Showing posts with label Christmas. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Christmas. Show all posts

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Chocolate Crinkles

Happy New Year, to all my blogger friends...(not excluding readers who may not comment)...equal time to all!
Hope you all had a wonderful, and safe New Year's celebration...as we also did! This post may seem like a 'forgotten' or an 'after thought' post of my Chocolate Crinkles...but let me assure you that it is not a forgotten post of these lovely cookies that everyone loves around the Christmas holidays!

Chocolate Crinkles
recipe source: Gold Medal Flour
  • 1/2cup vegetable oil
  • 4 oz unsweetened baking chocolate, melted, cooled
  • 2cups granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 4eggs
  • 2 cups Gold Medal® all-purpose flour
  • 2teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2cup powdered sugar

Directions

  • 1
    In large bowl, mix oil, chocolate, granulated sugar and vanilla. Stir in eggs, one at a time. Stir in flour, baking powder and salt. Cover; refrigerate at least 3 hours.
  • 2
    Heat oven to 350°F. Grease cookie sheet with shortening or cooking spray.
  • 3
    Drop dough by teaspoonfuls into powdered sugar; roll around to coat and shape into balls. Place about 2 inches apart on cookie sheets.
  • 4
    Bake 10 to 12 minutes or until almost no imprint remains when touched lightly in center. Immediately remove from cookie sheets to cooling racks.


I find it a little odd to be posting a Christmas cookie (now, that Christmas is over) Chocolate Crinkles are so popular here in the U.S. and all over the world by now, I assume. They are so attractive with the light and dark contrast, and most certainly perfect for an interesting addition to a cookie tray or for serving by themselves, any time of the year!

I did not have a Christmas tree at my small beach condo apartment; but at my daughter Lora's they have a beautiful live and tall tree every year, and I spent time just about every day there to enjoy the holiday festivities, especially at City Place!



Christmas @ City Place...West Palm Beach, Florida
Friends, and Family, on Christmas Day Celebration!

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

MERRY CHRISTMAS!

Photo; courtesy of PINTEREST



The Blessings of Peace
The Beauty of Hope
The Spirit of Love
The Comfort of Faith
May these be your gifts...this Christmas Season.
 
 
 
Good will, Success and happiness be with you,
this Christmas!
 
Wishing you all, a very Merry Christmas!
Hugs,
Elisabeth


 




 

Friday, December 20, 2013

Hot Pepper Jelly




So, this is my awesome 'Hot Pepper Jelly' that I have never made before! As you notice those pretty swatches of holiday material...I would have loved to place around the jelly jar top...unfortunately; they were a little small, except for the one jar on the top, but they were extremely slippery for me to try to tie them around the jars, so I left them as 'it is' a little 'place mat'...or a small cocktail napkin, if your prefer, but the jelly turned out so awesome and just the right peppery taste!

My granddaughter Gabby was not impressed...to say the 'least! She was expecting a mild light sweet pepper jelly, which I should have known from the start to make them with all sweet peppers...instead of mostly hot peppers add to some of the sweet. No problem...next time I will use all sweet peppers. At least...we, adults, get to enjoys these lovely gems, slathered over cream cheese topped little crackers...yummm!
It's so easy to make it, just follow the instructions on the recipe.

These are the peppers I used...purchase from the Green Market...the long red ones are the super hot pepper, and all the others are sweet!
KRAFT SURE JELL...Hot Pepper Jelly recipe... 

and I only used red, and orange peppers. The red ones were the hot peppers!
I washed, peeled, and chopped my peppers, and
put them in the food processor to chop them fine.
(be sure to remove the seeds first if you don't want them to be extremely hot)






Bring it to a boil, and skim off the foam...you are ready to ladle them into sterilized jars!










Aren't they so festive...red, and so pretty?
Well, you're not quite finished yet!














Cover the jar with the sterilized lids, and put them into water that covers them almost, to the top.













Cover the pot with a lid, and boil for 10 minutes.
Carefully remove the jars, and let it sit on a kitchen towel on the kitchen counter until it cools down...and your are ready to refrigerate them.









They are so good, served on Ritz crackers, with a dab of Philadelphia cream cheese and a small spoonful of the pepper jelly on top of the cream cheese...yumm! A perfect holiday treat!










Saturday, November 30, 2013

Cranberry Upside-Down Cake

Thanksgiving came...and went this year; with less family members, and less friends. Each year it is different than from the year before. Isn't it true, that during the major holidays we lose family and friends to 'death' or they just move away...move on...never to be heard from, again...or for a long time...no connection?... it does make one sad, but 'life does go on' and we have to make the best of it!
We have so much to be thankful for, and count our blessings even if its for our every day lives that we interact with other family members and friends that we see often, or once in-a-while! As far as some of our neighbors...well, in my situation where I live; that is very awkward. I hear the srong gusty winds these days, and the 'roaring ocean'. It is always
 10 or more degrees cooler here, so this week one day, I woke up to what seemed to be freezing temperature, when others further up north, or in other parts of Europe had way below freezing and snow storms...no doubt!

Families in neighborhood communities; they treat each other with respect, and care about one-another! Even with the elderly folks that live alone are invited to holiday gatherings, so they don't have to feel left out. For example; my direct next door neighbor...an elderly retired professor, does not speak to anyone...just keeps to himself. He eats every meal...out! I do worry about him, especially during holidays because he does not even have one friend...always alone! I offered several times to help in any way, but I get rejection...so sad!

...let's get on with the rest of the Thanksgiving 'feast'...and recipe for the Cranberry Upside-Down Cake!

For the Cranberry Upside-Down Cake, I used the recipe from my sweet daughter Lora's blog @

note: if you don't have cake flour, it is important to substitute correctly for all-purpose flour but you have to make adjustment to it!
For the 1 1/4 cup of cake flour used in the recipe: use 1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour: remove 2 Tbsp. of flour, before sifting, and then replace it with 2 Tbsp. corn starch and add it to the flour, then sift together.
The basic rule; to substitute all purpose flour for cake flour;
Remove 2 Tbsp. flour per each cup of flour used! (you can omit the cornstarch replacement, but it does make it lighter)
I use a square glass Pyrex pan, sprayed the pan with Pam baking spray, cut out parchment paper to fit the inside of the pan, and sprayed that, as well.
The baking time; 350 degrees F. for 45 min. was absolutely correct temperature.
I used a small baking pan to place the cake pan on it, so when it came out of the oven, I could just flip the cake over on it, or your can flip it over directly on a platter. It was a lot easier this way, and peeling of the parchment paper was very easy. After cooling it down for 10 minutes, I was able to slice it and place the slice on the serving platter.
So, there you have it! The best moist cake...ever! I must confess, I like to trim the edges of cake, and devour it, myself...selfish? you bet! ...not feeling guilty, at all...I do it every time, especially when I make brownies, all edges are trimmed off and if you happen to be close by, I will share the fun and yummy pieces with you, but other than that I will offer the entire cake, and not save any pieces for myself! (my rules for me.)
We share Thanksgiving feast with 20 people w/kids included...everyone pitched in. 2 huge turkeys, and lots, and lots of side dishes...and desserts! Just a few samples of the 'feast'...we all gained at least 5 lbs. each; at least!
Second huge turkey...not stuffed, stuffing on the side.
Can't have Thanksgiving or Christmas without the traditional French's Green Bean Casserole, which I make every year...(photo from last year...here's the recipe) French's Green Bean Casserole

Traditional 'super easy' to make Cranberry Sauce...and old recipe that I've made for years which now my daughter makes each year.  Here's the recipe: Thanksgiving Cranberry Sauce

 Lora's Classic Pumpkin Pie...(she made 2 this year)...also with homemade crust...yumm!
Here's the recipe: Classic Pumpkin Pie
Hanukkah candles were lit by Dr. Eric's son, River...a 'true inter-faith' group of people, with different heritage, nationality; Italian, Sicilian, Jewish, Hungarian, Polish, Irish and English, Colombian, and Mexican...( a united nation of different backgrounds)...and various religions...Jewish, Catholic, Christian, and Southern Baptist.
Blessings were recited by Dr, Eric's father, nonno Gil...
Nonno Sal...with his prayer and blessings (he wanted to have this special prayer in case he will not be here with us next year)...sigh!
Here are some of group sitting at the dinner table...Dr. Eric on the front left, (looks like I was the only camera person taking some photos)...others took I-Phone photos for their 'Instagram' ...OK, so I'm old fashioned!

The big kids (tweens, and teens)...enjoyed their meal outside on the back patio!
...a little 'nippy' temperature, but the fire pit kept them cozy and warm!


 I am such a proud grandmother of 4...three, which are not shown. They are my greatest blessings and joy, along with their parents...my two children and their spouses! Without family to enjoy...even if you are single or a couple without children or grandchildren...you have to embrace 'life'...family members, and even if you just have one friend...do cherish that friendship!
I saved the 'best for last' our vet, and dear friend... with Lady...an abandoned beautiful Boxer, that he saved, after he was called to check this poor doggie living under a nearby highway bridge...surviving for over one year...full of scars, malnourished, and she almost had to be put down. He was able to befriend her...took her home, nourished her back to health after a couple serious surgeries...(having to deal with putting his own beloved old and sick Boxer; Charlie down)...that's what I call 'fate'...not only did the beautiful Boxer became a family member, but she was given the name 'Lady'...because she was so sweet, appreciative, with such nice 'ladylike' manners. She is with the family for one year now, and she is truly loved and cared for!
Dr. Eric does volunteer work once a week for people that cannot afford 'pet care'!
Isn't she absolutely adorable?...Lady sneaked up to me from under the dinner table, as I was sitting there, and gently rested her cute little head on my lap...looking at me with those sweet adorable and loving eyes! That's what I call a LOVE STORY! My heart simply melted, and it brought tears to my eyes!

So, I think I updated a lot this time...hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving...now it's time to go on a diet; not really a diet...diet...just cut down on extra helpings, and the desserts, until Christmas! xoxo







Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Candied Spiced Walnuts

Just think...when you find the perfect selection that inspires you and knowing that you don't have to google it, or search through your collection of cookbooks...then just relax and simply print out your blogger friend's recipe and go for it!
With the holidays just around the corner, you want to have something quick and easy...yet, exciting and tantalizing for your 'taste buds'...questioning, what kind of spices are used in this addictive, crunchy, sweet, and spicy walnuts. Most of the recipes for this type is usually made with pecans, but as a personal preference...I think walnut work better; for one thing, they are less expensive, and crunchier. Pecans are softer and I would save them for cakes and pies!
Check out this recipe and more...Asian inspired; from my talented friend...
 Ridwan, @Rice and Coconut

I did change the title of this yummy treat, since its sweet, and spicy! (this is how recipes are made, but its always nice to give credit to the actual source, which most bloggers DO NOT follow) In the old days of our mothers and grandmothers, it was 'word of mouth', 'hands on', and of course 'hand me down' recipes, even in the seventies when I was a very young mom with toddlers, we just copied down recipes from friends' handwritten, and/or books and old magazines...never thinking about the source. No excuse these days, unless you create your own recipe just from your own creative basic source.

I did use the same amount...12 oz. shelled walnuts; the only addition of spice, was the cayenne pepper, in addition to the other spices.
Also, I used Spam, to spray the aluminum lined  toaster oven tray.






I put all the walnuts, spices, and maple syrup which I added more than just drizzle on...mixed it up and got it ready to toast in the oven.











Now, you just spread evenly, and bake at 350 degrees F. for no more than 12-15 minutes...any longer than that, they will start to burn, so be careful!










I did not equally measure things...just 'eyeballed'
all the ingredients, and being careful not to 'over spice'...probably used about 1/4 cup of pure maple syrup. You can store in tin can the  leftovers
but I doubt you will have any leftover, its so
addictive, and oh, so heavenly with goat cheese
on pear slices!  Do try out this recipe, from
RIDWAN
...and tell him I sent you! xo

 

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Lemon Meringue Pie...in Memory of Rosario

The most perfect and heavenly Lemon Meringue Pie...a true Southern delight!
photo, and recipe, courtesy of...What's Cooking America
Who would not love a tangy sweet, and sour perfect Lemon Meringue Pie?...certainly all of us would love this perfect Lemon Meringue Pie, including my ex-husband Rosario;

He has passed away since I wrote the last post on my blog, on New Year's Eve. It's been very painful since that time. He passed away peacefully, on Jan. 3rd. of 2013. His last wish for Christmas was to have Lemon Meringue Pie...which he has been given as a gift from a dear family friend. She made the most fabulous Lemon Meringue Pie and as a gift to Rosario, for the last 10 years.

Unfortunately, this year she was not able to make it for him, and as for me...I have not made it in decades...with Eagle Brand Condensed Milk..which worked just fine, but there is a better method of making this heavenly... all American Southern pie!

At this moment, I am in excruciating pain from Sciatica (a very painful low back nerve pain)...which has started after this weekend from Rosario's Memorial service...still not buried...will be buried overseas in Sicily (Italy),,,accompanied by our son Joe. I posted on 'facebook' ...but not have had the strength to post it on my blog, so far. I could barely walk from the pain, and nerve, shooting up and down my low-back, and leg...but it's starting to ease up a little.

I owe you, my blogger friends the explanation of why I have been absent from my blog for so long.Thank you for all your kind comments, and condolences on my facebook page. Lora has not been able to update her blog as well, since...fortunately for her, her in-laws from Italy came to the rescue to help in any way they can. They are so super sweet, and kind. We, now, can start to eat some delicious home-cooked meals for the next month!

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Pumpkin Cranberry Bundt Cake...Merry Christmas!

I've been so immersed with my own health and family situation, that I have felt so out of touch for the last month!
Funny...how you feel out of 'touch' when you can't see properly...it's almost like not hearing, or functioning right...but I was determined not to let me down. As long as I can see well with my good eye, and will have to wait patiently to get to other eye sight corrected in a few months...I should be counting my 'blessings'!
You all have been such an inspiration for me, and I am 'forever' grateful for that! Thank you, from the bottom of my heart!
I made this easy Pumpkin Cranberry Bundt Cake, knowing I had all the ingredients on hand, including the fresh cranberries. I did not...and cannot slice it, since it's for Christmas...but I do have the source which I got the recipe from!

Pumpkin Cranberry Bundt Cake
An all-in-one holiday bundt cake filled with pumpkin, cranberries and almonds. Topped with cream cheese icing.
Yield: 1 9-inch bundt cake
Ingredients
For the cake:
  • 2 cups (240 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon ginger
  • Pinch salt
  • ¾ cup (170 grams) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup (215 grams) brown sugar
  • ½ cup (100 grams) sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1¼ cup (338 grams) canned pumpkin puree
  • ¼ cup (85 ml) molasses
  • 1 cup (100 grams) fresh cranberries, roughly chopped
  • 1 cup (110 grams) almonds or pecans, chopped
For the icing:
  • 4 ounces (113 grams) cream cheese, at room temperature
  • ½ cup (110 grams) powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3-4 tablespoons milk
Instructions
To make the icing:
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter and flour a 9-inch bundt pan.
  2. In a bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and salt.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, or in a bowl with a hand mixer, beat together the butter, brown sugar and sugar together until pale in color and creamy. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing after each, followed by the vanilla. Add the pumpkin puree and molasses and mix until combined. Add the dry ingredients and mix only until the streaks of flour are gone. Gently stir in the cranberries and pecans.
  4. Spread the batter into the prepared bundt pan and bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean and the top bounces back when touched, about 1 hour.
  5. Let cool in the pan 10 minutes, then invert onto a wire rack or plate to cool completely.
To make the icing:
  1. Beat the cream cheese in a stand mixer or with a hand mixer until smooth. Add the powdered sugar and vanilla extract. Add enough milk to get a spreadable consistency.
  2. Spread the icing on top of the bundt cake, letting it drip down the sides. Let the icing set before serving.
  3. Store leftovers in the fridge for up to 3 days.
Notes
Recipe adapted from Baking from My Home to Yours.


Merry Christmas around the world





Xmas around the world
Christmas around the world
Afrikaner (Afrikaans) ~ “Geseënde Kersfees”
Argentine ~ “Felices Pascuas”
Bohemian ~ Vesele Vanoce”
Brazilian ~ “Boas Festas”
Chinese (Cantonese) ~ “Saint Dan Fai Lok”
Danish ~ “Glædelig Jul”
Dutch ~ “Vrolijk Kerstfeest”
English ~ “Merry Christmas”
Filipino ~ “Maligayang Pasko”
Finnish ~ “Hyvaa Joulua”
French ~ Joyeux Noël
German ~ “Froehliche Weihnachten”
Greek ~ “Kala Christouyenna”
Hawaiian ~ Mele Kalikimaka
Hebrew ~ “Mo’adim Lesimkha”
Hungarian~ " Boldog Karácsonyt"
Icelandic ~ “Gledileg Jol”
Indonesian ~ “Selamat Hari Natal”
Irish ~ “Nollaig Shona Dhuit”
Italian ~ “Buone Feste Natalizie”Natale italiano
Japanese ~ Kurisumasu Omedeto”
Korean ~ “Sung Tan Chuk Ha”
Lithuanian ~ “Linksmu Kaledu”
Malay ~ “Selamat Hari Natal”
Maori ~ “Meri Kirihimete”
Norwegian ~ “God Jul”Jul i Norge
Romanian ~ “Craciun Fericit”
Peruvian ~ “Felices Fiestas”
Portugese ~ “Boas Festas”
Slovakian ~ “Vesele Vianoce”
Spanish ~ Feliz NavidadCyber Navidad
Swedish ~ “God Jul”Jul i Sverige
Welsh ~ “Nadolig Llawen"


...May all your Christmas dreams...and wishes come true!
Hugs,




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Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Kahlua-Banana-Nutella Bundt Cake

After announcing that I'm back on my last post; which was nearly two weeks ago...a lot has happened in my personal life...although, one thing that is really positive is that my eye is healing very nicely after the Retinal surgery, and I'm starting to see better, but it will take at least six months for a full recovery of my eye sight.

Do you ever feel so overwhelmed with things happening around you...especially in your family during the holidays?

I had an urgent and important visit from my younger sister from out of town, staying for nearly a week, just focusing on her issues/problems...forgetting about my own (one of the reasons for not posting)...then, came the horrific tragic news about about the Sandy Hook Elementary School with a gunman on a 'killing spree'...which totally shocked, and paralyzed all of us in the nation, and especially in Connecticut where it took place. I am numb, and feel horrible, sad, angry, can't stop crying for the little 'angels' (I have 2 grandchildren their age) and adults whose lives have been taken so tragically...leaving their family 'heartbroken' forever!

So horrifying, and gut wrenching, that I can't begin to describe my feelings. I could go into a long theory of 'gun control' and 'mental illness' which is already a call for HELP~ I could ask, like a lot of people have asked?

"Why does God allow innocent young children to die in such horror?" "Where was God when this horrific massacre took place?" God established humanity with 'FREE will'...we can choose to do right, or wrong, evil...or good; but there are consequences to our choices. God did intervene...otherwise there would have been more death

We blame firearms, God, and our government, but never blame ourselves as a whole. We cannot ignore mental illness, and need to focus more and getting the help for our children early in life when this kind of problem is detected.

Although some bloggers have posted a 'Silent Monday'...we cannot be silent on any day, when it comes to 'gun control' in our society which has gone out of control in our country. We should have a 'moment of silence' in our own way, or together to honor the 'little angels' and adults that have gone on to their final resting place...so, so sad; our hearts and spirits are broken, and Christmas will never be the same!

 I totally re-created this wonderful bundt cake just from 'tweaking' my banana bread recipe with 1/4 cup of Kahlua liquor; you can substitute 1/4 cup strong coffee in place of the Kahlua. Swirl in 1/2 cup Nutella in the batter, but don't mix it in entirely. Also, be sure to add 1 teaspoon baking powder, and 1 teaspoon baking soda.

 I wanted to link this delicious bundt cake to #BundtAMonth for December to Lora's blog...so sorry; I just don't have the time or energy to do this right now...also posting my recipe. If you would like this recipe I created, do let me know, and I will post it later!

Thank you for all your sweet and caring comments, I am so ashamed for not even visiting my dear friends' blogs, not even my own daughter's @Cake Duchess!

I love you all, dear friends...please forgive me for my silence and 'aloofness.'




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