Bonnie Forkner is a talented blogger who has a passion for “everything handmade and anything homegrown.” Her blog, Going Home to Roost, is a beautiful place where readers can go to find delicious recipes, creative projects, and all sorts of inspiration. Join us as Bonnie shares her family’s Christmas traditions, a festive holiday appetizer, and a fun gift list template that you can use to stay organized this holiday season.

Thank you for joining us, Bonnie! We absolutely love your blog. Tell us how this writing project got started.

Going Home to Roost started nearly five years ago as a way for me to share my recipes, DIY projects, and homesteading adventures. I quickly fell in love with blogging and I am so blessed to be able to do it every day!

How do you plan on celebrating the holidays?

Every year, my husband and I spend Christmas Eve at his parents’ house. We all get up before the sun rises and sit around the fire drinking coffee as we open gifts. With three golden retrievers, his parents, my sister-in-law and her husband, and us, it’s a full house! Afterwards, David and I head on over to my parents’ house (just a few miles away) and have a mid-morning breakfast. We then sit in a big circle while we open gifts, many of them handmade. We spend the rest of the afternoon lounging and eating leftovers, sometimes going for a hike in the afternoon.

What’s your favorite holiday tradition?

My family always opens one gift on Christmas Eve. These presents usually coincidentally happen to be some snuggly pajamas or house slippers that will prove to be especially cozy for Christmas morning!

You post so many delicious-looking vegan recipes on your blog. Can you share a fun, festive recipe with us that we can make during the holiday season?

Oh, sure! One of my favorite recipes to make during the holidays is rosemary cashew-stuffed figs. I’ve put figs on pizza, added them to squash roasts, and more, but these rosemary-stuffed figs (adapted from a recipe in Color Me Vegan) are the best way I’ve ever had them. They make for the perfect appetizer and they are deliciously balanced with sweet and salty flavors. (*hint! you can make this feeling a few days ahead of time, which makes getting this dish in the oven a cinch).

– 12 figs
– 1 cup raw cashews
– ½ yellow onion, finely chopped
– 1 tbs olive oil
– 1 tsp miso paste
– 1 tbs lemon juice
– ¼ cup raw walnuts
– 1 tbs nutritional yeast
– 1 tbs fresh rosemary, chopped
– salt and pepper, to taste
– rosemary sprigs, for garnish

1) Soak the cashews in water overnight (or for at least 6 hours). Drain and rinse.

2) Preheat oven to 450°F. Sauté the chopped onion in the olive oil over medium heat until translucent (5-7 minutes).

3) Place the soaked cashews, sautéed onion, miso, lemon juice, and 1 tbs of water in a blender and process until smooth. Add the walnuts, nutritional yeast, and rosemary into the cashew mixture and blend until very smooth. Season with salt and pepper.

4) Take each fig and barely slice the bottom as to help them sit up straight in a pan. Then, make a small cut crosswise across the top of each fig, making sure not to cut them all the way in half – you just want to ‘open’ them up enough to pipe filling in the middle.

5) Spoon cashew mixture into a plastic bag and seal. Snip the end of one corner to make yourself a piping bag. Fill the cavity of each fig and place on a lightly greased baking pan.

6) Brush or lightly spray the figs with a little oil, and roast for about 12 minutes or until the figs are soft. Garnish with rosemary and serve!

What crafting projects are you working on this month?

Well, since my sewing room is still in boxes from our recent move, I have to admit that I haven’t planned too many crafting projects this month. I am however going to be working on some fabric-covered notebooks and customizing some ceramic mugs.

Can you share an easy DIY project with us, something that would be fun to do over the holidays – gift tags, gift wrap, decorations, anything!

One of my favorite things to do each year is organize all of the gifts I’ll be buying or making for everyone in a list. With things getting wrapped, arriving in the mail, and spread all over the house, it can get messy really quickly! So this year, I’ve made a printable gift list to help stay organized. I start by jotting down my ideas for everyone (in pencil!), and then I check them off as I purchase or make them. Then they get checked off one more time as they get wrapped, just to make sure nothing gets lost or forgotten. I hope you’ll enjoy it!

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