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Day 347: Sausage & Rapini Rice Skillet and Orange Almond Biscotti

I did GO! today for CBC Radio, a live (to tape) radio variety show that will air nationally tomorrow morning, if you want to hear what I sound like (while trying not to think of the fact that 600,000 people would be listening) – it’s on at 10am in Calgary, not sure of schedules elsewhere in the country.

This afternoon we had rehearsal before the evening show, which we did live in front of a studio audience at the Engineered Air Theatre in the Epcor Centre for Performing Arts. All took place downtown, close enough to where we live but a slow go considering the winter storm that started to hit the city at rush hour. I had about 45 minutes to come home and collect myself and some things we needed for the show, then get back downtown. Mike started cooking a crumbled sausage and thinly sliced onion, and when it was cooked/caramelized I threw in some chopped red pepper, a cup or so of cooked brown rice, a chopped tomato, quickly blanched chopped broccolini (the original recipe called for rapini, or broccoli rabe, but the store in Edmonton only had broccolini) and a bit of Worcestershire and balsamic (only a teeny drizzle of each). The recipe was a bit of a rough interpretation of one I made in Edmonton (which was topped with crumbled goat cheese – forgot that part!) minus the canned tomatoes and chicken broth, which I felt made it a bit too saucy. Mike loved it. W picked out the rice and meat. I ate most of it in the car on the way back downtown.

This morning, I made biscotti for an event tomorrow night (which may or may not happen, considering it’s in Red Deer). I got tired of the same old biscotti recipe and pulled one up on SmittenKitchen just to try something different. I happened upon her hole-in-one (as in Perfect on the First Try) biscotti, and she was right. I’m not really a fan of hard biscotti, I like it light and crispy without being crumbly, and this hits the mark. Likely on account of the 10 tablespoons of melted butter it calls for, but we’ll just ignore that fact for now. I did cut it back to 1/2 cup – not much of a trim job, but baby steps. Although this is a lovely and subtle blend of orange and almond, I imagine it would make a fantastic template for other biscotti varieties, or would be great drizzled with or dipped in chocolate. I thoroughly enjoyed mine dunked in my Tim Horton’s.

[cooked-recipe id="21541"]
(recipe not found or in draft status)


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63 comments on “Day 347: Sausage & Rapini Rice Skillet and Orange Almond Biscotti

  1. Kathy H
    December 13, 2008 at 12:30 am

    A candy/baking package is not silly at all….I for one would be over the moon to have it arrive on my doorstep!
    One of my favorite Christmas foods is rouladen. It’s very thinly sliced beef, spread with mustard, sprinkled with chopped onion and a strip of bacon, and then rolled, like little jelly rolls, held together with a toothpick or tied with string; a quick stop in the frying pan to brown and then into a slow oven in mushroom sauce and voila! dinner for Christmas Eve. Traditionalists put a thin slice of dill pickle in the roll, but it’s an extra step that we don’t miss. It doesn’t sound that exciting written down, but once you have a taste, you want more!

  2. margaret
    December 13, 2008 at 12:37 am

    I’d love to find a Christmas baking package on my doorstep! I’ve been dreaming of those fleur de sel caramels. Some favourite Christmas foods are Lowney’s cherry chocolates, panettone from the Tree Stone Bakery in Edmonton, and cheese turnovers (velveeta cheese pastry with strawberry jam inside-a retro recipe!).

  3. Buddiegirl
    December 13, 2008 at 1:18 am

    I am a big fan of leftovers. I like turkey served on Christmas day, but nothing beats turkey sandwiches with dressing, cranberries and bread and butter pickles on homestyle white bread on boxing day or as it is known in my house pajama day. I also love leftover sweet potatoes and green bean casserole.

    Who would complain about a gift of your fabulous baking/candy, not me that’s for sure.

  4. Mary Ann
    December 13, 2008 at 3:15 am

    I love my mother in law’s home made pierogies, stuffed with potatoes, cheese and bacon, boiled, then fried with onions and smothered with sour cream. They are her mother’s recipe, brought from Poland more than 50 years ago. My mother in law recently returned to Poland for a visit and realised that her pierogies were tastier than all those she tried over there! I’ve never tasted anything close to hers anywhere, either.

  5. Shelley
    December 13, 2008 at 5:23 am

    I would be thrilled to have a baking package too! Those biscotti sound delicious, but I’m guessing that it’s probably 1/4 tsp of salt and not 14 tsp?

  6. TR
    December 13, 2008 at 5:50 am

    A baking package sounds awesome. My favorites at Christmas…stuffing (in my house we call it dressing, though), my mom’s white and dark chocolate almond bark, turtle bars (I’m going to try your recipe this year), and snickerdoodles.

  7. Christina
    December 13, 2008 at 6:52 am

    One of my favorite Christmas foods (getting away from the baking) is traditional Tourtiere!! Kinda fitting seeing you were just in Montreal last week! Last Christmas I was lucky enough to get together with my french neighbors mother who was here from Quebec to learn how to make traditional, Quebecois Tourtiere and it’s awesome! It uses ground veal, pork and beef with onion, a small amount of mashed potatoe and wonderful spices! My Grandfather is French (Mother from Quebec, Father from France) so I felt like it brought me back to my roots somewhat! It’s now my families tradition to have Tourtiere before going to mass on Christmas Eve then we come home have snacks and watch a Christmas movie before the kids have to go to bed! I can hardly wait for Christmas Eve this year! It will be amazing, my parents and Grandmother will be sleeping over so we’ll have 4 generations under one roof, how awesome is that?

  8. Luann
    December 13, 2008 at 6:55 am

    A candy/baking package silly, no way! I’d be thrilled! My favorite food during the holidays is my Mum’s lefse. It’s a Norwegian flatbread made with riced potatoes. It’s pretty labor-intensive but so good. We spread them with butter, sprinkle sugar on top and roll them up.

  9. piccola
    December 13, 2008 at 7:08 am

    I have a few favourites, and most of them are my family’s once-a-year foods: homemade donuts, toasted pandoro with caffe latte in the morning, pizzelle, roasted chestnuts…

    And I know they can technically go for anytime of the year, but spiced nuts somehow only show up around the holidays. Love ’em.

  10. JulieVR
    December 13, 2008 at 7:13 am

    Yes – 1/4 tsp! (The original called for 1/3 tsp, which I found odd, but also unsalted butter, which I think is unnecessary in something like biscotti…)

  11. Melanie
    December 13, 2008 at 7:37 am

    I would also love to find a candy/baking package on my doorstep, it would make my day. My favorite holiday treat is truffles, made with peanut butter and chocolate, rolled in icing sugar or red & green sprinkles. So easy to make too. mmm…

  12. Jan
    December 13, 2008 at 7:37 am

    My favs are homemade cinnamon buns and no fry doughnuts Christmas morning. Yum!

  13. Jen C
    December 13, 2008 at 7:40 am

    mmm….baking package does sound great considering the extent of my baking so far is your skinny gingerbread dough which is sitting in my fridge. It will get baked off today as the windchills here in my area of tropical-Saskatchewan are approaching -40 to -45…….nuts!
    For our family it’s tourtiere and this year we stumbled on a tasty addition. We usually throw in some mashed potatoes to help bind and this year I had some leftover roasted garlic buttermilk mashed potatoes and they turned out amazing – it added another level of flavours!

  14. supersu
    December 13, 2008 at 7:43 am

    favorite christmas foods:

    *my mothers candy cane cake
    *sisters cheese ball-(cant stand the stuff, but just wouldnt feel like christmas if there wasnt one there!)
    *sisters (same as above)-hot shrimp cups….yummy
    *toblerone and superstore pecan loaf candy thing that makes me think of my dad who loved so much when he was alive
    *all the chocolate and treaty type stuff that is present in the office around this time of year….takes more will power than i possess to pass by….so i dont! 🙂

    just like piccola i realize none of this stuff is ‘christmas only’ food, but really brings back so many memories it makes it seem special somehow

    happy holidays to all

  15. Carol
    December 13, 2008 at 7:50 am

    I make tourtiere every year around Christmas based on a Canadian Living recipe from about 15 years ago. It’s never the same two years in a row but it’s awesome. The smell that permeates the house means Christmas to me and reminds me of growing up in Quebec. Sausage rolls are another big favourite, homemade, not the ones you buy frozen. That’s what we’ve always had Christmas morning for breakfast.

  16. Carol S-B
    December 13, 2008 at 7:50 am

    My favorite Christmas food has to be oatcakes (NOT low fat, they’re a bit like crackers) with cheeseball. I know cheeseball isn’t trendy but, hey, neither’s fruitcake and I love that too.
    Of course, this may all change as I’m planning to make your Fleur de Sel Caramels this weekend…

  17. Theresa
    December 13, 2008 at 7:53 am

    Popcorn Cake A.K.A. My birthday cake!!
    Large Tupperware bowl of popcorn. (about a half cup of unpopped kernels.)
    1 cup of tiny baking jubes
    1 cup of blanched salted peanuts
    melted marshmallows with a bit of butter.

    Pop popcorn. Take the time to remove EVERY hard kernel/half popped kernel. Melt lots of marshmallows with a bit of butter and pour over popcorn. Sprinkle peanuts and jubes. Squash into an angel food pan.

    This is the best cake in the universe 😉
    That is what I had for supper on Thursday….
    Friday is a whole other story. Cooking Room, no chef….. yikes!

  18. Kathryn
    December 13, 2008 at 7:58 am

    Julie! You rocked GO. Not many guests are able to banter well with Brent, but you did.

    Hmmm. Fave Christmas foods other than cookies, cookies and more cookies. I like bread stuffing (better than the bird). I like Christmas pudding with a warm lemon sauce on it. My Mom’s roast potatoes …. make with beef fat & dripping. Seems I like comfort food.


  19. Elaine
    December 13, 2008 at 8:02 am

    My mother is a personal trainer, so we all try to keep things pretty lean if I go home for the holidays. Our big treat, though, is on Christmas afternoon (to tide us over until dinner), when we have shrimp cocktails and pate on toast. For me, nothing can beat the taste of that pate.

  20. Cheryl
    December 13, 2008 at 8:19 am

    Leftover turkey, sliced thin on white bread with stuffing and cranberries and mayo….decadent but delicious!! Tourtiere with ground chicken, pork and veal — subtly seasoned with mysterious spices. Homemade soups. My mother’s shortbread. Spiced nuts. Superstore candycane dark chocolate bark. Hmmmm, sounds like comfort food defines the season!!

  21. Bonnie
    December 13, 2008 at 8:39 am

    My family is of Polish heritage, so every Christmas Eve we do a fish only dinner. It varies from sea bass to salmon to lobster…but is always good. My aunt’s perogies are always served (either cheese and potato or cabbage and mushroom to keep with the no-meat theme).

  22. Lindsay
    December 13, 2008 at 8:44 am

    I think a baking/candy package is about the best thing to find on your doorstep in the last few days before Christmas! My favorite Chritmas foods include fruitcake with a thick layer of almond paste icing, Mom’s butter tarts, my mother in law’s peppermint patties and chocolate carmel rice krispie squares, my sister in law’s cheeseball, After Eight’s, and pretty much anything you can dip a cracker into! Happy Holidays and good luck with the baking 🙂

  23. Joni
    December 13, 2008 at 9:00 am

    I love to hear how other people eat their turkey dinner leftovers… bread and butter pickles on the sandwich sounds like something I might have to try!

    We also have tourtiere every Christmas Eve and dessert is Mom’s Grasshopper pie. Yum! I also love the butterhorns my mom makes Christmas morning. Warm with an almond drizzle. Mmmmmm.

  24. Colleen
    December 13, 2008 at 9:06 am

    Too many favourites to list! I’m also a fan of the leftover turkey/stuffing/cranberry sauce sandwich (better yet, fresh bun of some kind). My Mom’s stuffing is the best, I make a fabulous Ginger Spice cookie that has my husband and kids parked in front of the oven every time I bake them, a pineapple-rice dish from when I was a kid that seemed like a dessert, but was served with the main meal. Shortbread, nalysnyky, Per-esh-kee (had to do phonetic spelling) that my sis-in-law makes.

  25. Cecily
    December 13, 2008 at 9:10 am

    One of my favourites is the truffle mice that my mom makes. It’s a little truffle rolled into sort of a mouse shape with either peanut or almond pieces for ears, silver dragees for eyes and black shoestring licorice for a tail.

  26. Fiona
    December 13, 2008 at 9:15 am

    A package of holiday baking is a fantastic idea.

    One of my other holiday favorites is nuts and bolts – my mom always made a big batch when I was a kid, and now I make a big batch (or nine, depending on how they go down). Mince pies are also another favorite. Sausage rolls, cold (for breakfast). And of course, stuffing, gravy, and potatoes!

    I’m going to give those caramels a shot today – the nutmeg ones, not the fleur de sel. Unless I can find fleur de sel at Westbrook Safeway.

  27. Natalie
    December 13, 2008 at 9:25 am

    I would be very happy with baked goods!!!

    Lefse spread with butter and sprinkled with sugar. Fruit soup and lots and lots of sweet breads.

  28. Mar H
    December 13, 2008 at 9:37 am

    Hi! Julie,
    i have so many that i like-chocolate chip cookies. Chipits Noel crisps would be my favorite. then there is my Mom’s peppernuts. i must get a bridsmaid dress sewed before Christmas before i can even think aobut baking anything and we are having our family get totgether on the 23rd. Yikes!! so having a baking surprise on my doorstep would be a God-sent!! love ya and your cookbook and recipes!!!

  29. elektra
    December 13, 2008 at 9:39 am

    my favourite meal is on Christmas Eve when we eat seafood, different recipes over the years. this year it will be venetian shrimp/scallops–a kind of seafood boulliobasse served with garlicky toast points.

  30. Melanie
    December 13, 2008 at 9:40 am

    Today is my “Grandma’s Christmas” – an annual event that my Grandma hosted so that she could see all of her family before they scattered to their ‘other’ families at Christmas. It was the most important event of the year for her – one she prepared for for weeks ahead… “Ginger-men”, perogies, cabbage rolls, meatballs, turkey, jello salad – the most wonderful meal of the season!
    Sadly, my grandma passed away in March but in her honor, we were all getting together today to have her Christmas regardless. She is so deeply missed!
    Even more sad, to me today, is the state of the highways and the deep freeze. It really means I can’t expect our family of 5 (with another on the way) to risk the travel up north. So instead, we’ve sent along our hugs and tears over the phone wishing everyone a very merry Christmas.
    What are my favorite Christmas foods – all of those shared above with close family (of 40-odd people), in a tiny little kitchen / living room, squished, eating where ever you can find a piece of floor, sharing with whatever baby crawls up to investigate your plate, and cramming in just one more ginger-man (even though, really, you can’t eat another bite)!
    Merry Christmas to all!

  31. Lesley
    December 13, 2008 at 11:19 am

    It is hard sauce. You know, the kind you put over plum pudding? It is all brandy-ey and buttery and sugary. It is divine. Plus, bizarrely, it is something I would not contemplate eating at any other time of the year. Oh hard sauce, I love ya!

  32. Tina
    December 13, 2008 at 11:33 am

    I’m so glad to be able to tell you about my family’s tradition of tourtiere on Christmas eve (NEVER before!!!). Our family somewhere along the way, way back when, turned it into a pork/potato/onion affair, which in relatively recent years (maybe the last 15 or so), has morphed into the possibly even healthy version we make, which is turkey/potato/onion. I remember being pretty put off when I found out that “real” tourtiere is all meat, with various spices (ours has only salt and pepper). I’m thinking maybe, having moved out west from Quebec before the Depression, my ancestors added potato to stretch the meat? Anyway, it is wonderful, and highly anticipated. My sis and I made 12 this year and our families can’t wait to dig in!!

  33. Kathy
    December 13, 2008 at 11:47 am

    My favorite Christmas dish – other than the traditional full-on turkey dinner – is the cranberry christmas cake we stumbled upon at the Telus Convention Centre craft fare a few years ago and now we go every year to buy it. It is, I guess, like a steamed Christmas pudding but w/o the suet, etc. just cranberries, flour, sugar, I forget what else…the cake itself is fat-free or low fat, but the butter/cream sauce you put on it definitely isn’t!

  34. Hanna
    December 13, 2008 at 1:26 pm

    My favorite Christmas only food/treat is Vine Torte. An Icelandic treat my family has been making and enjoying at Christmas for generations. It is a cardamom and almond flavoured cookie-type dough layered with a prune filling (spiced with cinnamon and nutmeg). It is best made a couple of months before christmas (like many christmas goodies) and stored in a cool place…..with a stack of books (or a weight of some kind) on top! The filling ensures the cookie layer is nice and moist. It is my most favorite thing EVER!
    I would LOVE a basket of goodies that someone else made!

  35. Cheryl
    December 13, 2008 at 1:41 pm

    BTW, I tried your basic biscotti recipe and made some cherry vanilla ones, drizzled with dark chocolate. Very good in my morning tea.

    My favourite food tradition is adopted from Hubby’s family. It’s a Christmas tree bun – a sweet bread, formed into buns in a tree shape. Then you make a simple icing sugar/lemon juice drizzle and sprinkle it with rainbow sprinkles (if you are Hubby’s mom). Served with honey butter, mimosas, and hot bacon it is the Christmas morning tradition. Hmm, I best pull that recipe out to take on our trip.

  36. Erin
    December 13, 2008 at 2:00 pm

    Christmas morning is the only time of year I will drink coffee- and it is topped off (by which I mean half the cup!) with Baileys. Once done with gifts, we always have fried perogies and cabbage rolls for breakfast. That drink and those foods totally mean Christmas. (I also love baked goods- can’t wait to get started on mine, just need to finish writting these silly law midterms…)

  37. Tagyn
    December 13, 2008 at 2:44 pm

    I started a tradition last year of having cinnamon buns from the mall for breakfast on Christmas morning, you know the ones with a million calories! The only time of the year I buy these heavenly things:)
    It would be so cool to have a package of your goodies show up at my house!!!

  38. Sue
    December 13, 2008 at 3:20 pm

    A favourite family tradition at our house is pork schnitzel on Christmas Eve.
    I haven’t done much in the way of baking either but so love it once I get started.
    It is scary how fast its approaching.
    That sausage rice dish looks delicious by the way! I hope you’re enjoying the weekend.

  39. Rose
    December 13, 2008 at 3:26 pm

    What first popped into mind was the delicious shortbread dipped in chocolate at Terrafazione coffee shop in Kerrisdale here in Vancouver. Sadly it was bought out by Artigiano several years ago. It was always festive in there at Christmas time and the cookies delicious!

  40. Jen T
    December 13, 2008 at 3:40 pm

    With the economy being so finicky, it is nice to get free stuff! As for Christmas baking, I am not finicky. I like everything, but love gramdma’s recipe for homemade chocolates. I remember sneaking into the panty when I was young and sneaking a nut rolled chocolate out of the mason jar. YUMM! Merry Christmas everyone!

  41. Donna
    December 13, 2008 at 5:27 pm

    Christmas favorites- shortbread cookies (whipped shortbread), light fruitcake (love to make and share it, not to eat it) home made ginger snaps.
    Those biscotti look wonderful – I must try them soon.
    Thanks for the inspiration.

  42. Dana F
    December 13, 2008 at 6:21 pm

    Mmmm…I would love a package of your goodies – I think I might even try to make the Fleur de Sel caramels next week on my own! (I don’t know why, making candy by myself always freaks me out – maybe something to do with the way I burned my hand while making toffee two days before N was born)

    My favorite Christmas treat? hands down, it is the poppycock my mom & dad make from scratch! I will be missing that this year, without a doubt.

  43. Lynn
    December 13, 2008 at 6:34 pm

    The package of goodies sounds great. My favorite at christmas when I was a kid was making gingerbread cookies with my mom. That and pancakes for breakfast on Christmas morning.

  44. Suzanne
    December 13, 2008 at 7:38 pm

    Christmas morning: Lobster Benedict w/ champagne!

  45. Christine
    December 13, 2008 at 8:23 pm

    Christmas favorites, well it just wouldn’t be the same without those misty mints!! Also a tradition in my husbands family is Sausage Platt, made with cranberries, walnuts and pork. So I will make that for him this year. I also love the pinapple cheese ball that my mom makes. And Rolo cookies, my families favorite! I really do like the roll with turkey, cranberry sauce and stuffing on boxing day! I look forward to that meal, also, leftover mashed potatoes with gravy for breakfast on boxing day!!

    This year will be different as I am not cooking and going to my sisters so who knows what I will be eating on boxing day. Maybe the treats on my doorstep??

  46. sue d.
    December 13, 2008 at 8:44 pm

    Must say I love the crispy bits off the turkey, (which I view as the cook’s prerogative) consumed with a sprinkling of sea salt while you make the gravy and warm up the serving dishes. For dessert I love pears poached in red wine with honey and cinnamon sticks.

    Leading up to Christmas: mince tarts, sweets with almond, swanky chocolates, spiced nuts, smoked salmon. Ah, where do I stop? I love the abundance of food this time of year.

  47. Erica Bell
    December 13, 2008 at 8:53 pm

    We’re so far from family I’m the one who does all the baking it seems – what a treat it’d be to find goodies on my doorstep that someone else made! 🙂

    My fave Christmas food isn’t really “Christmas” food at all: I love the post-present opening breakfast with my husband and kids christmas morning (early early morning since they’re too excited to sleep past 0600hrs) DH makes eggs and bacon and I make waffles (and lots of coffee).

  48. Pat from WIndsor
    December 14, 2008 at 6:52 am

    A Christmas tradition for me is to make treats to share as gifts. They include: Nuts and Bolts, white chocolate bark with crushed candy canes, milk chocolate bark with unsalted peanuts, and mini Ritz Crackers doctored up with canola oil, dry ranch dressing, garlic and dill.
    I would love to receive a gift on my doorstep. If I win, I would even share some with YOUR relatives here!! (I’m getting desperate to win one of your prizes, can you tell?)
    Thank you for giving all of us a gift we can unwrap every day of the year. “dinnerwithjulie” is a daily blessing! Merry Christmas to all!

  49. pauline
    December 14, 2008 at 6:55 am

    Christmas baking, I would love it. mummmmm. Christmas here wouldn’t be the same witout my mums mince pies, triffle, christmas pudding with rum sauce and of course shortbread. My mum is 88 and still makes all of the above except the shortbread which is my thing. I was at my mums in November and for the first time I did make the christmas pudding with her directions, so funny we had it all ready to start steaming when I noticed the eggs sitting in there bowl still. We had a laugh definately a specila moment with mum. I am praying she gets out of Victoria today to come here (edmonton) for xmas as last night they had snow. Everything usually shuts down there as it is not usual and nobody has winter tires. Merry Christmas to you all.

  50. Marilyn
    December 14, 2008 at 7:35 am

    Favorite Christmas food was my Mom’s apricot buns…little crescents of sweet yeast bread with a filling made of dried apricots and drizzled with icing. VERY labour-intensive as I found out when I tried to make them one Christmas, but I used to devour them by the handful!
    Christmas to me was all about how wonderful the house always smelled when you came in from the cold outdoors. Merry Christmas, Julie!

  51. Linda
    December 14, 2008 at 8:53 am

    Meat log – made with ground beef and filled with ham, chilis, cheese and olives.


    Merry Christmas Julie to you and your family.

  52. robyn
    December 14, 2008 at 3:34 pm

    Wow! So many tourtiere fans!
    Can someone post a recipe?

  53. Britt
    December 14, 2008 at 7:06 pm

    MMM… my favorite holiday food is a classic… cranberry-walnut stuffing! and cookies of course, mainly anything i get to bake around christmas.

    Merry Christmas!

  54. Margaret
    December 14, 2008 at 7:24 pm

    Favorite? Since my boys rarely eat sweets, and hubby doesn’t need them, I never have to bake tarts, shortbread, pies etc for Christmas dinner. So my all time favorite would have to be the stuffing, if sons don’t eat it all before I get passed the bowl at the supper table. I could also live on homemade soups and salads forever!

  55. Natalie
    December 15, 2008 at 5:06 am

    For the past 4 or 5 years, my favorite Christmas food is Scooby Snacks. Let me explain. I guess it’s more of a tradition that I have come to love, rather than the food itself. My daughter and I found a cookie recipe on the special features section of a DVD Scooby Doo movie, called Scooby Snacks. They are a brown sugar coconut cookie, and very very yummy. We make them every Christmas to pass out to colleagues at work, or to share with friends and family who come to visit. I love this new little tradition that we have together.

  56. Barb
    December 15, 2008 at 6:56 am

    I always look for nuts and bolts or some variation of them. I know, boring but it was something we only had a Christmas and …. well you know how it goes.

  57. Jennifer
    December 15, 2008 at 9:50 am

    Oh how I love to bake and receive baked goods! It isnt a silly free friday giveaway…a wee question for you…if i were to be picked, i live way out in ontario..could i defer the giveaway to my sweet sisterinlaw who actually lives in calgary?? and has a sweet tooth to boot! she put us up all last summer while we played in calgary!
    so fave xmas tradition is our extended family getting together at one of the “uncles” homes and consuming “pizza buns” made with velvetta cheese,onions,spices and mayo on a sub bun with mild pepperonis!As well as stuffed grape leaves the filling is made with pork lamb and beef and rice of course…it just isnt christmas till we have that feast along with enormous amounts of wine and beer!oh and a cousins famous “wacky” brownies!! 😉
    happy christmas to you and your families and all the readers of this awesome blog!

  58. Jennifer
    December 15, 2008 at 9:52 am

    oh by the way i made those mincemeat cookies…they are awesome…or should i say “were”! i used them in a cookie exchange with friends! and mine are just about all eaten up!! 🙂

  59. Sujata
    December 15, 2008 at 10:58 am

    I made your fleur de sel caramels, but cooked it only to 260F, then dipped giant pretzel rods into it. Let it set, then dipped into melted chocolate. Let it set. This is a favorite Christmas treat each year, but they were even better with the new caramel recipe this year. Only proble, can’t find the giant pretzel rods here in Calgary, I get my sister-in law to send them from the states.
    Hope it’s not too late to enter for the goodies.

  60. Kim
    December 16, 2008 at 2:11 pm

    Here’s an excerpt from my son M’s school project on family traditions; I think he speaks for our whole family! And I’ve come to realize that a lot of our traditions revolve around food!

    “The next morning I woke to the glorious smell of the wife saver. The wife saver was made up of bread, ham, eggs, milk, cheese, salt, pepper and a few other various ingredients. It was a once in a while type of meal, it could only be had on Christmas morning or else it would become a common weekend breakfast but we didn’t want it like that because it would be ruined…About 10:00 am my parents set the table with the cinnamon buns and the wife saver, the best breakfast ever made on earth.”

    By the way, “wife saver” is from the Best of Bridge series, I think called Christmas Morning Wife Saver (although in our house, it’s always prepared by my husband, while I make the cinnamon buns!).

    Happy holidays all!

  61. Diego
    December 22, 2008 at 10:46 am

    Hi julie,
    I had a good time yesterday at a Christmas Carol!I hope to
    do that again some time with you.
    I saw you on BT today, I liked your Santa hat!
    Oh,seems like a lot of people like your stuff!
    P.S I like your stuff too!
    2P.S its CAJETA pronounceiation ca-he-ta.

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