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Christmas will be here in a wink of an eye and I’m suffering from holidaze. The feeling of paralysis is setting in, and my 10-year-old wants me to help her with math homework? Really? Math? I don’t remember how to figure out (134.5* 5)+6=5 *(134.5+x). I need to figure out when to bake the cookies, wrap the presents, (oh, first need to buy the presents), sign and mail the Christmas cards, clean the house, finish the work projects that keep piling up. It’s the most wonderful time of the year. Repeat. It really is the most wonderful time of the year!

Twas 10 days before Christmas, when all through the house,
not a cocktail was stirring, (why do I have Grouse?).
The stockings are hung, a new one for Josh.
Now comes the worry of what we will nosh.

Kyra was nestled all snug in her bed,
While visions of chocolate danced in her head.
Waiting for big brother, sister and her hubby;
she’s excited, beyond happy; downright bubbly.

When in the kitchen there arose such a clatter,
I have twelve days to make Christmas cookie batter.
Away from my laptop to the mixer I flew;
tore open the pantry; there is so much to do.

The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow
gave me anxiety; need lots of Bordeaux.
When, what to my wandering mind did appear?
Lots of ideas and recipes; paralyzing fear.

With laptop in hand and ready for work,
surveying the pantry and frig with a smirk.
More rapid than eagles I typed up the list,
hoping there’d be no ingredient I missed!

Need ginger. Need cocoa. Need sugar and flour.
Shopping! Is the market opened at this hour?
To the car to the store to the check-out line;
back home to my kitchen, now all will be fine!

The trees are decorated, the stockings are hung, and the wreaths and lights are in place. The pantry is stocked with flour, sugar and cocoa. There are lemons and berries ready to steep. I’ve got 10 days to finish; but more importantly, I’ve got 10 days to my most favorite day of the year. I need “me time” in the kitchen, cooking up something that will bring me joy and peace. And what does that best? Chocolate and cocktails. (And salted caramel!)

Day 10 – Homemade Limoncello, just in time to be ready for Christmas.

Day 9 – Marshmallow Cookies with Chocolate Drizzle

Day 8 – Pear and Pistachio Trifle with Mascarpone Whipped Cream (the photo for this dessert was a winner in Zagat’s 12 Days of Foodie Cheer!

Day 7 – Berry Liqueur

Day 6 – Espresso Truffles

Day 5 – Warm Individual Spiced Chocolate Cakes

Day 4 – Cranberry Jalapeno Margaritas

Day 3 – Chocolate Cherry Hazelnut Thumbprints

Day 2 – Dulce de Leche Cheesecake Squares with Chocolate Ganache

Day 1 – Nutella Panna Cotta