Simple Cranberry Sauce

cranberry sauce I


As children, we never had cranberry sauce, and as we grew up, we occasionally had a jar of the Ocean Spray stuff sitting in our fridge. It was used to spread in sandwiches, made with sliced chicken and stuffing. Anyway, I decided to make some for Christmas dinner 2012. It was a nice change.

I did have to add a bit more sugar to the original recipe, because it was way too tart, even for me. The resulting sauce was pretty yummy. I love it when the cranberry sauce is chunky, and I prefer it when the cranberries are just at that point where they have just burst.

It’s perfect with turkey/chicken, and goes wonderfully in leftover turkey/chicken sandwiches!

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Perfect Panettone


I was first introduced to panettone in 1999 by an Italian colleague. Panettone is the most wonderful bread ever. The last 2-3 years, I made an effort to buy one to scoff over Christmas. Before you know it, the whole panettone had gone! I mean, what is there not to love? The bread is light, fluffy, lightly sweet, slightly dry and fruity. The weird thing is why do people only enjoy it over the festive season? It is such a wonderful bread, that it should be enjoyed all year around! Continue reading

Gevulde Speculaas – Dutch Spiced Biscuit (Cookie) Filled with Almond Paste


These are my favorite Dutch specialties. They bring wonderful warm memories of December and Christmas. I daren’t even think about the sugar, fat or calories in these things. However, they do have a redeeming feature – they contain almonds, although I doubt this counteracts the naughtiness of them. They are definitely worth the splurge once in a while.

I find these the perfect. Why? I love the Dutch spiced biscuits (cookies), speculaas, and I also love almond paste. When you get layers of speculaas wrapped around a thick layer of almond paste, what is there not to love? It’s like heaven for me. I would gladly work out for a longer amount of time just to enjoy these goodies! Continue reading

Taai-Taai – Dutch Chewy Spiced Honey Cake Dolls


It’s closing in on December 5th, and it’s this time of year when there are normally gifts and wonderful Dutch goodies in the house. Only this year, there are none. It was J who introduced me to these wonderful culinary delights, and for 10.5 years we had been together, I had never made taai-taai, speculaas or gevulde speculaas. This was because my mother-in-law would furnish us with a food parcel at this time of year.

Taai-taai aren’t exactly cookies, they are closer to gingerbread. They are spiced differently too, similar to that you would find in Dutch spiced biscuits (cookies), speculaas. They are soft, tough, chewy and incredibly moreish, made to be enjoyed with a cup of tea or coffee, Continue reading

Panforte di Siena

 

Ahh… our Christmas cake… I’m not sure if we can really call it a cake, it’s more like a piece of chewy confectionery. It originates from Italy and is packed full of dried fruit, nuts and honey.

This cake is traditionally baked in a round cake tin (pan). However, I broke out of the norm this year and baked it in a loaf tin (pan). The cake was cut into 2.5 cm (1 inch) pieces, making them easier to enjoy, instead of gnawing a huge slice. Continue reading

100% Whole Wheat Stollen with Almond Paste

 

The traditional German Christmas bread just got a little healthier! This version is made with 100% whole wheat flour, studded with plump fruit, and stuffed with almond paste. It’s perfect for breakfast or with a cup of tea or coffee.

It was in 2008 that I first tried my hand at stollen. This was because the varieties available in the shops grossed me out. The resulting loaf was a little bit of a disaster. 2009 was my first year of stollen success. This is a great recipe, however I wanted to try out Reinhart’s recipe and he did not disappoint. Continue reading

Ginger-Molasses Cookies – Gluten-Free & Vegan

 

If you love ginger and treacle (molasses), then these are the cookies for you. Not only are they quick and easy to make, they are also vegan and gluten-free! They are soft gingerbread-like cookies that are packed full of flavor.

These cookies are freezer-friendly. Once cool, simple wrap each one in cling film (plastic wrap) and store in the freezer in a container. Continue reading

Quark Stollen with Almond Paste

 

The holidays just aren’t the same without stollen. It’s been like this since I met J, many moons ago. I absolutely love stollen! J’s parents used to visit us in the UK from the Netherlands and would always bring some with them. They even include it in the food parcels they send to us at this time of the year. In 2008, our Christmas parcel went on a detour to Sydney, Australia and we didn’t get it until March… you can imagine how fresh the stuff was then, eek!!! 

We’ve browsed store-bought varieties, but the ingredients make me want to hurl. Yuck! In 2009, I decided to make my own stollen for Christmas. Since I only started honeyandspice in April 2010, I thought it would be better to wait closer to the holiday season to blog about it. Continue reading