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Sweet Surprises

Over the weekend I was pleasantly surprised by a few sweet and unexpected deliveries via mail.  The first came from my dear brother Erik & his family whom I plan to visit this Christmas.  An assortment of French wines along with a few ready-to-eat appetizers arrived at my doorstep on Friday afternoon!  That evening I made a porcini-stuffed roast chicken (a recipe inspired by one of my Jacques Pepin cookbooks) and chose a white Pinot Gris from Alsace.  The dinner was superb, I can assure you, and I  have my brother, in part, to thank for.  I can't wait to see him and his family soon!

On Saturday afternoon as I was beginning my baking extravaganza of breads, cakes and cookies for the Christmas treat boxes that I send out to a few family members, I noticed the mailman coming down the driveway.  In his hand was a box from my friend Janet in North Carolina!  Yes, the same Janet I introduced you to in the last post who bakes such wonderful cookies for her friends, family and her community.  The box contained such a wonderful tin from the great Bake it Forward movement along with a nice personal note from my dear friend.  When I opened the tin I gasped at the beautiful cookie!  

Here's a closeup of that gorgeous cookie that was packaged with such great care.  Janet iced this large tree in green royal icing and then added a yellow garland which was embellished with pastel-colored dragees and sanding sugar.  I immediately contacted Janet to thank for this lovely cookie and told her that I was going to save it for my 6 hour flight next week.  Yes, at 35,000 feet in the air I will devour this cookie for dessert after I've had my dinner.  Sweetness indeed!  

If you're like the two of us who enjoy baking and making people smile, Imperial Sugar makes it possible for you to send this tin filled with your favorite treats to whomever you want and have it tracked as it travels the country.  What could be better than sending some sweetness to someone this Christmas?  I know of many people who would love some Christmas cheer right now, so get these tins and fill them up with your favorite goodies.  Stock up and use the tins throughout the year! 

I'm currently baking some delicious cakes and cookies that are getting shipped out tomorrow.  This large 19th century yellow ware bowl holds a double batch of my Pumpkin Pound Cake which I'm finishing by hand.  To it I decided to add some fresh cranberries for an updated version.  Although I love my large KitchenAid mixer, if I'm mixing big pieces of fruit, nuts, etc., I much prefer to mix these in by hand.   

I hope a lot of you are baking this Christmas.  So many of us need to be cheered up right now and we should not lose sight of the fact that it is the season for giving.  Bake up a storm for your loved ones and do let the little ones help you in the kitchen.  As a child I was always by my mother's side helping her bake for our Christmas gatherings.  They're nice memories for me.  Make some good memories with your loved ones and bake some sweetness this week!



  1. I love that the cookie made it in one piece and that you'll be enjoying it at 35,000 feet. Too fun!

    Safe travels, and Merry Christmas, my friend!


  2. Thank YOU! once again. Yes, I 'm happy that they cookie made it intact.

    Merry Christmas to you & your family!


  3. Such a nice gift from your brother and a beautiful cookie (and tin) from Janet.
    Have a wonderful holiday with your brother & his family and enjoy your special treat from a special lady.

  4. Thanks Paula and a Merry Christmas to you & yours!!


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