Baking and Togetherness

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I hadn’t planned to do any major baking for Christmas this year. However, after the lousy week the kids and I have had, I thought I might be a nice family project to promote some cooperation and give us something to do together that everyone could enjoy.

Of course, these things never turn out exactly as you had envisioned them, but it was still good. Josh didn’t want to bake and Megan only wanted to help with the peanut butter balls. So, they played together while Brianna helped with the majority of the baking.

After nearly three hours, we completed two pans of Magic Cookie Bars (we did half chocolate and half butterscotch chips):

008 (1)

…two pans of peanut butter balls:

peanut butter balls

You can see, in the background, where my initial helper was a bit distracted by this time. And we have peanut butter fudge coming out the wazoo:

peanut butter fudge

Of course, if you’re going to have something coming out the wazoo, what better thing for it to be than yummy peanut butter fudge, right?

I also taught Brianna how to make the world’s best spinach dip, the secret to which is to use paper towels to squeeze all of the water out of the spinach and to add a tablespoon or so of Accent:

spinach dip

We serve the dip in a bread bowl, made from hallowed-out King’s Hawaiian sweet bread, with the bread pieces and crackers used for dipping.

The day’s worth of baking could not have been accomplished without this:

sweet tea

Thirty-two ounces of pure heaven in the form of McDonald’s sweet tea. It was an enjoyable way to spend the day. I still have a little baking to do tomorrow, though I may go ahead and tackle the Heath brickle cookies tonight, so that all I have left tomorrow is the sweet potato casserole.

And, just for fun, look what was in my bedroom floor last night:

ready for the cold

Underneath the pile of blankets – somewhere – is my son. I often open the sliding glass door in our room for awhile at night because it gets so hot in our room. Josh was prepared. He was a little disappointed when I explained that I wouldn’t be opening my door last night because, you know, it was 20 degrees outside.

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Kris Bales is a newly-retired homeschool mom and the quirky, Christ-following, painfully honest founder (and former owner) of Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers. She has a pretty serious addiction to sweet tea and Words with Friends. Kris and her husband of over 30 years are parents to three amazing homeschool grads. They share their home with three dogs, two cats, a ball python, a bearded dragon, and seven birds.

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  1. Mmmm, peanut butter fudge. I can not make fudge. It never ever sets up right and I end up with peanut butter soup… which I still eat.

  2. Hey Kris- just thought I’d give you this tid bit of info… your “magic cookie bars” is my FAVORITE Christmas treat, however thats not what they were called “back in the day”. The true name (to my knowledge) is “Hello Dolly Bars” and I believe they first “hit the market” somewhere inthe 1960’s. I believe it was a recipe originating with “eagle brand condensed milk” but I could be wrong on that =-)

  3. Minda — Yes, I always called them Hello Dolly bars, too. I’ve had the recipe for probably 13 or 14 years. The “official” name on the Eagle Brand milk is “Magic Cookie Bar,” so I figured I’d go with that and be all official. I’m glad to know someone else remembers them as Hello Dollies, too. 😉

  4. Heh heh heh, you said, “Of course, if you’re going to have something coming out the wazoo, what better thing for it to be than yummy peanut butter fudge, right?”

    Amen to that, girlfriend!!

    Cooking is perfect family time! You’ve got to eat (well, maybe not fudge) and you can be together while you get the chore done.

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