Author Archives: aries041158

Happy “Third” Year Blogiversary

 

blogiversary third with DATE

Photo Jan 25, 2 45 49 PM INTRO

Click on the photo to enlarge and then the back arrow to return to original size.

Hi Everyone,

I can’t believe that another year has flown by and DishingwithDiane is now,

THREE YEARS OLD TODAY!

I absolutely LOVE sharing my tablescapes, stories and recipes with all of you. It has been a wonderful experience for me and I have made so many new friends over the three years. You have all become a second family to me.

I want to thank each and every one of you for becoming members and showing the love and support for this blog.

Please continue to ask your family and friends to follow, like, share and join DishingwithDiane.com, as we continue to grow.

And continue to send me your comments, I love hearing from you.

I hope along our journey together, I have inspired you to try a new recipe or given you an idea for you to create a tablescape at home.

Photo Jan 25, 2 42 29 PM INTRO CAKE

So now let’s start a celebration tablescape to bring us into year number FOUR together…

For this anniversary tablescape I wanted to feature my Italian Deruta dishes. Both my husband and my son bought me new pieces for Christmas to add to my collection and I can’t wait to use them.

Let’s start with the tablecloth. I am using a sunflower gold tablecloth to blend with the rim of the dish.

Photo Jan 25, 12 07 20 AM - TABLECLOTH SUN

I am adding something that I don’t normally use on my tables and that is a table runner. For this particular pattern, I thought the table runner pulled everything together nicely.

Photo Jan 25, 1 47 58 PM (1) EXTRA

The dishes are one of my favorites, Nova Deruta.

It is an earthenware dish with scalloped edges with a cream background and a sunflower gold & rust rim. The intricate pattern on the dish feature vibrant colors of navy, turquoise, sunflower and rust.

While doing some research about the dishes from Italy, I discovered that this design also originates from a fresco made by a Renaissance master, “Il Perugino” created the frescoes containing the dominant motif of this pattern. If you travel to Italy you will be able to see them in the “Logge del Cambio” in Perugia. 

Deruta majolica artists later adapted the motif to the ceramic art.

The dinner plate has a scalloped edge and a border in sunflower and rust with the fresco design around the rim and a cream center.

Photo Jan 25, 1 50 11 PM DINNER PLATE

The salad plate also has the scalloped edge with the same design as the dinner plate but the center has the design of the fresco.

Photo Jan 25, 1 50 56 PM SALAD PLATE

The complete set…

Photo Jan 25, 1 51 58 PM SET

I chose two colors from the plate for the placemats and chargers. Rust woven placemats and navy beaded chargers.

(With the lighting the placemat looks orange but it is a deep rust).

Photo Jan 25, 2 42 08 PM PLACE MAT AND CHARGER

These dishes always give me a rustic feel of Tuscany, so I am using wooden flatware to keep the rustic theme going.

Photo Jan 25, 2 10 35 AM FLATWARE

Instead of a solid color napkin from a color on the plate, I chose the Deruta napkins to match the set and wooden napkin rings.

Photo Jan 25, 12 53 00 AM NAPKIN

The glasses will be simple. My clear stemless wine glasses. I didn’t want colored glassware to interfere with the intricate pattern on both the dishes and table runner.

Photo Jan 25, 12 50 41 AM GLASSWARE

The new piece that Bob bought me is the soup tureen. I absolutely LOVE it. Not many people can fall in love with a soup tureen, but I can. I didn’t want to make soup for the occasion, so I am going to use this piece as my centerpiece.

Photo Jan 24, 10 37 58 PM SOUP TUREEN

My son bought me the demitasse cups for Christmas and we will use those later with dessert.

Speaking of which, what is a celebration without a cake?

This year I gave the bakery a challenge when I gave them a photo of the plate and told them I wanted to have all the colors of the plate on the cake. I think they did a great job.

The cake is a marble cake with a layer of cannoli and a layer of chocolate pudding.

Photo Jan 25, 2 47 56 PM CAKE

I had to buy some additional mini cannolis when I picked up the cake. I couldn’t resist; the smell of the bakery got to me.

I will serve these on one of my Deruta serving trays.

Photo Jan 25, 2 10 07 AM SERVING TRAY

Photo Jan 25, 2 43 51 PM CANNOLI

Since I am going rustic, I am using my Acacia wood pedestal cake stand (this comes with a very large dome).  I ordered it from Crate and Barrel. I wish you could see the detail of the wood in person.

Photo Jan 25, 12 58 43 AM CAKE STAND WITH DOME

Photo Jan 25, 1 48 32 PM CAKE STAND

Of course there must be candles and I am using glass votives in shades of emerald, gold and navy.

Photo Jan 25, 2 09 32 AM CANDLES

A few pieces of golden glass table scatter on the runner and we are almost done except for the centerpiece.

Photo Jan 25, 2 12 10 AM TABLE SCATTER

I told you it would be the soup tureen, but it had to have something added.

 At first, I thought I would fill the tureen with hydrangea but that didn’t do it for me once I saw the hydrangea in the tureen. Still searching, I came across these little heather floral picks in Michael’s Arts and Crafts.

I dug through the basket to search for colors that would coordinate with my tureen; came home made the arrangement and now I am a happy girl.

Photo Jan 25, 2 43 45 PM CENTERPIECE

Place Setting

Photo Jan 25, 2 46 24 PM PLACE SETTING

 We couldn’t forget a bottle of prosecco for a celebratory toast,

Photo Jan 25, 2 53 41 PM PROSECCO

and some demitasse with anisette and our 3rd Blogiversary occasion cake.

We are ready to celebrate. 

Photo Jan 25, 4 12 33 PM CAKE

Just a note, I always use a fresh lemon peel for the rim of the cup and anisette sugar in demitasse coffee just like grandma did.

Photo Jan 25, 2 57 45 PM Anisette

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I have to share one other thing about my day of celebration. 

This afternoon, I surprised Bob with cupcakes for an early lunch, but this time the cupcakes were turkey meatloaf cupcakes with mashed potato frosting, chive sprinkles and a grape tomato as the cherry on top.

Served in a cupcake holder with broccoli slaw as a side dish.

I have been celebrating all day.

Photo Jan 25, 4 41 35 PM CUPCAKE HOLDER


Photo Jan 25, 5 05 59 PM MEATLOAF CUPCAKE

Photo Jan 25, 4 54 27 PM MEATLOAF MEAL

I just had to show you. I found the recipe on Skinnytaste.com and for those interested, it is Weight Watcher friendly made with turkey and grated zucchini- delicious. (recipe below)

Until my next post, make every day a celebration!

It has truly been a pleasure for me to share three years together with all of you. Spread the word about DishingwithDiane and continue to help me get new members. We have a lot more fun ahead.

Stay well, 

Diane

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Skinny Meatloaf Cupcakes with Mashed Potato Frosting

Servings: 6 • Serving Size: 2 cupcakes • 

Ingredients:

For the Meatloaf Cupcakes:

  • 1.3 lb. 93% lean ground turkey
  • 1 cup grated zucchini, all moisture squeezed dry with paper towel
  • 2 tbsps. onion, minced
  • 1/2 cup seasoned breadcrumbs
  • 1/4 cup ketchup
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp kosher salt

For the Skinny Mashed Potato “Frosting”:

  • 1 lb. (about 2 medium) Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 2 large garlic cloves, peeled and halved
  • 2 tbsps. fat free sour cream
  • 2 tbsps. fat free chicken broth
  • 1 tbsps. skim milk
  • 1/2 tbsp. light butter
  • kosher salt to taste
  • dash of fresh ground pepper
  • 2 tbsps. fresh thyme

Directions:

Put the potatoes and garlic in a large pot with salt and enough water to cover; bring to a boil. Cover and reduce heat; simmer for 20 minutes or until potatoes are tender. Drain and return potatoes and garlic to pan. Add sour cream and remaining ingredients. Using a masher or blender, mash until smooth. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350°. Line a muffin tin with foil liners.

In a large bowl, mix the turkey, zucchini, onion, breadcrumbs, ketchup, egg, and salt. Place meatloaf mixture into muffin tins filling them to the top, making sure they are flat at the top.

Bake uncovered for 18-20 minutes or until cooked through. Remove from tins and place onto a baking dish.

Pipe the “frosting” onto the meatloaf cupcakes and serve.

Makes 12.

 

Big Chill Dinner

Photo Jan 06, 6 10 13 PM SOUP AND CHICKEN

 

CLICK PHOTO TO ENLARGE and hit the back arrow to return to original size.

Hi Everyone. 

First of all, I hope that you are all safe & warm from the inclement weather that is sweeping across the country.

Here in the Northeast, we have 14 inches of snow, strong winds and single digit temperatures with wind chills below zero. Not very pleasant.

Please check in on your neighbors to see if they are okay, especially the elderly during this harsh weather.

I have a few recipes that I want to share with you today to hopefully make life a little easier during this weather. It’s brutal to go outside to shovel snow for hours in this blustery weather and then come in and have too start a meal for the family when you are exhausted.

The first recipe is one that I have been using for years and it is fantastic. It is …

Whole Chicken in a Slow Cooker

You season your chicken with a dry rub, into the crock pot with some veggies and you are free for 8 hours to do your other errands (like shoveling). I highly recommend you try this…

Cooks note- In the photo below, I roasted additional vegetables in the oven because I am saving the vegetables in the crock pot for chicken stock.

(I roasted potatoes, parsnips, carrots, red onions, garlic and brussel sprouts)

Here is the recipe. I found it on Thelittlekitchen.net

WHOLE CHICKEN IN A SLOW COOKER RECIPE

Photo Jan 06, 7 09 34 PM CROCK POT CHICKEN

INGREDIENTS:

RUB INGREDIENTS FOR THE CHICKEN…

  • 4 teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon thyme
  • 1 teaspoon white pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper

FOR THE CROCKPOT

  • 1 cup chopped onion, approx. 1 medium to large onion
  • 4 to 5 carrots, scrubbed, no need to peel, chopped in halves or thirds (I peeled them)
  • 4 celery stalks, cut in thirds
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
  • 1 whole lemon quartered
  • 3 1/2 to 4 1/2 lbs. roasting or fryer chicken

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Combine rub ingredients in a small bowl and set aside. Prep the vegetables and place inside the slow cooker (I use a 7-quart oval).
  2. Remove chicken from packaging and remove neck and pouch with organs. Discard or reserve for later use in another recipe. Rinse chicken with water and pat dry with paper towels.
  3. Rub garlic all over outside of the chicken. Put garlic inside the chicken. Put the rub all over the outside and inside the chicken. Add quartered lemon to the inside of the chicken.  (I also added parsley inside the chicken).
  4. Place chicken on top of the vegetables. Cover slow cooker and cook chicken on low for 4-8 hours. (When I used a 4 lb chicken, it took about 6 hours. The time will depend on the size of the chicken and your slow cooker.) Cook until the internal temperature of the leg is at 160 degrees F or use a pop-up thermometer as the original recipe calls for.
  5. Remove chicken and place in a 9×13 glass or ceramic baking dish. Place baking dish in the oven under the broiler for about 4-5 minutes. Allow chicken to rest after removing it from the broiler for 5-10 minutes.

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 I make chicken stock with the veggies and juices in the crock pot.

 Chicken Stock in the Crock Pot

Ingredients

  • Leftover chicken bones or carcass roughly equivalent to one small or medium sized chicken
  • 1 onion, peeled and loosely chopped
  • 1 rib of celery, roughly chopped
  • 1 carrot, roughly chopped (no need to peel)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 sprig fresh parsley
  • 1 sprig fresh thyme
  • Salt, to taste
    Note: If you are missing any of these ingredients I wouldn’t let that stop you from making it anyway.

Instructions

  1. After removing all edible meat from the chicken put/leave the bones, skin, cooking juices, etc. in the crock pot. If you are using the chicken carcass from the “Whole Chicken in the Crock Pot” recipe just leave every single thing that’s leftover (except the good meat of course) in the crock pot including the original onion and spices you used when making the chicken.
  2. Add the onion, celery, carrot and spices on top of the bones and fill the crock pot almost to the top with tap water (leaving about ½” at the top).
  3. Turn the slow cooker onto “low” after dinner and cook all night long or alternatively you could start it in the morning and cook on “low” for 8 – 10 hours during the day.
  4. After the stock is done cooking turn off the heat and, using a soup ladle, pass the stock through a fine sieve to remove all herbs/bones/etc.

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Since cold weather calls for hot soup, here is another favorite recipe of mine.

Photo Jan 06, 7 08 12 PM STRACCIATELLA WITH RAVIOLI

This is a soup that my mother made for us all the time and it hits the spot.

Best part, it’s quick.

Having this soup and the crock pot chicken is a perfect combination.

Stracciatella Soup with Spinach (rice or pasta -optional)

Cooks Note:  I add mini cheese ravioli to the soup whenever I can find them in the store, instead of rice. Lately, I have been lucky to find bags in Trader Joe’s. I think they look much cuter than rice.

Ingredients:

  • 1 ½ quarts of chicken broth (6 cups), homemade is best. Low sodium boxed chicken broth is fine too. Be sure it’s MSG free.
  • 3 large eggs
  • Grated cheese (½ cup)
  • 1 tbsp. of semolina or fine breadcrumbs
  • Pinch of nutmeg
  • 2 cups fresh spinach (stems removed)
  • Black pepper to taste.

Directions:

  • Heat broth in a saucepan and bring to a boil and then reduce to simmer.
  • Add 2 cups spinach to the broth to wilt
  • In a small bowl, beat together the eggs, grated cheese, nutmeg and semolina 
  • With a wooden spoon, swirl the soup in a circular motion while slowly pouring the egg mixture. Simmer for 1 minute
  • (optional- 1 ½ cups of cooked rice or pasta of your choice can also be added)
  • Serve the soup with some additional grated cheese and black pepper.

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I hope you enjoy these recipes and stay safe and warm during the BIG CHILL.

Until my next post, make every day a celebration!

Stay well, 

Diane

Thank you for visiting my blog.

If you enjoy the posts, please spread the word and ask your family and friends to subscribe to DishingwithDiane.com.

Once you subscribe, you’ll never miss a post.

Also, continue to send me your comments, I LOVE hearing from you.

 

 

 

New Year’s Eve – Welcome 2018

Photo Jan 01, 2 48 53 AM INTROClick PHOTO to enlarge, and hit the back arrow to return to original size.

Hi everyone,

I hope everyone had a wonderful Hanukkah & Christmas.

I on the other hand was so sick on Christmas Eve that my whole day was spiraling downward. I woke up feeling awful, stuffy and congested but I was still ready to cook and start my crab sauce and get the meal completed.

First problem, I burned an entire pot of fregola (a form of toasted pasta) with clams and scallops which didn’t add to my day. Burned so badly that the clams & shells stuck to the sides of the pot and I had to scrape them off with a metal spatula- not a pretty sight and I won’t even tell you what the pan looks like.

Word to the wise, cast iron heats up very, very hot and you have to either watch the pot every minute or adjust cooking times. I was just very thankful that I didn’t have company coming over. 

Christmas Eve, Feast of the Seven Fishes is my favorite meal of the year. I was determined to get that meal on the table and I don’t know how I had the strength to finish, but I did. I posted some pics below of the entrees I completed and just didn’t bother with the shrimp scampi and crab cakes. I ran out of energy.

I made baccala (cod) with potatoes & tomatoes – cold broccoli salad with lemon & garlic, baked clams – linguine with crab sauce, mussels & clams – crab meat stuffed shrimp -coconut shrimp – stuffed calamari (squid) and cold seafood salad with shrimp, calamari, scallops, celery, olives in a lemon oil dressing.

I didn’t have time or strength to prepare a Christmas Eve tablescape or Christmas Day tablescape and Bob put together our traditional Williams Sonoma croissants, Christmas morning breakfast.

Photo Dec 27, 3 57 10 PM CHRISTMAS MORNING

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 I am happy to say that I am feeling much better now, so I am posting a

New Year’s Eve tablescape. 

I hope you all had a very nice New Year’s Eve. Since it was 10 degrees in the Northeast, Bob and I stayed home for a cozy dinner.

I made shrimp- clam bisque as the first course.

Photo Jan 01, 2 22 30 AM SOUP

Baked crab cakes with tri-color couscous and a salad for our main course.

Photo Jan 01, 11 47 03 AM CRAB CAKES

And Chocolate Pots de Creme for dessert.

Photo Jan 01, 1 24 44 PM POTS DE CREME

And at midnight, we had assorted hors d’ oeuvres and Prosecco.

Photo Jan 01, 12 29 07 AM HORS D'OEUVRES

So, let’s get started on the tablescape…

This year’s theme is all poinsettias! Something I wanted to do for Christmas.

I love poinsettias; such a beautiful flower but it doesn’t love me back as much. If I buy real poinsettias early in December, I usually have a poinsettia twig left in the pot next to the fireplace on Christmas Eve with hopefully one leaf left. So, I decorate with artificial and Bob buys a real plant close to Christmas and takes loving care of it.

I am starting with a very cheery modern take on a traditional holiday tablecloth. The tablecloth has a white background (sorry, looks off-white in the photo) with red poinsettias, of course and shades of green holly branches.

To me, this tablecloth almost looked like a watercolor painting. This is not the usual plaid for the Holiday season. I purchased the matching napkins as well.
Photo Dec 31, 10 36 44 PM TABLECLOTH

I had to have poinsettia napkin rings and shopping online after Christmas last year, these just caught my eye. I think they are perfect with the placemat.

Photo Jan 01, 12 33 32 AM NAPKIN

I bought poinsettia placemats in Pier 1 last year and have been counting down the 12 months to use them with this tablescape. I just couldn’t resist these.

I didn’t want to use any chargers with this tablescape because the placemats were so pretty. Even the glass chargers didn’t work, you couldn’t see the entire poinsettia.

Photo Dec 31, 10 36 22 PM PLACEMAT

 The set of dishes that I am using are porcelain dishes by 222 Fifth (I buy a lot from that company) and the pattern is called “Winter Harmony”.

The dinner plate has a white background and along the border are poinsettias, holly berries and a beautiful flower that looks like a magnolia to me. The dish has a scalloped border outlined in a thin trim of red.

Photo Jan 01, 12 42 53 AM DINNER PLATE

The salad plate has a white background but the design on the plate is more lush than the dinner plate. This time the entire plate is covered in poinsettias, berries and flowers, all in white and red and it too has the scalloped border trimmed in red.

Photo Jan 01, 12 43 47 AM SALAD PLATE

This is the complete set…

Photo Jan 01, 2 29 55 AM DISH SET

I loved this pattern so much, I bought the platters, tiered servers, cake plate and tea pot.

The flatware for this table are my every day silver and gold combination from Towle.

Photo Jan 01, 12 39 13 AM FLATWARE

The glasses are champagne flutes from my Waterford collection.

I just switched to the matching water goblet for the meal.

Photo Jan 01, 2 27 57 AM WATERFORD

As you know by now, I love candles.

For this table, I used mercury glass votive candles scattered on the table.

Photo Jan 01, 2 49 26 AM CANDLES

My 2018 table decorations will also be my table decorations for New Year’s Day to complete my poinsettia centerpiece. Horns, hats, blowers, eyeglasses and beads. Along with a few small bottles of La Marca prosecco.

Photo Jan 01, 12 37 25 AM CENTERPIECE

Place Setting

Photo Jan 01, 12 39 44 AM PLACE SETTING

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 My dinner for New Year’s Day will be the traditional Italian “good luck” foods for the new year.

The menu is as follows: 

The first course has to be lentils. The story is that lentils are eaten because the shape resembles coins which hopefully will bring you good fortune and prosperity. My family also adds spinach to the lentils because it is the color of money.

The second course is cotechino. Now this is a large pork sausage (looks like a large salami), made from fatback and pork rind and it needs to be boiled at a low temperature for hours. The story is that the richness of the sausage will bring you wealth.

I was never a fan of cotechino, so I substitute any other pork. Pork sausages, pork loin, etc. This year I am making a broccoli rabe and sausage stromboli. I figured the pork and the green for the color of money has to bring me some good luck.

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And that is my New Year’s Eve /New Year’s Day tablescape to welcome 2018!

It has been my pleasure to spend 2017 with all of you and I look forward to the new year together.

From my house to yours, I wish you many blessings along with love, health and happiness in 2018.

Photo Jan 01, 1 28 10 PM TOSTING GLASSES WITH FROST

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Until my next post, make every day a celebration!

Stay well, 

Diane

Thank you for visiting my blog.

If you enjoy the posts, please spread the word and ask your family and friends to subscribe to DishingwithDiane.com

Once you subscribe, you’ll never miss a post.

Also, continue to send me your comments, I LOVE hearing from you.

Christmas Cookies & Recipes – 2017

CLICK PHOTO to enlarge and hit the back arrow to return to original size.

Hi Everyone,

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Well, it seems as if I just posted Holiday Cookie Recipes and here we are again. 

This is the second year in a row that my son can’t come home for Christmas because he has to work the Christmas Eve to Christmas Day shift and so I am sending a taste of Christmas to him via cookies once again…..

Last year I sent eight varieties and this year with all the beautiful pictures and recipes on some of my Facebook food groups, I was inspired to add another eight to my cookie tray for a total of 16 varieties.

Me, the non-baker was a busy baker this year. I should have had Bob take pictures of me covered in flour next to the Kitchen Aid. 

I am very fortunate to obtain so many recipes from the great chefs and bakers that are members of my Facebook food groups and they have been gracious enough to share their recipes. The other recipes I have had for years or I copied from Pinterest.

So here they are…..

The ever popular Chocolate Crinkle. I think that this cookie is on everyone’s holiday tray. It’s one of my son’s favorites and I have been baking this for years.

Photo Dec 09, 11 29 38 AM - CHOCOLATE CRINKLE -1

Chocolate Crinkle Cookies

INGREDIENTS:

5 ounces UNSWEETENED chocolate, broken into pieces

½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter

2 cups all purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

¼ tsp salt

4 large eggs

2 cups granulated sugar

1 tsp vanilla extract

Confectioner’s sugar

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Melt chocolate and butter together in the top of a double boiler over simmering water or in a microwave until about ¾ melted. Remove from the heat and stir until completely melted and smooth,
  2. Meanwhile, stir together (or sift) flour, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl
  3. In a large bowl with an electric mixer on hand, beat eggs, granulated sugar and vanilla extract until creamy, about 2 minutes. Whisk chocolate –butter mixture until smooth, and beat into egg mixture until smooth. Add about 1/3 of flour mixture and mix on low. Gradually add remaining flour, mixing just until blended. Dough may be thin; that’s OK because it will firm up upon cooling. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm enough to roll into balls, at least 6 hours or overnight.
  4. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line the cookie sheets with parchment paper. Sift some confectioners’ sugar into a wide shallow bowl. Roll dough between your palms into 1-inch balls, and then roll in confectioners’ sugar. Place balls 1-inch apart on cookie sheets.
  5. Bake until puffed and crackled in appearance, and surface is dry to the touch, about 12 minutes; centers will still feel somewhat soft. Slide parchment paper onto racks to cool cookies completely. Makes 80 cookies.
  6. Store at room temperature in airtight containers.

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The Pizzelle cookie. I received a pizzelle maker as a gift for Christmas last year and never used it, so I decided to try it this year. This is the easiest cookie to make. Now I am sorry I never tried it sooner. I used the recipe that came with the instruction booklet and it was smooth sailing- although you might ruin a few in the beginning until you get the timing right. 

Photo Dec 16, 10 32 54 PM PIZZELLE II- USE

Pizzelle Cookies

Ingredients:

3 large eggs

¾ cup sugar

2 tsp. of vanilla extract

1 stick (1/2 cup) butter, melted and cooled

½ tsp anise seed (optional)

1 ¾ cups all-purpose flour

2 tsp baking powder

Directions:

Melt butter and set aside. Beat eggs and sugar until light yellow, 2-3 minutes. Add melted butter and vanilla. Beat until blended.  Sift together the ingredients, fold until just blended, add remaining flour and fold again until just incorporated.

Heat pizzella iron, place about 1 tbsp. of batter on grid just behind the center of the pattern. Bake until golden brown, about 30-40 seconds. Remove and cool on a rack. Repeat with the remaining batter.

CHOCOLATE PIZZELLE –

Using the basic recipe, omit the vanilla and anise flavors: add 3 tbsp. cocoa and 3 tbsp. sugar. Bake the same way with the iron.

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Rum Balls. I received this recipe from my friend, Eleanor Travis years ago and I make them faithfully every Christmas.

This is my go to recipe whenever I have to attend a “Cookie Swap” party for Christmas. It is a nice change from cookies and looks nice on cookie trays. There should be a warning label for children (it is very strong) and it makes your entire house smell like rum as soon as you lift the cover of the air tight container when you are ready to serve. 

Photo Dec 15, 6 54 28 PM RUM BALLS WITH NAME AND FRAME -----

RUM BALLS

Best to make a few weeks in advance to “marinate” .

5 Cups Nilla Wafers crushed (bread crumb consistency)

2 Cups finely chopped walnuts
2 Cups Chocolate chips, melted
1 Cup rum
6 Tbsp. light corn syrup
sugar for rolling

Finely chop wafers & nuts, add to bowl.
In a separate microwave safe bowl, melt the chips (stirring occasionally).  You can also use a double boiler.

Add corn syrup & rum. Mix well & add to the dry mix.

Roll into balls & roll in sugar. Let sit on parchment before packing in air tight container. Don’t let them sit out too long or the alcohol will evaporate.

Makes about 6 dozen, depending on size of balls.

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Peppermint Fudge. This is always a requested addition to the Holiday cookie tray and this recipe was given to me by Elise Feiner. What can I say, there is no such thing as too much chocolate and you always need something peppermint for Christmas.

Photo Dec 12, 9 45 30 PM PEPPERMINT FUDGE WITH DATE - USE FOR BLOG

Peppermint Fudge

Ingredients:

  • 12 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips, about 1 ½ cups
  • 14 ounces sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 cup miniature marshmallows
  • 1 cup candy cane crunch
  • 1 ½ tsp vanilla extract

Instructions:

  • Combine the chocolate chips, milk, and marshmallows in a medium size saucepan over medium heat.
  • Stir frequently as the chocolate melts. Add the candy cane crunch and vanilla. Stir to combine
  • Remove from the heat
  • Lightly grease a 10-inch square pan or line with parchment.
  • Pour the fudge into the pan and spread with a spatula.
  • (optional- I decorated with additional candy cane pieces)
  • Chill in the refrigerator until firm
  • Slice into 1-inch pieces and store in an airtight container in the refrigerator

Cook’s Note: This fudge can be made ahead of time and kept in the freezer for several months. Thaw in the refrigerator when ready to serve.

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This is a new addition, Limoncello Ricotta Cookies.  I received this recipe from John Amato who is the admin for “Italian Desserts” website. This cookie is a keeper. Light and delicate with a hint of lemon.

Photo Dec 09, 11 50 41 PM LIMONCELLO COFFEE WITH DATE - USE FOR BLOG

Limoncello-Glazed Ricotta Drops

JOHN AMATO·SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 19, 2017

Prep Time: 10 minutes Cook Time: 15 minutes Yield: about 3 dozen. 

These ricotta cheese cookies bake up cake-like, light and moist. They’re always a favorite with adults because they’re not too sweet, and the limoncello adds plenty of lemony tang without any pronounced alcohol flavor. Try serving them with espresso as a light dessert after a heavy meal.📷

  • Ingredients:
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 cup ricotta cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon extract
  • 1 tablespoon limoncello liqueur
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • Glaze:
  • 3/4 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 2 tablespoons limoncello liqueur
  • Grated lemon zest (optional)

Preparation: Preheat oven to 350°F.In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt and set aside.

In large mixing bowl, cream together the butter and sugar. Add the egg and beat until the mixture become light and fluffy. Beat in the ricotta, vanilla extract, lemon extract, limoncello liqueur and lemon zest.

Add in the flour mixture and beat until well combined. Don’t over mix. Drop the dough using a tablespoon sized cookie scoop onto a parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake for 12 to 13 minutes until cookies appear set and edges turn a pale golden brown. Let cool for 2 minutes on the baking sheet, then transfer to a wire rack. Allow to cool completely before glazing. In small bowl, mix the confectioners’ sugar with 1 tablespoon of the limoncello. Slowly add up to 1 more tablespoon of the liqueur until the glaze reaches a spreading consistency. You may need to add a drop of water. Spread the glaze on the cookies using a butter knife. If desired, sprinkle with a bit of lemon zest while the glaze is still moist. Arrange in a single layer and allow the glaze to dry completely before covering. Store in refrigerator and bring to room temperature before serving.

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Another new addition, Chocolate Nut Roll Cookies. Once again from Elise Feiner. She does it all. These are so good, trust me.

Photo Dec 17, 5 40 28 PM NUT LOGS- ELISE

Chocolate Nut Roll cookies

 Be careful not to over bake Dough:

2 sticks soft margarine or unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 (8 ounce) package of cream cheese, at room temperature
3 cups flour
½ teaspoon salt

Filling:

1 (12 ounce) package chocolate chips
1 can sweetened condensed milk
2 Tablespoons butter
1 cup chopped walnuts

Heat the chocolate chips, butter, and condensed milk until melted, add chopped walnuts and remove from heat and cool. 
Mix the butter, cream cheese, flour and salt together. Divide dough in half and refrigerate for at least 2 hours. Roll into large rectangle (approximately 10 x 14-inch). Spread half of filling and roll lengthwise into a jellyroll. Repeat. Place on a parchment lines baking sheet. Bake 350° for 20 minutes. Cool, sprinkle with confectioners’ sugar, and slice. 

These can be frozen.

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The next cookie is the Pignoli Cookie. This cookie is also on many cookie trays for Christmas. It has become a staple of Christmas baking, soft and chewy almond flavor and I love the pignoli nuts. When I was little, I used to pick the nuts off first and then eat the cookie.

Photo Dec 17, 7 34 06 PM PIGNOLI COOKIES

Pignoli Cookies-Marlene Scire by way of Paula Gati

2 cups almond paste
2 cups sugar
4 egg whites-room temp

Break almond paste up in bowl of stand mixer with paddle attachment add sugar and mix till resembles wet sand
add eggs one at a time. Should be firm not too wet or loose

Pre- heat oven to 350 degrees
scoop out with small cookie scoop and roll in pine nuts
bake on parchment lined cookie sheets for approx. 20 min or till bottoms are light brown. Don’t overcook. Cool and dust with confectioners’ sugar

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Sesame Seed or Regina cookies were my mom’s favorite. Soft with toasted sesame seeds and a taste of vanilla. I received this cookie recipe from my friend Paula Gati.

Photo Dec 17, 9 12 38 PM SESAME COOKIES

Sesame Cookies- by my friend Paula Gati


1 lb. Crisco vegetable shortening

1 cup sugar
4 1/2 cups flour
3 1/2 tsp baking powder
2 tablespoons of vanilla
4 lg eggs
approx. 2 cups of toasted sesame seeds
1 cup of milk

Cream Crisco and sugar add eggs and vanilla, add flour and baking powder. A little at a time…till soft dough forms….
Turn on floured board. And just mix all well. Break off in small amounts like the size of a walnut then
make into log shape,,, roll in milk then seeds and bake 12 minutes till bottom is light brown 350 degree oven

*****************************************************************

The Pistachio Cookie. I received this cookie recipe from my friend Michael Gottuso last year and I my son called me as soon as he tasted these to tell me that he wants this cookie every year. I love pistachio anything and the glaze takes it over the top. Delicious.

Photo Dec 17, 9 26 03 PM PISTACHIO COOKIES

PISTACHIO COOKIES 

The recipe:
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup oil
1/4 cup water
1 egg
1 large package instant pistachio pudding
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking powder
2 cups flour
Roll in balls. Bake 350 degrees. 13 – 15 minutes.
Drizzle with melted white chocolate and sprinkle with crystals.

Powdered Sugar Glaze

1 ¼ cups powdered sugar

3 tbsp. milk

½ tsp vanilla extract

Step 1

In a medium bowl, stir milk into sugar. Add vanilla. Drizzle on your favorite dessert.

Step 2

May be thickened with confectioners’ sugar or thinned with milk or other flavored liquids.

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This is a new addition, Tri-Color Christmas Cream Cheese Cookie. I took this recipe off of Pinterest and I have to be honest, I suffered with this. The dough was very sticky and took me much longer to prepare than I expected. The taste is fantastic, so please don’t be discouraged by my lack of baking abilities. A better more experienced baker would know how to handle this problem. I posted my troubles on my Facebook food group and many, many solutions were sent to me. I think they look so beautiful on the cookie tray. They just scream Christmas.

Photo Dec 17, 6 42 41 PM TRI-COLOR CREAM CHEESE

CHRISTMAS CHEESECAKE COOKIES

prep 10 mins –cook 10 mins – inactive 15 mins- total 35 mins

author sam @ the culinary compass- yield 44 cookies

These Christmas Cheesecake Cookies are the perfect, festive cookie to feed to Santa!

INGREDIENTS

  • 8 oz. cream cheese (room temperature)
  • 1/2 cup butter (room temperature)
  • 1 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Red and green food coloring
  • 1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract
  • Optional: powdered sugar

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone mats.
  2. Beat cream cheese and butter together at high speed until fluffy and smooth; 1-2 minutes. Add sugar to the butter mixture and beat until fully incorporated and fluffy; 1-2 minutes. Beat in the eggs and vanilla; 1 minute.
  3. In a separate, medium-sized bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt. Gradually add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture and stir just until incorporated. Do not over-mix.
  4. Separate the dough into three small bowls. Refrigerate for 15 minutes.
  5. Once chilled, add in food coloring and incorporate into the dough until your desired color is reached. Add the peppermint extract to the dough you’ll be adding the green food coloring to. Dough will still be sticky, but easier to work with! If you find it’s hard to work with, put back in the refrigerator for a few minutes.
  6. To create a cookie, take 1/2 tbsp. of each color dough into your hands and roll together between the palms of your hands to create the marbling effect of your choice. Be careful to not over incorporate to avoid mixing the colors too much. Repeat for the rest of the dough and place on prepared baking sheets.
  7. Bake at 350 degrees for 10-11 minutes. Cookies should be light in color, not browned, and just starting to brown on the bottom. *Length of baking time may vary from oven to oven.
  8. Cool cookies on the baking sheet for a few minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
  9. Optional: Dust with powdered sugar!

NOTES

  • Store in a tightly sealed container for up to a week, or in the freezer for up to 3 months.
  • The vanilla smooths out the flavor, but for a more tart, cheesy flavor, add a teaspoon of lemon juice or no extracts at all. The peppermint can also be left out or replaced.
  • Do not overbake. This can cause the cookies to come out drier and biscuit like.

*************************************************************************

This is my first year making this Saltine Chocolate Brittle and once again a recipe I found on Pinterest. Some people have written to me and said another name for this is Christmas Crack. It is so good. My husband became more than just the taste tester with this one and I finally had to make a second batch so I would have enough for all the trays.

Photo Dec 18, 12 23 51 AM SALTINE CRACKER & CHOCOLATE BRITTLE

Saltine Chocolate Brittle

1 cup butter
1 cup brown sugar, light or dark
1 1/2 cups of chocolate chips
40 saltine crackers
1 cup of chopped pecans or walnuts. Sprinkles…mini m and m’s or chopped candy canes…or anything -your choose.

Line jelly roll pan with foil and spray with nonstick spray
lay crackers out to fit flat in tray.
Melt sugar and butter till foamy about 3 minutes
Pour over crackers and spread evenly to cover all crackers
Bake 10 minutes in 350 degree oven.
Remove from oven and while still hot sprinkle with chocolate chips and then let it soften and then spread to cover completely, while chocolate is still soft sprinkle nuts or candy canes or sprinkles of choice on top.
Let Cool… then refrigerate and then when hard break in pieces and enjoy!!!

****************************************************

I made Chocolate Biscotti, from a recipe given to me by my friend Michael Gottuso last year with an orange glaze, and then this year I received another biscotti recipe. Double Dark Chocolate Biscotti from my friend Marcia Haynes Bohle. My husband is in heaven, he loves biscotti and chocolate. A winning combination. Both are so delicious.

CHOCOLATE BISCOTTI - TWO WAYS

Double Dark Chocolate Biscotti by Marcia Haynes Bohle

Ingredients:

6 TBSP soft butter

2 C flour
1 C sugar

1/2 C dark cocoa
2 eggs

1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp vanilla

1 tsp salt
1 C Semi-sweet chocolate chips OR 1 C DARK CHOCOLATE CHIPS

Directions:

Preheat oven 350F
Cream butter & sugar together.

Add eggs, mixing well after each. Stir in vanilla extract.
In a separate bowl, combine flour, cocoa, baking soda & salt.

Add dry ingredients 1/3 at a time, to the egg mixture. Fold in chocolate chips by hand, using a wooden spoon.
Shape dough into a log (12″ x 4″) and place on parchment lined baking sheet. (This is a stiff dough).
Bake 30 min., cool 5 min and cut slices about 3/4″ wide, on the diagonal. Lay the slices, cut side down onto the parchment paper and return to oven for 8 min.

Turn cookies over and bake 5 more minutes.

Cool on wire rack before drizzling with chocolate or dipping one end in dark chocolate ganache .

After chocolate is set, may be stored in airtight container or sometimes I make them and freeze them without the chocolate drizzle. Biscotti freeze perfectly, just don’t drizzle choc. on top until they are defrosted and ready to serve.

Makes about 18 biscotti. Hope you enjoy! Buon appetito!

**************************************

Chocolate Biscotti by Michael Gottuso

Oven – 350 degrees
2 cups flour
1/2 cup cocoa
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon kosher salt
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup nuts, coarsely chopped
3/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1 tablespoon confectioners’ sugar

Combine flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt.
Beat butter and sugar until light fluffy.
Add eggs and vanilla to butter mixture and beat until well combined.
Gradually stir in flour mixture.
Add nuts and chocolate chips.
Scoop onto lined baking sheet, making two rough logs.
With lightly floured hands, smooth dough into log shapes, about 2 inches wide by 12 inches long. Slightly flatten logs.
Sprinkle tops of logs with confectioners’ sugar.
Bake for about 30 to 35 minutes or until logs are slightly firm to the touch. Do not overbake.
Let logs cool for at least 30 minutes.
Cut biscotti into 3/4 inch wide slices. Arrange slices standing up on lined baking sheet.
Bake until crisp, about 10 minutes.
Cool completely.

****************************************************

This cookie is one of my all time favorite all year long, Rainbow Cookies. This recipe was given to me last year by my friend Paula Gati from her friend Marlene. It’s a time consuming cookie to make but so worth it once you take your first bite.

Photo Dec 21, 1 07 11 AM RAINBOW COOKIES 2

Rainbow Cookies by Marlene Scire by way of Paula Gati

Ingredients:

1 (8 oz.) can of solo almond paste (I use different brand of almond paste I get from restaurant supply which =1 cup)
1 cup butter (recipe calls for margarine or butter… I use butter)

1 cup sugar
4 egg yolks
4 egg whites
2 cups of sifted flour
20 drops red food coloring
12 drops of green food coloring
1/4 cup seedless raspberry jam
1/2 cup apricot preserves
1 6 oz. bags of chocolate chips= 1 ¼ cups

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350. Grease pans and line with parchment paper.

In the bowl of a stand mixer add almond paste and bread up with paddle attachment, add butter, sugar, egg yolks and beat till light and fluffy

Add flour and mix well…

In a separate bowl beat egg whites till soft peaks form and fold gently into flour/almond mix

Remove 1 ½ cups of batter and add red food coloring, do the same for green
should have 1 ½ cups of white batter left.

I use specific pans that I purchased 3 pans just for these cookies. Got a Wm Sonoma…they measure 9 x13 and they are approx. 1 inch high. You can use a 1/4 cookie sheet pan also…

Spread batter in prepared pans and bake approx. 10-12 min….do not overcook…edges should be just turning golden…remove and completely cool each pan.

Put sheet of parchment or foil on table and remove green layer and place on parchment and spread with raspberry preserves, top with white layer and top that with apricot preserves. Then top with red layer.

Pick up parchment and place these three layers back into baking pan, which has been clean. Make sure you leave enough parchment to overhang so you can easily remove after.

Cover top red layer with a sheet of parchment or wax paper and either use a thin cutting board or one of those flex type ones on top of the wax paper/parchment and put something slightly weighted on top to weigh down and compress the layers…and then put in fridge overnight.

The next day remove. Cute edges to square off and give nice even layers. Melt chocolate and spread on top and let harden. When chocolate is hard….cut into rectangles…. (If while cutting through chocolate. And if it’s too hard. Dip knife in hot water and then cut. Wipe off any water before cutting, this will help knife cut through chocolate enabling you to have nice clean cutting lines)

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This is my NEW ALL TIME FAVORITE cookie, Cannoli Cookies. OMG! Made with ricotta, pistachios, mini chocolate chips, cinnamon and orange zest. If you like cannoli pastries then you will absolutely love this recipe. I copied it from Pinterest.

Photo Dec 21, 2 55 13 PM CANNOLI COOKIES

Holy Cannoli Cookies, easy Italian Christmas cookies and fun twist on the Italian pastry! These one bowl cookies are full of flavor with ricotta cheese, chocolate chips, and pistachios and have a soft almost cake like texture!

Course Dessert

Cuisine American, Italian

Prep Time 15 minutes- Cook Time 11 minutes- Total Time 26 minutes

Yield 36 cookies

Ingredients

  • 1 cup unsalted butter softened
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup ricotta cheese
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon fresh orange zest
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 10-ounce bag mini chocolate chips divided
  • 1 cup chopped pistachios

Instructions

  1. In a large mixing bowl cream the butter and sugar together with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Mix in the eggs then ricotta cheese until well combined then mix in the vanilla extract, cinnamon, and fresh orange zest.
  2. Next, mix in the baking powder, baking soda, and salt until well combined. Mix in the flour. Stir in 1 cup of chocolate chips and the pistachios. Cover and refrigerate the dough for at least one hour.
  3. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper or lightly grease.
  4. Using a medium cookie scoopor spoon, drop about 1 1/2 tablespoons of cookie dough for each cookie leaving about 2 inches between each cookie.
  5. Bake cookies at 375 degrees F for about 8-11 minutes or until golden brown around the edges. Cool slightly then move to wire racks to cool completely.
  6. Microwave remaining chocolate chips on high in a small microwave safe bowl in 20 second intervals, stirring after each interval until melted and smooth. Spoon melted chocolate into a small resealable bag, clip one corner slightly, then drizzle melted chocolate over cookies. Let cool for chocolate to set.

Recipe Notes

SNAPPY TIPS: Some brands of chocolate chips melt better than others for drizzling. A semisweet (or dark) chocolate bar will also work well instead of chips for melting and drizzling. (These cookies do not need to be refrigerated after being baked. Store in an airtight bag or container like other cookies.)

SNAPPY SUBSTITUTIONS: Use your favorite baking chips and nuts instead of the mini chocolate chips and pistachios if you’d like.

MAKING SUBSTITUTIONS OR CHANGES TO THE RECIPE AND/OR INGREDIENTS CAN CHANGE THE RESULTS OF THE COOKIE.

******************************************************************

Another new addition this year is Amaretto Raspberry Shortbread Cookies. I copied this from a website, Cooking Classy. The original recipe was for Almond Raspberry but I changed it up a bit. This is another keeper.

Photo Dec 21, 8 09 14 PM THUMB PRINTS 1

Raspberry Almond Shortbread Thumbprint Cookies

Prep Time: 30 minutes- Cook Time: 30 minutes- Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes

Servings: 36 cookies

Ingredients

2 cups + 2 Tbsp. (300g) all-purpose flour*

  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 cup (226g) unsalted butter, cold and diced into 1 Tbsp. pieces
  • 2/3 cup (140g) granulated sugar
  • 1/2 tsp almond extract *
  • 1/2 cup raspberry jam, seedless if preferred
  • I substituted amaretto for the almond extract and it was 2 tbsp. of amaretto for every ½ tsp of extract.

Glaze (optional)

  • 1 cup (124g) powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp almond extract
  • 2 – 4 tsp water

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a mixing bowl whisk together flour and salt, set aside.
  2. In the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, blend together butter and sugar until combined (it will take a minute or two since the butter is cold. If you don’t have a paddle attachment that constantly scrapes bowl, then occasionally stop mixer and scrape down sides and bottom of bowl). Mix in almond extract then add in flour blend until mixture comes together (it will take a bit of mixing since the butter is cold, so be patient, it will seem really dry at first).
  3. Shape dough into 1-inch balls, about 1 Tbsp each, and place 2-inches apart on ungreased baking sheets. Make a small indentation with thumb or forefinger in each cookie (large enough to fit 1/4 – 1/2 tsp of jam). Fill each with 1/4 – 1/2 tsp jam. Chill in refrigerator 20 minutes (or freezer for 10 minutes). Bake in preheated oven 14 – 18 minutes.
  4. Cool several minutes on baking sheet then transfer to a wire rack to cool (at this point you can add a little more jam if you’d like to, it just won’t be set like the other is). Drizzle cookies with glaze when when cool. Store cookies in an airtight container.
  5. For the glaze:
  6. Whisk all glaze ingredients together in a small mixing bowl, adding enough water to reach desired consistency. Pour or spoon mixture into a sandwich size resealable bag, cut a small tip from one corner and drizzle over cookies.
  7. *To measure flour scoop with measuring cup and level with a butter knife. Don’t whisk or sift first and don’t spoon into the measuring cup.
  8. Recipe source: adapted from both Land O Lakesand MarcieJ’s review on allrecipes.com

*************************************************************************

And although I didn’t have time to bake my Mother’s Honey Bow Tie Cookies this year, I wanted to include the recipe once again and pay tribute to Mom.

2016-12-21-08-38-50-use-this-for-facebook

CHRISTMAS BOWTIE COOKIES

Ingredients:

  • 2 ½ lb all purpose flour
  • 8 or 10 eggs (depending on size)
  • Cinnamon
  • 1 ½ tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 oz vanilla extract *
  • 1/2 oz rum extract *
  • 1/2 oz lemon extract *
  • 1/2 oz orange extract *
  • 1/2 oz almond extract *
  • Honey (large jar) –approx 4 cups
  • Confetti sprinkles
  • Vegetable or Canola oil
  • Water – approx 1 cup
  • Sugar (optional)
  • * 1/2 oz = 3 tsp.

Directions:

Make a well with the flour on a large pastry board. Beat the eggs and place in the well. Next add the 1-½ tsp baking powder and ½ oz each of the 5 extracts (1/2 a small bottle each or 3 tsp) and some cinnamon and sugar.

Work all this together and knead the dough. When the dough is ready for cutting and shaping the dough should have bubbles in the center (cut the dough to see if it ready).

When ready, cut into pieces and roll like a hot dog, and then run the dough through the manual pasta machine on the following settings:

First on # 1 then # 3 then # 4 then # 6

Cut in strips with a pizza cutter and shape into bow ties

After shaped, fry in Wesson vegetable /Canola oil until gold in color and drain (very quickly-be careful not to burn them and make them too dark)

Next, prepare the honey and water mixture (1 jar of honey to ½ jar of water) on a low flame to thin out the honey a bit. Place 4 bows at a time in the honey and dip the cookie. Layer the dipped cookies on a platter and sprinkle with the cinnamon and sprinkles. Continue this process layer after layer. (Store in aluminum foil in a cool place)

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Until my next post, make every day a celebration!

Thank you for visiting my blog.

If you enjoy the posts, please spread the word and ask your family and friends to subscribe to DishingwithDiane.com.

Once you subscribe, you’ll never miss a post…

Also, continue to send me your comments, I Love hearing from you. 

Christmas_Fotolia_47685197_XS MERRY CHRISTMAS FOR BLOG 2

 

Thank you Linda

CLICK PHOTO TO ENLARGE and hit the back arrow to return to original size.

Hi Everyone, 

I posted this on my personal Facebook page today but I was so deeply touched that I had to share it with my Dishing with Diane family as well…

“I have to share this… I have been blessed with a true friend that is a treasure to me. Not only is she talented, she is thoughtful, caring and very loving. This is my friend Linda (Radziminski). Her husband Glen is as wonderful as she is and I consider him a treasure as well.
Today I received an unexpected package in the mail and it was from Linda. She saw my blog post about the vintage red truck and tree and made me this beautiful reversible table runner to match my dishes. 
I want to say “thank you” Linda from the bottom of my heart. You are one of a kind and I love you.”

Her talent is endless.

Photo Dec 21, 9 41 50 PM LINDA - PHOTO 1

Photo Dec 21, 9 41 17 PM LINDA 3 WITH FRAME

Photo Dec 21, 9 40 50 PM LINDA 4

Photo Dec 21, 9 41 29 PM LINDA 2

Gift Wrap Brunch- 2017

Photo Dec 17, 12 07 29 PM INTRO

(CLICK PHOTO to enlarge and then the back arrow to return to original size).

Hi Everyone,

Well the holidays are approaching and I am at my usual point of being backed up and in a panic that I won’t be ready for Christmas. Somehow it all comes together, but this year I wanted to try a little experiment to help myself.

I don’t mind gift shopping (because most of it is online), I don’t mind food shopping, because I love to cook and I especially look forward to the Feast of the Seven Fishes dinner each Christmas Eve, but I hate wrapping gifts. I even like baking better than wrapping gifts and we all know that I am not the baker.

I usually wait until the afternoon of December 24th to wrap all my gifts and then I am exhausted.

So this year, I invited a few friends over for brunch early in December and had a gift wrapping get together.

I had Christmas music on and we shared wrapping paper, bows and helped each other wrap all of our gifts. With all the talking and laughing going on, it was the first time I had a pleasant experience gift wrapping.

For all our hard work, I made brunch, and I used a new purchase for the 2017 holiday season that I just added to my collection (and just love). 

 Yes, new dishes of course.

I have been drawn to a very trendy theme for the holidays this year – the ” vintage red truck with a Christmas tree”.

I love vintage looking plates for Christmas and this new plate fits the bill – too cute.

I am sure you have seen the red truck & tree all over the place. I was in Homegoods, Target, Pottery Barn & Pier 1 and red trucks were everywhere.

I received various holiday catalogs in the mail the past few months with red trucks featured as well. Even Stonewall Kitchen had a red truck basket filled with jam. (BTW, Pottery Barn has the red truck as a shower curtain, if you’re interested).

I saw a red truck doormat that was very cute, but I forgot what catalog that was from. (I wish I remembered, I would have made that purchase).

Being the marketers dream that I am, I bought the salad plates, mugs, glasses, platter, salt and pepper shakers and a cookie jar from various stores and put my collection together to mix and match with items I already owned.

So let’s start the “Red truck” tablescape of 2017…

I am using a plaid holiday tablecloth in shades of green, cream and burgundy from my Christmas linens that I have collected over the years. I think the colors match the rim of both the dinner and salad plates perfectly.

Photo Dec 17, 12 41 39 PM TABLECLOTH

Napkins are dark green to pick up one of the colors in the tablecloth. I don’t know why I never purchased the matching napkins when I bought the tablecloth back in the day.

I am using wooden napkin rings to bring in that outdoor feel.

Photo Dec 17, 11 58 24 NAPKIN AND RING

Flatware is red to match the truck.

Photo Dec 17, 12 06 29 PM FLATWARE

I decided on NO placemat and only an off white charger. I felt a placemat on the plaid might be one layer too many so I chose a neutral charger instead. I really wanted your eye to be drawn to the salad plate.

Photo Dec 17, 11 59 53 AM CHARGER

The dinner plates are from 222 Fifth, the “Mount Holly” pattern. It is an off-white porcelain dish with dark red and white plaid (I love plaid) and pine tree sprigs along with a few pine cones around the rim. I bought them in Homegoods last year.

The colors on this dinner plate can really blend in with so many other Christmas dinnerware patterns, so you can change your tablescape with little effort.

Photo Dec 17, 12 00 15 PM DINNER PLATE

The salad plates are my NEW purchase. They are off-white ironstone and made for Pier 1 Imports as part of their Winter Wonders collection this year.

This plate also has pine tree sprigs, holly and pine cones around the rim and the cutest design of the vintage red truck surrounded by pups playing in the snow. I just fell in love with this plate.

Photo Dec 17, 12 01 43 PM SALAD PLATE

The complete set of old and new plates.

Photo Dec 17, 12 01 00 PM DINNERWARE SET

My mugs match the plates and then I added acrylic juice glasses with the red truck design found in Target.

Photo Dec 17, 12 04 29 PM MUG

Photo Dec 17, 12 04 37 PM GLASS

I bought the cookie jar from Pier 1 and when it’s not being used as a centerpiece it is proudly displayed on my kitchen counter.

Photo Dec 17, 11 55 26 AM     CENTERPIECE 2.png

The truck looked a little lonely as the centerpiece so I placed it on an acacia tray to bring in a woodsy element.

I wanted the smell of fresh pine in the house so I went outside and cut a few sprigs of my pine tree. The sprig I chose had mini pine cones attached (along with a few bugs we had to immediately get rid of) and then I added a full pine cone. Now the house smells wonderful.

Photo Dec 17, 12 09 30 PM CENTERPIECE

I received a 24 inch pine tree as an early Christmas gift so I set that up on my buffet along with a cute plaque that I found in Homegoods with the red truck design.

Photo Dec 17, 12 41 25 PM TREE AND PLAQUE

Santa watches over everything! I have had this particular Santa for many, many years since my son was a child and I just have to have him displayed every year.

Photo Dec 17, 11 57 49 AM SANTA

I have continued my love of salt and pepper shakers and added the cutest “red truck and tree” set found in Target, as a table accent.

Salt and pepper shakers are the easiest accent to a tablescape to enhance a theme.

Photo Dec 17, 11 54 19 AM SALT AND PEPPER

My menu for the red truck brunch was as follows…

French toast – served on a red truck platter that I found in Target.

Spinach quiche – an old standby

Granola – very simple

Fresh fruit– always welcome

BIG pot of coffee -enough said

Apple cider spiced tea– cheated and used a mix

and Cookies & Biscotti

I made biscotti and a few other Christmas cookies, (saving that for another post).

Photo Dec 17, 12 03 11 PM PLATTER

The fun continued and when we ladies get together with food, we forget the time.

This was a successful experiment and a great morning and I know I will be doing this next year. Give it a try.

I am now ready for some serious baking.

All of the Holiday Cookies recipes for 2017 will be posted shortly.

**********

Place Setting

Photo Dec 17, 11 56 32 AM (1) PLACE SETTING

Until my next post, make every day a celebration!

Stay well,

Diane

*******************

Thank you for visiting my blog.

If you enjoy the posts, please spread the word and ask your family and friends to subscribe to DishingwithDiane.com

Once you subscribe, you’ll never miss a post…

Also, continue to send me your comments, I Love hearing from you.

Photo Dec 17, 12 07 49 PM RED TRUCK 2