So now that I’ve finally finished my cookie round-up, I thought I’d share some holiday drink ideas, both alcoholic and non-alcoholic.

I love pomegranate seeds and especially their festive red coloring. This year I wanted to make at least one cocktail with pomegranates.

I recently was given some samples of Muerto Tequila, a company based in San Diego that won two gold medals at the Spirits of Mexico festival. I sampled both the Muerto Plata and the Muerto Reposado. My favorite was the Muerto Reposado. It’s a gold colored liquid that is supposed to have hints of vanilla, caramel, butterscotch, nutmeg, cinnamon, banana. After the initial burn of the tequila, I was surprised that it did have a sweet finish and I could taste the vanilla, cinnamon and caramel.

This last week I’ve been baking cookies like crazy. I’ve forgotten how exhausting and tiring it is to massively bake so many at once. Usually cookies are pretty easy and quick. But the holiday ones I make always seem to take a lot more time as a result of all the decorating and shapes I have to cut out.

I was planning on sharing some of my favorite holiday cookie recipes over the years earlier this month but I never did get around to it. For those still looking for last minute inspiration, I’m sharing them in this post.

I love making these matcha shortbread trees every year. But it is annoying cutting out so many trees and them decorating them. They taste great though. Buttery, not too sweet. And they keep well so they can be baked ahead of time. One thing I learned this time around is that the Maeda-en culinary quality packaged in a silver canister definitely does not have the same vibrant green as the gold canister high quality drinking tea. My first batch was so light and I was dissatisfied with the green so I made them again.

The recipe for these are at the end of this post.

Favorite Holiday Cookies Round-Up

1. How adorable are these reversible Hello Kitty plush dolls?

As if it’s not cute enough that there is a Hello Kitty Hamburger and a Hello Kitty stamped turkey, they actually turn into regular Hello Kitty dolls too. I got them during Cyber Monday after Jinxi shared an article on Serious Eats highlighting them. I had been so good all day about not doing any shopping until I read the article. You can get them shipped to you from JapanLA by emailing them directly. (Side note: the store itself looks incredibly cute. I must go next time I’m in LA.)  Or you can look for them at your local Hello Kitty store. I found both available at the Hello Kitty store inside the Ranch 99 plaza in San Diego. I can’t wait until next Thanksgiving to break out the Hello Kitty turkey.

2. If you’re looking for a good walking shoe, I highly recommend Easy Spirit Women’s Romy Walking Shoe. It’s inexpensive, comfortable and provides great support. I used to get painful shins, aching ankles or blisters after excessive walking especially on vacations. I bought these for my trip to Europe and they were ready to go as soon as I put them on. I didn’t need to break into them at all. And they provided the best support. I walked miles and miles a day as a tourist and my feet, ankles, and shins would feel fine the next day. This is the most happy I’ve ever felt about a walking shoe.

3. I recently tasted cooked silkworms.