Day 8: Call Grandma. This one is pretty self explanatory. Ry Guy loves the phone, and he's called or texted grandma on accident several times. This time we actually called her on purpose and he "talked" for a few seconds before wandering off to play. That's ok, Grandma loves it.
Day 9: Learn Christmas signs. We've been working with Ry Guy on learning sign language since he was about 5 months old. He knows quite a few signs now, but we didn't know any Christmas related signs, so I went over to BabySignLanguage.com and we learned some new signs together: Christmas tree, Jesus, ornament, snowflake. Also, I looked up the signs for cow, donkey, sheep and camel so we could do a sign for each of the animals in our nativity set. Not sure how much he remembers, but now that M and I know the signs, we'll keep repeating them frequently this month and hopefully he'll pick up on them.
Day 10: Make smelling jars. This is a Montessori inspired activity. I used scented wax melts instead of the real item or essential oils, since that's what I had on hand. The wax melts were scented balsam cedar, peppermint, and gingerbread. I think Ry like the peppermint scent the best!
Day 11: Write and mail Christmas cards. Also self explanatory. Confession: I don't know where my brain went, but it was definitely not present when I was addressing my cards. I put the wrong address down on two cards! I had 82 on the brain for some reason, but no one I know has an 82 in their address. Sigh.
Day 12: Make Christmas cookies. I LOVE to bake, but it's difficult to bake these days, what with all the food allergies. I came across this recipe for Coconut Cut Out Cookies. They were surprisingly good, although not as crunchy as I'd hoped. The coconut keeps the cookies pretty pliable. Instead of frosting, I created a sweetened nut butter spread (almost like a fondue!). See the bottom of this post for the recipe. The verdict was YUM!
Day 13: Church Christmas dinner and white elephant gift exchange. The church dinner was a casserole potluck this year. Casseroles without any gluten, dairy, or eggs are a challenge. I came up with a roasted veggie and sausage "casserole" that seemed to be a hit. See the end of this post for the recipe. It was simple, but good!
We were surprised to discover that some of the ladies at church had put together little gift bags for the kids. Ry was very excited about his little stuffed dinosaur!
Day 14: Go sledding. Had to adapt this one, as our beautiful snow is almost all melted. Thankfully, the shady area in our backyard still has some snow, just a couple of inches. We put Ry in our laundry basket and M pushed him around the backyard. We called it a "Chariot Ride" instead of sledding. After a few minutes, Ry wanted out of the basket and helped Daddy push the basket around for a while. Great fun!
Almond Coconut Chunks/Spread/"Fondue"
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Keywords: no-cook blender condiment dessert egg-free gaps peanut-free refined sugar free soy-free
- 1-1/2 c. shredded coconut
- ¾ c. sliced almonds
- 2 Tbsp coconut oil (refined)
- 2 tsp raw honey
- ¾ tsp ground cinnamon
- ¼ tsp Real Salt
- Dash ground nutmeg
- Dash ground cloves
- Process the shredded coconut down to coconut butter (45 seconds on highest speed in the Blendtec twister jar). Remove to a mixing bowl.
- Add almonds to blender jar and process to a smooth almond butter (In Blendtec twister jar – 45 seconds on highest speed, 15 seconds on speed 2).
- Add almond butter to coconut butter in mixing bowl. Stir in honey, cinnamon, salt, nutmeg and cloves. Stir until smooth.
Do one of the following:
- Dip cookies, cake pieces, etc. and place on a parchment paper lined tray. Refrigerate until set.
- Line a sheet pan (cookie sheet) with parchment paper. Pour mixture into pan and smooth top. Refrigerate until set. Use parchment paper to help you remove the mixture and cut into small chunks. Store in the refrigerator or freezer.
- Spread on top cookies or cake and chill until set.
- Eat with a spoon!!
Roasted Root Vegetables and Sausage
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 50-60 minutes
Keywords: stove top bake side entree gaps
Ingredients (8 servings)
- 1 small butternut squash
- 1 large yellow onion
- 1 medium turnip (or 1/2 rutabaga) (or can substitute 2 potatoes)
- 4 carrots
- 1/2 lb bulk sausage
- 2 Tbsp oil or bacon fat
- Place fat in a 9x13 baking dish and place in the oven. Turn the oven on to 400*F. After a few minutes, when the fat has melted, remove the baking dish from the oven.
- Chop turnip, squash, carrots and onion into bite sized pieces. Toss with melted fat in the pan. Sprinkle with salt, garlic powder and pepper.
- Roast in the oven (uncovered) for about 40 minutes, or until veggies begin to brown.
- While veggies are roasting, brown sausage in a skillet over medium heat. Set aside After 40 minutes of roasting, remove veggies from oven, add sausage. Return pan to oven until sausage is warmed through, about 5 minutes.
- Remove from oven and serve immediately.
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