This past week or so has been filled with all the Christmas fun that can be packed into a short amount of time.  We have had a first band concert (my son was GREAT, of course!), I went to see Sarah Groves in concert with some great friends, a Christmas party for my mom Bible study group, caroling at the nursing home and decorating cookies with the Brownie troop, the piano Christmas playing at another nursing home, boot hockey with Boy Scouts, decorating cookies and hanging out with our family Bible study small group (and buddies), along with all the regular day to day things.  Sound familiar?

This time of year always seems so frenzied just when I am yearning for peace.  This year I am really trying to focus on the reason of Christmas, not all the craziness.  Of course, I am making some cookies (are you surprised?) and we are having our traditional Christmas Eve dinner and Christmas morning brunch.  But I have again scaled back from years past.  I checked to see what were the big deal cookies the kids really liked for Christmas (and my hubby, too) and just worried about making those.  I am so thankful for the freezer and being able to make those whenever there was a moment and freezing them for later.

I am also making a tasty little treat that is so quick and easy.  I am packaging it up for the stockings (shhhh…don’t tell!) and for a nibble for Christmas Eve.  I was in one of those little recipe magazines at the checkouts.  Pillsbury Holiday Baking November 2006.  It is very similar to this one on

I used all pecans, because that is what I had on hand.  The recipe from the magazine Is about half of the one on with slightly less sugar and omits the orange peel.

Sugar ‘n’ Spice Nuts

adapted from Lori Brouwer

3 egg whites

2 tablespoons water

3 cups walnut halves

2 cups pecan halves

1 cup whole unblanched almonds

2 cups sugar

2 tablespoons ground cinnamon

2 teaspoons ground ginger

2 teaspoons grated orange peel

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1 teaspoon ground allspice

1/2 teaspoon ground cloves

In a mixing bowl, beat egg whites and water until frothy.  Add nuts, stirring gently to coat. Combine the remaining ingredients and add to nut mixture.  Stir gently to coat.  Spread into two greased 15-in. x 10-in. x 1-in. baking pans.  Bake, uncovered, at 300 degrees F for 20-25 minutes or until lightly browned, stirring every 10 minutes.  Cool.  Store in an airtight container.