Tag Archives: family

Baking / Christmas Cookies

20 Dec

While Bradley and I were in NY for Thanksgiving, I picked up a few of my mom’s recipes that I grew up on. One of them was this Christmas cookies recipe. One of my favorites, they are called German Love and have an amazing lemon glaze on the top.

This is the physical recipe from her cookbook, handwritten a few times over.

Step 1: Mix butter, egg, sugar, and vanillaIMG_4440Step 2: Add flourIMG_4441Step 3: Add everything else, including a ton of spices (that’s what makes these cookies great!)


This is what it should look like after that. Now you’ll chill it for an hour or two. I tend to clean the kitchen while cookies chill, but you could also put your feet up and enjoy a sweet cup of joe with eggnog creamer if you prefer.

Step 4: After it’s chilled, flour a cutting board and roll out the dough to about 1/8 to 1/4 inch thick.IMG_4454 IMG_4455As you can see, I like to over-flour things because I hate when batter sticks to me, the board or the rolling-pin. IMG_4456Step 5: Cut dough in to squares/rectangles, and other geometric shapes with a knife.
IMG_4457Step 6: Put them on a sheet ready for the oven and cook for about 10 minutes. They won’t grow so you can crowd a cookie sheet if you need to.

IMG_4459Step 7: Make a little glaze for the top, lemon juice, water and powdered sugar. I added red and green food coloring for extra Christmas joy.
IMG_4461Step 8: After the cooking come out, transfer them to a cooling rack.
IMG_4462Step 9: After the cookies have cooled, drizzle icing over top. I like to put a piece of plastic wrap under the cooling rack for easy clean up.
IMG_4463 IMG_4464

Enjoy with a cup of strong black coffee, milk or eggnog!IMG_4465



  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1/2 cup molasses
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon peel
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon cloves
  • 1 teaspoon all spice
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg


  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon water
  • food coloring


  1. Cream together butter, sugar, eggs and vanilla
  2. Add flour
  3. Add walnuts, molasses, lemon peel, cinnamon, clove, allspice, and nutmeg
  4. Cover with plastic wrap and chill in the fridge for 1-2 hours
  5. Set oven to 375
  6. Roll out on floured cutting board (1/8-1/4 thickness) and cut into squares with a knife
  7. Place cookies on sheet and bake for 10-12 minutes
  8. Take out and place on cooling rack
  9. While cookies are cooling make glaze by mixing lemon juice, water, powdered sugar and food coloring
  10. Drizzle glaze over cookies with a spoon and allow time to set

These are great cookies to bring to the family’s house for Christmas or if you’re going to a cookie exchange, whip up a batch! They are some of the most simple to make and simply tasty cookies out there.

What are you go to Christmas cookies?


Weekend Recap / 6

9 Dec

This past weekend was amazing! It felt like Christmas, birthday and vacation all in one. This is mostly because of the snow that came down yesterday. You can ask Bradley, I was basically giddy all day. 🙂


And I was happy to have gotten these guys at Target right before Thanksgiving. So cute!IMG_2095

On Saturday, my friend Chelsea and I launched the facebook page for a new project we are working on called The Gathering Project. It’s a day long workshop in January where local artisans will be teaching guests about bringing warmth into winter through their individual skills: wreath making, table styling, lettering and typography and drink mixing. We are so excited!IMG_0025

I also started working on Christmas present for a few of my friends. However, since they are all reading this now, I can’t post any more pictures than these few below. 😉 I love making gifts for those special people in my life. Homemade presents are the best!IMG_0094 IMG_0446IMG_6060

As you can see, the Sharpie Therapy of the day also had to do with snow. 🙂 Such truth in this verse.
IMG_7224Did you have fun this weekend? Maybe making gifts or wishing you were enjoying the snow? I’d love to hear all about it.

Weekend Recap / 1

7 Oct

Don’t forget to live in the day you are in. Some day, it’ll be gone and all you’ll have left is the memories.

Brooke turned my new age last week. Celebrated with wine, cheese, cake and buckets of laughter over our favorite games. I love that they like games as much as Bradley and I do. I’m convinced that laughter over catch phrase and charades brings people together. (Also, this is my favorite picture of us now. He’s so handsome!!)

ImageBradley played football under the stars and the big lights on Saturday. While it was a Student vs. Alumni game to round out our Alma Mater’s homecoming, it felt like a real stadium game and he still has the aching shoulder to prove it!

You’ll hear more about Sharpie Therapy this week. I promise. I’ll even explain what it is! For now though, this was yesterday’s doodle. I love this song and have been listening to a lot of Norah Jones lately. I aspire to try to capture the feeling of the song in the sway of the typography. 

ImageWhile I’ve been sick for the past week, I had a great weekend with my Love and our friends. Follow me on Instagram: JoodlesDoodles to keep up with all my weekend (and daily) adventures! Did you spend the weekend doing what you love with friends or family?

Weekend Recap: Mother’s Day

13 May

This past weekend, I was able to spend time with Mom. We drove up to Penn State (where my little sis goes to college) and meet up with Mom, Dad, Beka, and Skip. B and I drove up and back in one day, whew. It was a great visit! So glad to be able to see Mom on Mother’s Day weekend!

Friday night, B and I spent preparing gifts, flowers, and food for the next day. My husband made a great bacon, spinach, cheddar quiche (recipe coming later this week)! While he was in the kitchen I put together some flowers,
as well as wrapped a gift box for Mom. This box included a soft pink shirt, picture book of Paris and a cute macaroon card. She loved Paris the time she and Dad got to go and this box referenced that! 🙂

mother'sday2The contents of this box were special, but the wrapping was just as fun to give to her. I wrapped a box in brown paper and decided it needed a little color. So using a baby carrot and some red paint I had in the cupboard, I stamped out some polka dots.

mother'sday3After polka dotting the wrapping, I tied it all up with some candy striped string for a complete packaged look!

mother'sday4Remember those Mother’s Day cards I was working on last week? Well I narrowed it down to two that I wanted to give to Mom. They were both so cute. 😉

IMG_1285Saturday morning, B and I started the trek up to PA. The forecast was rain, but we didn’t expect the torrential downpours. (the pictures don’t do it justice)

IMG_5261 Finally we arrived! Mom was packing us a picnic lunch, which we ate outside in a local park under the pavilion. She makes great sandwiches. After that, Beka finished her morning shift and joined us for some games and chill time.

IMG_5993We played Uno, Tsuro, and Catch Phrase. Catch Phrase is my favorite. 🙂

mother'sday5Our family times always revolve around food and games. Or at least that’s the way it feels. Because the next adventure we had was walking around Penn State with ice cream in our hands! The Berkey Creamery is not to be missed if you find yourself headed through State College, PA. I had an amazing bittersweet mint shake.

IMG_7989All the dairy for their ice cream comes from cows on their campus. Beka is working in the barns this summer and during her shift that morning had milked several hundred cows!

I think we are just the cutest.IMG_9619
Finally Mother’s Day Brunch began. (count it, yes, it was the third meal in a 6 hour time span.) We served B’s quiche, my lemon blueberry muffins and Skip’s fruit salad. Delicious!

mother'sday6We definitely missed my older sister and her family.

mother'sday7It was a wonderful day with Mom!

IMG_0672What did you do this past weekend?


Family Reunion: Siblings

3 May

You may remember the vacation I took Turks and Caicos a few months ago. It was a lovely time to see the whole family (on my side) and relax on a tropical island. Many of you know what it’s like to grow up with siblings. I grew up with 3 for a total of 4 Russell kids.  We fought (sometimes words hurt), told on each other (you never want to be the one in trouble), and blamed things on each other (sometimes the parents saw through that). I remember one time my younger sister “carved” my name in her dresser and then reported it to mom. Yea, she’s a crafty one. But if you make it through all those contentious times growing up, you might actually become friends as adults.

But what I want to talk about is how some of that crazy family life never goes away. You are, in part, still the same person you were growing up, right? You probably have some of the same likes, personality traits, and quirks. Just because you’ve matured (hopefully) and started adulthood doesn’t mean that you’ve lost that family dynamic from childhood.

A family reunion is defined as: a time when all the siblings, parents and nieces and nephew are in the same house. We’ll all arrive and be happy to see each other. And we are. However, won’t be too long before one sibling does something to annoy another sibling. We still know how to push each other’s buttons. Maybe time has just been perfecting that. Some reunions, it’s like we are 17, 14, 10, and 8 again. We’ll still fight, tell on each other, and always blame the smallest one (me).

Do siblings every grow up?

It’s a question I’ve been wondering for a while. All four of us are basically out of the house now with families, careers and new home towns of our own. But we’ll always be siblings. We don’t grow out of that. We still have the parents who raised us, the childhood we grew up with, and the old tensions and personality traits that irk us.

We’ve grown up but we still act like kids when we are around each other. Maybe it’s ok if we are still a little crazy? We’ll always be siblings and I guess that’s something you have to deal with as a family. I love these three to death and never regret our times together. Even the family reunions. I love spending any chance I can with them. They are my family and we may fight but I will always love them for who they are.

(But this Thanksgiving, pray for us if you have a chance? 😉 )

Kate (31) — Skip (29) — Me (24) — Beka (20)

IMG_6131(Gorgeous picture by my amazing photographer husband Bradley Roy in Turks and Caicos)

Family wedding

20 Jan

Weddings are wonderful times to celebrate love being joined forever! Love is amazing, especially when you see it on the excited faces of newlyweds as well as the mature, lasting love of those married for decades.

B and I love this chance we had to experience this family wedding in New York. It was full of food and drink, fun and laughter, and hugs and dancing. Here a few pictures from last night! They are mostly from my Instagram feed.
My man, stunningly handsome:

Enjoying family and food at the reception 🙂

My after dinner coffee with fresh whipping cream and a cinnamon stick.

Our place card looked like a chalkboard and out names were written in chalk! So creative.

And this morning, brunch with the newlyweds!