Last Friday I decided to take the day off and spend it in the kitchen, listening to Christmas music and making some holiday treats to enjoy with my family during the weekend. The last few weeks have been hectic, and this was truly a much needed break.
I am always amazed at how therapeutic cooking can be. The act of creating something that not only looks nice but tastes good (and will make people happy) is so rewarding. I cooked from early in the morning until about 6:30 p.m. in the evening when Hans showed up. By that time, I was just putting the final batch of mince pies in the oven and the house smelled of Christmas! I think I may do this every Friday from now on, at least for the rest of this festive month!
My first mince pies! The crust recipe is by Dutch food writer Yvette van Boven (in this month’s Delicious) and the filling is the cranberry mincemeat in Nigella Christmas. I made them a little larger than normal because I didn’t have a mini-muffin tin. They were made with my mother-in-law’s aluminum molds, which made them extra special.
A cranberry, cinnamon & cocoa swirl bread. A Dorie Greenspan recipe which I slightly tweaked. The crumb is tender and very delicate. So good! Especially toasted and slathered with real butter! I think it would make good French toast, too. Perhaps I may tweak this even more in the future!
Vin chaud made with Cabernet Sauvignon, dark rum, orange peel and warm spices. Make sure to use good wine. Delicious!