Gingerbread Train Depot and Santa Train

Gingerbread Train Station and Santa Train

For the second year in a row, I entered a gingerbread house in Sweet Creations at the Eastman Museum. I am not exactly sure how I was inspired to make this Santa train and train station but I was looking for something more traditional for Christmas. It involved a lot more planning and hands-on work than my past gingerbread houses. Since I currently live alone, I was more comfortable having extra hands during crucial construction moments. I am thankful that so many of my friends came over to help during the two weekends I worked on this. I was thrilled to have such a large project occupy my time and missed it when it was over. I even used a photo of it as my holiday card this year.

Gingerbread Recipe: I used this recipe.

Royal Icing Recipe: I love using this recipe which uses Meringue Powder. It hardens fast and in works very well.

Depot:

  • Roof – shingles Wrigley’s Spearmint gum (cut with cookie cutter)
  • Roof edge – mini green M&M’s
  • Depot Windows – Gold quality gelatin sheets, lined with Wilton holly mix sprinkles
  • Dormer Windows – Gold quality gelatin sheets, lined with red pull apart licorice
  • Dormer – Wilton holly mix sprinkles
  • Holly Depot Sign – green fondant, black fondant lettering (cut with small cookie cutter), green and white candy stick
  • Doors – gingerbread cookie with red sanding sugar and green M&M door knobs

Train Depot Roof

clock pieces and pez floor.jpg

Clock Tower Breezeway

  • Roof – shingles cut out of Wrigley’s Spearmint gum
  • Roof edge – mini green M&M’s
  • Decoration above Clock – Wilton sprinkle leaves
  • Clock – gingerbread cookie with silver decorating balls and chocolate sprinkles
  • Doorway – green candy sticks, Wilton holly mix sprinkles
  • Breezeway floor – assorted Pez candy in basket weave pattern

inside gingerbread house no roof

no roof back depot.jpg

depot with roof no landscaping.jpg

Back side of Gingerbread Train Station

 

Gingerbread Depot Dormers

Gingerbread santa driving train

Engine

  • Roof – peppermint sprinkles
  • Windows – lined with red pull apart licorice
  • Santa – gingerbread cookie with sprinkles and royal icing
  • Large wheel – gingerbread with red sprinkles
  • Small wheels – green mint candy with gingerbread man sprinkles
  • Wreath – shredded wheat and green royal icing, pull apart licorice bow
  • Steam – rock candy on a stick
  • Cow Catcher – gingerbread, red sprinkles

Gingerbread Train Station Back

gingerbread train front side depot

Landscaping

  • Bench – KitKat’s
  • Trees – sugar ice cream cones with shredded wheat and green royal icing, assorted small round sprinkles
  • Snow – Royal Icing and coconut (side of Breezeway)
  • Platform – dark silver sanding sugar

gingerbread view through breezeway

Naughty Nice Gingerbread Christmas Train.jpg

Naughty Train Car

  • Naughty Sign – red fondant, black fondant lettering (cut with small cookie cutter),
  • Candy canes
  • Red M&M’s
  • Wheels – green mint candy with gingerbread man sprinkles
  • Coal – mini marshmallows dyed with black food coloring

Nice Train Car

  • Naughty Sign – red fondant, black fondant lettering (cut with small cookie cutter)
  • Candy canes
  • Red M&M’s
  • Wheels – green mint candy with gingerbread man sprinkles
  • Presents – mini handmade gingerbread houses, sour gummy bears, red and green mint candies, starbursts
  • White and dyed green marshmallows are under the presents

Train Track

  • Vanilla Wafer cookies
  • Licorice

Nice car presents

All Aboard for Christmas Fun at Eastman Museum

It was exciting to see my creation at the museum!

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Hanukkah Dreidel Lunch

Hanukkah Dreidel Lunch.jpg

Happy Hanukkah. I made this lunch for my Mom. Growing up, my Mom helped give us opportunities to learn about other cultures. So when I wanted to make a Hanukkah themed lunch, it seemed fitting to make it for her. She enjoyed it!

Container: EasyLunchBoxes

Left Side: Dreidels – cheddar cheese (cut with cookie cutters), Easy Focaccia (I made this in the morning and the cooling time before I could put it in the lunches seemed to take the longest. It was an easy bread to make.)

Top Right: Sugar snap peas

Bottom Right: Pineapple

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Angel Bento Lunch

Angel Bento Lunch

I made this lunch for my friend Carol on a day that I also made packed lunches for my parents and myself. It was an easy and festive meal.

Container: EasyLunchBoxes

Left Side: Angels – cheddar cheese (cut with cookie cutters), Easy Focaccia (I made this in the morning and the cooling time before I could put it in the lunches seemed to take the longest. It was an easy bread to make.)

Top Right: Angel – yellow bell pepper (cut with cookie cutter), sugar snap peas

Bottom Right: Angel – apple (cut with a cookie cutter and dipped in water with lemon juice to prevent browning), red grapes

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Vegetarian Thanksgiving

Dining Room Thanksgiving

My Mom and I prepared a Vegetarian Thanksgiving this year in Delmar, NY. It had been awhile since we did this and is my first time to share it here. My Mom outdid herself with the gorgeous decorations and table. My friend Carol and I drove the 3.5 hours to the Albany, NY area on the morning of Thanksgiving since I am a morning person, more alert to drive first thing and to avoid traffic. We mostly had the roads to ourselves!

Wednesday night I prepared the cornucopia bread and apple walnut chutney at my home and brought it with me. My Mom made the pumpkin soup (reserving the cream until just before serving) and my parents made the Cranberry Cheesecake. Everything else we made on Thanksgiving. It was a much easier meal than I remember making in the past. The Vegetable Wellington was a huge hit! I had made others in the past but the homemade pesto, goat cheese, and Citrus Beurre Blanc sauce brought it over the top! If you love sour, you will love this.

1st Course: Cornucopia bread (I did not use the egg) with raw vegetables (Cauliflower, Broccoli, Sugar Snap Peas, Baby carrots, Radish) and Blue Cheese Dip (we did not serve nuts with it)

2nd Course: Pumpkin Soup served in small carved pumpkins (we did not heat the pumpkins), Mini Sage Cheddar Biscuits with Apple Walnut Chutney

3rd Course: Vegetable Wellington (I used frozen Puffed Pastry and did not use mushrooms or eggplant), served with Citrus Beurre Blanc sauce (recipe at the bottom).

4th Course: No Bake Cranberry Cheesecake served with fresh whipped cream

Thanksgiving 2018 Table

Thanksgiving Table Setting

wine bucket squash

Bread Cornucopia

Thanksgiving Table with Soup in Pumpkins.jpg

Pumpkin Soup with Cheddar Sage Biscuits

Vegetable Wellington

No Bake Cranberry Cheesecake.jpg

Cranberry Cheesecake Slice

Thanksgiving Mantle

My critique of the meal: I liked starting with a light first course. Everyone enjoyed the vegetables with blue cheese dip. The small pumpkins were a fun way to serve the pumpkin soup. The Vegetable Wellington with sauce was amazing. A real keeper and will be made again. It can be done with different vegetables if desired. The dessert was delicious but difficult to get out of the pan, so we basically ate it without a bottom crust. Next time we will not follow the directions and spray the pan with cooking spray. If I was to change anything besides not having the cheesecake crust stick, it would be the biscuits. I don’t think we needed the sage in the biscuits and the cheddar was not very noticeable. But we liked the apple chutney and the biscuits were flaky and delicious. This was a memorable Thanksgiving meal!

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Apple Themed Dinner and Leftover Lunch

Cheddar Apple Tarts Apple Celery Salad Bento Lunch.jpg

Last week, my 20 year old niece came over for dinner. When I asked for her meal request, she said apples. I had fun planning an apple themed dinner and we both had leftovers for lunch the next day.

Container: EasyLunchBoxes

Left Side: Apple and Gruyere Cheese Tarts – I used cheddar. 

Top Right: Pistachio nuts

Bottom Right: Apple Celery, and Walnut Salad – I did not use raisins.

Apple Themed Dinner Table.jpg

Apple and Gruyere Cheese Tarts – I used cheddar. These are delicious!

Apple Celery, and Walnut Salad – I did not use raisins.

Cheesecake Stuffed Apples – Very easy to make and delicious! I had graham crackers but did not serve the crumbs with this.

Apple Themed Dinner

Apple Stuffed Cheesecake

My critique of the meal: My niece suggested that next time I should use an apple skin cut in a decorative shape on top of the cheesecake. It would make it more attractive. I loved the apple cheddar tarts so much that I expect to make them again soon. Also, maybe another time I will make larger individual tarts.

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Halloween Dinner 2018

Halloween Dinner Table

My friend Carol and I enjoyed this Halloween dinner. She made the beautiful arrangement.

Ghost Salad – I turned this into a ghost salad by cutting apples with a small ghost cookie cutter, this salad with maple dressing is a family favorite

Black Bean Spider Web over Cheddar Sweet Potatoes – in a food processor, puree black beans with a little olive oil, bake one sweet potato (per person) until tender, remove skin and mash sweet potato with butter and shredded cheddar cheese, put sweet potato mixture in individual oven safe dish, put pureed black beans in a ziplock bag, snip off a small corner, pipe a spider web pattern over the mashed sweet potatoes. Bake at 375 for about 20 minutes or until heated through.

Jack-o-Lantern Orange with Fruit – cut top off of orange, use a spoon to scoop out the orange segments, add grapes, berries or fruit of your choice. We ate grapes.

Ghost Salad.jpg

Halloween Arrangement.jpg

Spider Web Sweet Potatoes.jpg

Jack-o-lantern orange with fruit.jpg

Pumpkin Orange Dessert.jpg

My critique of the meal: I would not change anything if I wanted a relatively healthy meal. I was very pleased with the look and flavor of the spider web sweet potatoes. If I wanted a non-fruit dessert, I would serve ice cream in the jack-o-lantern oranges.

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Spider Bread

Spider bread

I made this spider shaped bread meal for my Dad. This was my inspiration.

Container: EasyLunchBoxes

Top Left: Lettuce, tomato, parsley

Bottom Left: Watermelon, blueberries

Right Side: Spider – 30 minute cheese bread, with cinnamon sprinkled on top, legs – baked separately in curve shape and attached after baking, eyes – dried blueberries

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