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For me, this time of year is all about family. As the boys get older, I’m becoming more aware of how important it is for us to create holiday memories that are surrounded with family traditions.
One of our favorite things to do together is to plan for and decorate our Christmas tree. I remember so clearly as a child how I looked forward to decorating. Often it seemed like a chore to my parents, but with my kids I’ve tried to remember the magic. (Though the idea of hanging those lights doesn’t get me excited.)
You know what does, though? Ornaments!
Every year, I allow the kids to pick out new ornaments from Hallmark. Unpacking them is like a trip down memory lane!
We headed to Walmart to pick out their new ornaments.
This year, I was sure Skye would go for a princess ornament, but she choose Minnie Mouse instead. The boys are obsessed with all things Star Wars, so apparently the force will be with us!
I try to make a special meal for the evening we decorate.
A new tradition is this Roasted Garlic Soup. Strangely (or not so strangely if you consider my tastes) both of the boys adore garlic.
This soup is so amazing. Before kids, this often appeared as an appetizer for our holiday meal. The recipe has evolved over the years, and now it is my go-to dish for our tree decorating party.
We will eat by candlelight and tree light after the tree is decorated. The mood will further be set by Holiday music courtesy of the custom audio channel “Hallmark Holiday Favorites” on Pandora. It is memories like this that make the holidays special.
Since this year we won’t get to be with extended family for Christmas, the boys thought it would be fun to pick out some Hallmark ornaments and card to send to loved ones so that they could be part of their holidays!
As you are preparing for your magical holiday moments, make sure you head to Walmart and check out their Hallmark Ornaments and greeting cards. You can check out the 16 Walmart exclusives, resin figurines, Holiday Barbie and new deco figurines.
Roasted Garlic Soup with Quinoa Cream
- 3 heads garlic unpeeled
- 2 tablespoons avocado oil or other oil safe at 375 degrees
- 2 tablespoons butter or Earth Balance
- 2 medium yellow onions sliced
- 2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
- 1 head garlic peeled
- 3 1/2 cup cups chicken or vegetable broth
- 1/2 cup quinoa cream or 1/2 and half
- 2 ounces finely grated Parmesan optional
- lemon wedges
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Cut the tops off the garlic to exposed the cloves and remove excess papery skins. Place in a small baking dish and drizzle with avocado oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cover with foil and roast for about an hour, until soft and fragrant. Allow to cool slightly and squeeze garlic into a bowl.
- Melt butter in a large saucepan to medium high heat. Add onions and thyme and cook for 8 minutes. Add roasted garlic and raw garlic and cook for 5 minutes. Add chicken or vegetable broth. Bring to a simmer and then reduce to low. Cover and cook for 30 minutes. Working in batches, puree soup in a blender. Return to saucepan and add quinoa cream. Bring to a simmer. Taste and season with salt and pepper as needed.
- Divide cheese among serving bowls and ladle the soup over. Squeeze with lemon juice and serve warm.