Sunday, December 16, 2012

Christmas magic ~

When she thinks of Christmas, I want shimmering stars, scents of evergreen, warm cups of hot chocolate, and rooms filled with jolly laughter to fill her mind. Cozy blankets wrapped around our shoulders as we read classic tales beside the roaring flames of a burning fire. The tingling trace of pure peppermint oil as she continuously licks the stick of chalky peppermint candy, the old-fashioned kind that my great-grandfather used to fill his shirt pocket with and hand out as if we won the jackpot of tasty bliss.  Afternoons spent in the kitchen preparing baked goods with our own hands, chasing flour clouds in the air, decorating our noses with buttercream icing, and giggling non-stop from the sugar high. Choosing the tree we know needs the most tender loving care because no one else would have it…channeling Charlie Brown Christmas. Creating gifts for those we love, cherish and hold dear to our hearts, gifts that mean something and have a story we want to share. Decorating our tree with offerings from nature, garland strung of cranberries, pinecones hand-painted with glitter, leaves gilded golden, and mistletoe hung in all the right places.

Christmas is meant to be magical. The very roots of Christmas are considered other-worldly. When did we lose touch of this magic? For me, it is vital to plant the seeds of wonderland in her mind, fill her thoughts and soul with the simple beauties of giving with love, receiving with pure gratitude, and absorbing the true essence of the season. A season meant to be filled with joy and peace. She is young, she is impressionable, and now is the time to engrave the pureness of Christmas into her heart. Lists can be made, but let’s allow those lists to be filled with good tidings, wishes for others and special achievements, and prayers of hope for better tomorrows. She is my one and only, and I have vowed to bring back the magic of Christmas. So far, her enthusiasm for painting cut-out stars, singing Oh Holy Night, and running with wild abandon through a Christmas tree farm lead me to believe I’m on the right track.

**This piece was published in the Winter 2012 issue of Folk magazine. An annual subscription for 2013 is being offered at a very happy rate here.

[Reverie-Daydream Image]

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Chai Tea Shortbread ~

My taste buds tend to be synchronized with the seasons, for as soon as the mornings are nipped with a chill, I crave a warm cup of chai tea made frothy with almond milk. But who says the flavor of this incredible spicy goodness needs to be enjoyed in liquid form only? These delicious chai tea shortbread cookies might just become the perfect tasty accoutrement to your steaming cup of tea...the little bits of tea leaves are my favorite part of each bite. 

Chai Tea Shortbread
yields ~3 dozen

1 1/2 cups of spelt flour
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/8 teaspoon of ground cloves  
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 tea bag {contents emptied} of Darjeeling Tea 
 3/4 cup powdered sugar
10 tablespoons of softened unsalted butter
1 Tablespoon ice water  

In a bowl, combine flour and next 7 ingredients, stir and mix well. Place sugar and butter in a medium bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed until light and fluffy. Gradually add flour mixture to butter mixture, beating at slow speed until just combined {mixture will appear crumbly}. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon of ice water onto the dough, combine water and dough together with a fork. Divide dough in half, shape into 2 logs; wrap in parchment or wax paper and chill in refrigerator for one hour.

Preheat over to 375 degrees. Unwrap dough logs and cut into 18 slices using a serrated knife. Place shortbread circles at least 2 inches apart on baking sheets.  Bake for 10 minutes or until slightly golden. Allow cookies to cool on pans for 5 minutes before removing and indulging!

[Styling and Photography by Reverie-Daydream]


Related Posts with Thumbnails