11 December 2010

Yankee Swap! Let the Wild Rumpus Begin!

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas! Silent Bob and I are wrapping presents and getting ready to head off to the annual family Christmas party and gift swap. I'm telling you, much thought is put into the gifts we get, the way we wrap them, and the traditional ornament that tops each gift. When you're choosing which present to unwrap, that ornament MAY hint at what's inside ... oh the suspense of it all! While one waits to have their turn at choosing, unwrapping, and deciding whether to swap or not, one eats! There is always a groaning board of appetizers, sweets, various drinks for young and old, and a counter top of casseroles, chili, roasted ham, salads, and breads. It is truly a showcase of everyone's cooking styles and skills!

This year I will be bringing the traditional warm artichoke and spinach dip with pumpernickel toasts, a cookie platter of  biscochitos from Mangiabella , and red velvet cupcake poppers from Cake Duchess . These last two Swap offerings come from two websites that I have fallen for ...do check them out. These sites are just beautiful ... so many delicious recipes and terrific photography and food staging. I should be so talented!

Anyway, I have been thinking. I read so many great posts that I need to start showcasing some of them here on The Spice Garden. This cyber- foodie network is so big and offers so much; it's only right to pass along these ladies' talent to others who might not zig zag through cyberspace the way I do. Does that make sense? Christmas is all about giving and sharing, so these two sites are my gift to you, dear readers! Enjoy exploring and the holiday baking that you'll be inspired to try!

The other recipe that I am making today is an apple strudel from my new cook book ... Cooking With the Seasons. This is Lesa Heebner's offering of recipes that follow seasonally available produce and meats that she has laid out in a menu format. I appreciate this way of arranging recipes, as she has paired side dishes with entrees and made it very easy to put on a whole meal. Very nice, indeed! I got this cook book when I won a giveaway at Boulder Locavore , another great blog! It has come just in time to save me some of the stress of planning menus at this busy, busy busy time of year! Thanks, Toni!

Okay! We're off for a fun time on the farm! Hope you are having fun with family and friends today, too!


  1. I'd love to be a guest at your place Susan - looks like you have really gotten into the swing of things this Christmas - and I can imagine the lovely food you've prepared as well! :)

  2. nice cakes.... and lovely new picture of you and silent Bob... don't cha just love Christmas?!?!

  3. You have so much Christmas spirit Susan. I was going to do so much this weekend, but time just got ahead of me. I'm with Trissa, I would love to be a guest at your house. All that amazing food you prepare.

  4. @ Dom ... Thanks, friend! And by the way, the courgette pie does look awesome! One more recipe for that motherlode of zucchini/cougettes that come from our garden! Thanks for the recipe and good luck with the Linda McCartney competition!

  5. It all sounds fantastic! Isn't it great to have such talented blog friends!?!


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