We're running on a bit of a sugar high around our house, as undoubtedly many of you are as well. 'Tis the season for goodies and treats for sure. I have tried to serve a few nourishing meals here and there to counteract the mountains of Christmas sweets to be had. The other day I made an Italian sausage and veggie soup and was greatly encouraged when Jasper shouted, "Spinach!! I love spinach!!" So I guess we're good to down some extra cookies. First on the Hamilton baking agenda was a gingerbread house which thankfully did not actually involve any baking as it was from a kit. What it did involve was a great deal of licking. The kids, who had washed their hands with soap and water, mind you, licked icing and candies galore.

I think someone must have set a bad example. The camera doesn't lie....

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Time to hand off the camera and have Ben get me in a few pictures too. (Remember moms: no photo martyrs allowed!).

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Then I grabbed the camera back and the kids went for it.

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Is this a guilty look or what?

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We see that finger in your mouth, Rubes!

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So that is your fair warning not to munch on our gingerbread house this year if you want to avoid germs.

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Next, Ruby had a couple little pals over to decorate cupcakes using a Nutcracker cupcake decorating set that my friend, Ronalee, gave me. We read the story beforehand and then the icing, chocolate chips, crushed candy canes and sprinkles flew.

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The next baking day involved boterkoek, whipped shortbread with ginger chunks, and tiger butter. Seriously, tiger butter is the most easy thing in the world to make. One pound white chocolate melted with 1 1/3 cups peanut butter and then it's poured onto parchment paper on a cookie sheet. Melt one pound semi sweet chocolate, pour over top and swirl with a knife. Chill and cute into squares. We used Trader Joe's ingredients and it disappears quickly.

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The biggest help comes from licking the spatulas and my boys are wonderful helpers, I'll tell you!

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I think they even did cheers with their spatulas several times and licked that bowl down immaculately. They, however, looked a little less than immaculate at the end of "helping".

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They had the best time running tins of tiger butter around to our wonderful neighbours. Better give as much as we can away because otherwise it's me that digs around in the freezer for just one more piece!