Wonderful Things, for the Most Wonderful Time of The Year

Children of the playground … we must gather!

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 There is exactly one month until Christmas

WTF-OH-MY-GAWD-HOLY-MOTHER-OF-HO-HO-HO …

That`s kind of how I feel about the entire situation tooo. I`m excited ( I totally just typed executed for anyone who wants to know :$) and also, thinking Santa baby, this lady aint ready for you aaannnnnnddd I still have one more fall recipe to share with you !!

Also, funny story – Mr. LTSL has never been much of a Christmas person – he’s all about good food, family, gifts and cookies but count him out of the parades, tree light up festivals, Christmas markets and decorating. Especially tree decorating. Except this year. It would seem that my little Grinch’s heart grew three sizes this year.

We got our tree the second weekend of November – it’s a phoney-baloney one because we can’t have a real one in the condo. I also heard that it takes 12 years for a new tree to grow back .. so pardon my French but eff that.

Anyways, … ever since I’ve been collecting decorations for both our home and the tree – I’ve even made some!! And since the second weekend of November Mr. Grinch has asked when we would decorate. So we finally did. And it’s beautiful. There’s no order to it .. there are large bulbs at the top, and little ones at the bottom .. but it’s ours. And it’s perfect. And we did it together.

Holiday season things. Yo. Word.

… I can’t stop.

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I haven’t even thought about Christmas shopping – but I want to get it done soon, so I don’t have to face the travesty that malls turn into come December Uno. Sooo to make YOUR life easier( … and because I know what I want for Christmas) I’ve made a list of the cool-funky-amazing  things any food blogger – food eater – food lover would adore :

 Stocking Stuffers :

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  • Vanilla bean pods – Fresh Vanilla makes a world of a difference!!
  • Coupon to wash the dishes/clean the kitchen  – I would LOVE this … I’m a cooker/baker … I hate cleaning .. but I do it, because I made the mess.
  • Zester/Grater  – So handy for spices, cheeses – nutmeg
  • OXO cookie dough scooperI have a couple and LOVE them – different sizes are a good idea – perfect for not just cookies, but cupcakes, ice cream … Nutella ( what, you don’t eat Nutella with a scoop?!?)
  • funky apron I always forget to wear an apron .. and I have a couple. But Funky aprons are gnarly and look you can even be Wonder Woman, or  Batman orr look at this Christmas Story — show me how the piggys eat apron!!

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  • Baked jewelrytwo words SO.CUTE.
  • OXO Cake TesterI currently use, wooden skueres – it does the job, but this cake tester would be so.much.better.
  • Gift Card to favourite restaurant – because every home cook/baker needs a day off every once in a while.

Gadgets

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  • Vegetable spiralizer  – so cool, I so badly want to make zucchini noodles!!
  • iPad And Cookbook Stand Combo – YES! In hopes that I no longer have butter stains on all of my cookbooks … this is #SorryNotSorry kind of situation
  • Hamilton Beach 1.5 Quart Ice Cream Maker ( it’s so little and cute!!)– ice cream for one, SIGN ME UP!! This would be so perfect, especially since Mr. LTSL isn’t an ice cream kind of guy .. cupcakes, sign him up for cupcakes.
  • Tagine – so freaking in love with mine. You’ll never have a better lamb stew or paella – promise.
  • Cast Iron Pan – I use mine for everything .. pizza … steak … potatoes … cookies .. cake. LOVE IT!
  • Pizza Stone – Pizza never tasted so good … nor quesadillas .. or grilled cheese.
  • Silpat Mat – WORD. Best kept baking secret … that’s probably not a secret – I use mine for every single jingle thaaaannnnggg … but mostly cookies.
  • Cake stand/dessert tray – I only have a million … but what’s a girl to do? Some people collect shoes, some plants … you can never have enough funky-cute-amazing-sparkly cake stands/ dessert trays.

Fancy-shmancy Food Items

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  • Sloane Teas – YES. LOVE the chocolate truffle … and the jasmine pink lemonade
  • Hot chocolate by Jacques Torres Die.  – Thick, rich, creamy, annnd sooooooooooo delicious!! Add some burbon and we’ll be besties!!
  • Blueberry Honey by Nude Bee Co. ( TORONTO WHHHHHHHHHHHAAAATTT) … shop local. Seriously, probably my favourite honey in all the land. And their blueberry. Kill-me-now.

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Cookbooks

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I hope this helps ladies and gents … and if all else fails, at least you have a great shopping list for yourself :D

Toasted Peanut Butter and Jelly Thumbprint cookies

Last weekend, we had the Santa clause parade in Toronto!!

While it seems so early – I suppose it’s not, and as cliché as it sounds I feel like the year just flew by!!

I still remember trying to get ready for last Christmas, here I am now … beginning to think about this one – it’s tres tres cray-cray!!

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Even with the stores flooded with Christmas decorations, Christmas music playing, and cookies in every crevice of Pinterest – I just wasn’t in the holiday mood … yet. Don’t get me wrong Christmas is my FAVOURITE TIME OF YEAR … I get excited and giddy – buddy the elf style!! But it all just seemed soo early.

And then last Sunday. My family and I went to the parade – it was cold – the snow fell – live bands played carols …. It was Christmas time in the city. It was all I needed to get me in the mood. And now, the countdown is on!!

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34 more days and we’ll all be ho-ho-hoing around town ( … I read that, and re-ready it … I mean that statement in the most innocent way possible).

And just because Christmas means nothing in the LTSL household without cookies – I have something extra special for you!!

Toasted PBJ Thumbprint Cookies.

Have we ever discussed my obsession with peanut butter ?!?! Mmmm … remember when I celebrated National Peanut Butter Month?!?

I LOVE THE STUFF.

Also, toasted taste better.

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 Toasted PBJ Thumbprint cookies 

Ingredients

1/2 cup margarine, Softened

1 cup Creamy Peanut Butter

1/3 cup Granulated Sugar

1/2 cup Brown Sugar

1 whole Egg

1 teaspoon Pure Vanilla Extract

1 teaspoon Baking Soda

1/2 teaspoon Sea Salt

1 2/3 cup All-Purpose Flour

1/2 cup Strawberry jam

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Directions: 

1.       In large cast iron pot, add flour to low heat. Toast until lightly brown – stir often to not burn flour. Approx 7 mins.

2.       Remove from heat and allow to cool completely.

3.       Combine egg, brown sugar, peanut butter, butter, vanilla, and beat on medium-high speed until smooth and creamed, Add the flour, baking soda, salt, and beat on low speed until just incorporated, about 1 minute.

4.       Roll into balls and  make an indent, using the back of a 1 Tsp measuring spoon.

6.       Bake 10 minutes.

7.       Remove from the oven and redefine the indent, again using the back of a 1 TSP spoon. While still warm, fill each cookie intent with jam

8.        Allow to cool completely and enjoy!!

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Happy Cookie-ing darlings … and for those who are having heart palpitations over the holiday season, not to worry – I still have one more fall recipe up my sleeve!!