The thing I love most about any holiday is the extra time my husband, kids and I get to spend together. I love the ease of rolling out of bed in the morning and not rushing to do anything (except make coffee!), and leisurely taking our time munching on delicious foods and sipping beverages throughout the day… until evening hits and the last item on our agenda is to sneak in a few good flicks that coordinate with the season.
To prepare for my husband’s long weekend home from his day job, I spent all day yesterday baking and candymaking. We are well stocked for the upcoming few days… although I think we are already in need of more fudge. :\ One of the treats we had planned for breakfast this morning was this holiday bread. Fashionably jeweled with nuts and fruit, and lightly dusted with powdered sugar… I think it is quite obvious that I got this idea from looking at all of the beautifully studded stollen loaves permeating the internet this holiday season.
Although I have never actually had a taste of authentic stollen, my guess is that this recipe would be denser and more “nutty” than real deal. Like a “health nut” version of stollen :).
Wonderful sliced thin, toasted, spread with some jam, and enjoyed with a mimosa… and maybe some fudge.
Don’t you just love cookies that are shaped like candy canes and have bits of broken candy canes woven throughout? It makes me squeal with delight just thinking about it. When I saw a few pics of these guys floating around the interwebs yesterday, I knew that I had to try and make some of my own.
And so, I am obviously continuing with my winter candy cane obsession. What’s with me and these darned seasonal treats? I was just getting over pumpkin and then plummeted headfirst into a candy cane complex.
Did I mention that my entire world is now covered in 5 inches of snow… and I really kinda like it? The little birds are so vibrant and beautiful against the white of the landscape. And the color that highlights everything when the sun shines is enough to make even the grumpiest folks [raising my hand] come out of a winter slump. Also, I’m pretty convinced that I need to string up like 50 more sets of twinkle lights.
Although not a traditional holiday cookie, Snickerdoodles have long been a favorite of mine to bake once the ground becomes smothered with a heavy blanket of white snow. Every year I make these cookies (usually just once) and they are always a hit among the folks who are eating them.
Since shunning gluten last December, I hadn’t yet found the perfect opportunity to try my hand at a gf Snickerdoodle.
I giddily awoke to a snow shower producing a hefty amount of snow which was quickly covering up another hefty amount of snow that had fallen a few days ago. Now it seemed like the perfect weather for a Snickerdoodle.
And so it was. Using a combination of millet and sorghum flours, I’d have to say that they turned out pretty darn well.
After taking a nice long vacation due to needing to recover from all the MoFo action, I have returned… with an offering of cupcakes. Holiday themed cupcakes, at that!
Typically, I am not one to jump on the winter holiday excitement… due to being semi-ambivalent about the season, loathing cold weather, a disinterest in consumer driven holidays, as well as having such an aversion to Christmas music that I will avoid most retailers well past January 1st (I know… “bah-humbug”, right?). However, my son is an 8 year old boy. And he is the sweetest 8 year old boy I have ever come to love. And, he was begging us for a “traditional” Xmas setting in our home during the holidays this year. So, since my husband and I adore him… we broke down and put up a tree last night.
I’m pretty sure we go through this every single December. Ah, holidays.
I have to say, I do like the twinkling lights all over my house. I may actually leave them up. Maybe forever.
Also, we purchased a truckload of candy canes to decorate the tree with… and, oh boy, I can’t even tell you guys how much I love candy canes. Especially combined with chocolate… and buttercream frosting. Every year I have to make myself some chocolatey-pepperminty-cupcakes to go with my ginormous mug of nog.
I guess this time of year isn’t all bad. I do love the over-consumption of baked goods part. :)
I have to say, this has been one helluva MoFo; this month I have gained some wonderful things: an incredible amount of inspiration, new (and old) friends, a million more blogs to look forward to in my feedreader… and so many other warm fuzzies that I couldn’t possibly list them all right here, right now.
And, can you believe all of the food? I mean… holy stromboli there was a lot of food!
Since today is the final day of this glorious month of vegan food, I made a cake. I like to reserve cakes for celebratory times in my life (I know, super traditional), and even in those times I often opt to make a pie or some cookies (lazy traditionalist). So, when I break out a cake, you know it’s important.
Thank you to everyone who’s been there throughout the whole MoFoing month. ♥
I woke up this morning determined to create something wonderful with this little acorn squash that had been rolling around on my counter-top for the past few days.
After mixing up all of the ingredients, I had no idea that I had just created my new favorite Autumn treat. I’m serious! This dessert tastes remarkably like a chocolate pumpkin pie, or a pot de créme, or simply what it is: an awesome baked custard (no eggs or cream needed). And it’s so easy to make!
Creamy, rich, and chocolatey, I dare you to eat just one bite.
Whenever I taste biscotti, I immediately have a flashback to the year in college when I worked as a café barista. I was one of the oddballs in the café world, constantly greeting people with a chirpy hello! and an exaggerated grin. My coworkers, much cooler than I, normally went for the “service without a smile” approach.
Every single year, for as far back as I can remember, my mother makes a rugelach type cookie which she (and what I presume every member of her extended family) calls simply a “nut roll”. I haven’t had her rugelach in quite some time because it has all kinds of things in it that I just don’t do; but every year around this time, I start to crave it like nobody’s business.
So, starting in Autumn I begin to make a bunch of cookies of this “rugelach” type… pretty much all the way until January (when I start cursing winter and planning my move to the tropics). This version is not overly sweet and they are kinda big. You could share one… if you were really desperate to be a nice person. But this recipe makes quite a few cookies, so there’s no need to get all crazy…
After seeing countless recipes for mochi cakes lately on the interwebs, and given my pretty well known obsession with mochi… I couldn’t resist trying to make one of my own versions of a mochi cake. I also recently ran across an Indonesian cake that had shredded coconut and sweet white rice flour as the base- so I thought I’d try and combine the two.
If you have an aversion to coconut and/or mochi, you probably won’t like this cake too terribly much. But if you are like me, and thoughts of chewy, delicious mochi dance through your head on a regular basis… give this recipe a whirl. I liked it a LOT, but I could only eat half of what’s pictured -it is very filling! My one and a half year old, on the other hand, ate about three times that. And my son is actually asking for more as I type this. I’m thinking my husband will probably hate it.
This dessert is definitely different than most cakes I am used to making. It has a chewy chewy chewy inside, and a soft cake-like outside. And, it’s only about an inch tall. Maybe this dessert has a more authentic name? I’d like to think I kinda-sorta made it up… but somehow, I doubt that.
If you happen to enjoy Daifuku… I think you will find this dessert mochi-licious.
Autumn is officially on its way, and with it comes chills in the air, vibrant colors in the trees, great camping weather, the perfect excuse to overuse nutmeg in everything, and of course, plenty of apples. Because of these things (and Halloween!), Autumn is without a doubt the season I most look forward to. I like to pretend that Summer is my favorite (and I love to gripe about being cold)… but I cannot deny the excitement I feel when I notice the leaves begin to fall. I have already busted out my corduroys…
From Labor Day to Thanksgiving, I like to take advantage of the glorious bounty that Autumn brings. Brace yourself folks, I’m about to stretch this season out as long as I possibly can. Starting now.
Hope you all like apples, pumpkins, black cats, and mulling spices… because it may get a little ridiculous around here.
Let’s kick off this early tribute to Fall with a little gluten-free galette, shall we? Truly a great way to say “bye bye” to summer and “how do you do?” to Autumn-like comfort food.
We made it back from our vacation in Philadelphia and were saddened to leave such a beautiful city. Our trip started out pretty normally. We opted to take our car — to better accommodate our sightseeing agenda, and my inability to pack less than 8 bags for the fams for just 1 week. The countryside was beautiful, the drive was relaxed, and the weather was sunny, clear and perfect. Once we began to approach the city, thoughts of our upcoming adventure immediately started to flourish in my mind. I thought about all of the vegan friendly restaurants I had read about, the history of the city itself, the architecture from neighborhood to neighborhood, the abundance of parks and murals that weave throughout the urban landscape, and of course, my favorite peoples who lived in Philadelphia that we were headed to see.