Christmas Traditions

♪ ♫ ♬   “It’s the most wonderful time of the year…With kids jingle belling and everyone telling you be of good cheer…It’s the most wonderful time of the year!”  ♪ ♫ ♬

Kids jingle belling; that’s my 1 1/2 year old.  All day “JINGLE BELLS!  JINGLE BELLS!”, the best!  I’m so excited for Christmas this year, especially now that my daughter is a little older.  She can join in on all of the fun traditions and is full of excitement, kids really do make Christmastime magical.  9 more days!!!

This past weekend my hubby planned an out of town date to go see A Christmas Story: the musical.  It was perfect, right down to the hot cocoa, the real life dogs running around on stage, and the snowfall when we exited the theater.  I wouldn’t mind making this a new tradition every year; just the two of us escaping for an evening to catch a Christmas show.  While we were away the littles played games and built a gingerbread house with their grandparents.  It’s so fun to see the decorated candy houses each year.  (I’m thinking next year it would be awesome to invite some friends over for a gingerbread house competition!)

One of my favorite things to do every year is bake Christmas cookies with the kids.  I remember being a little girl and getting so excited to make spritz cookies with my mom, we would color the dough green + add sprinkles to the tops!  This year we made gingerbread men.  Hadley helped me mix up the dough while Daxxon was at school.  She loves to help out with anything I’m doing, so this was right up her alley!  The dough chilled as she napped and I even had time to cut them out + bake them before she woke.  When Daxxon got home from school they decorated away.

Another tradition I’m looking forward to is making popcorn + cocoa and driving around to see all the beautifully decorated houses with lights!  I’m thinking Christmas Eve will be perfect.

What traditions do you have for the holiday season?

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Zucchini Bread

 

There aren’t many memories I have of my grandma, but her fresh baked zucchini bread will always be a cherished one.  I can remember walking into my grandparents’ house with the delightful smell of zucchini bread baking in the oven.  It was a treat I always looked forward to knowing we were going for a visit; that and those little fudge striped cookies with the hole in the middle.  She always had those, and we would eat them off of our pinky fingers, pretending to be fancy with our tea.

I wish I could have had more time to spend with my Grandma Cecilia.  My mother has told me stories about how she used to bake fresh traditional bread for the whole neighborhood, about 20 loaves, every week!  My mom, when she was little, would help her punch down the dough after it would rise.  And how the neighbor kid would eat almost half the loaf she gave him just going home, until my grandma started making him his own little loaf.

Zucchini bread was grandma’s favorite, and she always said it was “better than banana bread”.  I actually hadn’t had zucchini bread for quite a long, long while; until I asked my mom for my grandma’s recipe.  And I’m so happy I did.  It is just as good as I remember it being when I was a little girl.

MamaGroveBlog | Grandma & I
-My grandma & I, Summer of 1991-

| Ingredients |

   -Makes 2 loaves-
✷3 cups flour
✷1 tsp salt
✷1 tsp baking soda
✷1/4 tsp baking powder
✷1 tbsp cinnamon
✷3 lightly beaten eggs
✷1 cup brown sugar
✷1 cup granulated sugar
✷1 tbsp vanilla
✷3/4 cup vegetable oil
✷3 cups grated zucchini (about 2 large zucchinis)
*optional – add in 1 cup nuts*

| Directions |

Pre-heat oven to 350°F
Mix together dry ingredients in a large bowl & set aside.
In another bowl, mix the eggs, sugars, oil & vanilla with a stand or hand mixer until just blended.  Next, stir in the grated zucchini by hand.
Combine the dry ingredients into the zucchini mixture by slowly stirring in a little at a time, until all ingredients are mixed.  *add in nuts at this point if desired*
Spray loaf pans with non-stick baking spray, and divide mixture between 2 loaf pans (9″ or  8″).  Bake for 55 mins.
Let cool, slice, and enjoy with a spread of butter!


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