on the Christmas Table {a Gooseberry Patch giveaway!}

**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! =)
-anna
{girlwithblog}
*I received free product from Gooseberry Patch for review purposes – as always, opinions are my own.

anna
{girl with blog}
———-
www.twitter.com/anna_r
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  • Kayla Solinger

    My favorite Christmas memory is getting together with my entire family playing bingo, enjoying food and company. I will never forget the fiesta dishes my grandma used that were in every color.

    I follow you on twitter and like you on Facebook :)
    My email is kayla.solinger@yahoo.com

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/05140917279173085678 Christie

    (What a great giveaway/nice way to enter!) While I was growing up, my parents would always host Christmas Eve at their house for my dad’s side of the family. It was a much smaller gathering than that that occurred on Christmas day because my mom’s side of the family is a bit (a lot) bigger. We would have dinner, exchange one or two gifts (SO exciting when it’s just hours away from the big day!), and just enjoy each other’s company before midnight mass. Now, my immediate family has gotten much larger, and my parents still host this smaller (just barely!) group on Christmas Eve. It is such a good feeling to share old stories, gifts, and old recipes surrounded by loved ones after surviving all the hustle and bustle of the season.
    christie.ader@gmail.com

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/03566321938955059922 apple blossom

    love getting together with family and friends

    ABreading4fun [at] gmail [dot] com

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/03566321938955059922 apple blossom

    gfc follower

    ABreading4fun [at] gmail [dot] com

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/03566321938955059922 apple blossom

    twitter follower
    1apple_blossom

    ABreading4fun [at] gmail [dot] com

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/10226015490741644830 Mandy B

    One of my favorite memories was my dad telling us that he could see Rudolph out our front window and we’d better get to bed or Santa would pass us by. We never ran so fast to bed!!

  • Anonymous

    When I was growing up, our entire family spent the holidays together – it was especially nice at Christmas time. Our numbers were small, but we all had such a magical, love-filled time together. I miss it so much!

    DebNJoizee919@aol.com

  • Anonymous

    I already “like” you on Facebook!

    Deb
    DebNJoizee919@aol.com

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/15290848768638023027 Amy (Amanda)

    Mmm…oatmeal, how do I love thee? Let me count the ways… :) This looks delicious. My favorite Christmas tradition is our church’s candlelight Christmas Eve service. It is so worshipful and beautiful!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/18395691728192716148 suburban prep

    Growing up my brothers and sisters and I would come home from Christmas Eve late mass or Midnight Mass and we would bake a fresh batch of cookies for “santa”. As we got older we still do it and it is a way for us to gossip or hear what is going on in each others lives. We have brought this traditions into our families that we have made with husband or wives and children.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/17860415266927147537 Jensen

    My favorite tradition is the entire family getting together to make/bake/and decorate cookies using my Gram’s famous sugar cookie recipe. We then gather up all the cookies and deliver them to shut ins. :)

  • Anonymous

    The apple cider oats sounds delicious. A favorite Christmas memory is around 1972 or 73, my sister and I both got toy guitars and played them all day.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/02130290287225456270 morchella

    I like you on facebook.I joined your blog.
    My best Christmas memory is Momma bringing out the turkey from the oven, and seeing all the cookies she baked, the assorted nuts in the bowls along with the yummy fruit and the smiles on our faces.

  • Anonymous

    my e-mail is maduroo@comcast.net
    my memory was about the toy guitars.

  • http://cheeseandicecream.wordpress.com/ cheeseandicecream

    No Christmas is complete at our house without my gread grand mothers soft sugar cookies

  • Anonymous

    My favorite Christmas memory is knowing that the family tradition of all of us sharing Christmas dinner around the table lol and no matter where we were we made it a point to invite those who did not have family with them so we became a hodgepodge of all races, religions and in that moment of celebration we all became family. Happy now that my daughter, Heather is starting the tradition at her house lol even if I have to do the cooking for it. kanoamom11102yahoo.com lol and kanoa means free so I am a free mom.

  • terry love

    i love being with family

  • Anonymous

    Getting a talking doll!
    Getting a doll when I thought I wasn’t going to get one–daddy said so.

    Loretta

    eveningstar888@aol.com

  • Anonymous

    Anna, Wow! I am so excited to have found your blog through Gooseberry Patch on Facebook. I am also pretty excited about the drawing. I am an avid Gooseberry Patch Cookbook Collector.

    I am enjoying reading your blog and find that I have much in common with you. I am also the Christmas loving individual. I try to finish my shopping by August so that I can plan all the many Christmas events through the holiday seasons.

    I love the Cookie exchange and progressive dinners leading up to the holidays. Then the big day when all our family and some friends join us for wonderful and joyful Holiday! All my holiday recipes come from the Gooseberry patch cookbooks.Tried and true recipes. I get so many compliments and have even won our Cookie exchange.

    My husband and I both love and enjoy cooking. Something we do together and actually brings us closer. Would love to try out some of the new recipes from this new book.
    Tula Shamhart
    tshamhart@live.com

  • Connie Bolick Lee

    My mom went all out cooking Christmas Dinner. She would have roast, ham, porkchops,corn,slaw,green beans,cannied yams,squash casserole, vegetable tray,pickles,lettuce tomato cucumber tray,rolls, biscuits, tea, coffee, coconut cake, pineapple upsidedown cake, pound cake,brownies, oatmeal cookies, peanutbutter cookies, sausage balls, crackers and chips with a dip and I know I’m probably forgetting something.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/06363353953431372141 Jessi

    The whole traditions of listening to Chirstmas music and baking baking baking!!! Lots of cookies and breads!! Oh how I love Christmas!!!

  • Connie Bolick Lee

    I follow you on facebook lclee59@centurylink.net

  • Connie Bolick Lee

    I follow you on twitter lclee59@centurylink.net

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/02842779262371528671 Iowa Farmhouse Goods

    One of the best ever memories was the year when Sis and I both got brand new white ice skates. Our dad took us right down to the big town rink he helped make, and then he taught us how to ice skate! ~ Jan (iowafarmhousegoodsATgmailDOTcom)

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/02842779262371528671 Iowa Farmhouse Goods

    Anna-love your blog! Now following you by email subscription. ~ Jan (iowafarmhousegoodsATgmailDOTcom)

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/02842779262371528671 Iowa Farmhouse Goods

    Following you on Twitter, Anna! Jan (iowafarmhousegoodsATgmailDOTcom)

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/02842779262371528671 Iowa Farmhouse Goods

    Hit the ole “Like” button to follow you on FB! Jan {iowafarmhousegoodsATgmailDOTcom)…ya know, if I win, I will be sharing with Sis. Even though we’re a couple of grandmas “getting up there” now, we still share!

  • Anonymous

    The thing I remember most is leaving cookies for Santa and carrots for the reindeer. My dad would eat them all so I would think that Santa and the reindeers did stop and leave our presents. Oh, and the year Santa did actually stopped at the house. ( my uncle) karna51@hotmail.com.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/09234596850866029756 Connie

    I always loved the last day of school for Christmas vacation for myself and especially when my daughter was little!

  • Anonymous

    My Christmas memory is,of my mom in the kitchen cooking Christmas dinner for the whole family,like she did every year.All
    the smells and the good food.Mom made lots of cookies all different kinds of the we liked the chocolate chip and peanut butter ones the best.

  • Anonymous

    I forgot to give my e mail,it is kraftybird@yahoo.com

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/17920893454443610524 BGH

    My favorite Christmas memory is going to Christmas Eve service at church with my family and then coming home to eat the same meal every year. Sweet soup, fish, mashed potatoes, lefse, and flatbread. Afterwards, getting the dishes done is torture but finally we read Luke 2 and open presents. So lovely I can just feel like I’m there and here my families voices and feel that cozy Christmas feeling!!!

    bethanyholte@yahoo.com

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/17920893454443610524 BGH

    I already like you on facebook.

    bethanyholte@yahoo.com

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/17920893454443610524 BGH

    I became a follower with google friend connect.

    bethanyholte@yahoo.com

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/16404025696782599896 BrownE

    my favorite part of the Christmas season is every Christmas eve, we get together with all of Nathan’s mother’s side of the family and sing carols. His grandpa reads the Christmas story from Luke, followed by a full house of all ages (from the tiniest great-grand babes up to his aging grandparents) singing carols. They have cute little carol booklets that they hand out and everyone gets a chance to shout out which carol they want to sing next. We share lots of laughs and it always brings a tear of joy to my eye.

    ebrown05@hamlineuniversity.edu

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/16404025696782599896 BrownE

    I already like you (a lot!) on facebook.

    ebrown05@hamlineuniversity.edu

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/16404025696782599896 BrownE

    And, I am subscribed to you via google friend connect!

    ebrown05@hamlineuniversity.edu

  • http://cozycakescottage.com/ cozycakescottage.com

    I adore GPatch. Adore. And I like that I stumbled upon your sweet blog via GP as well:) My favorite thing about Christmas? My mom’s homemade butterscotch pie, being with family (especially now with my little one), and watching Christmas movies each night in December…especially the Hallmark ones which I’m sure you’re familiar with ;)

  • http://cozycakescottage.com/ cozycakescottage.com

    And following you on FB now as Cozycakes Cottage. :)

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/05251389548226411858 Maggie

    hmm memories…actually I will put the one brought up today with my 4 year old…I ordered a photo coffee mug for my husband for Father’s Day since we have added another child…the photo of him and my 4 year old is from Christma…My husband is a HUGE coffee drinker and our son loves play food and whenever he sees Starbucks, he says Daddy’s Coffee…so for Christmas we got him a wooden play coffee maker that came with a mug, play sugar, milk, and even a coffee thing…he kept making coffee for his daddy that day to “drink” and they were just having a blast…I love when the presents are just right :)

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/05251389548226411858 Maggie

    following you now, hamfam00@att.net

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/05251389548226411858 Maggie

    liked you on fb too, hamfam00 :)

  • Anonymous

    One memory I miss is how my family would visit family and friends on Christmas Day and for a few days after.

    Jennie
    rmc18mom@gmail.com

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/05452414814708771208 Rhonda

    I follow you through feedburner & GFC. rhondaree1958@yahoo.com

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/05452414814708771208 Rhonda

    I am a fan on facebook. rhondaree1958@yahoo.com

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/05452414814708771208 Rhonda

    One of my most cherished CHRISTmas memories is the designated weekend that Mom, Dad, Grandma, Grandpa, my sister & I would gather at my parents house to make all kinds of candies imaginable. We would spend the entire weekend making tons of candy. One of the biggest productions was an old fashioned hard candy. Depending on the number of flavor oils that we could get that year we would make 20 to 30 different batches. Making the hard candy & packaging all the candies is where Dad &Grandpa really helped out. I sure do miss that special CHRISTmas weekend. My sister & I are the only ones remaining. rhondaree1958@yahoo.com

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/03447632592149224849 Aubrey and Dale

    It’s a family tradition to make gingerbread houses each year. It’s always fun to see the different styles and creations that everyone makes. pixiehallow@hotmail.com

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/03447632592149224849 Aubrey and Dale

    Subscribed to your email list

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/03447632592149224849 Aubrey and Dale

    Fan on facebook

  • Elizabeth Gilvin

    One of my favorite memories was going to my Granny’s house on Christmas Eve, who lived next door to us, we would all do gift exchange and have snack foods. While we were there my dad would slip over to our house to scatter the gifts left my Santa. We weren’t allowed to open or play with anything until Christmas morning. So early in the morning the four of us would go into the living room waiting on mom and dad to get up and we would sort out everyone’s gifts and wait and wait! It was so much fun, I think my parent’s would sit in their room just to torture us sometimes.

  • Elizabeth Gilvin

    oops….my email is emgilvin@hotmai.com

  • Esther Frederick

    My initials are ELF. My boss’ 5 year old daughter said that her daddy said he didn’t believe in Santa Claus. I told her that I was an elf, and that there was a Santa. She could make up her own mind. Right now, she still believes.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/09185960549011434017 cheryl beasley

    Thanks Anna for the delicious looking oatmeal recipe! I am going to try it but add dried cranberries too. One of my favorite traditions is the Christmas stocking. I looked forward to opening that more than the presents! My Mom always added an orange in the toe, nuts and candy and little presents. Christmas is also my favorite holiday! My email is dragonfly_3967@yahoo.com

  • Anonymous

    I’m always looking for new ways to do oatmeal. This looks like a keeper!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/05869598840806147967 Rednexx Girl

    One of my treasured Christmas memories from childhood was always going to McDonald’s on Christmas Eve night to get dinner with my Mom & my sister (drive thru of course) and coming home to watch Christmas cartoons while Mom prepared things for Christmas day’s dinner. Even now, I am not a fan of McDonald’s but for some reason they always taste better come December 24th.

    “Liked” you on FB as well…

  • http://www.blessedbeyondadoubt.com/ Jill

    We always have a birthday party for Jesus!

  • http://www.blessedbeyondadoubt.com/ Jill

    Followed you on FB!

  • http://www.blessedbeyondadoubt.com/ Jill

    Followed you on twitter!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/15960882402754621427 Cynthia970

    When my brother and I were kids, My parents hired a man to play Santa. The door bell rang Christmas Eve, Mom and Dad told us to answer the door. When I opened the door, I was scared to tears. Needless to say Santa never knocked on our door again. He only used the chimney from then on.

  • Anonymous

    Christmas has always been a very, very busy time of year for me. Some of my best memories include putting together a Barbie fashion house with my uncle when I was about 10 and having extra pieces. Seems we neither one read the directions. Also all the wonderful food. Christmas was usually at my house so all the aunts and uncles came with great deserts and side dishes. I love the idea of Christmas in July because I too love being able to buy ornaments this time of year. My email is Jafontan@Yahoo.com.

  • beth clarj

    What can you say about Christmas!!! Just love it !!
    bclark103@yahoo.com

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/05880219418129776013 Patricia P.

    When my brother and I were younger, my mother would not put up the Christmas tree until after we were in bed on Christmas Eve. She had to be so tired by the morning. When we got up on Christmas Day, the tree would be there, beautifully decorated, with presents beneath. We did get to enjoy the tree for a while, though. It stayed up until January 6th, King’s Day. That is traditionally the day the wise men brought their gifts to the baby Jesus.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/05880219418129776013 Patricia P.

    I follow with GFC.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/12171325981174463550 A Nest in the Rocks

    Love singing “Silent Night” by candlelight at church each Christmas eve. It’s the best.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/03602302424826290006 Jessica @ The Thought Garden

    I love love love decorating the Christmas tree. It’s so much fun pulling out all our old ornaments. Each one has a memory. My mom made my sister and I a new ornament every year of our lives up until kids. Now our kids get the new ornaments. When we moved out we each got our box of ornaments to take with us and start using on our own trees. I’ve started that tradition with my son by making his very first ornament last year. I love Christmas!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/00179662756311124725 clk2col

    On Christmas Eve, my parents, 5 siblings and I would gather at Mom and Dad’s house where Dad would cook steaks over the fireplace, Mom would make her terrific crab dip, there would be shrimp cocktail, baked potatoes, a veggie and a champagne toast. At dinner with all of us around the table, we would all be telling stories about memories we had of each person when they were younger. We would often be laughing to the point of tears. Great times!

  • Anonymous

    Fav memory when I was about 6 and I came downstairs on Christmas morning and there was my very own stove,fridge and sink. I didn’t care about anything else after that. Loved that set! I couldn’t wait til I had a granddaughter so I could get her a set!!!!
    email:otrbnkslovr@gmail.com

  • Anonymous

    I love putting homemade ornaments on our christmas tree.Each ornament brings back treasured memories for the entire family.
    lorrieott@yahoo.com

  • Anonymous

    My favorite memory is walking down the hill to my grandparents house on Christmas Eve. My grandmother made us girls dresses for several years…I came across mine a few years ago. I now live in my grandparents home, host Christmas Eve for the family, and have my grandmothers plastic, light up red bells in the window during the season just as she did. :)

    Catherine
    kittenb@suddenlink.net

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/04124834257692907045 Unknown

    My favorite Christmas memory is our first Christmas after we adopted our son. I had spent many Christmases acting happy while watching my nices and nephews and longing for a child of my own to spoil and wonder in. Now our Christmases are a little crazy and also wonderful!
    missy@firstlutheranofmandan.org

  • Anonymous

    Believe it or not, I have never cooked with steel-cut oats, but after seeing the recipe above, I am stopping at the store tomorrow to buy some.

    My favorite memories of the holiday, especially Christmas, are the moments that we spent celebrating as a family when both parents were still with us. Our highlight was the grab bag. It would be filled with lesser expensive goodies we’d buy, wrap and toss in the bag. As the bag would be passed, each one of us would anticipate who would get the boobie-prize…..you know there was at least always one each year. Oh yeah….mom’s fudge was always requested for the holdiays as well. I want to pass these traditions on to my boys.
    Thanks for giving us the opportunity to reflect back and also a chance to read all of the other fun stories.

    Diane
    price1998@embarqmail.com

  • Anonymous

    One of my first Gooseberry Patch cookbooks was “Old Fashioned Country Christmas”. It gives me that Christmas feeling and has great recipes. Next week contractors will be installing a wood burning firplace in our living room. My husband and I cannot wait to light the first fire, choose the yule log, and eat yummy dishes like the one above in front of it. What a wonderful post…making me think of Christmas on the first day of summer. (It’s 95 degrees here on Long Island today!)

    Maureen
    medevita@hotmail.com

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/06190048361676698181 Dorothy

    Making new memories with my husband and son.

    dorothymharing [at] yahoo.com

  • Amy

    My favorite Christmas memory is our Christmas Eve Tradition until last year we would go ever year to my mom’s parents Granny & Popo’s House my grandmother passed away 2 yrs ago and my grandfather last summer, but every year we would go on Christmas Eve to their house some would come early and some were always late but it was always a time of laughter and our favorite part was the grab bag (my granny would collect junk all year long and wrap it then put it in a big box) when everyone was finally there we would read the Christmas story and then when Granny said go we would dig into the box you would open your gift and if you saw someone with something you liked better you would trade – lots of trading always took place because not every item was a treasure. There was never no fighting and everyone always laughed and had a great time. My grandparents never had a lot of material goods in fact their home was only 1 bedroom and very small but all us(about 40 -50) would crowd in at Christmas time. It didn’t matter how small the house or that we wouldn’t leave with grand gifts – what did matter is that we were family and there was lots of love. amy@aes2.com

  • http://www.hearth2heart.com/ Eryn

    I love Christmas so much, I too start planning in July. I think it helps me deal with the horrible heat we get here.

    A tradition we have is that every new place we go on vacation, we buy a Christmas ornament. Our Christmas tree is like a travel scrap book. It makes me happy to remember where we’ve been when we decorate the tree.

  • http://www.hearth2heart.com/ Eryn

    I follow your blog on FB

  • http://www.hearth2heart.com/ Eryn

    I follow you on Twitter as Leighbra!

  • Anonymous

    Christmas was always a special time for celebrations with my family. My grandparents anniversary was the 24th and my parents on the 26th, then my birthday the 28th. Getting together for the baking, icing, etc. enjoying being together laughing and having a wonderful time. Now with having 2 granddaughters, I want to keep the memories alive and continue making new ones. my email is momwells@gmail.com

  • gail

    fave memory: making christmas cookies
    gkuroda(at)gmail.com

  • gail

    liked you on fb
    gkuroda(at)gmail.com