Holiday Snake Cake: An Ancient Offering

Moroccan inspired M’hencha with spiced chestnut, chocolate and candied clementine filling. This year I decided to try my hand at a Holiday Snake Cake. The question was which one? Many versions of snake cakes are baked across countries from Italy, Bulgaria, Turkey, Greece, Morocco and Algeria, some are sweet and some are savoury and many […]

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Baba Yaga’s Wild Spiced Honey Cookies

Ever since I called upon that beloved old witch of Slavic, Baltic and Russian folklore to be my winter baking muse – I’ve had nothing but trouble.  Which should have been no surprise, Baba Yaga is renowned for testing your mettle with endless impossible tasks which determine whether she will help you- or hinder you […]

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La Befana Cake: Honouring The Old Witch of Winter

Inspired by the many Italian cakes baked on Epiphany Eve as offerings to “La Befana”, this fruity golden cake (with a dash of spirit) is a Witches Cake. According to legend, Befana is an old witch who flies through the night of January 5th on her broom delivering presents to children. And as they lie […]

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Citrusy Spruce Glazed Shortbread: Flavour Of The Forest

This recipe was inspired by an incredibly lovely and vigorous Sitka Spruce tree that lives in a woodland area near my neighbourhood. Standing out amongst the other conifers, her bluish-white branches positively sparkle on dreary rainy days. At first, I was sure she was a Blue or White Spruce, but on closer look, I now […]

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Aromatic & Spicy Juniper Berry Sugar Stars

Juniper Berry is simply divine. For those who have never encountered the juniper berry, imagine the spicy exotic notes of eastern spices like nutmeg and allspice, and the scent of fresh-cut evergreen branches combined. Aromatic and perfumey, it is just the perfect spice for a buttery cookie. But how to best capture their flavour? Baked […]

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Grand Fir Dark Nougat: Winter Solstice Sweets

I found the recipe for this “extraordinary and irresistible traditional Christmas candy” in a treasured old cookbook “The Auberge of The Flowering Hearth”. Created with only three ingredients, pine honey, toasted almonds and a pinch of thyme, it was caramelized down into a dark, delectable, chewy brittle known as Black Nougat. Well, I was enchanted. Not […]

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Winter Woodland Medicine: Delicious & Warming Tonic Syrups

When dark, winter days challenge our bodies as well as our spirits, nothing makes a better remedy than old-fashioned tonic syrups. Time-tested & true, these potent preventatives and remedial healers call on the nourishing, medicinal powers of conifers, wild berries, tonic plants and adaptogenic herbs, honey and warming spices. And not only will they help […]

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Recipes for a Feast of Light: Reviving the Magical Foods of Imbolc

I love the ancient feast days that once celebrated the turn of the “wheel of the year”. Marking celestial alignments such as solstices, equinoxes and cross-quarter days, these “holy days “are the origin of most of our modern holidays. And no matter what ancestral culture you descend from, it’s a pretty safe bet that most […]

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Cranberry & Peppermint Honey Cake: Hail To The Mothers!

It’s no secret that baking confections, cookies and fruit cakes have long been part of feminine customs surrounding the winter holidays. But one beautiful baking tradition is now almost entirely forgotten, and it served as the inspiration for this fruity, dense Mother’s Night Honey Cake. And while it may be a bit rustic, I tried to […]

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A Guide To Conifer Magic

When days darken, cold winds blow, and the damp settles into our lungs and bones, we can turn to our ancient plant allies, the evergreen and ever vital, conifers. Towering over the forest canopy, their top branches are always nourished by the sun but their roots extend deeply into the earth. And when winter makes […]

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