Do you have any favorite holiday traditions? I've teamed up with Home Depot to share two of my favorite holiday recipes: hot cocoa and gingerbread cookies.
UPDATE: This post was originally published in November 2017.
This post is sponsored by Home Depot. All thoughts and opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that make it possible for Root + Revel to provide free content and healthy living inspiration.
Last year, I shared one of my favorite holiday traditions: an annual all-girls Christmas Party featuring the best holiday appetizer, Chicken Party Purses.
And it got me thinking about all of the other fun holiday traditions my family and friends have created over the years. Read on below for some of my favorite holiday recipes and the stories behind them.
Holiday Traditions: My Favorite Holiday Recipes
For me, “the holidays” start on Thanksgiving. My family heads up to Big Canoe for a weekend spent in the mountains, relaxing, eating good food and spending time in the great outdoors.
And about 10 years ago, we added a new tradition to that glorious mix: making hot cocoa and curling up around the fireplace while The Family Stone plays in the background. It's such a quirky and heartwarming movie, and coupled with a steaming up of cocoa, it's the perfect way to kick off the holiday season.
Holiday Traditions: Hot Cocoa + The Family Stone
This year, I decided to put a creamy, yet healthful spin on classic hot cocoa and make mine with coconut milk and cacao powder + nibs instead of refined cocoa (remember, we talked about the difference between cocoa vs cacao here).
It's so decadent, and yet so good for you thanks to all of the antioxidants and heart-healthy fats! Truly, it's the perfect guilt-free treat!
I find that chocolate tastes best when mixed with some other spices and flavors, so I also added warming cinnamon, sweet vanilla and zesty orange to this hot cocoa recipe, which makes the flavor out of this world delicious and really makes this festive drink stand out from all those other one-note recipes.
Get this Hot Chocolate Recipe here.
Now normally, when I buy dishes, I don't think to hit up a hardware store, but did y'all know that my hometown Home Depot recently added kitchenware to their online store?
How cute are these cups + saucers? I love the subtle grey accent and the coordinating sugar and creamer bowls.
Holiday Traditions: Baking Cookies
Another favorite holiday tradition? Baking cookies, of course!
When I was growing up, my high school boyfriend and I would go to his Aunt's house a few days before Christmas and have an all-out cooking baking palooza. We'd make thumbprint cookies and shortbread, sugar cookies and gingerbread, peanut butter cookies and linzer treats with jelly. The works.
Though that relationship ended years ago, it's a tradition that I've always treasured and one I've since started again.
Because let's be honest…is there anything more festive and heart-warming than freshly baked, homemade cookies? The way they make your house smell, the way they look on the counter making everything feel more like the holidays, and, of course, the way they taste when they melt in your mouth!
Though my family's tradition is to make a ridiculously decadent shortbread over the holidays, I've always thought that nothing says Christmas more than gingerbread.
I kid you not, when I went to lift these baked Gingerbread cookies off the pan, they literally slid around, it's that non-stick.
Plus, it's huge, so you can make a ton of cookies at once!
Admittedly, these cookies are pretty indulgent-but you know I love me some 80-20 rule, and it's the holidays. A little indulgence is part of enjoying the season.
I've also made these gingerbread cookies with gluten-free all-purpose flour and they turned out just as delicious. I was shocked at how little the texture and taste was affected.
But in case you really just want to go all in with “the real thing”, we've got the whole guide to indulging the “healthy” way right here:
Do you have any holiday traditions? I'd love to hear what this season means to your family, so please leave your story in the comments below.
Photo Credit: Heidi Geldhauser
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