10 Days Before Christmas…

Technically, this happened about 12 days before Christmas, but the sake of this post, ya know… I made some Chocolate Dipped Gingerbread Biscotti. (The recipe came from Southern Living and can be found Here!) I didn’t plate it all pretty for you, but that doesn’t take anything away from how delicious they were!

I haven’t gotten into the holiday baking spirit in a long time. Actually, I haven’t been in the holiday spirit in a long time. I used to love it all, but something shifted and changed and it’s been a struggle for me to find joy in the season, happiness at the holidays, etc…

A few of my neighbors and I get together a couple of times a year for a luncheon and earlier this week, we had our little Christmas luncheon and a few days beforehand, I wasn’t sure what I was going to take. These ladies are all older than me by 20+ years, mostly on special diets (low sugar, no sugar, some sugar, plant based, low sodium), and deeply religious. We don’t have a lot in common in a general sense, but we all like to eat and we all like coffee, so the idea to make biscotti came to mind (they all mostly set aside their diets for the one day).

A number of years ago when Authors After Dark was a thing and I was still plugged into a small portion of romance writing community, I baked biscotti and homemade marshmallows for Stella Price and joined in a Christmas card recipe exchange, and if I remember correctly, I even made biscotti and some homemade marshmallows and took them to one of the Authors After Dark conventions. Those who had what I made really enjoyed them… I haven’t made either of those things since that one year. How sad for someone who loves to bake, loves to make, loves to give that piece of her heart.

When I finished writing a couple of days ago, I made my way into the kitchen and gathered all the ingredients together and made a mess while singing along to Christmas music. It was fun. It was the most fun I’ve had baking in a long, long time and the finished product went over so well. The ladies loved them. I loved baking them. I didn’t even mind the clean up (thank goodness for dishwashers). Ever since, I’ve been thinking about baking and how much I really do love it and how sad I’ve been that I stopped.

I don’t really have people to bake for on a regular basis, but I’m going to get back into it because it brings me a measure of joy that I need in my life.

I’m not plugged into the romance writing community anymore and haven’t been for years, but when I was, those were good days of writing, community, and baking, recipe sharing, and friendship.

What have you baked this holiday season? And if you don’t bake, what is your favorite holiday treat?




Baking Secret Weapons

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At least, I’m hoping they’ll become secret weapons in my kitchen.

Vanilla Bean Paste is something we all should have and I finally bought myself a small jar and love it. The smell alone is worth opening it up. I do love the flecks of vanilla beans when it’s mixed into frosting or cookies. (more…)

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