The holidays are near and this means a lot for me and Matt. First of all, this will be the first christmas that Matt and I are celebrating by ourselves with no families. I will be around 39 weeks during Christmas week and would not be able to travel anywhere other than a trip to the hospital. Second of all, this is Baby Bump’s first christmas! Yes, I am excited and yes, I am planning on dressing up my baby bump for the celebration. And third of all, it is Christmas which means yummy spicy ginger bread cookies with egg nog, glittery ornaments, colorful lights, lots of presents, smell of freshly cut pine tree that hangs in the air and fills me with seasonal joy, and most importantly, an arrival of our baby girl which is highly anticipated. I cannot wait to meet this little person and hold her in my arms.
December 1st started with a trip to my doctor’s office where I got to check on baby girl and see her beautiful face during an ultrasound. Do you think she looks like me?
The rest of the day was dedicated to decking out our place in holiday decorations. We got to play artists for a day and painted some nifty holiday designs on windows.
For our Christmas tree, I decided to decorate it with multi colored lights and round ball ornaments. Even though, I love how white lights look on a tree and this is what is “in”, I have a soft spot for multi colored lights on a tree. Growing up, our family’s christmas tree was always colorful with mismatched ornaments. I remember as a little girl, I had a few of my favorite ornaments and would hang them next to a specific colored light in the tree. One year it would be green lights, another year it would be blue…
Blackstrap molasses is a sweetener that is actually good for you. Blackstrap molasses is a healthful sweetener that contains significant amounts of a variety of minerals that promote your health. The nutrients in which it is concentrated include manganese, copper, iron, calcium, potassium, magnesium, vitamin B6, and selenium. Mmmmmmmmmm
See recipe below (borrowed from my new roots blog).
Healthy Holiday Gingerbread Cookies
Makes 1 dozen medium-sized cookies (pictured above)
2 1/2 cups of whole spelt flour
pinch of fine grain sea salt
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 Tbsp. ground ginger
1+1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
5 Tbsp. coconut oil, melted
1/3 of white sugar
1/3 cup unsulfured blackstrap molasses
3 Tbsp. unsweetened applesauce (I grate 1 fresh apple instead of using a pre-made apple sauce)
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1. Combine the dry ingredients together. Make sure to sift the flour since this helps to combine dry ingredients evenly before they are mixed with wet ingredients.
2. In a small saucepan, melt the coconut oil, then whisk in the molasses, applesauce, and vanilla. I tend to grate one fresh apple and use that instead of using a pre-made apple sauce.
3. Pour the wet ingredients over the dry, and fold to combine – you may need to use your hands to mix this, but don’t overwork the dough. Fold just until the ingredients come together evenly. Turn dough out onto a piece of plastic wrap, make a ball, then flatten into a large disc. Wrap and place in the fridge for at least 1 hour or until it is not too sticky or too soft to work with.
4. Preheat oven to 350°F / 175°C. Remove dough from the fridge and roll out. If it is very stiff, you may need to let it warm up just slightly. This step requires muscle strength, I have my stronger half Matt come to the rescue. Cut out desired shapes with a cookie cutter or a knife. Slide a knife or thin egg lifter under each shape and place on a lined baking sheet. Ball up the scraps of dough, roll it out between the parchment and start again. Once the dough becomes too warm, return it to the fridge and repeat the entire process with the other half of the chilled dough.