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Gluhwein ( mulled wine) recipe a Christmas favorite… from Jamie Oliver

To continue the Christmas traditions -  add to previous post – Stollen and Gluhwein – a nice afternoon combination to warm you up and make you think of Christmas. How about after finding the perfect tree? or a cold slopeside outing with friends? Apres Ski? In a chalet at #Whistler? A special Gluhwein experience I remember one  New Year’s Eve – the lake was frozen solid, temperature well below zero, a clear starry sky – fireworks, children oohing and awing, and then a falling star! Nonna brought out the hot mulled wine to warm us up – ( hot mulled apple cider for the kids!)

Recipe for Gluhwein ( mulled wine) from Jamie Oliver

Mulled wine to warm you up…in your villa in Italy or your slope side Chalet


  • 2 clementines
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 lime
  • 200 g caster sugar
  • 6 whole cloves
  • 1 stick cinnamon
  • 3 fresh bay leaves ( personally don’t use this)
  • 1 whole nutmeg, for grating
  • 1 vanilla pod, halved lengthways
  • 2 star anise ( for me this is optional please!)
  • 2 bottles Chianti or other Italian red wine

    This is dead simple to make and tastes like Christmas in a glass. It’s a lovely celebration of those traditional festive spices like cloves, cinnamon and nutmeg. If you’ve got your own favourite spices, then feel free to add those to the pot too. Let everything cook away and warm up gently so the flavours have time to mingle with the wine. I like to leave my mulled wine ticking over on a really low heat and just ladle some into glasses as and when guests pop in.

    Peel large sections of peel from your clementines, lemon and lime using a speed peeler. Put the sugar in a large saucepan over a medium heat, add the pieces of peel and squeeze in the clementine juice. Add the cloves, cinnamon stick, bay leaves and about 10 to 12 gratings of nutmeg. Throw in your halved vanilla pod and stir in just enough red wine to cover the sugar.
    Continue reading

Stollen, a German Christmas Cake – Recipe from Bon Appetit – Enjoy German Christmas traditions anywhere, even in Tuscany

ClassicVacationRental loves this recipe – a lovely German tradition that translates into any palate, no matter your nationality or location.

Stollen, a German Christmas Bread Recipe From Hot Bread Kitchen

German Christmas bread known as stollen, a spirited, spiced, sugar-topped ‘cake’ packed with nuts (almonds, predominantly), dried fruit (raisins are a given), and candied citrus peel. Some are laden with almond paste or marzipan, which results in a softer crumb, while others keep it dry and scone-y. Hershberger, who is German himself, has, for years, been baking stollen for pals and neighbors. This year, for HBK, he’s made a few adjustments to that recipe, and the resulting confection is moister, with even more fruit and nuts than before.



1. Check your schedule. Your fruit needs to soak in its bath of rum, brandy, and hot water for a full three days before you bake the bread. After that, it should take about three hours from the time you start the dough to the moment your loaf is fully cooked. Here’s how that breaks down, according to Hershberger: Preparing and mixing ingredients: 35 minutes. Dough fermentation: 1 hour, minimum. Shaping and resting the dough: 15 minutes. Shaping (again) the dough and letting it rise: 1 hour. Baking: about 25 minutes.

Once it’s out of the oven, the bread is topped with butter and sugar. Then, you should wait at least one day to let the stollen set before you dig in. Continue reading

Christmas Markets in Tuscany

Christmas Markets in Tuscany – inspired by the Trip 

We just returned from a wonderful visit to Italy to find new #Villas in Tuscany, as well as apartments in Rome and Florence, already the Christmas decorations were popping up in the shops of Florence, San Gimignano, Volterra, Arezzo to name a few we saw. We have put together a list for you of wonderful Christmas markets in Tuscany

Christmas window in Arezzo, Tuscany.

In Florence, the Weihnachtsmarkt, a German word that means Christmas market, has come to Santa Croce Square from the #ChristkindlMarkt of  Heidelberg .

This Christmas market in Florence has stands selling decorations for Christmas trees and homes, Christmas cakes such as Stollen accompanied by the the wonderful warm Glühwein (mulled wine); (recipe #stollen, #gluhwein next post) visitors will enjoy not only Christmas food but also German specialties (especially wurst and sauerkraut) at Santa Croce Square from the 27th of November to the 19th of December. Continue reading