|Accumulated freezing rain counts as a white Christmas, right?|
I'm generally not much for cooking or baking (I definitely overly-relied on frozen pizza and boxed mac and cheese before marrying Abe, who does enjoy both). I make an exception for the holidays, though - Christmas cookies are one of the defining family traditions of my childhood. There were some staples on both my mom's and dad's side - and my understanding is that the Nanaimo bars started on my dad's but then got adopted by my mom's family! I was a bit short of time to do much (thanks, new tax law) but here's what I made for our holiday celebrations this year.
Nanaimo bars - These are my always my priority - it's not Christmas without them!
It seems like these are uncommon in the PNW, or at least most people I mention them to or if I bring them to an event, haven't heard of them before. Yet, they occasionally pop up in the most surprising places! Most recently, my firm decided this fall to make a little holiday e-book with people's favorite recipes to have available on the intranet. I submitted this one, of course - and so did a co-worker!
Linzer bars - I've liked the idea of Linzer cookies, but they seem like a fair amount of work. But I stumbled across this bar version and decided to try it out that way! I used some Ikea lingonberry jam we had, and they're pretty good! I think I'll be adding these to the list to repeat.
Sourdough rolls - I've been keeping a sourdough starter, and in addition to just bread you can use it for any recipe that needs yeast. Rolls are by far (ok, maybe after cookies) the best part of a holiday dinner, so I knew I needed to find a sourdough roll recipe. I tried this one a couple months ago for another event, and it failed to rise - but after some brushing up on sourdough techniques, I realized that our winter house temperatures might be the problem. This time I did the rise in the (turned off) oven with the light on, and they turned out great! I think I'll use this for any sourdough recipes now in the winter.
Sourdough cinnamon rolls - A sometimes-tradition we have is cinnamon rolls on Christmas morning, so I wanted to use the sourdough for that too! I made these for both Christmas morning and a brunch we had later in the week to get both sides of our family together, and it was a hit!
Frittata - Ok, my involvement here was the planning not the baking. But while we went to parts of Abe's family of Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, we hosted my family the day after for our side's celebration. To balance our meat-free house with something that (we hoped) everyone could enjoy and felt festive, we settled on a frittata. We found this recipe and thought it was hearty and special.