Any recipe that starts with the words “This is dead easy to make and tastes like Christmas in a glass” is a recipe I want to try…

Mulled wine

Jamie Oliver’s take on mulled wine continues this way: “It’s a lovely celebration of those traditional festive spices like cloves, cinnamon and nutmeg. If you’ve got your own favorite spices, then feel free to add those to the pot too. Let everything cook away and warm up gently so the flavors have time to mingle with the wine. I like to leave my mulled wine ticking over on a really low heat and just ladle some into glasses as and when guests pop in.” (I love the way he writes…) The rest of the recipe can be found here.

I was thinking of mulled wine as it is -15 (that’s below zero kids) on an early December night as I write this. Chilly. OK, downright cold, actually. Christmas, Chanukah and Kwanzaa are right around the corner and I’m thinking of all the great food I will undoubtedly produce, consume and gift over the next few weeks.


When Kristina gives me a day off, I plan to try some of these recipes while listening to this Adam Sandler song.

Whenever I am invited to someone’s home for dinner – during the holidays, or any time of the year – I make it a policy not to arrive empty handed. I just think that if someone has gone to the effort to cook (or even pick something up), the very least I can do is reward that effort with a thank-you gift. Usually in the summer I make vats of homemade jam and conserves that I put aside for holiday gifts: first of all, the taste of apricot jam in winter can ALMOST make you forget how cold it is, and secondly, I still believe that homemade gifts made with care and love are ‘special’ (in a good way!).

But let’s face it – homemade jam is not going to cut it when you’re invited to the gift-giving holiday dinner at your in-laws. For them, or for some of the other important folks on your list, you’re going to have to come up with a significant, tasteful (get it? Sorry, couldn’t resist…), “Oh wow, you shouldn’t have (but we’re glad you did)” gift. Like one of these incredible posters from Phillipe Sommer


Phlippe Sommer

Champagne Liébard-Régnier / Château Lapeyre Saint-Emilion

Even though they don’t scream CHRISTMAS, I think there is something special and sparkly about them, and their colors pop just like a great bottle of Champagne.

And what about these lovely little matted pieces? From France, circa 1900, they are delightful, easy to place, ready to frame and under $100/each. At that price, you can make a chocolate layer cake, and bring a vintage gift, They’ll thank you with their mouths full!


1890 Original French Chicoree Nouvelle Label, Un Astronome Audacieux1890s Original French Chicoree Nouvelle Label, Cherchant Un Point De Vue

This is another recipe I want to try… you know it’s going to be good when your mouth starts to water as you look at the photo and read the recipe.

There is a radio station in Vermont that plays Christmas music all year long. I have nothing against Christmas carols, but in the middle of July, you kind of gotta scratch your head and wonder… The Huffington Post put together a list of songs that generally don’t get mch airplay in Vermont or anywhere else. My favorite might be the first one, but check them out and see what you think.

Happy holidays everyone!

One comment

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