Happy Thanksgiving!

November 25, 2010 in Food Porn, holiday

(notice the huge amount of sugar on there? Kids got a bit carried away when I had my back turned)

I am going to be shooting a few scenes from around here this Thanksgiving morning. I will be adding more if I have the energy!

Our meal will consist of a relatively modest menu, we dont pull down the paycheck of even a minor mailroom clerk at Solomon Brothers or some other Wall Street boondoggle – we give thanks over a frugal meal happily. We will still be quite stuffed!


Thanksgiving 2010: blueberry plum pie, cooling

Thanksgiving 2010: pumpkin pie

We wish you a most thankful Thanksgiving!

Merry Christmas!

December 24, 2009 in holiday


I wish you all a Merry Christmas and a beautiful New Year!

Lets hope that the new year and the new decade brings us a greater measure of happiness, resilience, and simple living.

Yule Log and small children

December 22, 2008 in Food Porn, holiday


(KD adoring the log – which she calls a “cake branch”)

As promised, I am writing today about the food we chose to make for the winter solstice yesterday – the yule log.

I had a very enthusiastic helper, my 5 yo daughter KD, who not only modeled eating the cake, she modeled various parts of making the cake. If you do this with your kids expect: lots of sneaky stealing of frosting when you are not watching and also some need for your help in rolling up the log.

KD looks like she rolled it up but she had a lot of help from me.

You can learn more about the yule log at this wiki page.

Things you will need include:

  • one sheet of cake (I used a box mix)
  • two cans of frosting
  • coconut flakes
  • off-set spatula
  • candle
  • parchment paper

First, I made up a box of cake mix and baked in a sheet pan which I then let cool overnight.

Winter Solstice 2008: sponge ready, KD ready

(KD with cake sheet and other ingredients)

I next opened a can of frosting and warmed it a bit in a 350 F oven so that it was not rock hard (its REALLY cold in our house).

Chocolate Frosting

(Chocolately goodness, you can use any flavor you want!)

Spread out onto sheet cake, making sure to not pick the spatula straight up and always spreading – otherwise you rip up the cake.

Winter Solstice 2008: frosting inside of layer

(KD spreading frosting)

KD enjoyed this part a lot. I just let her do as much as she wanted to (without her ripping it up too badly) because this is all on the inside, doesn’t have to be beautiful.

Winter Solstice 2008: frosting inside of layer

(Tasting for quality assurance)

Keep spreading so that the frosting is evenly coated across the sheet.

Winter Solstice 2008: frosting done


The next few shots are of KD rolling up the cake. Have your sheet on a sheet of parchment paper so that you can touch that as you are rolling. Go slowly and stop once you have a bit rolled to then firm it with your hands. If you use a moist cake mix this will go better. It doesn’t have to be perfect because it will be covered in frosting at the end.

Winter Solstice 2008: rolling up

Winter Solstice 2008: rolling up

Winter Solstice 2008: rolling up

Winter Solstice 2008: rolling up

This is what ours looked like when we were done rolling it up.

Winter Solstice 2008: rolling up

(Notice that nothing is perfect!)

Next step is to trim off the ends – save the trimmed part (should look like a cinnamon roll) for a later part.

Winter Solstice 2008: cut off ends

Winter Solstice 2008: end pieces


KD took a break at this point to taste test.

Winter Solstice 2008: KD taste testing

(More yummmm)

KD approves.

Winter Solstice 2008: KD taste testing

(Cute little lips)

Break open the second can of frosting and put on top of the log which is now on the serving tray (that has some parchment paper protecting the plate).

Winter Solstice 2008: frosting

(Pile it all on there)

Then begin to spread it gently but firmly, let the frosting know who’s the boss.

Winter Solstice 2008: frosting

(Warm chocolate frosting, get into the zen of it)

If you would like to made a smaller branchlet like many yule logs do, I recommend using a trimmed up part that you cut off the end. This shot shows how I thinned out the frosting here to make room for the branchlet.

Winter Solstice 2008: making the smaller branch

(Scrape down to the cake)

Then add the cut-end.

Winter Solstice 2008: making the smaller branch

(Looks funky right now)

Then frost it to make it look “natural”.

Winter Solstice 2008: Yule Log


Pull away the parchment and then add snow (coconut flakes) that hides all sorts of sins.

Winter Solstice 2008: Yule Log

Get as creative as you like with added doo-dads, what ever makes you feel yulish.

I added a big candle as we used this in our solstice observance later last night.

Winter Solstice 2008: Yule Log

Let me know if you and your family make a yule log during the holidays, leave a link to photos you may have of it!

Solstice Thoughts

December 19, 2008 in holiday

Santa on his Yule Goat (WIKI)

(Santa rides his yule goat source)

Whether you call it:

its all about the sun and the Winter Solstice.

In our home, we tend to celebrate the astronomical and terran aspects of this time of year because we are far enough north to be seriously impacted by the effects of the earth’s tilt, namely:

  • Our days are VERY short
  • The sun is meek while it is visiting
  • We get lots of snow and ice storms about now and they continue until spring
  • Winter is JUST getting started

Q and solstice candle lighting

(Lighting candles, observing the fall of the longest night)

I have blogged on our winter solstice activities before, including:

We have done lots of foods and I prefer it this way because its fun and productive.

Winter Solstice Stollen

(Dried fruits and citrus peel for stollen)

Our stollen last year was fantastic.

Winter Solstice Stollen

(Worth the effort!)

Winter Solstice Stollen

(Delicious and beautiful and simple)

I am still working on this year’s concept and I am thinking Yule Log, stay tuned!

Share your Winter Solstice traditions!