just a smidgen

A Smidgen of Glad Tidings

Smidge’s won!

20121stplace Top Blog

Thanks to everyone who took the time to vote!

Thanks to my family who patiently waited
for their cold suppers while I cooked, wrote
and photographed their food…
and for being willing advisers and  taste testers in the kitchen
{ like that’s a tough job! }

I haven’t won “one” , but won “two” times in both nominated categories:

For the Best Blog about Art, Crafts, Cooking and Other Creative Activities
and Best Food and Drink Blog.

My family wanted to know what my prize was,
no trips to Europe, no pink, er red and white Cadillac await,
not even a politically incorrect beaver-tail hat!

But, I am gratefully basking in the glow of your vote of confidence
and I think it’s time to buy a lottery ticket!

I’ve been away from your blogs because
I’ve worked like mad on another new project:

A Year of Smidge

It’ll be in print soon.. not coming to a store near you, lol.

I’m only making one copy
and the lucky recipient will be, well, my family.
I  thought it would be great fun to have a print version
of favorite recipes and poems from 2012.

It was very cool to look back through the past year and reminisce,
nothing conjures up memories more vividly
than food.

I’ve also just received my lovely copy ofIna Garten in the mail!
{ Who doesn’t love getting packages in the mail? }
Barb at Profiteroles and Ponytails
and have a little something to share with you if you scroll down…

In the meantime..

I’ve made a little craft.
{ It’s so easy to make, it’s almost a “non-craft” craft. }
It’s so adaptable to colors of ribbon and accent pieces.

I expect many of you have begun Christmas baking and cooking..
I can’t wait to swing round and see what you’ve been up to while I was away!

xx Smidge xx

Christmas Candles

candle (s), dripless are best
wide burlap ribbon
colored ribbon
wide or medium width lace
kitchen string
faux berries, Christmas tags, small ornaments, chains, pearls, etc

Candle 1

Cut the burlap, just so it will overlap around your candle.
If your lace is too wide, just cut it in half lengthwise to get the width you need for your candle.
Wrap the burlap around the candle and lay down on your surface so it holds in place.
Wrap the lace around the center of the burlap, overlapping and lay down again.
Wrap a length of string around and tie to hold the fabric in place.

Candle 3

Snip a small bit of faux berries and just tuck them in the string.

Candle 4From there, create a collection of candles to suit your own home and inclination.

I really love the juxtaposition of the more delicate with the unpolished and rugged,
it makes things so much more interesting, don’t you think?

Candle Collection 1

Like this rustic star..

Candle Collection 2This vintage tag..

Candle Collection 6A sleighbell..

Candle Collection 3Or a vintage string of beads..

Christmas Candle 7

{ Printable Copy }

It’s no wonder I love the Barefoot Contessa’s books..
they’re filled with recipes that remind me of, well, my own.
She must have seen my Year of Smidge Book!
I was smitten by her Mexican Hot Chocolate Recipe,
but decided to lighten it up by using skim instead of whole milk,
a full pinch of cayenne for heat
and the surprise smidgen of cardamom to perplex your palates!

{ One wee cup of this was enough.. it’s so dulcetly sweet. }

Hot Chocolate 2


East Meets West Hot Chocolate
  • 2 cups skim milk
  • 1 tbsp light brown sugar
  • 4 1/2 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
  • 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/8 tsp ground cinnamon
  • Pinch ground cayenne pepper
  • Pinch ground cardamom
  • Long cinnamon sticks for stirring (optional)
  1. Add milk and brown sugar to a large saucepan and bring to simmer over medium heat, do not boil, whisking constantly. This won’t take long.
  2. Remove from heat and whisk in the chopped chocolate. Once the chocolate has melted and blended in, add the vanilla, cinnamon, cayenne and cardamom. Adjust the spices to personal taste. Perhaps begin with a smaller pinch of cayenne and add until the desired spiciness is attained.

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