One of the many perks of attending the Catholic Marketing Network and Catholic Writers Guild conferences this past summer was meeting authors whose works I was previously unfamiliar with.  As we exchanged contact information and swapped books, I realized how much richer my life had become by meeting these lovely authors who were inspired to write a variety of meaningful books, from children to adult fiction and non-fiction.

A particular author, Colleen Rooney, handed me her very beautifully illustrated and organized children’s cookbook called Celebrating Advent and Christmas with Children.  I promised her a review, but not until Advent.  Here it is, and ironically, Colleen had to wait all these months for my promise to be fulfilled.

Felicity and Sarah are finally at the ages of engaging in meaningful activities and truly helping in the kitchen and around the house (Felicity more than Sarah, of course).  This was the first year we didn’t put up our decorations early, refrained from baking tons of gluttonous sweets, and generally chose not to participate in the secular world’s version of “Christmas.”  Instead, we have been enjoying the variety of Advent activities that truly lead to a joyful anticipation of what is to come – that is, our Savior’s birth and second coming.

Along with the Advent wreath and daily readings, Jesse tree and daily ornaments, and fun crafts for Advent from The Mass Box, we added Colleen’s cookbook to our collection of Advent family fun.  When I initially perused her book, my immediate thought was, “Wow!  Why haven’t I had a book like this before now?”  It was chock full of recipes (both edible and non-edible) that coincided with the Church’s liturgical calendar for Advent and Christmas.

Even more, Colleen included recipes that ranged from easy for the little kiddos to moderate with help for the older ones.  Each recipe included a short explanation of its cultural heritage, which made the activity even more fun and enriching.  We chose to show you our selection for the Feast of St. Nicholas, since it was our first shot at using the cookbook.  Felicity truly enjoyed herself!

We chose the Pepernoten, because they were easy and we had all the ingredients!


Helping me scoop the cookie mix

Then she rolled the dough into balls and placed them on the cookie sheet.

My hope and plan is to incorporate more of these – and maybe even make some new family traditions – with the aid of Colleen’s book.  I highly recommend this for families, youth or church groups, home school groups, and even traditional parochial classrooms or religious education programs.

Text Copyright 2016 Jeannie Ewing, all rights reserved.