Saturday, December 17, 2011

Spiced Apple Cider and a Holiday Cookbook Giveaway

Can you believe how fast December has gone by so far? I have quite a few things left to do on my list and very little time do it in! This year, I'm spending the holidays in New York - it's the first time that I will be spending the holidays outside of a 'home' - we usually spend the time off at our family home in the South of France. Living in North America now, it always feels great to take the time to go to back to my French roots and recharge but we are switching it up this year! It won't be a home-cooked meal but it will be a delicious New York staple restaurant and instead of lazy days by the fire, we will be catching up with New York's busy Christmas streets. I'm wrapping a few small gifts for my family to pack in my suitcase - just a few presents that are sure to please. Sometimes the holidays end up being a hectic time of running back and forth trying to find the perfect gifts for one another - which in my family can be quite the challenge! Most of my immediate family is not materialistic in the least (which overall is a good thing!) but makes it difficult to attempt to pick something out. So this year, we are keeping it simple and sticking to what really matters in the end: spending time together. That might sound a tad cheesy but that's exactly what it's going to be!

And now for a very fitting recipe ....spiced apple cider! It's perfect for this time of year - soothing and filled with holiday flavours.


Spiced Apple Cider
2 liters of good quality apple cider
6 cloves
2-1/4 inch thick slices of peeled fresh ginger
Peel of 1/2 orange
2 cinnamon sticks


Place all the ingredients in a medium-sized pot and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook for 15 minutes. Strain and serve immediately, garnished with cinnamon sticks. Enjoy!

And now for a little holiday joy!



I will be giving a copy of Vegan Holiday Kitchen to one lucky reader. This pretty book is filled with festive vegan recipes to be enjoyed throughout the year - from Thanksgiving recipe ideas to Christmas and Jewish holiday recipes.  If you're not familiar with vegan food this book will help give you an idea of the flavourful dishes you can make that just happen to be vegan. To enter this giveaway, just leave a comment on this post or on Chocolate Shaving's facebook page letting me know what your favourite holiday tradition is. If you enter a comment on both pages, your name will be entered in the contest twice. The contest closes December 30th at midnight. Only American and Canadian residents are eligible. Good luck!

20 comments:

jennbarthelemy said...

A vegan Christmas is what we're trying to do this year. This looks like a fantastic cookbook. I can't wait to take a look at it.

hahnak said...

one of our favorite traditions is leaving cookies for santa next to the chimney and eating it right after our son goes to sleep! contact melonpanchan through my google acct

Linda said...

Would love to add this cookbook to my collection! Great idea!

Ashleigh said...

One of my favorite holiday traditions is going to our church's Christmas Eve service with my family and then coming home to watch White Christmas. :)

Boi Polloi said...

Decorating the tree is my favourite tradition. I love seeing the reflection of the lights blinking on the walls and ceiling.

Torviewtoronto said...

lovely cider drink and giveaway would love to attend
torviewtoronto@gmail.com
canada

Sarah H.P. said...

I would have to say that my favorite holiday tradition is cooking and baking with my mom! Ever since I was old enough to help in the kitchen, the holidays are always full of savoury main dishes and scores of Christmas cookies!

Kate said...

My favorite holiday tradition is being able to pull out my Rabies Tag Christmas tree...it may sound odd, but being a Vet Tech for 7 years, I have collected all kinds of cool tags. I have ones from all over the country, and County Tags from the 1950's, plus the ones of my beloved furry "kids" that are no longer with me. All of these tags decorate a little 2 ft fake Christmas Tree in a red bucket :) It's actually quite cute, and has shown up at a few clinics I've worked for as decoration ♥

Kate

Amy said...

My favorite Holiday tradition is to put of cookies and milk for Santa with the kids on Christmas Eve. When the kids are asleep, my hubby and I can enjoy some quiet time and cookies. :P

This is such a wonderful book. Would love to learn more about vegan recipes.

amy [at] utry [dot] it

rusvaplaukÄ— said...

My favourite tradition is really simple - just our cozy little Christmas Eve dinner with the family.

Teslaca said...

Having an informal, appetizer style dinner on Christmas Eve is my favorite tradition at this time of year. Everyone enjoys the relaxed get together and great food.

Genevieve said...

My favourite holiday tradition that I still do every year is waking up Christmas morning and opening my stocking first thing, followed by a late family breakfast with mimosas!

Poornima Nair said...

My favorite tradition is the baking of Fruitcake, love the aroma.
Awesome cider recipe.

gdwmsu said...

Favorite holiday tradition? Making Mrs. DeMara's frosted cut out cookies. She was my neighbor growing up and I've made them for 35 years straight, in her honor. Best neighbor ever and I miss her.

JuLo said...

The holiday season is a barrage of fun traditions! It's hard to pick just one. I think I really love spending that afternoon decorating the Christmas tree. We drink spiced cider (the fresh ginger is SUCH a must!), throw candy cane ornaments at the tree. Put on holiday tunes. It's a festive time. :)

AnneHD said...

Baking and giving my christmas cookies! This American (or, at least, Anglophone-North-American) tradition was not part of French-Canadian childhood Christmases, but I started baking several kinds of cookies (gingerbread of course, italian cuccidati, sugar cookies, homemade oreos, etc.) and other homemade goodies for gift-giving in 2005 or 2006 and they are now my favorite part of Christmas.

Joan said...

One of my favorite holiday traditions is making a special Christmas casserole and fruit salad for my family.

moonsword said...

My favorite tradition is decorating Mom's house for Christmas with my brothers and sister...digging out all the ornaments that we made as kids, putting up the creche, stringing lights. All of it usually done a few days before Christmas (if not the night before!) and accompanied by copious amounts of spiked hot cocoa and eggnog and waaaay too many cookies. :)

Nicole said...

Your trip to NY sounds like a fun deviation from your normal plans! My favorite holiday tradition is making holiday cookies with my Mom and little sister!

Marie-Anne said...

My favorite holiday tradition isbaking tourtière with my mom. The recipe comes from my late grand-mother and is always a tasty dinner.

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