Saturday, December 17, 2011


It's beginning to feel a lot like Christmas in our home. The tree in our sun room has taken on a Mackenzie Childs/Christopher Radko theme. I added some owls, a red kitchenaid mixer, birds nests with eggs that I painted Mackenzie style, dragonflies, lighthouses, cupcakes and a photo ornament that I made for our dinner party last year. 

Our Christmas table will look something like this. Joe found eight red glass Avon plates at a yard sale last year, so I'll be using them for salad or bread plates. The tartan plates are from Target (last year), and the wooden chargers are from Pier One. The red Breeze stemware is my newest purchase from Noritake. I guess it won't kill me to hand wash them.

This will be my last post until after Christmas, so I'm taking this opportunity to thank you for your sweet comments and friendship over the year. Wishing you much love and laughter as you prepare for your Christmas celebration. 

Mom has been making almond paste cookies for our Christmas gathering ever since I can remember. This recipe is over 40 years old, and we look forward to these cookies appearing on the Christmas tray each year. The dough is VERY sticky, and your hands and/or spoon will be very sticky too. I washed my hands three times while making these. I HATE sticky hands ;o)  Enjoy!

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

Mix almond paste, adding sugar slowly. Use fork or finger tips. Add egg whites, when well blended, add flour and powdered sugar which has been sifted. Roll a teaspoon of dough into a dish of nuts. Place on well-greased cookie sheet. I used parchment paper and then sprayed it with Pam. 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.

I am joining:
 The Tablescaper for Seasonal Sunday 
Little Red House for Mosaic Monday
Designs by Gollum for Foodie Friday Christmas


May the wonder of His love touch you this Christmas and bring you peace and happiness in the new year. 
Debbie@Mountain Breaths
Debbie@Mountain Breaths

Hello, I'm Debbie.I enjoy hiking, kayaking, cross country skiing and snowshoeing in the Adirondack Mountains (thus Mountain Breaths). I live in Upstate NY with my supportive husband and have three precious sons..


  1. Oh Pignoli cookies! My favorite!! Your tree is outstanding. Owl ornaments - whoo knew?! :) Love it, Debbie, happy holidays to you and your family. xo

  2. I was trying to think of another cookie to make for Christmas baskets...I have all the ingredients to make those delicious sounding/looking cookies. Your tree is beautiful...I love that picture of Kiki, she looks like a sentry standing guard over the tree!

  3. Cookies look so good - I LOVE almond "anything"!!! Your tree is so beautiful - love the mixer ornament!! I used all my new checked pieces for my parties this past week, but never took photos (too hard to entertain and be the photographer!!) Wishing you a wonderful holiday - enjoy!

  4. Love your ornaments..the KitchenAid is so cute! Table looks beau and of course Kiki tops everything!! The almond cookies look devine..will have to see how much almond paste I have.
    Wishing you, Joe & Kiki a very Merry Christmas

  5. I love pignoli cookies, they look fabulous, Debbie! Love your treat, the cutest ornaments! Great shot of Kiki :) Wishing you, Joe and your family a very Merry Christmas.

  6. Your tree is so lovely and fun. I adore the mantel with all of the Nutcrackers and your swag. The checked pieces are adorable and whimsical..The cookies sound so good and I love your Santa hat brownies.

  7. I've never heard of MacKenzie, but now I want to know more! Love the whimsical table base and all your MacKenzied ornaments. So fun! Thanks for sharing! Merry Christmas. ~CJ

  8. You know I love all of your MC touches, Debbie :) Even eggs in the nest! So cute. Kiki looks so majestic in that photo and your cookies sound delicious. I've never made anything like them but would love to try, knowing how special this recipe is to your family.

    Merry Christmas to you, Joe and your family!

  9. Merry christmas and happy new year to you, too! Lovely table and thank you for the Almond Paste Cookie recipe of your mother's. So nice of you to share a family recipe!

  10. Yum, your cookies sound fabulous! Pat

  11. I COVET your red Kitchen Aid mixer ornament--where on earth did you find that?

    Merry Christmas to you, sweet Debbie!

  12. Your tree is amazing. Love all the check pattern. Cookies look cool too. I see you have made santa's brownie hats as well. I'm off to have a look at that post now.

  13. Debbie~ What an adorable TREE! Those painted eggs are too clever & so festive! Your cookies sound and look so delicious! Wishing you a Merry Christmas!

  14. Ha, you changed your mind on the glasses.
    The table looks great, and the cookies look delicious.
    I even put my Waterford in the dishwasher! No hand washing for me. :)

  15. Your tree is beautiful Debbie and the cookies sound wonderful!

    Merry Christmas!

  16. Debbie, it's fun to see your MacKenzie-Childs inspired tree. I have one up too. Your little CC eggs are a cute idea. Thanks for sharing the beauty of your tree and special ornaments. Happy Holidays ~ sarah

  17. Debbie...

    Your mantle is just so gorgeous in your header!! All of your decorations are wonderful. Hope you will be sharing your table with us after Christmas. Your mom's cookies look delicious!!

    Merry Christmas to you and yours (not looking good for snow at this point,hmmmm?)


  18. Hi Debbie,

    I love your home, and your Christmas decorations look just beautiful. The tree is so pretty and festive. I think the owl and the kitchen-aid mixer are my favorite ornaments. The picture of your Mom's almond paste cookies makes me want to start baking. :)

    Thanks for your visit last week from Seasonal Sundays and for your kind comments. I'm glad you enjoyed seeing Replacements, Ltd.! It's definitely a Mecca for dishaholics. Thanks for sharing your pictures and may you have a Blessed Christmas season.


  19. Mmmmm...these sound good! I don't mind getting my hands sticky. I love your mixer ornament.

  20. Id like to wish you and your family a very merry Christmas, and i thank you so much for being a reader on my blog. Yours truly Richard

  21. I swoon so hard when I see your MC table, I nearly lose my breath. :))
    Darling tree....and your Christmas table is going to be wonderful.
    Merry Christmas and a wonderful New Year.
    xoxo bj

  22. Beautiful sunroom tree and decorations, Debbie. Your pretty girl looks good by the tree :)

    Merry Christmas to you and Joe and Kiki and the boys!

  23. Hi Debbie! Oh, my goodness! The tree is just magical! Love all your little MC things and you painted some of them? You're good! Your mom's cookies look so good. I've never made these before but appreciate the recipe!
    I want to wish you and your family a wonderful blessed Christmas!
    Be a sweetie,
    Shelia ;)

  24. What temperature for Mom's Almond Paste Cookies & how long in oven?

  25. 300 degrees for 30 minutes. I just made them tonight.

  26. Looks good, I want to try these. Your tree is so adorable!


I'm so happy you decided to stop by my blog. Please leave a comment as I enjoy hearing from each and every one of you!


Appetizers (2) Birthday Week (2) Blog Anniversary (2) Bread (2) Breakfast (4) Breakfast; MacKenzie-Childs (2) Breville Pie Maker (3) Cannoli (3) Chicken (2) Chicken Riggies; Foodie Friday (1) CHRISTMAS 2011 (4) Come To The Table (4) Cookies (2) Dessert (9) Dinner Parties (3) Easter 2012 (2) Events (2) Fairy Garden (2) Favorites on the First (2) Filled Strawberries (4) Flashback Friday (6) Foodie Friday (20) Garden 2009 (3) Gingerbread Pumpkin Bars (2) Halloween (2) Kentucky Derby; Run for the Roses Pie (1) Key West (4) Kick-Off To Summer BBQ (1) Lake Life (2) Lemon (3) Lemon Berry Cake with Mascarpone Filling (2) Let's Dish (13) Let's Dish; Tablescape Thursday (1) MacKenzie-Childs (39) MacKenzie-Childs; Traveling Tote (4) Magazine recipes (2) MAGNOLIA BUTTERCREAM FROSTING (2) Martha's Vineyard (3) McKenzie-Childs (2) Miss Aurora; (1) Monday Mosaic (5) Monday Mosaic; Seasonal Sundays (3) Mother's Day 2012 (3) Mystery Ingredient; Halloween 2013 (2) National Bundt Day (3) Nordic Ware Heritage Bundt Pan (3) Outdoor Wednesdays (2) OWLS (3) Pasta (2) PEONIES (4) Philadelphia Garden Show 2009 (7) Pier One (2) Pork (2) PUMPKIN PIE FUDGE (3) Rhubarb (5) Salads (2) Seafood (2) Seasonal Sundays (9) Showy Lady's-slipper (Cypripedium reginae) (2) Soup (4) Spider Web Pizza (1) St. Patrick's Day (4) Summer 2013 (2) Summer Dessert (3) Sunday Favorites (3) Sycamore Hill Gardens (2) Table For Two (2) Tablescape Thursday (17) Tablescape Thursday; MacKenzie-Childs (2) Thanksgiving (5) Tips and Tidbits; (2) Tybee Island; Georgia; Savannah; (3) Utica Greens; Beekman 1802 Heirloom Cookbook; Escarole (1) Valentine (2) Valentine's Day (3) Vietri (4) Weekends (6) World Famous Paradise Bakery Sugar Cookies with Magnolia Bakery Buttercream Frosting (3) Zucchini Bread (2)