Photography ~ Cooking ~ Life

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

This years batch of Stollen.......

We (I say 'we' when it's actually hubby doing most of the work) make this bread nearly every holiday season and give it to family as gifts. It's become somewhat expected. Hubby uses fresh fruit in lieu of candied fruit, which is preferable to us and to those we give to.

The entire process takes several hours, what with prep work, mixing, kneading, two rises, and baking.

The finished product....three of the six loaves.

The original recipes is from Martha Stewart. We make all sorts of variations, including using white wine in place of cognac.

Martha Stewart Stollen

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Merry Christmas

Here's wishing you all a wonderful Christmas eve and Christmas Day. Whether you're celebrating with a large crowd of people, or quietly at home with only a loved one or two, may this be a peaceful and happy holiday season.

Merry Christmas

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Holiday Cookies

Some cookies are justifiably Christmas.

I just made a half batch of Sandies from my mothers recipe.

It's a tradition for me. Digging out her handwritten recipe and mixing the dough makes me feel like she's close by, watching over me. It also reminds me of times spent in the kitchen with her during the holidays when I was a kid.

Other people might know this cookie as snowballs, Mexican or Italian wedding cookies, or something else entirely. I've never met a cookie with so many variations in name. lol


1 cup butter
1/3 cup sugar
2 tsp water
2 tsp vanilla
2 cups flour (I use a combo of unbleached white and white wheat)
1 cup walnuts or pecans (I've even used chopped almonds)

Cream butter and sugar; add water and vanilla. Mix well. Add flour and nuts. Shape into 1" balls. Bake in a 325 oven on an ungreased cookie sheet (or parchment) for 20 minutes.

Cool slightly, then roll in powdered sugar.

*If using the white wheat, you may need to add an extra teaspoon of water.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

December 9

Can you believe it? How times flies. Seriously.

That's another topic for another post though.

Today I want to talk about chocolate. Cocoa in particular.

Now generally speaking hubby and I are 'from scratch' people, and hubby makes a fabulous hot cocoa, but today, I found this.

Ghirardelli Peppermint Cocoa

Oh. My. Goodness.

One of the things I look forward to at Christmas is Ghirardelli Dark Chocolate Peppermint Bark, although I will admit that this year it doesn't taste as good to me as it usually does. Then again, I'm not a big candy eater. A little goes a long way for me.

Then on a grocery run this morning I found this cocoa in a 10.5 oz bag.

Holy wow.

Not too horribly sweet on it's own, but I added two shots of espresso for a peppermint mocha.

Again, Oh. My. Goodness.

I know the peppermint cocoa has been around, but I've never had it. Made by adding 3 Tbs. of cocoa mix with 8 oz of milk. The bag will go a long way unless you get super addicted. ;)

I paid $4.99 for a 10.5 oz bag at the grocery store, but from what I've seen the price varies. I think I got a good deal on it considering. And it is of course limited to the season.

 I highly recommend it.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Blood Moon of Oct. 8th

I woke up so figured I might as well get up and have a look. I didn't have my camera prepared but got a fair shot. There were so many stars out! I even caught one in the picture near the moon (tiny and off to the left).

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