Apple Almond Bircher Muesli with Winter Fruits

A regular brown package arrived via courier last week. Inside, all three hundred and four first pass pages of an uncorrected manuscript that is my next cookbook.

The words, the photos and the recipes all compiled together into a neat little package that has been my passion project for the last two years. What a thrill to hold the unbound pages in my hand.

I’ll get to introduce the cookbook to you soon, and share the cover as well as a sneak peek of the recipes to come, but for now, I need to pick up a pencil, put my head down and focus on these final corrections before it goes to print. Things may continue to be a little quiet here on the blog in January, but I’ll be back before you know it, along with more stories, ideas and recipes.

But for right now, let’s share breakfast in the form of Apple Almond Bircher Muesli with Winter Fruits.

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Merry Christmas from our home to yours

From all of us here at Simple Bites, Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

The Christmas chaos has subsided for a few hours and the children have retired into various corners of the house with books, games and candy canes. I think Danny is sneaking in a nap and I’ve just brewed a cup of tea.

We are loving being home this year (remember last year we were in the Halifax NICU lending support to family) with heaps and heaps of snow to play in, and an enormous tree filling our living room. We have much to celebrate.

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Baked Brie and last-minute appetizer ideas

I had all but forgotten this last-minute baked brie appetizer from the Simple Bites archives, when my sister unearthed it for a recent party.

She presented the brie in all its glory, bubbling from the oven and topped with toasted walnuts, and I quickly remembered just how popular it was. Party guests swarmed the table and in a matter of minutes, half the round of brie and an entire baguette was gone.

I mean, warm cheese and crusty bread, does it get any better than that?

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Soft Maple Sugar Cookies + cookie swap recap

We’ve been on the Christmas cookie train longer than the tree has been up, since before the the first greeting card arrived, and well in advance of the deep drifts of snow blanketing our homestead.

‘Tis the nature of my work; I was developing recipes for a feature in Montreal’s French newspaper, La Presse, hence frosted, cut-out cookies were in abundance shortly after our Thanksgiving celebrations ended.

Early tryouts for the best holiday cookie meant that there was more time to narrow down a favourite and find that unique recipe to highlight for my annual cookie swap. This year, that cookie was a soft, maple-sweetened delicacy, cut into snowflake shapes, topped with a maple syrup glaze and dusted with sparkling sugar.

I wouldn’t tell you about these soft maple sugar cookies without sharing the recipe for your own baking project, so who is ready to dust off the cookie cutters?

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Weekend links and photos

Christmas eve is just two weeks away and slowly but surely everything is coming together.

Yesterday Clara weighted out all the dried fruit and nuts for my fruitcake and we baked it together. I brushed the finished cake with whisky, wrapped it in a cheesecloth and tucked it away out of sight. It is just one of the treats we prepare in advance of the celebrations.

The freezer is packed with mini Tourtière hand pies, shortbread cookies and pie dough for mince tarts, and a jar of mincemeat is aging in the fridge. The pantry is stocked with everything for baking, including three enormous bags of rolled oats, waiting to be toasted into granola for teacher’s gifts; I think that will be tomorrow’s project with the children.

In case you are still making your baking lists and planning your menus for the upcoming holidays, I’ve got a round-up of recipes and ideas from around the web that you are sure to enjoy.

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