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Week In Review: The Cookie Making Gift Giving Edition - mylittletablespoon

Week In Review: The Cookie Making Gift Giving Edition

I don’t think I’ve ever started a post this way, but I just can’t help myself. Is it seriously the week before Christmas!? Baha. How did that happen?   I don’t know about you, but that was the sneakiest little ho-ho crawl up I’ve ever seen…

I – think? – I’m not too far off from being ready. It’s hard to tell. So much kind of happens last minute, but I’ve been doing enough thinking and planning and making little purchases here and there along the way that I am not feeling entirely gob-smacked. I think

Last week was busy and – as it seems to be the way my life works now –  my days kept changing on a dime as I got a couple last minute auditions and a callback, which then take precedence over any plans I may have had. Agents only get casting notices the night before, which means they tell us we have an audition for the next day at about 8/9 pm. This could mean a massive scramble to switch around an appointment or shift etc if you have one. Thankfully I’ve been super lucky with how my work schedule and days off have worked and haven’t had to miss any or change much around. Knocking on all the wood, please. 

So ontop of what felt like a busy audition week, it was also gift making week!! Helloooooooo cookies!

Linking up with Meg for my week-before-christmas gift making edition of the Week In Review  (and bombarding you with far too many cookie pictures. #sorrynotsorry)

Last week I…

Had a singing lesson! Yay!

And a dentist appointment. … yay?

Got sushi. I took myself out to my favorite take-out sushi place when I had to kill time in my old neighborhood for an audition. I wasn’t waiting for that opportunity at all……

Finally went in to see Dan’s new workplace and got a beautiful latte before heading to work

I had a date night with Dan πŸ™‚

We didn’t have time to go to the pizzeria we had planned on treating ourselves to, so instead I picked up a fresh sourdough baguette and made a big pot of soup for when he got home from work. I made a smokey chicken-bacon chowder based on a recipe from the Looney Spoons Cookbook. It was one my family makes at home and so I had been wanting to make it myself. It’s such a great recipe. I used 2% condensed milk, a can of creamed corn, turkey bacon, chicken, barbecue sauce and some other jazzy ingredients. It all sounds a tad strange but oh it is sooooo good. Made complete with a bottle of wine. 

Finished said bottle of wine

And then I got to baking a but load of cookies to put together as Christmas gifts for our friends! I have a lot of friends who are vegan, so I wanted to make options they could have.

The winning choices were…

(1) Spicy Gingersnaps adapted to make vegan

Which I then dunked in some vegan dark chocolate

…and a sprinkling of candy canes and sprinkles

(2) Vegan and gluten free sugar cookies that are seriously everything your three year old self ever wanted. Talk about a trip down memory lane.  

Topped them with a delectable homemade icing that I dyed with… ready for it…. beet juice! So fun!

Basically looks like two 5 year olds made them but, hey…works for me!

Annnnnd (3) a batch of Kristy’s super fun snowball cookies.

I was craving a bit more chocolate and peppermint in my little put together package, so I threw in two tablespoons of cocoa powder and about 3/4 tsp peppermint extract. It worked perfectly!

I got way too excited/overwhelmed in the dollar store Christmas aisle and picked up a bunch of tins/boxes/bags/ribbons to put together my christmas cookie packages

pre-packaged cookie ensemble

Then got out the glitter and glue and started making christmas cards for said packages 

In the non-edible gift making side of things, I made a big batch of homemade shea body butter. I didn’t take pictures so I’ll just reuse the ones from the last time I swooned over how fun this is.

One batch…. lavender, rose.  Second batch… cedarwood, rosemary. A little masculine/feminine energy thing going on…

When I wasn’t getting my hands dirty (er, moisturized)

Dan and I went to a friends’ for a little Christmas gathering. We happily munched our way through mugs of chili, cheese, crackers, cookies…

And drank a few mugs of mulled wine while singing Christmas carols. It was pretty lovely. 

We decorated our very first Christmas tree!! Dan surprised me by having it in the living when I got home from work one night. I was soooooooo happpyyy.

In other tid bits…

I went to three auditions, one of which lead to a callback and am now on hold for. Again. Sigh. One of these days, guys…

I stumbled upon the most amazing old used book store and found the book I had been wanting to get for a certain christmas present. 

I ordered part of one of my brothers’ gift online and figured out what I’m doing for my other brothers’ gift. Men. The hardest to buy for. 

I helped a friend out on her film set doing sound, which involved standing in a hockey rink for 4 hours. I was not happy. 

…good thing I had cookies to come home to.

So many cookies! The Cookie Making Gift Giving Christmas Edition of #weekinreivew #cookies #recipes #christmas #giving Click To Tweet

Tell me,

Are you in “week before Christmas” stress and cram mode? Or are you feeling pretty ready?

Do you like making gifts? 










  1. Cindy Wei | 18th Dec 17

    Those cookies! Thanks so much for sharing the recipes and gorgeous photos. You are really a talented baker and role model. πŸ™‚ Congratulations on all the lovely stuff from the week, and I especially love that Christmas tree!

    • Cora | 24th Dec 17

      Thank you Cindy! I know you understand that love of baking/cooking (for both ourselves and for others). It makes me happy. Merry Christmas darling!!!

  2. Emily Swanson | 18th Dec 17

    I NEED Cora Cookies; Cookie you need to be a baker and an actress. These are beautiful! I”m so glad you got a book you were wanting to get, and I love homemade gifts the best; so many people will be blessed this Christmas by you. I’m thankful to be celebrating Jesus as the greatest gift and that’s what all the wonderful gifts remind me of; also…. can you teach me how to make your baked goodies so prettay?
    Emily Swanson recently posted…Comment on Life Lately: Cookies, Baking, Short Runs, Weddings by beautyinchristMy Profile

    • Cora | 24th Dec 17

      I think you may have called me cookie… and I LOVE IT!! You are a big motivator for me in how often you are baking for people. You are always spreading the gift! Merry Christmas Emily!!! May you be sharing some extra wonderful, cozy, warm moments with those you love this weekend <3

  3. Sarah @ Bucket List Tummy | 18th Dec 17

    Lavendar rose body butter? You are so creative, my friend. And all of those cookies look amazing, that beet juice icing is SO PRETTY!! I’d say you are pretty prepared for Christmas πŸ™‚

    • Cora | 24th Dec 17

      I could shoot the creative compliment right back at you my friend. It feels good to do those small things that are even just a titch different. Merry Christmas Sarah!!!

  4. Jamie@TheMomGene | 18th Dec 17

    I still can’t believe we twinned it on date night AND I made Christmas cookies this week too (for all the kids’ teachers st school). We are international soul mates. Although your gingerbread cookies would best mine in a fight any day. They could’ve breakfast if you dunked them in your coffee and called them biscotti ☺️ P.S. praying for good things and break through a with all the auditions.

    • Cora | 24th Dec 17

      We are soulmates from over the border. I think even our gingerbread would be the best of friends!

      Merry Christmas Jamie!! May it be wonderful, messy, non-perfect, cozy, warm, and full of silly laughter, smiles of excitement and lots of coffee (and booze?) for the parents. So much love to you all.

  5. Meghan@CleanEatsFastFeets | 18th Dec 17

    So many cookies AND a callback. My fingers are crossed. One day, it will happen. I just finished reading Lorelei Gilmore’s book, and it was interesting. I think you might like it.

    The body butter is going to make a fabulous gift. Not that I’d kick the cookies out of bed either.

    Hooray to date night. The Hubby and I have one planned for Wednesday this week. Squeal.

    Happy Monday and thanks for linking up.

    Oh and no Week in Review next week because Christmas. πŸ™‚
    Meghan@CleanEatsFastFeets recently posted…Week in Review: The Funky Edition (#113)My Profile

    • Cora | 24th Dec 17

      Oooo I didn’t know Lorelei had a book. That would be very interesting.

      Yay for date night! I hope it was wonderful. *Squeal* is right.

      See you in a couple of weeks miss Meg! ENJOY <3

  6. Susie @ Suzlyfe | 18th Dec 17

    You make me wnat to be vegan. seriously. GORGEOUS and I love the beet frosting! I love home/handmade gifts, but right now it is hard to get them to the people that I would do so for! So I often send food from companies.
    I remember our first tree in our apartment. I love that picture, even if it was a super awkward one of us, lol.
    Fingers crossed for you, my dear.
    Susie @ Suzlyfe recently posted…From Hot Mess to Luckiest (Baby Shower Weekend)My Profile

    • Cora | 24th Dec 17

      Typical us… we didn’t even get a picture. Fail.

      The good thing about being non vegan is… you can eat the cookies that are vegan AND not vegan. Win.

      Merry Christmas my dear!!! <3

  7. Evangeline | 18th Dec 17

    Gaahhh those cookies!! I feel like I’ve said this before, but homemade gifts (especially food related ones) are a love language of their own. The date with Dan, the celebration with friends, Christmas cookie baking, all sound like brilliant ways to soak up the good cheer this time of year brings.

    I’m not stressed about Christmas coming soon, but I wish the “pre”-season could last a bit longer. The anticipation is part of the fun, and I like spending time beforehand enjoying the reflective, grateful feel that Christmas brings for me.
    Evangeline recently posted…Easy, functional meal ideas for when you’re busy.My Profile

    • Cora | 24th Dec 17

      Ahhhh yes I agree. The pre-Christmas season is really when all those super special cozy feelings come. But it always gets a little overcrowded with the stress of getting things ready. I wish there were a way get passed the stress part and just let that anticipation/excited part linger.

      So I think I’m making it a goal this year to let those fingers last even past the actual day. Keep the baking coming. Keep the Christmas movies coming. Keep all the special moments relaxing with family coming. Also, making gifts and giving them to people is the *best* feeling. Maybe we all just need to make a better habit of it through the year?

      Merry Christmas love. I’m really happy this time has come for you to be home. Enjoy every moment <3 <3

  8. Ellie Pell | 18th Dec 17

    I love making gifts. I think putting effort into something rather than spending money on something means so much more, no matter what it is. Condensed milk is perfect to make things super creamy. I bet the soup was BOMB!
    Ellie Pell recently posted…Working For FamilyMy Profile

    • Cora | 24th Dec 17

      Sometimes my homemade gifts don’t turn out.. or they aren’t perfectly useable for the person… but I really hope to think that the act, and the notion that is homemade, overrides those little flaws and people appreciate them regardless. I know I LOVE giving them. It just makes me feel so good. And yes – the soup was bomb. Its the condensed milk that MAKES it.

      Merry Christmas Ellie. I loved your news letter <3

  9. Hannah | 18th Dec 17

    I haven’t made any Christmas cookies yet, but I need to! You’re inspiring me to make some gingersnaps and dunk them in chocolate. I think I also need to follow your lead on eating sushi…I can’t remember the last time I had some.

    • Cora | 24th Dec 17

      I hope you found some time to make some cookies this week. But if not, I hope you at least found some cookies made by someone ELSE to eat. Now that I’m home… it’s all mama’s baking. Merry Christmas Hannah!

  10. chasetheredgrape | 18th Dec 17

    Cookie queen! I am going to be making a tonne of them on Thursday for david to take to his work on Friday. But I have cute little bags to wrap them all in so folk can decide if they want to eat them then and there or take them home. I adore wrapping gifts, especially home made tasty treats!
    And I was shocked when I actually realised tomorrow was the 20th, even though we have all these advent calendars! It’s just the big 2-0 makes it really feel like the final home straight!

    • Cora | 24th Dec 17

      Your idea to individually wrap your cookies was brilliant. So much better for someone to have the opportunity to take them home. They looked like SUCH a perfect gift!

      Merry Christmas love!! It’s almost here!!!

  11. Casey the College Celiac | 19th Dec 17

    Christmas SERIOUSLY snuck up on me this year, so I totally feel ya! And OMG those cookies! One heck of a tasty gift!
    Casey the College Celiac recently posted…“Mr. Grinch” Berry Banana Bread (Gluten Free, Vegan)My Profile

    • Cora | 24th Dec 17

      Merry Christmas my dear Casey!! You work SO hard all year. I hope these next few days are full of complete relaxation and warm cozy time with those you love <3

  12. Misti | 19th Dec 17

    Those cookies are gorgeous! I love the beet juice frosting. I’m making cookies for my coworkers on Thursday, but mine will be mostly simple chocolate chip, with some lower carb/sugar chocolate chip cookies for one person that’s diabetic and one that’s trying to go low-carb. Good luck on the callback, and Merry Christmas!

    • Cora | 24th Dec 17

      That’s so wonderful of you! I know they would be super appreciative to have options they can have! Andddd they sound delicious. Nothing beats chocolate chip. Merry Christmas!

  13. LJ | 19th Dec 17

    Auditions and a callback sound positive! I still haven’t made any gingersnap cookies–I might just try these!
    LJ recently posted…Week in ReviewMy Profile

    • Cora | 24th Dec 17

      Thank you! I hope you made some cookies! Or at least snagged many from others…. πŸ™‚

  14. Kaylee | 20th Dec 17

    Luckily, I am all set on the Christmas gift front. Now it’s just a waiting game and getting all in the Christmas spirit, which I do not feel quite yet. May be this hotter humid weather or the complete change in my schedule or maybe I really am getting older. πŸ™

    That date night sounds so sweet. Almost as sweet as all those cookies!!!! Which one was your favorite? Also, I’ve been meaning to try dyeing with beets. That color is seriously fabulous. Any tips you care to share? 😁

    • Cora | 24th Dec 17

      I think/hope that excited Christmas feeling may come closer to the day. There’s something about Christmas Eve that ALWAYS does it for me… even when I’m not feeling it as much that year. That being said, it makes complete sense that you aren’t feeling it as much, given your big change of environment etc. Regardless, I hope you are enjoying some wonderful, soul filling time doing things you love and that you have a wonderful, cozy – different – Christmas!!

      The sugar cookies were definitely my favorite. They were SO soft and SO sweet… just like when I was little πŸ™‚

  15. Kristy from Southern In Law | 20th Dec 17

    Oooh, how good do your cookies look?! I’ve been busily baking and making foodie gifts for friends and family too. This year it’s homemade gingerbread and snowball cookies as well as rocky road and panforte!
    Kristy from Southern In Law recently posted…Spare Bedroom to Home Office Makeover On a Budget (Room Reveal with Before and After Photos!)My Profile

    • Cora | 24th Dec 17

      Yumm!!! Gosh what I would give to receive some of your cookies baked by YOU!

      Your snowball cookies are amazing Kristy!! I LOVE them and they’ve been a huge hit to everyone I’ve given them to. And… they’re darn easy! A definite keeper for whenever I need a big batch of cookies to give as gifts. Thank you for the recipe!!!

  16. Miss Polkadot | 22nd Dec 17

    Look at you going all out with those cookies! I started baking early on but haven’t baked anything in more than a week because things got busy. Which means I’ll definitely do some more baking after Christmas to deliver a batch to my lactose-intolerant friend.
    Also, lavender and rose body butter sounds amazing. I made facial cream and body lotion using recipes from an old book my mum bought as a teenager a few years ago but unfortunately, my family members don’t seem to appreciate homemade cosmetics.
    It’s so nice you and Dan are having date nights even now you’re living together. That seems so important for relationships.
    The short notification thing regarding the auditions must be stressful. Or maybe not because – just thinking of myself here – it doesn’t give you much time to stress about things? But also not a lot of it to get ready … hmm. Fingers are crossed crossed crossed for you, lady! I really hope somebody sees your full potential soon. They just have to!

    • Cora | 24th Dec 17

      Well you were smart to think ahead and get your stuff done so early! That way I’m sure your last week could be filled with many more things and some extra relaxing leisure time…. something not many of us at this time of year have! Plus, the baking and cookie giving by no means has to stop at christmas. It should go all year long!

      Honestly? I don’t know if my family/those that I’m giving to fully appreciate the handmade cosmetics either. Aha. They may go un touched. Butttt…. I enjoy making them and like to spread my excitement for things I stand behind, so, I hope that counts? If nothing else I hope they at least appreciate the gesture and thought behind what I chose to give them.

      Merry Christmas love

  17. danielle | 22nd Dec 17

    oh those gorgeous and glorious cookies, but that soup!!! that makes me really want to snuggle up in a nice chair and a blanket.. yes, and wine. of course, why not take a blanket to the meal?
    when i first moved to my own apartment i loved to make fudge, candy, pies, and breads for all of my coworkers and the staff at the apartment complex i lived in. i guess i was trying to make my self feel at home in my new home, and what better way than to share edible gifts? well, i’ve come a long way. over the decades i stopped making edible gifts.. it just gradually started to fade away, and completely stopped after i sold my donut and kolache business in 2010. i was so done with serving food, i guess i didn’t even want to make it at home and gift it. honestly i’m still recovering from that ordeal but at least i’m loving the act of making meals as a family. i love having us all in the kitchen with music, and making merry and making a feast. that is love.
    as far as prepared, i am 85% of the way done with everything but that last 15% will be a doozy. i’ve got to work all day tomorrow and am praying my partner will finish up the last bits and pieces… fingers crossed πŸ™‚
    can i just say how much i love online shopping???????? cheers to you my friend , and all of your gorgeous gloriousness

    • Cora | 24th Dec 17

      Yes, that soup was made to be served with wine. And a cozy blanket and chair. All of the above together please.

      I think your kitchen family cooking sessions would be just the funnest. I’m so glad you make a point of this, and cherish these moments. They truly are better than anything.

      I pray these last few days/hours aren’t too stressful on you, and that you and your hubby get some time to just RELAX and enjoy being at home with family. So much love to you and your family!! Mwah!!

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