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Good morning and Merry Christmas to each of you!

I know I’m not alone when I say this, but yesterday was a whirlwind and when my head finally hit the pillow I drifted off into a deep winter-time slumber.  Not even a Christmas episode of Friends {where Ross is dressed as an armadillo and attempts to explain Hannukah to his son} could keep me awake.

Luckily, my husband and I went to sleep when we did as our oldest was up before 6:30am trying hard to keep himself occupied and most importantly exercising a lot of self control in not waking up his younger sibling.

So let me start off by saying that I’ve crammed a lot into this Christmas day post…attempting to fit in several weeks worth of enjoying this wonderful season into today’s post.

{That’s what I get for giving my blog the cold shoulder this month…wink}

We did a few things this month that I absolutely loved {oh that’s right, it’s supposed to be for the kids, but the adults had a great time too}, such as taking a train ride near our house on which Santa and a couple of larger-than-elf-size elves pass out out candy canes and talk with the children.

We also attended a Christmas parade (complete with candy being tossed to the crowd), the boys marched in a Christmas parade, played in the snow  {manmade}, there was time spent learning about Advent, parties at school and finally, mailing each and everyone of those cute Christmas cards from Minted.  I love that site.

We also made mini gingerbread houses out of graham crackers that were actually gingerbread flavor.  My oldest thought that made the project much more authentic.

Besides mini candy canes, there was coconut, white chocolate chips, gummy Christmas-shaped candies, red hots, hard candies from Brachs and mini marshmallows.  I made the royal icing from confectioner’s sugar and water and they each had there own “pastry bag” {sandwich bag with the a tiny corner cut off} to use as glue for their candies.

My kindergartener came home with two of the cutest crafts from school last week.  One was this bag of reindeer noses that his teacher passed out to the entire class.  I found a tutorial for it here.

And the other was for reindeer food which he insists on calling it “chow.”  The antlers are the kid’s hands, which clearly they cut out themselves.  The “chow,” consists of cheerios, goldfish, mini pretzels and gumdrops which are sealed inside a sandwich (zipper top) bag and then placed inside a brown paper sandwich bag.  A red, paper nose and google eyes are glued on.  I couldn’t find a tutorial, however I’m thinking you crafty gals could whip these up in no time.

I had to at least share a recipe with you this morning, though I have wonderful pork recipe which I’ll post tomorrow {it was our Christmas Eve dinner last night after church}.  As you know if you are a follower, we love corn muffins in our house and besides pancakes or waffles they are one of the most requested breakfast items.

So here’s a little twist on my previous corn muffin recipes as these are made with Moss’ {made right here in NC} fine milled white cornmeal and topped with a delicious strawberry jam.  They received high praise from the oldest.

Corn Muffins with strawberry jam

Ingredients

3 cups all-purpose flour

1 cup white cornmeal

1 cup granulated sugar

2 tbsp baking powder

1 tsp Kosher salt

3 large eggs, lightly beaten

1 cup milk

1/2 cup heavy cream or half and half

2 sticks (half pound) unsalted butter, melted

1 tsp vanilla

strawberry jam (optional)

 Method

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.  Place paper liners inside 2 12-cup muffin tins.  Combine dry ingredients in one large mixing bowl with wire whisk. In a separate mixing bowl, combine wet ingredients.  Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and fold/stir just until blended.  Spoon batter into lined muffin tins and bake for 25 minutes or until tops are crisp and edges are just turning golden.  Remove from pan and cool on a wire rack.  Top each muffin with about a tablespoon of jam, if using.

Yield: 24 muffins

Wishing each of you joy this Christmas,

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