Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Holiday Cooking and Baking

Normally, I love and adore cooking and baking for the holidays. I love the sweets and I love making fancy dinners for my husband and family. If you don't believe me here's the evidence. Oh! And here, here and here. There's more, but I'm sure you get the point. BUT this year has been a little different. First, I'm huge. And I work 2 hours away and pull 24-hour shifts. And I'm huge. And I've been putting up Christmas decorations. And shopping for presents. And wrapping presents. And I don't sleep that well at night anymore. And I'm getting ready for this new little person who will be joining our house soon. And I'm huge . . and sore. In short, I'm seriously beat!

::Wow, I just re-read that and, dude, I'm being such a whiner! Sheesh!::

In holidays past, I did all that stuff (minus the baby thing) and still powered through all the cooking and baking. This year, it's not working out that way. I want to bake. I want to cook and make something yummy. But I seriously cannot muster up the energy. Dinner during the week has still been happening (barely) but unfortunately the cooking and baking marathons that I'm used to for the holidays have fallen by the wayside. And, really, I'm bummed about that. Especially since I've been seeing some awesome looking treats for the holidays that, normally, I'd be all about trying!! Like this yummy chocolate gingerbread, or this white chocolate marshmallow fudge, and these chocolate chip tea cookies, butter cookies and peanut brittle. They all look so delicious and simple but I just can't decide! And even if I could, when do I have the time to do it? And usually I try to make some holiday treats as gifts for coworkers (here are some great ideas that I've tried some of and bookmarked others), because people who work in hospitals like to EAT, let me tell you! But again, no time and no energy. Though, in all truth my blood-sugars are probably thanking me and I know my feet and back are too.

So, we are going the lazy route this year. As much as I enjoyed preparing and hosting Thanksgiving, we won't be repeating that for Christmas. For my family's holiday, we will be doing pasta. They are bringing the sauce and dessert over (because they are angels and offered to do it at my place so we wouldn't have to travel . . . have I mentioned how much I love them?) and I am making the noodles, (bagged) salad, and (frozen, pre-made) dinner rolls. Can you say cop-out? My in-laws always host something separate at their house and like to be in charge of the food for their get together. I also celebrate every year with my best friend and our husbands (usually by cooking a gourmet dinner with/for our husbands for the holidays).

This is one of my favorite holiday meals because we come up with stuff that sounds yummy and awesome and we've been dying to try and we go to town in the kitchen all day. And since we are in there together, it feels like fun instead of work. But this year, she knows how whipped I've been and actually offered to order pizza. Pizza?!? It was really sweet of her but I just couldn't do it. I'd seen some ridiculously easy but yummy-looking recipes that I'd thought about trying for a weeknight meal and thought of a few more that I'd used for weeknight meals and know are delicious and quick and simple and suggested those instead . . . with few pre-made stuff thrown in. So, we've decided on grilled steaks with an easy blue cheese sauce (think heavy cream + blue cheese = done), roasted asparagus (again, seriously easy), salad (bagged), doctored-up pre-made mashed potatoes (I'm thinking of adding some cream and goat cheese or marscapone . . yummm) and dinner rolls (frozen, pre-made) . Maybe we'll buy a yummy dessert from the bakery? Or maybe we'll make monkey bread . . . I mean, it's practically a holiday staple right?

Why am I writing this post? Is it to whine about pregnancy. No, but it sorta came out that way, didn't it? Is it to kvetch about the holidays? Not really, I love Christmas and actually miss all the activities that I feel too tired to do! I think it's mostly to remind myself about all the fun I've had in the past with my holiday cooking and baking adventures. Because looking through old posts of mine and bookmarking posts of others has made it feel like I did kinda get to experience the baking fun! And it will be a great reference for next year to remember all the fun treats I wanted to try! And then I'll have a little kitchen helper with me who I'm sure will also function as my supervisor for "quality control." :-)

So what are your cooking and baking plans for the holidays? Do you enjoy it and try to find ways to fit it into the hectic holiday schedule? Or do you leave it up to others and enjoy the spoils? Are you hosting this year? Participating in a pot luck? I'd love to hear what everyone else has planned!

In conclusion, right now I'm 9 months pregnant and cooking a baby girl . . . and I think that will about do it for this weekend! The end. ;-)


  1. Layne, I just started reading your blog and love it! You are such an inspriration for me as a type one as my husband and I begin to try for a baby! You do so much and deserve some rest this Christmas!

  2. Dude I am so glad it's not just me. I have been so drained that I haven't wanted to do much AT ALL! It's been so bad that my husband, of all people, baked cookies the other night. That's a whole new level in our household.

    on that note, I'm making potroast in the slowcooker this year for Christmas eve dinner for the two of us. It takes about 5 minutes to get ready, 8 hours to cook, and comes out PERFECT (like I slaved all day long). I'll post the recipe.

  3. Jenny - I'm glad you found my blog! Thanks so much for your kind words, you're so sweet!

    Kat - It's good to hear I'm not alone too! Loved your pot roast recipe, can't wait to try it!