Good Morning from New York City!
My husband, daughter, and I are here to see a basketball game in Madison Square Garden, Billy Joel, and just soak up NYC at Christmas. The basketball was great, our daughter’s team won! Unfortunately, they beat my husband’s team, so only one of them would leave the arena happy.
Billy Joel’s concert
is was tonight. Yup, sadly, BJ is sick and had to cancel the concert. Major sadness over that news. But we found a Christmas jazz concert at Birdland, so we will do that tonight instead.
Besides that, we have eaten our way through the city, which has been delicious! Lunch at Tavern on the Green yesterday and ABC Kitchen the day before. Dinner at Coppolla’s Italian Restaurant, 2nd Avenue Deli, and Keens Steakhouse. Tonight we are eating Indian! Suffice it to say; I bought Alka Seltzer for the first time in a long time.
Today we will stroll 5th Avenue hoping that everyone there yesterday will be working today. Fingers crossed.
new on the blog
I truly hadn’t planned on sharing this Gingerbread Bundt Cake this year, but after I tasted it, I wanted to get it to you as soon as possible. I’ve made this in the mini-bundt form, which I gave to neighbors, and in a larger bundt for us. It is so moist and tender and perfectly gingerbread-y. It isn’t too molasses-y, which I know can turn some folks off. I added diced pears because I think that’s why pears were made in the first place; to ‘pair’ 🤣 with Gingerbread. But you surely don’t need to.
I made a Spiced Bourbon glaze to drizzle over the cake. I’ve got to be honest; I think I like it better plain, while Terry prefers the glaze. I mean, the glaze is delicious and all, but I think the Gingerbread really stands on its own. So…if you are glaze ambivalent like me, make the glaze, but let folks drizzle their own.
I’m sharing peeks into some of the Christmas decorations in our home in this post. So much of our Christmas decor is handmade, gifted, and acquired from our travels.
Are you still planning on doing some baking before Christmas? Here are some more of our favorite cookie recipes.
- Glazed Ginger Molasses Crisps are thin and crispy, as the name implies. If you prefer a thicker, chewier molasses cookie, these Molasses Crinkles are your cookie.
- And I do love these soft and chewy Gingerbread Button Cookies! I mean, could a cookie be any cuter?
- But then, these Chocolate Present Cookies, with a surprise filling, are not too shabby, either.
last minute gift help
- First of all, make sure you print off these free gift tags!
- You can make these Roasted Rosemary Walnuts , start to finish, in 15 minutes. And they are SOOO good.
- Give the gift of time! Give a gift card for yard work, teaching a skill, babysitting or more.
- Mulling Spices are another quick and much-appreciated gift from your kitchen.
- Attach a tag to a gift of wine.
- Print off these little envelopes in which you can tuck gifts of cash, a check, or gift certificates.
- Many of these gifts that save the recipient money can be secured quickly.
- Bake some mini-loaves of bread. Here’s a recipe for Cranberry Apple Banana Bread and one for Apple Spice Bread. Both can be baked in mini-loaves.
all of my gift idea posts
- Gifts for Knitters
- Gifts for Creatives
- Gifts that save the recipient money
- Gifts for Book Lovers
- Gifts for those who love to travel
- Gifts for Wine Lovers
- Gifts for Guys who like to cook
- Stocking Stuffers for those who like to cook
- Hostess Gift Ideas.
start the new year off right
Finally, if, like me, you want to start the new year off fresh and organized, sign up for our 2023 Declutter Challenge. We’ve added items to the checklists and added a week to the challenge. We will focus on ridding ourselves of mental clutter for the seventh week! You can read about the challenge here. Remember, you can start the challenge at any point during 2023. If you want to start at the beginning of the year, go ahead and sign up, and you’ll receive the first email during the second week of January 2023.
I’ll see you in 2023!
Well, my friends, I am signing off for the last time in 2022. My nestlings will be home soon, and I plan to soak up as much time with them as possible.
But before I head out, I wanted to wish each of you a Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Happy Kwanzaa or whatever you celebrate this time of year!
As you are reading this in Cincinnati or Iowa, someone else may be reading it in Israel or South Africa at the same exact time. And that’s a really cool thing about this blog world…the interconnectedness of us all.
In the words of some of my favorite little mechanical people, ‘it’s a small world after all,’ and our digital devices have made it even smaller. So, I send all my friends from around the globe special greetings this time of year.
As much as I cherish this season for the religious significance it holds for me, I also treasure it for the time we set aside to just be with those we love, to relish in our traditions, to reflect on our blessings, and to welcome in a new year…oh, and let’s not forget…to consume all sorts of home-baked goodies with abandon. So, my wish for you is to soak in whatever this time of year makes special to you and your family.