Christmas comes early!

Oh boy oh boy oh boy oh boy!

I really am a spoiled child. Look what my mom sent me! I can’t say what I did to deserve this… okay, well I guess I did pass my qualifying exams (!) but this is still a lot of presents – enough that I am tempted to roll around in them like Scrooge in his piles of money. I better be sending some goodies to my mom soon because this is just too generous. Let’s look at what she sent, shall we?
I am so excited at these sewing tools! I’ve been wanting a french curve for quite a while, and I can’t wait to use it. And the vintage hem marker? Too cool! I’ve often sighed wistfully at other people’s (like Sunni’s). Now I have my very own, and I didn’t even tell anyone about it! How lucky. My mom also sent a package of hand needles, which I can always use because – like all good seamstresses – I regularly lose my needles in the carpet so that later on some poor soul gets one in the foot. But that’s not all! She also sent some serger tweezers. I don’t know what these are used for, but I’m sure I will figure it out one day and be very glad I own them. What else? I’m sure you didn’t fail to notice that box of vintage patterns at the top. Some of them are truly treasures, like the Givenchy dress peeking out in the photo. Then there’s the wool she found at Goodwill. It’s a lighter weight… maybe for a jacket or a skirt? And the colors are very pretty – browns and grays and blues. And here’s another treasure:
This may be my favorite, for sentimental reasons. It’s my mom’s mom’s Christmas cookie recipe and a bag full of cookie cutters. I am pretty attached to my holiday traditions, and I think it’s really sweet that my mom thought to send me this so that I can make our holiday cookies here in Indiana, even though I can’t go home this year.
Oh geez, that’s not even everything. I just got off the phone with my mom, and she told me to unroll the wool because there was another gift hidden in the middle…
My own little embroidery scissors. I know this might sound silly, but I see these as a badge of a real seamstress. I feel like I just joined a special club. A very special, very dorky club.
Well, that’s enough gloating over presents. I’m sorry you all had to witness that. Let’s change the subject. Check out these!

Oh yeah. Those are homemade soft pretzels, and they are freakin delicious. I made on Halloween, but we gobbled them down before I thought of taking any photos. So I made them again. They aren’t necessarily hard to make, but it does take a little time and tinkering. I guess what makes these so awesomely tasty is that you have to boil them a little and bake them and paint them with egg yolk, but I would say it’s definitely worth it. Here’s the recipe. And while you could eat these plain or dip them in some mustard from the fridge, wouldn’t you rather have them with some beer cheese sauce?

I thought so. This is not hard to make at all. You just get your double boiler going, and then throw in some finely-shredded cheddar, some goat cheese (or cream cheese), a little beer, some red pepper flakes, maybe some chopped chives and a little garlic pepper, and you have yourself a delicious dipping sauce for your amazing homemade pretzels. I am not much of a cook, but I’m proud enough of these that I will definitely be making them for some party or other in the future. Like a beer garden party in the summer? That would be amazing. Or for a Christmas party with lots of different sauce options? Oh my lucky, lucky guests.
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