Jan 10, 2012

Holiday Baking Recap

Much of the holidays were spent in the kitchen, baking- just how I like it! Below is a collection of goodies I made throughout the break (thanks to Mom for your help with the Pine tarts!). Like last year I didn't buy any gifts for friends, rather they received a tin of home-made baking. While I was putting the tins together, my dad explained how his parents did the same home-made gift giving during Christmas with baked goods, sweets and fruit. It felt so great to hear that, I also felt like I was maintaining some sort of tradition and hearing that definitely made me feel connected to my grandparents. No, I did not make any attempt to healthy-up these baked goods- we only eat them once a year so why not enjoy white flour and sugar in all their glory? :D

Spiced Shortbread: nutmeg, cinnamon, mace, vanilla

Caribbean Bar: shortbread base, pine apple, coconut, cherries, rum

Banoffee Pie: digestive cookie base, condensed milk, bananas, cream

Chocolate Chip Cookie: semi sweet chocolate, milk chocolate, vanilla

Mint Bar: butter, chocolate, mint

Nanaimo Bar: butter, chocolate, custard

Savory Cookies: black pepper, aged cheddar, pickled jalapenos

Cupcakes: buttermilk, vanilla, toasted coconut

White Chocolate Chip Cookies: white chocolate, coconut, vanilla

Brownies: lots of chocolate!

Pine Tart: flaky pastry shell, pineapple, spice

Patties: chicken, thyme, scotch bonnet pepper

Thimble Cookies: butter, almonds, raspberry jam 

Jan 4, 2012

Christmas Card 2011

For 2011 I decided to do another hand-made card for Christmas. Owls are everywhere it seems so I thought this would be a nice opportunity for me to create my own little owl illustration. I think the card came together quite nicely, but I must start earlier this year (ie. start designing in November!). Goal for 2012 Christmas card: designed, printed and ready to mail out by Monday December 10th. Feel free to hit me up in November for a friendly reminder, I may need it :P

Jan 3, 2012


Pepperpot is the national dish of Guyana and traditionally served at Christmas time. This year I decided I would like to play a heavy hand in the Pepperpot-making (with help and supervision from my Dad of course!). Essentially it is a spiced meat soup/stew made with cassareep- the secret ingredient in Pepperpot. What's cool about Pepperpot is that it derived from the Amerindians in Guyana (First Nations ppl), but is eaten by all the different Guyanese ethnicities- one love! At home our Pepperpot is always made with lamb, and spiced with garlic, cloves, cinnamon, bay leaves, rosemary and chillies/bird peppers. I think I did pretty well this year, there was none left after boxing day :) Thanks for you help Dad! 

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year to all! I hope the holidays were filled with good cheer and even better eats! With the new year comes a fresh start, a clean slate for all of us to simply do better. Last year definitely had it's ups and downs, but I survived them :) I accredit my survival to two things- my friends/family and goal setting. Towards the end of 2010 I made career, health and personal goals for myself. I feel like the act of making those goals allowed for 2011 to be quite focussed and very productive. Some goals I did not achieve (that's what 2012 is for right?), while others I completed- such a great feeling! Goal setting allowed me to identify what it is that I want out of life and helped me to create a plan in achieving that life. Reaching certain goals in 2011 helped me to gain confidence in myself and my talent. I do believe I can create any opportunity for myself if I simply work hard enough- a major lesson to come out of 2011. I hope 2012 is a productive, meaningful and kick-ass year for everyone, stop talking and start DOING! Happy New Year!