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Holiday season

Book reviews: Give the gift of quality reading this holiday season!

Writing a book is like running the marathon – or at least this is how I remember the experience. It is intense. For months on end you worry about every single detail in the upcoming book, sometimes obsessively so. You wake up in the middle of the night and think of pics or sections (will the cover pic really work? Does my argument is strong enough in that chapter?). You constantly recheck your writing despite having editors on hand to help you with the job. In the end however, the stress and trepidation are so worth it: the book you hold, fresh off the press, is a labor of love and a work of art. It is your heart writ large on every page and picture 🙂

I read a lot of academic books during the school semester, but during the break I like to switch gears and to focus on books which satisfy the other half of my self: cooking! Recently I came across two cookbooks which would make excellent holiday gifts for foodies and non-foodies alike. The detailed explanations, stunning pictures and overall exquisite mixture of style and substance make these cookbooks stand out from the crowd in the best possible way.  Keep Reading

My review of the Krusteaz Holiday Cookie Helper: the story of my cookie swap success!

At no other time does the magic of baking become more tangible or appealing than during the holiday season. To me, this is a blessed time, when memories are made and cherished forever. The smell of freshly baked sweet delights, the cozy heat emanating from the oven, the impatience in my daughter’s eyes as she builds miniature castles out of cookie dough leftovers – these are moments that will stay with me despite the passing of time. What can I say? I just love the holiday season!

While I am more of a cake person, my daughter is a big cookie fan, who thinks a cookie a day keeps the boredom away 🙂 Lately, I have been using my time off to bake cookies for her and to give them away to friends and co-workers. What kind of cookies should I share during the holiday season? I often have trouble answering this question: I want to impress and to bake something that represents me, but time is short, I get impatient with my old recipe book, and my daughter is still too young to help mommy answer these sorts of questions 😉

Thankfully, recently I came across a quick and fun way to find the perfect cookie recipe to share: the Holiday Cookie Helper by Krusteaz. Keep Reading

Baking mom’s spice cake: You are what you… bake

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I don’t know about you, but for me the holiday season means baking – a lot. I have found that there is something very satisfying and comforting in baking a cake, especially during the festive season. It relaxes me and it allows me to be creative and to show the others how much I care about them. Moreover, as I gather my ingredients, get my tools ready and butter and flour my baking pans, my mind journeys into the past and memories, some seemingly long forgotten, come back to life and to me. I think baking is a personal enterprise by definition. Whenever I bake I like to reflect on what that particular recipe means to me. I also like to think of the earliest recollection I have of baking that cake/those cookies. Despite my best intentions, sometimes the memories are scarce. Thankfully, on many occasions, there are plenty of things I remember. Such is the case with the cake I am going to write about today: my mom’s spice cake. Keep Reading