on sundae

vanilla ice cream with balsamic syrupThe old aphorism “opposites attract” probably best describes this pairing. The slightly acidic tang from the balsamic syrup with the softly sweet vanilla is a winning combination. Elegantly simple. Vanilla pairs perfectly with so many things that we made the ice cream our vehicle for taste testing several different flavoured balsamic vinegars. Fig, black cherry, chocolate, pear…just a few of the versatile vinegars from the Unrefined Olive, and all delicious. David Lebovitz’s recipe for vanilla ice cream has been my go-to. I was so excited to get a double batch done while family was visiting (so that we could have our balsamic tasting experience!) that the second batch might not have been completely frozen…I tried to pass it off as soft serve. Continue reading

Cookie Swap Thanks and a Product of Canada [Maple Cookies]

Landed in a Ottawa yesterday, in a winter wonderland. Am now cozy by the fire, presents wrapped, holiday tunes on, poodle at my feet, surrounded by family and so happy. Holiday bliss!

[From @tomshap's instagram]

[From @tomshap’s instagram]

Came home to discover treats waiting for me in the freezer — the cookies I received from the Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap! Thank you so much to Megan at the bold baker, Destini at The Healthy Wife, and Lisa at Je Suis Alimentageuse, for the delicious goodies! They were shared with family and friends over tea this afternoon — lovely.
(You can find the recipe for the Double Chocolate Espresso Cookies we sent out here!)

Cookie swap goodies -- thank you!

Cookie swap goodies — thank you!

During the last week of school in Spain, my 7th graders decided to have a dessert party to celebrate the start of the holidays.  Students got together in groups of two and made different desserts that are typical to Spain or Andalucia and several of them spelled out my name on their dessert, which was adorable.  I decided that I should make something Canadian to share and so I treated myself to some pure Canadian maple syrup from the biggest department store in Huelva (I had to search in the international food section!) and made these sweet maple cookies.
This was my first time creaming butter and sugar together by hand — I was so happy that with a little elbow grease these cookies came together easily and gave everyone a little taste of Canada (they were a hit!).

Excited to find maple syrup in Huelva!

Excited to find maple syrup in Huelva!

Maple Cookies in Huelva

Maple Cookies in Huelva

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It’s so nice to be home for the holidays — definitely the best Christmas gift this year, by far! Merry Christmas to you all, I’m off for my long winter’s nap! xo