Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Oh the Holidays!

I love this time of year, especially the smells of wonderful baked goodies coming from the oven, tempting the senses and taste buds! I think cinnamon is my favorite spice for sure because it's great on pretty much anything sweet or savory. For as long as I can remember my grandma and I would bake cookies and goodies for the holidays for family and friends. My grandma is particularly known for her sugar cookies and fudge, whose recipes were passed down from my great grandma. I would tediously plan the line up, along with those special people in my life who would receive such yumminess. Baking all day and night, I was perfectly content, although exhausted and relieved when they were all finally wrapped and sent.

My fiancee Chris and I decided to give tins to family and friends filled with a variety of festive homemade treats again this year. Usually there are always a couple tried and true recipes that everyone loves and are requested year after year. This would include the pumpkin chocolate chip squares and maple spice cookies from martha stewart and CookingLight, respectively. We also tried to make two new items this year, including peanut butter peanut brittle from a fellow R.D. friend and chewy chocolate chip gingerbread cookies from Martha Stewart.

Even though the holidays are filled with goodies that are usually high in calories that can expand our waste lines, just remember moderation and activity are key. We don't want to deprive ourselves or attempt to lose weight during the holidays because that just sets us up for failure and disappointment with ourselves. We need to think of our calories as a budget, so if we decide to indulge on a couple cookies, maybe skip that glass of wine and go for a nice long brisk walk instead. Don't let yourself get discouraged and give up trying to eat healthy all together. If you have one mishap (say have your pie and eat it too) don't throw it all out the window, just get back on track. Every day there is a choice we make and every day is a fresh chapter to health. So go ahead and have the holiday goodies, but make sure you keep on track, stay focused with portion control, fit in some activity and have fun with family and friends! That's really what the holidays are about, right?

If you ever need some great recipes for holiday goodies to give out to family and friends these are some great ones that we and our family enjoy very much!

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bars

Maple-Walnut Spice Cookies

Here is a picture of Chris and I doing some quality control . . .


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