December 28, 2011

Love the Holidays

Happy Holidays Everyone!
Merry Christmas and a Happy New year

I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas and that you were surrounded by those who mean the most to you.  I know I did! Although I had a wonderful time...I can't help but feel sad.  Sad that Christmas is over.  Now, for those of you who know know that I am a HUGE Christmas lover.  It is my favourite thing of all time.  But it isn't really the day of Christmas that I love...but everything leading up to it.  Baking, cooking, getting a tree, decorating, watching Christmas movies, visiting, being cozy by the fire, visiting with friends and family...and the list goes on and on.  All of that seems to come to an end after Christmas day...which is very sad :( Oh well...I know that it will be here again before I know it so I'm not that upset ;) I'll get over it!

So enough of this sad talk...let's get down to business! From the time I got home to Christmas night I was busy busy busy.  Shopping, organizing, cooking, baking, name it I was doing it! I'm not complaining though because it was SO MUCH FUN!

I baked a few dozen shortbread cookies and dipped them in chocolate and covered them in sprinkles!

please note my fab Christmas attire I rocked for about 3 days straight...cute, I know!
the boys stepped in and decided to help...

I stepped back and watched the magic happen.

Dad was getting the hang of it...

As pretty as they looked with the chocolate...I definitely prefer them plain.

I also made something I never ever thought about making and they turned out fantastic!


4 packages of unflavoured powdered gelatin 
1 1/4 cups water
2 cups sugar
2 tbsp light corn syrup
pinch salt
2 large egg whites
1 tsp peppermint extract (I added another half tsp, which I definitely recommend)
red or green food colouring (optional but highly recommended by ME)

1) Line 9 by 13 pan with plastic wrap and coat with cooking spray.  In a bowl, sprinkle gelatin over 3/4 cup water. Set aside, allowing gelatin to bloom
2) In medium saucepan stir together remaining 1/2 cup water, sugar, corn syrup and salt.  Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until sugar dissolves.  Raise heat to medium-high and allow syrup to boil, without stirring, until it registers 240 F on candy thermometer.  Meanwhile, beat egg white in bowl of electric mixer fitted with whisk attachment until stiff peaks form.
3) Working quickly, whisk gelatin and peppermint into hot syrup.  With mixer running on medium speed, slowing add hot mixture to egg white in a thin stream.  Whisk on high until mixture is very thick and almost cool, about 10 minutes.  Pour mixture (marshmallow) into prepared pan.  To create a marbled effect, drop dots of food colouring over the surface and swirl colouring into marshmallow using a toothpick.  Leave to set uncovered at room temperature for 4 hours overnight.  Oil a knife and cut into squares.  Serve in hot chocolate or as desired (my mom really loves it in coffee).

**Make sure to pour the marshmallow into the pan after the 10 minutes are up.  Do not wait.  I waited for about 1 minute contemplating a few things and it started to set by the time I poured it in.  By doing this I wasn't able to create the marbled effect that I really wanted**

**Read all of the instructions before you start :)**

you can see how it looks quite clumpy on the left side...

looks pretty gross actually...but once you put them into little squares and put them in your warm or your guests won't even notice!  

Especially once they melt and let all of their minty goodness swirl into your drink!

super melty and gooey...

in coffee...

putting it in the sprayed plastic wrap makes it easy to get out and cut into pieces!

Christmas Eve was busy getting last minute things together...but we managed to fit a little bit of fun in there! Francis and I went on a beautiful run in the trails and then we got bundled up and went ice skating with my parents! They had Christmas music playing and it was very festive! When we got home we got ready and headed over to my Oma's for dinner and presents (traditional for Europeans).  They used to put their Christmas tree up Christmas Eve in the evening and decorate it and put the presents out and nobody was allowed to see the tree or the presents until that night! We don't really go by that anymore...but we do still have dinner and open gifts!

It was a little different this year because my sister was working, so it was really weird for me and I missed her a lot! BUTTTTT this was the first year Francis spent Christmas with my family so I was beyond excited about was the rest of my family!

Me getting things ready to bring to my Oma's.  Isn't this the most beautiful kitchen? I want it... I'm taking full advantage of it and cooking in it as much as possible while I'm here!

Dinner at my Oma's! She made mashed potatoes, brussel sprouts, mushroom caps (SO GOOD), roast beef and red cabbage (my favourite thing she makes!).  I had everything but the beef and it was sooo delicious! Homemade cherry wine my Opa made on the side!  Our group isn't as big as it used to be but I still enjoy going over to my Oma's and spending as much time with her as I can!


I was definitely excited to give presents this year and see everyone's faces when they opened them!  Francis was super stoked on those socks...

my dad is excited to smell good are we are we...

My Oma's face in this picture is just so cute!

I love her face and my mom's face in this one! so happy!
She got a bird feeder from Francis! My Oma loves feeding her birds...

Francis got some shin pads, which he really needed! AND they fit! All ready for hockey to start up again!

I don't think they fit me...

Beautiful tree on Christmas Eve!

...and the stockings were hung by the chimney with care? Well...not really.  They were so heavy that the mantle tipped over and we broke an ornament. not good. we had to put one of the stockings on the ground. they look kinda funny, but cute!

Christmas morning!

I made my dad and Francis some special hot chocolates on Christmas morning!  Hot chocolate, baileys, topped with whipped cream and sprinkles! I love making pretty drinks...


They were gone in about 5 minutes...I think they liked them...

okay okay...I guess I did change my Christmas outfit a little bit...the t-shirt...probably because there was flour all over it and my headband...because I'm cool like that ;)
Getting breaky ready.... on the menu this year? Eggs benedict with lox and capers!

They were so delicious! After breaky we went into the living room and started to open up our stockings!

Don't worry Francis...nobody's going to steal your stocking!


Mom opening one of her gifts from my Dad....notice the Frasier Fir candle my mom bought to burn during the holidays! Our entire family loves the scent! I have three of these candles at my apartment in Vic! Two smaller ones and one this size! I burn them all the time around the holidays, because it makes everything smell like Christmas! My sister put some of their soap in my stocking :) If anyone in the Victoria area is interested in buying some of these products, Emporia Boutique sells them! Be sure to stock up for next season :)

back to Christmas....SNOWSHOES!! My mom was hoping she would get these :) We are going snowshoeing up at Mt. Washington tomorrow to try them out! I can't wait...I LOVE snowshoeing...and the mountain.  

After the presents were opened the boys went and had a hot tub with hot chocolate and whipped cream...again!


So cozy! Fireplace on the tv...funny considering we had a fire going at the same time this was on! Oh well...the more the merrier :)

wearing a new sweater my mom got me for Christmas!
Christmas dinner....with my sister and Jeff's dogs, Sadie and Leelu

brussel sprouts, peas, sweet potato, potatoes and a veggie casserole!

I had cranberry sauce and a jalapeƱo mustard on the side...

A few action shots...


After dinner we all relaxed and visited...

Dad enjoying a Christmas drink...

This is what happens when you leave the camera sitting on the table...

who knows...

Christmas night we hung out and watched Christmas movies! Perfect way to spend the the end of the night we were exhausted!


Now for a few things that aren't at all related to Christmas!

Yesterday my mom made this delicious coconut curry dish with brown rice noodles! She used fresh thyme from her garden!

It was SO delicious...I don't know what was in it though! If you are interested let me know and I will find out for you!

I had to take a few pictures because my dad's camera is amazing and I want to take full advantage of it! PLUS the lighting in their kitchen is perfect for photography!

My family and I also played some fun games with my sister and Jeff a few nights ago...

Cranium fun!

Mom doing the humdinger...whistling a song! We had to try and guess it. It's so hard to do this without laughing hysterically! Last night I decided to put my new ice cream/frozen yogurt maker to the test...I made mango gelato!  Quite complicated actually...but I will post the recipe soon!

It was quite delicious! We put it in the freezer overnight and are going to actually have it for dessert tonight!  I am excited to try making ice cream with coconut milk and all natural sweetener, such as agave or stevia!

This morning I decided to make Bircher Museli from the Rebar cookbook I got from my sister for Christmas!


serves 2

1 cup large flake rolled oats
2 apples
juice of 1/2 lemon
2 tbsp maple syrup
1 cup plain yogurt
2 tbsp pumpkin seeds
2 tbsp sunflower seeds
2 tbsp sliced almonds
1 cup fresh berries

1) In the evening before serving bircher meusli place oats in a bowl and cover the water by 1 inch.  Covery and leave it to rest on the kitchen counter overnight (i put mine in the fridge)
2) In the morning, briefly toast the nuts and seeds in a heated skillet (you can do this the night before).  Peel the applies and grate them into the bowl with the soaked oats.  Add the lemon juice and the remaining ingredients.  Stir thoroughly, divide among 2 bowls and serve!

**I made my berries into a pulp before adding them**

Very refreshing and filling! Super tasty as well :)  If anyone has been to Harrison Hot Springs and has eaten at their amazing breakfast buffet, this will remind you of the muesli (meusli? - my cookbook spells it this way) they serve! SO SO GOOD and super healthy!

Well...I think that's enough for you to have a look at! Have a great day everyone!


1 comment:

  1. Looks like you had an amazing Christmas!! SO jealous of all the yummy food you and your fam enjoyed over the holidays! (especially the peppermint marshmallows!)