the side of underdone. We have a tradition in our family that we eat the first batch before the second one comes out of the oven. YUM!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Or Maybe Not...

As I continue to think about how I want to decorate for Christmas this year, I keep going back to the rustic look I did in our family room last year.

I used the old shed door as the rustic backdrop and kept to warm, cozy colors- the traditional red and green. I really enjoyed coming into the room and cuddling up by the Christmas tree. I think it's time to really think this all through and come up with a clear cut plan. I'm leaning toward doing something a bit lighter with cleaner lines upstairs, then the rustic look down in the family room again. That way we get the best of both worlds.

Today I want to share a beauty from Pottery Barn. I love this twig snowflake and it would be fabulous as part of the rustic/woodsy family room decor.

But I'm thinking...couldn't I make that? I think this would be a fun project to try with the kids.

Check back to see how we do.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Yarn Wreath

Last year I shared a beautiful yarn wreath that I had seen at Recaptured Charm.

I did end up making my own version, but never shared it here. Well, today is the day to share. I really had a lot of fun making this and it is not at all difficult. Mine is smaller than the inspiration, mostly because I'm a cheapskate. The Styrofoam balls are pricier than you would think.

I also made yarn trees. Again, the foam cones are pricey. I cheated. I used posterboard rolled into cone shapes. Waaaaay cheaper.

I love the look of them displayed together.

Spicy Pumpkin Chili

(Not my image. This is the picture from the Allrecipes website.)

Friday night we had a Trunk or Treat and chili cook off at our church. I decided to try a new recipe. It was one I found online and was itching to try. I cooked this up on Friday afternoon and I LOVED it. It is spicy and almost a little sweet. It is warm and earthy and delicious. So here's the link to the recipe: Spicy Pumpkin Chili

I did make a few changes, just because I wanted to use what I had on hand. I swapped out the Northern beans for corn. I like corn in my chili and I didn't have any Northern beans, so it worked out well. I used home canned tomatoes, homemade tomato sauce and a can of Rotel (tomatoes and green chilis.) I think the Rotel added a little extra spiciness which was nice.

This is a perfect recipe for a crisp fall day, or cold, snowy afternoon.


(My chili arrived late and was not entered in the cook-off, so I can't tell you if it is a contest winner or not. I can tell you that the crock pot was scraped clean at the end of the dinner, so it was well-liked!)

Holiday Season 2011

Tomorrow is the last day of October and I have to say, I am soooo feeling the Christmas spirit already this year! Today is cold and rainy, and other parts of the country are experiencing their first real snowstorm of the season. As I sit here in my cozy home, looking out at the cold, drizzly day, I feel it's time to share my first post here in Christmasland.

Last year I decided that THIS Christmas I wanted to decorate with warm whites, grays, and silvers/mercury glass. But then I walked into Joann Fabrics the other day and saw a huge section of red and white decor. It all had a clean, Scandinavian look to it and my heart skipped a beat. I loved it all. I think the line is called Nordic Noel. At least, the online items I can find online are in that line.

So maybe I'll stick to my more traditional reds and whites. I spotlighted some cute products with Scandinavian flair back here. I'm thinking I should probably embrace what seems to appeal to me.