baking · books · lifestyle · Vintage Lifestyle

Christmas Baking & Gifts

Hello everyone:

I wanted to share with you all some photos of the baking I did for Christmas as well as some of the gifts I received from my family.  I also bought myself some gifts with the money I was gifted from my family.  I am not a big spender so buying myself some housewares was a treat and many of the purchases were items I had my eye on for years.

Firstly, I will start with some of the baking I did.  My husband and I, for the past two years, have decided to opt out of the Christmas rat race.  In doing this, I decided on primarily homemade gifts for our family members.  I made the cookies shown below, as well as soup and chocolate bark for my family members.  This will be a tradition I continue to do as it is not only heartfelt, but it a big part of my values to eschew the modern consumerism of this holiday.  This has been a big change for me during this time, but choosing to purchase and gift more consciously is very important to me.

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Mince pies and mince pinwheels made with the leftover pastry
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Chocolate dipped shortbreads
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Molasse crinkles, thumbprint cookies, and earl grey sugar cookies

Below are some of the gifts I purchased for myself or are from my family members.  I am very fortunate to have been able to purchase or be gifted these items and I hope you find them as beautiful as I do.  My mother also gifted me a new electric blanket as my previous one died (probably from all the love and use).

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A beautiful rose doiley from Wheaton’s (the cake stand was previously gifted to me from my sister-in-law)
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I am a big fan of Susan Branch’s blog and artwork so I decided to order the newest edition of her first cookbook.

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Quilted star placemat from Wheaton’s (tea set previously gifted to me from my Husband)  I had been longing for these placemats for years.
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This is a condensed version of Mrs. Beeton’s original household management.  As a lover of all things domestic and Victorian, I was glad to find a copy of this book for a good price and look forward to trying some of the recipes.
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From my Husband who clearly knows my love of Wuthering Heights
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Brooch made by my sister-in-law.  Her Embroidery Etsy: https://www.etsy.com/ca/shop/TheStitchingKitty

Thank you for having a look at my blog.  A lot of changes are coming and I hope you come back soon!

Sincerely,

Jacqueline

books · history · Uncategorized

Recently Purchased Books – 1

Here are some books I’ve purchased recently.  I have been quite picky about the things I have been bringing into my life and was supposed to be on a “consumables only” shopping diet, however, these books slid through (how could I resist?).  And one could say that you do in fact consume books.

all bookshow to be a victorian

lunch in paris
I read this book before going to Paris for the first time and I own it on my e-reader, but since it has recipes I thought I should pick up the hard copy one day.  I found it on sale for only $6.  This book made me see Paris differently, I think. If you love food (and France), this is a lovely book.

suffragettes

The witches
I have started reading this book and the writing is beautiful and descriptive.  I already recommend it if you are interested in history and witches, of course.

What have you been reading recently?  What are your recently purchased books?  I’d love to know.

Thanks for stopping by.

Jacqueline

baking · Recipes · Uncategorized

Pumpkin Bread + Books I Love

I wanted to share a few things today that I have been loving lately.  Around Canadian thanksgiving,  I made this gorgeous pumpkin bread and thought I should share.  And it is easy-peasy to make.

I also wanted to share some books I have been loving lately.

First, here’s the recipe for the pumpkin bread.

pumpkin-breadIngredients

One 15oz can of pumpkin puree
1 2/3 cup sugar
2/3 cup vegetable oil (melted butter or coconut oil is a fine substitute)
2 tsp vanilla
4 eggs
3 cups flour
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice or mixed spice
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1/2 cup sultanas (optional but makes a sweeter loaf!)

Method

Preheat oven to 350F and ensure oven rack is placed low if you have a small oven, or in the middle if you have a regular sized one.  Grease bottoms of two small loaf tins (8×4), or one big one (9×5) and place parchment paper on the bottom.  I trace mine out before hand so it fits in perfectly.

In a bowl mix pumpkin, sugar, oil, vanilla & eggs until well mixed.  Stir in remaining ingredients except for the walnuts and sultanas.  Once the mixture is well combined, fold in sultanas and walnuts.

Pour mixture into pans and bake for 50 minutes to 1 hour, or until a toothpick comes out clean.  It took me approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes for the big loaf tin.

Cool 10 to 15 minutes on wire rack before removing from the tin.  Let cool for two hours or so before slicing.  And enjoy with a cup of tea.

And here are the books.

all-souls-trilogydiary-of-a-witch

The All-Souls Trilogy is amazing for people interested in history, witches, and a bit of academia.  It was nice to find a series regarding witches, vampires, and daemons, geared towards adults.  If you are a fan of the Elizabethan era, I would suggest you do read these, as the second book is based during that time.  I think I enjoyed this series so much – and I have read it three times – because the author, Deborah Harkness, is actually a historian, so there are a bit of fun facts thrown in while you read.

The second book was a bit of an odd find at my local bookshop.  It is a fictional story, however, it does bring you into the darker parts of Scotland’s history – the witch trials.  The book is mostly in diary form which I love.  I must warn you that some parts of the book are truly violent and if you are squeamish or easily disturbed by violence (and sexual violence) against women, this is not the book for you.  I must say this book surprised me in its quality and I hope you do pick it up.

As you can see, these books do have a bit of a witch theme, and I suppose being halloween, it seems a natural selection however I must admit I have a fondness for the history of witches so I tend to read about them a lot.

I hope you all have a great Halloween/Samhain.

Thanks for reading.

Jacqueline