24 Days of Togetherness-Our First Week

Happy Friday! Today is extra happy for me, as it’s my last day of work for 10 days.  We’re heading to Disney for vacation next week, but first I want to pop in and recap our first full week of 24 Days of Togetherness. In case you aren’t in the loop yet, this is a fun holiday challenge inspired by Tina at Carrots’N’Cake. Each day we randomly choose one Christmas-y activity that helps us celebrate the holiday season together.  Boyfriend and I loved doing this last year, so here we are again. We came up with a bunch of holiday bucket list items (I even tailored some specific to Disney) and each day we draw one out of the bucket.



24 Days 2016



Day 1: Share 10 things we like about each other. We didn’t have much time together on day one, but I drafted my 10 things in the notes on my phone and we spent a few minutes sharing that night.  Definitely a good reminder to focus on the things you like (instead of the things that bug you) about your partner!

Day 2: Perform a RAOK. Nothing like doing something kind for others during the holidays!! I missed this one on the day of, but made up for it the next day by purchasing a few scratch off lottery tickets and leaving them on random cars by our friends apartment. Boyfriend ended up giving someone in need a ride home that morning, which worked out well for his RAOK!

Day 3: Attend a Holiday Tree Lighting.



Tree Lighting



Our little town had a cute tree lighting and we scheduled it in before dinner party plans with friends.  There was a DJ playing holiday tunes and hot chocolate, but we ended up having to jet before Santa actually lit the dang tree.  I’m still counting this one since we made the effort, and we checked off a bonus item!  One of our neighbors absolutely insisted that boyfriend and I take a photo with Santa…so we did. Ha! Talk about awkward, considering all the rest of the people in line for photos with the big guy were under 5 years old.



Santa 2016



Day 4: Wrap presents together. We did this while watching Elf and someone quit on me after a few presents, but I didn’t mind. I like wrapping presents, as long as they’re not abnormally shaped. 🙂



Wrapping gifts



Day 5: Donate gifts to a family in need. On Giving Tuesday, I wrote about the Winter Wishes program and how much we love doing it each year.  We finalized our gifts for the kids and boyfriend mailed out the package to get to the kids by the program deadline.

Day 6: Tell each other a holiday joke. Here was mine: 

Q: What’s the difference between Santa’s reindeer and a knight?
A: One slays the dragon, and the other’s draggin’ the sleigh.

Day 7: Send out Christmas Cards. Check! I won’t be sharing the pic on social media until they’re totally mailed out, but let’s just say this might be Rocky’s best holiday card yet! In the meantime, head over to my Instagram to see a #TBT pic and here’s one from our card a few years ago:



rocky christmas 2014



The fun will continue down in Disney next week where there are plenty of holiday activities for us to enjoy.  Stay tuned!  

Wrapping gifts–love it or hate it?  Do you send Christmas cards? Any suggestions for how to display the ones we’re already receiving?

Gingerbread Donuts with Eggnog Glaze

These baked gluten-free donuts with hints of ginger and cinnamon are perfect for cozy winter mornings or as a holiday treat.  Enjoy without frosting or add a sweet eggnog glaze to amp up the seasonal flavor!



egg-nog-donuts-span



The holiday season is in full swing and I am loving it.  Our tree is decorated, presents are wrapped and boyfriend and I are having fun with our 24 Days of Togetherness activities.  The only thing keeping it from feeling 100% like Christmastime is the fact that it hasn’t snowed yet. We’re actually heading down to Florida next week for some family Disney fun, but I kind of hope we come back to a winter wonderland! 

I love the holidays for all sorts of reasons, not the least of which is the food and flavors of the season. Pumpkin, peppermint, chocolate, cinnamon, eggnog…the list goes on and on. The smell of any one of those flavors triggers some seriously warm holiday memories, right?


overhead-donuts


The flavors of the holiday season is one of the reasons I love baking so much.  Baking Christmas cookies with my mom was such a big deal–we would bake a whole variety of cookies and give them away as gifts to any and everyone.  We made snicker doodles, chocolate chip, peanut butter blossoms, sugar cookies and more!  Though we never (or rarely) made gingerbread man cookies, I did love the smell of gingerbread and decorating those cute gingerbread houses.  I knew mine were never at risk of collapse due to nibbling because I’m simply not a gingerbread fan. That is, I thought I wasn’t a gingerbread fan…until I whipped up these gingerbread donuts

Side note: As part of the many holiday celebrations Disney showcases, the resorts and hotels display incredible gingerbread houses and scenes this time of year.  The Grand Floridian even has a life-size gingerbread house right in the lobby! I added the gingerbread house “tour” to our 24 Days of Togetherness activities, so we’ll be checking them out next week.

Okay, back to these donuts. You guys have a donut pan, yes? If not, what the heck are you doing with your life? I use this one(<—affiliate link) and love it.  I haven’t messed around with actual donut makers yet, so I can’t say how those would work, but if you have experience with them please share! Anyway, the pan allows you to bake donuts instead of frying–win! My baked gingerbread donut recipe combines almond flour, baking powder, eggs, cinnamon and ginger to create fluffy donuts with a touch of sweetness.  I used coconut sugar because I just happened to have it on hand, but brown sugar works too.  The gingerbread donuts are delicious on their own, or you can dress them up with my dreamy eggnog glaze.

 

egg-nog-donuts-hand


If you’re Team Eggnog (I know not everyone loves it), this glaze is going to be right up your alley!  I only enjoy eggnog a few times a year and I’m kind of a snob about it, much preferring to make my own in order to limit the chemicals and additives often found in store-bought.  If you don’t have the time for that, or it’s just easier to buy, I highly recommend choosing a good quality eggnog. It makes all the difference in taste and texture. This time around, I used Farm Friend brand from Whole Foods—so yummy! If you’re dairy-free, I’ve heard good things about the Califia Farms Almond Milk Holiday Nog too, but haven’t tried it yet myself.

Again, the gingerbread donuts are delish all on their own, but the sweet eggnog glaze definitely takes it up a notch.  These are perfect for cozy holiday breakfasts, brunch parties or even dessert.  I recently brought them to our Secret Santa exchange with friends and they were a big hit!


donut-stack


Read on for the recipe, let me know if you make them and share your favorite holiday flavors/treats in the comments below. Enjoy!

THE RECIPE:

Gingerbread Donuts with Eggnog Glaze

Serves 6
Gingerbread donuts glazed with a sweet eggnog icing, perfect for breakfast and brunch during the holiday season.


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Prep Time
10 min

Cook Time
30 min

Total Time
40 min

Prep Time
10 min

Cook Time
30 min

Total Time
40 min

FOR DONUTS
  1. 1 1/2 cups blanched almond flour
  2. 1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  3. 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  4. 1 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  5. 2 TBSP coconut sugar
  6. 1/2 teaspoon salt
  7. 2 TBSP coconut oil, melted
  8. 2 large eggs
  9. 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  10. 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk
FOR GLAZE
  1. 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  2. 3 TBSP egg nog
  3. 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  4. 1 TBSP coconut oil, melted
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350* F and grease donut pan (I use coconut oil to do this).
  2. Combine dry ingredients in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, mix together wet ingredients. Stir wet ingredients into dry until batter is formed.
  3. Pour batter into a pastry bag (or ziploc bag with corner snipped) and fill donut pan.
  4. Bake donuts for 25-30 minutes or until donuts begin to brown.
  5. Place on a rack to cool for a few minutes.
  6. To make glaze, stir eggnog, vanilla and coconut oil into bowl of powdered sugar.
  7. Dip half of donut into glaze and return to cooling rack to set.
KH Nutrition http://khnutrition.com/

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