Archives for December 2012

Winter Sangria with citrus & pomegranate

This year we have two parties leading up to New Year’s, then a blissful clear calendar on the 31st. I’m so looking forward to a non-hyped quiet night in, especially after the hustle and bustle of the holidays. The visiting -and feasting- has been wonderful, and I’ve been thrilled to host out-of-town family for a week, but Danny and I are very ready to put our feet up and exhale in a quiet house.

Last year we organized to have baby sitter, then bundled up (why is NYE always freezing?) and had a great evening out with friends, but I’m hesitant to leave Clara this year – or maybe I’m just using her as an excuse to stay in! Either way, we’re staying cozy this New Year’s Eve.

Danny’s stashed a bottle of champagne for midnight and I’m planning fondue for two and mini tourtière hand pies. In the meantime, though, we’ll be sipping on a dark and fruity winter sangria and nibbling maple spiced nuts as the hours count down.

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Quick Pickled Carrot Spears

Written by Marisa of Food in Jars.

In the past week, I’ve cooked and baked my way through at least five pounds of butter. There’s been toffee, cookies, biscuits, yeasted breakfast breads, apple crisps, and a turkey dinner with half a dozen sides.

Though it has been deeply satisfying to eat everything in my path, now that the holiday is over, I am ready for a palate cleanser that isn’t oozing with butter. And to my tastebuds, nothing tastes better when I’ve overdone it than a crisp, simple pickle.

Though I typically have a few varieties of pickles on my shelf from a summertime of canning, right now I’m hungry for a quick pickle. More often than not, this is when I turn to carrots.

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Merry Christmas from all of us

I lost track of time in the kitchen yesterday, cooking and baking with my visiting sister, while a stream of bright-eyed children, frisky canines, and hungry uncles passed through looking for handouts.

We boiled fresh Maritime lobster and folded it into buttered linguine, simmered a boeuf bourguignon for half a day, whisked together eggnog, and built a gingerbread house! As the snow continued to fall among the trees outside, I couldn’t help but stop to reflect on my many blessings and the joy of the season.

As we’re all whipping around with an apron tied on today, I’ll keep this post short and sweet. We couldn’t let the holidays pass without wishing you all a Very Merry Christmas.

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A holiday house tour

By this afternoon, we will be officially on holidays. Danny will have tidied his desk, picked up an excited Noah from school, and we’ll have welcomed them home with hugs and back thumps.  Two whole weeks of vacation begins!

We have snow on the ground and the Christmas cards are in the mail. Apparently a major snowstorm is on it’s way, but we have enough tourtiere and cookies in the freezer to weather the weather, whatever the weather. My refrigerator is packed with cream for eggnog, fresh apple cider for hot spiced cider and other staples as we’re hosting my sister, my brother in law, and their three dogs for the holidays and I like to be prepared!

For a little change, today’s post is a mini tour of our main floor and a few of my favorite holiday decorations. I tend to keep things very simple, and use a lot of natural elements when I decorate. I don’t like to buy a lot of things and prefer to work with what I have on hand, like my centerpiece of candles in used jam jars.

It’s rustic and homey, and suits our homestead just fine.

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Swedish Tea Ring

Written by Megan of Stetted.

When I was a girl, I never really noticed how the small moments of our ancestry touched our family celebrations. I only knew that my taste buds had not evolved to the point of being able to enjoy the spiced breads my grandfather would share, and that I could eat a lot of the fried fattigmund cookies that appeared at Christmastime.

Now that I have a child of my own, I’m wishing I had spent more time getting to know the foods of our family, from the Germans on my mother’s side to the English and Swedish on my father’s side. The Swedish part of me I find most intriguing – perhaps because it is a country I know little about to begin with. Wisconsin and Minnesota are full of people with Swedish heritage, but sadly it seems several of the Scandinavian traditions are going away as the last immigrants are leaving us.

This Christmas, I’ve decided we need to add back some of the “Old World” to our lives. Our morning will be spent opening presents, of course, but we’ll also sit down to a breakfast of Swedish Tea Ring, a sweet cardamom-flavored bread that appears on numerous Swedish tables all year long.

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