Stuff I wish I made this Holiday Season

Things have been busy this last part of 2010.  To be honest, neither Mr. Man or I have been in the holiday spirit.  Some years are just like that.  Life makes things too busy to care about hosting the best holiday party, cooking dozens of cookies, and decorating your home.  And that's okay.  These things are supposed to be fun, and when you are so busy that they feel like a chore, then you shouldn't feel bad about giving them up for year.

This year I have been living my holiday cheer vicariously through the blog world and thinking about all the things I want to do next year. 2011 is going to be a very tasty and crafty holiday season!

I always dream of giving away baskets of homemade goodies.  This year is the first year that I have ever canned anything.  There were some successes and some failures.  Now that it is the end of the year, all that is left to give that is worthy of it's recipients are some blackberry and/or raspberry jam for dear old mom and dad.  Sigh.  Maybe next year I will get around to making:

Each year, I usually love to try out a new cookie or two that might make it into the family repertoire of holiday cookies that come out of the recipe box every year.  Maybe next year one of these will be added to the ranks of chocolate oatmeal, magic cookie bars, rum balls, and Russian tea cakes to name a few.  A couple of these recipes are from the Momofuku Pastry Chef of recent fame.  If you haven't heard of her yet (or David Chang the savory chef/ owner of the Momofuku dynasty) just know that they are the current culinary rock stars. 

I had my first macaron (not to be confused here with a marcaroon, the pile of coconut goodness) the other day at Thomas Keller's Bouchon Bakery.  I thought I hated them.  But, a friend who had been there before bought a bunch of different things for us to try.  I figured if there were ever a time to try a macaron it would probably be at the famed bakery of Thomas Keller.  It turns out I love them. All these years I had been mistaking these tiny little nuggets of flavor to be the same as meringue cookies (which I still hate).  A whole macaron world has opened for me.  The food world is currently obsessing about them too so there are lots of recipes out there.  They seem ridiculously hard to make, but I want to try anyway.  The flavor combinations are endless and inspiring.  A few of the many I think would be fun to try:

I also love to think about and plan holiday dinner parties here and at home with the family. Just like Thanksgiving it seems like a great time to bust out new recipes that require lots of time and/or lots of fat.  So, another thing on this list of stuff I wish I did this holiday season:  Cook up a storm.  Here is just a sampling of some of what I have been salivating over out there in foodie blog land.

For many years Mamacita and I had made a tradition of searching for the perfect bread pudding recipe, trying out a new one every year.  Finally, two years ago we found The One.  From what I remember it was an Emeril recipe for a tropical style bread pudding.  Pineapple, coconut, and rum sauce.  The perfect bread pudding storm.  I remember the following year after discovering said recipe, I was all set to make it again and Mamacita was on the search for a new recipe.  Apparently, we both had different versions of this tradition.  I thought we were searching for The One.  She thought the tradition was to try a new recipe every year.  I have done some searching am not sure exactly which recipe we used, but here are some ideas for this and other bread puddings.  If I can find it when I am at Mamacita's, I'll try to post it.

Nuevo Cubano Bread Pudding (this might be the one I just ranted about)

I could go on and on and on with the bread puddings.  And don't even get me started on the savory bread puddings!

Sooo....these are just some of the things that I would like to do next year.  I welcome any suggestions of favorites you may have or things you want to try to accomplish this year or next!


  1. Yay! I'm so glad you're back. Two posts in a row now even! I'm definitely coming back to this one next year. We really wanted to get into the holiday spirit this year, but seems like it's been one thing after the next, and now XMAS is less than a week away. So, next year!

  2. Welcome back, sister. Love the list - I could make a similar one that would include lots of knitting and sewing, and these to-die-for looking cookies that The Wednesday Chef posted. FYI - the homemade vanilla is super easy, and super satisfying. I made it WHILE WE WERE MOVING. Seriously. There I was, up to my eyes in boxes and stuff and behold...a handful of vanilla beans presented themselves. I figured I had to pack the vodka, the beans and my ridiculous collection of mason jars anyway, so...why not pack some together. If you still lived closer, I would bring you some! I miss you nearby - it's great to see you back in the 'sphere.


  3. Hey, it was the cubano one from Emeril. And I remember the story different....I thought that we were done with looking for the ultimate bread pudding recipe also....i thought that I was looking for the ultimate rice pudding recipe!!! oh my....if only my memory WOULD serve me right. I LOVE good rice pudding like what my Grandmother Kramer made.

  4. I very much enjoyed your post and introducing me to so many great blogs and other recipes. Aren't macarons a surprising treat? I'm hooked too and hope to have a better grasp on making them this year. I've had the Blueberries and cream cookies on my list also, from last year. Hopefully I'll get to them in the coming weeks. Thanks for the follow on CookEatShare!


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