Hello and welcome to day 3 of the 12 Days of Christmas blog tour 2020!
My idea for today was to share some Christmas recipes! I love to cook and I love Christmasy foods, but when I actually thought about it, I found it was harder than I expected to come up with Christmas recipes that don’t involve leaking some major secret recipe. 😉 Or breaking copyright rules.
Around Christmas, we tend to have mashed potatoes and turkey (which is also a Thanksgiving thing), gingerbread cookies (which are not entirely accepted as delicious), Christmas cookie (aka sugar cookies with frosting on them), hot chocolate, and peppermint candy ice cream.
But we don’t always use the same recipe or even make all those by hand. Plus I’ve become more and more relaxed about exact measurements in certain recipes. So I figured, instead of giving you cut-and-dry recipe instructions, I’d give more of a rough overview with lots of tips for a few of these!
First you peel and wash your potatoes, then boil them. You’ll want to cut in half any particularly large potatoes so they all boil evenly.
Once the potatoes have boiled until soft (about 20 or 25 minutes, depending on their size), and have been drained of the water, the very next thing you’ll want to do is add butter. Lots of it.
If you make sure and add butter first thing, before mixing it and cutting it up more, it can help ensure against the possible consequences of overmixing. Plus butter is yummy (at least on/in something). 🙂
Unless you are mashing by hand, you might want to put the potatoes in a mixing bowl at this point (maybe before you put the butter in). Then you mix it all up, cutting larger chunks down so they don’t come flying out of the mixing bowl, and you can add some salt and pepper.
The final addition is the most important addition of all. And sadly, I have become aware that it is *gasps* often neglected!! You MUST add sour cream. Not milk. Not cream. Not mashed-potato-mix-thingimajigs. Only sour cream.
Then, viola! Super yummy mashed potatoes.
Note: gravy is an entire different entity that shall not be discussed in this post. Just know that anything but homemade gravy is disgusting. 🙂
Hot chocolate is extremely simple. In it’s basic form, it involves milk, cocoa powder, and sugar.
It can also include a small amount of vanilla extract, a few marshmallows, and lots of whipped cream.
In essence, the best hot chocolate is made on the stove top with whole milk. Raw Jersey milk tastes best but….regular pasteurized Holstein 3% milk such as is regularly sold at stores works fine.
First you must heat the milk up and then you add a mixture of sugar and cocoa until it is chocolatey enough. We tend to use a ratio of 3 parts organic cane sugar to 1 part cocoa powder. I think it tastes better with a ratio of 3:2, but that’s probably just me. Saco premium cocoa and Ghirardelli “Majestic” premium cocoa powder are the best.
If you want to put a teeny-tiny bit of vanilla extract in, this is the perfect time to do it. You could also add some peppermint syrup for a pepperminty hot chocolate.
Once you the milk is heated up and you add your desired amount of sugar and cocoa, whisk it (or just casually stir it) until it is dissolved and then pour it into cups (or preferably, mugs…although half-filled quart jars are great too).
If you so desire, top with whip cream and a tiny sprinkle of cocoa powder. Enjoy!
First off, pick your favorite starting cookie recipe. Christmas cookies are usually made with sugar cookies for a base, but you can do whatever you want.
Also pick your favorite Christmasy cookie cutter shape(s)! I think we have a tree shape, a bell shape, a gingerbread man shape, and a star shape.
Once you cook them, it’s time to decorate! We don’t tend to do any fancy (and we don’t have a piping bag) so we tend to just spread frosting on top with a butter knife.
The absolute best kind of frosting is cream-cheese frosting. There just isn’t another kind of frosting that compares!
You can do a lot of fun stuff to decorate using sprinkles, powdered sugar, different colored frosting, piping bags, et cetera.
But because you absolutely have to at least try cream-cheese frosting we’ll move onto that next! Don’t worry, it’s super easy.
Cream Cheese Frosting
To start, put a package of cream cheese in a food processer or mixer. Or double that if you’d like a bigger batch.
Next add anywhere from 3-1 cup of powdered sugar (per package of cream cheese). We use about 1 1/2 cups and I think it’s about perfect.
You can also add 1/4-1/2 stick of softened butter if you want, but we often just skip it.
Finally add a little bit of vanilla extract (1-2 tsps.) or whatever other flavoring you want (for example melted chocolate or lemon extract), and pulse (in the food processor) or mix (in the mixer).
To color your frosting either add it along with the vanilla or divide up your frosting up into smaller portions so you can have more colors. Just add a drop or two at first then mix it and then, if you want more, you can add some more later.
That’s all for today y’all!!! Hope you enjoyed!
I’ll be back tomorrow with a words study on the word “gift.” Can’t wait to see what I find!
Song of the Day: “Christmas Is” by Francesca Battistelli
“But rejoice, all who take refuge in You,
Sing for joy forever!
And may You shelter them,
That those who love Your name may rejoice in You.
-Psalm 5:11 (NASB)