Hi, I'm Rachel.

A few years ago I could barely boil water.

True story.

Determined to be a kick ass wife, I developed a love for football and learned to cook in my tiny Jersey City kitchen. I spend my days working in Manhattan, my nights and weekends chasing after a rambunctious toddler, and the hours in between cooking with my husband and feeding my TV habit...oh, and I blog about it all! 

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« What About Me Wednesday: Monogram Love | Main | Buh Bye Thanksgiving! »

My Holiday To-Make List + November Foodie Penpals

One of my favorite things about the impending holiday is the copious amount of baking that I get to partake in.

Last year, I spent an entire day in December baking with my mom. We set up both of our stand mixers and went to town until her beautiful kitchen looked like this:

To me, it's simply not Christmas without cookies. For as long as I can remember, I've baked holiday cookies with my mom before Christmas and this year will be no exception. Next weekend, the baking shall commence! Of course, we have a list of our 'regulars' that must grace our Christmas party every year, but I also have a few things that I want to add to the mix this year, if not on our baking day, but at some point during the season.

Our 'Regulars':

Thumbprints (filled with raspberry jam)

Chocolate Cherry Kisses

Chocolate Crinkles/Snowflakes

Butter Cookie Cutouts

Eggnog Snickerdoodles

Seven Layer Italian Rainbow Cookies (a first for us last year, but one that is now in the permanent collection!)

We also add a few new ones in the mix to try. Last year it was Mama Pea's peanut butter dough balls, malted sandwich cookies, and red velvet sandwich cookies with white chocolate buttercream!

our cookie tray from Christmas '10

On My 'To Add' List (so far):

Marshmallows (perhaps of the peppermint persuasion)

Salted Caramels (I have a recipe I've been eyeing!)

Gingerbread Cupcakes

Something with eggnog

I'm sure I'll have more as I start scouring magazines, cookbooks and Pinterest! I can't wait to start on some baking this weekend! With so many holiday parties and gatherings coming up this month, I have no doubt that the goodies will be put to good use :)

On another fun note, today is the November Foodie Pen Pal Reveal Day! This is my first time participating and it was incredibly fun! Thanks so much to Lindsay @ The Lean Green Bean for putting this together...what a fantastic idea. For my first pen pal, I received a box of goodies from Emily @ As Dreams Become Reality. I am so happy to have found Emily and her blog because she is simply adorable and we clearly have similar tastes, based on her care package :) I opened the box to find her sweet note...

So incredibly thoughtful to not only send me lots of pumpkin & peanut butter goodies but to also include Shaun! Very sweet :) Let's take a peek at the goods, shall we?

In the mix: Trader Joe's pumpkin butter, pumpkin spice granola & tempting trail mix, Clif MoJo bars in mountain mix & pb pretzel, some Tazo tea bags in calm and cinnamon spice and some pb packets, including Justin's & PB & Co.

Wow! Isn't that a great mix of goods? You know I dug right into all of it, especially that pumpkin butter! How perfect for the season. I also thoroughly enjoyed the Clif bars post workout this past weekend :) Thanks so much to Emily for such a great box of goodies!!

If you want to learn more about Foodie Penpals, or to join up, check out Lindsay's blog today for info, and also for a whole lotta links to other Penpal write ups!

So there you have it! Lots of fun and yummy things happening this week in the Humiston house :)

Questions of the Day:

What's on your baking list this season? Anything I should be including on my list?

Have you ever had a pen pal? I had a French pen pal in middle school via my French class. It was so cool to get letters from a girl my age in another country!

Reader Comments (11)

yum!!! looks like you got some good stuff and so happy your found another blog you love! i want that pumpkin butter. and i can't wait for xmas cookie baking :)

Your apron is so cute! I hadn't heard of the foodie penpals! Now I want to do it! How fun. I had a penpal in middle school who lived in laurel, montana (my maiden name is montanaro, so it was the closest town and state to my name!).
Every baking season I make my Triple Threat Ginger Cookies (http://spicedplate.blogspot.com/2011/01/triple-threat-ginger-cookies-gluten.html) They're so delicious, if I do say so myself!

November 29, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterlauren @ spiced plate

I would love to come home to that package!

Cookie baking marathons are the best! Your tray sounds amazing and I can't wait to hear about those gingerbread cupcakes!

November 29, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterLauren at Keep It Sweet

We make thumbprints with rasberry jelly too. Last year I started baking my grandma's spritz cookies. A lot of work but worth it. My favorites are my Moms rumballs and Finnish chestnut fingers...a cinnamony chestnut cookie partially dipped in chocolate. :-)

November 29, 2011 | Unregistered Commentersarah @preserve organization

I'm not sure what I'll be baking! Definitely not as many as you, but I usually try to do a FEW things!

November 29, 2011 | Unregistered Commenteremily (a nutritionist eats)

I've never had a pen pal - but always wanted one! This is a wonderful idea! I love it!

November 29, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterLauraJayne

THE BEES KNEES IS SO GOOD. my all-time favorite peanut butter. :)

November 29, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAlyssa @ Life of bLyss

your baking list is huge - i love it! we change up what we make every year so i haven't decided on my list quite yet. time will tell. i love the idea of the pen pal, by the way - i haven't had a pen pal since middle school but i used to adore writing to her + getting letters from her. fun!

November 29, 2011 | Unregistered Commenteramy @ fearless homemaker

Oh man - the chocolate crinkles! Those were so good! :) Can't believe it's been a year already since I happily won your Christmas giveaway!

November 29, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterChristine Hanson

I LOVE that kitchen photo! I want to come be a part of that! I need to hire someone to clean up after I bake! so glad you are part of the Foodie Pen Pals now!

November 29, 2011 | Unregistered Commenteralex

Omg, your apron is adorable! :) You hit the jackpot girl! Pumpkin butter=amazing, anything PB & Co = amazing and everything else looks delish as well! Cheers!! :)

November 30, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterKimberly

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