Midweek food ramblings …….

maRRose - CCC --- Sandwich Cake-01It’s been a somewhat peculiar week, that had a mix of mainly health driven lows (flu, two visits of my *cough* friend mr. Migraine, the loss of our cat Clark)…..
Luckily it had a couple of clear highs as well.

One of them was last Sunday’s party, thrown for Carter. It was his belated birthday party – his real birthday back in September was spent in the hospital – but we mostly wanted to celebrate his recovery from the mountain bike accident last July.
The past 1,5 months have shown great improvement. Sure, he’s still limping, still experiencing pain, has one more surgery to go, but: he’s walking without crutches (!), getting stronger by the day, riding his bike again – all things we’re immensely happy about!
maRRose - CCC --- Oreo Cupcakes-02maRRose - CCC --- Oreo Cupcakes-01In our house food (and drinks, haha) are an important part of any festivity, so off I went cooking and baking …..
At the party boy’s strong request, I made these “Oreo Cupcakes” again, and if you’re an Oreo-lover, these should definitely be on your list. They’re really-really good – you can find the recipe here.

maRRose - CCC --- Sandwich Cake-04 maRRose - CCC --- Sandwich Cake-03Another hit was this sandwich cake – doesn’t it look absolutely wonderful? I found the recipe for this one quite some time ago, and was savvy enough to pin it to my Pinterest Food board. I used white bread instead of the suggested crackers, added some cut up capers to the cream you use between the different layers, and omitted the dill (not a lover of dill, I’m afraid).
maRRose - CCC --- Sandwich Cake-02Firstly, I looooove the look of this hearty cake, and secondly: it was so tasty, it was literally gone within minutes!
The original recipe is in French, but the translate button on the page will help you out.

maRRose - CCC --- Brie-Apricot-Almonds dip-02A third all-time favorite is this speedy-but-oh-so-good-and-instantly-gone brie-dish! All you need is a good sized piece of brie, a jar of nice apricot jam and some sliced almonds. Layer them on a microwave-safe plate, microwave for 1,5 to 2 minutes on high, and serve with French bread!

Since we’re on the subject of food, I thought it’d be fun to share two more very easy and quick to make apetizers, that I made last December for our Christmas brunch.
maRRose - CCC --- cantaloupe amuseThe first one is cantaloupe (made smooth using a blender) with a touch of fresh mint mixed in, decorated with a piece of bacon (“baked” in the microwave in between some layers of kitchen towel, 600W for 4,5 minutes).

maRRose - CCC --- chicken cranberry sauce amuseThe second one is a combination of thinly sliced (smoked) chicken, topped with a no-cook cranberry sauce, and a finishing touch of rucola.
The cranberry sauce is made in the food processor as well: 1 package of cranberries (12 oz/340 grams), 2 oranges (peeled), 1 cup of sugar: blend until mixed well and smooth. Simple and delicious!

Happy Hump Day!
Marianne xx

Christmas cookies – a family recipe

maRRose - CCC --- Christmas Cookies-05One of our family Christmas traditions is giving homemade cookies to teachers, neighbors, friends and family members during the holiday season (and eating a lot of them ourselves too, of course).
maRRose - CCC --- Christmas Cookies-2005-04For as long as I can remember the kids were involved in this, being given the enormous responsibility to pick out the cookie cutters and decorate the dough with sprinkles, smarties and what not. A whole lot of fun!
maRRose - CCC --- Christmas Cookies-17Although I love my children being the almost-adults they are, decorating Christmas cookies together with them is one of the things that got lost over the years.
However ….. they still like to eat them, and I still like to make them (decorating included) – so all is good.
maRRose - CCC --- Christmas Cookies-19The recipe for our cookies is really simple, but over the years people have constantly commented that they’re “wow” soooo good. Since I can’t gift the actual cookies to you, my lovely readers, I thought I’d go for the second best option here: sharing the recipe with you all!
maRRose - CCC --- Christmas Cookies-06I’ve tried to track down where I got the recipe originally from, but just couldn’t find it. No surprise, really – it’s an old clipping, at least more than 25 years old ….
It says “festive baking” at the bottom, now this is very true!

I’ve made an English and Dutch version, saved them as pdf’s – all you have to do is click here for the English pdf, and here for the Dutch pdf.

maRRose Christmas Cookies
maRRose - CCC --- Christmas Cookies-14

1 cup sugar
1 cup (two sticks) butter, softened
1,5 teaspoons vanilla
2 eggs
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda

Baking sheets
Rolling pin
Wire rack

Mix sugar, butter, vanilla and eggs in large bowl (I use my KitchenAid stand mixer for this).
Stir in remaining ingredients – mix well.
Divide into 3 equal parts, wrap in saran/plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 4 hours.
maRRose - CCC --- Christmas Cookies-16Preheat oven to 400 Fahrenheit. Roll out dough on floured surface to thickness of approx. 1/8-inch.
Using cookie cutters, cut out your desired shapes and place them roughly 1 inch apart on ungreased baking sheet. Repeat the rolling and cutting process with the remaining dough (leftover scraps can be re-rolled).
maRRose - CCC --- Christmas Cookies-08 maRRose - CCC --- Christmas Cookies-07Decorate (or not), bake for about 7/8 minutes or until just golden brown around edges. Remove from cookie sheet. Cool on wire rack.

maRRose - CCC --- Christmas Cookies-02Last year I made these jar lid covers for the containers that I used to gift our Christmas cookies in – they turned out great and looked so festive!
I used this tutorial to make the crocheted covers; the little holly leaves are the ones I’ve made before after Attic24’s diy, I just added the red berries ….
maRRose - CCC --- Christmas Cookies-04Enjoy!
Marianne xx

Christmas 2014

collageWhile it is lightly snowing outside, I’m comfy and warm inside typing this after-Christmas blog post.
I hope your Christmas was as wonderful as ours, filled with things that  – I think – matter most during this festive season: quality time spent with people who are important to you, enjoying each other’s company, a beautifully decorated Xmas tree, candle light, nice food & drinks, music, and gifts made (or bought) with love ……

To me this holiday it was all about home and/or handmade and I loved every minute of the process, from deciding what to make for whom as well as the making itself.
Maybe slightly overdoing things, I even made my own gift tags this year – using some of my cookie cutters to shape them.

Now that all presents are gifted I can safely show you what I’ve been doing, so here’s a little round-up with links to patterns/recipes I used.
maRRose - CCC: hot water bottle covers maRRose - CCC: hot water bottle covers

For my kids I made hot water bottle covers, using leftover yarn from the chevron blanket I crocheted earlier this year – no pattern, just following the outline of the hot water bottle (the hot water bottle cover granny style-diy can be found here).
maRRose - CCC: Nordic Wrist Warmers

Since my mom owns the black Nordic Shawl I crocheted and my mother-in-law the blue/pink one, I decided to make them matching wrist warmers (link to My Rose Valley‘s paid pattern here).
maRRose - CCC: flower bookmark maRRose - CCC: flower bookmarkMy father loves to read, so a bookmark was what I made for him – flower pattern here, for the leaves I used Lucy’s holly pattern, but crocheted no prickles.
maRRose CCC: christmas balls/baubles maRRose CCC: christmas balls/baubles maRRose - CCC: snowflakes maRRose - CCC: snowflakes

For my brothers, sister-in-law and friends across the ocean I crocheted Christmas balls and snowflakes – loved making them very much! I stiffened some of the snowflakes with modpodge – worked great.
Patterns can be found on my “Christmas Crochet“-board on Pinterest.
maRRose - CCC: Triangle Pincushion with tulips

Another little gift that traveled quite the distance – all the way to a dear ig-friend in Australia – was this pincushion. The tutorial for the basic pattern can be found here.
maRRose - CCC: Christmas cookies maRRose - CCC: Christmas cookie jars maRRose - CCC: Christmas cookie jars maRRose - CCC: Christmas cookie jars

Since we have a tradition of baking Xmas cookies in our house, I made these jar lid covers for the containers that I planned on using this year – they turned out great and looked so festive! I just made them up as I went, but there’s a wealth of tutorials to be found here.The little holly leaves are the ones I’ve made before (links here and here), after Attic24’s diy, I just added the red berries …..
pretzels-01Other than baking cookies, I made these yummy pretzels (recipe here) and as place cards for our Christmas brunch I thought these chocolate candy cane hearts were just right (diy here).maRRose - CCC: Chocolate Candy Cane HeartsmaRRose - CCC: Chocolate Candy Cane Hearts

Just because I loved this little guy from the moment I laid eyes on him, I hád to make this very cute snowman, free pattern from the “Dapper Toad”-blog, link here.
maRRose - CCC: snowmanThe only gift that I did not manage to finish in time, was a hat for my husband …… As you will understand, that one is high on the wip-list right now!

These days in between Christmas and the New Year seem to have a slower pace and we’re quite enjoying these lazy days. Some crochet, a little (sock) knitting, a nice book, some hot chocolate, a glass of wine, fire place going …. oh yes, I can get used to this!
Wishing you the joy of calm days as well!



First blog post

So …… this is my very first blog post and I have to admit I’m pretty excited! To be honest, there is a lot for me to be “pretty excited” about.

Other than starting this blog, I have recently opened my Etsy shop (link here) ànd made a “maRRose Colorful Crochet & Crafts”-facebookpage (link here).

Things will be mainly crochet, but since I love to cook and bake as well, the occasional recipe might slip in too …. Well, I guess anything that will make me want to write about it – we’ll see how it goes. One blog post at a time, right?

I am working very hard to get my first tutorial ready to share with you, so stay tuned!
I’m thrilled you’ve found my little corner of blogland and I would love to hear from you, so don’t be shy and drop me a line!