It’s officially December.
This means Christmas baking, Christmas trees, Christmas lights.
And – it’s actually snowing outside right now. For real.
Christmas season has begun! Yesterday Adam and I ventured into Squamish to find our first ‘real’ christmas tree! I’ll post some pictures tomorrow.
While I’m going to be posting new baking recipes for this year I thought I would start off by sharing some hits from last years baking.
1. Salted Almond Butter & Pretzel Cups (wheat-free, dairy-free, vegan)
2. Gingerstamp Cookies
3. Dark Chocolate Fruit & Nut Bark (wheat-free, dairy-free, vegan)
4. Chocolate Mint Sables
5. Wheat-Free, Dairy-Free Chocolate Stuffed Chocolate Chip Cookies (vegan)
6. Almond Butter Blossom Cookies (peanut-free)
Lots of American stores have found themselves North of the border lately. Vancouver has welcomed Victoria’s Secret, Forever 21, West Elm, Anthropologie, Target and Crate&Barrel.
First a CB2 opened on Robson Street in downtown Vancouver. It’s a smaller, limited selection of Crate&Barrel items more suited for downtown living.
A full fledged Crate&Barrel store opened in Oakridge Centre a little while ago and Adam and I visited it for the first time this past weekend. I hadn’t actually been to Oakridge Centre for quite a long time!
The store is quite big and loaded full of gorgeous home decor, furniture and accessories. Including – my favourite – kitchen items!
A few of these things I have at home, and a few items I would love to have. Crate&Barrel has a large assortment of cooking and baking ware, barware, and entertaining accessories. Perfect for the cook or baker and hostess on your list.
I also love Crate&Barrel’s wrapping/gift boxes. Unlike stores that charge you for gift boxes they offer a huge selection of boxes free of charge, and at CB2 they had a DIY Wrapping Station right in the store.
1. Baked for Santa Cookie Stamp (10.54)
2. Ruffled Pie Dish (26.45)
3. Le Parfait Jars (7.89-21.15)
4. Le Creuset Cherry French Dutch Ovens (198-430)
5. Pro Line Nonstick Loaf Pan (19.82)
6. Home Made and Hand Made Linen Dishtowel (6.95 in store)
Merry Christmas Floursack Dishtowel (7.89)
7. Mini Ramekins (2.59 each)
8. Best Balloon Whisks (10.54-17.17)
9. Clear Silicone Baking Cups (13.19)
10. Acacia Pedestal (52.96)
I thought I would share some holiday gift guides for the upcoming Christmas season – here’s the first one!
Of course being a cook and baker I love kitchen gadgets.
My kitchen counters are full of ‘em. One of my favourite brands is KitchenAid. (note – I’m not getting paid to promote KitchenAid or using affiliate links, I just have a lot of their products and thought I would share some of my favourites for the foodie on your list)
About 6 years ago I received my very first KitchenAid mixer. I had just begun my baking blog and venturing into the world of cooking and baking. I’ve said it before, my dad was one of my inspirations for cooking. He himself was an amazing Italian cook, having owned and operated a few restaurants in downtown Vancouver when he was younger. It had only been our fourth christmas without him.
I had wanted a mixer for a while, using only my small hand beater for whipping up frostings and cakes. Christmas Eve morning I was making dessert for dinner when my brother and mom came into the kitchen.
Nick saw me using my small hand mixer to bake and said “Don’t you have anything better to use?” jokingly. I replied “HA – yeah if I could afford a KitchenAid! Are you going to buy me one?” sarcastically. Knowing full well that they were a pretty expensive investment and I had no intentions of getting one anytime soon.
Little did I know.
Later that night at my Zia’s we were opening gifts after our Feast of Seven Fishes and my brother brought in a large wrapped box and said it was for me.
I unwrapped it only to see KitchenAid on the box. It was my very first stand mixer. A shiny black KitchenAid Artisan mixer.
I cried. Seriously. I was shocked that my mom and brother bought me something so huge. I think I was the only 20 year old who cried over a small appliance.
Since then I upgraded my mixer to the Professional 5 Pro Series with the lift bowl. It’s bigger and more powerful. However, for a first stand mixer the Classic or Artisan are great.
There are lots of great attachments as well. Personally I have the Ice Cream Maker, Pasta Roller and Grater.
Another great investment is a Food Processor. It’s not a blender – it’s much different. I use mine almost daily for slicing, making pie crusts and fillings, pureeing and chopping. I have the 7-cup, but could definitely use a 9-cup.
I also have a KitchenAid Blender (not pictured) that I love to use for smoothies and soups.
Perfect for any Foodie on your list this Christmas.
1. KitchenAid Pasta Roller Accessory (199.99)
2. KitchenAid Ice Cream Scoop (8.99)
3. KitchenAid Ice Cream Maker Attachment (79.99)
4. KitchenAid 7-Cup Food Processor (99.99)
5. KitchenAid Rotor Slicer Attachment (39.99)
6. Beater Blade for KitchenAid Lift Bowl (29.95)
(not pictured) KitchenAid 5-Speed Blender (189.99)