Showing posts with label Holidays. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Holidays. Show all posts

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Thumbprint Cookies

I made these lovely jewel cookies over the Christmas holidays, and did not bother to post them until now. I certainly was so perfect, buttery, and the different fillings, other than just the plain jams made a huge difference. So light,flaky, and melt in your mouth. You just couldn't stop at one, since the different jams, including my homemade mango jam, seedless raspberry, lemon curd, and the most favorite was the Nutella filling that the kids loved the most!
Creation of the 'Thumbprint Cookies' came from the 19th century, either from Sweden, or the Jewish people of Eastern Europe. It's such a versatile, popular holiday cookie with so many variations. Of course it's self explanatory about the 'thumbprint'...in which, one will press with the thumb in the center of the cookie dough, for jam filling. The jam can be filled while baking the cookies, or after it has been baked. I make mine both ways, but I do prefer to fill the cookies after it has been baked to enjoy the filling more!
You can't deny how flaky and light these cookies are...and just look at the 'jewel like' filling ones...and oh, I forgot the I also used orange marmalade filling, as well, but the Nutella filling was every one's favorite, except the lemon curd filling. It was not my homemade lemon curd, but if you find a nice bright yellow colored lemon curd in a specialty store, or your favorite supermarket, just grab it, because it will show that it's very fresh, vibrant and true lemony flavor! Never mind the cost, which is not really cheap...it's well worth it, rather than using the 8 egg yolks, and all that butter and fresh lemon juice, plus time consuming, can be costly as well!
The best part is the sharing...pack most of them up in a plastic container, just make sure you overlap them carefully, otherwise they will smear! This is the only time I wish that I had baked them with the filling...instead fill them afterwards, but I assure you, this way it has a more intense flavor from the various jams, lemon curd, and Nutella filling...yumm!

I used the recipe from my trusted Gourmet magazine, from Dec. of 2007...which they called it Trios, because 3 cookies were joined together and baked that way, but for me it did not sound logical, just to break them apart!

THUMPRINT COOKIES...A.K.A. TRIOS

    • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
    • 1 teaspoon salt
    • 2 sticks (1/2 pound) unsalted butter, softened
    • 1 cup sugar
    • 1 large egg
    • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
    • About 2 tablespoons seedless raspberry jam
    • About 2 tablespoons apricot preserves
    • About 2 tablespoons strawberry preserves
    • Equipment: a 1/2-inch-thick wooden spoon handle or dowel



PREPARATION

  1. Make dough:
    1. Whisk together flour and salt. Beat butter and sugar with an electric mixer until very pale and fluffy, about 4 minutes, then beat in egg and vanilla. At low speed, mix in flour mixture in 3 batches just until a dough forms. Divide dough in half and form each piece into a 6-inch disk, then chill, wrapped in plastic wrap, until firm, about 1 hour.
  2. Assemble and bake cookies:
    1. Preheat oven to 350°F with rack in middle. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper.
    2. Roll 3 separate level teaspoons of dough each into a ball, then flatten each ball slightly (to 1 inch wide and less than 1/2 inch thick). Arrange them in a triangle on baking sheet with edges touching in center, then make a deep indentation in center of each round with wooden spoon handle. Make more cookies, arranging them 1 inch apart on baking sheets.
    3. Fill indentations in each cookie with about 1/88 teaspoon jam (each cookie should have 3 different fillings), avoiding any large pieces of fruit.
    4. Bake until cookies are baked through and golden-brown on edges, 15 to 20 minutes. Cool on baking sheets 5 minutes, then transfer to racks to cool completely.
    5. Bake more batches on cooled baking sheets lined with fresh parchment.
Note: This is a fail proof recipe, whether you make them separate or make the 'trios' is up to you...they will turn out perfect, each and every time! Also with the filling, before baking, or after baking, works either way!
Another amazing thumbprint cookies I will want to make, which has lemon juice, and of course Lemon Curd filling; slightly different from the recipe above!

Sunday, May 11, 2014

HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY!

Wishing all the Mothers, Mothers 'to be'...Grandmothers, Stepmothers (who rarely get the honor)...Mothers who passed on; such beautiful memories to cherish!

We love you, and honor you, on this special day!
I wish you all, my dear blogger friends a...
HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY!

Enjoy this beautiful day with your loved ones!
May you be Blessed with health, wealth, and all the happiness, for many days to come!
Hugs,
Elisabeth
 

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

 

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Sloppy Joes

Research at the Carnegie Library suggests that the Sloppy Joe began in a Sioux City, Iowa, cafe as a "loose meat sandwich" in 1930, the creation of a cook named Joe."

The term "sloppy" comes from the fact that eating it as if it were a normal sandwich often results in the meat and sauce spilling out. It may also be served "open face", with the bun halves or slices of bread next to each other and the meat on top of each. A sloppy joe served with no bun at all is known as a saucy beefeater.

Sloppy joes are also referred to as wimpies in parts of the Northeast USA, especially northeastern Pennsylvania, as "yip yips" in parts of southwestern Illinois near St. Louis, and as slushburgers in parts of the Upper Midwest, including the Dakotas and Eastern Montana.Where did Sloppy Joe or Joes originate from:

If you look carefully, you can see the Red...White...and Blue colors in my photo; and one more interesting fact is that this beautiful Willow pattern china is from England...how apropos is that?! I served this all American comfort food up for myself for the 4th of July...our Independence Day, ...freedom from the British Colonies!
I mean, honestly! How much more American can you get?...Apple Pie and Baseball...Red White and Blue dessert?...its all good! While I was totally all alone...family still away on vacation/holiday, as the British would say...Cherio Jolly Good, and all that stuff!

I thoroughly enjoyed a tall glass of Zephyrhills Sparkling water with the Sloppy Joes...also all American, from Zephyrhills Florida. A slice of lime, and more lime juice...added ice cubes; wow! totally refreshing.
I'm sure there are lots of recipes for Sloppy Joes, but I happen to choose the recipe from

Ree Drummond (The Pioneer Woman) from Food Network 

Note: I made this with 1 lb. of lean ground beef, and did not use butter...only extra virgin olive oil. Also used less of the spices, of course...just broke it down to half the amount.

My son use to love sloppy Joes made with Manwich sauce with baked beans when he was little:)

 ...and later on in the evening, I walked over to the Intracoastal on the bridge and watched the fireworks!






Have a wonderful week ahead, everyone...and thank you for all your kind comments! xo