January 12, 2012

It's never too late for Christmas bread

I know it's a little late for a holiday recap considering the holidays have been over for awhile now, but I have so many photos piling up that I wanted to share.

On the foodie front, I participated in another cookie exchange and made another four dozen cookies. This one was for Mike's class, so naturally the cookies had to be medical-themed. I made--with lots of help from Mike--male and female gingerbread doctor cookies.

I made the "scrubs" with royal icing, then drew on the pockets and stethoscopes with food colour markers. I piped the hair and faces with buttercream icing.

I also made snowflake cookies...just because they looked nice.

The cookies were presented at a cookie exchange with about 15 other people. Since there were so many people, everyone just took however many cookies they brought. That still meant we came home with four dozen cookies. I developed a bad habit of eating cookies with breakfast over the holidays (and every meal actually). That picture is only about half of what we came home with!

On Christmas Eve we spent the afternoon making tourtieres (meat pies) with Mike's Mom. The recipe she uses was her grandmother's and includes various ground meats, such as veal, pork and beef.

She then mixes in onions and spices and bakes the mixture in a pie shell. And she even cut some of the pie crust into holly leaves for the top.

The food gods were extremely good to us this Christmas and we were blessed with a Kitchen Aid StandMixer (amen!), a bread maker, a food mill, a mandolin slicer and lots of other cool kitchen things. My present from Mike was an espresso/cappuccino maker. He was considering getting a Tassimo single cup brewer, but in the end went for the do-it-yourself, classic espresso maker.

Having endless cappuccinos at your fingertips is a dangerous, dangerous thing...

I am one of those strange people who love fruitcake and look forward to eating it every Christmas. My parents bought a Pannetone loaf for holiday snacking and I loved eating it so much I decided to try making one myself. Pannetone isn't quite fruitcake, but is a sweet egg-type bread with candied fruit inside.

I got to test drive our beautiful, new stand mixer in the process. I don't know if these modern appliances are actually making us better cooks, but it sure is nice to let it do all the work.

Pannetone Loaf (recipe from Canadian LivingIngredients: 

1/3 cup raisins
1/4 cup candied mixed peel
4 1/3 cups flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup warmed milk
1 pkg active dry yeast
3 eggs
3 egg yolks
1 1/2 tsp grated orange or lemon rind (or lemon juice)
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
3/4 tsp salt
3/4 cup softened unsalted butter
(Full instructions)

If you like raisin bread or sweet breads (not to be confused with sweetbreads), then you will definitely like this as a holiday snack, or anytime bread really.

So much has been going on the last few weeks. You know how you have times of quiet and nothingness and then everything seems to happen all at once? That has been my life lately. I am overjoyed at some new changes though and can't wait to share. It's been a great start to the New Year so far.


  1. It's never too late to see a Christmas round-up. The medical themed cookies are so cute. And I think I need to try the panetonne recipe.

  2. The pannetone recipe is amazing. I kept ripping hunks of it off and smothering it with jam. Very addicting!


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