Day 42 says, “We did it! Time to look ahead to holidays’ end. Today, we hang a wreath on the door to open the season. At month’s end, a post-holiday debriefing will set the stage for an organized Christmas in 2009!…
This is not to say that we’re all ready! I’d venture that 98% of us still have more to do. Not only is this no surprise, but it’s normal. That’s why the Countdown ends where it does. There’s still time to complete holiday preparation, and nearly all of us will need it.
At the same time, look how far we’ve come! If you’ve been trying, you should be well ahead of the Christmas game. Better, the notes, forms and records you’ve assembled will be next year’s road map to an even easier season.”
Today’s recipe is Date-Nut Bread. For a gluten free one, I would make this insanely delicious sounding/looking Dark Date & Pecan Spice Bread from Deliciously Gluten Free. In fact, I see this in my very near future! Yum!
Day 41 at Organized Christmas encourages us to learn about other holiday traditions.
Today’s recipe is Chicken-Biscuit Casserole. This is a freezer meal. To make gluten free, be sure your chicken broth is gluten free, and use homemade gluten free biscuits for the topping such as the ones here (see notes under recipe to make dairy free).
Day 40 of Organized Christmas talks about simplifying holiday entertaining.
Today’s recipe is rocky road candy. This is how I would make it gluten and dairy free!
Gluten Free/Dairy Free Almond Bark
makes 1 1/4 pounds candy
1 cup whole raw almonds
24 ounces of gluten and dairy free semisweet chocolate chips
2 tablespoons organic shortening
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spread almonds on a rimmed baking pan place and bake for about 8-10 minutes, stirring almonds around periodically. Watch closely so they do not burn. Let almonds cool.
Line a 10″ x 15″ pan with wax paper, covering bottom and sides on pan, folding corners of wax paper into a sharp crease.
Place chocolate chips and shortening into the top of a double boiler. Stir over barely simmering water until mixture begins to melt. Remove pan from heat and stir mixture until chocolate is completely melted. Stir in toasted almonds. Pour mixture into pan and spread to distribute nuts evenly.
Refrigerate candy until just firm. Lift candy out of pan using wax paper and remove paper. Break into pieces before serving. Store by covering in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 weeks.
Rocky Road Candy: Replace almonds with 2 cups dry-roasted peanuts and 6 cups of miniature marshmallows. Skip the roasting step for the almonds…
Day 39 talks about making room for any new toys that may be coming by clearing out outgrown or broken toys.
The recipe today is for a “We Whisk You a Merry Kissmas” gift. Use small meringue “cookie” drops shaped like kisses. There are several on the market that are gfcf.
Day 38 of Organized Christmas talks about teaching children to give. Some things our family likes to do is to have each child make gifts for their siblings, and really focus on giving of themselves, not just “stuff”. Also, we want them to focus not just on giving to our family, so some places we like to donate to as a family are:
Feed My Starving Children – where you can help pack food to feed others. This really resonates with my oldest daughter as she understands that having poor nutrition really matters. This is one of her favorite things to do and she is planning on having her birthday party here.
World Vision - They send out a gift catalog so your family can better choose what they may be able to help with. I think it is nice for them to be able to see and understand the different types of needs other people have in other areas they never have to encounter and how very, very blessed they are. My kids usually like to give a gift of a goat (probably because of the cute factor!). Try having your family save change throughout the year in a jar and see how far all that “forgotten change” can go toward helping someone else. It’s amazing what we practically throw away can add up to!
The recipe for today is a jar recipe. See the list of gifts in a jar here.
Day 37 talks about simplifying holiday traditions.
The recipe is candy cane cookies. I have a gluten and dairy free version in my Holiday Cookie e-book which our family uses.
Day 36 is the kick off of Celebrate Week! Woo! Tidy up the loose ends in your holiday planning and start celebrating.
Today’s recipe is a silly stocking stuffer of “Reindeer Poop.” Use the same filler ideas as for “Turkey Poop,” if you are so inclined.
Day 35 of Organized Christmas is the beginning Catch-Up Weekend! “This weekend, do the things that jumpstart your holiday feeling. Play the special carols music. Bake the family cookie recipe. Take in a live performance at church.”…”Whether it’s gifts or decorating, cards or cooking, catch up on what needs doing. But be good to yourself! Lighten up the load and lighten your hearts, because we’re almost there.”
Today’s recipe is Banana-Nut Bread. For a gluten and dairy free version I have two: one gluten and dairy free Banana Bread and one free of the top 8 other allergens and refined sugar as well (Hannah Banana Bread). Both are delicious.