Entries Tagged 'Christmas'

Lemon Shortbread Recipe

This morning my Aunt Kathy and I woke up early to make lemon shortbread. I’ve never made shortbread before, but it’s always been one of my favorite cookies. And I loved the idea of adding lemon zest to my aunt’s standard shortbread recipe. Continue reading →

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Persimmon Cookies Recipe

Persimmons are perhaps the most beautiful fruit of the fall, but have you ever wondered if they have a purpose other than table decoration?  Where I grew up, persimmon trees were abundant.  While we didn’t have persimmon trees of our own, every fall my grandmother had persimmons ripening in the fruit bowl, thanks to generous neighbors. Continue reading →

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Mashed Potato Casserole with Cream Cheese and Sour Cream

Don’t worry, don’t worry! This recipe does NOT include peas of any kind.  But this is how I like to eat my mashed potatoes at every single holiday meal.  The more peas, the better!  But whether you like a side of peas with your meal or not, I have no doubt that you will love these mashed potatoes that are whipped with both cream cheese and sour cream!  Seriously, they are insanely delicious! Continue reading →

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Red Velvet Cake Recipe with Cream Cheese Frosting

Red Velvet Cake.  Until I met my husband, I had never even heard of a red velvet cake. Since it seems to be a Southern specialty, I guess it’s not surprising that I never ran across one growing up in California.  But thanks to the California cupcake boom, it seems like there’s now a cupcake shop on every corner and every single one of them features some version of miniature red velvet cake.

But that’s not why I made this cake.  You see, my husband’s family LOVES Red Velvet Cake.  His sister Katie gets it every year for her birthday, but they all love it.  From hearing Justin, Katie, and Daniel talk about it, I began to think that this mysterious red cake had magical powers.  But somehow, after seven years of marriage, I have yet to taste my mother-in-law’s version. Continue reading →

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Whole Wheat Raspberry Almond Thumbprint Cookies Recipe

Is it really November already?  That means it’s almost been an entire year since we left Sicily!  And it has been an entire year since I participated in NaBloPoMo, or, National Blog Posting Month for those of you not in the know. Continue reading →

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Spice up your Snickerdoodle


Snickerdoodle. It’s a fun word to say, isn’t it? But even better than saying the word is eating one of those buttery, sugary, cinnamony cookies. Given the popularity of this simple treat, I’m sure most of you know what I’m talking about. But here’s a short explanation, just in case! A snickerdoodle is typically a basic sugar cookie that has been rolled in cinnamon and sugar before baking. They have a crackled appearance that develops because the cinnamon sugar coating breaks up as the cookies spread out during baking. Depending on baking time, the texture can range from crisp crunchy to very soft and chewy — it’s just a matter of preference.

I must admit that although I have enjoyed many snickerdoodles in my lifetime, I don’t often make them at home. In fact, I don’t remember ever making them. Is it the silly name? Are they just too old-fashioned? I’m not sure. But whatever reasons I had for not making the cookies disappeared when I ran across an incredible recipe for Chai Snickerdoodles at Baking Bites. The recipe is a fresh take on the traditional snickerdoodle and brings a somewhat old-fashioned, out-dated cookie into the 21st century. Continue reading →

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Orange Cranberry Salad with Walnuts and Blue Cheese


One of my favorite things about winter is fresh-squeezed orange juice.  I’ve been lucky in that I’ve spent many years of my life surrounded by orange trees.  Growing up in California, we actually never had an orange tree of our own but the thing about living in the San Joaquin Valley is that even if you don’t have an orange tree, you always know several people who do.  It’s been several years since I’ve lived in California but now here I am in Sicily, surrounded by orange trees once again, and I’m loving it! Continue reading →

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