Friday, December 15, 2017

This Week

What a week it’s been. Monday I successfully veganized a family favourite cookie recipe. This was my second attempt. The first batch didn’t turn out exactly as I wanted and it really bothered the perfectionist in me, so out went the cookies (sad, I know). Then I did a little research, wrote up a new recipe and baked a new batch. When they were ready, I broke a piece off one cookie to taste the results and... HOLYFRESHLYBAKEDCOOKIES, I DID IT! I danced around the kitchen with joy. Don’t I rock? Yeah, I rock. All of this effort is for my younger daughter, so she can enjoy them like everyone else when she’s here on Christmas day. They are truly made with love.



Tuesday was another great day because we took a drive to IKEA !!! *squee* I love going there even if I don’t buy anything. But we did pick up a few things on this visit. Our goal was to finish our dining area and have it ready for Christmas day for the family gathering. So we lugged a few things home and this is where we’re at now.


Like every other room this one is also in need of artwork and pictures on the wall. But we’re going to wait until we find things we like and things we can afford. Regardless, I think it’s a good start for now.


Then later in the week there was more rejoicing when this Christmas card arrived in the mail:


OHMYGOSH... Isn’t it beautiful?

Getting Christmas cards in the mail is one of my favourite things. Getting one from a blogging pal is even more fun. And getting one from a blogging pal who actually painted this gorgeous winter scene herself is absolutely mind-blowing. It’s from blogging friend, Rain, who I think is superwoman. You should see all the things she bakes/creates/grows/makes/knits/paints/draws/cooks, right down to homemade cheese. Go visit her here if you haven’t already. I am convinced she secretly wears a super hero cape (that she made). I just need some proof.

Thank you, Rain!


Art. I’ve done some of that, too. Finding time for drawing has been a real struggle this month but that's the way it goes this time of year. Here are a few I've managed to get done:





I never got around to making cookies yesterday. The day got away from me. I don’t mind since I’ve still got enough time from now until Christmas to finish all my baking. I did, however, make my marinara sauce between coats of paint and it came out great. The sauce and the paint (haha). Click here for the recipe.

And I think that’s a wrap for this week. Have an awesome weekend, everyone!

44 comments:

  1. What a sweet polar bear in that Santa hat!

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  2. Cutest polar bear ever!

    Waiting for art work you love is so much better than just slapping something up to make the room look 'done'! Good for you.

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    1. We certainly think so. And with freshly washed and painted walls, we're not putting any holes in them until it's worth it! :)

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  3. Adorable! When will you make your own Christmas cards?

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  4. My wife would really like that polar bear one

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  5. Hi Martha :) You're so very welcome! I'm happy you enjoyed the card :) It was made with love. :)) And thanks for the sweet words. I think the only cape I want lately is an invisible one to hide away! No, things are looking up. :)

    You definitely rock in the veganizing department. What kind of cookies are those? They remind me of Italian cookies I had once, not too sweet? Your dining room is really great! Oh my gosh, everything looks SO CLEAN...I'm envious lol! Love the little Santa on the buffet! :) You are BRAVE to go to Ikea this close to Christmas my dear. You wouldn't catch me there with a million foot pole in December! :)

    Your drawings are really nice. Is that you drawing in the first photo? :) Oh, did the sauce really only take you 10 minutes??

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    1. These are Greek cookies. They are called 'Koulourakia' (Easter cookies) that are typically made around Easter time. But they are so good that I make them any time of year. Yes, they are not too sweet, although they could be if you add too much sugar. They are perfect for dunking in coffee or tea! We all enjoy them and I really wanted my daughter to continue to do so. And I have to say that I really enjoyed this challenge. What an amazing feeling to convert this recipe successfully. All the desserts I'm serving Christmas day have been veganized, but the rest were a lot easier. This one took more careful planning and patience. But it's done! I've actually truly enjoyed making vegan recipes lately. Many of the dishes are packed with healthy ingredients. I'm not a vegan but because I don't eat much meat, and the little I do is very limited types, I'm open to trying these dishes. I guess I'm more of a flexitarian than anything else.

      I thought we were nuts going to Ikea this time of year but surprisingly enough it was smooth sailing there, even though the parking lot was packed. It was easy to walk through the store and we barely waited at the cash. Maybe people were spread out nicely...haha...

      That's not me in the drawing since I followed along on a tutorial on YouTube but it could be :) And the sauce did take 10 minutes...times 3...LOL. It was really tasty, too!

      I hope you've been enjoying a wonderful weekend!

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    2. Cool, thanks! I remember now the Italian cookies were shaped like an S, so I just called them S cookies :) I'd like to try those Koulourakias though. I can dunk lol! I usually have some biscotti on hand for just that purpose. Congrats on being a flexitarian, that made me laugh, but it's the perfect word! Oh gosh that Ikea lot is always packed. People park there who work in the area too. I used to work on the street just east of Cavendish for years and we used to always call the lunch hour the "Ikea traffic" lol...my weekend is going very well, hope yours (was)is too! :)

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    3. That makes sense with Ikea. I've never understood why the parking lot is always full and the store isn't no matter when you get there. So it's not always shoppers that park their cars in that lot. I'm surprised Ikea hasn't done anything about it since it's a struggle to find a spot when you do want to shop there.

      You will love these cookies if you decide to make them. I have a recipe on my blog that you might like to try. You can find it here: Greek Easter Cookies (Koulourakia)

      The cookies freeze very well if you decide to make a big batch. Let me know if you ever try them out, and don't hesitate to ask me questions.

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    4. Thank you! I will be trying these cookies during the holidays. I do have a question though, you said double-acting baking powder, I only have regular, do you think that'll be okay?

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    5. Absolutely! That's what I use. I went back to the recipe and added in brackets that regular is fine. I hadn't even noticed that! I copied the recipe from my favourite Greek cookbook.

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    6. Awesome! I love sharing recipes :) I have this weekend's cookies planned already Christmas so I'll make my biscottis and your Koulourakias after Christmas and I'll post about it! :)

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    7. Looking forward to it! You'll love them. I sometimes grab one right from the freezer. They are THAT good.

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  6. That card needs to be kept forever and ever. It’s beautiful!

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    1. I agree! And I am definitely going to keep it. In fact, I'm thinking of framing it and placing it on my desk permanently.

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  7. Your dining room is beautiful. The cookies look perfect. I would have thrown out the first batch and tried again, too. If my second batch didn't turn out, I'd try a third. I'm not sure how many batches I'd be willing to make before I gave up, but I'm thankful that you were pleased with the second attempt.

    Love,
    Janie

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    1. I'm thankful, too, Janie! Getting it right on the second batch was a happy moment. I'm not sure how many times I would have tried this recipe but now I don't have to think about it anymore :)

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  8. I think your dining area looks great.
    You must be looking forward to having some wonderful family time this Christmas.

    Enjoy your weekend.

    All the best Jan

    PS Love that polar bear.

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    1. I am very excited about it, Jan! We haven't done Christmas at our place in years because we lived too far!

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  9. That was one busy week! keeping busy is one of the best things you can do.

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  10. Your cookies look so good. Your room looks lovely and contemporary. Rain's card is beautiful and your art is so cute!

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    1. Thanks, Christine! You really squeezed in a lot in a short comment :)

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  11. Beautiful card by Rain - she captured the dark snowy night really nicely. And what a good mama you are to provide for your daughter's individual eating preference. I try to do the same (my daughter is vegetarian).

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    1. That's what mamas do. If we don't go the extra mile for them, who will? :)

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  12. I admire your persistence working to get the cookies right so your daughter can enjoy them on Christmas Day! Love your drawings; the snow globe one was very nicely done!

    betty

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    1. I was really determined to get these cookies right, Betty! Since I have the time, I can experiment on recipes that my daughter previously enjoyed and convert them to her vegan lifestyle.

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  13. Beautiful, all of it! Happy holidays, Martha.

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    1. Thank you my blogging pal! I hope your weekend has been a good one.

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  14. Beautiful cookies, Martha! No doubt your daughter will appreciate how you are trying to make things perfect for her. Rain's card is lovely! -Jenn

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    1. I'll be happy knowing she has plenty to enjoy. Aside from the turkey, she'll be able to eat everything else. I couldn't stand the thought of her being excluded from many of the foods I'm planning to serve, although I'm sure she's used to it and not bothered by it. Still, I'm her mom. It's my job to care :)

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  15. Your home looks very nice!
    I didn't know you're an artist - love those colorings.
    Happy season, Martha.

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    1. Thanks, Robyn! I hope you've had an awesome weekend. No doubt a lot warmer than ours :)

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  16. Enjoyed your artwork! The cookies look delicious! I have a family member who is a vegetarian, and it's always so nice when someone makes the extra effort to make sure there is food that doesn't include meat on the table.

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    1. I'm always happiest when my guests (no matter who it is) are comfortable in my home, especially at the dinner table. It just requires a little extra effort, which I don't mind at all. My next challenge will be when my vegan daughter comes to dinner with her gluten-free boyfriend! LOL That'll take some planning :)

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  17. You are an amazing mom, that was sweet of you to make the cookies- twice. I love your home, it is beautiful and that hand painted card is gorgeous. I like your drawings too- especially the snow globe. Have a great weekend!

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    1. Thank you! And here is another weekend come and gone. WHOOSH...just like that :)

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  18. Cute drawings, I can't even draw a good stick figure. Never could. Sigh! Congrats on your cookies, they look nice. Am not one who bakes cookies at all. I do a Christmas Egg Casserole for everyone. We gather Christmas Eve, I distribute them and everyone then has breakfast the next morning. A long standing tradition. Out doing some blog walking this am, and found myself here. Nice to meet you. Always fun to meet new folks.

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    1. Nice to meet you, Sandy! I always when new bloggers come along and leave a comment. I'll have to check out your blog!

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  19. Glad you had such a great week.

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