Christmas1

I’ll be taking a few days to focus on Christmas activities and joy.  Have a wonderful Christmas – safe travels to all!

~Kristen

 

 

A person’s decorating taste and preferences change over time. Mine have changed a lot this past year. I’ve redecorated the majority of my downstairs living space. I’m finally happy with it!
But then the Christmas season happened. Or is happening.
I’ve pulled all of the holiday decor out of the plastic bins, and just kind of thrown it all up. My sons have loved having the whole nutcracker collection out on display. And the fabric snowman. And the Feliz Navidad singing chihuahua. And the miscellaneous other decorations that have accumulated through the years.
You don’t get a visual. I’m sorry. I’m too embarrassed at my lack of pretty holiday decorating to take a photo.

So, I’ve decided that it’s kind of too late to do anything about it this year.  It is what it is.  But next year, things will be a-changin’!

I’m going to try incorporate more vintage into my holiday decorating.  I love it every other time of the year, why not at Christmas?  I don’t have to be stuck with what I pick up on my weekly Target runs, I can scout Christmas decor all through the year as I’m out pursuing vintage.  I went to Etsy for some inspiration.

EtsyChristmasDecor

Large Brass Deer, Vintage Ornament Wreath, Black Leather Skates, Gold Snowflake Tumblers, White Satin Ornaments, Vintage Books, Yankee Clipper Sled, Scalloped Bowl with Ornaments, Deer Candle Holders

Some of these ideas are so simple – the books, filling a pretty bowl pretty vintage ornaments.  And some require some hunting – the brass figures and glassware.  These are not rare items.  Just fun and beautiful vintage holiday decor.  Classic.  That’s what I want.  A sophisticated and classic Christmas home.

Do you think the Feliz Navidad chihuahua will need to find a new home next year?

~Kristen

 

 

I realized this weekend that all of my favorite Christmas cookies are not chocolate.  How can that be??!  I’m a certified chocoholic.

At the top of my list are pizzelles.  They are a traditional Italian cookie – and actually not necessarily a “Christmas” cookie.  We’ve just always made them at Christmas time.

The key to my success this year was that I had not one, but two pizzelle makers going!

Cuisinart Pizzelle Maker

I received this Cuisinart pizzelle maker as a wedding gift.  It gets very hot, and cooks the dough quickly.  However, it creates smaller, thicker cookies.

VillaWare Pizzelle Maker

I was beyond excited to grab this pizzelle maker at an estate sale (the home of a very Italian family!).  It creates larger, thinner pizzelles.  This machine is similar to the one my mom uses, so I prefer it because the cookies are more like the ones I grew up with.  But both makers work great, and make delicious cookies!

Interior Pizzelle Maker

The press makes beautiful cookies!

Eggs

Try not to be concerned that the recipe calls for a half dozen eggs!

The beauty of making pizzelles is that you can make them right away – no waiting for the dough while it chills in the refrigerator.

Cooking Pizzelles 1

One of the challenges while making pizzelles is placing just the right amount of dough in the press so that you don’t go too far over the design (above).  You also want to put enough to cover the whole design (unlike what I did below).

Cooking small pizzelles

After making a dozen or so cookies, it was much easier getting the right amount!  I also like to have a variety of shades — some lighter and some darker, crunchier.

Finished Pizzelles

Aren’t they beautiful?

You can sprinkle some powdered sugar lightly over them, or just eat them as-is.

 

The recipe I use is as follows:

 

Ingredients:  6 eggs; 3 1/2 cups of flour; 1 1/2 cups sugar; 1 cup butter; 4 teaspoons baking powder; 2 tablespoons vanilla

-Beat eggs adding sugar gradually. Beat until smooth.

-Add cooled melted butter and vanilla.

-Sift flour and baking powder and add to egg mixture.

-Dough will be sticky enough to drop by spoon.

 

And that’s it!  These are a very hands-on type of cookie, being that you have to make them in pairs (you can’t just stick them in the oven).  However, it is well worth it!  And, they’re really hard to mess up – thankfully!

Do you have a favorite type of cookie that you make during the holiday season?

~Kristen