Christmas Tree Decorating

If you have been following my blog over the past couple of months you have probably realized I have been really looking forward to getting a Christmas tree. I am not sure if the Christmas tree ornaments that I have been making since late October are a cause of my excitement or a symptom of it.  If you missed my earlier ornament posts, you can check out my clothespin reindeer, salt dough snowflakes, clothespin star ornaments, and twine balls by clicking on the photos below.

DIY Clothespin Reindeer Ornaments

It has become an annual tradition for Jaime and me to select and decorate a Christmas tree over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend. The first Christmas after Jaime and I were married we purchased a seven plus foot Fraiser fir from a Christmas tree lot about a half a mile from our apartment in DC and walked the tree through crowds of shoppers and tourists in Chinatown the Saturday after Thanksgiving.  We got quite a few laughs and shouts of “Merry Christmas” and I am pretty sure a few people snapped photos of us.  Unfortunately, we didn’t snap any pictures of our Christmas tree trek as we had our hands a bit full, although Jaime did snap the photo below in the elevator.

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Confronting My Thanksgiving Fears

I hope everyone had a nice Thanksgiving!  I was a bit nervous about cooking Thanksgiving dinner this year as I had a somewhat traumatic Thanksgiving cooking experience last year.  Jaime and I hosted Thanksgiving for friends in our tiny DC apartment kitchen.  We made a full spread from scratch – turkey, ham, sweet potato rolls, baked sweet potatoes, macaroni and cheese, stuffing, green beans, pumpkin cupcakes, pumpkin ice cream, and pumpkin and sweet potato pie – and our friends pitched in with a fruit and marshmallow salad, garlic mashed potatoes, quinoa with vegetables, and homemade cranberry sauce.  Everything was going really well – we had started cooking early and it looked like everything was going to be ready on time – when things suddenly took a turn for the worse.

Thanksgiving 2012Jaime was up on the roof cleaning off the patio furniture to bring inside (what can I say? seating was at a premium in our apartment) and I was making cream cheese frosting for the cupcakes.  I’ve made frosting more times than I can remember and it is not hard: cream cheese, butter, vanilla, and powdered sugar.  What could possibly go wrong you ask? Continue reading

DIY Christmas Ornaments: Clothespin Stars

I hope that everyone is having a wonderful Thanksgiving. I am thankful to be able to spend the day with family and friends.

This week has gotten away from me. Jaime and I have been busy getting ready to host Thanksgiving, but now that the harvest rolls, sweet potato pies, red velvet cupcakes, pumpkin bread, and sweet potato casserole have been made, I wanted to post a quick project — clothespin star Christmas ornaments.

DIY Clothespin Christmas Ornaments Continue reading

Recipe: Sweet and Sour Chicken and Vegetables

I am sharing a recipe today, but if you are looking for more Christmas ornaments, don’t worry.  I’ll be back with more ornaments next week.  In the meantime, if you are looking for ornament ideas, check out my salt dough snowflake ornaments, my clothespin reindeer ornaments, and my twine ball ornaments.

Jaime and I have been trying to eat more vegetables lately and this sweet and sour chicken and vegetables is a tasty way to do so.

Sweet and Sour Chicken and Vegetables Continue reading

DIY Christmas Ornaments: String or Twine Balls

Happy Tuesday! I hope everyone had a nice weekend.  I made some more Christmas ornaments this past weekend that I am excited to share with you today.  These string covered ornaments were easy to make and came together fairly quickly.  I made six ornaments in less than two hours while watching TV.  These probably would have come together even faster, if I had not kept getting sucked into the shows.

Twine OrnamentsThis is the third post in my DIY Christmas Ornaments series.  So if you are just tuning in and missed my earlier ornament posts, here are the links to my clothespin reindeer and salt dough snowflakes.  I have quite a few additional ornaments that I am looking forward to sharing with you in the next couple of weeks.  To make sure that you don’t miss any of my DIY ornament posts, please consider subscribing to my blog by clicking on the envelope icon to the right and entering your email address or following me on Pinterest.

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DIY Christmas Ornaments: Salt Dough Snowflakes

This past weekend, in addition to making the pumpkin bread that I blogged about earlier this week, I also finished making some salt dough ornaments.  I went to a couple of stores, but couldn’t find a snowflake cookie cutter so I used a daisy and star cookie cutter to make these ornaments.

Salt Dough Snowflake OrnamentsOf course, once I made these ornaments  it seemed like all of the the stores got their winter cookie cutters in stock and I saw snowflake cookie cutters in four different stores. Don’t you hate when that happens? I guess I will just have to make another batch of ornaments!

I think that these ornaments would be pretty hanging on a Christmas tree, as a tag on a gift, or hanging from a fireplace mantle.

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Recipe: Pumpkin Bread with Dried Fruit and Nuts

It is finally beginning to feel a bit like fall here in South Carolina.  While it is definitely not the same as autumn in New England or out west, it is enough to get me thinking about fall foods and especially pumpkin.  I saw a recipe for Golden Stollen on the King Arthur Flour website this past weekend.   The golden color of this bread is a result of pumpkin.  This bread sounded like the perfect fall bread so I went to the grocery store to buy the ingredients that I didn’t have on hand — dried cranberries, candied ginger, and pumpkin — and then came home and made this.  I followed the recipe on the King Arthur Flour website with a couple of minor changes.

Pumpkin BreadWhile this bread was baking it filled the house with the sweet aroma of cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger.  I will definitely make it again.  A slice of this bread with a cup of tea, a fire in the fireplace, and a good book would make a very nice fall evening.

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