**this giveaway is now closed**

Many of you know that I am a former Hallmark employee. I worked in a gorgeous Hallmark store in high school into college, and then again after Husby and I moved back to MN two summers ago. I loved it – helping people find just the right words to say to someone else was very meaningful to me. In addition to the cards, our store had lovely lines of gifts, candles, home decor, and of course, ornaments. As a diehard Hallmark girl, I belonged to the ornament collectors club, was at each ornament event of the year, have several series that I collect, and mark up my Dream Book when I receive it.
In July.

That’s right, July! When the shipments of Christmas items arrived at our store, I would take a moment to breathe it in, right there in the back cement room. The smell of Christmas potpourri, the first ornaments out of the box, the reds & greens… I loved it all in July. I still do. Once summer is here I am counting down to fall, because I love the weather and smells and sights and upcoming holiday season. And this year, we will not only celebrate the holidays, we will add one more – my Boy’s first birthday will be in December! =) So call me crazy to feature a Christmas book in June, but I am SO ready =)

My very first Gooseberry Patch cookbook was a Christmas one, and most of the editions in my collection are holiday based as well. They just have a way of capturing the essence of the season between the covers, and that they share other families traditions and recipes is just so special!

The newest cookbook, The Christmas Table, is no exception. The Gooseberry Patch artwork that we all know and love is ever-present, as are the nifty tips and tricks on the bottom of each page. But of course what makes it so special are the stories that the contributers share. It’s like joining in on hundreds of holiday celebrations!

The chapters include Cozy Christmas Brunch, Chill-Chasing Soups & Breads, Caroling Party Supper, Classic Christmas Dinner, Festive Holiday Fare, and Sweet Treats to Share. As always, there are dozens of recipes I am dying to try! The first I tested out as a sweet-tooth attack midnight snack for Husby and me, and it was a winner. We love steelcut oats in our house, and apple cider is always in the fridge, so this was a no-brainer. And OH the yum…

Apple Cider Breakfast Oats
from The Christmas Table
Gooseberry Patch

2c. apple cider or juice
2/3 c. raisins
2/3 c. chopped pecans
1 t. apple pie spice (I used pumpkin pie spice because it’s what I had {grin})
2 T. butter
2 T. maple syrup (splurge, friends, and switch to pure maple syrup – none of that aunt jemima junk.)
1 c. steel-cut oats, uncooked
1/4 c. half and half (I used skim milk; again – it’s what we had)

In a saucepan, combine all ingredients except oats and half-and-half. Bring to a boil; stir in oats and continue to boil until mixture thickens and oats are fully cooked, about 15 minutes.

 Remove from heat; stir in half-and-half. Serve immediately. Makes 2 {ginormous and delicious} servings.

Because they want to make it feel like Christmas morning, the sweet ladies at Gooseberry Patch are offering a copy of the Christmas Table for one of you!! Here’s how to enter:
MANDATORY ENTRY: leave a comment on this post sharing a favorite Christmas memory, story, recipe, or part of the season. That’s it! I just love hearing all of your holiday stories! =)

Optional extra entries (leave an additional entry for each):

  • Subscribe to Girl with Blog via google friend connect or feedburner (available in the sidebar)
  • Like Girl with Blog on Facebook (you can just click ‘like’ in the sidebar)
  • Follow me (@anna_r) on Twitter
That’s a total of 4 possible entries. Be sure to leave your email in your comment(s) so I can contact you. The giveaway will be open until Thursday, June 21st. I’ll use random.org to select a winner from the comments. I’ll email the winner, who then has 48 hours to reply before drawing another winner. Giveaway only open to US residents.

Merry Christmas in June! =)
*I received free product from Gooseberry Patch for review purposes – as always, opinions are my own.

{girl with blog}

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