For the first time in a long time, we are staying home for Christmas. Since we never get to decorate, we're making the most of it. Within a week after Thanksgiving, the tree was up and decorated, a wreath adorned our front door and a cheery poinsettia was placed on the porch, the house was trimmed with colorful lights, and stockings were hung with care.
A week later, gingerbread houses (x2) were made and decorated. We've been opening up windows on advent calendars, and a Smithfield Virginia ham sits in the fridge ready to be cooked for Christmas (thanks to my Mom, my family's Christmas tradition can continue even though she won't be here to share it...though we will need to invite an army of guests to finish it). Slowly but surely, presents are being collected. (This is the one area where I am woefully behind; I've bought exactly one present.)
Today was all about making cookies and sweet treats for our upcoming open house. It's going to be a simple affair, a chance to share cookies with friends and sip cocoa and spicy, spiked apple cider (recipe will be posted).
I made Chocolate-Bourbon Pecan truffles from the December issue of Everyday Food, and because I don't care for nuts with my chocolate, I rolled half of them in toasted coconut instead of chopped pecans. Those were lovingly packed away in an airtight container in the fridge until our party.
And, as if you needed more proof that I am a little off my rocker, here are the gingerbread cookies we made today (just one of the 3 or so types that I plan to serve). The idea of making them was more fun than the actual doing (there may have been some swear words in there), but gee, they sure do look purty, don't they?