Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Cookies and sparkles

It’s been wonderful having a holiday from work, and I’ve been doing things that make my heart glad. The cookie exchange was fun and I came home with some delicious treats that are difficult to stay away from.

I guess my cookies were all right, because I got a text later that night from one of our former students who was home from college. Her mom had come home from the exchange and shared some of the treats with the family. The text read:

Hey, Mrs. Young, it’s Madison. I’m planning on eating your entire bag of cookies. They’re banging!!!



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I made White Chocolate Kissed  Gingerbread Cookies, and heard of this recipe on Pinterest. It was originally posted on the McCormick spice website. I love gingerbread (as does my husband), and the addition of the white and milk chocolate piece adds an extra punch. The gingerbread is slightly crunchy on the outside and soft and chewy on the inside, which is the way I like it.


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Click on the link below for the easy-to-make recipe. The dough takes 4 hours to chill, so plan accordingly – and make sure your kisses are unwrapped before you take the cookies out of the oven ~


White Chocolate Kissed Gingerbread Cookies


I got the quote stamp {here}, from Kim Klassen.


<3


Oh, I just love this song.



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I also love the glow of candlelight.

This is one of my favorite decorations and is in the upstairs landing. Night is beginning to fall and I don’t even care that it starts getting dark by 4:30. The winter solstice is tomorrow and then the days will begin to get a little bit longer.



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There’s a garden shop nearby that has a big after Christmas sale every year. All their holiday décor is 50% off, and that’s when I got this twig, feather, and pine cone spray a few years ago. I love it.



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Something else I love is wrapping presents. Last night I poured a small glass of sherry, put on my Christmas tunes, and wrapped a few presents. These are gifts for blogging friends I’m meeting in NYC over the holidays.

I am taking the train up, and meeting one of them for the ride. (So excited!)

Two months ago, I didn’t think I’d ever be able to leave my husband, but he’s doing quite allright. And I need this ~ I really do.



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This one has border collie bokeh in it. Oh, and speaking of bokeh, PW is having another ‘Holiday Bokeh’ photography assignment. Check her site to find out more about it.


Holiday Bokeh Alert


Thank you for all of your visits, your kind comments, and for following me over the years. It’s been a pleasure sharing my photography with you and I cannot believe that come December 26th, it will be four years since I began this blog.

So much has happened in four years ~

Enjoy your day.
123 Signature[5]


ps - I'm linking this post up with Farmchick's blog, for her recipe swap. Check it out for more foodie goodness or to join in with a recipe and post of your own by clicking on the button below.



Fresh from the Farm Recipe Swap with Farmchick

46 comments:

Hilary said...

Amen. Four years can change a lot of things, dear friend.
I am grateful to the blogging world, I have been so fortunate to meet wonderful people like you.
Have a great trip to NYC.
One of these days, I will get there myself.
Oh, headache be gone.

tj said...

...*goosebumps listening to that song* Love. :o)

...I love it here. You've made your blog a lovely place, kinda like coming home. ;o)

...I will have to make these bangin' cookies of yours now. Heck, with a glowing review like that who wouldn't?! *giggle* Besides, they look delish'!

...I love how you wrap your presents! The wrapping alone is a present in itself. Beautiful. :o) And enjoy your visit with the "Blisters"...hee,hee,hee "Hello!" Daryl, Lauren, Annie and Janice! *waving* And "Merry Christmas!" I can't wait 'til I get to meet you Kate and all the girls some day. That'll be a Christmas gift in itself. *<:o{

...Enjoy your day Miss Kate! (((hug)))

...Blessings :o)

Reena Walkling said...

Time so does fly! I'd just like it to slow down. Your cookies ... well just yummy looking as is your bokeh! I'm so going to miss you guys in NYC!

The Japanese Redneck said...

My husbands theory on cookies is to go ahead and eat them all in one sitting!

I'm out till January 3rd.

Happy holidays. I'll miss you.

Daryl Edelstein said...

Could you come now and wrap the gifts I am giving? I'll open a bottle of Malbec .. I'll play holiday songs.. I'll make you potato latkes .. cant wait to see you .. just one week to go!

Farmchick said...

Those cookies look sooo good! You should drop by my blog and share your post and recipe in my recipe swap. :) Have a great day!!

mrs mediocrity said...

sigh....
cookies and bokeh and river, oh my.
:)
yay! for you, so glad you are able to get away, enjoy!

JMCD said...

I love reading your blog. In a way it helps me remain grounded and focus on the important. Your photography is beautiful and adds a bright spot to my day. I wish you a season of peace and joy in the present.
Jamie

Jeanne Walker said...

This post is one of my favorites. I am loving the photos and the narrative. I can almost see the candle light flicker and smell the aroma of gingerbread! If I was the recepient of one of your gifts, I don't think I would unwrap it...all you would have to do was wrap an empty box for me! Oh, how I wish I was taking that train ride with you...have a delightful time! George will do a fine job taking care of your DH...so glad that he is doing so well! Merry Christmas, Sweet Friend! JW

Jeanne Walker said...

And...I see several photos, especially the one of the wrapped package with the reindeer adornment, that may be winners in PW's contest!

TSannie said...

You certainly have that bokeh thingy down pat!

TSannie said...

Just listened to that song - I'm finding it hard to believe I've never heard it (it's beautiful) seeing it was a Joni Mitchell song. She's one of my all time favorites. Sarah did a wonderful job singing it, too. Off to find Joni's recording of it.

Tina´s PicStory said...

this cookies looks soooo yummy :)

Ashley Sisk said...

I love all this beautiful bokeh...and I want some cookies!

{ T G L } said...

Gorgeous shots, like straight out of a Christmas magazine! I can really feel the 'cheer' :)

Glad to hear you're enjoying yourself and having a blogging trip with friends. I went to Scotland recently and instagrammed it (see blog) ;) It was good fun!

Enjoy the holidays and please keep on blogging. 4 years still going strong! :)

Blessings,
This Good Life

The Weaver of Grass said...

You have relly got me into the spirit of Christmas and I intend to have a go at those biscuits.

Denise at Autumn Sky said...

Beautiful photos with that new camera. Have a great trip, you need a little time away with friends.

beth said...

dang....nobody ever says my cookies are banging good. but after a few glasses of wine, my hubby looks at me and says you are banging sexy, but that's a whole other story :)

somehow i guessed you loved wrapping presents the same way i do....it soothes my soul a bit, you know :)

and what NEW YORK with bloggers....now i kind of wish i lived on the east coast :(

xoxoxo

momphotographer said...

those cookies look sooo delicious! and your pictures are gorgeous!

Nellie said...

What a wonderful post today, Kate! I'm so glad you are enjoying your holiday time. It is time for wrapping presents around here, too, and I have to congratulate myself for staying out of the cookies I have baked as part of someone else's Christmas.:-)

xoxo

Cloudia said...

great post - great song!



Aloha from Honolulu
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Low Tide High Style said...

Gorgeous bokeh shots, and I have that same reindeer ornament that you put on that beautiful package! The twig and feather wreath is beautiful and the cookies do look banging!

Kat :)

linda said...

I have that version of "River" on my favorites ~ it gets a lot of play this time of year....still love the dog ~ the skater ~ & of course the song.

Have a wonderful holiday!

barbara l. hale said...

Just beautiful!

ELK said...

yum! and YAY... for school being out (today was my last day) AND four years of blogging!!

Kerri said...

Those cookies are calling to me ...... And your pics are amazing! So glad you are getting to meet your friends in NY ...... I always love seeing your NY pics whn you get back!
Very very happy that your hubby is well enough for you to go!

Mental P Mama said...

Yummmmmm. Annie and I started ours two days after you;)

JaneK said...

what beautiful presents!!! just wow! I wish I could say I like wrapping; I don't know if I am not good at it b/c I don't like it or if I don't like it b/c I'm not good at it..... it doesn't mix well with my ADD :-/
thanks for sharing..... I'm glad you are getting away to the big apple; look forward to seeing some shots of all the Christmas lights!

Stella said...

I loved your pictures and music. I keep repeating the music....must go looking for the CD. I'm feeling kind of isolated this Christmas and Thank you for sharing it helps. Have fun on your trip. Merry Christmas. Love Stella

Country Girl said...

Thanks, everyone. Stella, you're not alone. Sometimes things are just plain difficult. The CD is available at Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Wintersong-Sarah-Mclachlan/dp/B000HBKCDC/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1324434329&sr=8-1

~ C.G.

tina said...

I was thinking I would see some of your beautiful photos for the PW bokeh assignment. I didn't see any in the Christmas card assignment. See you there :)

These Nine Acres said...

*shiver* DELICIOUS. Banging too ;)
Brian is the baker in this house. He made these amazing chocolate caramel cookies that are to die for! Merry Christmas, my friend!

Ruby said...

Yummy cookies! The song was very beautiful. And your trip to NYC to meet blog friends - that is so cool!! Merry Christmas!!!

Anonymous said...

Dee from Tennessee


Four years...???!? How??!?? Altho I rarely comment anymore, I do read and I do pray and hold y'all in my heart of hearts! Your blog is a gift to me, a gift. Blessed Christmas to you both and to ol' George too. (And - wow - I know he got you a new camera ,etc...but what an eye you have. You make it look so easy. ~~~ and still "holding out" for recovery of your pics!)

Karen said...

Four years!!!...I've been following for two :-)

Love the recipe, gonna try it.. also love this series of photos.

Country Girl said...

Thanks, Dee from Tennessee. I haven't picked up the EHD yet. Must take the next step and don't want to think about it until after the holidays.

* sigh *

~ C.G.

Joyce F. said...

This is the first time I have ever left a comment for you, however I want you to know how much I enjoy your blog. I look forward to every one of your photos and commentary. Thanks so much for continuing on even when times have been difficult for you. Enjoy the time with family & friends during this holiday season.

Country Girl said...

Oh! Well, thank you, Joyce F. Actually, the blog helps to keep me sane at times. Have a wonderful holiday ~

~ C.G.

Kim said...

I LOVE your photos! And those cookies look downright delicious!

Bluebird49 said...

I never fail to get a wonderful feeling when I come here. The photo of the spray is my favorite,but they're all beautiful, Kate. I am SO glad you can go to NYC--how are your friends going to tear into such beautifully wrapped gifts! I so lack in that department!
I was just listening to James Taylor singing "The River" last night on a Christmas CD of his.
I have a feeling your house smelled heavenly while those cookies baked--and it's good that Andrew loves them...and he must love you very much, too. The scanner and the camera you've already gotten BEFORE Christmas--are great gifts!
You two have been in my prayers many nights this year. We're up in the mountains with our son and DIL and our grandchildren, eating too many bits of "trash", Chex Mix and oatmeal raisin cookies! I wrapped gifts for 2 hours last night--oh, there weren't that many, it just takes me a long time when I've got a 4- and 7-year-old trying to peek into my bedroom, and find out secrets that cannot be revealed yet! (I pray you have grandkids one day--they're life-changing!) Plus--so many needed BATTERIES and I had had them shipped up here, so I had to make sure everything worked. AND --I don't know if you've ever had to do this--but I even had to wrap my OWN gift! (Oh--and I had to ORDER it, too--hubby doesn't know how to do these things.
Evidently yours does!) But--we're so very blessed to have them, aren't we? Oh,so blessed! And they are--to have us. I'm sure your husband would be the first to admit that. And I feel blessed to have found this site--which I look so forward to each evening.:)

Georgianna said...

Your beautiful photos and creations are perfect holiday treats, Kate. I love the feathers and candlelight especially. Wishing you a very wonderful Christmas, cozy and happy and filled with special memories. Thank you for your friendship this year.

xo – g

Kay said...

I am happy you get to go meet your friends. Nice your husband is well enough again !! It was a gorgeous frosty morning and I was out early at 7:30....perfect picture taking weather with fog lifting off the bay and off the hills surrounding our area, but left camera at home...Merry Christmas from the sunny South Coast of Oregon..... Kay

Linda Higgins said...

I really enjoyed the song, which I have not heard before. Wishing you a safe and wonderful Christmas! PS I will be cooking those cookies Friday!

Lili said...

I love that song too! Everything looks so darn pretty Kate. I'm so glad you have the chance to get back to NYC over the holidays, it sounds like so much fun! xo ~Lili

Chocolate Cat said...

Your cookies look amazing, I can't wait to try them!

Mary said...

Oh, those cookies look amazing! I may need to try those, but after Christmas. :)

I now have Wintersong in my itunes library, and I listened to it yesterday as I wrapped presents. It's finally looking like Christmas here, although the weather has been unseasonably warm...
xoxo