Although I am not immune to a little Christmas excitement in late October – I am already thinking about how to ice my Christmas Cake this year and if I can hand make Christmas Decorations to give out as gifts. I feel it is still to early for those heavy Christmas spices, ginger, allspice, cloves etc and you need to ease yourself in gently with some autumnal cinnamon first!
However I really really like Hot Cross Buns, so I felt it necessary to bake them again this year. To me it feels a little like Christmas baking. You know with the oven on, baking, cinnamon, mixed spice, sultanas etc. Admittedly in previous years at Easter it wasn’t so cold that it actually felt like Christmas!
Back at the start of November I woke up one morning with a sudden urge for a winter flavoured coffee. No one else was up and it was cold outside, so as I waited for the coffee to brew I thought about how I could get that taste I wanted.
The taste I wanted was the taste to wake up to on a cold snowy morning, when the Christmas tree is up, something warm and spicy.
Over the weekend I have been over indulging on scones, scones, more scones and the occasional pumpkin cookie. Despite all this I have not disgusted myself quite enough to stop from it altogether. An emergency plan is needed, I need to trick my own brain!
I need something that tastes scrumptious, autumnal, indulgent and cosy, but doesn’t do so by piling on the calories. With this goal and left over pumpkin puree from yesterday tonight I made and tasted my first Pumpkin Spiced Latte.
The September 2010 Daring Cooks’ challenge was hosted by John of Eat4Fun. John chose to challenge The Daring Cooks to learn about food preservation, mainly in the form of canning and freezing. He challenged everyone to make a recipe and preserve it. John’s source for food preservation information was from The National Center for Home Food Preservation.
When it’s getting dark at 4 o’clock in the evening and the drive home is flecked with rain that might just be snow. Or when you’ve been in all day with the wind is howling outside and it is absolutely freezing.
You want something quick and tasty for dinner, but add to this the warm glow that comes from realising that Christmas and the holidays are only three weeks away.
If you, like me, haven’t done any Christmas shopping, put up your tree or sent cards, then this recipe is for you. It will inject you with a little bit of a Holiday Season kick, to push you on your merry way.
A couple of weeks ago I was given a copy of Good Housekeeping: Great Baking (the fiancee was worried I wasn’t creating enough cakes, cookies and such) and since then I have been leafing through it’s 600 recipes whenever I get the chance. Again it’s another American cookbook so the conversions are annoying but at least there is a table at the back.