Thursday, December 12, 2013

Holiday Cookie Exchange Party!

This year I hosted a holiday cookie exchange party for my super fabulous mom's club ladies. How does a cookie exchange party work you may ask?

First, have guests bring enough cookies to be placed on a plate for everyone who has RSVP'd to try one. So if 12 people RSVP, each attendee should bring 12 cookies for each "tasting" plate. Number each plate'll see why later : )

Ask guests to bring 6 of their cookies packaged up for each attendee to take home from the "Cookie Table". Again, if 12 people RSVP, they'll need 12 individual packages of 6 cookies each. I picked up some gold chargers at the dollar store for the ladies to easily carry all their treats home on.

Here's where it gets fun...

Tell everyone to bake their best cookies because there will be voting on Best Taste, Most Unique, Best Looking, and Most Creative Cookies!!!!

I put together some little mani-pedi kits (hand cream, a nail file, a mini bottle of polish, toe separators and a pumice stone) from items I picked up from Ulta during their Black Friday sale and wrapped them up for prizes.

After all those cookies, I kept the rest of the food simple...just a platter of fruit, veggies and dip. For beverages, I served wine and my new favorite holiday punch (you can find the recipe HERE). I also placed a couple small dishes of candy around too for munching.

My contribution was Italian Almond Cookies...hubby's fav! Here's the recipe...

2 pounds almond paste
1 cup all-purpose flour
8 egg whites
2 cups white sugar
2 cups confectioners' sugar
4 cups sliced almonds
1 small jar maraschino cherries, drained and halved

-Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Use parchment paper to line cookie sheets. 

-Combine in your mixer the almond paste, flour, egg whites, white sugar and confectioners' sugar until well blended. The mixture will be VERY sticky. Place the sliced almonds into a small bowl. Using a floured ice cream scoop, scoop out rounded teaspoonfuls of the dough and drop them into the almonds. Roll until completely coated. Place 2 inches apart onto the prepared cookie sheets. Top with a halved maraschino cherry in the middle.

-Bake for 15 to 20 minutes. Cool on cookie sheets for a few minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.

The ladies cooked up some delicious cookies! We had a great time and I can't wait to do it again next year : )

Hold your own holiday cookie exchange party with my free printables...

Merry Christmas!


Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Yummy Holiday Punch Recipe

This is a super easy, delicious and non-alcoholic holiday punch recipe to whip up for all your holiday get-togethers. Now, under "normal" circumstances, I would have to add a little rum to this recipe to spice it up.... BUT, seeing as how I'm five and a half months preggo, that won't be happening this year.

Here's the recipe...

2 cups cranberry juice cocktail
4 cups prepared lemonade
2 cups orange juice
1/2 (4 ounce) jar maraschino cherries
1/2 (2 liter) bottle ginger ale
1 orange, sliced in rounds

1. In a large punch bowl or drink dispenser, combine cranberry juice cocktail, lemonade, and orange juice. Stir in the maraschino cherries. Refrigerate for 2 hours or more. 

2. When ready to serve, pour in the ginger ale. Garnish each glass with an orange slice.


Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Santa's Key Poem & FREE Printable

I wish I could say this was an original idea, however it is not. But, I couldn't resist creating one for our home when I saw it on Pinterest.

The poem reads... Dear Santa, This magic key works just for you, please open the door and come on through. Thank you for coming to our house tonight. We are celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ. Thank you Santa for the gifts you bring. Thank you Lord for everything.

I typed up the poem, added a vintage Santa from Clip Art and printed it out on card stock...the key I found at Micheal's in their $1 bins. I then tied them together using some pretty red ribbon I had laying around and viola! Love. It.

You can make your own using my free printable below.

Merry Christmas

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