"I believe in pink. I believe that laughing is the best calorie burner. I believe in kissing, kissing a lot. I believe in being strong when everything seems to be going wrong. I believe that happy girls are the prettiest girls. I believe that tomorrow is another day. And I believe in miracles."
~ Audrey Hepburn


Making Christmas, Making Christmas...

I know I am supposed to say something sentimental and profound
about Christmas and family and the gift of giving, but let's be serious...
we all know the best part about the holidays is THE FOOD!

It's not just the eating of the food (which is wonderful in itself) but it is the tradition,
the communion, and the excitement that goes into making it. I love the hustle and
bustle in the kitchen and I love the sound of our house full of people,
all gathered to keep our traditions alive and to enjoy each other's company.

I'm sure one of my sisters will put all of the pictures of my family's
holiday festivities on Facebook, but I wanted to share with
you all of the especially delicious parts of our celebration :)

On Christmas Eve's Eve, we made tamales. 

This is a something we have done every year, for as long as I can remember.
It is always a fun process because you can't exactly make tamales alone --
there is far too much work that needs to be done, and the only logical
way to do this is to have LOTS of help in the kitchen. We always have
aunts, cousins, and family friends over and it always turns into a huge party.


Once all the tamales were done (which we worked on from 9 AM 
until 5 PM), we started to make gingerbread houses! 

We usually all make our own gingerbread houses, but there were just too many people 
over! Instead, we decided to make it into a competition: boys vs. girls. 

Everybody who was not participating was standing in the kitchen, 
observing the chaos. Alec, however, just ate all of the candy.


Oh, who are the girls to the right, you ask??
The one on the left is a cousin that may as well be our fifth
sister, since we've spent so much time together. And the girl to her right
is her little sister that none of us have seen since she was about four years old!
It was so crazy to see her again. Don't they look alike?
That is why I love the holidays. 

Anyway, here is the boys house:

Santa's sleigh with a bag of toys on its back. 

Striped back wall. 

And the girls house:

A bench next to their snowman.

And an ice skating pond in the top left corner!

They had a candycane back wall. 

Needless to say, the girls won. 

A tamale. 

My nephews, who were on the boys' team, brought over their brand new quad, 
which was an early christmas present from a bunch of family and friends. 


They looked better on it than I did. 

Every Christmas Eve we bake cookies. 

Our family friend, Gilbert, drew this picture of us while we were cooking.
Isn't is awesome. He wrote his phone number on the picture
so I think he wants you to call him if you want him to draw one of you...

Anyway, here are some of the traditional cookies we always make:
(I would link to the recipes but we get them out of a cookbook!)

Magic bars.

Mexican wedding cookies (we call them snowballs). 

Mrs. Field's famous oatmeal chocolate chip cookies. 

Peanut butter cookies. 

I decided to get fancy and make an apple pie
I made it entirely from scratch... I can't believe it.
(resources: 1, 2, 3)

(before baking)

(after baking)

Not gonna lie, I haven't tried it yet. 
There were just so many sweets and my stomach couldn't handle one more thing. 
I am going to try it tonight though, a la mode :)

I also made some chocolate truffles. Gluten-free. Dangerously chocolatey.
I made another gluten-free item... but I am choosing not to share with you
because it was so chocolatey that we literally couldn't eat it. Poop.  

Michelle made these gluten-free peanut butter cookies,
which were only made with FOUR ingredients, and
happened to taste way better than the other, gluten-ey ones.

Finally, Christmas!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Here are some gifts I wrapped, very prettily might I add.

And some pictures of the fam...

That is all. 

Hope your
 Christmas was
as wonderful
as mine!

We are now off
to the mall to
exchange a few things...

Happy Sunday :)


mina said...

We had tamales last year, in Guatemala, for Christmas. It was our first time trying them, and they were amazing!

P.S. Thanks for your sweet comment. Unfortunately we don't have any recommendations for Chile, but we have so many readers that probably do. I just started a "Discussions" tab on our facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/sending.postcards.fans - I think if you ask the question there, people would give you great tips!

Marcella Alyssa said...

Aw that's okay. I will definitely check out your discussion board! Thanks for stopping by my page! :)

Sarah Marie said...

your family is so beautiful!

and I always appreciate your guys' model poses haha:)

p.s. be my personal chef ?

Mexico in my kitchen said...

Wow! you sure had a lot of fun.
I just stop by to wish you a happy 2011. Many blessings to you girl!

Marcella Alyssa said...

Thanks so much!! Happy 2011 to you too!!