A home-made cookie tastes great any day. But a Christmas cookie? There’s something about baking batches of cookies for friends and family that make them taste just a little bit better than a regular cookie.
This year I’m dusting off the stand mixer and making two of my favourites: the sugar cookie and the Linzer cookie. I’m also trying a new recipe out – any cookie that combines cocoa, pistachios and sea salt has to be good, right?
As most of the dough needs to chill for at least a few hours, I like to make my dough one day and then chill or freeze it until I’m ready to bake. It breaks up the overwhelming amount of work that making, baking and decorating cookies can seem to be if you try to do it all in one day. Careful planning and a glass of wine also seems to help the process.
I’m pumped to finish all my baking this week – they’ll be done just in time for friends and family to gobble them up this weekend.
Oh, and Bon Appetit has some great tips on making that perfect sugar cookie.
Winter has come over Southern Ontario suddenly, but I’m not quite ready for the frigid weather.
I’d rather be playing around in fallen leaves for a little bit longer.
All I need is some kick-ass boots and a piping-hot americano and I’m good to go.
All photos by the talented Meg.
Winter shoes. Is it too much to ask for them to be gorgeous and protect me against frostbite?
I don’t think so.
And if I can find it in my favourite colour combo? Even better.
This winter I vow to add a bit of shine and sparkle to my wardrobe. I can’t make the season go any faster, but I can find ways to enjoy it.
I’m obsessed with Christmas. I’m allergic to real Christmas trees.
No, really. I break out in hives. So does my mum. While she suffered though decorating a live tree when I was young, the advent of artificial trees was a blessing in my house. We’ve lived and died by them since I was six.
I may be allergic to pine trees, but I adore the smell of them. The spicy fir and woodsy scent instantly gets me into the holiday spirit.
My mum, while I was growing up, would buy pine-scented candles and room sprays just to indulge me. The only problem is that they smelled awful.
Now that I have my own house I put up my massive artificial tree in early November, and I burn pine-scented candles all through the holiday season.
And they smell like Christmas.
I’ve tried a lot of fir and pine tree scented candles over the years. And I needed to share my top three. Because it can look like the holidays, and sound like the holidays, but until it smells like the holidays I’m not in the mood.
Thymes’ Frasier Fir candle is hands down my most-loved candle. These guys smell like the real deal.
Bath & Body Works’ Fresh Balsam tends to be my go-to fragrance for holiday parties, because the scent is strong and you only need to burn the candle for a short time.
Indigo’s Icy Pine is a new purchase for me. I’ve been impressed with the quality of their other scents this year, and I’m loving the smell of this candle just sitting on my counter.
Maybe you’ve been healthy all fall. Hale and hearty, you make your morning runs, and haven’t missed a day’s work yet. I hate you.
I’ve not been that lucky. I’ve been fighting against THAT cold all fall.
Sniffles and sneezes aside, my never-ending cough has made my fall in love again with the perfect gem of a drink: the hot toddy.
It’s really autumn’s love note to the flu season.
I still make mine the way my dad makes them: a shot of brandy (don’t go fancy here), a dollop of honey, a third of a lemon and hot water to taste.
I love the original, but I’ve been branching out: I’ve nixed the honey for maple syrup and added fresh grated ginger and cayenne. I’m eyeing up local apple cider, that, once warmed through, will go fantastically with my homemade cinnamon sugar syrup and a shot of whiskey.
I’m even toying with peppermint schnapps and bourbon for the colder months. But that may be pushing the hot toddy too much.
It’s a refreshing change in the evening, and has the added benefit of soothing my barking cough. A win/ win, no?
Now excuse me, I must go fill up my kettle.
Black. It’s my favourite colour for my outfits and my home.
It can be edgy. It can be glamorous. It can be comforting.
I have secret fantasies going for a black kitchen. Maybe my next house.
Every room and outfit can benefit from a shot of black.
This fall I’m trying to sneak a shot of gold into my typically black-based outfits.
It’s a classic combination (and I’m not just saying that because it’s my alma mater’s colours).
Image 1, 2, 3, 4
Late last month, on one of the last warm and hazy days of August, Meg and I wandered to a local museum.
We threw some cava and extravagant heels in the car.
We wandered through fields and over ponds.
Some night you just need pretty dresses, girlfriends and laughter. A little sparkling wine never hurt anyone either…
Mini bottles of champagne are awesome – but have screw caps and not corks. No fancy openings to see here.
Photos by Megpie Photography
I love autumn because it allows me to indulge in my morning passion: coffee.
No other season defines it more for me than the fall. The crisp days, long layers, and wet fallen leaves just scream for a pot of scalding inky coffee.
I like my coffee strong, black and piping hot year-round.
When the temperature cools however, I like to raise the bar and brew my regular beans with a pumpkin pie spice blend.
Not only does the addition of nutmeg and cinnamon smell amazing in the early morning air, but it also kicks my taste buds into high gear.
How do you celebrate the turning of the season?
I’m spending an extended weekend in Montreal.
I’m moving my brother into his first apartment.
It’s bittersweet to help him move his life across provinces, but I adore this city.
The people are well dressed and friendly. The city is cultured and edgy.
In honour of la belle ville, and its joyful energy, I’m dancing around my hotel room to one of my favourite songs by a Montreal native (in my dreams I’m wearing these gorgeous Giuseppe Zanotti stilettos).
I’ve always been fascinated by surf culture.
In fact, I toyed with doing my PhD on it. Instead I went and got a job.
I still dream about spending my time researching surfer social structures (and learning how to ride a wave obviously).
This morning, however, I found a way to bring that feeling into my home in very glamorous way.
Who wouldn’t want a mirrored surfboard in their living room?
So while I won’t be waxing up my board anytime soon, I will be tackling this DIY during the frigid Canadian winter. It will be a great way to remind me that summer will return.
Anyone have a spare surfboard?