Tag Archives: Christmas

From now on YOU’RE doing the gingerbread house

Gingerbread house 2017

And he was so neat and tidy! To think that all these years I figured piping the icing detail and adding the candies was MY job (since I used to do that sort of stuff at a bakery), but now I know better. IKEA just needs to come up with more designs because the MotH wants to do a village next year.

No snow on Christmas eve and Christmas this year which actually works out for the best when taking the dogs for a walk. We’ve got the whole week to do just that, but while the sun is out and the weather behaves, a bit of exercise helps for every calorie consumed. Happy Holidays!

Christmas eve walk

Christmas eve baccala starter Christmas morning bagels

Christmas eve starter: Roasted Spanish piquillo peppers stuffed with whipped salt cod on chickpea puree. Christmas breakfast: overnight bagels (held in the fridge and boiled/baked as soon as I woke up) with smoked salmon and cream cheese. And freshly squeezed oj – what a treat!


Smells like Christmas around here

Christmas baked goods

All done! I almost wish that there was another week to go before Christmas so that I could keep up the holiday bakefest, but nope, enough of the sweets until next month. I worked on 2 more Ottolenghi recipes this week (one is an adapted version on Food52), and despite the scary amounts of sugar, I have to say that Yotam’s ideas are amazingly delicious and spot on!

Christmas baking

Clockwise from left: Halvah and Nutella Babka from Food52; recipe adapted from Ottolenghi’s Chocolate krantz cakes. I used nocciolata, a chocolate-hazelnut paste, in the place of Nutella. The babka is a treat at breakfast. Next, Christmas Eve Tourtière from Dish in the Kitchen. It has a savory pork, mushroom, and potato filling seasoned with sage. And lastly, coffee and hazelnut cakes. The recipe is Yotam’s Coffee and walnut financiers but I like the marriage of coffee and hazelnuts better. The batter needs chilling so this was a great recipe to put together the night before. At first I thought the mixture overly sweet, but after baking it mellows out and is just fine without the added icing that’s called for.

Hope your kitchen smells just as good. The dachshund hung around the kitchen all day long!

MisterChef 2017

The Great Christmas Bake Off

Bake-off 2017

I know that sounds downright ambitious of me but given the 4.1 kilos of Belgian chocolate from an Amazon order, I am ready to fire up the oven. During the holidays it is always a mad rush for getting cookies, cakes and those wonderful treats out on time, but this year will be less chaotic because 1) I’m not making a lot of different cookies, I’m just baking more of what we like best and 2) I’m going to cheat. How, you might ask? Well for starters, no gingerbread house from scratch. I picked up the house kit from IKEA and while it’s a small one, I’ll take small over having to mess with templates and all that goes with decorating the end product.

Today was predicted to be a snow day but it turned into a mix of flurries, sunshine, and passing clouds. Nighttime temps have dropped down to 0°C, the wood-burning stove is almost always lit, and so far it doesn’t look like any snowstorm is heading our way. What do you think Mister B? Poor guy. He’s having his teeth cleaned tomorrow and I’m going to be hearing a stream of annoyed huffs in the morning since he mustn’t eat anything before being put under.

First snow day of December