Monday, December 1, 2008

Cookie Exchange 2008

For the past seven years, my daughter, sister and I have hosted a cookie exchange. It all started innocently enough, just some fun and holiday cheer with friends and family... It became more interesting when we decided to give a grand prize for the best tasting cookie. The coveted trophy our first year was a copy of the re-issued Betty Crocker Cooky Book. It was the cook book Sis and I cut our Christmas Cookie Baking teeth on...

Things have grown wildly out of control since that innocent first year and we love it! Wow! These women are competitive! The competition is what makes it so much fun! I mean you have to spend time going through cookbooks, looking up recipes online. Innocently asking people what they are making this year in hopes that they will slip and actually tell you (some people just aren't as generous as you thought they were, it's so disappointing)...

No one will tell what they are making. I was recently harrassed in several text messages by a freinds husband (you know who you are Jeff). He said he would take $1000 in small bills for his wife's winning recipe or $500 for a small taste...

Another year, I went over to my mother-in-laws house the day before the cookie exchange. I barely had one foot in the door and she cries out, "just a minute" and throws a towel over her cookies so I couldn't see what she made!!! They were fabulous by the way Carolyn...

One year my sister-in-law (you know who you are Nancy) tried 11 recipes before she decided on one. We gave her a prize for the greatest effort!

This year's Best Presentation will be going to my niece Kelly and my sister-in-law (Kelly's mom) Debbie. They both gave their time and talent to help me decorate. Everything is so sparkly and beautiful. Thanks you guys...



The table looks a little empty because that's where all the cookies will go. This is how it works; each person brings 6 dozen cookies and then a bunch of little bite sized samples. When they come in their cookies go on the table and a number is put on the display. Later everyone comes through with a voting card and votes for their favorites in these categories... Best Tasting Chocolate, Best Tasting Non-Chocolate, Best Presentation and Best Recipe Card... we also do the same thing for the girls who are 18 and younger.

It's really fun but you have to go in shifts because a sugar coma will set in if you sample everything at once!

We serve these fabulous chicken legs my sister makes and other protein to balance out the coma! People even voted for the chicken the first year Sis made it. If it's okay with her I'll share the recipe in the next post. They are easy and delicous!!!

After all the voting is done and the very deserving winners have collected their prizes, everyone goes home with a beautiful box full of gorgeous cookies.

Here are a few more pictures of the pre-cookie exchange decorating...


Yes we wrapped all of the pictures in my dining room like presents and hot glued those ceramic trees to the candles stands (it's all a bit neurotic but we had so much fun and doesn't it look great?)...




This is only the dining room, I'll share more later...

21 comments:

mimi charmante said...

How marvelous! It makes me want to get going on my holiday decorating! I love the trees on the candle sticks~

robin bird said...

goodness laurie this sounds to be so much fun! and what a winning booty everyone goes home with...all those cookies! i love the wrapped paintings idea and any neurosis that has to do with christmas decorations is free from diagnosis as it is actually quite normal to go wild with tinsel.
xo

brittany said...

looks beautiful, and so does the blog makeover!

karey m. said...

loved this so much i had to kirtsy it!

www.kirtsy.com

happy zombie said...

OHMYGOSH... I'm madly in love with your room! I love how it cozy and warm... but still so bright! What a magical room! Can I move in???!!!!!

You simply MUST submit this to HGTV's Rate My Space!

Chelsea said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Chelsea said...

It didn't post my first comment! Everything looks beautiful Mommy Dearest. And you're blog looks great! Can't wait to see everything for real this weekend. Love you!

LITTLE COTTAGE said...

Laurie-
This is just SO, SO beautiful!
Hugs,
Sylvi

Michelle said...

just gorgeous...stunning really...
and what a fantastic idea...to have such a fun competition to celebrate the season...
can't wait for more pictures...it looks so good now i will be amazed by the end...

ooglebloops said...

Love the shades of white theme - very classy!! I held an annual cookie exchange for about 15 years - with 12-15 participants. It was great - I miss that since moving out to the boonies!!!

littlebyrd said...

I wasn't very nervous about it until I read this!
Seriously, it look gorgeous! Looking forward to seeing you.

Melanie said...

What a great idea - to wrap your pictures! I may have to borrow that!
Looking forward to more pics.

simpledaisy said...

Ooohhh how pretty!! Isn't this time of the year fabulous???
Take care!!!

Sparrow said...

It looks GORGEOUS Laurie! I will see you tomorrow!

Natalie

Megan said...

I LOVE your story. We do the same thing, and this just cracks me up! I'm also stealing your christmas lights under the table cloth idea!!!! So creative. I'm posting about your entry! www.meganhobson.com : -)

Laurie said...

Wow...everything looks beautiful! Can hardly wait to see it all in person. Thanks so much for hosting such a much anticipated holiday tradition! Love you!

robin bird said...

and it was even prettier..way prettier in real life!! i had a lovely time Laurie. thank you so much for hosting this party. you have an amazing home, so warm, so friendly and beautifully decorated :) i have a platter full of cookies and some new friends to take form the day.
XOXOXO

Karen said...

That cookie book!! You have one in good condition! I have the one I grew up with and it has so many great memories of holidays growing up! I haven't seen it anywhere else in a long time. Karen

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