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Holiday Cookies, Cookies and More Cookies

Cookies585The name of this blog—What I Ate for a Day—is pretty self explanatory, but for the sake of introduction (and since it is our first week of posts and all!), let’s quickly bust it down. In this blog (we also have Healthy Obsession and Hunger for Life), one of the FBG writers (meet them all here!) will share—the healthy or not so healthy—truth of what she ate for the day.
No editing or preaching, just what deliciousness she enjoyed. We share so that hopefully you can get some good ideas for your meals and snacks, and so that you can also honestly see what an “all good things in moderation” healthy lifestyle really looks like! Plus, we just want to share some of our culinary adventures and mishaps! So enough talking…let’s get to seeing what we noshed on! (Oh, and a quick note: In order to have a successful launch of the site, we worked on a few posts ahead of time. This is one of those posts, as you’ll be able to see from the holiday baking extravaganza that obviously happened a couple weeks ago.)

What I Ate for a Day: Cookies, Cookies and More Cookies

Each year, my family has this tradition where we gather together to make a butt-ton of holiday cookies. (Yes, butt-ton is a technical term and, yes, it’s a lot.) Last year I documented the day on FBG—which was also the first time we tried some gluten-free recipes—and this year we went 100 percent gluten-free with our holiday baking recipes.
Because I knew the sugar consumption would be off the chain and because I woke up later than usual, I started the day with a nutrient-dense smoothie. Some kale. Some protein powder. Some Green Vibrance. Some berries and half of a banana. Some delicious.

Next, it was on to my parents’ house. We do this every year at my parents’ house because 1) They have a ginormous kitchen. See? (There’s my mom and Ryan, too!)

And 2) Their house has magical lighting that is great for photos. Seriously, every photo I take there is like 10,000 times better than what I take at home. Proof? Even our ingredients—all heaped this way and that—look kind of pretty.

Earlier this winter, Wholesome Sweeteners, a brand of organic and Fair Trade certified natural sweeteners, sent me a box of sweet stuff for me to review for Eats (full review coming up in a few weeks!), and I definitely got to put A LOT of their stuff to the test. First up, measuring out organic dark brown sugar for the gingerbread people (no gender-discrimination here!). Again, I’ve never seen a prettier and more rich-looking brown sugar before, have you?

Up next, pouring out the organic molasses. Um, I had no idea molasses was a good source of iron, calcium and potassium. And, again, the richness of the color. And the taste…Oh my God, people. It was like a molasses reduction. I loved.

And it made our family recipe for gingerbread people look so much more decadent. And the dough? Super tasty (even with the all-purpose gluten-free flour we subbed in for normal flour). Go ahead and consider gingerbread dough and a glass of sauvignon blanc my lunch. Yes, that’s what holiday-baking day is all about.

After the gingerbread dough was mixed (seriously, thank you Kitchen Aid Mixer—you are a life and arm saver!), we moved on to making our usual sugar cookies (again, subbing the gluten-free flour in and eating enough dough to make my belly oh-so full), and the two new recipes I wanted to try: Alyssa’s Quinoa Coconut Macaroons and Snowy Lemon Cookies. Both just seemed fun and were gluten-free. And can I just say that I love my iPad for cooking and pulling up online recipes?!

Once the dough for the other new recipes was whipped up, we decided it was time for food that didn’t involve sugar. Food like meat. My dad had gotten up super early to smoke a brisket (thank you, Dad) and it definitely got the attention of all of us.

My dad uses this special technique with his brisket where he smokes it in a blanket. I’m not entirely sure how it’s not a fire-risk, but I do know that it makes for one hell of a piece of meat. Note that lovely pink smoke ring in the photo below. I cannot emphasize enough how tender and juicy this was. Quite possibly the best smoked meat I’ve ever had—and I live in Kansas City, people!

After having a few pieces of that, plus burnt ends and a big ol’ pile of salad, it was time to continue with the holiday cookie baking. Cue obligatory rolling-out-the-cookies shot. He rolls, my mom and I decorate.

And my dog Siena? Well, she does her darndest to eat any and all food we have out. Sometimes, she wins. Flour and all.

After hours of mixing, rolling, decorating, baking and—ahem—tasting, we had holiday tins just brimming with good gluten-free goodness. You know I had to taste-test these macaroons with a cup of coffee. Of course. A little crumbly, but so much coconut deliciousness.

And at long last I got my paws on the Snowy Lemon Cookies, which I think were my favorite of the day. Kind of like donuts on the outside with all that powered sugar, they were light and airy and refreshing on the inside. I will definitely be making these again, even if it did require a rather costly trip to Whole Foods. Worth it!

After our long day of baking and eating, Ryan and I hit up our gym’s holiday party where we had a few drinks (me: uber dirty martini, wine and a Cape Code, him: beer and a scotch) and were too stuffed to eat anything else. Liquid dinner isn’t something I’d recommend on the regular, but hey, holiday baking day is a very special occasion.
Do you love to take a whole day to bake or cook, be it for the holidays or not? Tell me about your traditions! And how you eat for the day of it! —Jenn
 

FTC disclosure: We often receive products from companies to review. All thoughts and opinions are always entirely our own. Unless otherwise stated, we have received no compensation for our review and the content is purely editorial. Affiliate links may be included. If you purchase something through one of those links we may receive a small commission. Thanks for your support!

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