Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Gift Wrapping Ideas

It seems that a few days ago I looked at my calendar and September was just ending. How is it almost December? The one thing I systematically look forward to at this time of year is waiting for the first real snow fall. You know, that moment when the skies become white and fluffy, the city quiets down, and thick cotton-like fluffs fall from above in calming streaks? I might not love it as much come February, or March.. or April! but in December it has to be one of the most beautiful scenes nature has to offer.

The first snow fall hasn't hit Toronto yet, but we've been hard at work preparing for the holidays at the Style at Home offices! Whether you're celebrating Christmas, Hanukkah or just time off with friends and family, this time of year usually comes with wrapping a few gifts. I've prepared a few easy ideas to spice up your wrapping skills this year. What do you think? These are all you need to make something personal and pretty without spending a bundle.

To read more about these, take a look at my complete article here.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Holiday DIY project

The holidays are always an ideal time to start working on a few DIY projects. It's usually a great way to save some money but, for me, it's more importantly the perfect excuse to put some time aside to get creative. This is a very, very simple DIY project that will help bring on the holiday spirit. It's just about painting a few pine cones with a soft tone of gold and stacking them in a glass jar. I added a slate label secured with rustic rope. This decor item is ideal to brighten a kitchen counter (that's where mine is right now!) but also looks beautiful atop a mantel, a shelf or on a side table in a guest's room.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Pea and Pancetta Soup

Oddly enough, the term 'comfort food' is not something I ever grew up hearing in France. I think it's because so much of the food really is, inherently, comfort food that it would make for quite a redundant label. From creamy potato puree, to seared duck breast, pot au feu (beef stew), salade de chevre chaud (frisee lettuce topped with melted goat cheese on crusty bread) to even just a cheese platter with a good baguette and cornichons (small French pickles) - there are very little foods in France that don't make you feel good inside. Our conception of food in France is something I have rarely seen elsewhere, if I have to be perfectly honest. The knowledge of food of even those who don't like to cook always strikes me a little when I make my way back home.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Win a Kitchen Aid Mixer with our Holiday Cookie Swap

As readers of this site know, I 've been working for Style at Home for the past few months. The holidays are one of the busiest times of the year for our food and home decor content, and I will be sharing some of my holiday articles with you in the next few weeks . For now, I wanted to let you in on a giveaway I thought all you bakers might be interested in!

We are putting together our first ever holiday Cookie Swap! We will be sharing delicious cookie recipes and photos from our readers. Starting on December 1st, all submissions will be published on our website. The best part? A lucky winner will receive a beautiful Kitchen Aid Stand mixer. You can take a look at all the rules and regulations here. The contest is open to all Canadian residents, excluding Quebec,

What are you favourite treats to make for a holiday cookie swap?

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Tarte Tatin and a Cookbook Giveaway

First things first ... tarte tatin! Have you ever had a slice of this delicious, upside down, caramel and apple tart? If not, I suggest you run through this post and give it a try as soon as you have a moment in the kitchen! This dessert is a real staple of my Parisian upbringing. Growing up, we had this tart for many different occasions, usually enjoying it warm with a melting scoop (or two!) of vanilla ice cream. This is really one of the staples of French cuisine and one of my favourites. It's a simple concept (apples, flaky dough, caramel) and the end result is not only gorgeous but incredibly delicious as well.

Invented by the Tatin sisters in France, this tart came about when the sisters were flooded with clients at their restaurant and came up with a clever way to recover their damaged traditional 'tarte aux pommes' (apple tart). The solution was to bake the tart up-side down, with the crust on top of the filling, and to flip the tart over once it was nicely caramelized by the butter and caramel used in the filling. This photograph doesn't really do the tart justice - but to tell you the truth, I made the tart in the evening and by the time it was out of the oven it was begging to be sliced... right then and there. An instagramed picture will have to do the trick for this post then!
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