They say…if you can’t do something well and can’t do it regularly…don’t do it!
As a small biz owner staring at my inbox and the plethora of sites I’m supposed to be pinning, posting and propogating sales from – it is over the top! In an effort to streamline my online presence I have decided to go back to my roots. HFB has always focused on quality over quantity but I allowed “them” to get the best of me and I dipped my feet in all the online oceans! In order to reign in the online game I am retreating (not to be confused with retweeting and deciding how best my clients would like to listen to us. We’re not leaving Facebook or Twitter (and I did just join Pinterest!) but taking a hiatus from blogging and the like.
Thanks for understanding and see you in the blog world in the spring- re-energized!
So…gingerbread definitely ranks up there as my #1 all -time favorite theme to use with kids. I have over 25 different versions of the story! From a Cajun gingerbread boy story all the way to my latest favorite The Gingerbread Girl and you know it – she outsmarts that fox!!! Anyway- a quick post to give you my favorite Ginger Crinkles recipe. These cookies were given to me by Melanie Greene, a former kindergarten student many years ago. Dare I say Melanie is now probably a college graduate, but those cookies left a lasting impression on me! I have been making them for many years with my kids and classes.
I am also including the best frosting recipe for use with assembling gingerbread houses, whether you buy them or make them this stuff is like glue- your house will stay put (and deter kids from eating the house- good luck getting the stuff off!). I remember one insane year when I made homemade gingerbread houses- all 23 of them for one of my kindergarten classes. My dear friend and co-owner of www.irelaunch.com, Carol Cohen, helped me glue them together so the kids could decorate them vs. slapping graham crackers on the yucky milk carton ones. Looking back- I can’t believe I spent an entire day baking the walls and I can’t believe I convinced Carol to help me assemble- insane but memorable!
And that sums it up folks- the holidays should NOT be about craziness, insanity or shopping ‘til you drop. Holidays are all about creating memories and for me – memories start with baking. So, take in the sights and sounds and SMELLS of the season and…pay a sitter $10 an hour to wrap those gifts- it’s SO worth it!
While you’re at it- print out my adorable GINGERBREAD MAN READING CHART and curl up with your kids and read some great holiday favorites.
What books do you love to read during December?
Until New Year’s…happy baking!
Enjoy with a cold glass of milk!
*These cookies were given to me by an old kindergarten student, Melanie Greene and I have been making them ever since!
So…I just started getting emails from a site about “8 weeks to a frazzle free Christmas.” Yikes – that frazzles me just stating it’s coming up so fast. The marketers are out in full force and Christmas displays in stores are all the rage. I haven’t even cooked up my pumpkin pies yet and we are on to Christmas? I don’t know any moms who have embraced this “shove the holidays in your face” mentality. We seem to police everything these days so why isn’t there some law about moving the order of the holidays up and placing undue stress on parents? Who is doing this? Why are they doing this? I have to believe that many a mom is in charge of those big corporate marketing departments. Don’t they know they are responsible for breaking the code? And they are doing it to fellow sisters!
Some will just sigh and say “it is what it is” but I’m not willing to let big corporate America win my kids and my wallet over in October, let alone November. At some point we need to stand up and just say NO. So all you moms out there – what would you say NO to if you could – loud and clear, without fear of being scorned or chased off the soccer field? It’s all in there- I know. Just let it out. In honor of Thanksgiving, which symbolizes FAMILY, I will get us started with the “Just Say No To…” campaign.
I will end here by sharing my Great Aunt Helen’s Pumpkin Pie recipe. Aunt Helen was maybe 5 ft tall, maybe 3 feet wide, smoked like a chimney, and lived alone (her fiancée was killed in the war) in Wethersfield, CT. She was the warmest, most delightful chef I know who took the time to let us into her kitchen on family Thanksgivings. She showed us how to test cakes, whip up butter, shape a crust and more. It left an indelible mark of happiness and ultimately had a part in shaping my business today. Aunt Helen lived to be 103. On Wednesday I will again toast you Aunt Helen as we all whip up 6 pumpkin pies! And NO – I will not be working the whole weekend and no I will not be shopping at midnight. Here are a few more no’s
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Ingredients: (makes 2 pies)
2 pie shells
1 can “One Pie” pumpkin
2/3 cup sugar
2 Tbsp. flour
2/3 cup dark brown sugar
2 cups milk
1 tsp. salt
1 cup evaporated milk
2 tsp. cinnamon
4 large eggs, beaten slightly
½ tsp. nutmeg
¼ tsp. cloves
¼ tsp. ginger
In the madness of Halloween costume making, treks to Target for more candy – fitting in a healthy dinner can seem like Mission Impossible! Well, banish the sweets for a night and have your kids whip up a tasty dinner of Jack-O-Lantern Quesadillas! These treats are SO easy for kids to tackle single handedly and yummy too! Have them use a cheese spreading knife and they can do it all solo. Enjoy!
….3 weeks of candy until the big night of candy. Did I say candy? I meant to say Halloween! It might feel like between decorating, ghosting and Halloween, candy is the sole focus of the month. While I am not your dentist, I do believe there are a few ways to keep the candy at bay and still have happy kids! For starters, I am a fan of encouraging reading (or being read to) anytime of year. So, if you can make it more fun with a jack-o-lantern chart…why not?! Check out my October reading chart for a fun, non-candy related way to get your little ghouls reading.
Download the free chart, print it out, and clip it to a clipboard near your child’s bed with an orange marker/crayon! You will need to come up with a prize for your child once he/she does all that reading and the pumpkin appears! From now until Halloween, I will be blogging about a few other Halloween baking ideas that do not go heavy on the sugar, but are high on the cute and fun meter! Here is my tip for buying Halloween candy too: I buy smaller bags at Target etc. and keep the receipt. I only open 1 bag at a time and put it in the bucket for trick-or-treaters. Once I turn off my lights for the night- I return any bags we have not opened! That way, I am never short for the trick-or-treaters and yet I don’t end up with tons of leftovers! It saves my teeth and my waistline for sure! Watch for more fun tips and ideas leading up to the 31st! Share the link to the chart with friends!
Not one to give up on summer… just because school is back in session, need I remind you summer is still officially with us until September 22nd! So if you are like me, bask in the warm days and savor a good sweat knowing the snow will be here all too soon! Continue reading “Watermelon Waffles!” »1 comment
None of my 5 kiddos have food allergies, but most schools now provide nut free classrooms so how can a busy family keep everyone safe? I will admit, I am not used to combing through labels. It can be frustrating to decipher what snacks pass muster in my continuing effort to send “safe” foods. Continue reading “Nut-Free Snacks… a suggested list!” »Comments Off
Last summer, we were on a family crusade to find and sample as many ice cream shops in the area as we could from June 20th-September 1st. We garnered quite a list and packed on a few pounds but it was a very worthwhile adventure! When I asked other moms about the topic, they had so many comments about places; I can’t even quote them all! In Hopkinton, we have Brigham’s located at Hopkinton Drug and down the road we also have The Golden Spoon which offers an ice cream take out window. Continue reading “If You Scream and I Scream… Will We All Get Ice Cream?” »Comments Off
Scars, family baggage, quirks, chip on your shoulder…whatever you call them – we all have them! Some of mine have made me tougher while others have made an indelible mark on who I am today. A few are all in the name of the famous family vacation! Continue reading “The Family Vacation… Scars to Last a Lifetime” »Comments Off
All of us have a hidden quirk or we fancy something off the beaten path or we are a closet_______ right? Well, I secretly love to find great quotes – there, now you know! I love finding great, funny or motivating quotes! Continue reading “What’s Your Favorite Quote?” »Comments Off