While we make a lot of cookies before Christmas, my favorite family tradition is that we decorate sugar cookies on New Year's Eve.

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I'm cooking up a storm, but not much in the sugar department as we try and limit our sugar intake.

However, today I'm going to make a hot cocoa mix as I'm weary of all the chemicals in the instant cocoa mixes I buy at the stores. Your treats look delightful!

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Cooking is a superpower!

I like to do the two ingredient pizza dough (greek yogurt , self raising flour) because it is both meditative and I know a pan style pizza will come out of the oven in minutes. Also Its a great way to say thank you when Im staying at someone’s place

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I make chocolate chip cookies for my next door neighbors.

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Dec 21, 2022·edited Dec 21, 2022Liked by Amie McGraham

My brother Ivan comes over from Brighton, by the sea with the kids on the 26th December. He always brings many veggies, baskets of them, half of which he forgot to roast. He starts cooking early, and makes every one a Bloody Mary or two. On goes classical music, in another room pantomimes play out, and it takes all day for Ivan to cook and we always eat too late, and they are all a bit tipsy, the kids are lost in Christmas Films and Ivan and I toast our father Marius who died on the 6th December, was buried on the 16th, and whose birthday is on the 31st. After eating, however wants comes with us for a long slow walk to a Christmas tavern by the old Wellington Rocks and sit by the log fire and yarn long.

The recipe for Ivan's Roasted chicken

6 lbs organic chicken - Kosher or non-Kosher

6 large parsnips, carrots, turnips sliced slim. Maris Piper or King Edward potatoes for fluffy roasting.

1 lemon

rock salt

4 peeled garlic or power

snuff of parsley

pepper, cayenne and paprika

3 tsp Olive oil

1. Rub the rock salt over the chicken, and then mix dried ingredients with the olive oil and the lemon and pour over and into chicken.

2. Put the veggies along side, put a bit more olive oil if needed. You can add a touch of water so the veggies don't stick to the bottom.

3. Ivan always roasts hot for about 30 minutes, then brings it down for the last hour and half. It is delicious and as long as you remember the veggies full of nutrition.


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My family celebrates Jolabokaflod the tradition of giving/getting books on Dec 24 and reading all evening and late into the night while having mugs of hot chocolate. Heat water, put cocoa mix powder in mugs, add hot water till mugs are 3/4 full, stir, then add 1 shot peppermint schnapps* and whipped cream topping for garnish.

* an alternative is to use Irish cream instead of schnapps

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Dec 20, 2022Liked by Amie McGraham

I'm so excited for "Cook & Tell"! I haven't baked in quite a while...but those cookies look delicious enough to inspire me to get out my mixer.

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Can't wait for the launch of the foodletter, Amie!

As for baking: I made some mince pies for my husband last week, and in fact I've just made a marmalade cake to freeze in slices for his work lunches - not festive baking, as such, but a happy Christmas is partly down to what's in the freezer, right?!

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Dec 20, 2022Liked by Amie McGraham

I’m excited for the reboot!

My mom and sister and grandmother all subscribed to the original C&T and whenever I would visit them, I’d squirrel away and read the newsletter.

I think my mom ordered me a gift subscription in the 90’s and then my grandmother gave me her old copies. I still have them and can’t even remember how many things I’ve made from them, but pretty sure my favorite is the pot roast and one time I saw a recipe for Almond Tea Cakes that I’d been searching for and saw it was submitted by my oldest sister!

The only baking I’ve done so far is a batch of Peppermint Puffs, but some pressed butter cookies could be in the works.

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How great that you have a connection with fans of your mom's newsletter! I used to bake many types of cookies, but these days it is just Stollen and English Toffee.

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Dec 20, 2022Liked by Amie McGraham

My mom was also a long-time subscriber of Cook & Tell and has also passed away. I cannot wait for the upcoming foodletter! I remember she used to collect the mail before leaving to run errands and she'd tuck the latest edition of Cook & Tell in her purse to have it to read while she waited in the school pick-up line or waited in the car during orthodontist appointments. I always checked to see if she had the newest issue and would pour over it, mentally noting what recipes I wanted to try later.

One of my holiday traditions is not so much Christmas holiday related, but at the start of the fall season, I have to make the apple cider pot roast from the past issue of Cook & Tell. I'm not much of a baker, but I try to make my favorite Gingerbread Butterscotch cookie for the holidays and stash some dough in the freezer for later in the winter.

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