Grandma’s Christmas Cookies

When I was a little girl, we spent every holiday in a little farm town, in west-central Ohio where my mom grew up. My IMG_2857grandparents still lived in the house where my grandma was raised–the house that her father had built. They were farm people, with a German background. Food was central to all occasions and required real, old fashioned butter as a central ingredient.

These cookies are my first memory of Christmas cookies at Grandma’s house. As I grew older, baking cut out cookies and decorating them became an annual family tradition that I continue to carry on with my own children. When my grandma passed away four years ago, her cookie cutters were bequeathed to me, joining my own collection. We now have more than 40 holiday shapes, several with their own memory.

Wishing you all a happy and healthy holiday,



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6 Ways to Survive So Much Food

With all the joy and family time approaching during holidays comes a lot of food. Pretty much any time with holidays brings a lot of food.

It takes a lot of discipline to keep from overeating when we’re surrounded by food for days at at time–in the office, in school and of course, at home. And, it takes a plan.

While nothing’s foolproof, we’ve come up with a few rules that help.

1. Serve from the kitchen: If you’re a guest, this rule won’t help you, but if you’re hosting meals over the holiday, serving from the kitchen minimizes how much you and your family will eat at any given meal. Keeping the food in the kitchen means we’re less likely to take too much or go back for seconds.

2. One cookie + one piece of candy: Holidays can be a junk food fest, with dessert platters and baskets galore. This rule keeps kids sane, while keeping them hungry for meals. If they somehow manage to squirrel away an extra candy, save it for later. Or buy it of them. For real.

3. Eat breakfast + lunch: If you’re expecting a big dinner, full of delicacies, eating the other meals in the day will keep you and your kids from overeating at festive meals. It will also keep you from snacking.

4. Make a healthy dessert: A dessert like banana cocoa ice cream or date balls just might deter you from the brownies, cakes and cookies.

5. Snack on popcorn: Who doesn’t like popcorn?!

6. Work out over the holidays: Grab your kid, spouse or a friend and go for a walk. Do sit ups on your rug. Throw a dance party with your kids. Do something!

Happy and HEALTHY holidays to all of you!