Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Oh Joy! Chocolate & Espresso Yule Log



"The room was very still while the pages were softly turned and 
the winter crept in with a Christmas greeting."  ~ Louisa May Alcott

Happy first day of winter, friends.  It's a frosty one here this morning, with me in my slippers and a mug of coffee warming my hands.  There is much packing to me done yet as I leave for a few days to see my family and I couldn't be more excited.  From what I hear, my nieces want my assistance in building a snow fort, and are addicted to UNO, so I know what I'll be doing upon my arrival.  These are the best days, when all that really matters is just being together with those who love the bones off you.  As their little hands clasp mine, leading me to the piled up snow, that will be the best gift right there. 

Friday, December 18, 2015

Merriment & Mayhem: Mushroom and Bacon Quiche



So, how's everyone doing?  Christmas is in one week, and I hope y'all are finding some merriment amidst the mayhem.  I just finished writing page 170 of my manuscript, so high five!!

 Everyone is super busy, so I'm here with just a quick little post about this mushroom and bacon quiche I made recently for the fine folks over at Mushrooms Canada.  If you've never baked a quiche using puff pastry as a base, you're in for a treat, because it makes the whole thing come together so easily.  The mushroom filling can be made up to 4 days in advance, so it's a time saver on really busy mornings (or evenings) over the holidays.  I used dried porcini, as well as fresh cremini and shiitake mushrooms in the quiche, and a good amount of chopped bacon.  You all know how much I adore bacon, and it happens to be best friends with mushrooms.  So, win!  I've reheated slices all week for my lunch, and as expected, it's still delicious.  Find the recipe over here on the Mushrooms Canada Blog.  And with that, I wish you happy last weekend before Christmas.  I'll have one last post before I leave to see my family.  You guys.  I made a Yule Log and you need to see it! 



Saturday, December 12, 2015

Sweet Holiday Favourites and Glad Tidings!



This past week alone I've gone through almost five pounds of butter.  I guess you could say I'm back at recipe testing, AND baking up some favourite sweet things from holidays past.  I couldn't imagine Christmas without these Rosemary Oatmeal Shortbread, or these Brown Sugar Shortbread with Toblerone Chunks.  Last year I brought a tin of these White Chocolate & Rosemary Cranberry Blondies home to the family, and they were a surprise hit among the 6 and under crowd.  They'll be packed in my car again this year as I head home to see my fam jam in just 10 days.  I'm totally counting down the sleeps. 

Friday, December 4, 2015

Baked Brie with Caramelized Pears and Bacon



"Nothing was so likely to do her good as a little quiet cheerfulness at home." ~ Jane Austen

This week was not how I intended it to be.  One week ago I had visions of powering through recipe testing for the book and getting a good jump on my Christmas baking.  None of that happened.  Instead, I woke up last Friday with what felt like knives hanging out in my throat.  No amount of honey or tea would soothe it.  Next day the tickle at the back of the throat started and so came on the incessant cough that stole my sleep for the better part of this week.  That, combined with congestion and aching bones kept me out of the kitchen and away from the computer, except for deadlines which had to be kept.  There's not much one can do with a foggy brain and aching body except cozy up on the couch and watch movies until you drift off, only to be awakened by the soft padding of kitten paws rearranging themselves on your legs.  This bit of forced rest has done me good - a reminder to not get too overloaded this holiday season.   Lord knows there will be busier days ahead, but if I need to take a break and watch Little Women, then so be it.   


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