Christmas, Holidays

End of the Year Update & Holiday Baking

December 18, 2010

As the end of 2010 is fast approaching I thought I had better write a blog post before the year’s over and another one begins!

I have definitely been slipping on my post updating. I have just a few good excuses though. You see, I went crazy and decided to take 4 English courses and a Geography course this semester at SFU. It required lots of reading, and essay writing, then more essay writing and ended with a marathon whirlwind weekend of finals! 5 finals, one four day weekend. It was a lot of work and quite stressful – the only thing getting me through was the thought of Christmas baking around the corner! I am glad to be done so early, I finished on the 12 and most of my friends are still in stressed exam mode until the 22nd. I haven’t been completely too busy to bake, I’ll admit, but I have been too busy to sit down and write a blog post and take pictures of it. My time over the last couple months has been taken over with writing 8 page research essays and reading  attempting to read the long list of poems, novels and excerpts from all the class lists. But I am happy to report that It all went well, A’s and B’s and I can finally get into Christmas mode! Then back to the crazy school schedule in January. I even had the chance to bake for one of my final exams! It was a creative project in my World/Modern Lit class (I’m doing an English Major for my future teaching career). I decided to re-create a Jackson Pollock painting to represent the Abstract Expressionist movement. It was so much fun! I suggest doing a Jackson Pollock-esqu cupcake or cake for your next dessert! It was just cupcakes with icing, then melted and coloured white chocolate that you “splatter” Pollock style over all the cupcakes. I got an A =)


I went on a mad baking spree this week! I had been bookmarking all the recipes I wanted to make when I was finished school, you know, on my ‘study breaks.’ There were so many to choose from! I was especially excited that I had so many holiday events to attend where I could share all my baking, and I love to share my baking! Mainly because that means I won’t be stuck eating it all. Even if a few peppermint brownies went missing during my studying… I think it was the sugar boost that helped me get through it all!

I have also been lacking on the whole uploading pictures thing. I have an Iphone 3GS and It has made me terribly lazy at uploading ‘real’ pictures. It is just so simple to take a picture on your phone and upload it immediately to Facebook. I do have a regular point and shoot digital, but It’s a little worn and not quite the best camera. Especially for taking pictures of food. I’ve also moved out since September with Adam, and into a much tinier, very full (of all my baking supplies) kitchen. I no longer have my wooden island next to the window to take pictures of my baking in natural light so it makes it a little frustrating when I want to take some higher quality pictures for my blog. So for now I rely heavily on my Iphone. It takes pretty good pictures, except I dislike my kitchen lighting! It is so bright, and casts a shadow on everything I want to take a picture of. There is no angle in the kitchen where this doesn’t happen. I’ve resorted to using an old tv table infront of the large bay window to snap some shots. For now it works. I have also been wanting to get my blog made over, but I have yet to find someone to do it! I looked into a couple designers from other blogs, but lots of them only design for blog-spot and not word press. I feel like I need a new made over blog for some inspiration! As well, my Mac-book has decided to die on me. Well, the battery doesn’t charge anymore so I need to have it constantly plugged in, which would be fine, except that the fan started making a sad little noise and needs to be given some TLC which I have yet to do. So for now I use it in 5 minute intervals so the fan does not explode on itself. It is really quite annoying. I’ve basically commandeered my boyfriends computer for all my school work and recipe-looking-up needs. Hes had to deal with it, but does not complain when I make delicious dinners and baked goods for him =)

And As of lately..

Lainey helped my write essays..and watch movies on my laptop


We picked pumpkins!


It snowed up on campus! Resulting in one Snow day!


My Aunt Heather bought me these adorable ornaments from a craft fair, that were the first decorations on our christmas tree! I also have two other large cupcakes. Adam’s tree is being taken over by baked goods =)



I made a Bourbon Pecan Tart … that fell off the dashboard of our car driving to Adams parents =( There were a couple scraps that survived.


Adam and I went to a Canucks game – They won!


I also made some cute little baby shower cupcakes for my cousin Kristopher and his wife Shandi. They are having a baby girl! and they are naming her Penelope. So the cupcakes were themed ‘sweet pea penelope’ they were super cute and yummy!


So that’s my little update! Alright, now for some baking. These are all the recipes I have made for this years Christmas baking. All photos are taken with my Iphone and the links are underneath them! They are all quite delicious and I would definitely recommend you try one or two, or all of them!

Peanut Butter Blossoms recipe here:


I made Italian Pizzelle’s with my Nonna recipe here:



Salted Nutella Fudge recipe here:

Pistachio and Cranberry White Chocolate Bark recipe here:


Peppermint Truffle Brownies recipe for brownie base here:

and topping here ( I just made my go to brownie recipe and added peppermint extract to the ganache topping!)


I made Nanaimo Bars with my Auntie Sue, she is the Queen of Nanaimo  Bars! Recipe here:


We also made meat-free mince-meat tarts, just fruit filling store bought and made into little tarts with a cutout on top


I also made jam thumbprint cookies (no picture yet!) I got the idea here but used Dori Greenspan’s recipe: from her book Baking from my Home to yours I got as a gift a couple birthdays ago! I love it. I loved the idea of drizzling white chocolate on top.

I re-made the Bourbon Pecan Tart into mini Tartlets for christmas, so I could eat it this time! and less of a worry about it being dropped 😉 recipe here: I added chopped pecans to the tart before filling it and then topped it with a whole pecan.


Our freezer had to be taped shut! Too  many baked goods? Never!!


Hope you are all enjoying this time of year! Happy Baking

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