While the merchandising world would argue that I am coming in quite late, I would say that the Christmas season has officially begun. Turkey leftovers are nearly finished up, and it is time to think about putting up the tree, decorating the house, and baking holiday goodies.
It still doesn’t feel like we’re in December and we’ve started the first week of Advent. Our house is still decorated in fall colors, with gourds that have not yet been stored for the winter. (I think our Halloween pumpkin just went in the trash the other day. Please, don’t tell.)
One thing that does feel holiday-ish is the stress I feel creeping into the edges of our lives. It seems like a million holiday- or winter-related items have been added to our already long to-do list. And, while most of them are fun to-dos, it’s easy to get more than a little overwhelmed by the sheer number of things that we want to do to make our first Christmas together special.
I’ve been seeing a lot of people writing recently about the reason for the season and remembering what is really important in the midst of holiday (and life) stress. It is so easy to get wrapped up in the holiday doing spirit, and forget that the real holiday spirit is one of love, giving, and spending time with those close to you.
Does it matter if the gourds stay out for another week? Not really.
Does is matter if our house is the last one on the block to be lit? Not really.
Does it matter if we get wrapped up in the show and consumerism of Christmas and only remember this year as another busy one where we forgot to stop and enjoy the season? Yes, a million times YES!
I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, it’s funny how much effort it can take to slow down from life’s business. But, it is effort that is well rewarded.
We took some time to slow down this weekend with these Gingerbread Waffles with Cinnamon Apple Topping.
It had been a while since either of us had eaten gingerbread, and these were a perfect way to start December and the holiday season.
The waffles themselves are slightly spicy with a wonderful, deep molasses flavor. Not super sweet alone, they are perfect for the light sweetness of the apple cinnamon topping.
- 2 c flour
- 1 ½ Tbsp sugar
- 2 Tbsp baking powder
- 2 tsp ginger
- 1 ½ tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp salt
- ½ tsp nutmeg
- ½ tsp cloves
- 2 eggs, beaten slightly
- 1 ½ c milk
- 6 Tbsp oil
- ¼ c molasses
- 1 c chocolate chips (optional)
- Start your waffle iron pre-heating according to your manufacturer’s directions.
- In a large bowl, mix flour, sugar, baking powder, and spices until well blended.
- In a medium bowl, mix together eggs, milk, oil, and molasses.
- Pour milk mixture into flour mixture and mix with a wire whisk until no lumps remain.
- Stir in chocolate chips if so desired.
- Pour into your waffle maker and cook according to your maker’s instructions.
- Waffles are normally done when fragrant and the smoking from the waffle maker slows.
- Top with syrup, powdered sugar, or apple topping (below).
- 1 large apple, sliced (about 1 c)
- ½ c water
- 2 tsp corn starch
- 1 ½ tsp brown sugar
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- ½ tsp lemon juice
- Dash of nutmeg
- In a small saucepan, mix all ingredients, stirring until cornstarch dissolves.
- Heat, covered, over medium heat until mixture begins to simmer.
- Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, uncovered, until mixture thickens to desired consistency.