Valentine’s Day – Three kids and 20 years later…

Another Valentine’s Day is right around the corner, and while some poo -poo the idea of another Hallmark holiday, I can’t help but enjoy the pop of red and pink in the store windows. Who doesn’t love a cheerful display of hearts and roses – and most importantly – CHOCOLATE when it is -25 and gloomy with still a long 6 weeks until Spring Break? As you know by now, I love a holiday. Typically, when I think of Valentine’s Day and its love inspired celebrations, my thoughts go to how I am going to make it special for our teens. Funnily enough, I still think of these holidays as celebrations for our kids – the REAL reason for the holiday (celebrating romantic love) doesn’t really come in to play (sorry honey!!) This isn’t because I don’t love and adore my husband, or that we don’t “celebrate,” it’s just that my most recent years have been filled with making sure the kids did their Valentine cards – (don’t forget EVERYONE in the class now has to get one), AND trying to figure out what cool and interesting treat / pencil / dollar store trinket I could tape on to them. In addition, I have always been the one making sure the day was special for THEM! The lunch box had to have a heart themed napkin and maybe a few heart shaped jujubes, a little love note and some special Valentine treats. Before they were in school, it was sugar cookies decorated with gobs of icing and sprinkles.

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Valentines Day and Chocolate Cake

The other day, I was getting this blog post prepared and having a discussion on Valentines Day with my family. My son mentioned, “remember when we would have steak and lobster for dinner?..Can we do that again? Sure!!

Many years ago my husband and I decided that we would forego the typical Valentines Day date night and make it an in home dinner with the kids. We would make something special that we do not typically eat. So we picked lobster and hey why not get you kids aged 4 and 6 hooked on lobster. ;).. The best part of the dinner was always dessert and I would make everyone their own heart shaped chocolate cake..

And this is where my cake story begins….

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Christmas Morning Eats – Bundts and Balls

Christmas Morning Eats – Bundts and Balls


Somehow,  I thought one of the benefits of having teens in our house was going to be a slightly later Christmas morning ritual.  If you have teens that sleep, you might be pacing the floor at 11am waiting for them to traipse down the stairs to get your day started.  In our house, the kids are given a time that they can wake us up (and not before) and they usually convene upstairs in the TV room to watch a bit of “The Grinch,” prior to our agreed upon time.  Somehow, on Christmas morning, they are NOT going sleep in – and we have accepted this.  SO – with all the Christmas morning excitement, breakfast gets put on the back burner of course, until the stockings are emptied and the gifts unwrapped.  That being said, once said traditions are complete – they are suddenly STARVING and ready for a family breakfast.  

We have had the same breakfast in our house on Christmas morning for the past 18 years at least.   This is not in any way a healthy, organic, body fueling feast. This is in fact, the opposite of that. But hey, it’s Christmas and we all deserve a treat, right Danni??

This includes:

BACON (one of the handful of times a year I serve bacon – sleepovers, Easter and Christmas!) 

CHRISTMAS COFFEE CAKE – this is the same coffee cake I grew up eating every year on Christmas morning.  I was a child of Best of Bridge and benefited from it greatly! 🙂 

LAND OF NOD CINAMON BUNS – love this pre-made delightful sugar bomb that smells like Christmas and makes you feel like a genius chef…

MARCHYSHYN’S KOBASA – my mom is Ukrainian, and this is hands down the best homemade Kobasa you will ever have.  My mom and dad purchase a ring for us every year…

And of course, cause we need a few vitamins, a FRUIT SALAD for the table!!

You know I am all about tradition, BUT I am adding to the repertoire this year with SAUSAGE BALLS.  I have to confess. Last year, I was taking down my Christmas tree and watching LIVE with Kelly and Ryan. They started talking about “SAUSAGE BALLS” and how Ryan’s recipe from HIS family inspired the Ripa family to start making the sausage ball on Christmas morning. They looked so yummy (and sinful), I thought it might be a great addition to OUR Christmas morning feast. Plus, am I the only woman in her 40’s who’s till giggles at the word “balls?”

This is the note I wrote on top of one of my Christmas bins:

Yup – I actually write notes to myself reminding me of what I need to buy for next year, do or make…its a thing … 🙂

So I have tried them out AND they were just as easy – just as sinful – just as delicious as Kelly and Ryan promised…

Ryan's Christmas Sausage Balls - vulgar but fun

  • Servings: 30 balls
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Cheesy, yummy sausage bites for Christmas morning!

Ingredients

2 lbs ground sausage (you can use turkey, chicken, pork – whatever your preference!)
2 cups Bisquick biscuit mix
1 lb grated cheddar cheese – freshly grated – NOT from a package

Mix all ingredients in a mixer. Roll into golf ball size balls. Bake at 350F for 20 – 25 minutes until golden and cooked through!


Sometimes you have to switch it up a little to make things exciting, right?

The BUNDT part of my BUNDTS and BALLS post this morning is thanks to good old “Best of Bridge.” I’ve been pondering the term “coffee cake,” and think perhaps the coffee cake was created and died in the 80’s? Well – it doesn’t really matter. This cake, no matter what you call it, is awesome. Make it the week before Christmas, wrap in plastic wrap and throw it in the freezer. Christmas Eve before you go to bed, put it on the counter. It will be perfect for the morning.

My “well loved” pan really does need a replacement – I have been lusting after those gorgeous bundt pans at Williams Sonoma – maybe next year….

Mojo and Moxie Christmas Coffee Cake from the 80's!

  • Servings: 8
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A really pretty, decorative coffee cake for Christmas morning! Recipe adapted from The Best of Bridge Cookbooks

Ingredients

Pecan Halves and Cherry Halves
1/4 cup butter
1/3 cup brown sugar

1 1/2 cups four
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 cup brown sugar
1/4c cup butter
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup sour cream

Grease or Spray Bundt pan. Melt 1/4 cup butter. Add 1/3 cup brown sugar and stir. Place in the bottom of a 10 Bundt pan (3L) Decorate the bottom with cherries and pence halves. Cream 1/4 cup butter and 1 cup brown sugar. Add vanilla and eggs. Beat until fluffy. Been in sour cream. Mix flour baking powder, baking soda, and sift. Make a well in center of dry ingredients, add liquids and stir gently. Pour in greased pan and bake at 350F for 30 minutes.

No matter how you choose to do breakfast on Christmas morning – bundt, balls or otherwise, Danni and I wish you a day filled with love, laughter, family – and not too much eye-rolling (from you, not your teen!!)

Thank you for coming along on this journey with us. We are not food stylists, professional chefs, or photographers (as you MAY notice above) … we are just a couple of mom’s with teens sharing our experience and our lives with you. Thank you for your candid comments, your support, and encouragement. We are having a blast and hope you are having fun along with us. Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays from Mojo and Moxie!

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xx

C