This post is also available in: French
I haven’t seen Christmas coming this year. It is in one week. It’s crazy how time flies. No matter what is happening in your life. Good or bad, it keeps passing by, faster and faster every year. Now I remember why I stopped blogging for three years. I love baking, I love developing recipes, taking pictures and editing them. But I have to admit that the redactional part and posting in time parts of it are a bit of a struggle for me.
I turned 35 two weeks ago. I feel more close to 40 than 30 even though I am technically in the middle. I was never scared nor had any problem with getting older. It maybe has to do with the fact that I look younger than my age and I always have been. It was really frustrating when I was a teenager and then a young adult.
Mostly because of all this ID situation when you are going out with friends even though I do not drink alcohol. I was just always the only one who they would ask the ID card on the rare occasions when I was going to a club or a bar. Last time that it happened to me I was 29. Yep. You read right. But well now I find it pretty fun and it’s always funny to tell people my age.
I am or try to be a pretty organized person in my life in general. Usually I tackle my Christmas gifts List two weeks in advance at the minimum. This year I am just totally overwhelmed . I only bought 3 presents out of 12. I will have to go buy the other ones later this week when Christmas shopping will be a nightmare.
I try to tackle my to do list but I feel like it can’t keep up this year. The only way to do even more things would be to sleep less and less but I already don’t sleep much lately and I know getting enough sleep and rest in general is really the number one priority for my body and my overall sanity.
Same for my Christmas baking. I wanted to post much more this month but I accepted the fact that I only could do what I could do. Getting myself stressed out is not going to change anything right? Between driving back and forth to Paris for work, work itself, medical appointments it’s a bit difficult to deal with all the things I have to do.
To explain a bit about my baking, food photography part of my life I need to explain that most of my baking supplies as well as my food photo backgrounds are in the garden shed. All my props, photo gear and related items are stored in storage boxes all around my parents house.
Like I already mentioned, I am incredibly grateful for my mom to tolerate all this extra stuff everywhere in her house. But the struggle is real. Hard to get all my stuff together every time I need it and putting it back where it belongs is tedious and tiring. It takes me twice the time than it does when I was still living in my apartment. I don’t even talk about crossing the garden multiple times under the rain, in the cold, several times a day. Carrying heavy backgrounds and cases around.
I also feel bad about putting things all around my mom’s kitchen and living room every time. My mom would never say anything to me, this is how great she is one more time but I want to respect the fact that this is her house and that she’s already making a lot of compromises for me to feel good here. When I am feeling frustrated by this whole situation she keeps reminding me that this is all temporary.
I try to tell myself that she’s right even thought 6 months temporary turned into 12 months temporary and then into 18 months temporary… So I decided to do my best even though it doesn’t feel like enough. Perfect is the enemy of the good and doing something is still better than doing nothing, right ?
I’ve been doing this Pomegranate cranberry chai hot cider for the fourth year in a row for my birthday. It’s always a hit. Which is why I keep doing it every year all around December. It would be perfect for a christmas brunch or for any hour of the day when a good hot beverage is needed. I would say that the longest part of it would be to deal with this pomegranate arils situation. But you could also just buy them instead of the pomegranate if you are not feeling like peeling one.
You could use unsweetened hard cider instead of the sweet if you are willing to cut a bit on the sugar or you can even substitute apple juice or apple cider if you want an alcohol free version.
You don’t need tons of spices around the house. just put one tea bag and you are good. I used honey but you could substitute it with agave or brown rice syrup. You might already know that I am a Chai everything addict so I have lots of different Chai tea bags brands around the house. I have to say that my favorite for this drink is the yogi-tea Rooibos chai one. Plus the Rooibos red color is just perfect for this and its caffeine free so you could even drink it late at night while watching Christmas movies if you are that kind of person. Which I am.
So to sum it up this recipe is super easy, super quick and super good. Just saying.
And what about your Christmas gifts ? Are you done ? Are the make ahead or last minute kind of person ?
- 2 Cups ( 500 ml / 17.6 oz ) Pomegranate Cranberry Juice
- 2 Cups ( 500 ml / 17.6 oz ) Sparkling Hard Apple Cider, Sweet *
- 1 Tbsp ( 20g / 0.7 oz) Mild Flavor Honey
- 1 Chai Tea bag ** ( your favorite brand )
- 1 cup ( 130g / 4.8 oz ) Pomegranate Arils ( about one Pomegranate )
- Combine pomegranate cranberry , sparkling hard cider , honey and the chai tea bag in a saucepan.
- Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and let it simmer for about 15 minutes
- Remove the saucepan from the heat but leave the chai tea bag, add the pomegranate arils.
- Divise between 2 mugs. You can add a fresh cinnamon stick in each cup if you feel like it.
- Drink warm !