Christmas trees should come with a cage.
Forget garland. Forget lights. Give me a protective wall!
Jake destroyed our tree. He threw a train at one of the branches and smashed my favorite ornament. To dust. My beloved bauble was a sentimental souvenir from our very first vacation (sans kids).
It symbolized life before diapers.
We do have smash-proof decorations.
But honestly, I thought we were past that. Last year the boys could care less about the Christmas tree! We were safe. Besides, they were obsessed with wearing their Christmas stockings and racing around the house like maniacs. So, I got rid of the decorations (they were ugly anyway).
File this under mom fail #271.
The kitchen however, is my safe place at the moment. Both mentally and physically.
Care for a candid tour?
This is a vintage tin of Amaretti cookies.
Inside you’ll find chocolate, coffee, raspberry, and chocolate-rum. Each cookie is individually wrapped in colorful paper. So festive. Their texture is soft and cake-like, different than traditional crunchy Amaretti cookies.
I plan to reuse the tin for gift tags, pens, stamps, ribbon etc. I holiday in style.
Christmas in my kitchen would not be complete without this book: Nigella’s Christmas.
My mom bought it for me years ago and I love leafing through the pages for festive inspiration. This book is authentic to Nigella’s take on the holidays. And that’s what I like. Yes, you will find typical Christmas fare but also included are unconventional recipes like glazed sticky ribs, red beet orzotto, and choc-chip chili.
We have meat sauce for Christmas dinner, ok?
The above picture is Nigella’s iconic ‘Spruced up Vanilla Cake.’ It’s delicious.
Inspired by the book, I made Nigella’s Antioxidant Fruit Salad.
My version is slightly different from the original but it’s a welcome boost during the season of excess. I combined pink grapefruit, cubed mango, pomegranate, frozen blueberries, a squirt of lemon juice and… passion fruit! Exclamation point necessary because passion fruit is my MOST favorite fruit in all the land.
And we can’t get it here in NY.
Or if you can, it’s a million dollars. Celia sent me a stash. Bless her heart.
This holiday season, say it with cereal!
Here’s a batch of my favorite granola with a couple of tweaks.
- 4 c. oats
- 4 c. puffed rice cereal
- 1/2 c. melted coconut oil
- 1/2 c. honey
- 1 capful of almond extract
- Preheat oven to 300 F.
- Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Melt coconut oil and honey together. Add extract.
- Mix everything together to combine.
- Bake for 25-35 minutes.
- Cool on sheet pan before storing.
*Tip: stash cooled granola in ziploc bags or containers and freeze. Defrost when ready to use. This can be done up to one month (or more) in advance. Great for holiday presents.
Remember my vanilla sugar?
For gifts, I’m pairing it with Harney & Sons teas. I’ve packaged each set in cellophane with decorative ribbon. And for fun, I add a twig of pine or glitter leaves for visual interest. I’m actually not that crafty by the way. I have a thing for gift wrap.
FYI- My craft store, Michael’s has a fun selection of holiday decorations for $1+. I went crazy one year and stocked up on all kinds of stuff. My supply comes in handy for when inspiration strikes.
Patience required when wrapping.
What’s going on in your kitchen this holiday season?
*Joining the community over at Fig Jam & Lime Cordial for In My Kitchen, a monthly series featuring fabulous kitchens from around the world!