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christmas in our new home

Emily Oster

As I have mentioned, this Christmas will be the first Christmas that Jeff and I host in our new home. We have never hosted Christmas in St. Louis or anywhere else for that matter so we are excited to start some new traditions of our own. Our St. Louis themed activities will include a trip to the Fox to see A Christmas Story - a Mitchell family favorite, a carriage ride through Tilles Park - a local park that puts on a huge light display, a dinner out to the cozy Italian bistro I Fratellini and maybe even some ice skating. Other plans for the approaching festive week include lots of holiday movies, evening walks to view neighborhood light displays, last minute shopping and COOKING.

Jeff and I love to cook so we are going to take this opportunity to try some new recipes and make some more elaborate and time consuming meals. So far the big menu items include homemade chicken noodle (or dumpling) soup, rack of lamb for Christmas Eve and braised short ribs for Christmas day. I am still searching for sides for our two big meals as well as a yummy brunch dish. Any recommendations? 

In addition to all the cooking, I hope to do some baking as well. I am much more of a cook than a baker so I am thinking baking can be one of my new special holiday traditions. I am particularly interested in making cookies. My grandmother was always in charge of the holiday cookies growing up and my sister sort of took over that role in recent years so this will be a fun little adventure for me. The big problem of course is choosing a recipe. There are some many seemingly delicious ones out there and I am not sure how I will select just a few. Some contenders are: 

I figure at least one chocolate focused cookie is a must and this recipe looks pretty outrageous. I can almost taste the sweet and salty combination. 

This would be my "I don't have to feel so guilty eating these because they are gluten-free cookies" because you know gluten-free means they aren't bad for you....These would also be my experiment cookies as I have never baked with almond paste before. I can just imagine some afternoon tea by the wood burning stove with these yummies...

  Linzer Stars  by Martha Stewart

Linzer Stars by Martha Stewart

I have always wanted to make a Linzer cookie as I just think they are so pretty and festive. I also figure I could easily make a few different kinds with all the jam I have sitting in my pantry and fridge. 

Any readers have amazing go to holiday cookie recipes I should try?