Happy Holidays! This is my favorite time of the year.
I remember so many family traditions that we had while I was growing up. My dad was in the Army, and when I was about 10-years-old, my mom began making gingerbread houses from scratch. Her recipe made two, so my brother and I each got to decorate our own. She made two batches, one for us and one for the Officer's Wives Club to auction.
The first year that she did it, she used ours for the family table decoration all through the holidays. Then, after Christmas, my brother and I expected to get to eat them. However, Mom knew that they would have dust and germs on them, since they had been sitting out for at least two weeks.
Boy, were we disappointed, especially my baby brother, who threw the biggest fit. The next year, she let my brother eat his right away, but mine became the centerpiece. I guess, since I am almost 10 years older than he is, she felt I could accept that. I was sneaky, though, and broke off bits of mine whenever I wanted a bite.
If you want to make gingerbread houses with your family this holiday season, here is my mom's recipe and house pattern. It is lots of fun! Print the pattern on card stock to keep for future years. Make a large one and several small ones to create a gingerbread village, or let the kids (or grandkids) decorate them. Gingerbread cookie dough recipe and pattern.
Enjoy family time instead of cooking a huge meal on Christmas morning. Try making my sourdough cinnamon rolls the night before and letting them rise overnight. If you don't have sourdough starter, you can make them using my alternative version that is included with the recipe. Just heat the oven and bake them.
You can even pair them with this overnight French toast casserole. Since they all cook at the same temperature, it makes Christmas morning breakfast special for the whole family and easy for the cook.
Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and Bon Appetit!