December 7, 2011
Things have really been in a state of chaos here lately, or so it feels. Thanksgiving night begins a week of scurrying non-stop for me as my annual cookie swap is always the first Sunday in December. The invitations were sent out a long time ago, but I still have to call for those RSVPs.
Saturday was a huge cooking day for me. It began with making the “soup of the year”. That title doesn’t mean, “Wow, it’s the best soup I’ve ever tasted!” just simply the soup I’m serving this year. I try to serve a different soup each year and sometimes I cannot come up with any ideas. Thankfully, my best friend served this soup not too long ago and since it is one I really enjoyed, I decided the honor of “soup of the year” should be bestowed upon it.
The name of the soup is Taco Soup. If you are clamoring for the recipe, it is hidden in the pictures – just add two pounds of browned ground beef and an onion.
Taco Soup Ingredients
Brown 2 lbs. ground beef and 1 small onion
Add water and simmer
My cookie of choice this year was Southern Living’s Pecan Pie Cookie. It looks and tastes just as the name portrays it. I think next time; I’ll just make mini pecan pies though. They would be a lot less trouble, and in my humble opinion – much more enjoyable to the palette.
Straight from the oven
Packaged to give
The winner of the cookie contest this year was a newbie, my friend Lynette. What a great fun to receive that honor on your first venture into cookie swapping. She made the most wonderful gingerbread men. The cookie did not have that strong flavor that you find with many gingerbread cookies, and she decorated them so cute. Her one confession was that she tried out more than a few recipes with her kids as the taste testers before she found the perfect one. Kudos to the kiddies – they picked a good one!
We had chocolate fudge and cinnamon scones this year, along with pecan pie cookies, chocolate peanut butter kisses, heavenly hash candy, an oatmeal chocolate chip cookie, and the cutest little chocolate shells filled with chocolate mousse and topped with a chocolate design (I hid these from Hubby!)
You are probably thinking why there is candy at a cookie swap. The answer to that is simple. I have friends who are wonderful candy makes and hate to bake. The only steadfast rule to my Cookie Swap is that it must be homemade and some effort should go into the making of the treat. Besides – you can only eat so many cookies. The other rule is HAVE FUN!
We also play games – which can get funny at times. Each year Hubby writes a story using baking ingredients (he wants to be a part of Cookie Swap and even asked to make fudge this year) but since this year I was going with a Candy Land theme, he was a little out of his league. Can you believe? He must be the only person on the planet who never played Candy Land as a child! Any hoo – Jessica stepped up to the plate and wrote the cutest story!
Did I mention that Jessica is an author? I didn’t – you say? You can find her book on my sidebar – Muddy Bayou, along with her website.
The Candy Land story is too cute not to share and I’ll give you a hint as to the number of candies in the story – 31. See if you can find them all. (You are welcome to use the story – just give credit where credit is due. Thanks.)
Christmas in Candyland
‘Tis Christmas time in Candyland
And Candy canes and gumdrops decorated the land
Sugar plums danced and sugar babies whistled
And 5th Avenue was decorated with snowcapped thistle.
Though the season was merry as merry as could be
Princess Lollipop in her strolls couldn’t help but see
That Lord Licorice snickered and grumbled about Christmas galore
He crunched down Skittle lane yelling for more
The Starbursts in windows weren’t bursting enough, he said.
The Razzles weren’t razzling, the York flowers looked dead.
The gumdrops needed more sparkle, Milky Way was too pale
Zero wasn’t merry enough for Christmas, he wailed.
Baby Ruth, Kit Kat, Mike and Ike all cringed
But Princess Lollipop approached though she risked being singed.
We’ll have a Candy Christmas worth 100 Grand, she exclaimed.
Candyland will add trim and sparkle, it won’t be the same.
“Candyland’s made of airheads; they’ll never get it right.”
“Don’t worry, Lord Licorice, I’ll give it all my might.
Christmas will be as delicious as Turkish Delight.”
He mumbled and grumbled but agreed to see for himself that night.
Princess Lollipop took on an enormous feat
And decided to delegate to the tiny tarts of the street
Dove hung the mistletoe in every doorway in sight
Rollo carried lights and the 3 Musketeers strung them up tight
They hustled and bustled and weren’t Crybabies at all
Candy land sparkled and glittered so much, Mars gave them a call.
Lord Licorice strolled the street with his Warheads at his feet
But he grinned and threw peppermints which Mary Jane thought was neat.
Since Candy Land was the theme – complete with invitations – I decorated with candy, LOTS of candy! Hubby did get to do his part by counting the gumballs. When I asked how many so I could write it down, he refused to tell me! His band was playing music and he told me to call him at 3pm so he could tell me the number! I could tell you the number, but what fun would that be? Leave your guess in a comment.
How many Gumballs?
As you can see in the pictures, Cookie Swap was great fun. We had lots of food and many sweets to eat. Everyone left with a promise of coming back next year. What a great afternoon it was.
How about you? Do you host a Cookie Swap or attend one?