Family & Ginger Cookies

Tonight when I got home for Christmas (!), my mom and I made ginger cookies, and they’re delicious!

We got the recipe from my brother-in-law, Matt – who happens to be my most avid commenter here on the blog. The recipe came from his mom and her family and so on, so before I post any top secret familial recipes I’ll have to get his permission. But I can show you the photos of our just-baked successes.

The dry ingredients looking lovely through the new lens I’m still figuring out…

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Just add Grandma’s…

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All whipped up!

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And cracked perfectly.

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Matt and Cathleen aren’t here for the holidays yet. And neither is Logan or Hewitt. I am hoping that if I continue posting photos of the warm and gooey things coming out of our kitchen, we can lure them all here before the next batch comes out of the oven.

Another ploy to get them home? This lovely photo of our tree! (Also one of the first shots I semi-successfully took on manual.)

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So hurry home, y’all!

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No Book, Book Club

Generally, our book club does a good job of “staying on task” and actually talking about books. Really, we do. Last time we went to The Jane, we talked at length about all of the nightmares Gillian Flynn’s, Dark Places gave us. And did Amy’s parents make her crazy in Gone Girl, or was she born like that? And the farm crisis, how many people pulled a Patty Day? Was that a real thing? And what is Gillian Flynn like? More on these books later if you have no idea what I’m talking about / trying not to spoil.

But this week was different. We planned a No Book, Book Club complete with cookies, baked brie, candy cane cupcakes and mulled wine. There was no pressure to read a book in advance or even bring cookies, but showed up looking for the perfect excuse to celebrate the season.

I need to make a more concerted effort to take photos, but I managed to get a couple.

Baked brie (layered with phyllo dough, brown sugar and sealed with melted butter) pre-baking:

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Candy cane cupcakes, courtesy of Kristen

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And the only group shot I managed!

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We’ll be back to the books and starting 2013 with Sweet Tooth by Ian McKewan. Have you read it yet?

Christmastime is Here

As I am writing this, I am sitting by our adorable (yet somewhat mini) Christmas tree, sipping the most delicious coffee, thinking about how much I love Christmas.

Hewitt and I started off December this weekend by going to pick out a tree. This is a bit different in Manhattan as 1. not surprisingly – they’re extraordinarily expensive and 2. you physically carry them home. Luckily in this case for us, we were in the market for the biggest small tree we could find to fit in our space, so it was also easier to carry home.

This photo, for the record, is to scale.

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Before:

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And with me still trying to learn about my camera, shutter speed, etc… this is the shot from moment Hewitt turned on our overhead lights.

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And here is one with a bit more normal lighting-

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So there you have it. Christmastime is here!