Thursday, December 31, 2009

Christmas Baking...and HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!

Wow, Christmas 2009 over...but still a little baking was done...
which I would like to show you!!!

In my Christmas Stocking this year from Santa's Helper (read DD) was tucked this neat and oh so useful pot holder...covering the wrist!!! I often seem to get burns on my wrist when getting things out of the oven so this was very welcome..
Also this cool zester was tucked into the pot holder...
Awesome...thank you so much Jacqueline!!!

The biggest surprise of all was this very smart Kitchen Aid...after having admired it for sooo long and not having a mixer that I can leave while mixing I received this you-beaut gorgeous red one from my Darling One...he knows me so well!!!

Thank you so much...this will inspire me to get baking biscuits...cakes...meringue and all sorts of goodies!!!

The book that came with it...containing many European recipes...just perfect for us!!! of my favourites and one that I have not baked for a while is Lebkuchen!!!
This recipe is many years old now...coming from The Australian Womens Weekly...

This beautifully spiced little biscuit is of German origin...traditionally served at Christmas is done in the Latvian tradition (my heritage)...we call them Piparkuks (straight translation would be pepper cake)...

But I reckon good to eat year round!!!
It has been many years since I have had this spicy little with my whizz-bang Kitchen Aid I thought I would try them using gluten free flour...

First pounding cloves in the mortar and pestle...

and look at these beauties...they turned out just fine!!!
So far all the recipes I have substituted with gluten free plain flour have worked!!!

From the new book I thought I would make Spekulatius...
Spicy Austrian biscuits, flavoured with cinnamon and almonds and cut into star shapes for Christmas...dusted with icing sugar before serving...
Here they are all ready to go... yummy were these...and oh sooo mooorish!!!

This pic from the book...

Christmas afternoon saw us head off into the Snowy Mountains of New South Wales where we thought we would make some pasta!!!
One of the party thought they would bring some cornflour over (no gluten) to see if it would knead up into pasta...No Way!!!
Nevertheless beautiful pasta was made from this machine pictured under...

While the dough was in the fridge setting I thought I would take a little pre-dinner walk...and wow, look at these dramatic sunset scenes...I will post more scenes on my other blog Queen of the Armchair after New Year...Just an absolutely stunning sunset view!!!

Living on the coast we have temperate weather...but not in the must've been about 8c...very nearly time to put gloves on...but the stillness and the beauty of the area takes my breath away every time!!!

Coming back we had Martinis...shaken not stirred!!!
Just perfect!!!
I would like to raise my glass now to all my blogging friends, followers and readers...
May your glass overflow in the New Year...
Wishing you much joy and happiness throughout the year...
May there be much Peace and Joy throughout our beautiful world!!!



  1. Dzintra, this was magical. I remember having worked 6 years in a bakery while I put myself through my Bachelor's program here at the University of Minnesota...I baked pies! I actually really loved this job. However, the gal that used to work with me (I just loved her), her and I called each other sister, because we both had the exact same burn scars on our forearms!!!!! I was from pulling large trays of pies out of the large evens! Do you know that every Thanksgiving, 6 of us would hand make the pie dough, roll out the shells and prepare the pies? WE would make at least 1200 pies. Wow. AND....My husband bought me a cobalt blue Kitchen Aid mixer about 12 years ago for Christmas and I have made some of the most fantastic cookies as well. I am so glad that you enjoyed your holiday! This was one of my favorite ever, because of all of YOU blogger pals that kept open communication throughout the Christmas hour. I look forward to another wonderful year of blogging with you. I send you my wishes dear friend, down under! Anita

  2. Ah yes,Dzintra! We are connected by much, and those scars!!! I just finished my next post for today, but in the weeks to come, I am going to be mentionning a French blog that I came across with some YUMMY LOOKING RECIPES! You must see it. SInce I speak French, it is not a mystery to me, but thankfully, she has a translator on the blog. The photos are killer gorgeous and make you hungry! I look forward to more exciting times this year. I bid you a fabulous day my friend! Anita

  3. Oh what gorgeous scenery... truly breath-taking! What a perfect Christmas Dzintra! I'm sooo envious of your beautiful Kitchen Aid! And I so love it in RED! I do have a pasta maker... though haven't figured out how to use it since cooking gf! Gotta figure that one out! Spicey Biscuits... all I can say is YUM! Raising a glass to you as well my dear friend~ Have a very Happy New Year from the Up-over to the Great and wonderful Down-under! xxx Vicki

  4. WOW WOW WOW! I love it, that is one of my favorite mixer of all time. You deserved it my beautiful friend. Your love one certainly worth keeping LOL!! Happy New Year to you too and enjoy your beak with. I will try that Lebkuchen, I have a recipe somewhere. Your pics all look great. Love Nat

  5. Love that mixer! those are amazing...thanks for your sweet comments on my blog honey. I hope you come back soon! Kori xoxo