Saturday, December 26, 2009

Mom's, Magic & Hand-made Aprons!

I can recall as a child wholeheartedly believing in the magic of Santa and Christmas. What a blessing to be able to watch my five year old tip toe down the stairs first thing Christmas morning to find a princess ride-on car and hula hoop! It was exactly what she had asked for-like magic!
So much of the magic of Christmas reflects our deepest desire for something (anything) and then having (and also hoping) that it might come true. Part of the reality of that is we so often in life don't get what we desire or hope for and it is in those special moments where everything seems like it will be all right (like those few moments, early on Christmas Day).
A friend recently told me that life is just two sides of a coin; the good and the bad. She's right.
My oldest daughter offered me a magical present. It was so unexpected and somehow she managed to make it all on her own. She printed out a series of family photographs and the words #1 Baker and transferred them onto a white cloth apron. The apron is beautiful. I wore it yesterday as I made Breakfast for us all. I know I will wear it for many baking adventures to come. Something else magical is that I always want to know that my children love me and her kindness and thoughtfulness to me clearly reflects what is in her heart.
We drove to my mom's yesterday for a family gathering off Cape. We were grateful for the chance to spend Christmas with extended family. They made us a delicious holiday meal and we passed out gifts to one another. I brought the game Pictureka and we gave it a try. It's fun and we shared a few laughs.
We finally took our Steele family photo and hope to have it out by New Year's. I guess I've been a bit busy this season to get it all done before the big day. I paused just long enough to look for the magic in things along the way.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Oh, the weather outside is frightful!

Sophia and I braved the cold this morning to wait in front of the house for her to go to school. It's pajama day in her kindergarten class so she wore adorable snowman pj's with her pink snow pants, pink coat, pink hat and bright red boots. It was 19 degrees out and our noses were as red as Rudolph's. But, she couldn't miss pajama day!

Despite the storm we managed to have our holiday open house last Sunday. Lots of people didn't make it out on the roads but a whole bunch of us 'die hards' were there.

What could be better in a snow storm than to have a fire going with friends over eating good food? We kept a fire in the kitchen and the living room going throughout the night.

Luckily for me my guests brought their appetites so I wasn't left with a ton of food on my hands. I even managed to get them playing the 'guess that Christmas song' game-which was fun! During the party we heard that school was canceled for Monday in Falmouth so everyone was able to stay later than expected.
Despite it being so cold, it's beautiful in my yard and it looks like we are in for a White Christmas after all.

Friday, December 18, 2009

The Cape Cod Times & Candy Cane Cookies!

I learned yesterday that my cookbook was mentioned in Wednesday's Cape Cod Times as one of three gift choices for local food lover's. That was a nice surprise!
I just finished making a tray of green and red candy cane sugar cookies that I needed for Sophia's Kindergarten Christmas lunch today.
Our holiday open house is Sunday and I have baked cranberry biscotti, peanut butter chocolate drops, dreamy island cookies, red and green whale shaped sugar cookies, and chocolate cake balls dipped in white chocolate. I might just need a long hot bubble bath from all this baking.
I hope our guests bring their appetite and their holiday song knowledge. I came up with a party game since I didn't do a 'Yankee Swap' where people have to fill in the blanks to popular 'Christmas tunes'. Ho Ho Ho!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Hold on Tight, the Holidays are Coming!

Bella and I had a blast in NYC together. I am head over heels in love with the Broadway production of 'Wicked'. Instead of buying a t-shirt to remember the day I decided to buy 'wicked' perfume instead. I put some on immediately to walk around the city. It's a great combination of fruity with a bit of wicked.

When we got out of the show it was snowing. It was so beautiful. We stopped at a little bakery and shared a croissant and coconut macaroons as we watched the snow fall over Manhattan. I wish we were able to stay longer and I'd love to visit again soon.

As I'd expected I have lots of baking to do before the holidays --but I have a plan. I am doing cranberry biscotti dipped in white chocolate today, cake balls tomorrow, sugar cookies over the weekend.
The holidays always feel as if they are rushing toward me so quickly and my plan is to do a little work and have a little fun each day!

Friday, December 4, 2009

'Wicked' Fun

I enlisted the help of my kids to put together a scavenger hunt for Tommy's birthday. We gave him a series of clues that if he followed them correctly they would lead him to each of his birthday gifts.
Luckily, he managed to find them all, and I think he had fun doing it. One of his gifts was a Roger Stauback # 12 jersey and the clue was "go to your closest fellow Cowboy fan's house".
We all met back at our house and had a yummy dinner of sushi and salad. We had cheesecake for desert.
Tomorrow, Bella and I are off on our own mother/daughter adventure to NYC! I surprised her with tickets to see 'Wicked' tomorrow at the Gershwin Theatre on Broadway.
Lots of holiday baking will be waiting for me to get done when we return.