Merry Christmas Cookies Day

The family came over on Saturday for lunch and to decorate Christmas cookies.

Knowing that Saturday was going to be busy, I prepared a strata the night before. I have not made one in ages. They are very simple. I cooked some breakfast sausage, and drained it. In a medium sized glass baking pan, ( 9x 5 ) I placed four slices of Italian bread, and layered the sausage and shredded cheddar cheese over that. Depending on the size of the eggs on hand…anywhere from 7-9 might be needed. I used nine and whisked them together with one cup of milk. I poured this on top and stored it in the fridge until morning, when I baked it. This is a nice versatile recipe because you could use ham and peppers, or Italian sausage versus sweet breakfast sausage, and mozzarella versus cheddar.  At 350 degrees, this takes about 45 minutes to bake.

While that was baking, I prepared a double-recipe of sugar cookie dough and put it into the fridge to chill, and then cut up some lemons for fresh lemonade. When I take the time to do this, it is always a big hit.

strata lemonade start cookie dough collage

The basic recipe is 1/2 cup sugar to 5 lemons. The bag that I purchased had 8, so I sliced up all eight, removing the seeds as I went along, and then put them and 3/4 cup sugar into a bowl.  I stirred this up and then let it sit for awhile, and about a half an hour later, I mashed them up a bit to get more of the juice out. At this point I usually find the seeds that I missed and remove them as well. I split this up between two pitchers and added water and in about an hour or so there was delicious lemonade. What is so nice about this is, when that is gone, I just take the lemons from the one pitcher and add it to the other, add water again, and let that sit overnight and I have more lemonade the next day.

I had made the home made turkey broth the evening before so on Saturday, I just had to add 1 can of cream of chicken soup to that to thicken it, and cook the egg noodles. The menu would be homemade turkey noodle soup, fresh lemonade, and apples…each child had to have some fresh apples to go along with the soup ( chalkful of carrots and celery etc, ) to ensure that they had lots of healthy food in their tummies before we moved on to the cookies that they were going to decorate later.

Baking Cookies

And it worked…they were more interested in decorating their already baked cookies than eating them. When they saw all of  the bowls of colored icing being brought out out my grandson said “Oh boy! We are going to PAINT them!!” :)  I used the same simple confectioner sugar icing that I always do and my son pointed out that this his his favorite all time icing. ( well, he only eats it once a year on Christmas cookies so no wonder : )

At some point my grandson spilled some sprinkles…

Brent and Sprinkles

With several adults to help the 5 children, it worked out well. A bit of a mess, but lots of fun. In the end the children took two plastic bins home of Christmas cookies and were quite pleased with the results of their work.

Cookie Collage

I kept about 10 here for me. And ate them all by the next day. And that is why I sent all of the rest out of this house! :)

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24 Responses to Merry Christmas Cookies Day

  1. Oh there is nothing better than fresh lemonade and precious memories being made. :)

  2. Carol Cook says:

    We made sugar cookies on Sunday (half batch) and they were all gone the same day. We have agreed not to bake again until the week of Christmas.

    What fun memories you are creating for the children.

  3. Debbie says:

    Wow, you are one busy woman! The grandkids must have loved that day! You are an awesome grandma! And very efficient doing all that ahead!

  4. Peggy Thal says:

    What a great time you must have had with your grand children. Yummy meal too! Making Christmas memories with a little mess too.

  5. Rhonda says:

    Looks like fun, I know what you mean about the cookies if they are available.
    I wonder how many are left at the grandchildren’s homes? My grands can eat cookies even faster than me

  6. Balisha says:

    Don’t kids have the best time at Grandma’s? Sounds like lots of fun. So many good memories come from times like these.
    Your lemonade made me want some……and you gave me an idea of how to stretch my homemade turkey noodle soup in the fridge. I’ll add a can of soup…like you did. It will be different and tasty. Thanks for the idea.

  7. Jane says:

    You are so organized! I love that you take the time making everything from scratch…not everyone realizes that that is a true sign of love. And the gift of TIME!! And I know those kids are your gift. What a sweet post to read today! :)


  8. Joyce says:

    I loved this too. Always learn something from you – this time it’s the lemonade recipe. I think I can do that! The results are so much better than any purchased drink.
    Your cookie party, though, is so similar to mine that I might have predicted the “sprinkle spill!” I agree that baking them ahead for kids to just decorate is the way to go.

  9. Sherry says:

    What fun that looks like! I am sure they enjoyed it! A perfect activity for this time of year.

  10. Grandma Kc says:

    What a wonderful day! You can tell from all the smiles! Kids really do love playing with cookies — lots of fingers to be licked clean. I’m going to a Cookie Exchange party Friday night and Jenna is setting up a similar thing for all the kids that will be attending, too. They will have a blast and so will we.

  11. Sounds like the kids had fun making memories, and cookies. I’m going to have to make a strata? one day, it sounds delish.


  12. Joyce says:

    What a fun time to share with us- I love day’s like this, very busy and exhausting but so satisfying too. You know, I am so glad you did this post on the strata-I haven’t made one in several years but what a great dish for Christmas morning!

  13. Maggie says:

    Oh what fun you had. Your little grandson’s face ….he looks so excited. Lovely recipes…thanks for sharing xx

  14. Rettabug says:

    You did a bang-up job of helping to make Christmas cookie decorating a FUN event! LOVED the expression on your grandson’s face after spilling the sprinkles. Seems to happen every year around here. LOL
    Good job, Grandma!

  15. This is what Christmas is all about! May your Christmas be Merry & Bright!

  16. Love breakfast strata and I love sugar cookies more. I can only imagine how much they enjoyed the food and the cookie decorating. And, I guess that’s why they invented vacuum cleaners for Grandma’s to use after a day of fun with the grandkids. Memories that is what you made!

  17. Jann Olson says:

    Isn’t it funny how those sugar cookies seem to disappear? lol! Yup, you can’t eat just one. I eat them till they’re gone. One of my favorite cookies. Baking them is half the fun. The grands proved that. I love homemade noodles, but have never (can you believe) made homemade lemonade. Must do it some time! Thanks for sharing with our ‘Creating Christmas’ party!

  18. Jeri says:

    I did the same thing last year to cut down on the stress of decorating cookies. And it is so much easier to have the cookies ready to decorate when you have 10 kids in your home! The party was a hit! I love the photo at the top of your post with the cookie dough and cut outs. Nicely photographed.

    • debralynnpugh says:

      Hi Jeri..thanks for visiting :) I visited your blog but couldn’t find anywhere to was all Like or Share this as far as I could see..not sure if I was missing something :)

  19. Poppy says:

    Oh, Debra, just looking at these playful photos of your precious grands cutting out Christmas cookies, mess and all, is SO what I needed to see today! What fun and fuss and giggles and sweetness! I always get a ‘happy shot’ when I visit your frugal little bungalow!:-D


  20. This looks like so much fun! I can’t wait to bake sugar cookies with my Grandson! Thanks for linking to TTF!

  21. What beautiful grandchildren you have Debra! The picture you have of your grandson ‘getting dirty’ is adorable.

    Up until two years ago, every year I made about 600-800 cookies. That explains why I am trying to lose weight, lol.

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