Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Christmas Table Topper and Easy Sugar Cookies with Stained Glass Windows

Hello everybody! Merry Christmas EVE! Of course, by the time you read this, it will be Christmas, but for me, right now it's.... time to prepare for the Christmas day feast!
First, the table topper. We put all the leaves in the table and it seats ten. (Still not enough, but we'll stick the kids somewhere nearby.)
 Ha! Love my little guy's expression here. "Mom, stop taking my picture!"
 Greenery from outside, dollar store candles, some silk flowers chopped up, and paper punch snowflakes are just about perfect.
Love those red berries!
I put in a silver snowflake ribbon and had another ready, but it just didn't look right to me.
 Maybe it looked like a fire hazard!! What ever it was, I decided we should use that somewhere else. I set the candles on upside down ramekins so they might be a little farther from the greenery.
 Here it is, all finished. Total cost? $10 of Dollar Store materials! I love Pinterest. It made it really so easy to find a look I wanted for the table.
 Speaking of tables, my friend Mindy brought me a gift. It's a replacement of a  bowl I broke earlier this year. Another friend, Barbara, had given me a 'Fruits of the Spirit' fruit bowl. It was really special to me, and when it broke I was so sad! You can imagine my surprise when I opened this! My little guys said, "Hey, she fixed your bowl!" Ha!  I'm definitely thrilled to have this sweet reminder of the Holy Spirit on our table again.
So, before the table topper, we decorated a premade gingerbread house. MMMMM.....
Found these really sweet gingerbread men at the grocery store and decided we had to have them. Usually, there are not enough 'figures' for a family our size. We just make do. But hey, there were enough for each one of us AND a few friends!
 My brother likes to post pictures of his recent climbing expeditions and the kids put one of the gingerbread men on the roof and called it 'Uncle Conrad'.
 A Lego man crept in here somewhere. I think it's 'Pirates of the Caribbean' plus the Lone Ranger's hat. Poor little gingerbread man to the left is holding on to his gum drop for dear life.
Thrift store candle holders for .50 and that awesome paper punch plus some mod podge = some pretty votives for my kitchen! I'm all about the teal right now.These keep me company when I set up to work at the counter in the middle of the night. 
Some of these deadlines have come hot and heavy right on top of each other. What's a girl to do when she just can't sit at that desk another minute? Why, pull a Mrs. Gaskell (author of North and South) and write in the kitchen with wee children underfoot. I usually don't write during the daylight hours since our kitchen is a bit of a superhighway, but I've learned to edit with one eye on the crazies.
We put out our luminaria on Christmas Eve. We didn't get a chance to put up lights this year so it was nice to have an outward sign that we're celebrating!!
So,  my friend Barbara (she of the fruit bowl fame) asked us if we'd come sing carols at the nursing home on Christmas Eve. Of course we said yes, because we're always up for a good party! We also wanted to bring cookies, so it was a good time to try out a giant batch in the new mixer.
What you see there is 15 cups of flour, 12 eggs, 4 1/2 cups of butter, 6 cups of sugar, 3 tsp vanilla, 3 tsp salt, 3 tsp baking powder. 
Edna was watching with bated breath. She had never seen so many ingredients put in one bowl. 
Boris handled it like a champ.... except for one small incident. Apparently, he is ticklish. I had just put in the 12 eggs, the 4 1/2 cups melted butter and the 6 cups of sugar. I started him up, and thought it was a bit too high so I felt around his ribs for the little lever... He started to twitch and giggle, and I somehow pushed it all the way to the right.
Eggs, butter, sugar.... EVERYWHERE. Boris has power, no doubt about it. It took us 20 minutes to clean it all up. My daughter and I were laughing at how far we found globs of goo. A whole egg yolk was on the opposite side of the kitchen! Ok, once we changed, we started on the cookies...
 Stained glass window cookies are made by cutting out a regular cookie, then making another cut out inside of the first. Break hard candy like Life Savers or Jolly Ranchers and fill the hole. Bake as normal at 350F for 8-10 minutes, on a cookie sheet with tin foil.
When you take them from the oven, let cool on the counter for a few minutes. Then put them either in the freezer or leave them on the counter for ten minutes. Since we only have two cookies sheets, I put them in the freezer for 3 minutes or so to save time. 

I want to wish you all the merriest of Christmases! I read this quote the other day and thought it was just lovely. May the peace of the Christ child be with you all! 

“And when we give each other Christmas gifts in His name, let us remember that He has given us the sun and the moon and the stars, and the earth with its forests and mountains and oceans--and all that lives and move upon them. He has given us all green things and everything that blossoms and bears fruit and all that we quarrel about and all that we have misused--and to save us from our foolishness, from all our sins, He came down to earth and gave us Himself.”  ― Sigrid Undset


  1. Thank you for the Christmas Eve visit, Virginia!

    And yes, I would imagine your kitchen IS a super-highway - especially when you're making something yummy like that super batch of Christmas cookies.

    Merry Christmas to you and yours! And to all the Cafe peeps :)

    1. Thank you, Jan! And Merry Christmas to you and yours also!

  2. Of course Boris is ticklish...only in your house on Christmas Eve!!!! Thanks for sharing your celebrations. and those cookies look divine. I'm sure they were muchly appreciated. Hoping you are having a wonderful Christmas day with all that family!!!!!!!

    1. Thank you, Kav!! We had a really lively day. Church was early and so uplifting. Then we cooked and cooked until guests arrived at 2:30. Then it was meal time.... which lasted until 6 or so because of all the charting. Merry Christmas to you and yours!!

  3. Merry Christmas to all! Virginia, I love your table! Beautiful.

    And now I have to say I'm stunned by how much you fit in that mixer! LOL I can just picture the goo being slung. :)

    1. It was CRAZY. My daughter and I both had to change ( we waited to take a shower until we got the dough mixed) but hey... the kitchen got a nice scrub down before Christmas day!

  4. Beautiful cookies! Merry Christmas.

    1. And to you, Tina! (And you, too Missy, since I forgot to say that up above!)