Monday, 30 December 2013

Christmas vanilla roll cake

Hope everyone had a nice Christmas! :)

I made a Christmas vanilla roll log for Christmas, using  this recipe: http://www.roxanashomebaking.com/christmas-vanilla-roll-cake-recipe/

It's basically like a Swiss roll, a rolled up cake with buttercream in and similar to the Yule log.

Mine was nice but it was quite dry, so I ate it with Nestle Carnation topping (evaporated milk). The buttercream was nice. I couldn't use the batter bits that were in the recipe because I don't think we have them over here. There are also red and green sprinkles in the recipe but I used Sainsbury's Festive ones, which are red, white and green. Here's a picture of the cake:




One of my Christmas presents was Sam Stern's latest book Sam Stern's Cookery Course (formerly Virgin To Veteran), so I'll be making some recipes from that next year.

Happy New Year! :)

Sunday, 22 December 2013

Yule

Yesterday (21st December) was Yule, the Wiccan/pagan sabbat. The sabbats are also known as The Wheel of the Year, a cycle of seasonal festivals that happen every year. Yule is the Winter Solstice, the shortest day of the year. It represents the rebirth of the sun because after the shortest day and longest night, the days gradually get longer and the nights shorter, until the Summer Solstice (around 21st June). At Yule (Midwinter) the Goddess gives birth to the God (he's the reborn sun). A Wiccan belief is that the Holly King has ruled over the darkening year since Litha (Midsummer/Summer Solstice), and now he gives way to the Oak King, who rules over the lighter half of the year. The date of Yule varies but is celebrated around the 21st. It was kind of like a pre Christmas and has similar traditions.

It's traditional to have a Yule log for this sabbat.  It's a wooden log and you can light it as part of a ritual. Also these days you can have a chocolate Yule log. It would be more traditional to make one but the past few years I've had one from Sainsbury's! lol. (Luxury chocolate yule log). I do plan to make one in the future. I put 3 candles in it (for each person celebrating) and then you can blow it out and make a wish for the coming year. Here's a picture of my log:




I  had green and red candles for Yule (the colours of Yule, along with gold and white) as decoration. Here they are:



 Hope you had a good Yule. Merry Christmas! :)


For more on Yule, visit these links:

 http://twopagans.com/holiday/Yule.html

http://www.witchvox.com/va/dt_va.html?a=usma&c=holidays&id=2079

Saturday, 21 December 2013

Soups

I thought I would do a  post on soups because they're good to have at this time of year. :)

I mentioned in my post on Sam Stern's Potato and Onion Soup before that I wanted to make his Potato and Onion and Herb one. I did make it last month and it was nice but I prefer it without the herbs. It's pretty similar to the Potato and Onion recipe but it has garlic and tarragon in it. Here's a link to the Potato, Onion & Herb recipe: http://www.samstern.co.uk/recipe/potato-onion-herb-soup/

And here's a picture of mine:




I also made Carrot and Parsnip Soup recently, using this recipe: http://www.erinlindstrom.com/carrotandparsnipsoup/

It was quite nice but I didn't like it as much as the Potato and Onion Soup. Here's a pic of mine:




 It's quite lumpy rather than smooth because I don't have a hand blender anymore! I need to get a new one, lol.


P.S. Today is the Wiccan sabbat Yule (the winter solstice and shortest day). I will post about what I did for it tomorrow or Monday. Merry Yule! :)