How's that holiday cooking going so far? If it's like mine, you haven't even come close to gathering all those ingredients in those 7-20 recycled grocery bags yet. There is so much going on around here these days that I can't even think beyond making dinner every night.
But I WILL pull out holiday baking - somehow - someway!
Holiday cooking involves the assistance of ALL four of my chef påtissier's! Which usually means it takes me till January 15th to clean everything up! It gets that messy. Not to mention my kitchen is half the size it was last year!
This year is going to be a bit special since Nadia's best friend from Florida will be joining us for a week to join in all the Christmas chaos in my kitchen. I plan on teaching her how to make homemade marshmallows and the delicate art of making the corn syrup stick to every stinking pan we use. It's something I've perfected over the years.
So here's my list of baking spécialités I plan on sending out as gifts:
- White Chocolate Candy-Cane Fudge
- Dark Chocolate Candy-Cane Fudge
- White and dark chocolate marbled Candy-Cane Fudge (this is getting ridiculous!)
- Gingerbread Boys (cause the men always hog up the pan!)
- Cinnamon Bun Cakettes (the midget form of cakes)
- Peanut Brittle (my dad's fav - a must have every Christmas!)
Now, with all the shopping that needs to be done AND the decorations that are STILL in complete disarray on my living room floor AND all the cleaning/laundry/hiding kids clothes under the bed, ON TOP OF the baking/cooking/burning the kitchen down that has to be done -
something has got to give here!
I need help - and badly. Since the candy cane fudge is new on the list this year, I really don't want to mark this one out, and the same goes with the marshmallows because I want to show my fourth daughter, how to make it. So what does a time-strapped mom do? Ask for help from one of my fav candy departments - See's Candies.
Since I'm pretty much gonna cover myself and the rest of the kids in corn syrup from the marshmallows, I'm ordering the peanut brittle this year from See's Candies because I just love everything they sell there and their candies never let me down. This stuff is about as homemade as I can get with growing the peanuts myself!
It is the BEST and butter-est peanut brittle outside of my own recipe. In other words - this stuff rocks! My dad will never know the difference - and he's very picky about his peanut brittle! Plus, I'll be saving so much money (because half my ingredients I buy get eaten by my other half before I even start cooking!), I'm ordering a bunch for my own family this year.
A little for them.... more for me.... a little for them.... much more for me!
Then I'll lie to them and say I made it cause they'll never know the difference either! They'll be too busy UN-sticking themselves from the corn syrup and pans to notice.
So to continue my budget-conscious, keeping it simple theme this holiday season, do yourself a favor and let someone else handle some of the cooking for you this year, plus save yourself some time, money, and a LOT of sanity as well.
If you do, then you will have your kitchen cleaned by..... January 2nd!