Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Christmas Lights

I heard that not far from our house there was a lovely road where lots of home owners really go all out and put on magical show of lights , Christmas cheer is contagious . We loved this stunning log cabin style home , you don't see large log homes very often around here .
This ones was Todd's favourite , he loves Victorian homes and yes it was charming .

There are some really stunning homes just off the beaten path in this sought after area with culdesacs and huge sprawling properties.

More is more with Christmas lights.

It was a great way to end the evening with some extra Christmas cheer.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas

We had a lovely Christmas eve gathering last night with my family , we ate and drank , I made these meatball mini sandwiches with half a meat ball tomato sauce and brie cooked in a panini grill , yummy ...gonna make those again I made other stuff too but those little sandwiches were a big hit, our dessert buffet was pretty yummy too .
The other day I complained how I really needed a new hand mixer as mine had recently broken , I know the kitchen Aid one is really the best but often priced at $100.00 I wasn't really considering getting it but when I saw it half price and I remembered my husband saying I bake all the time and that I should just get the good one so I added it to my grocery cart, I have used it so much already for royal icing , for spinach artichoke dip and this morning for egg white for my waffles, it is great, powerful and quiet as well as light.

Sophie and I were in bed the other night watching the Food network and saw Guy you know Guy and he was at Disney land , they showed how to make a Yule Log cake , so we decided to make one too , I just used box cake and made it in my big jelly roll pan , I use it as a cookie sheet , baked it for about 10 minutes and let it cool completely and then covered it in butter creme and rolled it up using the parchment and a steady even rolling motion , then roll it in the parchment and chill for 2-3 hours , cover in more butter cream , add ganache and use fork to mix and add texture , cut off a slice of the end and place on top and then support with the butter creme by forking it up the sides , and then chill , what an easy fun cake , I swear it was easy ...

Spreading the butter creme , thanks little helper Sophie.

Voila our yule log cake ....it sure was sweet and moist and lovely but just a sliver will do .

I used the extra batter and made a few cupcakes and topped them with the extra ganache , ganache is so easy too , I hadn't made it in years , all I did was bring 1 cup of 18% cream to a boil and take off the heat and mix in a package of chocolate chips and let the cream melt the chocolate whisk a little and it was really as easy as that , I am pretty sure the other time I made it I melted the chocolate first this way was better.

I asked to start a Chamilia bracelet , like a Pandora bracelet really there are so many different kinds it was hard to decide, we got bracelets for the girls too , here is Sophie's she loves it as much as I love mine and we can add more beads as we like , I have found great bead sites on Etsy who I am really impressed with .

My hubby cleaning up after all the party and cooking messes , I feed them and he cleans up , what a guy.

One thing Sophie really wanted to for Christmas was a pair of high heel boots , I luckily had seen them too , I remember a pair of burgundy zip up heeled boots I had as a little girl too I loved them so much they always felt so special to wear. I found and got her three different pairs of heeled boots two ankle boots and these taller ones , she has been wearing them in the house all day .

As I shared before Mason loves nail polish and nail polish she received , and all other things nails too , like a nail bath , nail dryer and many many nail polishes and Konad plates.

Last night she was happy to show everyone her nail room and she even did manicures for most of the girls.

Trying on her new clothes and boots right away ...and no place to go...

I bought the girls Just dance 2 for the Wii, I didn't realize how much they wanted it until they ran right out of the room and tried it out , that's always nice to see them enjoy their gifts like that.

I got Mason some of these Konad nail plates , you will have to google that , you add polish to the plates and pick up the image on a stamp and then stamp them on your nails , well Mason does it actually , I have a lovely manicure done by Mason right now actually sparkly red polish with white delicate flowers on top, very festive. I got these at Pickering Flea Market if you are wondering.

Here is the beautiful bracelet my husband bought me , I just love it , the sales girl actually accidentaly on purpose showed me what it looked like when I was shopping for my daughters bracelet , a little mix up , not cool , but I love it regardless. "Oh and here's yours " she said , and I said "oh don't show me that , its a surprise and a gift" ......oh no !

Now this was a BIG surprise a Pinner , it used micro pins to do wood work , which leaves micro holes , no more filling and sanding , awesome huh....I got my husband a Blue Ray player which he didn't ask for nor was he expecting and he loves it along with a DVD of Fringe which he loves , its hard to surprise this guy so I am glad he likes it .
We mostly are all in our pj's well except for Sophie whi is dressed to kill , Mason is on the couch wrapped in her snuggie that her Oma gave her last night , I NEED a snuggie , it is so cozie and her's is pink , I have a prime rib in the oven and we are going to eat in the dining room , twic in one day , wow well it is Christmas after all .

Thursday, December 23, 2010

How to add flare to your wrapping without ribbons

I used two contrasting papers to create a custom look , I just folded pieces of wrapping paper and taped some to the top and then made "ribbon type" pieces and taped those on too as well as simple fold over bows, I think it turned out really cute.
So if you want to pump up the wrapping and still have some wrapping paper you can make your packages evern better looking.

Christmas Past

As I am planning our Christmas eve gathering with my siblings that live near by which is my two brothers and their families and my Mother and her husband I can't help but look back , we gather Christmas eve and visit and eat and drink, we always have this at my house which I love to do , I make snacks and treats and sweets and my Mom and Lawrence make Oprah's pomtini's , what a nice treat to look forward to , because of Sophie's allergies I don't ask anyone to bring any food typically to allow Sophie to eat everything and to feel safe and I like making the food myself anyway but I try to take a fresh approach every year to keep things interesting , no fun doing the same old same , I guess some people enjoy that but its not my thing.

These first two pictures are from Christmas 2007 look how small the girls are , this was a big Webkinz Christmas , we actually had the tree in our bedroom that year, we had just got Moe and I didn't want him to eat the tree so it was safer up there , boy was that nice spending Christmas morning in our bed .

This is from Christmas 2008 , I can't explain the sundress we live in Ontario ...?

And this was last year I can't help but notice how things change in in a mere 365 days , Mason is
is now the same height I am and she has really matured this year I will have to take another pic like this this year too .

Sophie and I are trying to come up with the best menu , so far we will be making a big spinach artichoke dip , wedding soup , mini meatball panini's, kielbasa and cheese tray , deviled eggs , punch , sugar cookies , home made butter tarts and maybe a newel log cake ...to try something new?
That was a good lemon cake ....hmmm

Gotta have deviled egg, what do you love to have at a gathering ? please share your treats

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

This kitchen needs a conveyor belt

I spent the better part of yesterday making more sugar cookies again, I stocked up on flour and I was ready to roll, there is a problem with this recipe ... my family can barely wait to devour them as soon as they are iced , but these cookies need to dry for the icing to harden , so I find myself constantly protecting these gems ...how can I put out sugar cookies for our family Christmas Eve gathering if they are all gone.
I was finally able to do some designs for myself , I love this one it looks like it was knitted to me.

Cute Christmas trees.

Yummy snowflakes.

I admit I enjoy making these edible delights .

I ordered this little Nikon last Friday and I have yet to really give it a try , I have been so busy baking , perhaps today I will get it installed properly and I can give it a fair try , I am hoping for some great crisp shots , won't that be nice , I like an easy portable camera so I can easily take it everywhere.
Hope you are all ready for your holidays , don't let the stress get the better of you ....

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Never enough sugar cookies

I got a great deal on new sugar cookie cutters , I needed some new shapes , I also stocked up on some extra tips and couplers as well as disposable bags and a couple of new colours as well, kelly green and teal , so pretty.

Sophie enjoyed helping me out with a batch of sugar cookies , we wanted to make place card cookies for Christmas at Grandma's on boxing day {the day after Christmas}.

I gave Sophie a couple of her own to decorate as well , I ran out of flour so I was only able to make a half batch for now , she did a great job icing .

Look how cute this mitten cookie turned out that Sophie did .

And Mason's here was not lacking any icing that is for sure , love the stripes.

I love these Christmas light shaped cookies , in my signature colours of course.

What shall we make today ?, more mittens , snowmen ,Christmas trees and snowflakes too and ornaments , I am going to make a big batch of royal icing and make a bunch of colours and let the girls create their own masterpieces .

Monday, December 20, 2010

http://chriskauffman.blogspot.com/2009/12/sugar-cookie-recipe.html I have finally put a photo link on my side bar for those who want to try making sugar cookies , looks like this

Friday, December 17, 2010

Sugar cookie gifts

I got out all of my baking supplies and made a nice big batch of sugar cookies , it is a Christmas tradition for me to give sugar cookies with royal icing to the kids teacher and principals ...I can't break this tradition , they count on me, at least one of our principals husbands does I know that for sure.

I didn't do traditional Christmas colours , I never do , usually I do blue and white sometimes green , I guess that is traditional , but this year I went with pink an blue. For these stars I first lined with pink and then added the dots , let those set for 15 minutes and then I flooded them with the blue icing , you can't skimp on the royal icing , I need to get some more icing bag couplers and tips to have a variety of colours next time.
Let's call these fully loaded, just how the kids like ....I admit I don't even eat these , too sweet for me , its a good thing too because they are gone before you know it .

I wasn't feeling my cookie cutters , I wasn't as dedicated as I should have been , I will make another batch for the kids to decorate and I will put my heart into it , as well I need some new shapes , I have had these forever , bored!!! I'm thinking Christmas tree , a different leaner snow man and may mittens?? and I NEED a snowflake shape ,we'll see.