Archive for the ‘Holidays’ Category

Colored eggs…

Happy Easter!

(In case you’re wondering, the eggs look shiny because I rubbed them with some vegetable oil to give the color a little glow…)



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Wishing you and yours a happy and healthy 2012…


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This is a picture of the apple-pecan cake I made for Christmas breakfast. It’s a little difficult to see, but the indentation in the lower-right section of the cake is from my mom’s elbow. This year, I drove my parents down to my brother’s house for the holiday, and my mom had the cake on the seat beside her and, well… she said it was very comfortable. Luckily, it tasted good too…

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When I was little, my mom found a recipe for Christmas cookies in the newspaper, and she’s made them almost every year since. They’re just basic sugar cookies with a simple powdered sugar icing, but they are delicious. Whenever I visit my parents during the holidays, I rush to the kitchen to see if my mom has baked them yet.

This year, I decided to make them myself. Thankfully, I had a new marble rolling pin (an early Christmas present from Brian), and I had just bought some Silpat baking mats, which made the process a whole lot easier.

But it still took me all afternoon, and by the end of the day when I was finally icing the last cookie, I was thinking about my upcoming visit to my parents’ house. As Megan says, there are some things in life you just let your mom do for you no matter how old you are…

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My favorite store in Germany was Käthe Wohlfahrt, which sells traditional German nutcrackers, smokers and holiday ornaments. I was completely enthralled by it. Maybe it was the infusion of Christmas spirit I got from the nearby Nuremberg Christmas market, but I wanted everything in the store. I ended up purchasing a nutcracker and a smoker, along with a selection of ornaments for myself and to give as gifts. Sure, I spent more than I should have, but these things will last a lifetime and bring back memories of my trip each Christmas when I put them up. By the way, the trees behind the smoker below were bought from vendors at the Christmas market itself. Megan bought me the tree on the left last year, and I bought the one on the right this year…

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If there’s one thing Germans are good at, it’s Christmas. (Well, there are lots of things Germans are good at, but you get what I mean…)

The day after we celebrate Thanksgiving here in the States, outdoor Christmas markets open up all around Germany. Picture beautiful cobblestoned city squares packed with vendors selling handmade goods, delicious sweets and Glühwein, which is the German version of the wonderful mulled wine served around Europe during winter. Apparently, Nuremberg has the biggest and best Christmas market in the whole country, so we were right in the center of the action. Keep reading…

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Every year, Megan visits her sister and her sister’s family in Germany for Thanksgiving, and every year, I think about joining her. Well, this year I finally did it.

It was my first time in Germany. I haven’t done a lot of European travel, just trips to Italy and Spain, and my last big excursion was more than five years ago, so I was excited for the visit. Keep reading…

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