Santa’s Ho,Ho,Ho’s! Taking cookie baking to the next level!

Santa’s Ho, Ho, Ho’s!

At first glance this post looks like it’s  about baking cookies; and it sort of is. But as you read you will discovered that it’s more about spending time with loved ones. That being said, these two recipes kick ass!!

 

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Our 2017 cookie crew.

In this post I will share our grandmother DesRoches’ super simple and yummy Scotch Cookie recipe. Full disclosure, there is no Scotch in them; nor was she Scottish, lol.

We also always make peanut butter balls, they aren’t always pretty, but they are always super delish! I guarantee that you will love our balls. Scroll all the way down for both recipes.

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Our two best ballers!!

This family cookie baking tradition started a few years ago. I invited all the ladies on my moms side of the family over on a Sunday afternoon to bake Christmas cookies; because baking cookies alone is depressing, so the more the merrier!

Now lots of people bake cookies during the holiday, which is awesome, but we had to take it to the next level. Because that’s what we do…ok, that’s what I do, but they always follow me willingly!

How do you take it to the next level? Matching aprons, that’s how. I had custom aprons made for all of us; and you can too! I think this was the key to making this an annual event; because now that we have aprons, like it or not, we are kinda committed.

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Just a bunch of Ho! Ho! Ho’s!

Having matching aprons or hats will make you feel like team; I promise, you will have more fun if you match!

Our sassy aprons have our names on them, but you could also just do matching aprons. Or get blank ones at a craft store and bedazzle them. You have lots of apron options. I am used to ordering in bulk because of my job, but I also do it for my personal parties. I always use Kadopromo, if you are buying in bulk, go with a company who does this for a living, the prices are better!! They often have a minimum number of items you need to order in order to get the best price. Here is who I use, but the internet is full of suppliers, there is no excuse not to match! lol: https://kadopromo.net/

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We must have been really good this year because Santa gave us an early Christmas gift, that will help us mix it up!! See below.

What you could do, is have a group fund, where everyone gives $20 and the head elf buys the group gift; either an apron or spatula? We have had our aprons for years now, we just order more as our family expands. It’s a one time expense, so it isn’t so bad at all.

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We ordered monogrammed spatules from Kadopromo!! Full disclosure, Kadopromo are not paying me to promote them. I really do use them because they rock!!
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Ok now I am just showing off, look how pretty they are with their tiny bows!

For our cookie baking, each ma tante and cousine (aunts & cousin) bring an ingredient; it’s not fair to expect the hostess to provide all the ingredients. And don’t forget your empty container to bring some back home.

 

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This is our official invitation for this year’s party. This may actually be our 4th event, not our 3rd? Oops!! Lol

We take lots of pictures, it’s fun to look back over the years. Because we are such a big family, some of us are scattered all over the place; it’s nice to have memories of those who can’t be with us this year.

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We miss you Evangeline! We hope you are back for a Canadian Christmas next year!

Mémère DesRoches’ Scotch Cookies

Ingredients

  • 2bls of  Butter
  • 1 cup of Brown Sugar
  • 4 cups of Flour. Yup only 3 ingredients!!
  • Well 5 if you add the frosting and cherry for the tops.

Directions

  • Combine brown sugar and butter, mix till smooth and creamy.
  • Add flour
  • Once the mixture is creamy, make into small balls, a little bigger than a quarter. Take a fork and gently press them down (don’t smush, just lightly press so the fork leaves horizontal marks).
  • Bake 350F for 18 minutes
  • Add pre-made frosting, I like cream cheese, but you can do vanila.
  • Cut up bottled red cherries and place on top
  • EAT!
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This is how they should look!

Chocolate Peanut Butter Balls

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup of butter
  • 2 cups peanut butter (creamy)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 pound powdered sugar
  • 3 cups or rice krispies
  • 2 ounces of paraffin wax
  • 1 package of semi-sweet chocolate chips

Instructions

  • Melt butter and while it’s hot stir in the peanut butter
  • Mix well and add vanilla, powdered sugar and rice krispies
  • Melt chocolate chips and paraffin wax
  • Dip balls into melted chocolate
  • Cool on wax paper or parchment paper
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Don’t forget the parchment paper!!
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Our 2018 crew of Ho! Ho! Ho’s! lol

Giving Thanks

I am thankful to you for reading and I am also so thankful for my family! There is something about belonging to a tribe that tightens around you in hard times and makes you laugh, but also let’s you cry if you need to! They say you can’t pick your family; if I could, I wouldn’t swap a single one!!!

So what is your ultimate Christmas cookie?

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to you from me and the fam!!!

muah!!

Liette

 

 

Christmas & Hostess Gift Ideas from a Pro!

Christmas & Hostess Gift Ideas from a Pro!

Here are a few helpful hints that may take a bit of stress out of your Christmas shopping.

I believe everyone is born with a talent or super power. Some are great singers, others are great at math; I am a shopping super hero!! This super power has been passed down from my mom; and I am willing to share some of my secrets with you in this post…you’re welcome! Lol

Christmas Gift Ideas

Hostess Gifts (all under $20)

Some may think that host/hostess gifts are old fashioned, but I think that you should never, ever show up to a party without a gift, like ever!!!

The easy go to hostess gift is a bottle of wine; which is perfectly acceptable. But here are a few other ideas.

1. Festive Serving Trays

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If you want to take this to the next level. Add cookies or cheese to these trays.

This is my personal go to hostess gift. You can get pretty serving dishes anywhere; Target, Homesense, Walmart, Super Store….. litteraly everywhere. And this is an item that your host or hostess can re-use at their next party and for holidays to come.

Super hero hint: Buy in bulk, if you wait until the day of the party to pick up your hostess gift, you will feel stressed. Example: if you like the idea of these serving trays, buy 5. They won’t go bad, lol. And while you’re at it, buy 5 gift bags at the same time. That way, the night of your party, you can grab and go!!

2. Booze! (Not wine)

These ideas are great host & hostess gifts; and you will get extra points for originality!!

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How freaking cute are these!!! If you know your host or hostess like beer, this gift will be a hit! This is also a great example of how packaging can elevate your gift.

Now I don’t have kids, but this could be an acceptable craft for them right??? “Tommy and Sally, come help mommy make reindeer for uncle Bill’s ugly sweater party.”

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This coke and mix idea is brilliant! I promise if you show up to a party with this gift you will get invited again and again!!

Now if you live in the US, this gift idea is a bit more affordable; it’s a bit pricier in Canada because of the higher cost of alcohol. Fun fact, in Canada, we call these little bottles mickey’s.

Also the value of the gift should be guided by the type of party you are attending. If your hosts are cooking you a 7 course meal, spring for a pricier gift.

3. Christmas Ornament

This is a super easy idea, again when shopping don’t just buy one; use my superhero hint and buy 4 or 5 and have that be your go to hostess gift for the season. No one will judge you for giving the same gift at multiple parties; no one will even know.

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Go for a theme, I love me a theme!! These above are nautical, but you could buy a bunch of snow people or Santa’s. Get a few and get nice bags and tissue paper and bam!! All your parties are covered.

What I love about this idea is that, you are adding a little piece of you to their future Christmases. Each time they decorate their three, they will think of you!! Unless they don’t really like you, lol. If that is the case, it will just be a cute snow person (trying really hard to be gender neutral…but it’s hard!! Lol)

Super hero hint: After Christmas, buy a bunch of ornaments on sale for next year. Just don’t forget where you put them, speaking from experience.

4. Napkins

Super duper easy!!!

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These can be paper or fabric, they can be Christmas themed or for every day use; it’s all good!

If going for fabric, I would stay with a neutral pallet. If going for a paper cocktail napkin, go for fun!!!

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Hostess gifts don’t need to be expensive. These tacky napkins were under $5. They are fun and FYI a little touch of tacky is perfectly acceptable.

5. I was going to give you 5 hostess gifts ideas, but the 4 above are such kick ass gift ideas, that you are only getting 4, lol.

Christmas Gift Ideas

A lot of people stress over buying the perfect gift. This takes all the fun out of giving; so let’s give ourselves a freaking break here.

Super hero hint: This idea will change your life forever; you can buy multiple people the same gift!! As long as it is nice, who cares?? This year I bought the same gift for all of my friends and family. I ordered in bulk, I will customize each slightly, but everyone is getting the same damn thing, done..fini! I wish I could share what my gift is, but I don’t want to ruin the surprise, but I will share in my post Christmas post.

1. Hats or gloves

Now you may think how boring! But hear me out; let’s  say, you have to buy for 5 of your girlfriends, your sister in-law, brother and coworker. And your daughter wants something for her 3 bffs from school. That is a lot of running around; my solution, get everyone a hat!! Buy a few different styles, but everyone gets hats!!!

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Full disclosure, I was going to use these as stocking stuffers, but apparently, I am keeping them, lol. I bought both at Super Store.

There are so many cute hats out there. Now if you’re thinking, my brother won’t be excited to get a hat…well isn’t your brother a super Bruin’s fan? Then get him a Montreal Canadian hat, just for kicks!! Ok, fine, get him a Bruins hat. He will love it. (for non hockey fans, the Boston Bruins and Montreal Canadians are mortal enemies).

Super hero hint: now I would color coordinate them; maybe a pink theme? My gift bags would match my theme of course..duh! But that’s just me, I am a bit of a freak.

2. Party Pack

You may be thinking, what’s a party pack? Let me show you!

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A party pack is a group of things that can be used to entertain. Above, I have a color coordinated serving tray, side plates and napkins. The plates and serving trays were on display together. I found gold and silver napkins a few aisles down. One stop and done!

During my university years, my mother gave my cousin and I a spaghetti themed gift. It included a big pot to boil the spaghetti in, four big bowls and a pack of spaghetti noodles. It was so well thought of yet so simple and original. We got a lot of use out of them!

The idea here is to group a few things together; it’s like making your own gift basket.

2. Super Fan Pack

Do you have a super sports fan on your list? Why not get them a few items from their fav team? You can get them online, so you won’t even need to set foot in a mall if you don’t want too.

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What spots fan wouldn’t enjoy a jersey or a hat? Oh, look more hats!! Wrap em up and stick a team Christmas tree ornament on the top of your package instead of a bow. I thought this Vegas Knight getting stuck in the chimney was cute.

A sports hat would also make a great stocking stuffer, FYI.

3. Booze

Yes repeating this idea in my gift section! But taking it up a notch!!

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To take this idea to the next level, let’s follow the same gift basket idea from above and pair it with something else.

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See what I did here? I added four nice glasses and an ice cube mold. I have the round glob ice molds and I love them. For Halloween, I bought these sculls, they are super cute, but a bit harder to get out of the silicon molds.

4. Monogrammed Anything

I love getting monogrammed things so I am assuming others will as well. With all the online shopping available, getting items monogrammed has never been easier. My Christmas gifts that I bought for friends and fam this year, may be monogrammed???

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If you have a traveler on your list, a monogrammed passport holder and luggage tag are great ideas. You could also use my hint to buy multiple people the same gift from above. Get all the friends on your list monogrammed luggage tags; it really is that easy!! A few clicks on your computer and done!!

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This pic is proof that bangs really aren’t a life choice I should ever make again. 🙂

Bathrobes  are another great monogrammed idea. I did these a few years ago. You could also pair them with slippers and a sleeping masks.

Super hero hint: There is nothing wrong with buying a gift to you from you! I do it all the time, lol. I deserve it and you do too!

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Here is an example of monogrammed sleeping masks. You could add these to the robes or even to the the passport holder and luggage tag!

Or these would also be a great bulk gift. Order one for multiple people on your list; add some bath salts and voila! You have a mini at home spa/relaxation themed gift.

5. Sticking with only 4 gift ideas here as well, because you should have enough ideas by now. If not, you are hopeless and may need to stick with a gift card? Lol.

Oh wait, I do have one more idea for your wife, mother, husband… Go with the monogrammed bathrobe and put a spa gift card in the pocket!! Ok, now I am done!

Santa’s helper is beat and needs a nap!! Lol. Thank you for reading and for those who share, like and comment; I will make certain that you end up on Santa’s nice list!!!

Merry Christmas!!!!

Ho, ho, go!!

Liette