Sugar, Spice and Everything Nice About the Holidays

Last updated: December 2018

I know I’ve said it before but I’m going to say it again: I LOVE THE WINTER HOLIDAYS. I especially love baking during the holidays. There’s something special about it because everything just tastes better. I’m sure there is no science to back me up on this so maybe it’s just because I love this time of year just so dang much.

I love the little gingerbread men with their royal icing smiles. I love the Santa hat cookies decked in crushed sugar. I love the festive cheesecakes spiced with nutmeg.

Warm beverages to soothe the sore RA hands

But you know what I like even more (if that's even possible)? The handmade, from scratch warm beverages. Holding onto a mug of steaming peppermint hot cocoa with crushed candy canes, for good measure; a pumpkin spice white mocha with just a dash of allspice. Ooh, what about just good old apple cider warmed just a touch with a whole cinnamon stick floating in it. You can’t tell me there is nothing enjoyable about that! If anything, the warm cup heats our sore fingers!

It’s really not about eating these delightful confections for me but actually making them. Oh! I forgot about those delectable chocolate truffles with the lovely smooth fillings!

Baking: A therapeutic hobby

I love baking as a hobby. I always have. It is therapeutic and it yields a useful result. It also makes me feel nice when I make something for someone else. Sure, I can buy something but there is something special about making food from scratch. But, there’s a problem…You know where I’m going with this. Baking takes a lot of energy, dexterity and just plain spoons. Once in a while, I can manage a fun dessert for a birthday or as a thank-you. But generally, this hobby is often not done because I just can’t do it.

During the holidays, though, I have to. I just have to! I want to bake for work, for my doctors and my veterinarians. They are always so supportive and wonderful. I think they deserve something special, right? Oh, yeah, I also have to bake for the major holidays at home!

That’s a lot of baking in a short amount of time. How do I squeeze out multiple bakes without derailing into a massive flare?

Here are my tips:

  • Use easy recipes

Baking is expensive and when I’m baking for the masses I don’t want to go into debt while doing it! The fewer the ingredients the better, I always say!

I also mean “straightforward” recipes. I love making cheesecakes but most recipes require a lot of fast mixing action. I might be able to do one but definitely not for five!

  • Standing mixers are my best friend.

Even if you’re able-bodied holding an electric hand beater gets tiring. Forget about if you have chronic pain and stiffness! Get a standing mixer to do all the work for you. There are some great cheaper options but if you have your heart set on a more expensive brand look for a refurbished one!

  • Take Breaks

I measure out the ingredients I need and take a break. I mix the wet ingredients and take a break. I mix the dry and wet and take a break. You get my drift. Don’t do everything all at the same time. It’s not going to work well at all!

  • Go Plastic

Plastic bowls and utensils are lighter than their glass or stainless steel counterparts.

And, if it’s just not happening…

  • Buy the ready-made cookie batters from the grocery store. Separate, bake and voila, done! (P.S. Sorry if you get chocolate chip cookies, it doesn’t mean I don’t appreciate you, I just couldn’t handle the kitchen!).

Do you like to bake? Do you have some tips for baking with RA? Let me know in the comments because I’m about to commence on my holiday baking journey!

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