Saturday, December 29, 2012

Weekly Roundup - Christmas Sweaters, Cakes, Cookies, & Plates

Ugly Christmas Sweater Party - For as long as I have known my best friend Robin, I have known her sister Jamie to be the hostess with the mostest! Jamie is one of those people who was born to entertain, host, and care for others (which is very fitting considering that she is a nurse!), throwing parties and get togethers all year round, always complete with the most delicious drinks, snacks, and desserts, almost always created all by Jamie herself! How perfect that Jamie would fall in love with her husband John, also a fantastic host and cook (not to mention a hunter as well!), making them the perfect party-throwing team! Every year since I have known the pair they have been throwing an annual Ugly Christmas Sweater Party, bringing together all their friends and family, in their most hideously incredible festive sweaters to eat, drink, and be merry, all under one roof! Jamie always outdoes herself each year in both her menu and sweater, and this year was no exception.

Donning a brand new homemade ugly Christmas sweater, complete with a stocking cellphone holder (a must for any party host!) Jamie and John once again threw a great holiday party, this time with some new and very unique menu items. I was surprised and incredibly excited to hear that Jamie and John had special ordered an ostrich egg to make a frittata to serve at the party, to serve alongside elk sausages (very cool!). With their incredible culinary skills, I was sad to see that the frittata was already devoured by the time Robin and I arrived at the party, but we were still able to scope out the giant ostrich egg that they had saved! It was so cool to hold the ostrich egg shell in my hand, feeling the strange texture, weight, and thickness, of the shell. So cool! Thanks Jamie and John for another successful and hilarious ugly Christmas sweater party! Check out Jamie's fantastic food blog, Martha In Training, here to learn more about Jamie and what she's cooking up next!

Ugly Christmas Sweater Party: Sweet & Splendid Cake - At every party and get together that Jamie hosts, one of the things I look forward to most is seeing what type of creation her friend Danielle has created. Danielle has her very own custom cake business called Sweet & Splendid Bakeshop, creating the most imaginative, beautiful, and delicious cakes I have ever seen! There's always this whimsical quality to her cakes that makes them really stand out for me, which is easy to see with the cake that she served at this years Ugly Christmas Sweater Party. The red velvet and mascarpone cream cake looked so adorable, shaped like a chimney with Santa's legs coming out the end, as though that jolly belly of his got him stuck in the narrow passage. Although I missed snapping a photo before everyone cut into the cake, you can still see the fantastic artistry that goes into Danielle's work! What really blows me away about Danielle's cakes is that not only are they beautiful and complex, they are also always delicious! Check out Danielle's website to see more of her creations at Sweet & Splendid Bakeshop here

Annual Christmas Cookie Bake - One of my all-time favourite family traditions is spending time with my Oma in her kitchen, with one or two of my little (er...not so little anymore) cousins at my side, rolling, cutting, and decorating Oma's infamous Christmas cookies! It is something that, no matter how busy all of our schedules get, I will never fail to miss! I love my Oma so much, and being able to spend that time with her, doing one of our favourite things in the world, means the world to me! I appreciate the time that Oma spends preparing the dough for all of us, and setting up the cookie decorating station complete with all the cookie cutters we have been using since I was a toddler, sprinkles, egg wash, and, my favourite baking accessory, her antique German cookie press that turns that delicious cookie dough into something even more spectacular! Oma, thank you so much for always making time to make Christmas cookies with me every year, for whipping up delicious lunches prior to the cookie bake (your fried chicken, pickles, and beets hit the spot!), for sharing your wine coolers with me, and for making me smile with your dirty jokes! I love you! 

Christmas Plate 2012 - It may not be the most beautiful plate, but it is certainly the most delicious! Any good Christmas plate should be colourful, piled high, overflowing, and look like a delicious mess. It's clear to see that this years Christmas plate certainly fits that description! On my plate this year is:  ginger-ale glazed ham with caramelized onions, turkey with cranberry sauce, mashed sweet potatoes with red peppers, cheesy scalloped potatoes, pomegranate and brie salad with balsamic glazed pecans, green beans with caramelized onions, shredded beet salad, and stuffing! The best!

Honorable Mention: Yours Truly - It was too dark for me to take a successful photo, and, quite frankly, there were just too many dishes for me to even narrow down which photo I would post, but I couldn't post a Weekly Roundup without mentioning what may be one of the best dining experiences I have had in Toronto to date! Last week I had the absolute pleasure of dining at the Ossington hotspot Yours Truly, which blew me away with their unique, striking, and absolutely delicious tasting menu! Not only was the inventive meal (complete with unbelievable cocktails) an adventure for the taste buds, it was also a great conversation starter and learning experience. It was such a joy to be able to engage with the bartender and servers about each dish that we were enjoying, learning about the techniques, ingredients, and time that went into each dish and cocktail. Every single aspect of the dinner was spot on! It was a memorable meal and evening that I won't soon forget! Tip: Sit at the bar for the ultimate  dining experience!

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Listening To:
Major Lazer - Get Free (Feat. Amber of Dirty Projectors)

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Velva said...

May 2013 be as much fun with your friends as 2013!

Happy New Year to you!


Behold the Metatron said...

Yum! Best of luck to you in 2013.


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