Typically we wait until the day after Thanksgiving to put up our tree, well except the past two years. Last year Mr. B got excited and insisted we purchase another tree because he had crossed the 5 year mark in Korea and I think he realized that the one we had sitting in storage wasn’t going to be making an appearance anytime soon in Korea. He also declared that he wanted to put it up before we had hosted our Friendsgiving. It was really sweet.
This year i’ve noticed many of our friends posting photos of their cozy homes all decked out with their Christmas swag. At first I thought ALREADY?! Then this past week it got me and sucked me right in. I’m guilty, i’ve had Charlie Brown’s Christmas music on and have changed out our pumpkins for red berries and greens.
After I decorated the first tree, I decided something needed to be filling the air with its Christmasy flair. I’m not talking about a candle, it needed to be homemade and baked for the right feel to go along with the good vibes.
As you know, I adore our cookbook collection and of course consulted my gal-pal Isa and whipped up an orange chocolate chip bundt cake. The cake uses orange zest and really added that hint of citrus spiciness you think of around the fall/winter holidays. Just enough to tickle the nostrils and stimulate your taste buds! Plus Mr. B is a huge fan of chocolate. Win-win!
You can find the link to her recipe here. I highly recommend you pick up her book, even if you check it out for a bit from your local library. I tweaked the recipe due to the availability of items in our kitchen. I used unsweetened vanilla almond milk, homemade vanilla extract, tangerines in the place of orange for the zest, used Ghirardelli Chocolate 60% Cacao Bittersweet Chocolate Baking Chips in the place of semi-sweet, and I cut back on the sugar. I also didn’t end up adding in the ground flaxseed. Digging into the cake that evening was a treat! Next time I’m going to make sure I have oranges on hand just to taste the difference.
We are not skipping or discounting any part of Thanksgiving this year, but as i’ve seen and recently have felt, it’s never to early to get excited about something as important as Christmas! What are your feelings, or are you waiting until after Thanksgiving to get in the Christmas spirit?