Happy New Year! here comes 2014....

I hope that you have had just about the best Holiday season ever and all your plans went, well... according to plan! I feel it's only fitting that I share some of our christmas with you because that's what I usually do. We were home for the Holidays, I can't go far because of my store, packing boxes like crazy, which I love... somehow we made it through the season without a snag, packages were delivered (even though UPS reported some troubles). I have to say that the favorite gift this year was the Jess Brown dolls - a huge hit! and I am sure they are a huge hit as a gift! Most everyone did the doll together with the book.

Jess Brown doll and Kiki & Coco in Paris book

Since we weren't going to travel this year we decided to live-it-up here at home. We went to Whole Foods and our local Swedish Store (Bestemors in Mystic, CT) and just went CRAZY - I think we went through 3 loaves of cardamom bread and Swedish Limpa (a delicious rye bread) - that's 3 each! There is nothing better than cardamom bread for breakfast and Limpa with Jarlsburg for lunch! We baked cookies like crazy, I was trying to beat my mom who makes about ten different kinds - this year I went nuts on Bon App├ętit Magazine recipes.. I think I am getting a divorce from Martha and going to marry BA instead - or at least we are having an affair!

We used some of their recipes for Thanksgiving (that's where this all started) and then for Christmas I just kept the issue on my kitchen counter. I made their Rosemary and Toasted-Caraway Shortbread - delicious! Then we went on to make the Chocolate Pistachio SAbles - again... amazing!

Then we made traditional swedish gingerbread cookies, finally the kids were in to help and they also wanted the peanut butter cookies with the kisses.. We baked a cardamom cake and we made the entire BA Christmas Day breakfast (baked french toast with pecan crumble, bacon and fruit salad) TWICE!! It's perfect for a crowd and it's make-ahead so you just put it in the oven (forgot to photograph).

Fondue is another favorite - we had TWO fondue nights (one just wasn't enough), it's so fun to get together as a family and fondue, I am sure that many of you have fond memories of this as I do! We made various different sauces and beef tenderloin, broccoli (my favorite to fondue), mushrooms (a few different kinds) but you really don't need much, it seems little but once you get going your stomach fills up (gives some credibility to those who eat slowly... just wait and you won't need to eat as much as you think).

handmade ceramics by W//R//F lab
My gift to the family were these beautiful W//R//F ceramics (we have been using plain old Crate & Barrel until now) - it's the start of our collection and I just LOVE THEM (and we sell them on the website!!) we will let it slowly evolve, Nobu is working on new pieces for serving etc... can't wait to see them!

Happy New Year to you and the year ahead looks bright and exciting here at Nonchalantmom (more on that later... )