Monday, December 2, 2013

december favorites

December! It's here!!

I can't believe that Thanksgiving has come and gone. How was your holiday? I spent Thanksgiving day in the kitchen with my two sisters-in-law and we had so much fun preparing our feast. Did you eat your weight in butter? Me too. I'm spending the rest of the week attached to my juicer......actually, where can I get a juice IV?

I love December, and I've put together this post to share some of my favorites with YOU. And I ask that YOU share your favorites in the comments with me. I love taking a peek at your traditions and seeing how we can add to our own. 

So if you're feeling gross and sluggish and extra buttery like me, here is a festive December juice that I posted a few weeks ago. Cranberries are everywhere right now and so good for you--drink up!
Cranberry juice recipe HERE
(be sure to check out my recipe page on the right for more juice recipes)
We are going to dip down below zero this I ready? probably not. You will find us wrapped in blankets and eating lots and lots of soup. I'll be making this stew this week--it's thick and hearty and perfect when it's freezing outside. 
Lentil and Coconut Curry Stew (HERE)
Well since December has already started and you are probably a good mom, your advent is already started I'm guessing. But if you are like me, it's still in the attic (somewhere) and it will most likely be a few days until you get it I alone here? This advent calendar is super easy and fast to make, and my kids have loved it the past few years. I love that I can fill the envelopes to make them fit into our life--keep it simple like "read a Christmas book" or put in a bigger event "go look at Christmas lights" on evenings we have more time.

Advent Calendar (HERE)
christmashouse2 copy
My kids love to paint--last year they had so much fun making their very own 
Christmas Art (HERE)

Here is a little gift to give that is easy and fast and it feels so good on your skin. 
Whip up a batch for friends.....or keep if for yourself. We use it daily around here.
Make your own Coconut Body Butter (HERE) we go. We now have to move on to treats. 
I love December baking and candy making so here are just a few of our favorites. 
Homemade Peppermint Bark (HERE). 
Easy recipe--your kids can even help--and you only need just a few ingredients.
It's hard to beat homemade 
English Toffee (HERE). 
It's intimidating to make the first time, but I took step by step photos and I PROMISE you can do it.
toffee8 copy
Easiest treat ever--a perfect quick gift. 
Black and White Popcorn (HERE)
popcorn5 copy
My all time favorite Christmas cookies. I'm sure I will blog about them again sometime soon and you will see them covering my Instagram feed. They taste like Christmas to me. 
Snowballs (HERE)
snowballs7 copy
We had this a few years back for our Christmas feast. 
Chocolate Orange Layer Cake (HERE)
I love trying a new dessert recipe each year--what do you make for Christmas dessert?
chocolate orange layer cake copy
also: I am working hard on a little gift guide for your holiday shopping. only things that we personally use and absolutely love. I'm hoping to have it done in the next few days. 

also also: I want to know your December Favorites! 
Link me to your favorite recipes and homemade gifts!

Happy December!


Athena said...

I love making candy cane cookies! (link is in the post)

And a new favorite to bake during the holidays and give away (but mostly keep to myself to eat) are Sandies by the Sea -- pecan cookies topped with melted dark chocolate, caramel, and fleur de sel.

That chocolate orange layer cake looks divine!

Rania said...

I love cold winter evenings, knitted socks and a cup of hot cocoa

Anonymous said...

these are gorgeous. i love your recipes and pictures. :)

i had a quick question: what do you use to edit your photos? they are so gorgeous and the edits are always perfect.

Kaitlyn Luce said...

I love getting in the kitchen with my mom and going on a cookie baking marathon. We're a force to be reckoned with in the kitchen.

Anonymous said...

ok, all your favorites are awesome. i made that body butter as a gift last year - it was a hit. i also LOVE the advent calendar and am totally doing that this year (even if we're already four days in).
i love making handmade holdiay cards each year. once they're done, i set aside a special night to listen to christmas songs and drink hot cocoa while writing personal messages to friends and family.

Anonymous said...

My absolute favorite is our winter solstice night hike. Downtown Flagstaff is also adorable, and I love wandering around in the cold with a hot drink. I miss the lights at Temple Square and like playing Christmas music on the piano. I'm going to try making eggnog this year...and we're doing a little Christmas day getaway instead of the traditional.

Anonymous said...

Oh and current favorite recipes: for Thanksgiving we made crispy duck breast (recipe in recent Sunset magazine) and a buttermilk custard inspired by your pie (posting it tomorrow). Both were AMAZING.

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