Christmas Gingerbread

When December comes I like to pull out recipes that I haven’t used throughout the year.  One of my favourites is the recipe for Christmas Gingerbread.  The combination of spices and sweet molasses is always a crowd-pleaser and kids love the decorated shapes. 

INGREDIENTSChristmas Gingerbread

1/2 cup butter

1/4 cup sugar

1/4 cup packed brown sugar

1 egg

1/2 cup molasses

1 tsp vanilla

3 cups flour

1 tsp ginger

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp baking powder

1.2 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

DIRECTIONS

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Pointsettia plant care

Originally from Mexico, the Poinsettia plant comes in a variety of colors including red, white and pink.  It flowers through December to February.

Pointsettiaplants
Pointsettia Plants

Poinsettia’s like diffuse light.  They cannot tolerate bright light but at the same time need to be away from drafts.  If the temperature gets below 65 degrees Fahrenheit the plant may not survive.

Water your plants twice a week until the soil is moist but not drenched.  Do not allow the roots to sit in water or it will die.

To keep a Poinsettia after Christmas move the plant to a cool, dark area and decrease the watering schedule.  Fertilize after blooming with a house plant fertilizer once a month.

In May, put the plant in a diffuse light location.  Cut back the branches to 5-6 inches in length.  When the branches grow to 10 inches pinch the tips to encourage growth.  Do this until the end of August.

In September, move your plant to a room with at least 12 hours of darkness at night. This will encourage the plant to turn color for the holidays.

Cranberry Almond Shortbread

1 1/2 cups flourCranberryAlmondShortbread

1/2 tsp salt

1cup soft butter

1 cup icing sugar

1 cup dried cranberries

1 cup sliced almonds

2 tsp vanilla

Mix butter, vanilla  and icing sugar until fluffy.  Mix dry ingredients and incorporate into wet.  Form into a log on parchment paper.  Roll and regrigerate overnight.

Cut slices from log and bake in a 325 degree Fahrenheit oven for 30 minutes.

 

Brown Sugar Cookies

2 3/4 cups flourBrownSugarSugarCookie

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp cream of tartar

1 tsp salt

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 cup brown sugar

1 cup soft butter

2 eggs

2 tsp vanilla

Mix sugar, brown sugar, butter, eggs and vanilla until light and fluffy.  Add dry ingredients and chill in refrigerator overnight.

Roll dough out, cut up shapes and decorate as desired.  Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 12 minutes.

Christmas Helpful Hints

  • helpfulhints12-14-2016
    Christmas Helpful Hints

    Never leave an open flame unattended, especially near a Christmas tree.  Many fires are caused over the season from candles.

  • Wrap presents in colorful comic strips, sheet music or wallpaper that you have around the house.  Decorate with bows , baubles or greenery.
  • Have a scavenger hunt for small trinkets to keep children busy while you are preparing the meal.  They’ll have fun and you’ll have more time to prepare the turkey.
  • Prepare as much of the food as you can ahead of time.  Even better delegate specific dishes to family members who are coming to visit.  Everyone will have more time to visit.
  • Keep plenty of batteries on hand for gifts that unexpectedly need batteries or for cameras.  You don’t want to be without your camera to record the fun.
  • If you must drink invite guests to stay over for the night or alternatively take a taxi home.
  • Make a garland from snapshots of your children from the past year and hang above the fireplace.  Alternatively,  children’s artwork can be cut in snowflakes, trees or snowman and strung in a garland as well.  It’s a fun way to keep your children’s treasures without having to store reams of paper.

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