Things I Should Be Doing..

I’ve been meaning to write this post since Tuesday. I had it all planned out; what funny little story I’d tell, how I’d lead into the round up. Then Tuesday my cell phone broke, so I spent the evening researching new phones, bought the phone and played  learned how to use it Wednesday night. Thursday I had an eye doctor appointment, where crazy drops were put into my eyes which stopped me from being able to focus. Now it’s Friday night, I’m home, relaxing with a cup of cocoa and planning what to make this weekend. I finally have time to share a few treats I’ve seen. I wish I could make them all, but I know something will always come up. Hopefully some of you will be inspired to make something you see here.

First up are Averie of Love Veggies and Yoga’s Baked Eggnog and Vanilla Donuts. The name just says it all, really. I can just imagine waking up to these first thing Christmas morning to these beauties.

Next on my list of things to make is this Bourbon Spice Cake from Russell at Chasing Delicious. I’m a big fan of Russell’s blog, everything he makes looks delicious and comforting, and this cake is no exception.

Ken over at Hungry Rabbit made these Ginger Snowdrops for the 2nd annual NYC Cookie swap, and I can tell you I seriously wish I lived in New York. The cookies look perfect, with crystalized, fresh and ground ginger to make sure you’ve had your ginger fix.

If you’re looking for a drink look no further than Carolyn of All Day I Dream Food’s Cranberry Ginger Mulled Wine. It’s got warm holiday flavours and it’s low carb (Carolyn’s specialty).

For something on the spicy side, this Cranberry Pepper Jelly from Janice at Kitchen Heals Soul sounds perfect. I think a jar of this would make an awesome gift. Hint, hint, Janice. Just kidding. Kinda.

Thin Mints from In Katrina’s Kitchen have been on my mind since she posted them a few months back. I’ve never had the real deal, but chocolate with mint is one of my faovurite flavour combinations, so I’m pretty sure these would be awesome.

Adam and Joanne of Inspired Taste’s Salted Caramel look perfect.

Chocolate Fudge S’mores Thumbprints from How Sweet It Is would satisfy any s’more craving you might have.

These Mini Anise Cakes from Just a Little Bite look adorable, and the I love the use of anise in a cake. (Recipe in Spanish)

Created By Diane’s Ginger Cheesecake Bites would be great for a cookie swap.

Can’t decide between chocolate or caramel? These Chocolate Salted Caramel Cookies from Melissa at Eyes Bigger than My Stomach mean you don’t have to choose.


Panko Crusted Rack of Lamb

What makes you happy? I’ve been thinking a lot about this question lately, mostly in a work context. Turmoil at the office has me thinking about what I want to be when I grow up. Yes, I know that by all reasonable measures I am a grown up, but I’ve always gone with the flow and let circumstances lead me rather than making real choices. Not really grown up behaviour. Circumstances have now led me to a place that makes me very uncomfortable, and I’ve realized need to take control.

When I think about what I want to do I draw a complete blank. The question seems so huge I can’t manage it. So I’m trying to frame the question differently; what makes me happy? The answer to that question tends to be little things.  A Tuesday night with friends and wine.. my yellow rubber boots.. singing at the top of my lungs in the car. And a great meal with family. The kind where everyone is there, my cousins telling the most ridiculous stories, and all of us feeling stuffed beyond belief. A staple at these meals has always been lamb, one of my favourite things to eat. This doesn’t really solve my career issues, but having lamb for dinner Sunday night did make me feel a little better. The little things will always be there, no matter what goes on in the office.

My dad usually handles the lamb, but since I planned on blogging the recipe I decided to make it myself. I did go to him for guidance though, like should it be roasted with the fatty side up or down and how will I know when it’s done? The fatty side should be up, and there’s a pretty neat trick to figuring out if it’s done if you don’t have a meat thermometer. Press the thumb and index finger of your left hand together, now with your right hand poke the fleshy part of your thumb. That amount a give is what you would feel if you poked a piece of lamb that’s cooked rare. Press your thumb to your middle finger, and that amount of give is what you would feel from medium. The next finger over is well done. Or you could just use a thermometer.

Panko Crusted Rack of Lamb

(serves 4)

(Adapted from Laura Calder and Gourmet)

  •  1/2 cups panko
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 tbsp chopped parsley
  • 1 tsp chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1  tsp salt
  • 1  tsp pepper
  • 3 tbsp olive oil, divided
  • 1 frenched rack of lamb (8 cutlets) at room temperature
  • 4 tbsp Dijon mustard
  1. Preheat the oven to 425 F
  2. Mix the panko, garlic, parsley, rosemary, onion powder,  and half the salt and pepper together. Stir in 2 tbsp olive oil to hold the mixture together. Set aside.
  3. Season the lamb with with the remaining salt and pepper. In a large skillet, heat the remaining tablespoon of oil till it just starts to smoke. Add the meat to the pan, browning on each side for 3 to 4 minutes. Remove the skillet. Cover the lamb with the Dijon, then press the panko mixture onto the mustard. Place the lamb on a rack in a roasting pan. Roast for 20 to 25 minutes for medium rare (130 F on an instant read thermometer). Cover with foil and let the meat rest for 10 minutes before slicing.