Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Hostess gifts, OOTD and a recipe for mette!

When it comes to choosing Hostess gifts my favourites are:
natural beeswax candles
French milled soaps
white potted orchids
floral arrangements
olive oil and balsamic vinegar wrapped in a pretty tea towel
or occasionally a specific gift item that I know the hostess would love.
More often than not I give consumable gifts.

I love giving and receiving a thoughtful token of appreciation.

I was asked recently by mette, who writes the fabulous blog metscan if I could show her an easy recipe.
This one is for you mette, I hope that you'll enjoy it!

Chocolate Cranberry and Nut Bark

500 g good chocolate
1 cup dried cranberries
1 cup nuts (I used almond slices)

Gently over medium heat melt chocolate in a double boiler, stirring as it melts.
(I used the microwave)
Mix in cranberries and nuts and pour onto a foil lined baking sheet.
Chill in fridge until firm.
Remove from foil and break into pieces.
Store in a tin that you keep in a cold cupboard or the fridge.

My family love this bark!
I hope that you will too.

I indulge in small portions of chocolate as a little goes a long way.
I prefer to let this melt slowly in my mouth savouring the flavour.

Pepper the Fashion Police is giving these new walking shoes the once over...
they look rather serious
and they are sublime when it comes to support and comfort.

Not the most fashionable but they serve a purpose.
Josef Siebel does make great shoes...
 in my humble opinion 
they are expensive.

Thankfully I balance out cost with thrift.
Here's the Saks Fifth Avenue cardigan that I found for a song.

I am wearing it with dark denim Vanderbilt jeans 
(purchased on sale for under $40)
and my new shoes.

I'm adding my Eddie Bauer down jacket 
my cashmere scarf from ClubMonaco
as there is frost on the ground
the skies are brilliant blue
and the sun is shining 
can't wait to get outside!

Christmas is just around the corner...
I have only one gift left to buy
I'm meeting up with some of my besties for lunch this week
and need to pick up the free range organic turkey from the butcher 
and get fresh veggies and then I am done.

If you celebrate Christmas as I do
what is your favourite part?

For me it's friends, family and food.

Happy Holidays to you and yours...


  1. My husband and I will give consummable gifts to those who participate in exchanges, but mostly we just like to have people in our home for afternoon tea or coffee. After singing in choir, meeting with clients, and doing other volunteer activities, the last thing I want to do is suffer the shops to find the elusive perfect gift!

  2. Thank you, thank you, thank you Leslie for the recipe! You knew, I like chocolate ; ).
    I´ll certainly try this recipe - maybe even already tomorrow !/m, xo
    P.S. I´ll report, how it worked out.

  3. I guess I am fortunate in that I dont have more than 2 hostess gifts to come up with each Christmas. I took a tartan ornament to my parents and something to HHL next week :O)

  4. Hostess
    Thank you for the bark recipe.

    I am loving my Vanderbilt jeans too.

    I love today's outfit.

    Merry Christmas and lots of love and best wishes for the New Year from Sydney, Australia.

    SSG xxx

    Sydney Shop Girl blog

  5. The bark sounds wonderful! Lovely cardigan :) xx

  6. We are on the same page, for me it's the friends, my family and the food.
    Tomorrow I host a Ladies Potluck Lunch, I can't wait to hang out all afternoon with my friends.
    For Christmas Eve we have the smoked trout in the freezer. I'll buy some good bread and we'll have a cabbage salad and some wine of course.
    My turkey is in the fridge and the only thing I have left to buy are the brussel sprouts. I made my cranberry mincemeat today and that will need assembling on the 25th, my daughters will help me.

    Thank you for sharing your recipe and I want to wish you a very Merry Christmas!

  7. My favorite part about the holiday season is the feeling of happiness and joy that seems to lift the world. Family, friends, decorations, lights, music and entertaining are very special to me.

  8. The ingredients for this recipe have just been added to my grocery list. Thanks Hostess, I'm sure it will be a winner with my family. Plus it's super easy so what's not to love.
    Christmas Day will be spent visiting my Mum in the morning then home to assemble a cold buffet. Very relaxed around these here parts!

  9. Celebrate Hanukkah, but the same, family, friends, food, and champagne!
    The bark recipe looks great, might try it too!

  10. And wanted to add that Metscan is a great blog, for those of you who don't yet know it. Thanks Hostess!

  11. Cute outfit - and I never underestimate the value of a really good walking shoe! Well done!
    This will be our first year without our son, who is staying in Kingston this year - so I've been feeling a bit weepy and that has, perhaps, influenced my latest post. However (said with emphasis!) I am perking up and looking forward to a Danish Christmas Eve with daughter and her fiance, and then full Canadian Christmas turkey with fiance's family behind the Tweed Curtain....and fitting in a trip to see the lights at Butchart Gardens.
    Comestibles? I make anitpasto in the fall and it goes with me to all dinner parties etc - that, or a dozen fresh eggs from our hens.

  12. So glad you managed to get out for a walk today -- wasn't it glorious!

  13. I need to write your hostess gift list down for future reference. I never know what to give as a hostess gift....usually do a bottle of wine which is pretty boring, especially where I live!

    Glad to hear you're getting out for your walks. Isn't it weird how we are getting zero rain this season?

  14. The bark recipe sounds fabulous! Great ideas for Hostess gifts too.

    Merry Christmas and all the best!

  15. Yay for BARK!! When we talked about baking a while back I don't think you mentioned doing the bark! I was a bit sad thinking it would be left out this year! Can't wait to sample! xx Nat

  16. That bark sounds very tasty. I am a chocolate addict.
    I have some Siebel shoes and like them very much. I also like Finn Comfort for walking.
    What a pretty sweater you found. That inspires me to get some of mine out.

  17. Thank you for the recipe! Have a wonderful Christmas!

  18. I envy your organisational skills! I think Pepper is giving your shoes the ultimate seal of approval.

  19. Well I am going to pinch this delice Canadian Bark recipe to give to friends in the New Year...they won't believe I made it...this is the 2nd quick recipe I have found in the last 5 mins from bloggers how lucky am I. Thank you.Ida

  20. A warm thank you for Kathy for the mention : )!