Blogs / Life

Thanksgiving Family Traditions

Every year on the day before Thanksgiving, my mom, my husband, and I spend the entire day making baked goods that include Turkey Cookies, Peanut Butter Cookies, Pumpkin Logs, Candied Pecans, and Pumpkin Pie! I can’t give away all our recipes (some are secret), but I can give you some!

Here we go!

Turkey Cookies 

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For this recipe you’ll need Queen Anne chocolate-covered cherries, Fudge Stripes Cookies, Candy corn, and vanilla frosting.

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First you’ll want to cut one cookie in half to form the feet of the turkey. Next, using frosting, you’ll paste five candy corns to the back of a whole cookie to form the wings of the turkey. Also using frosting, you paste a smaller candy corn to the front of a Queen Anne chocolate (its the beak!). Then put frosting on the bottom of the chocolate candy and on the back to attach it to the wings and the feet.

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Ta-daaa! Turkey army time! They are pretty delicate so, to help the frosting set, place the cookies in the fridge for a couple of minutes.

Candied Pecans

For this recipe you will want a bag of pecan halves (four cups), 3 large eggs (just use the egg whites), sugar (1 cup), cinnamon (1 teaspoon), and butter (1/2 stick).

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Mix egg whites, sugar, and cinnamon in a bowl. Then mix in 4 cups of pecan halves. Melt down the butter and coat the tin foil covered baking pan. Spread out the pecans on the sheet and bake at 350degrees for 30 minutes and flip them every 10 minutes.

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They’re delicious!

Royal Icing Flooding Cookies

These are a new addition to our tradition.

We make our own dough from scratch and then cut out the fun pieces!

After letting the cookies cool overnight we prepped all our colors!

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We’re still learning, but I think these came out great!

 

Why so many desserts, you might ask?! You might see those plates in the background. Every year on Thanksgiving morning we take several plates of sweets to our neighbors and to the workers at the Fire Station near my house. It’s probably one of my favorite things to do!

What are some of your family traditions?

 

 

 

Blogs / Life

New Years Eve: History and Traditions

Happy New Years Eve!

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If you’re anything like me, you might be interested in the history of things. So here we go about a brief history of New Years Eve!

  • In 46 B.C. Emperor Julius Caesar introduced the Julian calendar which included January 1st as the first day of the new year. Caesar chose January partly to honor the month’s namesake: Janus – the Roman god of beginnings. This god was most known by his two faces, one that looked into the past and one that looked into the future. Even back then, Romans celebrated by exchanging gifts, decorating their homes, hosting wild parties, and offering sacrifices to Janus (I’m glad we don’t do that one anymore).

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  • It was Pope Gregory XIII that firmly establish January 1 as New Year’s Day in 1582.

Traditions

  • In Spain people eat a dozen grapes to symbolize their hopes for the new year right before midnight.
  • In many places legumes are considered to resemble coins and foretell financial stability. That’s why people in Italy eat lentils and people in the United States eat black-eyed peas. (While I don’t believe that black-eyed peas will actually do anything for me, my great-grandma did and so every year we eat some to honor her memory).
  • In the United States, the most famous tradition on New Year’s Eve is the dropping of a giant, fabulous, lit-up ball in New York’s City’s Time Square at midnight.

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  • In places such as Cuba, Austria, Hungary, and Portugal people eat pigs because they represent progress and prosperity.
  • Other nations such as Mexico, Netherlands, and Greece eat ring-shaped cakes and pastries to signify that the year has come full circle.
  • In Sweden and Norway, people hide an almond in rice pudding and whoever finds the almond expects to have a fantastic New Year!
  • Are you making New Year’s Resolutions? You can thank the ancient Babylonians for that! They were the first to make promises in order to earn the favor of the gods.

 

Well, there you have it, a brief history and some really interesting traditions! What are YOUR family traditions? Are you making any New Year’s resolutions?

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Please remember to be safe tonight and if you are drinking, do not drive. Buzzed driving IS drunk driving. And that is not a way to start the New Year.

For more on New Year’s Eve History, click here.