ENTERTAINING: Holidays 2020-2021, Part 1*

EntertainingsliderTime Out

Here’s what we’ve created especially for you:
Festive Apple Fruit Cake  &  5 Puff Pastries



by Mary Canovas

This holiday season and the year 2020 is one we will never forget and always remember.  It has changed the lives of all the peoples in the entire world.  For many it will mean the untimely loss of loved ones and friends.  For others, it was the loss of personal freedom to enjoy a carefree life. We were restricted to living in a different, more solitary way while trying to follow conflicting official guidelines for our own and others´ protection.

This year has also reminded us of the importance of loved ones, true friends, kindness and caring which we had sometimes taken for granted.  We will always remember and should never forget how we came together not only for ourselves but for our neighbors´ survival and well-being.

And this is, after all, the true spirit of Christmas.


Here´s wishing you and yours all that´s best and beautiful during these holidays.
My wish for us is that we meet again
next year
celebrating  an old fashioned Christmas just
like  “the ones we used to know”.
Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah
A Blessed and Wonderful New Year!


White Christmas

Festive Apple Fruit Cake


We have created this Festive Apple Cake especially for all our friends. So very moist, tender and tasty, it is a perfect Christmas Fruit Cake and a great every-day cake for the family.  In addition to apples, yogurt, and soft cinnamon streusel it has raisins, walnuts, optional candied orange, and a delicious glaze. It is perfect for any time and any occasion with family or guests.

It is also the easiest cake to make, no butter – so you don´t even need any kind of machine. Of all the apple cakes we’ve made, this is the one everyone has requested time after time.


  • 420 gr.- 3 cups flour
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 300 gr. – 1.5 cups sugar
  • 2 cups – peeled and diced red apples
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 240 ml – 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 240 ml – 1 cup plain or Greek yogurt
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoons fine lemon zest
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts (1/2 cup for mix and 1/2 cup in the glaze)
  • Optional: 1/2 to 3/4 cup seedless raisins
  • Optional: 1/2 cup candied orange rinds, diced

Make the smooth streusel (no flour) 

Ingredients and Directions:

  • 100 grams or 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons melted butter

Stir together cinnamon, sugar, and butter until lumpy and moist.

Make the cake

  • Preheat the oven to 200º C (400 F).
  • Grease and flour and line base of 23cm-9 ”round cake pan with oven paper.
  • In a large bowl Mix flour, baking powder, baking soda, and sugar.
  • Add the chopped apple, 1/2 cup chopped walnuts, and optional raisins, and optional 1/4 cup candied orange and stir just to coat.
  • In a separate bowl, beat eggs, vanilla, oil, and yogurt with a whisk.
  • Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and beat with a whisk or fork until combined.
  • Pour the dough into the prepared mold.
  • Sprinkle the streusel over the cake batter.
  • Bake cake at 200ºC – 400ºF for only 10 minutes.
  • Lower the temperature to 180ºC – 350ºF and bake another 50 minutes.
  • Cover with aluminum foil and raise the temperature to 200ºC – 400ºF for another 15 to 20 minutes or until a bamboo skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean.
  • Transfer the cake to a rack to cool completely.

Make the glaze and decorate

Ingredients: 60 grams or 1/2 cup icing or powdered sugar

  • 5 to 2 tablespoons milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract or 6 drops of rum extract.


  • Mix 2 tablespoons of milk with vanilla or rum extract and stir.
  • Add the mixture to 1/2 cup or 60 g of icing sugar little by little and stir. We are looking for a dense frosting – not too runny. NOTE: If it is too thick, add more milk teaspoon by teaspoon until it is the desired consistency. If it is too liquid, add more icing sugar and stir.
  • Drizzle the frosting over the entire cake, dripping over the sides.
  • Sprinkle the remaining 1/2 cup of chopped walnuts on top of the glaze and optional the 1/4 cup of chopped candied orange rind.

5 Elegant Puff Pastries

Elegant Puff Pastries ready in 20 minutes.  Fun, easy and inexpensive to make.  With just a little puff pastry and whatever you have on hand – jam, lemon curd, cream cheese, fresh fruits, chocolate … you can create the loveliest, tastiest pastries you can imagine.

It’s always a good idea to keep puff pastry in the freezer. It´s a life-saver for unexpected guests or spur of the moment celebrations.  Whether the recipe is for savory like canapés, or sweet for desserts or snacks, it´s always quick, easy, and delicious.  Here are 5 different and easy ways to create your own pastry masterpiece.


  • Puff Pastry – the best is the one with butter
  • 150 g of Philadelphia type cream cheese at room temperature
  • 1/2 egg yolk • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 5 tablespoons sugar
  • Optional:
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest or 1 teaspoon lemon extract


  • Beat the cream cheese, egg yolk, vanilla, and sugar with a fork until everything is blended incorporated, and smooth. Put aside.

Decoration and filling:

  • Strawberries, Strawberry Jam, Chocolate, Raspberries, Blueberries. etc…
  • Powdered sugar
  • Egg wash – Beat 1 egg with 1 tablespoon water
  • Baking tray with oven paper

Making Puff Pastry

  • Sprinkle the table very lightly with flour. Place the puff pastry on top and if necessary smooth with a rolling pin. Cut into equal squares.
  • Cut to make shapes. See video.
  • Fill with cheesecake or jam or chocolate and/or fruits.
  • Paint with the egg wash.
  • Bake at 200ºC or 400ºF in the center of the oven for 12 to 20 minutes or until the puff pastry is puffed and golden.
  • Remove from the oven and decorate: optional: sprinkle with a little icing sugar. You can also decorate with thin lines of melted chocolate or with a confectioner’s sugar and milk glaze on top.


*Look for two more recipes in “Holidays 2020-2021 Part 2” for the New Year Festivities.

Featured image (Wreath) but not text, Angela Rose from Pixabay
Christmas ribbon/Open Clipart-Vectors from Pixabay
Christmas dog and cat/Jo-B from Pixabay
Girl in Santa suit/Angela Rose from Pixabay