Thursday, December 22, 2011
The Fun Continues
My oldest daughter always hosts a cookie exchange party every year. This year, my youngest daughter, her 3 kids along with grand daughter #3 and Kris' own daughter, Caitlin, who we were returning to St. Pete from her visit in Ocala, hopped into the car and we were off.
I have been so far behind this year that I really had very little time to debate cookies or presentation. I saw an "Andes Mint Chocolate Cookie" recipe on Pinterest so I tried it. This recipe did not tell you the quantity it would produce, so it was kind of hard deciding how many batches to bake and since I had the girls with me that weekend, I really didn't want to spend much time in the kitchen as we have other things we love to do when we get together.
Any way, the recipe produced JUST enough for each attendee to receive 6 with just 1 left over for us to give it a taste. One cookie split 4 ways. It was O.K., but I don't think I will ever make it again. Now, I should confess that 1. I am really not much of a cookie person-much prefer savory snacks and 2. I'm not much of a chocolate person. If by chance you would like to try this cookie and form your own opinion, the recipe is on my Christmas Pinterest board.
My middle daughter and I worked on the presentation as I am told "presentation is everything"! We found the mugs at the $ Tree and Becky found the individual serving packet of cocoa at Fresh Market. Our thinking was 'cookies and a hot mug of coca'. They turned out pretty cute.
Here is the table full of everyone's offerings. After much visiting fueled by so many delicious appetizers and holiday beverages, we went into the livingroom to talk about our cookie and share any funny stories that may be involved-and believe me, with the time crunch everyone is on, many funny stories abounded. Maybe we should do a holiday cookie exchange in July when saner minds prevail. I shared that my first attempt had been a double chocolate shortbread cookie that the 2 year old took one bite of and handed back. When her mom attempted to hand her another she shook her head and refused it. Unfortunately, the rest of us concurred and that recipe hit the trash! Also, why do we all feel we must try something new-never before approved by our harshest critics, our families. I guess we all want to avoid the mundane but there IS something to be said about tried and true!
Any way, we all had a wonderful time-kids included as their Uncle Rich piled 6 kids and the black lab into the car and they headed off to dinner and then viewing of Christmas lights. It must have been a truly successful adventure as the 6 year old ran in telling us they had gotten to tour the "crazy house" (yes, it really is. There isn't a square inch not covered in some kind of Christmas decor. I think this house was once featured on HGTV. They let you tour the inside which is just as decorated as the outside-it really is a must see if you are in St. Pete...but, I digress) and the 2 year old was sound asleep. Thanks Uncle Rich-service above and beyond the call of duty!
Needless to say, this little one gets lots of attention!
My daughter's home is always beautifully decorated. This is her living room this year. Believe it or not, this is a small tree for them. It is usually about 18' and has to be set up by professionals but after a fall last year and many irreplaceable ornaments broken, they decided to reign it in a bit. You can see all of her home decor and adventures getting there on her blog, "Life in the Carline". If I were a bit more computer savvy, I could link you up but sadly, I am not. I think you can get there via Google or something.
On our way home on Tuesday, we stopped at the Shoppes of Wiregrass. The brave ones ice skated. It was fun as the rink was in the middle of one of the squares of this beautiful outdoor mall, so people came by and chatted and shared stories of skating from their childhood.
Then, we stopped and visited with Santa. Santa was wonderful and truly enjoyed talking to Harrison and Hudson. They were conversing about all sorts of things like Santa had all the time in the world. Don't know how the parents in line behind us felt, but the boys loved it. Don't have any candid pics to share as this set-up requested that NO photos be taken even if you were purchasing a package. After the fact, I realized that there really wouldn't have been anything they could have done if I snapped one or two, but I follow all rules and where would my Christmas spirit be if I defied Santa?
Of course, once they spied the train, that became the perfect ending for a perfect 5 days! Time spent with loved ones hopefully making memories for a lifetime...the best gift ever!
Now I am back to reality.Wwill try to mop up some loose ends today and get a few pictures of the rooms left to visit. Stay tuned.