Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Holiday Baking

This holiday season I have been shamelessly baking away most of my days off. And knitting and making holiday cards. But mostly baking. Mr. S has joined me in all of these activities, creaming butter and sugar, rolling out dough, eating the creamed butter and sugar, spilling tea on my knitting pattern.

In year's past, I would have purchased some small gift item for my co-workers, some little something they would have appreciated at the time but forgotten a month from now. So this year I thought I'd make them each gift bags filled with sugary sweetness. Everyone loves treats!

I made two batches of peanut butter fudge, some of which I dipped in white chocolate and covered in pecans, some of which I dipped in dark chocolate and covered in pecans and some of which I just left personal favorite way to eat fudge.

I also made the Splendid Table's Supernatural Brownies and big old batch of Norwegian Pepper Cookies. The pepper cookies are my absolute favorite baked good this year, since I've been craving them since Birdro made them for the Circulation staff of the Johnson City Public Library a few years ago. They're a complicated little shortbread cookie flavored with black pepper and cardamon, and they have the most amazing chewy texture. I used this recipe, the official pepper cookie recipe from the Norwegian Embassy.

Anyhow, I wrapped all of these items up in wax paper and packaged them in brown paper bags, tied with alpaca yarn and jingle bells. If you were on my train going to work yesterday morning you would have heard me jingling all the way into Manhattan.

My Library knitting circle and my Circulation staff loved the treats, and it made our work day just that much more fun.

But the baking wasn't over...tonight I made an egg nog cake using Life Current's recipe. I made mine in a bundt pan and topped it with pecan toffee. This will be going to a Library holiday party with me tomorrow.

I've not set foot in a store since before Thanksgiving. T and I have purchased most of our holiday gifts online, and many of them we've made. All of our holiday preparations have taken place in our home with our Christmas lights on and Pandora Radio playing the Perry Como Holiday Station. I've had so much fun knitting for friends and family and baking, and I'm not done. For my Tennessee friends and family there's still more baking (and knitting) to do.

For the first time since I was a kid, this holiday month feels like magic.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Gingerbread House

Last week our sweet upstairs neighbor gave us a gingerbread house kit. Thanks Jan!

We had a blast decorating it, but it didn't last two days in our house before we'd eaten it up.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Happy Holidays, Y'all

The Gwyn Family has been busy this past week getting ready for Santa.

On Sunday we visited the Bayonne Garden Center and picked out a little potted tree that we can take with us to TN and plant in one of the Grandparents' yards.

Seamus had such fun decorating it:

He liked hanging all of his candy canes and ornaments in one spot:

Then we made holiday cards with paper doilies and metallic Sharpie markers:

And, of course, we visited Santa an the Newport Mall:

And now we're counting down the days until we head down South to be with the people we love and miss the most. Can't wait to see everyone!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010


Our house is officially winterfied about to be decorated for the holidays as well.

While the grandparents were here, Grandie, Seamus and I made paper snowflakes:

Then Seamus and I had fun making snowflake ornaments for our tree (whenever we get it).

This is Seamus's first homemade ornament. He loved gluing on buttons and loved the glitter glue even more. We were both sparkling all over after this craft.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Alpaca Holiday Weekend

We made it out to Far Hills, NJ today for Berry Meadow Farm's Alpaca Holiday Weekend, where we fed a couple of alpacas and drank hot apple cider.

Grandie and I came away with lots of nice, cozy alpaca wool. Looks like somebody will have some warm socks and hats this Christmas.

Friday, November 26, 2010

New Specs

1960s French Cateyes from my favorite vintage and antique eyewear shop,Fabulous Fanny's in the East Village.

Just a quick dispatch from our Thanksgiving holiday...

Enjoying my six days off from work with both of my misters, big and small, and Grandie and Grandpa, who came up from TN on Wednesday.

Grandie and I cooked and baked for about two days, only to have all of Thanksgiving dinner consumed in about ten minutes. We made T's mom's buttermilk yeast rolls and sweet potato casserole, along with corn pudding, green bean casserole, cranberry sauce (with pecans and oranges), pumpkin pie, stuffing and of course turkey. All organic and mostly local. We wanted a heritage turkey but settled on a cheaper, free-range one instead. Grandpa fixed the mashed potatoes and carved the turkey.

Georgia waited for the crumbs to fall.

Once G and G arrived our apartment turned into a circus with rough-housing and goofing around by all parties.

Spider-Man paid us a visit as well.

Tomorrow is the last full day with G and G, and then Sunday they leave for TN. T and I are taking everyone to Berry Meadow Farm in Far Hills, NJ for their alpaca holiday. Hopefully, Grandie and I will score some nice wool while we're there.
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