Christmas is warm and cozy. Smells delicious and gathers people together. On the eve of this beautiful holiday we are visiting the home of Mira Lazarova, editor-in-chief of our magazine Unique Estates Life. And as the traditions in this family command, at Christmas here smells of roasted quinces, tasty sweets and tea from verbena with spices. Our editor Sylvana Vassileva tells of a delicious day when Mira prepared her traditional Christmas cookies.
Mira Lazarova is proverbial for being demanding to herself and the environment around her. She creates beauty in everything she does and has the ability to animate spaces, to cultivate taste with hier presence only. Her home is warm and soft, like the cashmere, velvet and silk, which you can see her wrapped around with. It feels unpretentious, yet special. There is a lot of art in it, every object telling an interesting story. The table is decorated with exquisite porcelain. Crystal decanters and aromatic candles are arranged in a silver tray. Fine glass toys hang on pine twigs, juniper and eucalyptus. Their aroma is mixed with that of cinnamon, cardamom, dessert wine and orange liqueur, with which Mira has prepared the pear pie and roasted quinces placed on the table.
"These days we always expect many guests," says Mira. It is nice to meet friends and relatives who sometimes appear unexpectedly. That's why their home is always loaded with ready-made delicious things that Mira traditionally prepares for Christmas. One of them is the fantastic roasted quinces she has picked from the garden in their holiday house. She prepares them with dessert wine (Marsala or Porto), cinnamon and some honey. She serves them with walnut ice cream or Coppa della Maga pistachio one. Her other favorite thing to do these days is a mix of roasted nuts with spices. She likes the non-traditional combinations - in this case fresh rosemary with cinnamon, pepper and salt with which they roast. This blend of flavors and tastes is something Mira likes to experiment with in the kitchen. The recipe she chose for her Christmas cookies this year is exactly spicy. Both of the types she prepares before us are with butter dough. In one of them she adds cardamom, salt Maldon and pepper, and in the others - raw nuts. The dough is formed in beautiful houses, trees, angels and falling stars. And she tells about the rituals of preparing the Christmas Eve dinner table, the big Christmas lunch in the house, and the friends who turn out at dusk.
Gifts for her loved ones she usually gets long before the festive season so that she can enjoy the process without stressing the holiday. In everything she does, Mira puts a lot of attention and personal attitude. In December she tries to work mostly from her home, although the publication of the magazine is always associated with many meetings and work in different parts of the city. For her, the balance between time spent in the office and home is important. She pays particular attention to her social life, contacts with friends, partners and colleagues. Looking for inspiration in the things that happen around the world and meeting with interesting people. She is a real muse for the people who work and communicate with her.
"The days around Christmas are reserved for my family and my closest friends. I'm trying to spend as much time as possible with my kids who come home for the holidays. I meet the new year with the man in my life. Traditions are respected and these are wonderful days, "she says with a smile.
Mira shared with us the recipe for these delicious Christmas cookies. But to have that result, I advise you to add the Christmas jazz, the warmth and the love of a home like this one to the product list.
We thank her for this wonderful day, for the warmth and inspiration.
And let your Christmas be delicious and magical!
Christmas cookies with spices:
125g butter, at room temperature
60 grams of golden powdered sugar, plus extra for sprinkling
150g plain flour
1 teaspoon pepper, finely ground
Seeds of 8 green cardamom pods, finely ground
Pinch of salt
Heat the oven to 190 ° C / with a fan - up to 170 ° C /. Mix butter and sugar in a mixer or by hand. Add the flour, followed by the spices and a pinch of salt.
Knead the dough until homogenised and form it on a ball. Wrap it in foil and put it in the fridge for at least 15 minutes.
Place baking paper on a bakingtray. Roll out the 1 ounce thick dough and make the sweets in the desired shapes. Place them on the baking paper in the tray. Sprinkle with a little sugar, then put in the oven for 10-15 minutes. Bake to a pale golden color. Wait to cool down and enjoy.
Here you may see a video from that wonderful day: