Sweetness, Sparkle and Christmas Eats

There is lots of excitement around our home these days. Counting the days until we can share food with friends and children tearing through a sea of packaging. Happens every year, but every year feels new.

Our menu will include butternut squash soup, lobster, avocado and citrus salad, tenderloin, broccoli rabe, tortilla, panettone bread pudding, trifle and lots and lots of cookies. What about you? Any family traditions?

So for all of you who celebrate Christmas, and even those who don’t, I wish you peace and a day filled with family warmth.


you may also like…

86 Responses to “Sweetness, Sparkle and Christmas Eats”

  1. Victoria says:

    gorgeous little cakes!!! traditional turkey here this year, it is our first as a married couple, first hosting on the day…lots of firsts…baked goods from my grandmother’s and mother’s recipe books makes me feel less far away from them than I really am. Happy holidays…save me some lobster! :)

  2. beautiful aran! the meno sounds wonderful! I can only imagine the cookies!

  3. Victoria says:

    Gorgeous cakes. Smoked salmon with scrambled eggs for breakfast with a glass of Champagne for Huzz and I. Turkey for Christmas dinner with all the tradional trimmins – my favourite. Merry Christmas. Enjoy!

  4. elra says:

    Wishing you and your love one the best holiday season Aran.

  5. Roxy Te says:

    mmmm Your menu sounds delicious! My girlfriend and I just spent the whole day baking and listening to Christmas music! I’m currently on a sugar high and those cupcakes look delish!

  6. Vais a tener un menu espectacular!
    Yo no tengo menu,con mi familia nos vamos mañana a Paris a pasar diez dias, o sea que iremos a un mercado parisino e improvisaremos.
    Te deseo lo mejor para ti y tu familia.

  7. Even with our quiet gathering of just three, me, my hubby, and his dad, I’m still buzzing with anticipation and looking forward to a simple dinner, some homemade treats and a movie – our tradition.

  8. Iratxe says:

    ¡Que el Olentzero os traiga muchos y hermosos regalos!. ZORIONAK ARAN!. Un abrazote.

  9. All the best for the holiday season Aran…have a great day!

  10. It all sounds delicious! How I wish all of us could join you!

    Maybe I should start a new tradition of ordering in for Christmas, cause heaven knows I’m not cooking.

  11. just lovely – planning on starting my baking tomorrow….happy holidays. Dayle, Bris, Aust.

  12. thea p says:

    those cupcakes look delicious!!
    have a great holiday :)

  13. Caroline says:

    HAPPY HOLIDAYS! Those cupcakes look divine! Your holiday menu sounds incredible! xo

  14. Rachel M says:

    Beautiful photography! What kind of camera do you use?

  15. Junsui says:

    Hi, Aran! I love your blog; your photography is so beautiful! As for holiday traditions in my family, we always have baccala, ham, cauliflower cakes, and lots and lots of cookies. This year I’m also hoping to make a baked quince tart a new tradition. :) Merry Christmas!

  16. I love evryone’s menu ideas. Thank you for sharing.

    Rachel- I shoot with a Canon 5D Mark II.

    Thank you!

  17. Your menu seems decadent! Happy Holidays or better said : zorionak Aran! And thanks for all the great recipes you’ve been sharing these last years!

  18. Merry Christmas, Aran!

    Our family tradition? Mimosas on Christmas morning. :)

  19. Melissa says:

    Your menu sounds lovely.

    We start the day with my dad’s Christmas bread, it is a sweet bread braided with dried cherries and ground almonds paired with a perfect Americano.

    We do turkey for dinner with all the wonderful goodies- as much local produce as possible.

    Happy Holidays, enjoy all the love and all the food!

  20. juliana says:

    feliz navidad! las tradiciones se van perdiendo a medida q una crece y la familia cambia… lo nunca puede faltar en una navidad argentina es alguna entrada fría, pollo para continuar, y las confituras de herencia europea para terminar repletos una noche con 30ºC!

  21. I am not cooking this Christmas because we are visiting family and friends but we are keeping it pretty healthy, they know I am coming :-)

  22. looks super.. very white christmas, I really like the white or white contrast. Super photography as well.

    I love the bokeh too..

  23. Juliana says:

    Merry Christmas to you too! Have a wonderful weekend. We’re having a citrus, avocado and winter greens salad, ravioli filled with red kuri squash and goat cheese with a butter sage sauce and dessert will be pannacotta with kumquat compote. There will also be plenty of cookies to eat while opening gifts!

  24. Rowaida says:

    Love your post Aran! Beautiful cupcakes! Love your menu sound delicious! Happy Holidays! Merry Christmas! Wish you and your family a blessed and wonderful 2011.
    Best Regards,
    Rowaida Flayhan

  25. Oh, I bet Christmas at your house is so memorable and lovely. Merry Christmas to you!

  26. I’m excited too! Can’t believe Christmas is around the corner. Have a wonderful day, and enjoy those pretty cakes!

  27. Francesca says:

    Pannetone Bread Pudding? I love it!!!

  28. Jswm says:

    Wszystkiego najlepszego! ;)

  29. Sini says:

    We will be having a traditional Finnish Christmas dinner with lots of different dishes: graved (fresh-salted) salmon, herring, different casseroles (rutabaga, carrot-rice and potatoe), ham with christmas custard… We have such a strong Christmas meal tradition here in Finland that you know for sure what your neighours are eating because the whole country eats the same Christmas dinner ;) I love the traditional feel of Christmas.

    I wish you and your family a wonderful Christmas with lots of delicious food!

  30. Hilda says:

    Aquí no tenemos una comida típica, se va perdiendo toda tradición. Cada dia en las mesas se ven mas “delicatessen”, en mi casa simplemente reunirnos ya es estupendo.
    Feliz Navidad.


  31. Marialuisa says:

    Zorionak Aran!, wish you the best for you and your family, mucha salud y mucha suerte. Muxus from Donosti.

  32. Merry Christmas!
    Enjoy these days with family, friends and food! Nothing better than that.

    This will be the first Christmas with our little daughter – very special.

    Our family traditions include fricassee and a fruit salad for a light start on Christmas Eve, and duck breast with chocolate-red wine sauce and a roast-apple cake for dessert the next day.

  33. itxasogoiko says:

    Aran, zorionak zuri be eta beste urte on eta zoriontsu bet auki daizuela danok.
    Hemen gaur intxur saltsea iten hasi behot, gure auzokoan amamak iten dosku urtero eta ia nik be ohiturea hasi ahal doten hemen. Ia zelan urtetan dauen. Besarkada bat.

  34. Merry Christmas!

    Polish Christmas culinary tradition is very rich but also very specific. I tried to capture it in a few words in my recent post:


  35. your menu sounds beautiful and incroyable! Happy Christmas dear Aran! I am so happy to get to see you soon.

  36. :) man i would love to have lobster for christmas.

    well, my new brazilian family is going to have a barbecue with a lot of red meat, a few turkey, more panetonne than anyone knows what to do with, jello puddings (erm), tropical fruit, a secret santa exchange of 70 people, drunkenness, beer, beer, beer, beer (and me with my own wine), loud music and then more eating. i of course am introducing everyone to christmas cookies :)though i really do miss my family and our traditions back in seattle…first christmas away is always the hardest i suppose :'(

    feliz natal!

  37. aydan says:

    Wonderful cakes Aran…
    Happy holidays to everyone!

  38. katie says:

    our family eats tufolis every year….i can’t wait!
    hope your christmas is calm and bright.

  39. we began a new family tradition last year of my husband making pizza for the family. this year he will be making various pizza’s from scratch for 17 people! he’s the best. i am headed to mom’s today to honor our tradition of making cookies together. it’s a little late but we are managing to fit it in before christmas. husband and i will have breakfast together at home and then head to the parents for dinner. her menu this year will be a surprise to me since she is making everything, she’s a wonderful cook so i’m sure it will be amazing. have a wonderful christmas and enjoy those traditions!

  40. kate says:

    my sicilian family eats tufolis every year… i can’t wait. hope your christmas is calm and bright!

  41. Joy B. says:

    It will be my first Holiday in my home, and we will be having my whole family down. We are having a huge ham, a roast chicken, Mashed potatoes and gravy, Mac and Cheese, Baked Corn, Green Bean Cass. for dinner.

    Christmas is my birthday and we are having a party in the evening. We are having veggies, mozzarella and tomato kabobs, chicken Satay, foccacia with marinara, Artichoke and spinich dip, smoked salmon bites, and of course cake!!

  42. another delicious post with stunning photography, it has been such a joy and inspration to discover your blog this year, thank you and merry Christmas!

  43. Thank you to all of you who read my blog. You are one of the main reasons why I keep feeding this blog and wanting to share. It has been a year filled with excitement and lots of hard work and your support has meant the world to me. I have exciting projects coming this year and I can’t wait to share more with you.

    Merry Christmas to all! Peace!

  44. Svet says:

    Merry Christmas and happy holidays!!!

  45. They look gorgeous…but there again what food of yours doesn`t ? Youve definitely been an inspiration to my photography this year and definitely one to set my standards to head towards.Have a very happy xmas and ill look forward to enjoying your stuff in 2011.

    and here`s my efforts at mince pie making.

  46. Zorianak Aran, se feliz estos días con la familia. Bon Nadal y feliç 2011 des de Barcelona

  47. idu says:

    Gurean afaritarako, arrai zopa, eta arkumea labean,, postrean piña , naranja ta mandarinak, eta ondoren turroiak, polboroiak,, 25 ean berriz,, entremes zerrenda amaigabea; urdaiazpikoa, patea, kroketak, txanpiñoiek saltsan, ganbak plantxan, errusiar entsaladilla, eta gainean solomillotxoren bat, postre eta turroiez jarraituta, ufff, betekada dut jan aurretik! hori bai, 30 laguneko mahai haaauuunnndi batean. ZORIONAK ETA URTE BERRI ON ARAN ETA FAMILIA!

  48. idu- arrain zopa eta arkumea gustora jango neuzke ointxe bertan. bua… zuek be ondo paseu eta eskerrik asko!

  49. auri says:


    Astobiza family

  50. Gabonari hasiera emoteko, eta lehenagoko ohiturari jarraituz, gaur Zeaburiko korukoak, Bilboko kaleetan ibili gara gabon kantak kantatzen. Gaurko eguna bereziki, nire aitxarentzako izango da, azaroaren 30ean betiko agur esaozkulako.
    Gure etxean gabonetan, karakolak eta sagar eta madarizko konpota ez dira faltako!
    Aran eta etxetik hurrin zauzien guztientzat, gabon zoriontsu eta urte barri on bat. Bihotzez, Miren B.

  51. Miren bego- guk be oin dala aste pare bat osaba galdu dogu. Tristea benetan. Etxekoengandik urrun egotea ez da bape erreza baina oin, nik hemen, euskal ohiturak mantentzen saiatzen naz. Olentzero be etorriko jaku etxera. Konpota… Ze gozo. Gabon onak paseu eta Eskerrik asko! Besaekada handi bet zuentzako.

    I love everyone’s traditions and menus. Thank you for sharing!

  52. Bonjour,
    Ton site m’a été conseillé par BcommeBon avec qui j’ai passé un peu de temps… J’ai lu ta rubrique questions/réponses et dès que j’ai un peu de temps, je t’en poserai un ou deux autres…voilà, en attendant, Joyeux Noël.
    Géraldine de Papillehot.

  53. We have a tradition of taking a long walk in the snow and work up a big appetite for dinner. Merry Christmas!

  54. Lander says:

    Zorionak por el premio!!

    Por desgracia, un ejemplo más de cómo nadie es profeta en su tierra.

    Urte berri on

  55. marti says:

    zer polita!
    we just had our first donosti christmas eve….olentzero, turron, carolers and all.

    zorionak eta eguberri on!

  56. Happy Christmas Aran. I hope the night and tomorrow will be sweet and fulfilling with your family.

  57. pity says:

    Zorionak para ti tambien, los mejores deseos para el nuevo año, y que sigas ofreiendonos estas maravillas visuales y gastronomicas, besitos desde londres

  58. nerea says:

    Zelan gozatu dodan zure argazki eta errezetekin! Hain polita eta gustu ederrekoa… Benetan zorionak daukazun web orriagatik.

  59. Fragolina says:

    Merry Christmas to you all!! Hope this holiday brings you peace and joy. I baked two bûches de Noël, chocolate clusters and spiced cookies… They were delicious…

  60. Beautifully said: “…Happens every year, but every year feels new.”
    Your menu … lobster … sounds fab! We had bbq pork ribs.
    Merry Christmas! Peace and joy!
    Annie @ButteryBooks

  61. Thanks for giving us so much beauty: in food, photos, stories..
    The best for you in 2011!

  62. Addison says:

    My father and I made Panettone Bread Pudding for how family Christmas dinner, it was delicious!
    How did yours turn out? Hope your holiday meal was wonderful!
    I consistently follow your blog, it is such a joy to read and the pictures are fantastic.

  63. ibb says:

    ZORIONAK eta urte berri on, hor urrutitik zabiltzaten guztioi.
    Bazkaltzeko orduan, 25 goizean amamanean, Aramaixon, beti dau txokolate beroa eta bakalau saltzan (nahasketa explozibo xamarra da…baina betidanik gogoratzen ditut, osaba-izabak sukaldean, txapazko su ondoan, goilara eskuetan, kasuelatik gozaltzen). Gero aitona hil aurretik, ardau sopak jatzen genituen eta aza sopa gauean…orain, denbora pasa ahala…gauza horiek piskat galtzen dihoaz.
    Oso ondo sartu urte berrixan…

  64. Cinnamon and vanilla — two well loved flavors in the cuisine of Mexico.

    Felilz navidad y prospero año nuevo!


  65. OH! que maravilla de blog!!
    I love it!
    Acabo de descubrite gracias a algun periodico que he fisgoneado tomandome una taza de chocolate caliente , y me he dicho, en cuanto llegue a casa lo busco…
    Y me he enamorado!
    Te incluyo entre mis favoritos, y prometo volver a visitarte.


  66. I’m so glad I stumbled upon your blog… its wonderful!!

  67. Bethany says:

    Can you make me some,too? These look so yummy.
    Happy holidays!

  68. Hi, I am sure you spent a great Christmas day with your family…
    best wishes for the new year!
    the panettone bread puddig sounds really delicious.
    This year we had pandoro tiramisu and we really liked it!
    Love, Roberta

  69. Gozde says:

    happy holidays and wishing you all the best for new year.
    Family traditions: a nice rich chocolate fudge I may say..

  70. Carola says:

    Im in love with your world!

    happy holidays!!!

    kisses from Uruguay,


  71. The photo looks absolutely heavenly. Thank you for sharing with us.

  72. I didn’t think there could be anything more beautiful then your Pear and Hazelnut Tart but these cupcakes look like you scooped big spoonfuls of heaven onto them, wonderful!

  73. Kirsten says:

    Hope you had a great time over the Christmas holiday! 2011 is only a few short days away – can you believe it!? Your menu sounded amazing.

    Do you by any chance have the recipe for that frosting used in the pic? I have been trying to make a good frosting, and they always turn out too sweet or melty. :(


  74. Kirsten- I tend to use the same buttercream recipe over and over again. It’s a swiss buttercream and I follow the 1-2-3 rule. I part egg whites, 2 parts sugar and 3 parts butter. You can see one here. http://cannelle-vanille.blogspot.com/2009/04/kids-raspberry-cupcakes-and-traveling.html

    Thanks everyone. I hope you had a great holiday weekend and are getting ready to say good bye to 2011.

    Thanks again for your support!

  75. Happy holidays and thanks for another gorgeous photograph.

    Here’s to a delicious 2011!

    Happy New Year!

  76. liz says:

    I love your photography!

    It’s so clean and unfussy and unpretentious.

    I’m from India so I pretty much can’t find any of the stuff you cook with, but I visit your site so often just for the pictures.

    Never ever stop.

    And if you love lentils, you should try an India Dal. tastes so good, especially with some clarified butter.


  77. Congratulation Aran. These are amazing news. I can’t wait to have a copy of the book. I have tested many of your recipes and they are all amazing. My husband and kids agree. :)
    I send you lots of positive enegergy and wish you all the best for the book. Warmest wishes…

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.