Happy New Year and happy new ‘do for this girl!
I’m on the last day of Christmas vacation before it’s back to the bump and grind of normal life. It’s been a harrowing couple of months and I unplugged from everything and enjoyed the holidays with the hubby and resetting the mental clock for success in 2016.
So… let’s get you caught up on this little vacay from work and adult life (ha). We started our vacation off with Christmas Eve packed full of traditions and baking. Ever since the first year Ben and I were dating, we would always go out for breakfast on Christmas Eve. This year we went out for delicious pancakes and waffles. I had pumpkin spice waffles and Ben went with dulce de leches pancakes and both were wonderful! Some traditions are too good to stop.
After that we went home and proceeded to cook straight through until supper time. Since the family had a ton going on, we took on more than the usual one or two items and also baked sweet potatoes for Christmas dinner.
It was a multi-tasking, cookie baking extravaganza! We had just rolled up our sleeves when my Christmas flowers arrived! I wanted some pretty flowers and got a Groupon so they were really cheap. Love!
My brother Matt loved the nutmeg logs we made two years ago but I didn’t feel like rolling out dough into logs, so I settled for little cookies instead. This saved a lot of time but still provided the same end result taste-wise.
I had wanted to make some new items and really wanted to make homemade snickers bars. There was a layer of chocolate…. then a layer of nougat….
Lots of stirring for the layer of caramel:
And then, finally, the top layer of chocolate!
These were really tasty, SUPER putzy to make, and I made the caramel layer a bit too runny so they didn’t stay together as well as I had hoped. Still, everyone loved them.
During this time I had sweet potatoes peeled and boiling on the stove:
And Ben was making his very first batch of caramel puff corn (aka Christmas crack)
And if this wasn’t enough, I had a crazy idea to try homemade toffee for the first time. After twenty minutes of intense stirring, this sweet, velvety & buttery delicacy was born:
Homemade toffee is P H E N O M E N A L
It was so good I almost didn’t want to share any 🙂 We topped ours with chocolate and toasted pecans. Mmm Mmm Good!
We finished just as the folks called to invite us to caravan for the yearly drive around town to look at Christmas lights. We packed everything up so we would have less to bring over the next morning.
The car all set! (plus the back seats were filled with ingredients for wassail) sheesh, what a load of festivity and cheer!
We got home with enough time to open our stockings to one another and enjoy Christmas tunes and Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.
On our first ever non-white Christmas morning, we were up early and off to my side:
After a leisurely breakfast and gift opening, we went back to our house to unload and reload before heading to Ben’s side for Christmas #2
After lunch and more gift exchanges and good cheer, we were back home to unload once more before heading back to my folks for dinner.
Delicious spread of food!
Mom made apple pie for Ben and a family request for a new kind of pie: chocolate caramel pecan. It was just as good as it sounds:
It was a VERY long day, as usual, but we managed to be there for both families and the prepping ahead of time kept us organized and on time. It’s very lucky our families are so close!
Well that’s it for Christmas. I need to wrap up the rest of vacation and then think about what’s coming for 2016. I hope it’s off to a wonderful start for all of you!!