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Posts tagged ‘holidays’

Cookies, Fruitcake and More Cookies

I am going to try to keep this short and sweet. I have been baking and packing gift boxes for the last week. My meals are take out or a quick sandwich. Have to say my new oven is amazing. It literally cuts baking time in half having an oven that actually works like it’s supposed to. My first attempt at convection baking wasn’t the best, not a disaster but not great, I read that it automatically converts the temperature and I didn’t realize you have to change the setting on the stove to convert the temp. Second round was perfect.

Got 3 gift boxes mailed, no small feat as I had to wait almost 2 hours in line at the post office. It’s been pretty busy around here, I volunteered as a foster for a rescue organization and they had an urgent need to foster a little chiweenie (chihuahua dachshund mix). He is about 7-8 yrs old and is named Gosha. He will stay with me until he finds a forever home much to the chagrin of Mr. Percy, he is not pleased and is moping around the house, won’t eat unless I hand feed him and is generally perturbed.

Christmas cards have been pouring in, for Percy, LOL! I have gotten 2 with over 30 cards for Percy from our friends on social media.

I found a great recipe for Chocolate thumbprint cookies, better than the recipe I have been using for the last few years. It’s from Martha Stewart and have to say it’s terrific. The cookies are soft and moist and I love adding the striped Hershey’s kiss in the center while the cookies are still warm.

chocolate thumbprint cookies

I’ve also made fruitcakes, chocolate chip cookies, rugelach and biscotti. This week I’m making Stollen, more cookies and more.

rugelach, chocolate, orange hazelnut

fruitcake

Chocolate Thumbprint Cookies

Recipe from Martha Stewart

Makes 90 small cookies

2 cups all purpose flour

1 cup plus 1 tbs dutch cocoa, unsweetened

2 tsp course salt

8 ounces (2 sticks) unsalted butter softened

1 1/3 cup sugar (plus more for rolling the cookies in)

2 large egg yolks

2 tbs heavy cream

2 tsp vanilla extract

Heat oven to 350 degree’s. Sift flour, cocoa powder and salt into a small bowl and set aside. Cream butter and sugar until fluffy. Reduce speed to medium and add egg yolks, cream and vanilla, beat until combined scraping sides when needed. Beat in flour mixture just until combined.

Scoop out approximately 2 tsp and roll into a ball, roll in sugar and place on parchment lined baking sheet. Use your thumb or the end of a wooden spoon to make an indent in each cookie. Bake for 5 minutes rotating the pan and then bake another 5 minutes (10 minutes total baking time).
Remove from oven and place a Hershey’s kiss in the center, let cool completely before packaging or storing.

I’m A Bad Blogger And Happy Thanksgiving!

Over baked pumpkin spice bundt cakes with cream cheese glaze made for Thanksgiving meal for Senior Citizens at our local church sponsored by the 88th Precinct Community Affairs division

I realized I haven’t posted anything since November 3, OMG, time has completely slipped away. I have to catch up and reply to comments as well. Several things have gotten in the way of blogging, no excuse really. First of all work has been so busy, I haven’t had time to cook or at least cook anything new. The other problem is that my oven is barely working. I swore after the last time it broke and I had to replace the mother board (for the 3rd time) I had a DNR in place. Only half of the oven heats, the door won’t close all the way and everything I’ve attempted to bake hasn’t really turned out very well. Stovetop works but I have been so incredibly busy I have barely cooked or really cooked anything noteworthy. I had committed to bake for a very special Thanksgiving meal for Senior’s sponsored by our local police dept. The cake was over baked which is why I put the glaze on it hoping it wouldn’t choke a senior. The pies actually turned out pretty well, was so happy about that.

I have a new stove coming in the next few weeks. I chose the Samsung 30″ slide in with convection and 5 burners, also getting a new hood and putting in a new backsplash. I have so much baking to do for the holidays, the stove better get here soon.

Samsung gas stove photo from the internet

So until I have my new stove I’m afraid that posts will be few and far between. I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving, and I know you are all getting ready for the holiday season, decorating, planning, cooking. This is my favorite time of year. Say a little prayer my stove gets here soon so I can get cooking again!

See what my oven does, made rolls for Thanksgiving, some cooked some didn’t, but I tried.

Baked a pumpkin pie, had to leave it in longer than I should have, rotating the pie was hard. It cracked so I made some little leaves and pumpkins and covered the crack.

Percy looking freaked out in black and white on Halloween.

Riding in style

Look what my friend made for Percy he has an Etsy shop @custompetpawtraits.etsy.com

Happy Holidays

Christmas cards I had made

I want to take this opportunity to wish each of you a very Happy Holiday whether it’s Christmas or Yule or Hanukkah or Kwanza I hope you have a day filled with love and that you and your families and friends are able to enjoy this most wonderful of holiday’s together. On this day I have to pause and count my blessings for wonderful family and friends, a warm home, food, a job that I love and for all of you that have followed me on this journey for the past almost 5 years. It saddens my heart to think that there are so many that are not as blessed we are. You all know that a passion of mine is rescuing and placement of pets and right now I am working with Mollie Frugal Haus Frau to place a puggle with a seizure disorder that is in Maryland.  We are hoping for a Christmas miracle,  that someone will step up and take this little dog into their heart and home.

I saw this video on my friend’s site and thought I would share it with you, I love this song, we lost Leonard Cohen in November of 2016 and although I have never heard of this group I think they did an excellent rendition with a little modern twist. I hope you enjoy and again Happy Holidays.

Crinkle Cookies, Decorating And More Stuff

I have no idea where time is going, it’s already the end of the week, Christmas is a week from today. I haven’t really done anything except make a few gift baskets, I still have so much to do, I am way behind schedule.  Honestly, this year is very hard, I am trying, but my heart is not in it. I did sign up for Secret Santa/Wino on a wine blog I follow, The Drunken Cycalist and got a lovely gift.  Jeff organzes this every year and this time I decided to participate. It was fun and I get to try some great wine. Thank you to Allison who sent me this wonderful gift. I have not opened the wine yet, waiting to make the right meal to pair with. That prickly pear jelly is so good, must find it.

Secret Santa gift

Secret Santa gift, wine, sausage, candy, jelly

I have been baking, I made some gift baskets, have a few more to make, had our block association Holiday party and baked for that also. Last year I made fruit cakes and loved the recipe so I made them again this year, I really soaked them with the reserved cognac syrup. So delicious.

fruit cakes

fruit cakes

Made some thumbprints, again same recipe as last year. They are delicious.

Chocolate thumbprint

Chocolate thumbprint

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I am adding some cookies to my holiday repertoire I mentioned the biscotti in a previous post along with Pecan Chewiess and Vanilice. I also decided to make chocolate crinkle cookies. I think they look so beautiful and I love anything chocolate. They turned out so good, it’s another recipe from Fida at Sweet and Savory Pursuits. The cookies are as light as a feather and so delicious, I have linked to the site so you can try the recipe, It’s wonderful. I also made my cardamom, orange and chocolate ribbon cookies.

Packing the cookies

Packing the cookies

Last but not least I started to decorate, I dragged multiple boxes of decorations upstairs and started unpacking and one of the first things I came across were Izzy and Nando’s Holiday Stockings. It made me so sad,  I hung them on the mantle like I do every year. My sweet little dogs will always be with me in spirit.

decorated mantle

decorated mantle.

I hope you all have a great weekend and get all of your holiday shopping, baking and decorating done.  Are you the very definition of organization and efficiency? Have you done all of your shopping and decorating or do you make a mad rush to finish it all just in the knick of time?

Holiday Gift Baskets And Some Biscotti For Fiesta Friday #98

cranberry pistachio biscotti

cranberry pistachio biscotti

It’s the most wonderful time of the year, the first line and title of Andy Williams great Holiday song. It’s also the busiest time of the year. As a general rule I don’t really buy gifts for most friends or relatives, I am not a grinch really I just prefer to make my gifts at least for the adults, clients and friends.

I make the same cookies pretty much every year along with mini loaves of banana or other fruit loaves, including fruit cake. I always add a new cookie recipe or two to the line up, last year was a chocolate thumbprint with a hershey’s white striped kiss on it. This year I am adding biscotti, a wonderful recipe from Fida and her lovely blog  Sweet and Savory Pursuits. I love biscotti, they are crunchy and I am a sucker for anything that can be dipped.

Ready for 2nd bake

Ready for 2nd bake

Gift boxes for clients

Gift baskets for clients

Since I am in the throes of Holiday baking I decided to bring some biscotti to Fiesta Friday this week. Angie decked the halls making for a beautiful and festive party. We have two brand new co-hosts this week  Sadhna @ Herbs, Spices, and Traditions and Natalie @ Kitchen, uncorked

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