Friday, December 30, 2011

The end of 2011

I hope everyone is having a great holiday season!  I always love the whole month of December, but once Christmas gets here, I feel like it's over with too fast!  We have been visiting with my family the past few days and then we will get together with my husband's family this weekend.  So it has stretched out my holiday a bit this year.  

Christmas in Pennsylvania was really nice!  The weather was amazing.  I mean, I love the snow and think its very pretty, but I also hate traveling in it.   Christmas day was sunny and around 50 degrees.  I didn't even wear a coat, which I mean is kind of pushing it.  But I am always warm so whenever it warms up a bit in the winter, I like when I don't have to wear my big winter coat.  The last full day in PA it rained all day.  

The next morning, we headed back to Canada.  It snowed a bit during the drive, but about 30 minutes away from home (in the dark) it started snowing hard!  I mean the highway was covered in snow, we could barely see 3 cars in front of us.  And it was rush hour, so the highways were busy.  On top of that all, I am not a good passenger.  I think it all started when I was in high school with some friends and we crashed on the highway.  I was in the front seat when this happened.  So, I will just say that Jeff was not happy with me by the time we got home.   

"Jefffff.... slowww downnnn!!!"    

"Watch out!!!"


You know... just a few things that I yell in the car.  I swear, I am trying really hard to be a better passenger.  Traffic and highways just give me anxiety, and then add all the snow.  Not a good combo.  Sorry Jeff!   Thank God we got home safely!  

When we got home, we opened some gifts just the two of us since we left a couple days before Christmas.  I got the best new camera!  A Canon Rebel T3.  It is so nice and way better than my old point and click camera.  I am a lucky girl.  Thanks Jeff! 

Anyways... here is a quick picture of the cookie platter that I brought to my aunt's house on Christmas.  

Back: Chocolate Chip cookies, Chewy Orange Spice cookies, Chocolate Peppermint cookies.
Middle: Sugar cookies and Christmas tree brownies.
Front: Candied Orange zest, Candy Cane hearts, Chocolate covered orange zest.

Me and Jeff

Me, my Mom, my Dad, and my sister Gail

Yeah, you know when we got home there was like more than a foot of snow on the ground.  Sigh... I enjoyed the milder weather while it lasted!  But this is winter and it's Canada!

I am just starting to get back into baking after all my holiday traveling and visiting.  I hope everyone is safe while they travel and celebrate New Years!  

2011 has been both great and sad with the loss of some family members, but over all I think it has been a great year!  After all, I did get married this year!!!

Oh yeah, and I started my blog too!

I hope everyone has a great New Year and stays safe!  See you all next year :-)

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Lots of Christmas cookies & a Christmas gift for me!

Well, it's only a few more days until Christmas now!  Almost all the presents are wrapped (still have a few last minutes gifts to get today) and I am pretty much done with holiday baking!  I can't wait to see all our family for Christmas!  I am of course bringing the sweet stuff for Christmas day so I have been a busy little baker the past couple of days and nights!  I luckily have an amazing husband who has tolerated my mess and helped by cleaning the dishes!  

It's the first day of winter today and there is no snow on the ground!  I am actually pretty happy that there won't be a lot of snow this holiday!  I definitely don't like driving in the snow.  However, I have been seeing on the news that the west and midwest have just gotten a ton of snow!  I hope everyone is being safe out there and staying home as much as possible during the bad weather!  

I am so busy today, so there will not be any recipe or anything too long, but I wanted to share some Christmas cookies that I have been making lately!  There are a lot of pictures so I hope you enjoy!  I still have a few more that I am finishing today, so hopefully I will be able to put pictures of those up soon!  

I am pretty much obsessed with Wilton's Pearl Spray!  You can find it at Michael's.  Just spray lightly over the cookies and they have this amazing shimmer!  The spray comes in gold and silver as well, but I have only tried the pearl so far!

Snowmen on a stick ready to be given as gifts!

More pictures of the snowflakes with pearl spray.  Just because I love them so much!

Ready to be given out as gifts!  

I was very excited to get a Christmas gift in the mail last week!  Check out this Kopy Kake that I got from Madison Art Shop!  They have everything an artist could want!  Check out their website!

Kopykake 300XK Artist Opaque Projector

They are on sale right now for a great price!  The shipping was so fast and it only cost $5!  No, that was not a typo.  $5 for shipping!  How amazing is that?!  I cannot wait to show you some of the things that I make with this after the holidays are over!  

I hope everyone is enjoying the last few days before Christmas!  Now, I am off to finish some cookies and do my last minute shopping!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Edible Christmas Gifts #6 Coconut Almond Macaroons

It is getting SO close to Christmas!  A week from tomorrow!!!  I cannot believe it.  I feel so far behind this year.  I have only sent out half my Christmas cards.  Need to do those before Monday!  But today is solely dedicated to holiday baking!  I want to share with you these yummy macaroons.

Coconut Almond Macaroons

  • 3 cups coconut
  • 1 cup almonds, chopped into small pieces
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk
  • 1/2 tsp almond extract
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • pinch of salt
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Combine coconut, almonds, coconut milk and almond extract in a bowl.
  3. In mixer or using an electric mixer, beat egg whites, sugar and salt to soft peaks.  (See pictures below)
  4. Gently fold egg white mixer into coconut mixture.  
  5. On a silpat or parchment lined baking sheet, spoon out 1 1/2 inch balls of the mixture.
  6. Bake the cookies until brown around the edges, about 15 minutes.
  7. Let cool COMPLETELY on pan (if you pull them off too quickly, half of the cookie may stay on the pan).


I hope everyone is enjoying the last week before Christmas!  

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

5 Fun Christmas Ideas for any Baker!

1. Dessert Ornaments-  from Sur La Table

I absolutely LOVE these ornaments!!!  I own quite a few and hope to continue with my collection.  I have one Christmas tree with my "traditional" ornaments, and then a smaller tree with all dessert and baking ornaments!  I love it!

2. Flavorings and Extracts-  from King Arthur Flour

Fiori di Sicilia  - 1 oz.Vanilla Bean Paste - 4 oz.Pistachio Flavor - 1 oz.

There are endless possibilities with these different flavorings.  These 3 are my favorite, but there are many more on their website!  Use them in cakes, icings, milkshakes and much more!

3. Airbrush Machine-  from Karen's Cookies

Pegasus Professional Airbrush System
This is on my wish list!  I have made lots of cookies using Wilton's Color Mist, so I would love to have an airbrush machine!

4. Ultimate Cookies by Julia Usher-
Julia M Usher's Ultimate Cookies

If you have not seen this book yet, you definitely need to check this out!  This 270 plus page book shows you how to make the most beautiful cookies!  I mean... just look at the cookies on the cover.  If you love, or even like to make cookies, this is a must have for you!

5.  Pretty Aprons- from Amazon 

Product DetailsDimensions Stamped Cross Stitch Life Is Sweet Apron

There are only 10 shopping days left before Christmas!  Is it just me or is this holiday season just flying by?!  I feel like I still need a few more weeks to get everything done.  I always have a mile long list of things I want to bake for Christmas.  I probably only get 1/3 of the list done.  

Ahh... oh well.  You do what you can do!  Remember that.  No one is going to notice that things you didn't make.  They will appreciate the things that you do make!  

Now... get shopping and baking!  

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Mini Christmas cookies

Here are some mini Christmas cookies that I made!  Then, I packaged them in a glass jar and tied a ribbon on to give as a holiday gift!  

Hope you enjoy!