Mini Piccolini! a family lifestyle blog

It’s Friday!

It’s finally Friday and there’s just a few days left until Christmas! I thought I would be so organized by now, but I’m totally not, so this weekend will be spent getting ready for Christmas before we pack the car full and head down to the country. I can’t wait. What are you doing this weekend?

Here are some fun links to kick off your Christmas!

Making these DIY Time Capsule Christmas Tree Ornaments would be such a good party activity for a December birthday.

Sweden runs out of garbage – we have to import it!

A chocolate gingerbread house!

A working mother’s plea to the president.

These white chocolate dipped meringue trees are so lovely!

This gift guide is spot on – I want one of everything!

Aren’t these prism snow globes incredible! Can’t believe they’re made out of overhead film…


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Gingerbread Muesli for Christmas

Alec is so funny. He helps me make our muesli and he keeps a pretty close eye on the muesli jar on the shelf in the kitchen. When it starts to run out, he’s quick to report to me that “Daddy has eaten up all the muesli” (in a slightly accusatory tone). A few days ago it was time to make muesli again and for the holidays, I decided to make gingerbread muesli.

Muesli is super easy to make and such a delicious and healthy breakfast or snack. We have it everyday with chia breakfast pudding, yogurt and fruit. And it makes such a lovely little gift – for a teacher or a hostess – during the holidays. I used a regular glass jar, glued a square of fabric onto the lid (to cover the ugly lid and so the fabric stays on even when the jar is open) and tied a ribbon around it. You can also add a sweet cork gingerbread gift tag.

Our muesli is loaded with nuts and seeds and can be varied endlessly. It’s a flexible recipe. Take more of what you like and skip what you don’t.

Click past the break for the recipe!

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Cork “Gingerbread” Ornaments and Gift Tags with Homemade Puffy Paint

"God Jul" is Merry Christmas in Swedish

I love the look of gingerbread ornaments, so when I found some flat pieces of cork in my craft box, I knew I wanted to make “gingerbread” ornaments with them. It’s a really easy project and I like the idea of making gingerbread ornaments that will keep for years to come.

I used homemade puffy paint to decorate my ornaments. Though small children would need help to cut out the ornaments, kids of all ages would love decorating these with puffy paint. Too fun!

Click past the break to get the details.

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A Swedish Christmas Gathering – Glögg (and a Blue Cheese Tart)

All through December in Sweden, we get together for little Christmas parties, or “glögg” parties. Glögg is spicy mulled wine served with almonds and raisins that we drink together with ginger snaps (“pepparkakor”) – often served with stilton cheese – and saffron buns (“lussekatter”). It’s a lovely way to get into Christmas and the flavors and scents are beautiful.

Since Alec’s birthday is right before Lucia, we always have a glögg party for our families and his godparents for his birthday (he has a separate kids party). This year we added these blue cheese tarts and these gorgeous saffron truffles to our menu and both were a hit!

Click past the break for the blue cheese tart recipe!

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Saffron Truffles

A few days ago, Sumit came home from our local Chocolate Factory with a couple of little truffles in a bag. He had been given a saffron truffle to taste and he was in love. I had a taste (they really were good) and thought “I can make that”.

So I adapted a recipe that I use for vanilla white chocolate truffles and made these saffron ones and they are delicious (and just really gorgeous). Click past the break for the recipe.

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Day 11: Saffron Biscotti

Today is Day 11 of 25 Creative Days of Christmas and it’s finally my turn to share a Christmas recipe. In Sweden, Christmas and saffron go hand-in-hand. We start munching on saffron treats at the beginning of December and saffron buns are an especially big part of our Lucia celebrations on December 13th. I think these biscotti are the perfect little saffron treat for the holiday season.

I like to keep a big glass jar of biscotti in my kitchen all through December. They’re perfect to bring out when you have unexpected visitors, and I like to fill a cellophane bag or a little takeout box with biscotti and tie a red ribbon around it for hostess gifts. Little A’s birthday is December 12th, and I always make sure to send home our party guests with a bag of biscotti after the celebrations.

Biscotti means “twice baked” and that’s exactly how these are made. Click past the break for the recipe.

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