Make a Gingerbread House! An Advent Tradition

At the end of November each year (the Friday after Thanksgiving may be a convenient time, since the project can extend an entire weekend), we get started mixing dough, cutting out the templates, and baking each cookie. The next day, we make a batch of royal icing (I cheat and use the powdered kind.

About cutting out the template for each piece of the house: You can make your own out of poster board or laminated parchment paper. If you’re not architecturally inclined, you can enlarge and trace this simple pattern. I also found this excellent tutorial on how to assemble a simple gingerbread house here at “Cookies, Cupcakes, and Cardio.”

We like to make two houses … one to keep, one to give. (I’ve found that teachers especially appreciate it if you offer to host a gingerbread decorating party in the classroom … and may even let you tell the story of St. Nicholas and the three bags of gold!). Continue reading

Wee Cook Wednesdays: School’s Out … Favorite Kid-Friendly Recipes!

cakeI’d like to toss this weeks’ column out to my readers … What is your favorite recipe to make with your kids when you have an afternoon to bake or cook something nice for dinner, and they all want to play “Rachel Ray”?

Chris’ favorite is “Bird-in-a-Nest.”  Poke a hole in the bread, break an egg into the hole, and grill on both sides.

Sarah likes to make “Comfort Cookies.”  We made a batch last night (at Sarah’s insistence) to take to a neighbor lady whose dad had passed away. It tickles me pink to see those little empathy buds blossom into full flower!

My favorite recent cooking memory was the creation of my goddaughter’s First Holy Communion ice cream cake. Of course, Pokemon cake was right up there …

Gingerbread house, anyone?  (That’s more for Christmas break, of course …)

What do you like to make?