What better way to express gratitude for your friends than to throw them their very own holiday? Us elves throw each other parties all season long! It brings us great joy to be together. I want to share a few of my favorite decorations I’ve seen at gatherings that are great ways to tie in themes.
The first is a seasonal way to greet your guests by embellishing your front door as a gift! Simply make a large bow with burlap ribbon and fasten the ends like a present on either side of the door. Use a few points of blue tacky on each side; the tacky will preserve the door finish.
A fun finger-food to include in your gathering is garlic pretzels! This is a great recipe that is made ahead of time and takes only minutes to prepare!
1 bag of Snyder’s “Snaps” Pretzels
⅔ cup olive oil infused with garlic
3 tablespoons ranch powder
– Pour pretzels into a large mixing bowl
– In a small bowl whisk together olive oil and ranch powder
– Pour oil mixture over pretzels and toss to coat evenly
– Toss pretzels every 15 minutes for an hour
– Place pretzels into a large freezer bag and let sit for 24 hours
– Then serve!
This is a snack that is guaranteed to leave the bowl empty!
Snow, singing, and drums beating! What could be a more festive way to greet Santa Claus? Every year the Bellevue Collection puts on a spectacular parade to help kick off the holiday season and this year is extra special! Snowflake Lane celebrates its ten year anniversary.
Sights to see during Snowflake Lane and Santa’s Arrival are toy drummers, merry snow characters, snowfall and much much more! For the first time ever, there will be a spectacular tree lighting with Santa at Bellevue Place.
Snowflake Lane happens nightly but it is only one night that Santa takes part in the jollification! If you miss Santa’s Arrival, that’s ok! He will be here at Bellevue Square from November 28th – December 24th. You can get a photo with Santa provided by Arthur & Associates inside Bellevue Square.
Visit the Bellevue Collection to help plan your holiday experience.
Share your memories this season on Social Media: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and use #SFLmemories!
In this quaint, quiet and cozy village nestled in the heart of Bothell, there will be a day of festivities with ginger wafting through the air! On November 22nd, 10 AM – 6 PM Country Village will host their first annual Gingerbread House Day.
Santa is opening his workshop for Gingerbread House-making participants, providing warmth and all the supplies you need! If you are feeling like a pro, you can enter the house you construct into the Gingerbread House Competition!
There is much more to do and see at Country Village. There will be a live gingerbread man and woman to say hi to, Santa’s reindeer, and… the big man himself will be there starting November 28th!
November 28th – December 24th come get your photo with Santa, photography provided by Arthur & Associates.
Visit Country Village for more details about this season’s festivities and sign up for Gingerbread House Day.
Finding unique holiday gifts for your loved ones can be difficult in the whirlwind of the holiday season. That’s why there is Small Business Saturday reminding you to make an experience out of shopping.
Take a day to slow it down and see what locals have to offer; visit some local shops, get a snack at an independently owned bakery, then come get your photo with Santa! Yep, that’s right, Arthur & Associates Holiday Photography is a business with local roots as deep as 1943. The holiday business has been family owned and operated for three generations!
Because the Viydo’s are a local family, they take pride in providing extraordinary holiday experiences for the members of the community. Make lasting memories within your community this holiday season. Slow down and remember to give back and keep your local roots strong.
November is officially the month of giving! With Thanksgiving and the start of the holiday season, it only makes sense for us to take a moment and really think about what we are thankful for. Throughout this month we’ll share special suggestions of ways to give back, whether it be in your community or within your family.
First on our list is volunteering to clean up at a local park. We have found a few upcoming tree planting and cleanup parties in the Pacific Northwest. This is a fun and educational activity for the whole family!
Seward Park Restoration – Saturday November 8th
A great chance to get to know members of the community, while helping the community!
Point Defiance Marina Beach Cleanup – Saturday November 15th
Help keep the beach clean and healthy by joining a cleanup party every third Saturday of the month.
Planting & Mulching along Lake Sammamish – Saturday November 22nd
Help prevent invasive species from spreading and rebuild the natural habitat.
Have fun giving back this month! Stay tuned for more ways we like to give back.
I just have to share another one of Mrs. Claus’ seasonal favorite recipes! Homemade pumpkin pie made from this season’s harvested pumpkins — and yes they are plumpest of pumpkins!
To make the pumpkin puree it is quite simple:
3 sugar pumpkins
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Cut the tops off of all your pumpkins, then cut in half and scoop out all the seeds and guts! Save the seeds to make yummy roasted pumpkin seeds!
Cut the halves in half one more time. Arrange neatly on a baking sheet, skin side down.
Bake for 40 minutes or so, until the pumpkins are tender to the touch of a fork.
Let cool slightly then peel off the skins.
Throw the roasted goods into a food processor and presto! You have your very own pumpkin puree!
Now with your puree you can make endless amounts of treats! Or you can freeze the leftovers for your next pie. Now for the pie recipe:
1 (9 inch) unbaked pie crust prepared in pan
¾ cup white sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon ground ginger
¼ teaspoon ground cloves
¼ teaspoon ground allspice
1 ¾ cup homemade pumpkin puree
1 (12 oz can) evaporated milk
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Prepare pie pan.
In a small bowl whisk together sugar, salt, and spices.
In an electric mixer, or large bowl, beat eggs.
Add pumpkin puree to eggs and mix.
Add sugar mixture to pumpkin mixture and combine.
Slowly add in evaporated milk.
Pour into prepared pie pan and bake for 15 minutes. Reduce temperature to 350 degrees and bake for another 40 – 50 minutes.
Chill and serve!
This pie is best served with homemade whipped cream! Whip a small carton of heavy whipping cream in an electric mixer with 3 tablespoons of sugar and 1 ½ teaspoons of vanilla. Start on a lower speed and increase as cream gets thicker, just so you don’t have a creamy mess all over the counter!
Fall is such an inspiring season with the change of color and crispy crunchy leaves beneath our feet — there is so much to see all around us! A great way to discover more about this brilliant season is to read; books with lots of color and fabulous artwork are the most enchanting. Here’s our top picks for favorite fall books to enjoy on those rainy, chilly autumn afternoons:
Red Leaf, Yellow Leaf
by Lois Ehlert
The watercolor collages explore the life of a tree while explaining photosynthesis and other fascinating aspects of a tree’s life!
Fletcher & the Falling Leaves
by Julia Rawlinson
Why Do Leaves Change Color
by Betsey Maestro
Have a Happy Halloween and be safe!
What is better than a bowl of hearty chili on a blustery fall day? Chili on a Sunday football day! This specific chili recipe is the perfect gear for Seahawk fans because it contains a very extra special ingredient widely found in Seahawks territory… Espresso!
This mingling medley goes great with all the classic toppings. The espresso has a lingering chocolate quality for your taste buds. Make fresh, reheat, and repeat!
2 lbs. beef (cut of your choice)
1 ½ yellow onions (chopped)
3 cloves garlic (minced)
2 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp paprika
6 shots espresso
1 tsp white pepper
1 28 oz can of diced or crushed tomatoes
salt & pepper
In a large pot, cook onions and garlic on medium-high heat until translucent. Add meat and brown all sides. After meat has been browned add all spices and the extra special ingredient… espresso! Stir with love to incorporate the seasonings throughout the dish. Add can of tomatoes, stir and bring to a light simmer. Simmer for two hours to let the flavors mingle, stirring every so often.
This chili is extra delicious topped with sour cream and scallions with a side of sweet cornbread!
Photo by – www.skiptomylou.org
Up at the North Pole, elves keep themselves busy indoors; away from the whipping winds and chilly temperatures. One of my favorite indoor activities is knitting! Knitting is an ancient practice that has a mysterious background. No one knows exactly where it stems from, but historians have been able to date knitting as early as the year 1000bc in Egypt!
Knitting can be a bit tricky at first, but once you get the hang of it, it’s like riding a bike! At the North Pole us elves make hundreds of sweaters a year for boys and girls all over the world. Once you learn the ways of these ancient knots, you’ll be able to craft one of a kind gifts for friends and family!
Some yarn shops around the Northwest region offer classes as well as a great selection of yarn and books:
Serial Knitters Yarn Shop – http://www.serialknitters.com/Pages/default.aspx
Stitches – http://www.stitchesseattle.com/
Bad Woman Yarn – http://www.badwomanyarn.com/