Category Archives: Recipes

Holiday Traditions and a Cookie Recipe Part 1

Christmas, wreath, door wreath, celebrate, decorate, holidays, festivities, lynne st. jamesNow that we’ve gotten through Thanksgiving it’s time for December and all that it brings, which means the start of the holiday baking season and decorating.  As we move through the month I’ll several of our traditions and our favorite holiday recipes too.

I’ve been known to decorate every room in the house at Christmas.  From wreaths on the outside door to Santa soap dispensers and snowman towels in the bathrooms.  How much decorating we actually do changes a bit from year to year, but our Christmas cookie baking never changes (usually we make 7 or 8 different types).

Cookies, hot cocoa, Christmas music and tree trimming–It makes for a perfect Sunday afternoon.  After we moved to Florida from New Jersey it was much warmer, so we turn the A/C down low to put us all in the mood.  We usually have one large tree set up in front of the living room window and it is covered with different ornaments.  Every year I would buy all the kids a new ornament for the tree.  Eventually we outgrew the tree, so now the ornaments get rotated from year to year.

pumpkin, cat, tree, christmas tree, decorations, celebrate, holiday, trim the tree, lynne st. james, holidayThese last few years I had to adjust my decorating because we have a very mischievous cat in our midst.  His name is Pumpkin and he likes to climb things and knock things over.  So I’ve only been putting up this small tree.  As you can see it’s too small for him to climb, and we’d put the presents on the floor underneath it.  This year I’m determined to go back to our full sized tree. I miss it, somehow it just didn’t feel like Christmas without it.

After I have it up I’ll add the picture to one of the future blogs.  But in the meantime, what is your tree trimming tradition?  Do you do it before Thanksgiving or afterwards?  Do you do anything special or just dive right in?

meltaway, cookies, christmas cookies, no egg cookies, easy bake, tradition, holiday, cookies, lynne st. jamesI’m sharing my recipe for one of the girl’s favorite cookies–Meltaways.  They love making them as much as eating them.  I think it’s because with the dough tinted red and green it’s more like playing with play dough, especially when they were little.  I always have to make a double batch of these if they are home.  If you try the recipe, let me know how you like them.

Oh one other thing, even though over the years I have started celebrating Christmas, I am Jewish and I celebrate Hanukkah.  I didn’t celebrate my first Christmas until I got married, as the children grew up we continued to celebrate both holidays and we have traditions for both.  I’ll be posting some pictures of my menorah as the nights continue and share some of those traditions as well.


Filed under Children, Musings, Recipes

What’s on your Thanksgiving menu?

jello, jello mold, strawberry jello mold, holiday foods, thanksgiving, Jell-O, lynne st. jamesWith Thanksgiving only a week away I’m sure most of us are finalizing our menus, or at least what we’re bringing when we visit.  I try to make something out of the ordinary every year for all of the holidays.  Yes I make all the traditional favorites, but I try to have one “surprise.”

This Thanksgiving I’m making a pecan pie along with my pumpkin pie instead of the traditional apple pie.  I haven’t made one in years and years so I figured why not. But if I had more people coming for dinner I would definitely be making this Strawberry Jell-O mold.  It is delicious and everyone always asks for the recipe.

So who wants to come for Christmas dinner so I can make the mold?  No?  Okay, how about I just share the recipe here.  It is yummy with strawberries, pineapple, bananas, nuts and a sour cream filling.  Maybe y’all can make it for your Thanksgiving feast.

So what are some of your Thanksgiving traditions or non-traditional menu items?

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Comfort Food

french, onion, soup, french onion soup, cheese, bread, gruyere, recipe, comfort food, lynne st. jamesWhat’s not to love about comfort food? Except that it usually isn’t the healthiest thing to eat, but hey we can all be bad sometimes, right?  There is something about the weather turning cooler that brings out the desire to spend a lot more time in the kitchen.  I really do love to bake and experiment with different recipes.  Shall I share a secret?  When I was in elementary school I made it all the way to the local finals in the Girl Scout Bakeoff.  It was intimidating and exciting to bake my homemade chocolate layer cake in the Sears Test Kitchen.

But I digress.  LOL!  Last week was one of the first days it was really “cold” in Florida so I dug out a recipe for French Onion Soup.  I hadn’t made it in years and since my family has shrunk, i.e. my children have all flown the nest, I knew I would get quite a few servings out of it.  But luckily it freezes well.

I posted the picture on Facebook and I received so many comments that I decided to start posting recipes here.  So this is the first of many.  I hope if you try it you’ll let me know how you enjoyed it.

If you have any requests for specific recipes that you’d like me to post you can let me know that as well.  But for now–welcome to the inaugural recipe! LOL

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