Friday, November 30, 2012

Heirloom: Raspberry Jam Jams

For as long as I can remember, I've been eating Jam Jams at Christmas.  Every year mom puts these on her baking list, though as the years go on, the list gets shorter.   Jam Jams remain there, firmly in place, because not only are they a delicious cookie, they are a tie to the past.  This recipe is my mom's grandmother's and came with her from Russia, almost a century ago.  My mom grew up eating these cookies, too.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Rise & Shine: Bacon & Egg Breakfast Tart

Bacon and eggs are classic.  They were made for lazy Sunday mornings, when you crawl out of bed late only because the cats have jumped on your head telling you it's time for food.  Theirs, not yours.  If you have kids instead of cats, it's probably the same deal.  After I crank up the heat, (because my house is freezing), and feed the fur babies, (because they are starving), I make tea and think about what I want to eat.  What will make me rise and shine today?   Either hot and healthy, or fancy and fatty, breakfast is what I like best about Sundays.  At least until Downton Abbey returns.  Seriously.  Who else is counting down? 

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Chocolate & Orange Date Squares with Walnut Crumb

First off, let me just say that these are not your Grandma's date squares.  Yes, hers may be perfectly lovely, but traditional date squares have a bad rap for being just a little bit boring.  And these, my friends are far from boring.  Funny little thing about date squares:  out on the Canadian prairies, they are/were called matrimonial cake/squares.  And I totally know why.  Back in the day, date squares were packaged up, tied with ribbon in the couple's "colour" and given out as wedding favours.  I can still remember my Aunty's wedding in 1982.   My cousin and I were decked out in matching peach and white seersucker dresses (remember when we wore peach?) and my mom had also given me a Toni home perm and I thought I was coolest 9 year old around.  Cousin Sheryl and I sat at the guest book signing table (huge responsibility!), which also came equipped with a basket of date squares, wrapped up in their glory; a gesture of gratitude from the happy couple. Well, that and an open bar.  I don't know of any couples keeping up this tradition, but one taste of these bars and maybe matrimonial cake could make an appearance at a wedding near you soon.  If someone else remembers eating matrimonial cake, I'd love to hear about it!  If anyone else let their mom perm their hair, I'd love to hear about that, too.    

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Cozy: Savoury Kale & Caramelized Onion Bread Pudding

It's (un)officially winter here in my neck o' the woods - the heavy parka and fleece lined boots have come out of the basement and flannel sheets have cozied up the bed.  The snow is deep and heavy and in the cold dark mornings my boots loudly crunch, and when I exhale you can see my breath rising to the stars.   Long winter nights stretch out before me, and with that comes a cozy house:  candles burn, twinkle lights twinkle, tea brews and keeps hands warm, cloves and cinnamon sticks simmer, the cats curl up in a cat nip-induced coma and the low hum of the furnace is the background acoustic.  And then of course there are the cravings, mainly consisting of cheese and chocolate.  Happily, wine goes with both.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Fall Favourites

Hi everyone!  I hope wherever you are right now you are enjoying these November days.  Currently, there's a raging blizzard outside my window so it feels like the dead of winter here in Saskatchewan, though technically still fall on the calender.  No recipe today, but as it's a three day weekend I'm hoping to start my Christmas baking - so keep your eyes peeled for something sweet coming your way soon.  There's still plenty to inspire you though, as I'm happy to share some stuff I've been loving lately.  So get cozy, brew some tea and have a most wonderful weekend. 
xoxo Renee

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Pumpkin Cinnamon Buns with Maple Chai Buttermilk Glaze

I hope you aren't experiencing pumpkin overload....I know, I know, it's everywhere right now, but believe me when I tell you that these buns are pretty amazing.  So amazing, that yes, I kinda sorta devoted a Sunday to them, but with the first bite, I knew it was worth it.  And look at them, all gooey in their glorious glaze.  I know you want one.  As we enter into the eating holiday season (holy man tell me where 2012 went, please) these buns are good to have around, to feed loved ones at brunch or a late night snack, or let's be honest, any time is cinnamon bun time.  When I first told my mom I was making pumpkin cinnamon buns, she was like, why can't you just make regular cinnamon buns?  That's my mom.  Always asking the hard-hitting questions.  My response of wanting to try something new seemed to suffice.  I've never put pumpkin into a yeast product before and you know what?  It was worth it.  The dough is incredibly soft and lovely and easy to work with, all of the pumpkin-y spices are hanging out and having fun.  The glaze; oh boy, the glaze kinda blows my mind.  And who would have thought of steeping Chai in buttermilk?  Crazy? Crazy good!  So let's do this already!

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