Happy Holidays to All!!!

I hope you are all having a great holiday season!  Our family celebrates Christmas, so this year we decided to celebrate with various foods that conjure good memories of Christmas as we grew up.  But you know me, I couldn’t resist adding a few new traditions too.  So rather than post one recipe for Christmas Day, I am sharing links to a few of our favorites that we made when we had friends over to start the holiday season.  One recipe is a variation from a previous Pinot & Pie post, some are from my other posts on my prior website FoodieOasis, a couple are favorites from other websites (links included below), and one will likely show up in a future post.  These recipes are delicious year around, so I hope you will try them out.

When we had friends over for the holidays, I made cookies and candies we grew up with – the fudge my dad always made, Mom’s nutmeg-spiced sugar cookies cut and decorated as snowflakes, Christmas trees, stockings, and snowmen (center right, FoodieOasis), Jeff’s mom’s coconut balls (photo below, left of the cheese board), and my grandmother’s dark chocolate cake (snowflake shaped, bottom left)!  For something new, we added chocolate rum balls (photo below, middle right – our sailing crew’s favorite – thanks Martha Stewart!), maple pecan swirls (bottom right) (thanks to Cook’s Illustrated!), chocolate wafers with peppermint sprinkles (bottom photo, middle of right side below the rum balls) (for these thin chocolate wafers, spread the chocolate thinner than for bark and substitute crushed peppermint candy for the sprinkles), chocolate chip meringue cookies (bottom right, middle of the tray, FoodieOasis), and milk chocolate cups with fresh raspberries (photo below, middle right on the tier between the rum balls and chocolate wafers.  I know that was probably more sugar than any of us needed, but I couldn’t help myself. 🙂  Its the holidays after all.

I also decided to try my hand at decorating a small gingerbread house, so I bought one of the kits and extra candies, frosting, and sugar ice cream cones for a cute green tree.  I can’t believe I haven’t tried this before.  It was lots of fun, but it was not as easy as the instructions suggested.  Applause to all of you that make beautiful gingerbread houses each year.  The end result was a cute center piece that we are still enjoying, so I thought I would share a couple of photos.

Now is it time to get back to enjoying some holiday food with Jeff and my mom.  We have a rib roast in the oven, a nice bottle of Cabernet, and chocolate and caramel pies waiting for dessert.  I hope you have a warm and fuzzy holiday planned too.

Happy Holidays from Pinot & Pie!

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