#CIJCookieExchange – Traditional Greek Melomakarona

Contributor post by Megha of byTheArtBug

Let’s make traditional Greek Melomakarona with Andrea Koutsonikola from AJRUSTICCREATIONSA1As with most holidays in Greece, Greek Christmas also revolves around food! Traditional Greek melomakarona! Melomakarona are my absolute favourite Greek Christmas treat. And how couldn’t they be! Greek melomakarona are incredibly soft, moist and flavoursome, soaked in a delicious honey syrup and infused with fragrant butter. For an authentic last touch sprinkle the melomakarona with chopped walnuts and just a pinch of cinnamon and clove. Once put in the oven, the intense aromas of the sweet spices permeates the house and brings back childhood memories. Just heaven!

Try out this traditional sweet delight and let the smell of freshly baked cookies, orange and cinnamon remind you it’s Christmas! Enjoy!
For the Melomakarona

1 1/2 cup oil (1 cup olive oil and 1/2 a cup sesame oil)
1/2 cup butter, at room temperature
1 cup sugar
1/4 of a cup cognac
1/2 cup beer (blonde pale lager such as bottled Heineken or Mythos)
2 tsps orange zest
1/4 of a cup orange juice
2 tsps baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1kg all-purpose flour (8 cups/ 35 ounces)

For the syrup

650g honey (23 ounces)
420g sugar (15 ounces)
500g water (17.6 ounces)
1 cinnamon stick (optional)

To garnish

some chopped walnuts
powdered cinnamon (optional)
powdered clove (optional)

Instructions

To prepare this melomakarona recipe, start by making the dough first. In a mixing bowl add the oil, butter and sugar and mix with an electric mixer at low-medium speed for about 10 minutes, or until the sugar has dissolved. (It is very important that the butter is at room temperature.)

In a large bowl, add the flour and the baking powder and blend with a spoon to combine.
Add the mixed oil, butter and sugar (from step 1) in the bowl with the flour and pour in the cognac, beer and orange zest. In a cup add the orange juice and baking soda and blend, until dissolved. Be careful when doing so, because the baking soda will start to foam out of the cup; so blend in a cup placed over the bowl with the rest of the ingredients, so that the foam will end up in the bowl. Pour in the bowl with the rest of the ingredients and start kneading your dough. Knead the dough for the melomakarona using your hands, until the ingredients combine and the dough is smooth and soft. Be careful not to overwork the dough. Leave the dough to rest for half an hour.
Preheat the oven to 200C. Layer the bottom of 2 baking trays with parchment paper and start shaping the melomakarona. Pinch a portion of dough about the size of a walnut (or bigger, if you prefer) and shape with your palms into a smooth oblong shape, like a small egg. Place on the baking tray, push lightly the top with a fork and make some holes on top (not all the way down). Continue with the rest of the dough.
Place the baking trays with the melomakrona in the oven and turn immediately the heat down to 180C. Bake for approx. 20-25 minutes, until the melomakarona are lightly browned and cooked through.
A little bit before turning the melomakarona out of the oven, prepare the syrup. Pour in a pot the sugar, honey and water and bring to the boil. Boil for 5 minutes, until the sugar has dissolved (do not stir the syrup).
When the melomakarona come out of the oven, float them in the hot syrup, flipping them with a fork to absorb the syrup. Remove the cookies using a slotted spoon, place on a platter and sprinkle with chopped walnuts.A2

Store the melomakarona at room temperature in an airtight container. They will last for all your Christmas Holidays!A3 (480x640)

HAPPY HOLIDAYS AND HAPPY MUNCHING

New Year Burlap Wine Bags From AJRUSTICCREATIONS

New Year Burlap Wine Bags From AJRUSTICCREATIONS

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#CIJCookieExchange – BUNS (kourampiedes in hellinic)

Contributor post by Alicia of AliciasFindings

Let’s Make BUNS – Recipe from Ifigeneia of fifrixtra

1. What is your recipe?

BUNS

Recipe from Ifigeneia – Greece

Ingredients:

600gr almond
600gr fresh butter
2 egg yolks
225gr isugar
900gr flour
1 cup brandy or liqueur
3 vanillas
flower water
icing sugar
you cut almonds in big pieces and you fry them.
Mix all the materials together and bake them 10 minutes at 180 C.
As they are hot, sprinkle them with flour , water and icing sugar or if you prefer with chocolate! they are ready!

Buns

Buns

Buns And Holiday Goodies

Buns And Holiday Goodies

2. What is it about this cookie that you love?

They are very easy and they taste like mamy!!!

3. How did you learn to make this cookie?

It’s my mothers recipe.

4. Please share a story or memory to go along with the cookie.

The first Christmas with my daughter she was 10 months and she dragged herself in the sitting room to take 2 of them! One in each hand!!

5. What are your social media sites?

fifirixtra.blogspot.gr/
twitter.com/fifi_tsil
www.pinterest.com/fifirixtra/
Χριστίνα Άνθη φυτά

Handmade Felt Christmas Ornaments From fifirixtra

Handmade Felt Christmas Ornaments From fifirixtra

Memories Of A Lifetime – #CIJRoadTrip

Contributor post by Michelle of EviesToolEmporium

We spent the month of August traveling the world on the first Christmas In July Road Trip! Since the CIJ team is worldwide we held a virtual #CIJRoadTrip right here on our blog!

The Road Trip began on Friday – August 1st, 2014 and concluded on Sunday – August 31st. As I mentioned the team is international and we went to visit many countries along the way!

We wanted to include as many of our talented team members as possible! The participation was fantastic! Our itinerary was filled as we traveled all over the world!

Each team member shared with us their country, as well as a little bit about themselves and their shops. I personally made many new friends and the world feels smaller to me now! Please join me to enjoy the memories of a lifetime!

Here was our itinerary:

1. August 1 – Canada / ElizabethLovesGlass – Elizabeth
2. August 2 – Chile / JuguetesEloisa – Valentina
3. August 3 – US / ClaudiaMarieFelt – Claudia Marie
4. August 4 – Australia / ColourscapeStudios – Kel
5. August 5 – UK / DetolaAndGeek – Tola
6. August 6 – Greece / fifirixtra – Ifigeneia
7. August 7 – Singapore / byTheArtBug – Megha And AngsanaSeedsPhoto – Ivy
8. August 8 – New Zealand / TangerineToes – Kaz
9. August 9 – Lithuania / feltinga – Ingrida
10. August 10 – Norway / Vamperstein – Kristin
11. August 11 – Israel / liatib – Liat
12. August 12 – Russia / KittyAprilHandmade – Katya
13. August 13 – Italy / Ghirlandiamo – Lia
14. August 14 – India / byTheCrochetBug – Natasha And bytheArtBug – Megha
15. August 15 – Belgium / cyberwezz – Wezz 
16. August 16 – Indonesia / DonBiuBali – Katrina
17. August 17 – Dominican Republic / TheLarimarShop – Angie
18. August 18 – Ireland / Gigi82Knits – Gigi
19. August 19 – Malaysia / whimsywhimsical – Yee Von
20. August 20 – Croatia / LAURELISjewelry – Zlatka
21. August 21 – Ukraine / 100Crochetnecklaces – Svitlana
22. August 22 – France / Sandra Ovono – Sandra
23. August 23 – Bulgaria / ElegantJewelryRMM – Rositza
24. August 24 – Estonia / Nalmandra – Astrida
25. August 25 – The Netherlands (Holland) / LizKnijnenburg – Anneleis
26. August 26 – Japan / KimonoPonchoCom – Yukiko
27. August 27 – Sweden / ReDesignedandRecycled – Linda
28. August 28 – Bosnia and Herzegovina / DeepSilence – Sonja
29. August 29 – Spain / Divantias – Patricia
30. August 30 – Germany / MermaidsHatBox – Barbara
31. August 31 – Turkey / Bloomed Flower – Zeynep

A special thank you to the blog contributors who escorted us on our travels!

Megha from byTheArtBug
Alicia from AliciasFindings
Jessica from CrochetNature
Jennifer from CaffeinatedPapercuts
Michelle from EviesToolEmporium

Please use #CIJRoadTrip on social media as you visit all the lovely countries we shared with you!

Thank you so much for joining us on our #CIJRoadTrip!

CIJFacebookAviGood

 

#CIJRoadTrip – Greece: Piraeus

Contributor post by Alicia of AliciasFindings

Let’s travel to Greece – Piraeus with Ifigeneia from Fifirixtra

1. What city do you live in? What makes it special?

I live at Piraeus (Attica). It’s a very old city and famous for its port. Also it’s very close to all kinds of transportation and it isn’t as crowded as Athens.

Piraeus - Greece

Piraeus – Greece

2. What are several places everyone visiting your country should see?

I think that we have soooo many historical places that someone can see.

First of all he MUST go to Parthenon. It’s the greatest of all.

Delphoi is the biggest historical place that you must go – the center of earth as it was called at the ancient times.

The great thing is that we have many small islands that you can choose from being alone at a beach – Samothraki – to party all the time – Mykonos.

Everywhere you can see small museums with treasures.

Acropoli - Greece

Acropoli – Greece

Delphoi - Greece

Delphoi – Greece

Mykonos - Greece

Mykonos – Greece

3.  How have the customs, traditions, geography, nature etc. inspired the items you create?

Well the good weather at the most of the time sure inspires me, but the great nature with all that sea is the biggest inspiration for me. Tradition is in my blood as I studied tradition art when I was younger.

Knosos - Crete - Greece

Knossos – Crete – Greece

4. What are you doing this fall to drive your business in your community? Are you doing a festival or show? How do you reach out to your community? I think that this fall I will have more time to create little pieces of me as my daughter is getting bigger (17 months yeah!) and my mothers flower shop is the place that I am going to be the mothers flower shop is the place that I am going to be the most of the time.

Beer Holic! Handmade Felt Toy From fifirixtra

Beer Holic! Handmade Felt Toy From fifirixtra

Ballarines Pointes Handmade Felt Toy From fifirixtra

Ballarines Pointes Handmade Felt Toy From fifirixtra

Personalized Sea Handmade Felt Wreath From fifirixtra

Personalized Sea Handmade Felt Wreath From fifirixtra

Crab Handmade Felt Toy From fifirixtra

Crab Handmade Felt Toy From fifirixtra

5. What are your social media sites?
fifirixtra.blogspot.gr/
twitter.com/fifi_tsil
www.pinterest.com/fifirixtra/
www.facebook.com/pages/%CE%A7%CF%81%CE%B9%CF%83%CF%84%CE%AF%CE%BD%C…

Friday The Road Trip Begins – #CIJRoadTrip

Contributor post by Michelle of EviesToolEmporium

We are getting excited for the first Christmas In July Road Trip! Since the CIJ team is worldwide we are going to hold a virtual #CIJRoadTrip right here on our blog!

The Road Trip begins on Friday – August 1st, 2014. As I mentioned the team is international and we are going to visit many countries along the way!

As a member of the CIJ team there is a way for you to get involved today before the fun begins on Friday. Please go to the CIJ forums and there is a thread that explains all the specifics! We want to include as many of our talented team members as possible! So far the countries we are going to visit are Canada, Chile, United States Of America and Australia! Where will we go next?

If you are not a member of the team please feel free to join the team today! Otherwise you will have to wait until Friday to see what we have planned!

Please use #CIJRoadTrip on social media as you road trip with us!

CIJFacebookAviGood

Want a sneak peek of one of the countries we will be visiting? Elizabeth from ElizabethLovesGlass lives in the amazing country of Canada! Come meet Elizabeth on Friday and learn about her Etsy shop and her country. Thank you Elizabeth for participating!

ElizabethLovesGlass From Canada

ElizabethLovesGlass From Canada

Abkhazi Garden - Victoria Canada

Abkhazi Garden – Victoria Canada

So mark your calendars, invite your friends, and get ready to go on a Road Trip! A #CIJRoadTrip!