December 19, 2018

a sprinkle of sugar

Gingerbread cookies are always good,
but if you serve them with a sprinkle of icing sugar,
they become the ultimate Christmas treat.

December 18, 2018


Couronne is the French word for crown and these type of ring bread is common in French bakeries.
Channeling my inner French pastry chef, this holiday season I made teatime special with this sweet, glazed "couronne" of rich bread stuffed with cinnamon sugar.
This festive bread is a great alternative to Christmas cake. I confess that I am not a huge fan of fruit cake.

December 17, 2018

a gingerbread village cake

The best of both worlds, a delicious cake with a gingerbread village decoration.
For this cake I used mini gingerbread houses & Christmas trees, fresh rosemary from my garden, mini pine cones & stars, and vanilla cookie crumbles.
My touch of Scandinavian grace comes in the form of white piped hearts on the gingerbread house cookies.
I just loved making this cake. It’s the most fun I’ve had in the kitchen this holiday season. 

December 12, 2018

cozy and rainy

I'm loving Kampala weather these days. Rainy mornings and cozy surroundings just calls for a nice hot cup of coffee; and since it's Christmas time, gingerbread cookies and cinnamon star bread are the perfect complement for a sweet breakfast.

I come from a land where rainy days are the tonic for more than six months a year. As you can imagine, it is very green. Growing up in such environment makes you really enjoy and look forward to rainy, stormy days, the sound of rain on your windows and cozy sweaters.

December 10, 2018

mushroom crostini { make }

For this hearty, vegetarian wild mushroom crostini I topped homemade whole wheat bread with garlicky oyster mushrooms and a handful of watercress and parsley.
These are a delicious lunch and simple nibble to have at a cocktail party.

Mushrooms freshly fried with garlic and peppery greens are exceptionally good and so easy to make.

christmas natural style

A neutral and natural decor can be as exciting as vibrant alternatives.
My choice this year is pine cones, fresh greenery, silver and gold ornaments, acorns and white lights. 
Pared-back simplicity is my interior style, so natural elements are always my favorite. 

I have not been able to find any evergreens like pine of holly in Uganda so I substitute with fresh Rosemary. It lasts about a week and when it is dry, I use it for cooking.

Add these elements as a runner and you've got a festive, nature-inspired table. 

December 3, 2018

Pastel Santa and Mrs. Clause

Pink is one of my favorite colors. It makes everything look better, so this year I though it would be fun to dress up Santa and Mrs. Clause in pink outfits.

The nutcrackers also got their pastel treatment this Christmas.

cherry tomato and rosemary focaccia

Juicy cherry tomatoes and fragrant rosemary top this focaccia I served for lunch today at my house.

I always keep pizza and focaccia dough in the fridge and freezer to use anytime for an easy to make snack or a light lunch. I like it thin and crispy with just a few ingredients on top. Sometimes just a swirl of olive oil and sea salt do the trick.

I have a pizza stone, but much prefer to use a baking mold and parchment paper to bake the focaccia. It is just easier.

holiday star bread

Of all the things that are yummy during the Christmas season, this star bread is definitely one of them. 

With layers of cinnamon sugar and a sprinkle of confectioners sugar, this star pull-apart bread is a festive alternative to classic cinnamon rolls.

One of the things I love the most about pull-apart bread is that you're not pulling off layers, but each piece has 4 layers of cinnamon goodness in it. 

December 1, 2018

a very merry get-together { in Kampala }

Last Wednesday I opened my home in Kampala for a little Christmas shopping get-together.
It is the third time I organize an event like this in my garden and studio~shop area.
Each time I invite a few vendors to join my two brands, Fournier and Rose Vanilla for a fun day in a friendly and beautiful environment.
As the Christmas spirit is in full swing around here, I decorated the garden and verandas with hand painted Santas and nutcrackers.

The seating area in my garden was arranged with hand painted furniture made from reclaimed crates and cable reels. I painted all of it myself with milk paint a couple of years ago when I first got to Kampala.

For the cushions I used a mix of coffee bags and other local and imported fabrics. Some coffee bags given to me as a gift from friends in the coffee industry, others I have purchased at the central market in San Jose, Costa Rica, and some from our coffee farm in Panama.

This Radio Flyer goes wherever I go!! It was a gift from Santa to my boy in 2005 and still one of my favorite toys. A classic that will probably be with us for a long time.

Among the vendors invited to this little market were local jewelry and children's clothing designers that are creating great lines and exporting overseas, showcasing the greatness of Uganda's craftmanship.
I wish I had more photos of all of them but the day went by so fast and next thing I knew it was over with only some shots in my camera.

We had beautiful flowers and arrangements by Nineteen Twenty One Lifefstyle, who have exquisite taste and the best fresh and potted flowers in town.

 Potted rosemary that makes great little Christmas trees.

For Rose Vanilla, I had a mix of cupcakes, Christmas cookies, brownies and "panini" made with homemade bread & prosciutto, sun dried tomatoes and peppery watercress that we grow in our garden.

Chocolate cupcakes filled with Nutella, topped with raspberry frosting and a tiny rose.

Jars filled with decorated sugar cookies.

 My Fournier showroom was filled with hand knit toys and Christmas decor.

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