It seems like just the other day when I started blogging and now, here I am, writing my 50th post! To celebrate, I am going to do a giveaway very soon. The only reason I'm not doing it today, is because I haven't found the perfect item(s) for the giveaway. Believe me, I've been looking, but nothing has caught my eye. I'm sure I'll come across something fitting soon. I will keep you posted!
Let me catch you up on what's been happening around the homestead this past week. To say it's been busy around here is an understatement.
On Tuesday, December 13th, we attended the Barrie Bassmasters Potluck and Award Ceremony. Every year, the club invites the bass members and their families to the potluck to share in an evening of great food and good friends.
This year, I baked Hello Dolly bars to take to the potluck, since I brought savoury items the last two years. If you are not familiar with them, they're made with a graham cracker crust and topped with chocolate chips, flaked coconut and chopped nuts; held together with sweetened condensed milk!
Nuno (in the middle), along with fellow bassmaster, Brad Hudson (on the left), were honored to receive the President's Award - Member of the Year - for going above and beyond their duties as members, putting in a lot of time and dedication to the club and always willing to help out in any way they could. I am so proud of my husband and congratulations goes out to both of them!
On Wednesday, the 14th of December, it was Nuno's birthday. I wanted to bake his birthday cake and decided on a glazed lemon layer cake with homemade raspberry filling. Nothing says love like a home-made cake, no store-bought cake can ever convey the same sentiment.
Freshly squeezed lemon juice and zest for the cake
Cake layers cooling on racks
The birthday cake (minus the candles). In my heart it reads, Happy birthday Nuno, I love you!
The love of family gathered around the table
This is a cream cheese ball flavoured with a roasted garlic dip. I rolled it in chopped walnuts and cranberries and served with crackers.
I also made some other munchies...brie en croute, filled with raspberry jam and toasted almonds and a quail egg and chorizo appetizer, as well as assorted nuts, figs and dates. My mother-in-law baked some Portuguese tarts as well, so we were spoiled with yummy goodies.
The next evening was the girls' school Christmas Concert. Anita and Annabel's classes weren't involved this year (as there were too many classes to all be included). Anita sang in the choir, however, and my niece Emily was part of the concert too!
Anita is the first student on the left, in the middle row.
This past Saturday, we had my cousin, his wife and their two children over for lunch. It was their first visit to our home, and I was so happy to have them! For our lunch, I made an italian wedding soup and chicken stuffed pasta shells. It was lovely reconnecting and catching up with them.
Mini meatballs I made for the soup
Italian wedding soup with mini meatballs and orzo pasta
Setting the table
The following day we were invited to my aunt and uncle's place for their annual Christmas lunch. The food was delicious and we had a fun time, as usual. A special treat this year, was a visit from my cousin, who I hadn't seen in a few years. Seeing him was like opening an early Christmas present! It reminded me that the best part of Christmas and the holidays is the act of giving, and the blessings of a loving family and dear friends.
There are only 5 more sleeps until Christmas. I'm sure it's a busier time than usual in your kitchens as well! Will you be baking something special for the holidays? What about Christmas morning? Are there any special breakfasts you cook? I think I'll be making pancakes on Christmas morning, since it's everyone's favourite around here. How about you? I would love to hear about it!
Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas and happy holidays...
with love, from the kitchen! xo