Sunday, January 3, 2016

Happy New Year!

New Year's week was a blessed oasis after the insanity of Christmas week. I enjoyed having the rush of Christmas week over, and we caught up on a few things that didn't happen before Christmas.

First on the list was our yearly graham-cracker gingerbread houses. These critters look deceptively easy, but they're a good recipe for insanity. The walls simply will not stay put! (I don't even try to add anything crazy, like a sloped roof. Totally beyond my abilities.) And my royal icing didn't come together too well this year (new recipe = bad idea).

But we still had fun.

For New Year's Eve we baked and decorated the Christmas sugar cookies that didn't get baked before Christmas - fun! I used my trusty natural food colorings (yellow = turmeric, green = chlorophyll, red = beet juice), and my husband served as the Sprinkle Guy. I frosted in double time in order to keep the mess from spreading too far, and we had a fun time.

The rest of the night was spent making a special dinner (egg rolls and fried rice), watching a bit of a Christmas show, and making our now-traditional Crockpot Brownies in a Mug. Unfortunately the brownies were horribly overcooked (I suspect outside influences, namely the 3yo turning them back on after I'd turned them off), and they baked into inedible rocks. Try getting THAT out of your coffee mugs!

This year I looked up an archived video of the Prescott Boot Drop, and we played that at 9:00 p.m. instead of the New York City ball-drop. A big success! I plan to do this again next year.

(We just skipped straight to the end - right around the 9:30 mark.)

At 9:00 p.m. we headed everyone to bed and started chipping the frosting and sprinkles off of the walls, chairs, ceiling, etc.

On New Year's Day we had black-eyed peas and honey muffins (recipes courtesy of Contentment Acres) and did a very unsuccessful job of trying to have a relaxing day (HA!). This weekend we'll try to resume some semblance of normal life after the holidays and get ready to head back to school on Monday.

I'm looking forward to 2016. Happy New Year, dear readers!


  1. You do Graham cracker houses, too! It's a favorite tradition. :)

    1. I got it from a blogger a few years ago... maybe Smockity Frocks? I forget, but I think it was her! Better that than the real thing with baked walls. I did that in culinary school and it was fun, but my goodness - that's a marathon project for you. :)

  2. We do graham cracker houses, too. Our frosting was nothing more than egg whites, powdered sugar, and vanilla. Perhaps you needed more powdered sugar to thicken it?

    You've made some lovely memories. May 2016 be a year of joy for you all. :)

    1. I knew something was wrong with the royal icing right away (too gloppy, not stiff), but I didn't know enough about it to know if I should add more powdered sugar or if my method was wrong. Hopefully by next year I'll have found my recipe! :) This one used lemon flavor instead of vanilla, which was a fun change.

      Happy 2016 to you and the family!!


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