That's not to say though, that the holiday season doesn't get me excited. I was home for Thanksgiving last week and it was great! I took off Wednesday, Thursday and Friday so we had a (much needed) five day visit to Kentucky. I'll have to tell you all about that in another post though, because I have other plans for this one. I thought I'd share with you now why exactly I do love the holiday season (even if it is #2).
Mainly, its for the baking. (I like decorating the tree and singing Christmas music and opening presents too, don't worry) but I love to cook and bake and the month or so between Thanksgiving and Christmas is the one time of the year I can completely justify baking just a retarded amount of sweet and yummy things that no one needs but we all end up eating too much of anyway. Do we need three different types of cookies for one party? Probably not, but who cares! For the month of December we've all accepted the inevitable weight gain that goes along with holiday food and we're all a lot more likely to just indulge and enjoy ourselves and throw calorie counting to the wind. At least I am.
I try to come up with something different to bake every year. I definitely have some tried and true recipes that are staples at our holiday functions but I also like to use this time as an opportunity to get a little more adventurous since I know there will be lots of people around to eat whatever I make. Here's some things I'm planning to do this year:
Red Velvet Cake (with Creole Cream Cheese Icing) - This is one of Zack's favorites and its not a new recipe with the exception of the creole cream cheese icing, which I'm curious to try. Creole cream cheese is something I'd never had until we moved to NOLA. Its just like the regular stuff only slightly more "tangy" and less sweet, if that makes any sense. I've made these in years past and I love them because they're so festive looking. Even if it comes out tasting like dirt it still looks really nice when you cut into it which I think counts for a lot.
Bourbon Balls. Um, does it get anymore "Kentucky" than these? I've made these the past few years too. I usually make them with the intention of giving them to friends and Zack's work colleagues but since he likes them so well himself, its rare that Zack actually lets them get that far. So to all my friends who in years past have been promised homemade bourbon balls and not received them--I'm sorry. Blame Zack. He probably ate yours.
This year I'd like to make a bunch and give them to our new friends here in NOLA, who are unfamiliar with Kentucky and all of its tastiness. That's my goal anyway. We'll see how well it works out for me.
Peppermint Bark Shortbread - Now this one is new and I'm pretty pumped about it, not gonna lie. I love shortbread and I love peppermint bark and I think the genius who thought of combining the two ought to win a medal. There's no way this can't be good. There just isn't. Plus its going to be super easy to make. So...win-win.
There are probably others that I'm forgetting about or have yet to find but this is a good start. This will definitely keep me busy in the kitchen for a little while. Oh and, if by chance you want any of these recipes, just leave me a message and I'd be happy to send them to you.