Holiday Baking

Christmas is SO CLOSE. We’ve had our decorations up for over a month now and I was just thinking yesterday how sad I’m going to be to take them down (probably in another month, let’s be honest). Most of the schools in our area finished last Friday but we go through Wednesday of this week. Womp womp. It’s going to be soooo nice not having to get anyone up, dressed, fed and out the door in the mornings. We are not morning people.

We had a festive weekend! Took the kids to see Santa on Saturday morning. We always go to Neiman’s downtown because Santa has an amazing wardrobe and the photographer is somehow always able to get genuine smiles from my kids- NO EASY TASK, trust me.

On Saturday night the kids had a sitter while Brian and I attended a neighborhood party/toy drive. So fun, and totally worth the fact that I’m STILL tired 48 hours later #oldladyproblems. Sunday we took the kids to see A Charlie Brown Christmas at the Dallas Children’s Theater. It was so cute! We were on the 2nd row and both kids were mesmerized. At the end they asked anyone with a Nov/Dec birthday to stand up so they could sing Happy Birthday to them. Jack was BEAMING. They loved it so much that I’m toying with the idea of a season pass for next year.

With Snoopy after the show.

One of my favorite parts of the holidays is having an excuse to try new recipes… “for gifts.” Ha. I don’t bake nearly as much as I used to but I love trolling Pinterest and blogs for holiday recipes. Last night I tried these Smoky Vanilla Bourbon Pretzels from How Sweet Eats. The only challenge was finding vanilla bean paste. I know that Williams Sonoma carries it but I was not about to brave the mall on the last weekend before Christmas. Luckily Central Market saved the day!

Ingredients:

You spread pretzels onto 2 baking sheets, ideally in one layer. Then whisk together melted butter, bourbon (we don’t like mornings in this house, but we do like bourbon! Omg), vanilla bean paste, brown sugar, smoked paprika, garlic powder and crushed red pepper. Pour over the pretzels, mix with your hands to evenly coat, then bake.

They smelled AMAZING in the oven. Upon tasting my first impression was, “These are OK.” But then I had a handful when making dinner tonight. Then another. And another. They’re so different but addictive! I can’t put my finger on it. Salty-sweet-warm-crunchy. And then I dipped them in a jar of homemade dulce de leche (post for another day) and about died.

Ugh my Fitbit is telling me to go to bed. Between that and the new “bedtime” alarm on my phone I feel like a child- though obviously I need it. Otherwise I’m watching Billy Madison for the five millionth time and all of a sudden it’s midnight. Whoops.

Isla has her first school program tomorrow and I’m so excited!

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