Sunday, December 21, 2014

MacKenzie-Childs Nutcracker Christmas

 The Winter Solstice begins at 6:30PM with 9 hours of daylight. We go up from here! The light will return to us again!
My Christmas wish for you, my friends
Is not a simple one
For I wish you hope and joy and peace
Days filled with warmth and sun
I wish you love and friendship too
Throughout the coming year
Lots of laughter and happiness
To fill your world with cheer
May you count your blessings, one by one
And when totaled by the lot
May you find all you've been given
To be more than what you sought
May your journeys be short, your burdens light
May your spirit never grow old
May all your clouds have silver linings
And your rainbows pots of gold
I wish this all and so much more
May all your dreams come true
May you have a Merry Christmas 
And a happy New Year, too .. 
I decorated my mantel with nutcrackers, just like I did in 2011. Each year the mantel is different, but the nutcrackers is one of my favorites and all I had to do was pull the box out of the attic. 

Wishing you Happy Holidays, Merry Christmas or the celebration of your choice.
Thank you for stopping by!

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Mom's Almond Paste Cookies

Mom has been making almond paste cookies for our Christmas gathering for over 40 years,  and we look forward to these cookies appearing on the Christmas tray each year. 

My almond paste recipe is part of Patience Brewster's online cookie exchange. If you're not
familiar with Patience, she is an artist that offers a unique line of
handmade, hand crafted ornaments
and gifts for holiday and every day décor. 

If you try these cookies, I'd love to know. My young niece asked for the recipe last week and made them for her Christmas party. She said they were enjoyed by all.

Almond Paste Cookies

1/2 lb. almond paste (1 cup)
1 cup sugar
2 tbsp. flour
3 egg whites
1/3 cup powdered sugar
l lb. pine nuts (you can also use walnuts or sprinkles)

Mix almond paste, adding sugar slowly.  Mom uses a fork or finger tips. I use my food processor and it works perfect for me. Add egg whites and when well blended, add flour and powdered sugar which has been sifted. Roll a teaspoon of dough (it will be very sticky) into a bowl of nuts. Place on a well-greased cookie sheet. (I use parchment paper). Remove while still warm with a  spatula. If the batter is allowed to chill, it will be easier to handle. 

Bake 300 degrees for about 30 min. I take mine out when the edges start showing a golden brown. Don't overbake.

Thanks so much for stopping by during this busy holiday season!  I am joining Rattlebridge Farm for Foodie Friday.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

My granola recipe, just in time for gift giving

 If you're in need of a homemade food gift, this granola looks very pretty 
all dressed up in a mason jar with a big ribbon.  
It is delicious on it's own, and a delight 
served over yogurt.

For Fine Granola - break apart while still warm.

For Larger Granola - break apart when cool.(This is my favorite way to eat it...I look for the big clumps with lots of nuts)

I am joining Rattlebridge Farm for Foodie Friday

Sunday, December 7, 2014

MacKenzie-Childs Colander Tree

My inspiration for the MacKenzie-Childs colander tree for the kitchen was a Gingerbread candy, cupcake and cookie tree on Pinterest. I think it is adorable. I used measuring spoons, cupcake ornaments, Nutella samples, Le Creuset pie bird for the tree topper, a Kitchen Aid mixer ornament, mini grater, baking molds, and MacKenzie-Childs clip on candles. Then I added some red heart ornaments and mini red lights.

The sun finally came out, so I set my sunroom table to coordinate with the colander centerpiece, and will be returning the tree to the kitchen where it will make it's permanent home for the holiday.

The tablecloth was a gift I received 20 years ago from a co-worker that stitched it. 
 Each Christmas I bring out my favorite "12 days of Christmas" plates and we use them for our salads. 

Le Creuset pie bird for the tree topper.

Thank you for stopping by! Hope you are enjoying the hustle and bustle of the holiday season. I am joining Between Naps on the Porch for Tablescape Thursday.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Tis The Season

The aroma of turkey is now a fond memory, and sixteen of us had full bellies and a wonderful Thanksgiving. So I have started playing with Christmas dishes, and attempted to use what I think is a placemat. In the photo below, you can see those two fabric square "placemats" (???) that I purchased last year from Century 21. I bought several with the intention of making Christmas pillows and probably will.  But I'm trying to determine what they really were designed for. 

In the photo below, I opened it up See those flaps on each side --- what are they for?

In the next photo, you will see that I folded those flaps in half to make it look more like a placemat. But I know it isn't correct.

What's your guess?

I am joining Between Naps on the Porch for Tablescape Thursday.