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Posts Tagged ‘ideas’

So much for being back in a couple days! Thanks for everyone’s comments wondering where I was 🙂 I made it out of the kitchen in one piece, but then I pretty much ran off on holidays. Then I came back in the new year, and promptly got sick. Figures!

Anyway, it was a pretty busy week before Christmas, for sure. I got all the baking done and everything turned out well. My final tins (8 in all) had cranberry-white chocolate oatmeal cookies, truffles, jam thumbprints, spiced nuts, chocolate snickerdoodles, and toffee squares with milk chocolate topping. I was originally going to decorate the tins myself but after my first attempt came out a TOTAL mess, I found some Christmas tins at the store and bought those. Whoops. I did wrap all the treats in ribbon though!

But enough about all of that – aren’t we all sick to death of Christmas baking? I know I am. I’m going to be focusing on good dinner recipes for the next little while – and I’m actually going to try using my slow cooker for once! Until then, what’s your absolute favourite dinner? You know, the one you’ve made so much it’s memorized, the one your friends and family are always asking for, the one that never leaves leftovers…this is your chance to share it here! Bonus points if it includes meat (gotta keep the Royal Taster happy) and pasta (that keeps me happy!)

PS – if you’re wondering what mine is, it is – without a doubt – beef and noodles!

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Well, we’re almost halfway through November. Time to really start thinking about Christmas baking – for me, at least. I’m starting with trial runs of everything I plan to give away, so I can get some practice in (especially on some of the more decorative ones) and make sure everything tastes good and will go well together. (now if any of my family is reading this, you should stop here so you’re at least somewhat surprised when you get your cookie tin!)

So far I’ve collected all my cookie tins, and the basic decorations for them – I’ll be wrapping them up in layers of plain gift wrap with holiday string and ribbon. I think I’m going to come up with something else to really finish them off, but I’m not sure what yet. I’m thinking a little decoration that could be removed, an elaborate bow or wrapped candies…any ideas?

Of course, ultimately it’ll be all about what’s inside. I’ve decided to do a mix of cookies (I’m thinking three different kinds), squares (probably just one kind), some candy (probably fudge) and finally a spiced nut mix. My plan is to find that red and green cellophane (the stuff that’s thicker than just saran wrap) and wrap up the items in little bags tied with ribbon.

I’ve already made one cookie a few weeks ago that will make it into the final batch – cranberry/white chocolate/oatmeal/raisin cookies. They were really good, and I still have plenty of fresh cranberries in the freezer. They come out huge, heavy and chock full of different flavours. So tonight I’m going to test out something totally contrasting – simple and delicate cream wafers. The wafers are made of whipping cream, butter, flour, and sugar with a plain filling (butter, icing sugar and vanilla). I’m going to colour the filling red and green, and instead of making the wafers round, I’ll cut a couple different Christmas shapes. I’ll post them tomorrow, and hopefully they’ll be successful!

Otherwise I’m looking at spiced nuts (mixed nuts baked in sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger & cloves), cream cheese mints (cream cheese, icing sugar, peppermint & food colouring), truffles (chocolate, whipping cream & vanilla rolled in cocoa or coconut), chocolate caramel squares (three layers, lots of chocolate and nuts), candy-cane cookies (twisting two strips of dough together and shaping into a cane), and berlinerkranser (these are little cookie wreaths and according to my recipe book, originated in Norway, which would make them pretty appropriate in my family!)

I doubt I’ll be making all of those, but hopefully at least a few of those work out! Either way, I have a lot of work ahead of me. Anyway, what are your plans for Christmas baking? Have any favourite cookie recipes to share, or gift decorating ideas?

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Thanksgiving Plans

Well, I’m not making a turkey (mom will take care of that), but I am responsible for the dessert. Thanksgiving dessert is all about pumpkin for me, and my mom has suggested a cheesecake…so we’ll see what we can find.

First up is this crunchy-top version. The caramel shards are awesome and they look really impressive – but probably out of my league. Although I should be able to do it with those step-by-step instructions, right?

I like this simple one with whip cream. Everyone in my family likes whip cream anyway. I also don’t think I’d mess this one up.

This one with caramel sauce sounds good too, although I don’t know how well the sauce would work….I have to transport this cake.

I don’t even have a springform pan yet, but I’ll find one tomorrow and post the result of one of these recipes!

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