holidays

chocolate cookies with sea salt, rosemary & orange zest

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i hope you all out there are savoring the season. we've been having subzero temps here in minnesota, and right now, i don't mind a bit. any excuse to stay inside by the christmas tree is fine with me. i can almost see the -20° windchill outside, sparkly grains of snow blowing around like dust.

i recently mixed up some "grown up" christmas cookies. i had erin's post from last year filed away, and it proved to be just right. i'd recommend choosing your favorite chocolate cookie recipe (this one has great reviews), omit any add-ins, dip in melted chocolate, and garnish. chocolate cookies are usually too rich for me, but i loved the brightened flavor with sea salt (always my favorite), rosemary, and orange zest. perfectly seasonal. 

rest assured, plenty of batches of chocolate chip have been baked, and last night we made chocolate peanut butter. some traditions are just too good to mess with. 

wishing you blankets and scarves and many cups of tea. until next time.

merry merry!

christmascard2012-s i wanted to share with you our 2012 christmas card. i chose to go without a photo this year (GASP!) and instead keep it simple with our silhouettes, and a festive red bow for kane. after a back and forth with vistaprint and a late night tying tiny red bows, i finally got them out this week. (please send any and all printer recommendations my way!) christmastree i intend to spend the next several days surrounded by family and friends, lots of cookies and eggnog, with clear mornings and sparkly nights. wishing you & yours a very merry christmas and a happy start to 2013! it's going to be a good one, i can tell.

terrain

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i finally had a chance to visit terrain last week, and it was nothing short of amazing. christmas greens and berries and garlands and found objects and candles and soaps and spices and ornaments and any kind of cute gifty object you can imagine. i think this might be the best time of year to visit… of course, i might be biased.  i will have to return in the spring! and, you MUST go if you have the chance.

giving thanks & pumpkin donuts


happy almost thanksgiving! i hope that you are not long to your destination, and that "home for the holiday" is in your future. it's fun to think of the many homes all over america, filled with the aromas of baking pies and sweet potato casseroles. doors opening and loved ones arriving, fires going and welcomes to be had.

on the chance that your thoughts have been focused on dinner tomorrow and nothing else, i have a breakfast idea to share with you. (and, i have to squeeze in the last of my pumpkiny recipes before things around here turn to christmas!)

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i present, baked pumpkin donuts:
(adapted from here)


1/4 cup butter, softened
2 eggs
1/2 cup canned pumpkin
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup milk

2 cups flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking soda

preheat oven to 375 degrees.

in a large bowl, beat together butter and brown sugar until well blended. add eggs, pumpkin, and milk.

in a separate bowl, mix together flour, baking powder, pumpkin pie spice, salt, and baking soda.

add dry ingredients to wet, and beat with an electric mixer on low speed until mixed. spoon the mixture into a ziploc bag and snip the corner. pipe into greased donut pan (or make 3" circles onto a well-greased baking sheet).

bake for 12-15 minutes, or just until golden (and a cake tester comes out clean).

cool on a rack, and dust with powdered sugar. pair with a mug of coffee if you like. and then tie on your apron and get cooking… it's thanksgiving after all!


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here's to a blessed day for you and your loved ones.
happy thanksgiving.

recent christmas snaps

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+ trimming the tree, eggnog in hand

+ the tree, decked out in lights and sparkles, is the star of the show

+ sending christmas cards

+ enjoying a cozy night at home

+ pancakes on a weekend morning

+ the tree's newest ornament from an exchange i did with friends - love the little mixer!