Wednesday, November 18, 2009

UtHC Bulletin: Cookies, Conditions, & Cupcakes

If you're looking for a recipe, I'm over at Simple Mom giving a recipe on How to Host a Memorable Holiday Cookie Swap! We're no stranger to the cookie swap here at Under the High Chair and today I'm dishing my ideas and tips in a simple step-by-step format to help you get the jump on your Christmas baking.
I'm a big fan of this social event with a practical side, although with our big move happening in just over two weeks (yikes!), may have to forgo my annual cookie swap this year. Oh well, good thing I've been invited to one already; I can at least make that happen.

Mateo (left) & Noah

On a more personal note, our little family sincerely wants to thank everyone who sent prayers, thoughts and get-well wishes over the last week. Our youngest, Mateo, had major surgery to correct an ongoing medical condition and that was tough on all of us. Although he had been on a waiting list for surgery, it was still a shock to get the call (on a Monday) to say "It's on." (Friday). He made it through just fine with no complications, being the little trooper that he is, and in retrospect the whole ordeal was probably slightly harder on mama!

After 3 1/2 days in the hospital, he and I are home and focusing on healing, rest & relaxation. At times like these, it obviously important to pare down one's schedule and focus all attention on the family.

Even if it means missing very. exciting. events. such as this one..

Well, I was going to see you there, but, to reiterate what I just stated above, not even the promise of thousands of cupcakes can take me away from my little boy. And you know how much I love cupcakes.

Cupcake Camp Montreal is happening this Sunday!!

Proceeds from this one-of-a-kind fundraiser will go towards Kids Help Phone/Jeunesse, J'écoute and massive sugar highs will go to all who attend this sweet event.

Do not miss this chance to bake for a good cause! Visit the Cupcake Camp Montreal website to see how you can get involved by contributing cupcakes or follow them on Twitter for regular updates.

Photo by Lydia

My love affair of the Tonka bean is such that I have been known to ship them to my U.S. food bloggers on more than one occasion. I just can't do with out tonka in my kitchen and feel badly for our neighbors to the south, where tonka beans are banned (yes, they can be toxic if consumed in large doses, but then so can nutmeg).

My friend Lydia, from The Perfect Pantry, was the recipient of such a gift recently. As usual, she posted a clear and concise article about the tonka bean and compiled a nice tidy list of recipes.
Visit her blog for a little tutorial on this amazing spice, including where to buy it online and featuring my recipe for Spice Snaps with Tonka.


Lydia (The Perfect Pantry) said...

Thank you so much for introducing me to tonka beans! My family will be tasting tonkas in many forms during the holiday season this year, thanks to you. (And if any of my Canadian relatives are reading this comment, you know what you can put in my stocking this year!)

Nutmeg Nanny said...

Glad to hear your son is home and resting up nicely. It was also interesting learning about tonka beans. I don't think I have ever seen them. They sound really interesting. Hopefully I can get my little hands on some.... :)

Unplanned Cooking said...

I'm happy to hear your little guy is at home recovering. And I like your cookie swap article. I've been meaning to host one, but it seemed to confusing to figure out how :).

Jan (Mixing Bowl Kids) said...

I hope you and your son find the restful time that you need.

I love cookie swaps and can't wait to read your tips.

Cookie baker Lynn said...

So glad Matteo made it though the surgery OK. Is your stress level coming down a bit now?

kickpleat said...

I'm glad to hear all is well with your family. I've never heard of tonka beans before, but now will be on the lookout.

Cafe Novo said...

I wonder if there is a similar cupcake event in Toronto? I'll have to look into it, I love the concept and what a great cause!

Glad to hear the healing and relaxing is going well (as relaxed as you can be 2 weeks before a move!).


Abby said...

So glad your little one is a-okay! And I'd never heard of Tonka beans until I started reading food blogs. One day I'll find some around here!

Cheryl Arkison said...

Hang in there, and take strength from that gorgeous boy of yours!

Jennifer Jo said...

I'm glad to hear your little one is doing well---what an ordeal!

I've been to cookie swaps, but I've never really enjoyed them---seemed like I always got mediocre cookies. Not wanting to waste my Christmas calories on so-so desserts, I prefer to make several of my favorites. Maybe I'm weird...

My belated birthday present came in the mail yesterday: The Food Companion. So I read your little introduction about Tonka Beans and then promptly looked them up. I love this book, but the only problem is that I'm now aching to taste them.

Aimée said...

Hi Lydia- Good idea for a stocking stuffer...

Hi Nanny- We're glad to be home, thank you!

Hi Jennifer- Hope this will help you get on your way. Cookie swaps are so much fun!

Hi Jan- Thanks, we're trying, but it's hard to do with a move & Christmas breathing down our necks!

Hi Lynn- Yes it is, now it's just a different kind of pressure--for the move!

Hi Janette- Oh, you must track some down, they are amazing!

Hi Liz- Hmm, I believe this is a worldwide event, for all different causes...

Hi Abby- Thanks! You can find them online, too.

Hi Cheryl- Thanks so much...

Hi Mama JJ- I hear you. People can get lazy at swaps, coming to get' not just to 'give'.:(

The Food Companion sounds delightful!

Melissa @BakingfortheBoys said...

I've already hit SimpleMom and really enjoyed your article.

Glad to hear your baby is resting up and recovering. I'll be thinking about the two of you.

Tonka beans...never had one! I'll have to go over to Perfect Pantry to read all about it!

Valerie Harrison (bellini) said...

A speedy recovery to Matteo. Rest for the entire family is called for. The cupcake event would have been awesome but maybe next year!!!

Cheri said...

Your boys are adorable. :) I am so glad that Mateo was able to have surgery done and that everything went so well. I can't imagine how scary that was for you. Hope you are able to get in lot's of cuddles and that Mateo heals quickly.

Deborah said...

I am glad all went well and that you are all home!

Julia said...

Best wishes on a speedy recovery! I can't imagine how tough it has been for you.
P.S. Tonka beans sound so cool. Wow. I'm on it.

Ingrid_3Bs said...

Hope your babyboy is up and running about in no time!

I'm gonna be looking into those tonka beans. How nice of you to send Lydia some who thoughtfully shared some info on them.

Barbara said...

So pleased to hear your son came through with flying colors and is doing well.

The cupcake camp sounds like fun and a great idea...sorry you will miss it.
I used to go to cookie swaps- not lately, though. Think my peers have all gotten older and don't do so much baking anymore. They were such fun and you got so many great new recipes.


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