Mini Gingerbread House and Homemade Eggnog Drink

Gingerbread houses are a Christmas staple too, and I’ve tried my hand at the traditional (bulky) ones in the past. But I wanted to try something different this time – tiny gingerbread houses that sit right on your mug.

Before Christmas break sets in for students, they still have a bunch of exams to go through. I’ve been spending time after dinner to help the little one with schoolwork, usually after the bunso is all tuckered in. We try to make education a part of family life too, so sometimes Mr. Flintsone pitches in with fun play sessions where he takes up the role of the teacher while me and the kids are his students.

But yes, the frantic hustle and bustle of the holidays are nearing its peak. I was kind of sad that Thanksgiving passed by so quickly – it is my favorite holiday, after all. But as any homemaker can attest to, there’s just no rest during the holiday season. Christmas is upon us.

Ah, Christmas. We’ve all got wonderful memories of the season – especially ones set in our childhood. Who among us didn’t love it when we were showered with gifts, allowed to stay up late, and didn’t have to go to school? Top that with the joys of playfully blinking lights and cheerful carolers singing and the whole Christmas season definitely makes for a wonderful and magical experience for kids.

Then there’s the food. I for one am a huge fan of piping hot tabléa coco for the chilly December nights, while I know a certain husband who grew up scarfing down slices of holiday ham one after the other at many a Noche Buena (it’s usually why he’s so passionate about his new year’s resolution diets).

For this year’s table I really made it a point have dishes that are festively gorgeous yet fast and simple to prepare.

Tortellini is something I really enjoy working on. It might look a little tricky to make, but start making one and you’ll be hooked by how fun it is to stuff and fold these little bundles of yum. Toss in some pancetta for protein, some fresh spinach for the kids’ greens, and you’ve got something equally nutritious. I even went the extra mile by making my own ricotta, but this is something you can easily replace with any store-bought cheese.

I’ve had the idea of having roast beef as the main entrée for this Christmas feast since early this year. There’s just something really festive about good old-fashioned roast beef that made me want it to be this year’s centerpiece. Not to mention how Mr. Flintstone reminds me about it every time we have roast beef.

Gingerbread houses are a Christmas staple too, and I’ve tried my hand at the traditional (bulky) ones in the past. But I wanted to try something different this time – tiny gingerbread houses that sit right on your mug. I paired the mini houses with some eggnog I whipped up to really get into the spirit of the season, but you can just as easily pair these cookies with hot coco, coffee, or tea.

What really got me a lot of oohs and ahhs for this year’s spread was my cheese-stuffed pull-apart bread. It was super easy to make, considering I didn’t really bake the loaf myself. Just pop it in the oven after a few slices on the bread and stuffing in of the cheese and herbs, et voilà! You’ve got yourself a hearty appetizer or merienda. I’m definitely making more of these for weekend snacks with the kids.

As more carolers make the rounds filling the air with yuletide earworms, it really fills me with such warmth to think back on the year that’s passed and how much has changed since. My family has grown healthier and happier (the kids have actually been putting on weight!), and my business ventures continue to stay afloat – flourish even. I feel really thankful to have been blessed with such a fruitful year.

I’m also really excited and looking forward to what the New Year would bring for my blog. I can definitely say that the blog had been pretty successful this year, and looking back on some of my earlier posts, it’s definitely fun to not how much the blog itself has grown since. I hope to fill this blog with more creative food ideas this coming year so stick around. Happy Holidays, everyone!

Eggnog 

2 large eggs, separated
1cup milk
1/3 cup& 1 tbps sugar
½ cup heavy cream
*bourbon optional

Gingerbread house
2cups flour
½ tsp baking soda
1tbps ground ginger
1cup brown sugar
150cup butter
1 egg, beaten
Royal icing

Eggnog
1. Heat cream and milk. Whisk egg yolk and 1/3 cup sugar. when the milk and cream is scalding, pour a little of it in the yolk mixture to temper, then pour it back into the pan and cook till it reaches 160 degrees F. Refrigerate for 1hr.
2. Whisk the egg white with 1 tbps sugar till soft peak, mix with cooled yolk mixture. pour desired amount of bourbon. Refrigerate for another hour.

Gingerbread house
1. Cream butter and brown sugar. Add egg slowly.
2. Mix flour, baking soda, and ground ginger, pour it in the butter mixture. Refrigerate for 30mins. Cut using gingerbread house cutter.
3. Bake for 15mins in 350F. Cool before decorating.

Tags: christmas
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