Island Life. Recipes. Frugal and Sustainable Living.

Month: December 2017

Eggnog Pound Cake

What to do with leftover eggnog? Bake an eggnog pound cake with a bourbon glaze, of course! This holiday season, I bought some “light” eggnog that tasted pretty subpar to me, so I wondered what I should do with it instead of dumping it out. […]

Winter Solstice

Winter Solstice

Ahhh…Winter Solstice. My favorite way to wrap up the end of the year. The best thing about how we commence our celebration, is that we start on whatever day Solstice falls that year, usually the 21st or 22nd of December, and then keep it going everyday […]

Yule Dessert Wreath

Yule Dessert Wreath

A yummy, new tradition for the Winter Solstice. This has the perfect amount of sweetness and can be modified to suit a vegan/dairy-free diet by using egg substitute and vegan butter. This recipe is a “keeper”, for sure.

Yule Dessert Wreath

  • Servings: 12-14
  • Difficulty: moderate
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Yule Dessert Wreath with Cranberries and Pecans


    For the wreath:
  • 1 packet dry yeast
  • 1/4 cup warm water, about 105-110 degrees F
  • 1/2 cup warm whole milk (or any other non dairy milk), about 105-110 degrees F
  • 4 tablespoons organic cane sugar (or regular granulated sugar)
  • 4 tablespoons organic butter, softened
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon cardamom powder (or cardamom seeds ground with mortar and pestle)
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons grated lemon peel (I use Meyer lemons)
  • 2 cups AP white flour
  • 1 1/2 cups AP wheat flour


    For the filling:
  • 1 cup dried cranberries soaked in 1/2 cup bourbon (pack the berries down in the liquid)
  • 6 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 1/3 cup AP wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans
  • 4 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon peel
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


    For the glaze:
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice


  1. In a large mixing bowl, combine the warm water and milk. Dissolve the yeast in the mixture and let it foam up for 5-10 minutes. Blend in the sugar, butter, salt, cardamom, cinnamon, eggs and lemon peel. Stir in the AP white flour and mix until incorporated. Add remaining AP wheat flour ½ cup at a time until you have a soft, workable dough.
  2. Knead dough on a floured work surface until smooth, about 5-6 minutes. Add more flour if needed to prevent sticking. Place dough ball in a large, oiled mixing bowl and cover with towel. Let it rise in a warm place until doubled, about 90 minutes.
  3. Drain the dried fruit from the bourbon. In a small bowl, combine the drained fruit with remaining filling ingredients. Mix together. Cover and set aside.
  4. When dough has doubled in size, punch it down and turn it out onto a lightly floured board, kneading for a few minutes. Roll the dough into a 9×30-inch rectangle. Spread the filling over the dough to within 1 inch of the edges. Starting along a long side, tightly roll up the dough, pinching edge against loaf to seal. With a sharp knife, cut roll in half lengthwise. Turn each half so the cut side is facing up, and then twist the halves around each other, like a loose braid, keeping cut sides up. (This helps keeps the yummy filling inside.)
  5. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper (or generously grease baking sheet). Gently, transfer the rope to the baking sheet and shape into a circle and pinch the ends together to seal. Let it rise, uncovered, in a warm place for 30-45 minutes. Near the end of rising time, preheat the oven to 350°F.
  6. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until browned. Cool completely before drizzling icing over top.

IMG_0579 (2)
Before going into the oven

Whole Wheat Bread Bowl

Whole Wheat Bread Bowl

One of my favorite indulgences is Broccoli Cheddar Soup with a Whole Wheat Bread Bowl. Broccoli Cheddar Soup tastes rich and yummy on its own, but there’s something so unbelievably comforting about ripping off pieces of bread and dunking them into the piping hot soup. […]

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