Making Christmas cookies is a family tradition, but this was my first year attempting gingerbread and I think our little gingerbread cabins turned out great! Okay my cookie decorating skills can use some honing, but the cookies were soft, yummy and fun to make.
I bought a gingerbread house cookie cutter at Target, I also found this similar one on Amazon. We used a decorating set similar to this one.
Gingerbread Recipe Ingredients:
1/2 cup shortening
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup molasses
2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon ginger
You will also need icing (either homemade or store purchased) as well as edible decorative items like candy gumdrops.
How to Make Gingerbread Cookies:
Preheat oven to 375
Cream shortening and sugar. Beat one egg and molasses an add to mixture. Add dry ingredients and mix well. Roll out dough (not too thin) with rolling pin on flat surface sprinkled with flour. Use cookie cutter to create dough shapes and place on ungreased cookie sheet. Bake for 6-8 minutes. Let cool. Decorate!
We are days away from our final trip to Rocky Mountain National Park in 2015. I was going through our ‘log book’ and realized we went on 15 hikes with our little girl this year in RMNP and surrounding areas. We hiked over 77 miles with her in Colorado and loved (almost) every moment of it.
I learned a lot about being a Mom on the trail – like how to plan ahead and also how to go with the flow. We made a big commitment to spending a lot of time as a family out in the mountains. For our family it helps us stay healthy, have fun and connect to each other, God and nature.
I’m very thankful when I think back on our list. I hope it’s even longer in 2016. Wishing everyone a very Merry Christmas and an adventurous New Year!
Deer Mountain, 6 miles
Twin Sisters, 7.3 miles
Bear Lake to Bierstadt Lake, 4.4 miles
Indian Peaks Wilderness Area – Brainard Lake/Lake Isabelle, 7 miles
We love outdoor adventures, but we’ve had a few windy, cold days and needed to get some energy out. Our first stop was Santa’s Gingerbread Station at Crown Center. The interactive exhibit is free but there is a charge for a picture taken with Santa. Covered garage parking is also free if you get your ticket validated by one of the shops or restaurants at Crown Center.
Next we took advantage of The Link which is a weather protected walkway connecting Crown Center to Union Station.
Union Station is my favorite building in Kansas City. I think my one-year -old shared my amazement at how magical the historic train station looks decorated for the holiday season. Entering the Sprint Festival Plaza I had a sudden urge to twirl around in circles like a Disney princess, which I resisted and instead walked around enchanted by the décor and holiday model train display. The display is free and quite impressive with over 800 feet of track and 18 trains.
There is so much more to do throughout the season at both Crown Center and Union Station! I can’t wait to take Cecy back next year.
Today is the last day of November which for us was a month packed with travel and celebration. I think I basically checked off all my festive to-do items for the month:
We loved traveling to New York! We walked and walked around the city and of course never ran out of things to see.
We celebrated Cecy’s birthday in New York and with more family when we got back home to Kansas City. We wanted to keep it simple, but we sure spread out the fun and she loved opening presents, looking at her cards and decorations, and eating cake.
We went to Springfield, MO which is my husband’s home town and where we both went to college. The day before Thanksgiving (Wild Turkey Wednesday) we went out with friends to Missouri Spirits which is a ‘spirit house’ with handcrafted drinks using fresh local ingredients.
I made a cranberry sauce for Thanksgiving. I found the recipe from William Sonoma, but changed it a little bit:
half an orange
granny smith apple
3 cups fresh cranberries
1 1/4 cups sugar
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ground cloves
In sauce pan add the apples after you peel and dice them. Next add juice from your orange and zest from the orange peel. Add cranberries, sugar, cinnamon and cloves. Bring to boil over high heat, reduce the heat to low and cover the pan partially. Simmer gently, stirring occasionally, until the sauce thickens, the apple is tender and the cranberries have burst, 10 to 15 minutes. This will make your kitchen smell amazing!
#OptOutside Black Friday – we had to postpone our outside fun for a day because we are dealing with icy rain, but on Saturday evening we bundled up and went to the Overland Park Arboretum’s Holiday Luminary Walk. We enjoyed walking through candlelit paths, listening to Christmas carols, and drinking Louisburg Cider. This event is also taking place on December 4-5!
In December my festive family to-do list includes: