Tuesday, December 19, 2006


concert 3

The holiday events and duties are coming thick and fast and I've been stuffing my face in a frantic effort to sustain myself during all this jollity (see below). The photos above and at the bottom are from number two son's concert last night (that's him playing his trombone). Number one son has already treated us to three concerts in the past month.

I'm a first-class Martha Stewart drop-out, but I do love to bake at Christmas. There's shortbread dipped in white chocolate:


Cranberry lemon pound cake:

cranberry lemon loaf

But my all-time favourite are chocolate-raspberry truffles:


They could be more attractive, but I figure it's only their ugliness that keeps them alive after the first day. Survival of the fittest and all. Here's the super easy recipe:


8 oz (250 g) semisweet or bittersweet chocolate
2 tbsp (25 mL) butter, softened
1/3 cup (75 mL) each whipping cream and good quality raspberry jam
3 tbsp (50 mL) cocoa powder

In food processor (I use my old blender) process chocolate until finely chopped (or chop by hand). Place in bowl; add butter. In small saucepan, combine whipping cream and jam; bring to boil, stirring well. Pour mixture through sieve over chocolate; stir until melted and smooth. Place in freezer, stirring occasionally until thickened (25-30 min). Drop by small spoonfuls onto baking sheet lined with waxed paper. Place in freezer until firm, about 15 min. Shape into balls; roll in cocoa powder until well coated. Store in refrigerator, in covered container, for up to 1 week.

concert 2

Finally, I was tempted to do the Christmas meme that's been going around, but in the end the only part I think is worth sharing is my favourite Christmas song, Christmas Time Is Here, from A Charlie Brown Christmas (Vince Guaraldi Trio).

Well, that was exhausting. Time to get a truffle before I pass out from over-exertion.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

here here andrea!
you and i have had the same week ... band concerts (mine plays a flute) and sugar plum fairies dancing (daughter #1) but your cookies way out class mine tonight!
love christmas time is here... so lovely a cd i think i wore it out ... good soothing music for tomorrow.
those truffles look really really yummy. think i will try them tomorrow with the music! thanks!

19/12/06 7:26 p.m.  
Anonymous kyknoord said...

I'd be wary of a diabetic coma, too.

19/12/06 10:24 p.m.  
Blogger tlc illustration said...

Cranberry lemon poundcake! Yum! And truffles are always wonderful to make - and eat. I got hooked on herbal combinations last time I indulged in making them (dark chocolate/peppermint, white chocolate/tarragon, milk chocolate/lemon thyme, etc...) In my other-than-illustrating-every-minute life, I'm a herbal experimentalist...

Why do they leave ALL the concerts for just a couple of weeks in December?!??? Crazy making. Love your photos.

19/12/06 11:26 p.m.  
Blogger Reluctant Nomad said...

All those pictures are SO Christmassy! Martha Stewart, eat your heart out.

20/12/06 1:36 a.m.  
Blogger carla said...

Super Mom! Domestic Goddess! Wow... I am impressed...and happy that my days of maternal duty are mostly over:> It does seem that you're going non-stop, but all for good things. The food looks so delicious, and despite your hectic schedule, you've still had time to infuse your artist's touch on those photographs. Well... I think youu need to take a few of those truffles and a glass of wine into a hot bath and just drift away in a haze of relaxation for a bit.

I love the Charlie Brown Christmas music too! We always play it here on Christmas. Have a happy one, Andrea:>

20/12/06 2:44 a.m.  
Anonymous swampgrrl said...

hey girl. i love that you're a martha dropout. me too. your baking treats look fabulous. i'm going to try your truffle recipe and practice stuffing my face as well.

i've been meaning to tell you that my search has yield zilch for you.

is zappa tonight? i'm so jealous!

20/12/06 6:36 a.m.  
Blogger Angela Rockett said...


20/12/06 8:28 a.m.  
Blogger andrea said...

Susan: I'll be by soon to sample some of your baking...

Kyknoord: Actually, diabetic coma's what I'm aiming for. It's one way to get out of the ho-ho-holiday fun.

Tara: No doubt about it, you are the herb queen!

Nomad: Martha Stewart can envy my photography skills -- but not much else! :)

Carla: Thanks for the EXCELLENT advice and for calling me a domestic goddess. That's never happened before!

Swampgrrl: No worries about the search -- I'm dealing with this far better than I expected and YES! The concert is tonight!!

Angela: Yes indeed.

20/12/06 10:12 a.m.  
Blogger Caroline said...

Looks very yummy...

which Chrismas Meme did you mean?

20/12/06 1:29 p.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm not much of a sweet-eater, but The Man sure is! So he should be guaranteed the lion's share of your truffles, which do sound yummy.

20/12/06 1:59 p.m.  
Blogger andrea said...

Caroline: I saw it over at Swampgrrl's blog and I *think* I also saw it at kj and ces' blogs (doesn't matter which one -- they are really the same person in two different bodies).

Dinahmow: Just make sure to feed him celery for breakfast...

20/12/06 2:58 p.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I used to do all that but not to much any more. Life got a bit simple after the boys moved out. My oldest is a music teacher and still gets stressed out with concerts and such this time of year.
As for baking my DH and I don't need all that stuff laying around because that would be all we eat. But those truffles sure look good.

20/12/06 8:04 p.m.  
Blogger Ces said...

Oh my, you are the ultimate Goddess. Wow oh Wow! Is there anything you cannot do?

21/12/06 8:48 a.m.  
Blogger blackdaisies said...

: ) i very much enjoyed my sons concert (at the winspear centre no less, those lucky performing arts students) with his first showing of the trumpet ...

mmmmm raspberry truffles are my favourite (and my families) christmas treat making ...

i love your photos of the concert : ) how wonderful!!

happy truffle eating :)

21/12/06 9:00 a.m.  

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