Wednesday, December 25, 2019

Holiday Crafts and Goodies

Merry Christmas to all who celebrate it! It is winter break over here and the "making" is in full swing. Here is a quick round up of all the baking and crafting going on over at casa One Hot Stove.

The elementary school hosts a holiday market each year in early December, putting tables in the hallways and letting kids, teachers and parents sell homemade stuff to each other. My 8 year old was very enthusiastic about earning a few bucks for her piggy bank and worked for weeks getting her inventory ready. She had 4 items this year.

Being in prime chapter-book reading age, bookmarks are a much used item. We made two types, one with paper and the other with yarn.

Paper bookmarks with holiday lights,
made with acrylic paint and fingerprints.
She learned to make pom poms recently, with scrap yarn and a pom pom maker- those little plastic doodads make it easy and fun to make uniform sized pom poms.

Pom poms tied to a large paper clip
make for cute and colorful bookmarks.
 Over Thanksgiving, we took a beach trip to Amelia Island, Florida. The beach was full of the most beautiful shells. Most interestingly, we discovered that many of the shells had perfect holes in them. A web search revealed that some creatures such as moon snails drill holes in clams to eat them, leaving behind shells with perfect little holes. We threaded yarn through these nature-made holes to make shell necklaces.

Finally, this was our bestseller from last year and was very popular this year too: Melting snowman cookies

Store bought large cookies, with frosting dabbed on. Marshmallows
with candy googly eyes, pretzel sticks for arms, m&ms for buttons.
V celebrated his birthday- every year, I like to make him a special cake. Well, this year, time got away and I hastily made a batch of birthday brownies instead, with sprinkles.

My holiday baking this year:

Pear and banana mini loaves

A new recipe I tried this year was cardamom shortbread. Shortbread are my favorite type of cookies, and cardamom arguably my favorite spice. The recipe is originally from the amazing Alice Medrich that I found via Smitten Kitchen. The only fiddly part is cutting the shortbread after the first bake, when it is quite crumbly. I added cardamom to the batter. Easily the best shortbread I've ever eaten.

This one is a keeper.

A holiday recipe I make every year, almond biscotti
or more accurately, mandelbrot.

 Here is a recipe that needs no cooking or baking. You let a food processor do all the work. 
Just nuts and dried fruits blitzed together and rolled in sparkling sugar.

Another holiday recipe that is made on repeat- my version of sugarplums.

A holiday tray for friends

Another small holiday sampler tray

Other little handmade gifts:

I wrapped some co-worker gifts in fabric instead of paper,
inspired by the Japanese art of furoshiki.

A tiny knitting basket ornament (a couple of inches high)
for my son's teacher who is a new knitter. 
I paired the knitting basket ornament with a gift card to a yarn store.

Matching owl hats for my kids and my nephew.
The pattern is Who?

Happy 2020! I'll see you in the new year! Tell me what you're making for the holiday season. Any favorite gifts?


  1. Merry Christmas, Nupur! It's a gorgeous day in Atlanta today (apparently warmer than Los Angeles by 12 degrees), and I am loving the warm winter sun. There is a small party this evening at a friend's home. I am taking boiled black chana and date chutney... I am sure you can guess the menu!

    Didn't do any holiday baking this year but I have been going a little crazy with various kinds of paraathas and my favorite, puran poli!

    Happy New Year!

    1. Dear Lakshmi- appy new year to you and you are doing the best kind of cooking over there. Also what could be better than a chaat party? Christmas day was glorious weather, we flew to Dallas that day and it was even warmer there. Here's to a great 2020 for you and yours!

  2. Ah this is all so crafty and festive.

  3. Your baking and crafting for the holidays is very impressive - we didn't even bake for the teacher this year (which we usually do) because I was told he is a health nut and so we joined everyone else (apparently) and bought him socks. Love the bookmarks and pompoms (there were a lot of pom poms made here for our cat). Hope you have a good winter break.

    1. Johanna- I have to agree that I do less holiday baking these days because many people just aren't eating baked goodies any more. We bought dark chocolate and fancy soaps for some of the teachers. Socks are always a fun and useful gift!

  4. PS we have had some crazy hot weather but are lucky not to have the bushfires so close to us - though we have had a bit of smoke haze but nothing like in sydney.

    1. Johanna- the situation in AUS is just horrifying. Sending much love down South. I hope the wildfires abate. Also hope the political response is more than "thoughts and prayers".

  5. Happy new year Nupur to you and your crew! All the things you have made look so fabulous! This winter break, for a change we locked up our house and spent 2 weeks on a tiny (pretty deserted) island off the Thailand coast. There was solitude, playing in water, snorkeling and tanning in abundance. It was also my 6 year olds first time snorkeling, so it was fun to see his reaction to everything!
    Hope this year sees you hitting all the milestones you set for yourself!

    1. Neha- your trip sounds fantastic! Solitude- what's that? The word sounds vaguely familiar ;) I can imagine how much your boy liked snorkeling (I have never done it myself.) Wishing you and your fam a fantastic 2020!


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