Saturday, December 03, 2011

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas


That's probably the most overused blog post title in December, but since this quick update is really just a handful of iPhone photos strung together, it IS all about the visuals of the season.

Above is our buffet, with a few Pinterest-inspired centerpieces that were easy and affordable. How awesome is Pinterest for party planning and inspiration?!

And I love our simple twig tree, bare except for a few felt ornaments courtesy of Ikea.


Tourtiere happened this week, many of them. I even turned some of the pie crust and filling into hand pies for party appetizers. They also work pretty great for Noah's school lunches.


I got my Christmas present early. Ahh. A fantastic new Le Creuset flagship store opened at my local shopping mall. It's the first of its kind in Quebec and I was fortunate enough to be invited to the press opening.

Thanks to a gift certificate, I choose a new kettle - the 1.7L Whistling Tea Kettle in Cherry red, to leave with me. It already looks right at home in my kitchen. Then again, most anything from that store would...


Homemade mincemeat also was chopped, simmered, and jarred this week. Tarts soon followed and it finally feels like Christmas.


This year my annual cookie swap may have topped all proceeding events, with sponsors, press, a successful fundraiser, and, of course, stacks of beautiful homemade cookies. Here's the recap on Simple Bites, and if you're in the Montreal area, watch CTV news at 6 on Sunday, December 11 for the story.


The first snow came and went, and hasn't been seen since. If feels a little odd as we're December already, but getting into the winter coat and boots isn't so easy with a six-month-pregnant belly, so I'm not wishing for snow just yet.


One of the most fun holiday treats this year has to be these Peppermint Marshmallow Kisses. We've been popping them into hot cocoa and our mouths! Come to think of it, there isn't a single one left.

To make them for yourself, take my basic marshmallow recipe and replace the vanilla with 1 teaspoon peppermint extract. Add a few drops of red food coloring but do not mix it in. Fill a pipping bag with a #12 tip (or your favorite) and pipe kisses onto a greased parchment paper. Sprinkle with crushed candy cane and allow to set for at least 6 hours. Dust with powdered sugar and store in an airtight container for up to two weeks.


It just wouldn't be Christmas without gingerbread. We devoted a recent PED day of Noah's to making, rolling and baking nearly 10 dozen cookies. It was epic fun and they did a great job.


Noah (now 6) and Mateo (4 in Feb) are both such pros in the kitchen now. I actually really relied on them for cutting and rolling the dough while I took care of baking and cooling the cookies.


The next day we worked on frosting, that sweet, sticky task. My basic recipe for both dough and royal icing can be found here. Shaina's also just posed a fun tutorial on the many variations of the gingerbread cookie.


Snow falling on trees; these won't last long.


Stockings have been hung, and my current obsession with cardinals leaked onto our personalized felt Christmas stockings. Notice the pink one for Baby Girl?


Lastly, Pumpkin Challah has been made and frozen for toasting on Christmas morning or perhaps lending itself to French Toast.

What is Christmas looking like in your home?

15 comments:

Isabelle said...

ok, I didn't even know that Le Creuset tea kettles existed. Now I want one too. :-)

I love reading your blog.

Chocolate Shavings said...

The pumpkin challah looks delicious Aimee - happy holidays to you and your family!

Cheri said...

Hmmm... I may just have to stop by your place for Christmas this year. Everything looks so warm and cozy! :) Unfortunately there won't be much decorating for us this year. But posts like this definitely get me into the Christmas spirit. Merry Christmas Aimee!

Jennifer Jo said...

You are so far ahead of the game, Aimee---I'm impressed. And those peppermint marshmallows piqued my interest. Yum.

Allison Anderson said...

You will love that kettle! I've had one for years (blue) and it makes the best tea :)

Melissa said...

I love the felt ornaments. Merry Christmas!

Heather Hands said...

Hello, I just stumbled upon your blog and I have been perusing your posts. I am also a fellow Canadian, but now living in Seattle. I absolutely adore Montreal, and I've told my husband that if we move back to Canada, it's got to be there. btw - what do you think of the Le Creuset kettle? I think I'm going to splurge. We have an awesome Le Creuset outlet store in Seattle. I got a wok for $140 originally $250. Anyways, just wanted to say that I like your blog.
Cheers,
Heather

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Rochelle said...

you've inspiried me to get my christmas butt in gear! Thanks

Scattered Mom said...

You have been so busy! I was going to make meringue kisses, but I like your marshmallow ones better and will have to try them. And, I would be thrilled to visit a Le Creucet (sp?) store. One of the dishes was on my list too.

Vivian @ EATandLOVE said...

The fact that your photos come from your iPhone did not keep them from being amazing! I think I will be making similar marshmallows for Valentine's day. thanks for the inspiration.

Anonymous said...

Oh Amy! I want to hear how did your Christmas go? Miss your posts!

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