New Year's tiramisu panettone bake New Year's tiramisu panettone bake New Year's tiramisu panettone bake New Year's tiramisu panettone bake New Year's tiramisu panettone bake

I had planned on prepping this dish the night before like I did last year but I ended up too lazy..Oh well, it's easy and took little effort to make after a pre-lunch walk. I say lunch, because the laziness continued the next day as well. Luckily because of the liquor, there is no need for soaking to get it going for a great New Year!

1 panettone
4 eggs
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
pinch of salt
Tiramisu liquor
Powdered sugar

Creme anglaise
Vanilla sauce

Preheat oven to 160 degrees Celsius. Cut the panettone roughly into bite-sized chunks. Butter a baking dish and add the panettone pieces. Flatten to ensure an even bake. In a bowl mix the eggs, sugar, milk, vanilla and salt. Add the tiramisu liquor to taste (a generous splash or two..or three). Pour the custard over the panettone and allow to rest for a couple of minutes. Bake for 30 to 45 minutes or until set. Dust with powdered sugar and serve with chilled creme anglaise and vanilla sauce.

Clean start

As much as I love the holiday season, the tree and all the goodies and decor that comes with it, I start getting anxious even before we ring in the new year. We cleared everything holiday out on Monday. And despite looking a bit bare, I’m relieved. In fact, we’re starting a purge. Less stuff! We have stuff from three homes. Things loved or needed. Things purchased on a whim or for a specific purpose. Things, I realize more and more are just things to take care of instead of enhancing life.

I’ve been left reeling a bit this week from several setbacks and disappointments. It’s going to take awhile to find our footing and get back to where we want to be and where we want to go. But we will, because I have the best partner in like ever! Seriously  though, the less stuff we have, the easier it will be. Does that mean morphing into the frugal living blog? Not really, it just means, what we don’t need or use will find a new use or home. And most importantly, whatever comes in has function and longevity. Less stuff, more living!

P.S. The table brush from Iris Hantverk seemed a fitting icon for clearing out. Plus it is one of the few things that I expect we’ll have a need for, for a long time to come..long live the mom files.

I won't grow up I won't grow up I won't grow up I won't grow up I won't grow up

I got the kiddies the coolest Christmas colouring poster and ditto magic markers. When the kids were away I would colour in that day's drawing. Wouldn't you know I'd get addicted? I seriously loved it! I looked forward to the next drawing and felt super calmed while colouring. Akin to my daily spot of meditation. So when I saw this adult colouring book for a mere 99 cents I just couldn't resist..

Authentic farmhouse renovation

Periodically we scan and dream about the home of our dreams. I sway from minimalist sugar cube to homestead farmhouse, albeit it modernised. By modernised I mean pared back, stripped down and only feature-enhancing details added. This typically Dutch farmhouse, renovated by Eek en Dekkers is the perfect example. I love the beams, the simple palette of materials and the feeling of calm, non-cluttered living.

Butterscotch creme brulee Butterscotch creme brulee Butterscotch creme brulee Butterscotch creme brulee Butterscotch creme brulee

Christmas is a mash-up of my childhood memories and traditions and my acquired Dutch ones. The second day of Christmas or boxing day in other parts was turkey day (mine) and ragout (his). But the big question remained.. what the heck to serve as dessert? Something everyone would like and simple enough to make because face it Christmas day cooking is stressful enough.

Creme brulee, people. Who doesn't like vanilla, custard and crackling sugar? I made these Christmas night and burnt the sugar the next day before serving. Nothing went faster...

2 eggs
5 egg yolks
1/2 cup sugar
3 cups cream
1 tablespoon vanilla paste
2 tablespoons butterscotch syrup
1 1/2 tablespoon Grand Marnier
Makes 12 servings

Combine eggs, yolks and  sugar. Warm the cream with vanilla bean paste or a split vanilla pod. Slowly add the vanilla cream to the eggs while continuing to mix. Pour in the butterscotch and liqueur, if using. Strain and pour into greased ramekins. Place the ramekins in a baking pan and add boiling water halfway up. 

Bake for 25 to 35 minutes, depending on the size of ramekin. Flat ones bake in 28 minutes and taller in about 35. The brulees still have a bit of a jiggle but will firm up more while cooling. Refrigerate until ready to serve. When serving, sprinkle an even layer of sugar over the brulee and caramelize with a torch or under a broiler. Allow to harden before serving. 

Christmas Eve Christmas Eve Christmas Eve Christmas Eve

It's Christmas eve and I'm far from done. Every year I say no more and then comes December and I can't imagine it any other way. The shopping is done, the gifts are wrapped and the pantry is bursting at the seams. We'll place the cookies for Santa, tuck the kids in and then get busy like Santa's elves on spiked 'nog! But first I'll sit back and enjoy Christmas eve...if only for a moment.


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