Friday, 21 December 2012

/ / Pause Button / /

Life holds no sweeter thing than this- To teach a little child the tale most loved on earth
And watch the wonder deepen in his eyes
The while you tell him of the Christ Child's birth; The while you tell of shepherds and a song,
Of gentle drowsy beasts and fragrant Hay
On which that starlit night in Bethlehem
God's tiny Son and His young mother lay.
-Adelaide Love
A Merry Christmas to You!

Monday, 17 December 2012

Christmas Creations

Wax paper makes for a much better surface when rolling out cookies. No extra flour which makes for more tender cookies, also easier to lift to place on cookie sheet.

Slit cookies 1 1/2 inches on bottom of heart and pull apart a bit to form the wings.
This recipe is from a Woman's Day Magazine, which I've held onto from a few years back.


  • 1 stick(s) (1/2 cup) butter, softened
  • 1 cup(s) sugar
  • 2 teaspoon(s) baking powder
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon(s) pure almond extract
  • 1 2/3 cup(s) all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup(s) cornstarch
  • Decoration: white of 1 large egg, slightly beaten, sliced almonds and sugar

  1. Beat butter, sugar and baking powder in a large bowl with mixer on low speed to blend. Increase to medium-high and beat until fluffy. Beat in egg and almond extract. On low speed, beat in flour and cornstarch until just blended.
  2. Divide dough in half. Shape each portion into a 1-in.-thick disk. Wrap individually and refrigerate at least 4 hours or until firm enough to roll out.
  3. Heat oven to 350°F. Have ready a 2 1/2-in. heart-shape cookie cutter.
  4. On lightly floured wax paper with lightly floured rolling pin, roll 1 disk (keep other refrigerated) to 1/8 in. thick. Cut out hearts with cookie cutter. Slide paper onto a baking sheet; freeze 5 to 10 minutes until firm and easy to handle.
  5. Peel hearts off paper. Place 1 in. apart on ungreased baking sheet. Cut a 11/2-in.-long slit at bottom of hearts. Spread apart slightly to form wings. Brush hearts with egg white. Attach almonds as shown, pressing down gently. Sprinkle with a little sugar. (Reroll scraps only once or cookies will be tough.)
  6. Bake 8 to 10 minutes until just golden brown at edges. Remove to wire rack to cool. Repeat with remaining dough.

Holly is preparing a crown for the school Christmas Pageant.

Saturday, 15 December 2012

Fields of Frost and Snow

 O! unto what do my eyes display?
 But a morning drive, that was visually enhanced with the beautiful touch of frost and snow.
 It was hard to keep my eyes on the road this morning. With the white against the blue skies, it just looked so elegant.
 Thank you Father, for Your beauty all around, drawing me closer to You.

 Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works. Hebrews 10:24. I read this while reading my bible today. A perfect thought for everyday, but especially this time of year, don't you think? And with what has been all over the news lately, the verses that  proceed that and follow bring some peace and hope. Hebrew 10:23 Let us hold tightly without wavering to the hope we affirm, for God can be trusted to keep his promise. v.25 and let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near.

Monday, 10 December 2012

Dundee Cake

In honor of my Scottish heritage, I thought I would give a go at baking a traditional Scottish cake, called the
Dundee Cake
I recently learned about it, from a British magazine. It made me think of the all traditional Fruit cake, but I love the look of the decorative almonds on top. I did some collecting of different takes on the recipe, and came up with my own version. And so I think it will make a nice addition to the Christmas baking being eaten and given as  gifts. Oh ya, one more thing, I did cut costs on different ingredients.

¾ cup margarine

¾ cup brown sugar

3 tb. Marmalade

3 eggs

1 cup flour

1 ½ tsp baking powder

½ tsp salt

¼ cup ground almonds

1 heaping tsp. mixed spice ~~To make your own~~1 Tb. cinnamon, 1 tsp. coriander, 1 tsp. nutmeg, ½ tsp. ginger, ¼ tsp. allspice, ¼ tsp. cloves. Bottle up to use.

½ cup each of: currants, sultanas, chopped dates, glace cherries-halved

1 tb. molasses

1 tsp. rum extract

2 tsp. cream

½ cup blanched almonds

~~A Note about Blanched Almonds~~ I’ve been able to find whole natural almonds for a really good price compared to the blanched almonds that are sold in the baking isle. So I figured out an easy method to blanching my own almonds to get them pretty and pale looking for the top of this cake. Just bring about 2 inches of water to boil in a small pot. Place the almonds in, to boil for about 1-2 min. Remove with a slotted spoon into a bowl of cold water. The almond skin can now be easily pinched off.


Method à Preheat the oven to 300 degrees. Grease an 8 inch round spring form pan. Beat the margarine and brown sugar, until light and fluffy. Add the marmalade. Add the eggs one at a time, beating in well after each one. Sift in the dry ingredients, and add the almonds. Stir to combine. Next, stir in the dried fruit. And then the molasses, extract, and cream. Once this is all well mixed, spoon into the pan, smooth the surface to place the blanched almonds in circles, all pretty like.

Bake for 1 ½ to 2 hours, until the cake is well risen and a toothpick comes our clean, when inserted into the cake middle. Cool for 10 min. before removing from pan.

Saturday, 8 December 2012

Baking and Making Bunting

My Holly, Lake, Violet, and Honey were in the Parade this year!

Well the time of Christmas celebrations has begun. And to be honest I always feel like its pushed so soon in the beginning but then I get right into and miss it when its over. So last year I told myself just get into it right away and it helped a bit. But I guess the part that bothers me the most is the commercialism of Christmas. That's where I always notice it being shoved at me the most. Buy buy buy. I know that I don't need to "buy" into that but it still bothers me that that is the way society goes because of the commercialism.
 Part of my and my families stand against the buy buy buy culture of the eh hem "Holiday Season" is that we do just the opposite and keep spending to a minimum.
I love the bunting I see in many of the British magazines I look at. So I made some in Christmasy colours. This was made from cast off shirts, and pyjama pants. I stitched them into triangles and sewn onto a long piece of yarn.

I finished of my week with a bunch of baking of six loaves of bread, a batch of banana strawberry muffins, and I used up the last of my pumpkin with a pumpkin pecan bunt cake.
I plan on doing some baking for gifts and more sewing for that purpose as well.
Balancing this time of year is tricky, but when I allow myself the same amount of time in the morn. to spend with the Lord but allow myself to spend less time on the things that are not as important. Like the mess in the corner can wait, I'm making a gift. The dishes can wait we are doing advent. This works out so much more pleasantly. Because I don't want to be too stressed out to enjoy the true reason for this season.