Famous Cookie Tower and a Recipe for Chocolate Peanut Butter Truffles

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It would not be Christmas without the famous cookie tower in our family.  Throughout the month of December I make and freeze several types of cookies.  This is a true labor of love as I am NOT a baker!  The anticipation builds as the month progresses.  Come Christmas Eve, we host a Réveillon dinner party and the cookie tower is the star of the menu.  Constructed by stacking 5 glass cake stands or pedestal dishes in gradated sizes, it becomes a towering display of Christmas sweets.   The great thing about the tower is that it can be replenished as the cookies vanish. Continue reading

The Miracle Christmas Cookies

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Love works in  mysterious ways.  At Christmas 30 years ago, I was going through a painful divorce, far from my family, in a new city I had moved to for the crumbling marriage  and would be alone.  Just before Christmas, a surprise package arrived.  Inside I found a Christmas stocking that had been filled with thoughtful little gifts so mine would not remain empty, and a box of homemade cookies. Continue reading

Cranberry Almond Cookies with Double Chocolate Glaze

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As good as they are gorgeous!

As good as they are gorgeous!

These cookies are one of my favorites yet I have never encountered them anywhere.  I like to make them during the holidays when fresh cranberries are available but they are good anytime..  The red chunks of fruit and the white and dark chocolate drizzle make them attractive on a cookie platter.  Their texture is moist with the nice crunch of the toasted almonds. Continue reading

Christmas on the Front Porch

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Welcome to our home for the holidays!  The front porch is dressed in a natural winter wonderland theme this year.  It is a serene and simple décor greeting visitors with the fresh scent of evergreens, the inviting warmth of candlelight and several vignettes of winter activities to delight the eye. Traditional greens and reds are accented with whites, metallics and natural elements. Please join me on a tour.

A sentimental flag reminding me of my three sons and their dad going sledding hangs to the side, flanked by a tabletop fresh tree sitting on a red wooden crate with its stand draped in a red quilt.

A sentimental flag reminding me of my three sons and their dad going sledding hangs to the side, flanked by a tabletop fresh tree sitting on a red wooden crate with its stand draped in a red quilt with a wooden red star, handmade by a friend, at the top.

Continue reading

High End Holiday Looks with Supermarket Flowers

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Transforming supermarket flowers from ordinary to wow, is easy. It gives your budget a huge bang for its buck.  You don’t have to have a green thumb or a talent for flower arranging.  Just a good imagination to look around your house for interesting containers will do.  Everything I used in these examples I had on hand.  The  small silver ornaments were bought at the Dollar Store. None of these projects took more than a few minutes.

1-  Rosemary Tree

These fragrant trees are readily available and make a terrific hostess gift.  I like one in the kitchen where I snip fresh rosemary for cooking throughout the holiday season.  Plop the plastic pot in a nice planter, tie a festive ribbon around the rim with a small ornament, and you’ve got a gorgeous and festive planter.  I chose a birch bark planter with a plaid ribbon in keeping with the tree concept.

 

Using a garden marker for your gift tag is a nice touch fitting of the gift!

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Parmesan Crusted Roasted Cauliflower Steak

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There’s a new steak in town!  And boy, is it good.  I don’t think I’ve ever gotten excited about cauliflower before but this recipe really did it for me.  It caught my attention when it was featured in Giant Supermarkets’ fall cooking magazine.  The original recipe was for grillling the steaks but I roasted mine because of weather limitations.  The cauliflower is sliced thick and across its whole width to create hearty “steaks”. Continue reading