Tag Archive: cookies


The Best of Christmas

Family Movie Night

By Karyn Bowman

Do you have your must-watch movies during the holiday season?

I know I do.

Just like those must have treats, the holiday season doesn’t feel right without certain movies.

christmas-cookiesOne holiday treat I miss are the mini pecan pies one of my mom’s friends used to make. She used a cream cheese dough that was perfect with the custard and nut filling. But Chris has been gone for too many years and I never could re-create them.

However, I can make kolachi cookies and plan to do so this year. I think one Saturday will be spent in the kitchen rolling out dough and filling them with apricot or cream cheese filling. I wouldn’t mind making white chocolate cranberry oatmeal cookies as well. And I think the kids want those peanut butter cookies with a chocolate kiss in the middle. Somehow it doesn’t seem like Christmas without them.

One thing I have never been able to do is make a decent pie crust until I found a recipe that called for half butter and half shortening. Forget the Martha Stewart food processor version. This recipe never falls apart on me or make me wish I hadn’t attempted a homemade crust. Now I just need to learn how to make those pies with the beautiful leaves and vines.

A Christmas Story Peter IMDb com

Ralphie talks to Santa in “A Christmas Story”; Picture from IMDb.com

As for movies, it is never really Christmas without watching A Christmas Story. Will Ralphie get his rifle? Will his dad win the battle against the furnace? Will his little brother ever get to go outside without looking like the Michelin Man? I know all the answers to these questions and I don’t care if I have seen this movie a thousand times. I love spending time with this family. So much so that we have taken on a family tradition of going to the Chinese buffet for our Christmas meal – without the duck.

Another tradition I like to include is A Charlie Brown Christmas. Sometimes I feel as if the music is too much of a minor key while other times it leaves me breathless and happy. But the story is the thing here as Charlie fights against the commercialization of the season. It is symbolized by his friends and family desire to be the biggest, brightest of the season and his rebellion of picking a Christmas tree that is the saddest one on the lot. Joy is the end result as we remember the Christmas story.

The Nativity Story poster IMDb com

Poster image from IMDb.com

With so many biblical movies in the past few years, the one I lean towards in The Nativity Story (2006) starring Keisha Castle-Hughes and Oscar Issac as Mary and Joseph. It shows the time in which Mary is betrothed – unwillingly- to Joseph. A message from an angel changes her life, puts her in great danger, and challenges Joseph to act with faith. While the movie was made quickly, I find it beautiful to watch and deeply compelling. Each character grows more precious in my eyes as I come to understand their bravery, knowledge, and wisdom.

All of these are watchable by many member of the family. But the one I love most of all is Love Actually. I watch it with the husband or girlfriends because it has enough swear words and sexual situations to be uncomfortable with my adult children or mother.

Love, Actually IMDb com

Poster image from IMDb.com.

That is despite it being a movie that is best for late-teen to adult viewing. And yet, what I love about this movie is its message of hope in most cases. That we can find love with the right person. It’s just that there are many definitions of love in this movie and not all of them are happy. Couples are challenged, find that while love exists it cannot work for them, or that the person they love the most is never who they expected. And all of this takes place during the Christmas season.

Without any of these my Christmas is a little more lackluster, a little less teary, a little less hopeful.

Until next week, see you in the rental aisle.

Pretty, Pretty

Betty Crocker Easy Writer food decoration
Last week I shared the product that made our Dress Cookies. But what I did not talk about was one of the products that we used to decorate those dresses.
 
With every birthday party, I have kids decorate cupcakes. This is a fun activity and I try to find a new decoration thingy to try out. Sometimes it is a Wilton’s mix of sprinkles or colored sugars. But a few years ago I tried these Betty Crocker Easy Writer food markers. I found them at Kroger or Ultra. This link will take you to Walmart.
 
My thinking was along the lines of “won’t it be fun to write messages or put little figures on the cupcakes, maybe draw faces. “
 
That is not what happens.
 
We have discovered that the tip is very sensitive and bleeds quite easily. But that can also make for some interesting creations.
 

Swirly dress

 
 
My six-year-old created this swirl-of-color dress. He used the green pen to create the swirls on the blue frosting.
 
This weekend we are having a graduation party for the boys who are done with eighth grade and kindergarten. I plan to let the frosting on the sheet cake dry a little before I use them to write on the cake. That is the advice I have seen from other people on websites and I am heeding it.
 
As for the cupcakes I plan to make as well, I think the graduates can take care of decorating those tasty delights.
 
 
Every Thursday, I review a product or service. If you have a suggestion or product you would like me to review, please contact me at bowmankaryn@sbcglobal.net.
 

Dress Cookies

Product Thursday

This past weekend was busy because we had a birthday party.

My girl had her party late so it coincided with Garage Sale Weekend. Did I mention that we had a garage sale? And that on Friday night the husband took one boy to a friend’s birthday party in the city. And that our daughter shot the rest of the movie on Saturday. And she had softball practice on Saturday afternoon. And our church choir performed Sunday morning.

Never again is party going to coincide with garage sale weekend.

AmericanGirl Dazzling Desserts; Image from Store.AmericanGirl.com

Anyway, one of the activities I plan for her party is to decorate cupcakes. It is fun and the girls like it. But this year the girls are ten. They are too old for such nonsense. So we made dress cookies and decorated those.

We have had this kit from AmericanGirl for some time and I am always meaning to make it up. The time had come so I used a sugar cookie mix. Once the dough had chilled, I rolled it out and cutout about 14 cookies.

The dress cookie cutterI set the girls up with frosting, food coloring and sprinkles. I gave them little bowls to make colored frosting. They went to work, creating colors and using Betty Crocker markers to create even more cool designs. When the girls left, I gave them their cookies in a nice lacy patterned bag.

 

Blue and Brown

Swirly dress

These dresses looked so pretty. I almost wish I was clever enough to dye fabric to make into real dresses.

 
The kit comes with other shape cutters and a recipe book with a bunch of ideas. This was our first start and we plan to look through the book for more ideas.
 
What do you have the kids do during their birthday parties?
 
Every Thursday I review a product or service. I am always on the look out for something different. If you have something to share, please contact me at bowmankaryn@sbcglobal.net.