Our Holiday Recipes & A Holiday Link Up!

Beginning yesterday, 25+ members of the Schoolhouse Review Crew started getting prepared for the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays with a 5 days of Preparing for the Holidays Blog Hop, and we would love for YOU to come and join us for the fun!!

The  Topics for the Blog Hop are as follows:
Monday: Decorating- Share your ideas for how you decorate your home for the holidays.
Tuesday: Cooking- Do you have a special menu, recipes handed down for generations, or a day you spend just baking?
Wednesday: Gift-Giving- What are traditions for giving gifts? Are they home made? Maybe you have some great shopping tips to share!
Thursday: Arts & Crafts- Thanksgiving and Christmas lend themselves to some terrific craft ideas. Tell us yours!
Friday: Homeschooling- How do you handle homeschooling during the holidays? Do you have specific lessons you teach?

I am planning on participating on: 
Tuesday: to share a couple of our favorite recipes for the holidays including our sweet potatoe casserole, and chocolate e clair desert.
Wednesday: to share different homemade gift ideas from my Pinterest board for Christmas.
Thursday: to share Arts and Crafts we have done for the holidays.
Friday: to share how we handle homeschool and what our homeschool looks like during the holidays.

The Holidays are a wonderful time for our family to spend lots of time in the kitchen, there is just something about the wonderful smell of food baking in the oven on a cold winter day that makes it feel like the holidays! I will admit that the holidays do mean everyone eating lots of things we don't normally eat, but I guess that's the joy in the Holiday's letting go once a year!

For Thanksgiving we have a meal with family. Everyone brings a dish to pass, and we enjoy a day being spent with our family! Even the littlest ones love the Thanksgiving meal :)

The little ones love being able to spend time with their cousins and even get their own special kids table!

And yes, all dogs know right where the best place to sit during Thanksgiving dinner is!

When I was growing up one of the things I alway looked forward to was spending an entire day making cookies to pass out to the neighbors for Christmas, because of all the wonderful memories I have from making cookies during the holidays it is one of the traditions that we have done every year for a while now with the kids. It is now something everyone looks forward to every year, it makes a huge mess of the house for the day, but it is well worth it for all the memories it makes!


And yes, by the time cookies are all cut out most of the kids have flour everywhere on them and the dining room! But look at that smile, it is priceless!


Even the littlest ones help out. 

Last year we took the easy route and purchased pre-made holiday cookies for the kids to frost and decorate because we didn't have time to make our own.

Letting the kids have an assortment of items to decorate their cookies with makes it even more fun!

 It's interesting as the years go by they work harder and harder at perfecting making beautiful holiday cookies.

Taste testing is the best part of making cookies. The knife was only used on his cookie :)

Serena enjoyed making some cookies using a cookie press one year.

I am sharing 2 of our favorite recipes for Thanksgiving and Christmas dishes. Sweet Potato Casserole, and Chocolate E Clair Desert, both are much loved and dishes that come home empty, enjoy!

Chocolate E Clair Desert:

1 box graham crackers
2 large boxes french vanilla instant pudding
4 cups milk
1 tub cool whip
1 tub of chocolate frosting

  1. Mix pudding up according to directions, mix the tub of cool whip into the pudding, set mixture aside. 
  2. Layer 9x13 pan with graham crackers, spread 1/3 of the pudding mixture on top of the graham crackers, 
  3. layer graham crackers on top of the pudding mixture, spread 1/3 of the pudding mixture on top of the graham crackers.
  4. Layer graham crackers on top of the pudding mixture, pour remaining pudding mixture on top of the graham crackers.
  5. Later graham crackers on top of the pudding mixture.
  6. Warm up tub of frosting in the microwave for approximately 45 seconds, or until frosting can be poured.
  7. Pour chocolate frosting over the top of the graham crackers.
  8. Let sit in fridge for 48 hours before serving.
Sweet Potato Casserole:
This recipe make approximately 8 servings. For our family we double the recipe to make sure we have enough for everyone.


5 sweet potatoes, sliced
1/4 cup margarine
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
3 tablespoons orange juice
1 pinch ground cinnamon
1 (10.5 ounce) Package miniature marshmallows

  1. Preheat oven to 350' F 
  2. Place sweet potatoes in a large saucepan with enough water to cover. Bring to a boil, and cook until tender, about 15 minutes. 
  3. Remove from heat, drain, and mash.
  4. Place mashed sweet potatoes in a large bowl, and use a mixer to blend with the margarine, brown sugar, orange juice, and cinnamon.
  5. Spread mixture evenly into a 9x13 pan. Top with miniature marshmallows.
  6. Bake for 25-30 minutes in preheated oven, or until heated thoroughly, and marshmallows are puffed and golden brown.

I have found this wonderful help for the holidays, Thanksgiving on a budget is an e-book that is 84 pages long and features 28 recipes, including three fully planned menus, so that you have everything you need to plan a thrifty but awesome Thanksgiving. You can purchase it HERE for only $6.97.

Tuesday Blog Hop Code:

I am linking up to these linky parties!!

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