This weekend I was the host for our annual Christmas cookie baking tradition. It started innocently enough 19 years ago, with three of us thinking that getting together to bake our holiday cookies would be a fun way to catch up while simultaneously checking off a major item on our holiday to-do lists. It’s an event that became a tradition as more friends joined in and we came to look forward to the girlfriend time as much as the cookies.
the festive 2017 selection
The Cookie Baking Tradition
As our group grew we got more organized. We now compare December calendars and pick a date as early as October, and select recipes in advance to ensure we end up with a good variety. Some cookies are such favorites they have become holiday must-haves–my Eggnog Spritz Cookies and Ginger Spice Cookies (you can find those recipes here), and Beth’s Double Chocolate Cherry Cookies that Jayme will make if Beth can’t join us.
We’ve also had to revise our operating procedures from a pure mix-and-bake protocol to ensuring that at least some people prepare at least one of their doughs in advance so we can start baking right away. We usually each make two types of cookies and decorate cut-outs that someone makes in advance, and that’s a lot of oven time–even doubling up baking sheets in two ovens.
The happy bakers in front of one person’s share of the day’s bounty.
We usually start around 8 am and finish by about 4 pm, helping each other with shaping dough, adding frosting, and deciding whether cookies are ready to come out of the oven. We eat very few of our cookies, although there is an upside to a cookie that doesn’t pass quality control or a batch that doesn’t divide by six evenly. 🙂
I packed up my cookies as we went, and was pleased when my kitchen was back in order with all the stray sprinkles mopped up by 5:00 pm, but my husband was disappointed with my gleaming kitchen, wondering what happened to all the cookies!
Fit and Fueled
One thing that is becoming a post-holiday tradition is participating in Laura’s January nutrition program. This year she is doing a month-long program with six modules focused on fueling and training specific to runners. This program is designed for runners who want to run stronger and learn how to shift into fat burning or improve body composition, including runners with big running goals who need a nutrition boost or women who struggle with weight maintenance despite logging lots of miles.
I find Laura’s programs to be reasonable and doable. Instead of suggesting drastic changes for quick fixes that won’t last through the month, Laura’s approach promotes sustainable changes in food choices and eating habits that can form a solid foundation for a healthier lifestyle and stronger performance.
The course starts January 2, and even though I’ll be skiing the first weekend, I know from experience that her program will help me fuel my ski runs too. If you want to join me for a healthy new year, read more and sign up here using COCO for a special discount. You can save even more by committing early and signing up by Friday, December 15th.
Monday: I had planned to kick-off my business trip at Harvard with a run, but I woke up with a weird hip pain that made me wary to run. I canceled on my BRWF (best running work friend) and decided to work out the kinks in the hotel gym.
Tuesday: By Tuesday I had figured out that whatever was going on in my hip wouldn’t be bothered by running, so we bundled up and headed out for a run along the river.
We ran towards Boston and caught the sunrise over the river.
Wednesday: By Wednesday I was at a different hotel, and opted for another hotel gym workout.
Thursday: By Thursday I was back home and back at CycleBar.
Friday: On Friday I went to my favorite CPY2 class at CorePowerYoga. Our peak pose was peacock. I could get my legs off the mat, but not elegantly!
Saturday: Technically, Saturday was a rest day, but I was on my feet ALL DAY baking!
Sunday: On Sunday I ran the Jingle All the Way 15K for the first time. I’ll share a recap soon, but will tell you know that I enjoyed it more than I expected–even though I had to run around Hains Point.
Did I mention that it snowed on Saturday?
Do you have a favorite type of Christmas cookie?
Did you get snow this weekend?