Thursday, December 17, 2009

And the fun continues....

Yes, our stay in upstate NY is ongoing. The snow that we had has now mostly melted away. No more building snowmen or sledding outside. Peanut is disappointed. She loved her Frosty the Snowman creation. She would regularly stand on a kitchen chair and look out the window and say, "Look Frosty!" while holding up her latest discovery be it a toy, a cookie, or even a new dance she created. Her best friend has just melted away!

I've been busy doing not much of anything useful. I haven't been studying my Japanese or even practicing my calligraphy, the things that I had planned to brush up on before my return to Japan (which is in less that two weeks). Instead, when Peanut naps, I've been napping. Or else I've been baking Christmas cookies or addressing Christmas cards.

Last year I sent out nengajo (although terribly late - I'm such a procrastinator!). This year, I sent out Christmas cards. I like the idea of alternating Christmas and New Year's card to recognize the traditions of both my culture and Gboy's culture as I think both sentiments are lovely. However, the cost of all those cards, and the postage and the time it takes to hand write a note in each one (yes I do that) makes even 35 cards a significant project. And yet, I feel so very accomplished once I'm done. What are your thoughts/strategies with regard to holiday cards?

Here's the recipe I baked yesterday. I thought I posted it previously on my blog, but I can't find it. It's originally from American Airlines inflight magazine; I'm very happy that my friend read it during her travels a few years ago and shared the recipe with me!

Chocolate Mint Marvels

¾ cup butter

1½ cups brown sugar

2 cups chocolate chips

2 eggs

2½ cups flour

1¼ teaspoon baking soda

3-4 packages of Andes mints

  • Melt butter and brown sugar in saucepan over low heat. Add chocolate chips and stir to melt; put mixture into a bowl and let cool. Add eggs, and then mix in flour and baking soda. Chill dough for 1 hour.

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

  • Roll into balls and place on baking sheet. (The dough might be crumbly, just work it with your hands into a ball). Bake for 9 minutes. Remove cookies from oven and place an Andes mint on each one. As the candy melts, spread it across the top of the cookie with a butter knife.

Updated to add: I've closed the comments to avoid more spam. You can always reach me at my email address in the righthand menu.


  1. PS That being said, we sent out 70 cards this year. I would have had to start months ago to get notes in all of them! Better a picture than nothing, right?!?

  2. Yes, please, and thank you! Those sound delish, I love Andes mints. I just need to convince DH to make them for me. :)

    Up until Bean was born, I hand-wrote every Christmas card, and with our large families, that was no small task! Now, however, I take the cheater way and order those photo cards and send them without personalization. I feel guilty and just mentioned that to DH, actually! At least I still hand-write the addresses... when I get a photo card with our address on a pre-printed label, sometimes I wonder if the person even knows they sent us the card. :)

  3. Mmmm those sound yummy!

    I'm impressed that you hand write your notes! Nice work! I think doing them alternate years is a great idea and a very lovely tradition.