Tag Archives: recipes

Handmade Winter

30 Jan

It’s a cold and rainy day here in Northern Italy.  We had a very much anticipated snowstorm last night that had lots of local school kids crossing their fingers in their sleep for a day off school.  Unfortunately the snow turned to rain and the school buses left at their usual time.  There were quite a few disappointed kids heading to school this morning.

After months of mild and sunny days I have to get used to these lower temperatures and the need to wear scarves and winter coats.   In general I’m not a huge fan of the cold but I do love these chilly days where I get to hole up in my house with the fireplace on and putter around keeping myself busy sewing, baking and crafting.  I know the novelty will wear off pretty quickly so indulge me while I wax on about my love for these wintery days.

Today I wanted to tell you all about a great way that you can keep positive, creative, warm and busy through whatever kind of winter you’re experiencing.HANDMADE WINTER SMALL COVER

A few months ago some very talented artists, designers, bloggers, mothers and overall amazing ladies put together an incredible e-book called Handmade Winter with over 50 winter-inspired crafts, activities, recipes, entertaining ideas and more.  They’ve included everything from how to brew the perfect cup of tea to a maxi-skirt sewing tutorial to instructions on how to make yourself a leather and chain chevron necklace.  One of my favourite things about this book is the variation it offers.  There is something for everyone (husbands and kids included).

creative-mamas-winter-ebookThis book will help us all get through these long cold wintery months (especially thanks to the Warm Masala Chai recipe found on page 25/26!).

Handmade Winter costs $15 (US) and is easily purchased and downloaded on-line.

Oatmeal Molasses Bread

27 Feb

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Today’s recipe is one that reminds me of my childhood in Nova Scotia and the Saturday Farmer’s Market where we bought it.    It reminds me of drizzly mornings at our kitchen table with thick slices of this bread covered in a layer of butter (and sometimes even some molasses on top of that).  I’ve never found another bread that has the same moist and spongy consistency.  And one that seems to be loved by everyone who tries it.

Yes, I am this bread’s #1 fan.

This past week-end I made one big loaf of this Oatmeal Molasses Bread and two smaller loaves.  The large loaf was scoffed down in no less than 5 minutes and the other two I froze for a lunch with some good friends this week.  And just to let you know, once unfrozen this bread feels just as fresh as when it comes out of the oven.  This bread can do no wrong.

Here in Italy it’s almost impossible to get your hands on molasses so I have to use  my stash sparingly.   And I’m pretty sure there is no real substitute for it as well (if you know one please let me know).  I think it’s the key ingredient to making this bread so moist and…perfect.  Luckily my husband is traveling to America for work next week and molasses is on his grocery list of things to bring home.

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Cold weather baked goods

1 Feb

I am in absolute shock at the weather the last few days.  Living in Italy you don’t expect to get lots of snow and below zero temperatures.  But we have and apparently it’s going to continue for a while.  Which means I will be holed up in my house with the fire on and the oven ready at all times to bake various goodies.  Something about cold weather just makes me want to bake and make stews.  Here are a few things I’ve made over the last few days…I used my grandmother’s recipe for the lemon curd.  It’s just so good.  You could eat it by the spoonful.  I do actually. I used some of this batch of curd to fill a coconut cake with boiled icing.  It was good.  But very lopsided.  I have some issues with my oven and it’s hotspots.I made these yesterday evening and didn’t notice my son eating them by the handful.  Let’s just say bedtime was very wild last night.  He kept saying “Mama, these look like REAL cookies!”.  And all the other thousands of cookies I’ve made him?  What did they look like? Get shortbread recipe here.

Recipe for Lemon Curd:

3 eggs
1/2 cup butter
3/4 cup white sugar
1/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice

Melt butter in double boiler.  Add sugar and well beaten eggs.  Combine and cook, stirring constantly for 5 minutes.  Add lemon juice and cook another 3 minutes or until smooth and thick.  CHILL and store in glass jar.  Enjoy!

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