i’m loving…

things i’m loving!

A Christmas themed post for you today. Not surprisingly, most of these are food related…

1) COBS Bread Gingerbread White Chocolate Buns

COBS Bread is ‘spicing up the holidays’ with a seasonal selection of yummy treats. My sister-in-law served these to us when we went over for an after-dinner treat last week, and I am hooked! COBS always has high quality baked goods, and these wrap the spirit of the holiday season up into a sweet little roll. They are offering other wonderful holiday choices, including Fruit Mince Tarts, Gingerbread Cranberry Buns, Cranberry Sourdough and Apricot Delight logs. Sound good? Pre-order for your holiday gathering in store.

2) Escents Aromatherapy’s Cinnamon Essential Oil 

I love using aromatherapy and quality essential oils in my home. Try putting a few drops in your bath for relaxation or healing. Eucalyptus is so soothing when I’m fighting a cold. Lavender is both a pick-me-up and natural relaxer, great for inhaling before bedtime. If I’m having trouble sleeping, I put 3 to 5 drops on a cotton pad and place it in my pillowcase.

But during the holiday season, one of my favourite essential oils is Cinnamon. Place 5-10 drops in your candle diffuser with a few tablespoons of water and your home will smell just like Christmas! There are so many benefits that Cinnamon essential oils are associated with. Please see the below for details from Escents’ website:

Cinnamon Essential Oil

Country of Origin: Sri Lanka
Latin Name: cinnamonum zeylanicum

The cinnamon tree is an evergreen native to China and Vietnam that has since been cultivated in many other regions. It has shiny, leathery green leaves, and small, white flowers with oval shaped purple berries. Believed to act as a stimulant and as an antiseptic and astringent. It is a natural insecticide and very good for re-structuring the scent in any environment in order to eliminate unpleasant odours.

Part of plant used / Bark
Extraction method / Steam distillation
Odour / Spicy, sharp, and sweet aroma

Nervous System / Debility, nervous exhaustion, stress related conditions, nervous depression
Skin Care / Lice, scabies, tooth and gum care, warts, wasp stings
Respiratory System / Chills, colds, influenza, infectious diseases, hyperthermia
Circulatory System / Poor circulation, anemia
Digestive System / Anorexia, colitis, diarrhoea, dyspepsia, intestinal infections, sluggish digestion, spasms, regularizes bowel motions and increases peristalsis-constipation, vermifuge, tropical diseases
Genito-Urinary System / Stimulates uterine contractions, frigidity, leucorrhoea, metrorrhagia

3) Starbucks Gingerbread Latte

Mmmmm… I don’t know anyone who doesn’t love a Gingerbread Latte at Starbucks during the Christmas Season and the red Christmas cups are sort of nostalgic – you know Christmas is coming when Starbucks starts using the red cups!

4) Christmas Cookies

Today was my last day at Suburbia until the New Year, so now that I have free time to prepare for the holiday season, I’ll be doing some Christmas baking! Here’s a recipe for Date Pinwheel cookies from Better Home and Gardens that I tested last week.

 I love the look of these and they were fairly simple, rolling and cutting being the most difficult part. Prepare these in advance as they require some cooling time in the fridge. For the holidays I added some nutmeg and ground cloves to the filling mixture.

Ingredients

-1 8-ounce package (1-1/3 cups) pitted whole dates

Date Pinwheels

-1/2 cup water

– 1/3 cup sugar

– 2 tablespoons lemon juice

– 1/2 teaspoon vanilla

– 1/2 cup butter or margarine

– 1/2 cup shortening

– 3 cups all-purpose flour

– 1/2 cup sugar

– 1/2 cup packed brown sugar

– 1 egg

– 3 tablespoons milk

– 1 teaspoon vanilla

– 1/2 teaspoon baking soda

– 1/4 teaspoon salt

Directions:  

  1. Snip pitted whole dates. Place dates in a saucepan. Stir in water and 1/3 cup sugar. Bring to boiling, then reduce heat. Cook and stir about 2 minutes or until thickened. Then stir in lemon juice and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla. Set the filling aside to cool.
  2. Beat butter or margarine and shortening with an electric mixer about 30 seconds or until softened. Add about half of the flour. Then add the 1/2 cup sugar, the brown sugar, egg, milk, 1 teaspoon vanilla, baking soda, and salt. Beat until thoroughly combined, scraping the sides of the bowl occasionally. Beat or stir in the remaining flour. Cover and chill about 1 hour or until easy to handle.
  3. To shape, divide the dough in half. Place each half of the dough between 2 sheets of waxed paper. Using a rolling pin, roll each half into a 12×10-inch rectangle. Remove top sheets of waxed paper.
  4. Spread date mixture over each half of the dough. From a long side, roll up each half into a spiral, removing bottom sheet of paper as you roll. Moisten and pinch edges to seal each roll. Wrap each in waxed paper or plastic wrap. Chill for 4 to 48 hours.
  5. Grease a cookie sheet; set aside. Cut the dough into 1/4-inch-thick slices. Place slices 2 inches apart on the prepared cookie sheet. Bake in a 375 degree F oven for 10 to 12 minutes or until done. Remove cookies from cookie sheet and cool on a wire rack. Makes about 84 cookies.

Make-Ahead Tip: Wrap shaped dough and place in airtight container or plastic freezer bag and freeze up to 1 month. Bake as above.

 5) REAL Christmas Music

I’ve already tired of the cheesy Mariah Carey, Christina Aguilera and Run DMC Christmas songs playing on repeat in every store of every shopping centre… despite the popular songs, Christmas music can be both evocative and meaningful. Yesterday I received an email from my Grandfather with a beautiful rendition of Oh Holy Night, performed by a group of Celtic women.

Merry Christmas everyone! Enjoy.

One Comment on “i’m loving…

  1. Totally agree with the Christmas songs. I HATE the poppy Christmas songs.
    I’ve been meaning for pick up so Eucalyptus essential oil, and thanks for the tip about Lavender. I didn’t think about putting it in my pillow 🙂

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