Today was gray, but not terribly cold and I had a lot to do inside. I got up before sunrise because I wanted to get it all done, but take it slow. Vacuuming, dusting, and getting the guest rooms ready for my sons when they come home was first on the list. Wrapping the rest of the presents later on made me realize how few I really have, but I’m telling myself that it’s the quality, not the quantity that matters.
I made a batch of sugar cookies, then baked them and let them cool before applying royal icing and sugar sparkles. And all the while, I took it easy – trying not to overdo it. The Christmas music helped, although I’m not a huge fan of Michael Buble (but it’s the only CD in the house that I could find).
I took some photos, too, in between wondering where all my Christmas CD’s were hiding.
The bureau in the dining room.
The bookcase shelves in the living room.
I’m not a huge fan of Yankee candles either, but they are the only thing that fits this cute little glass lamp shade. Ok, let me rephrase that. I like Yankee candles just fine, especially their fall and winter scents. But when it comes to Christmas candles, I prefer Votivo.
Geez, I sound like an elitist. But if you smelled Votivo’s holiday collection, you would understand completely. And that’s the name of that.
My royal icing job is a tad sloppy but I prefer it to the hyper-neat. I have the best sugar cookie recipe – one that I’ve been using it since the 70’s. It’s from the Betty Crocker cookbook.
DELUXE SUGAR COOKIES
1 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp. almond extract
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. cream of tartar
Mix thoroughly butter, confectioners’ sugar, egg, vanilla, and almond extract. Blend flour with baking soda and cream of tartar using a whisk, then gradually add to butter & sugar mixture until dough forms. Cover and chill 2-3 hours.
Heat oven to 375. Divide dough in half. Roll each half about 3/16 inch thick on lightly floured board. Cut into desired shapes. Place on lightly greased cookie sheet (I used parchment paper) and bake 7 to 8 minutes or until light brown on edges.
TIP – Freeze the cookie shapes for about 8 minutes before putting them into the oven. This avoids spreading, and they’ll retain their crisp edges. I also sift the confectioners’ sugar before adding to the butter.
Betty Crocker’s Cookbook, 1969
I love the beauty of bare branches.
Last night I watched ‘The Bishop’s Wife’, and the night before, ‘The Family Stone’. I’m running out of holiday flicks and might do a Back to the Future marathon instead. I love those movies.
Tomorrow I pick up my son at the train station in Philadelphia and then we’ll have lunch with my niece, Emily. Fun ~
Thanks for stopping by and visiting my little corner of the world. Means much to see you here. Enjoy your days ~