Christmas Traditions old and New!

The holidays are near erm..past (took me a while to finish this post up!) and I love this time of year! I must say most foodies MUST love christmas... Maybe all foodies except the ones trying to lose weight! *Grumble grumble* hihi! Holiday food is just as wonderful as autumn food - rich, flavorful, comforting...YUMMY. Speaking of which, I tried Kath's sugar plum oats the other day and I must say that I am in love! I modified it slightly (I always do) and I got this:

Some Sugar Plum Oats in a nice bowl...

A creamy bowl of oatmeal made from oats, ground up flax, oat bran, milk and water as well as a sincerely over ripe banana. The banana mushed up really well in the oatmeal, giving it a perfect marshmallow texture... or really, like I exclaimed on the spot; fried banana texture (the battered ones you get in Asian restaurants). As for the plums... I quartered them and fried them in some butter with of course brown sugar until the whole thing became a goey red caramel of plum goodness. The syrup actually caramelized upon cooling - a chewy soft "Kraft" like caramel! Mis-a-part pumpkin-butterscotch-almond-butter oats, these are a definitive fave!

OH! I almost forgot! I got the cutest oatmeal bowls for my birthday EVAR! We nicknamed them BOO and LOO (Bowl Of Oats and Lots Of Oats)!

BOO and LOO, from the best hubby in the world

I wanted to talk about my new tradition for christmas, that of making gift baskets out of homemade treats. It is getting more and more popular and I have an aunt and uncle in my family who especially appreciate that sort of thing. You know... the type that never eat at home and have pretty much everything they could ever want... My sweet grandma also loves these because she cannot cook as much as she used to. Enough said, they all rant and rave when I make my dear baskets! The ones I made this year included:
  • Gingerbread cut-outs
  • Fleur de sel Caramels
  • Orange flavoured Chocolate Truffles
  • Cranberry Chutney
  • Cinnamon pecans
  • Crunchy Buckwheat Granola
I would be happy to share recipes! Anyone else make baskets? What do you guys bake?

I was exceptionally spoiled this christmas as a foodie goes... A new more powerful laptop for blogging and a Kitchenaid Stand Mixer!!!! I was so excited! Unfortunately, I have not have had much time to use them - my baby girl has been extra fussy and we think she may be starting to teeth! I HAVE however made delicious chai flavoured cupcakes with chocolate icing... Unfortunately my hubby lost the pictures he took of them :(. For those of you who read French, I modified the recipe from Rose Madeleine's Lemon Grand Earl Grey Cupcakes. Everything she does looks sooo goood! . I want to try to flavor cupcakes with a coconut pepper chai I have on hand and will probably ice them with a coconut butter icing! Look for my comments about it later...

Anyway, I will try and blog more often now that the crazy holidays are gone. Hopefully my daughter's teething will come to pass and mommy won't be so busy anymore! Happy baking and happy New Year!!


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