Christmas cookies are as much a part of the Christmas tradition for many as a visit from Old St. Nick himself. The cookies are often prepared in hopes of his pending arrival by children that are as excited as they can possibly be with all sorts of visions of great things to come dancing around in their bright and shining little eyes. Preparing the cookies in these instances can be a great time of bonding with your little ones but can also be a trying time if you don’t follow a few of the tips and hints listed below.
If you want to make cooking Christmas cookies and/or candy with your little ones the very best experience for you all that it can possibly be make sure you do it on a day when this is the only thing on your calendar. You do not want to rush through this time that is not only important for bonding with your child as a parent but also a time that is an important opportunity to lock in a few precious memories of great times you’ll spend together. This is one thing that you want your children to look back at Christmas and remember doing with you and you want to be able to look back on Christmas and remember doing this with your children.
You should also make sure that everyone is well rested and well fed before beginning the process. This is important now more than ever before, as we know more about the dangers of foods, such as raw eggs, that are included in cookie dough as well as the dough for many of our favorite Christmas confections and candies. You do not want to risk the health of your children through temptation over raw cookie dough.
Be sure that every child gets a turn with the fun stuff. This includes of course using the mixer and watching things spin around as well as choosing their personal favorites for the next batch of cookies. You should also make a few cookies that you plan to let them paint, decorate, and play with just for fun and their own personal enjoyment. This will guarantee a few smiles while also scoring a few brownie points for mom.
Be patient and expect spills and messes. If you can afford a cleaning service once a year, the day after your cookie extravaganza is the day you want to splurge. Seriously, don’t sweat the small stuff. We make little messes every day it shouldn’t be such a shock when they make a really big mess in one day. This is one of the reasons why you want to plan your cookie making on a day when the calendar is clear-you will need time for clean up when all is said and done.
Cooking Christmas Holidays Cookies with the Kids
Make sure you have all the necessary ingredients for each and every single recipe before you begin. This is very important as cookie dough doesn’t wait well for that final egg and children don’t understand very well when they are interrupted from one project to run a quick errand (also, when was the last time you made it in and out of the grocery store in under an hour?). If you can make it through all the steps above you should be in for smooth sailing and Christmas cookie cooking.
The Day of the Dead or Dia de los Muertos is an important holiday in Mexican culture in which the departed adults that have gone on to the afterlife once again walk the earth for a night. It is an opportunity to honor those who have left us behind and a very healthy approach to death that many other cultures would do well to adopt. This is a family event and as such there is typically a good deal of great food involved.
If this is your first celebration of the Day of the Dead you are not alone. Most Americans never adopt this custom and those that are interested enough to try out some of the cuisine of this important day in Mexican society are very rarely versed in the tradition, which makes it difficult.
Sugar skulls are a very important part of the Day of the dead festivities and can be decorated quite elaborately by skilled artisans. If this is a tradition you’d like to explore there are many recipes for the mixture as well as forms for the skulls that can be found online. It is a fun art project that takes place in the kitchen for kids and grown-ups alike that also happens to provide a somewhat unique peek at another culture. The painting of the skulls can be very simplistic or as elaborate as you wish to make it. You should note that days when it is either raining or very humid are not good days for trying to make the sugar skulls so plan ahead and pay attention to the weather reports.
Pan de Muerto is a staple for cooking on the day of the dead. It has become known as day of the dead bread. There are many recipes ranging from simple in nature to extremely complex. They are all somewhat different and you may need to try a few before you find that one you like best. The best solution is probably to taste several different varieties and request the recipe for the one you prefer if you know the person who did the baking.
Beef tamales are another excellent food for the day of the dead. They are also great to make ahead of time and freeze so that there is little actual prep work to be done on this day. You can also make tamales with the help of your little ones if you are so inclined. It makes them feel important and allows them to be big kids and big helps in the kitchen. Not only that, but when all is said and done they will appreciate the tamales that their efforts produced even more than if they had taken no part in the preparation.
Cooking Christmas Holidays
Another great tradition is to serve foods that the departed family members considered favorites. This means that you may have quite a variety of foods on the table, depending on how large the family was and how many family members are dead. This is a tradition that was Indian in origin and is more strongly observed in areas that have the largest Indian population within Mexico and in some southwestern states within the United States. If you are looking to add a little excitement to your cooking feel free to do a little cooking for the Day of the Dead next time it comes around.