Thursday, January 27, 2011


After Christmas, our family, siblings, parents, children, neices, nephews, etc get together to have one last gift opening. The gifts must be the worst one you can find. Wrapped up..some more cleverly disquised than others to confuse or entice its selesction. The gifts are placed under the tree, then all gather in a circle to begin the exchange. First person chooses one from under the tree,  then one by one gifts are chosen until they are all gone. Nothing can be opened until everyone has had the chance to exchange with someone. Stealing away a gift is permitted, and adds to the excitment. Finally, the gifts are unwrapped and the expressions, and laughter just fill the house. Great way to end the Holidays. Some of my favorites moments were: a 15 yr old nephew getting a Hannah Montana Jr. Beauty Kit, another nephew (in college) opened a plastic yard raccoon statue..He loved it and it became the mascot for the house he and roommates had. My alltime favorite is a wooden cow that was part of an art project one of the kids made. Donning a Santa hat, it greets arriving family at our front door over the Holiday season...
Whats the funniest gift you've received" What did you do with it?

Sunday, January 23, 2011

The 12 Days of Cookies!

Day1 Cream Wafers

It’s Cookie Baking Time!

Christmas cookies, love to make them, love to share them. Each family member has their own are the 2011 cookie list:

Day 2: Peanut Butter Kisses 

Day3&4 : Thumbprints with Jam & Butter Cream filling

1/2cup butter
21/2 cups finely chopped walnuts
½ cup shortening
”Simply Fruit” Marmalade or butter cream for filling
1/4 cup sugar
1 egg
¼ cup brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
2 cups King Arthur flour ,all purpose

Cream butter, shortening, and sugar until creamy. Add egg yoke and next 3 ingredients, beating well. Roll dough into 1” balls, then dip in egg white and roll into chopped nuts. Place on lightly greased cookie sheet. Place in 375 oven 5 minutes, remove from oven, make an indention in the middle of each cookie with thumb, back into oven 8 minutes longer. Remove, cool, and fill with jam or frosting. Makes about 21/2 dozen.

Butter cream frosting is the favorite at our house:
1/2 stick butter
Few drops of milk
1 pkg. confectioners sugar

Beat butter in a large bowl. Add sugar. Add milk a little at a time until icing is of desired consistency. If color is desired, add a few drops of food coloring.

Day5: Anise Pizzelles (my husband's favorite)

1 3/4c flour

2t baking powder

3 Lg eggs

3/4 c sugar

1/2 c melted butter

2T vanilla or anise

Preheat Pizzelle press

Mix flour and baking powder in small bowl. Use a Hand mixer to mix eggs for 1 minute, until thick. On low speed mix in melted butter and anise. Add flour mixture and mix just til combined. With a brush or paper towel, add a little oil to the griddle drop apx 1 1/2 t of dough onto griddle. (This recipe has a thicker dough.) Close and bake until light comes on.Cool, may dust with powdered sugar, if desired.
Day 6: Iced Sugar Cut-Outs
Day7:Peanut Butter Fudge

(12-oz. pkg.) Peanut Butter Chips
1 can (14 oz.) sweetened condensed milk (not evaporated milk)
2T Butter
Combine ingredients. Microwave at high speed until mix melts. Pour into pan. Allow to cool over night. So Simple and tasty!
Day8: Pa Rum Pum Pum Balls
1/2 cups finely chopped walnuts, or almonds
1 1/4 cups finely crushed vanilla wafer cookies
1/2 cup confectioners sugar
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
1/3 cup rum

Mix all ingredients, adding rum last. Chill the batter and then shape into 1 inch balls. Then roll the rum balls in confectioners sugar, finely chopped nuts, or cocoa powder, white chocolate.
Day9: Chocolate/Amaretto Balls
Day10: Italian Cookies
Day11: Greek Twists

Day12: Russian Tea Cakes

May the Joy and the Spirit of this Season bring you peace. Merry Christmas!