Nothing says "Joy to the world!" like black smoke billowing out of an oven. Oh, I've had burnt items on the bottom of the oven before, but this was the real deal...black billowing smoke, that had the kids wondering if they should laugh or cry. I was crying, of course, from the smoke burning my retinas. In my first baking effort of the season, attempting chocolate chip bar cookies (with little red and green M&M's), the mix rose over the edges of the pan and proceeded to drip all over the floor of the oven. I think it was the M&M candies that really added to the smoke. I found myself reaching in, scraping the hardened goo off with a spatula, as the cookies continued to bake and splatter. Nothing like having to open every window and door in the house when it's 32 degrees outside.
Anyhow, by dinner time the house was nearly emptied of the smokey haze, which returned when I preheated the oven to bake the chicken breasts. On a side note, the cookies turned out perfectly!!! I cut them into 1 inch (bitesize) squares and placed them prompltly in the freezer, hoping they'll last to see the likes of the jolliest elf.