Sunday, December 17, 2017

🎅 Stockings, Sweet Treats, Fondue Night and The North Pole 🎅


Hi everyone :)

It's nice to have time to blog again, I really missed it. It's very relaxing and fun for me and I love all of my Blogging friends!! :)

Last week, Alex and I had another monthly anniversary so we had our traditional fondue night. This month it was the classic Swiss Fondue. With my homemade bread, this was a food-coma inducing meal...so rich! 


This was the best picture I could get of the fondue because as luck would have it, as soon as it was ready, we lost power. It's been in the minus twenties (minus tens in Farenheit), and luckily the power wasn't out too long. Just long enough for us to keep warm and eat by candlelight, which was nice and romantic!


Fridge Fun. :) Speaking of power, we don't have any back up power here. We have a leaky fireplace which wouldn't heat a small cupboard. Alex's office on the top floor bottles in the heat somehow so when the outages in the winter are extensive, we all huddle up in there. That'll change when we have our own place. We are lucky that the car has outlets so as long as the battery is good, we can charge our phones and computers.


I finally finished knitting all of the pet stockings that I'd started early November! I just didn't have it in me to knit their entire names, so each stocking has their initial. Charlie, Jack, Marlene (the "M" was so hard to sew on!!!), Pavlov, Stella...and the cats Dana, Leo and Oscar. They'll all get little treats in their stocking because they've been so good! :)


Hung up with care. :) I really wanted to knit stockings for me and Alex too, but I didn't have the time, so that'll be for next year! Here is the link to the Mini Stockings for anyone who wants to knit them, they are so easy.


The little boozie chocolates from the countdown calendar. :) They all taste the same to us, I suspect they are all filled with a type of brandy liqueur...how can I test this theory??? Must consume more lol!


I made my Nutella Cigars yesterday too for some calorific snacking! These don't last very long.


Heck, neither do these Rum Balls!!! If you are not a drinker, you could get tipsy eating a few of these little treats. I got the recipe from Martha Stewart...I thought I was a free-pouring baker when it comes to adding booze, my gosh...her rum balls are delicious but very "rummy"!!! :) I made a special holiday cocktail to add to the treat, The North Pole. It's a mix of brandy, maple syrup, vanilla, ginger, milk and chocolate sauce. The original recipe called for vodka and Kahlua, but I chose to switch it up a bit for our taste! By the way, I will never buy chocolate sauce again after I tried this recipe for Easy Chocolate Sauce. It was just lovely. The recipe calls for chocolate chips, but I used Lindt 70% dark chocolate and it's delicious! The cocktail was so good, very hard to slowly sip! I think it would make a nice warm hot chocolate too.

So that is the latest news from our little cozy cottage in the Laurentians! It's a sunny Sunday, frigid outside though...so I'm staying indoors and I'm starting to knit some slippers for myself. Eight days until Christmas! How is everyone's weekend going? The barbarians neighbours are here this weekend and showing off how much fun they have revving up their snowmobiles and racing up and down the street, day in and day out. Can't wait to leave this village!!!

52 comments:

Michael said...

firstly, dear Rain, I love your fridge! So festive and clever. We have a white fridge so that would work for us too.

Everything looks delightful-- love all those stocking hung with glee for literally everyone! Well done on those.

I've never really thought of that before in terms of charging with the car when the power goes out...which coudl get really cold up there I am sure.

Your neighbours remind me of our non stop drinking (AKA alcoholic) neighbours who after the bars sit outside and decide they are great singers, singing out loud for the whole street to hear and playing kick the can down the street too. Unfortunately they won;t be going anywhere. If at least they didn't chainvsmoke, we could then keep the windows open when not being noisy for some fresh air. lol.

When do you think you will be able to move?

Congratualtions on another month anniversary. I LOVE that you celebrate those.

And hahah, yes, I woudl get soooo tipsy even from those little boozie chocs--such a lightweight so it only take drops for me to have the affect others might only get to after consuming mass amounts. Thankful for that. In fact, I got totally tipsy from a St. Patrick's day cake with green frosting with Irish cream vermouth whipped into it!

MrsDuncanMahogany said...

Hiya!! :)

Oh that fondue looks delicious! I would just eat that whole block of cheese! :)

We are due your weather near the end of this week coming They are promising highs of -22 for Saturday! Gross. I hate when it gets like this. Today is +2 - go figure. Such weird weather we have for December. Lots of freezing rain too. Do you guys get lots of power outages in the winter? We don't - I think our last one was last November (2016) and the power was out for a good couple of hours. I had just pulled supper out of the oven and everything went dark. It was so spooky I loved it. I took Karma for a walk and all the hydro poles were sparking. Loved that!!!

Those pet stockings are amazing!!!! Love them!

I think all those little boozie chocolates have the same in them - they all taste like brandy! Delicious all the same...I love rum balls but don't like when that's all you can taste. I want to taste the chocolate too! One year my mom and I made fruit cake and the fruit had to soak in rum - we got tipsy eating the fruit and then we wound up drinking the fruit flavored rum too. It was great fun! I would love to try your North Pole cocktail. I have trouble slowly drinking my Kahlua and Coke too! Tastes like more - but I can't drink much (reference last weekends hot toddy) so I enjoy what I can!

Yesterday my son and I made haystacks, rum fruit cookies, ginger snaps and thimble cookies. Today I made a giant batch of homemade nuts and bolts. My back is so sore from yesterdays bake fest neither yoga or my hot flax bag is helping. Time to dig out the arnica!

We are out for supper tonight - our traditional pre-Christmas burgers and fries at a local restaurant. They have the best Greek burgers anywhere!

Christine said...

Your fondue looks delicious, I don't know why I went all the way to Switzerland to try it once, should've just come to your place! Wow, it's cold there, I shouldn't complain, but it was -10C in Toronto this morning, brr. Love those cute stockings, one for everyone!

Sunnybrook Farm said...

My plan this year is to stay up and see Santa only to name drop that I know one of his neighbors!
The fondue sounds really good especially with your own cheese and bread.

laurie said...

oh wow, that sounds so yummy, the fondue and I really love the stockings hanging on the fireplace, that shows true love to knit each one a stocking,, they look beautiful,

Pam Jackson said...

Sounds wonderful...from the fondue to the treats...and the drinks! haha...I love that all the animals have different initials, that works out great. I love that you make your own cheese, bread, stockings...all of it. Burrrr....it is cold where you are! It has been 45 to 47 all day but wet and damp. I have not been able to get warm at all, until I plugged in my heated throw! Dakota and I are propped up on the couch enjoying the heat of it.

Stefanie said...

Man, you are champions at cold. Negative F°? 30's-50's we are freezing here in the Bay Area. I would love to sit in your kitchen and eat cheese, more cheese, and cheese. Love the canine stockings.

Plowing Through Life (Martha) said...

"food-coma inducing meal" LOL That is just too funny! My gosh, there is always so much good stuff at your place. Lots of joy all around. Very cool.

And those pet stockings! Cuteness overload. That is the sweetest thing I've run across all day. I bet it'll be lots of fun when they get their treats. What a lovely family you are.

Sorry to hear about the barbarians (this made me laugh out loud) in town...hahaha...that can be very annoying in what should be an otherwise quiet area.

It's been very cold lately, although I imagine it's even more so where you are. I'm not good with this type of cold and spend my time at home cooking and baking. Today I finished all my Christmas sweets that I plan to serve. My last bake was mini pecan pies. All the desserts are vegan, so no one is excluded. I've been sending photos to my daughter of some of my bakes. She responds with a salivating emoji...hahaha...

Anyhow, we might sit and watch a sappy Hallmark Christmas movie in a bit. 'Tis that time of year :)

I was going to sign off with saying "I hope you've had a wonderful weekend" but it looks like you did!

Debra She Who Seeks said...

I have GOT to get out my fondue pots in the new year and have a fondue again! You inspire me!

Yarrow said...

Oh, I've loved browsing your blog this morning while I sip my hot tea. It's like starting the day with a great big hug :D You're so clever with your food and decorations and I adore your lovely knitted stockings, I may have to make some myself. I have lots of red wool (and every other colour!).
It's a shame that your neighbours spoil your peace and quiet, but soon you can move to a lovely place of your own. Stay warm and safe.xxx

Kristina said...

I made brandy balls one year, and you could get drunk off of them, ha ha! I love your doggie stockings. So cute. I miss having a mantle, but we manage. We hang them all on a breakfast bar. I have a generator on my wish list for power outages. I hope to get one soon. Have a nice week.

RO said...

Those little stockings are so adorable, Rain. I've never had rum balls, but they sure look delicious. Fondue and romance just go together so well, right?! Hugs...RO

Starting Over, Accepting Changes - Maybe said...

Glad to read that your power was out for only a short time. Those temperatures are dangerous. I love the stockings for all the dogs and cats. Wishing you happy holidays.

Susan said...

I love the stockings! That is a lot of knitting! I made stockings for everyone a few years ago, but made the mistake of filling the cats' stockings on Christmas Eve. I awoke Christmas morning to find the stockings looted and shredded. I am going to HAVE to make fondue. It's more fun with two+, but what the heck. You are such a clever-boots. Such a great idea for your fridge! All I want for Christmas is Peace and Quiet and early retirement. None of which I will see, I am sure.

Marsha said...

Where do I start? Your fondue sounds heavenly. I, for one, love fondue. Unfortunately I am the only one that does.

The stockings are amazing. Your critters are very lucky to have people like you in their lives. You and Alex are great pet owners and have big loving hearts.

The fridge........oh em gee.....how cute is that. Wonder if I could do thst with my black fridge? Heehee.....a dirty snowman!

All your foods and beverages look so good. I love rum balls but jave never mafe them. I have been printing out recipes from you for some time now. I will be doing some cooking and baking after the first of the year when things slow down a bit.

Have a lovely Christmas, dear.

jaz@octoberfarm said...

those stocking are too cute! ugh...neighbors! it's really mild here. all of our snow melted. i still have so much to do and am seriously running out of time!

John M said...

I like the way the refrigerator is decorated to be a snowman.

Cozy Thyme Cottage said...

Hi! Our internet has been down for a few days so I am behind. That chocolate sauce looks delicious and I pinned it to my kitchen pinterest board. Who doesn't love chocolate, right!
I made Coco a quilted stocking. She loves it when I put a whole carrot in it and treats! Nancy

Tammie Lee said...

It all looks so yummy. I looked at your rum ball recipe, I wouldn't have guessed that 3 T. would make it real strong tasting.

I have not had a cheese fondue since I was a child. Yum.
My friends who I do it with sometimes prepare a broth for cooking.

You are having some cold weather. We are due for a LOT of snow and then after days of that some cold weather. Back up heat is good in winter. I am not sure what I would do for it, i have a wood stove and a small electric heater.

Stay warm.

Rain said...

Hi Michael :) Thank you! :) I decorate the fridge for each holiday, watch out for hearts on Valentine's and little wabbits around Eastertime! :) The stockings were very easy to make, but I felt like it was an assembly line at one point lol...I was really hoping to make bigger ones for the human folk here, but that's okay. Next year, and I'll have time to try to make them maybe a little more fancy!

Oh gosh, I think your neighbours are worse than mine!! At least ours have the decency to do their partying indoors, although the first year they were here, their kids had parties in the backyard all night. The cops were called several times and that put an end to that. They are weekenders from the city, and the usual issue with people like that is they think this is some kind of party playground for them. They forget that people live here year round. We have a lease signed until the summer of 2019, so a year and a half. We did that on purpose to give us a deadline to decide if we are ready to buy or not. A year and a half is what we have left to save for a down payment. Our plan is to move to the Maritimes, Eastern Canada, probably Nova Scotia, where properties are very inexpensive. I'm talking a house on a good amount of land for under 75k. If we can try to put together AT LEAST 5% of that for a down payment, we will be okay because it's a buyer's market currently. Even if we get a higher interest mortgage, we'll still go for it and re-negotiate it in a few years. Otherwise, we're still going to try to move out there to rent.

I celebrate everything lol...Alex loves it too. I started the fondue monthly tradition during the summer when Alex got me a fondue cookbook. We bought our first fondue pot together too, so we love to celebrate it! Though I'm going through all the cheese recipes really quickly!!! We have another pot for the Chinese "hot pot" with broth too. That's funny about you being a lightweight with the St-Patty's cake frosting!!! Hee hee.

By the way, thank you for all of your comments on my other blog, I will be taking the time to respond to all of them over the next few days!! :)

Rain said...

Hi Dianna :) That cheese...what can I say, I'm an addict and I'm proud of it! :) And thanks, those pet stockings do mean a lot to me, especially the S and the P ;). The rum balls are GONE. I have to stop baking real soon or I'll have to take out all the waistlines in our pj's lol...you know, the original North Pole calls for vodka and Kahlua, you might like it without the vodka in it! I edited my post, but it was probably after you posted your comment. I put the original link in there if you want to check it out.

The haystacks look great, I had to Google the image. That's a fun cookie to make! Ooh pre-Christmas burgers! We haven't done burgers in a while...I have to put that in for next month's dinners!!

Rain said...

Hi Christine :) Ha ha ha ha, that made me laugh, yeah, much cheaper to hitch a ride here than to Switzerland hee hee. Our deep freeze won't let up! But the snow is falling, it's really pretty out there!

Rain said...

Hi Gill :) I think you're right, you'll be getting lumps of coal thrown down from the sled, so you may not be able to drop my name for good measure! ;-D

Rain said...

Hi Laurie :) Thank you! True love is right, I'm am smitten over all of these pets!! And Alex too lol. So far the stockings are still there. The cats go up on the mantle and sometimes get curious with the stockings!!

Rain said...

Hi Pam :) I never thought of that, it's a good thing we ALL have different initials!!! The next pet will have to have a name with a new initial lol...just to make my life easier! I hope you stay warm, the pets are very good heaters! :)

Rain said...

Hi Stefanie :) Thanks! I'm so happy about the stockings, me with my sock-knitting phobia...I went to verypink and I'm going to get one of their tutorials in the new year and force myself to start knitting socks!!

Rain said...

Hi Martha :) Thanks! You know me, it's all about being comfy. We just have to make sure not to give the pets the actual stockings, Susan wrote below that her cats looted and shred her stockings she made for them! I worked many hours on those, so we'll let them sniff them and then take the treats out for them lol...

I'm glad you liked my barbarian joke (not a joke) hee hee. They're still here, so we're thinking they'll be staying until after Christmas. But now it's just the two older parents, so at least the snowmobile noise fest has stopped.

Baking is my therapy for really cold days. I really can't handle it. But I do make the effort to get out for an hour each morning with all the dogs in the yard. Running around with them keeps me warm! :)

Rain said...

Hi Debra :) GET THAT FONDUE POT OUT!!! Do I have to drive to the Prairies to get you to make your fondue? ;)

Rain said...

Hi Yarrow :) That's so sweet!!! :) I'm glad my blog makes you feel hugged :)) You have many critters to knit for, that pattern really is quick and easy. I made the largest one, she has instructions for 3 different sizes. It's a reality, the noisy neighbours...but when you rent, you can't really choose who you live next to. We are looking forward to a nice quiet place in the future though! I hope you're feeling better! xx

Rain said...

Hi Kristina :) Oh, I never thought of brandy balls, we LOVE brandy in this house! Those would be really good! I'd love to have a generator, but we are trying our best not to accumulate too much stuff before we buy because we'll be moving to another province. At least we're in a village though, so Hydro pays quicker attention to restoring the power when it goes out. The mantle here is nice, but I'd give it up for a wood stove!

Rain said...

Hi RO :) Thanks! I love the stockings, they're so cute! :) One of them I knitted during my migraine, and it's all a blur to me...but I guess it turned out well lol...Fondue and romance go very well together, it was kind of nice to lose power at that moment too! :)

Rain said...

Hi Starting Over :) Thank you! Wishing you a wonderful holiday too! I do get nervous when we lose power in the winter. After living through that ice storm in the late 90's in Montreal, I will always be nervous until we have back up power and a back up heating source. At that time I was living downtown Montreal in an apartment and I had to manage on my own with my 2 little dogs for 8 days without power in January. It was traumatizing considering all the crime that was going on too. But luckily we live in a village, so it never stays out too long. Another ice storm though, that would be scary!

Rain said...

Hi Susan :) Oh my gosh! After I read that your critters looted and shred your stockings...there is NO WAY I'm filling them up until the moment they get their treats!! I would murderize them lol...I'm really glad I started the stockings early. I thought that 8 wouldn't be much but it was a lot of time. Especially the annoying little hanging tabs and lettering! Too much casting on! :) But they're done so I am happy I followed through and didn't run to the dollar store lol...I was single for 18 years or so and I often had fondue on my own. I think you should do it, plus your dogs will be with you hoping for fall out lol...

Rain said...

Hi Marsha :) That's too bad you're the only one who likes fondue. With my cheese addiction, if Alex wasn't a fondue man, I'd still make it for myself!! :) And thank you for the compliment :) Alex and I do have big hearts for all of these pets, all animals really. We can't even drive by a shelter anymore...after we adopted four pets in the fall of 2015, we realized we have no self-control in that area! I hope you enjoy the recipes and they work out for you!! The rum balls are really good, but the next time I might cut the rum just a tad or use brandy like Kristina mentioned above! I hope you have a nice Christmas and enjoy the meal!! :)

Rain said...

Hi Joyce :) You are such a busy lady, and with Winnie too..she is so freaking adorable, that face!!! I hope you get some more snow for Christmas!!

Rain said...

Hi John :) Thanks! I love to find ways to decorate the fridge! I had a ghost there for Halloween too. :)

Rain said...

Hi Nancy :) You are right about the chocolate!! It's a very easy sauce to make too. I might try it with white chocolate next time. It doesn't harden up too much in the fridge but you definitely have to whisk it well if you use it cold. Oh that's so cute about Coco and her carrot!!! I must learn to quilt at some point soon! I'm glad your internet is back, we've become so dependent on it!

Rain said...

Hi Tammie Lee :) I was the same, 3 T of rum? I can drink that standing upside down lol...but in the rum balls. Whoa. Could be the rum I used too though, El Dorado is a really nice rum. We have the broth fondue often too, actually I'll be making that for Alex's birthday in January. We call it Chinese fondue but I read that it's called a "Hot Pot". I think a small electric heater is a good idea, and I'm going to budget that for January. Thanks for mentioning it, because if the power goes out for more than 4-5 hours, it gets cold enough in here to see your breath during the winter.

Becki said...

So many wonderful things you've made, Rain. Everything here is so memory-making! You do inspire me in that direction every time I visit your blog. Your foods are lovely - I don't drink alcohol, but I confess... I'm super curious about the rum balls. ;^) And those chocolate cigars. I love the name! And wonder how yummy those are. Mmmmm. Your doggie stockings are adorable - what a lot of love and work went into those. Okay... now I'm going to read through your replies to people's comments to see how you inspire there, too. :)

Jenn said...

hahah I thought the nutella cigars were spring rolls at first!!
Love all the stockings!

Rain said...

Hi Becki :) The rum balls are fabulous! They are basically brownies that are all mushed up in rum and rolled, chilled and devoured lol! I don't eat the Nutella cigars, but Alex loves them. They are pretty sweet, he said he can only handle one at a time. Thank you for being inspired! I am truly inspired by all of my Blogger friends, it's such a nice little community! :)

Rain said...

Jenn, when I looked at the photo, I thought "spring rolls" too lol...I'm making Chinese food for Christmas, so at least I got some good experience with the Nutella cigars! The stockings were really fun to make! But I'm glad all that little needle work is over with. :)

baili said...

I LOVED your fondue food ,hot chocolate made my mouth water ,i love chocolate but can't eat :(

you are so creative in everything you do Rain!

Loved your cute stocking ,why not for both of you ? it's okay hopefully next year :)

Connie said...

A leaky fireplace . . . if this isn't your home and you're paying rent, won't they put in a new fireplace (wood stove) or something to keep you warm when the power it out. I feel for you. It does look like you keep a very positive outlook and that is marvelous and very brave. I love all of your projects and your food photography is outstanding.
Here's wishing you a Very Merry Christmas!
Your blogging sister,
Connie :)

Rain said...

Hi Baili :)) I really wanted to find time to knit the stockings for Alex and me...but wow...I am so busy these days it's crazy! I need to start all of my Christmas preparation for next year in January lol...Thank you! I have that creative bug in me and I enjoy everything I make. I get a lot of ideas from browsing on Pinterest too! Too bad you can't eat chocolate! There are lots of other sweets though :)

Rain said...

Hi Connie :) Merry Christmas to you too! :) It's a logical question, since yes, we are renting. The landlord is L-A-Z-Y with a capital L. We kind of knew he'd be an absent landlord because he lives a good 90 minutes from here and said he liked tenants who are "proactive" (meaning do everything themselves) so he can keep the rent low. We are grateful for that now because we like our privacy, but when we told him about the fireplace, he said just seal it up. Now that's not a solution but arguing with him is like arguing with a brick wall. We are moving in a year and a half anyway, so we're putting up with it! And thank you for your comment, I'm pretty proud of everything I put on my blog, it's so much fun and so fulfilling! :) And I can say the same to you about your photography!! :)

wisps of words said...

Ohhhhhhhh, be still my heart! Everything so delicious. Ohhhhh mercy!!!!! :-))))

And the refrigerator and stockings are darling.

You are such a fun gal. I am so glad I found you.

Rain said...

Hi Wisps of Words :) Thank you!!! I see you could be a fellow cheese-a-holic?? :) I love being in the kitchen and decorating for the holidays is so fun for me. :)

Michael said...

Aw, Rain, you are so welcome! I love reading your blogs.

I had to chuckle at wishing to make more human sized stockings. :)

"I decorate the fridge for each holiday, watch out for hearts on Valentine's and little wabbits around Eastertime! "
-Can't wait.

that's funny, I would think a place like N.S. would be pricey as it's so beautiful but then again, whenever in the past, I've flown over it and seen it out the airplane window or looking on the pane's map, it does look VERY remote. Perfect for you! :) Along with Quebec City, Nove Scotia is def on my bucket list to see one day. We follow an artist there in Lunnenberg which looks amazing.

Yes, re: city folk forgetting people actually LIVE there. Thankfully, the cabin up in Estes Park, in the mountains, had a sign that reminded visitors that there is a curfew of 7pm-7am for quiet hours and to consider the neighbours. I loved that. Sounds like the place near you needs the same! :)

Wishing you and Alex a very merry xmas. Alexandra was touched by your comment the other day. Th nk you.

Sam I Am...... said...

Look at your darling stockings! And so many! LOL! What a labor of love and they look so cute hanging between your and Alex's stockings. Your cocktail and sweet makes look so yummy! I'm sorry I haven't been over here....I had a little relapse of the sinus thing and was just dragging around here....still am. Maybe it's just old age but yesterday I managed to get some things done, finally. I should come over here every 15 minutes as your posts are always so motivating! I never thought to decorated the fridge! So cute! It's Christmas Eve morning....early...and I still haven't gotten everything done but I stretch out the holiday until January 10th so there's still time in my book! LOL! I wish you ALL the bestest, quietest, most peaceful and fulfilling Christmas and New Year!
Hugs ~ Sam

Rain said...

Hi Michael :) I think the Maritimes of Canada are so beautiful and one of the reasons we want to move there, well firstly is cost. You are right that parts are remote, and that's why most properties are not expensive. They are too remote for people to commute for jobs so nobody wants to live in certain spots - those are the spots we are looking for! :) Oh gosh, I would LOVE for this village to reinforce some kind of curfew! But the main tourist attraction here in winter at least, is the snowmobile circuit and they go all hours of the night...the village won't enforce it that's for sure, they need the income! I'm so glad that your Alex did get my message, I find her very inspiring. :) Glad to have met you both! :)

Rain said...

Hi Sam :)) Labour of love is putting it mildly lol...I haven't done so much knitting in years! I laughed when you said you stretch out the holiday to the 10th ha ha ha...that is VERY smart! I think we stretch it out at least until the 3rd or 4th! Thank you for the wishes, I'm so glad that you left some comments! :)