Google Amy's Cooking Adventures: December 2020

Thursday, December 24, 2020

Candy Cane Hot Cocoa Bombs


It’s Christmas Eve!  Let’s talk Hot Cocoa Bombs, Christmas Cookies, and Christmas movies!

First the Christmas Cookies.  Each year, I make gingerbread cookies (here’s my gingerbread recipe) and I always love to have fun with them.  This year was no expectation, as the Gingerbread Men took inspiration from 2020 and donned not only their ugly sweaters, but also festive matching masks!  These were so fun!

Wednesday, December 23, 2020

Classic Gingerbread Cookie Recipe

This post comes from 2013, from my old blog - enjoy a flashback and a delicious gingerbread recipe!

This year I decided that I was finally going to make gingerbread houses.  And not the graham cracker ones either!

One of the most enjoyable parts of a gingerbread house is, of course, finding all of the candy and trimmings!  Without an actual candy store in the area, I was forced to get a little creative.  Most of the candies (M&Ms, candy canes, red hots, watermelon slices, and gum drops) were found in my grocery store’s candy aisle.  I thought that chocolate Pop Tarts would make the perfect roof tops, so those were in the breakfast aisle.

And the rest?  Well, that’s all Halloween Candy!  It was the perfect use for all that candy that was just sitting around!

The boys made their houses first.

My husband and I built the houses, complete with roofs about an hour before the boys started.  I wanted to give the royal icing a chance to dry and make a nice, study structure. 

Do you remember making those graham cracker houses in elementary school?  Inevitably, someone would be working with a heavy hand and the whole thing would go tumbling down and tears of frustration would be flowing.  Definitely not what I wanted.  I wanted a fun time for the whole family.

My 4 year old decorated his house completely by himself – I only added the royal icing.  He would point to a spot, I’d pipe the icing, and he’d do the rest!  Didn’t he do a great job?

Sunday, December 20, 2020

Christmas Tree Butter Cookies

 Each year, I think I’m just going to make my favorite Christmas cookies as is.  But then I see something online or have an idea pop in my head and pretty soon, we’re altering a favorite (again).

Take butter cookies, for instance.  I had butter cookies the first time I spent Christmas with my in-laws.  Butter cookies were Hub’s grandma’s signature cookie.

She graciously shared her recipe, then I got excited and added lemon and rosemary to the mix (so good!)

Fast forward 9 years and I went back to the basics with the cookie recipe, but shook it up and rolled them in a cinnamon-chai mix instead of the traditional sprinkles.

And here we are another year later and I’ve gone back to the basics again, but added a design in the center.  

Friday, December 18, 2020

Bûche de Noël (Yule Log)

 Seven years.

It’s been seven years today since our daughter was stillborn at 28 weeks.  I still think about her every single day.  

Sarah would have been a first grader this year. As a first grader, she would have made huge strides in reading.  She would be wearing her mask and social distancing with her classmates.  I wonder what she would have liked?  With two big brothers, would she have been a bit of a tomboy?  Would she have enjoyed all the vast nerdiness around here or would she have eschewed it all and been a prim girly girl?

We’ll never know.

For the last several years, I’ve made a Christmas cake on her birthday.

Tuesday, December 15, 2020

Reindeer Peanut Butter Blossoms

Is there anything more classic than
peanut butter blossoms at Christmas?  We usually make these on Christmas Eve and lately we’ve been giving these cookies a fun reindeer twist to leave for Santa!

Monday, December 14, 2020

Snowman Chicken Pot Pies

It’s that time of year to make festive everything!  Just for fun, I decided to make individual chicken pot pies with a wintery twist!  I gave them little snowman faces!

This is a basic pot pie recipe (you can adjust the vegetables as you see fit).  Sometimes I add a biscuit topping, but other times I make a pie crust.  

Saturday, December 12, 2020

Spiderman Cake

 I made this Spiderman cake for a little guy’s 6th birthday!

I was experimenting with the cake flavor (by request) and came up with a cake that was super delicious (exactly what I was going for) but looked unappetizingly awful.

Thursday, December 10, 2020

Hungarian Braised Short Ribs

It’s the 10th, which means we’re traveling the world again, this time going to Hungary!  When I think of Hungary, the ingredient that immediately comes to mine is Hungarian Paprika, and indeed, paprika often makes an appearance in Hungarian dishes.

I almost made paprika chicken, when I happened upon a recipe for short ribs and switched to those instead.  I loved the idea of slow braised ribs and I’m always excited for a chance to use my dutch oven (I finally invested in one last year, so using it is still a novelty!)

Saturday, December 5, 2020

2020 Toilet Paper Cake

2020 is a year for the record books to be sure.  There’s been lots of stress and sadness, so it’s always nice when there is someone who can bring a little lightness and humor to things.

Hot Cocoa Spoons

Do you ever read a book and get inspired to cook?   I sometimes do, especially if the food descriptions are frequent or detailed. This is probably because I’m in a couple of food-centric book and movie clubs - I’ve just always got cooking on the brain!



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