Thursday, December 31, 2009

new year's eve...

10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5

4 - 3 - 2


a quick hello and a new years wish.

i hope your paths are filled with

piles of snow

warm fireplaces

ice-covered ponds

twinkling lights

cozy spots

frosted windows

lots of laughter

delicious dinners

bubbly drinks

soft sweaters


fluffy robes

and someone to love

a new year where dreams really do come true

happy new year friends. xo

Wednesday, December 30, 2009


here's the ultimate recipe to make your own churros at home, just like they were at the churrería stands. of course, the difference here is they are soooo much better. here you can make a whole batch for what it cost for a few. once you make the churros you'll never buy them again.

ingredients: (makes one plate full)
vegetable or olive oi
1 cup water
1/2 cup margarine or butter
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup all-purpose flour
3 eggs
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon (optional)
prepare to fry the churros by heating oil in a pan (1 to 1&1/2 inches) to 360 degrees F.
to make churro dough, heat water, margarine and salt to rolling boil in 3-quart saucepan; stir in flour. stir vigorously over low heat until mixture forms a ball, about 1 minute; remove from heat. beat eggs all at once; continue beating until smooth and then add to saucepan while stirring mixture.
spoon mixture into cake decorators' tube with large star tip (like the kind use to decorate cakes). squeeze 4-inch strips of dough into hot oil. fry 3 or 4 strips at a time until golden brown, turning once, about 2 minutes on each side. drain on paper towels. (mix sugar and the optional cinnamon); roll churros in sugar or dump the sugar on the pile of churros, like the pros. that churro taste will take you right back to your favorite summer days walking the paseos of spain.
note: real churros in spain are made without cinnamon mixed with the sugar, but the cinnamon adds an extra nice flavor. enjoy xo

christmas favorites...

twinkling lights...

i love my gift...

believe in miracles...


beautiful trains...beautiful girls...

to be so loved...
brand new... best christmas gift ever...

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

take the long way...

i am slowly climbing out of my holiday haze. the past couple of days have been glorious.
quiet, after the craziness. the wrapping paper, pile of gifts,
left over containers that held holiday treats

will get

cleaned up


it is so cold out, so sooo cold. the crackling sound of a warm fire on a snowy night is quite possibly one of the best sounds in the whole world. even if it is on your t.v. a.k.a. the yule log. so grab a mug of hot chocolate or a wine and cozy up. dream of all the special moments that 2009 has given you. xo

best appetizer...

with new years fast approaching these are truly a hit with everyone...
• 3 tablespoons butter
• 1/2 pound fresh shiitake mushrooms, stemmed, caps chopped
• 4 ounces crimini mushrooms, chopped
• 2 garlic cloves, minced
• 1/2 cup whipping cream
• 1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese (about 2 ounces)
• 1/2 cup chopped thinly sliced prosciutto (about 2 1/2 ounces)

• 18 1/2-inch-thick diagonal bread slices cut from 1 sourdough baguette
• Chopped fresh parsley

melt butter in heavy large skillet over medium-high heat. add all mushrooms and garlic and sauté until mushrooms are cooked through and brown, about 10 minutes. add cream and boil until liquid is completely absorbed, about 2 minutes. remove from heat. add blue cheese and stir until cheese melts. mix in prosciutto. season to taste with salt and pepper. transfer mushroom topping to bowl. (mushroom topping can be made 1 day ahead. cover and refrigerate.)
preheat oven to 375°F. arrange bread slices on baking sheet. bake until just golden, about 5 minutes. mound 1 generous tablespoon mushroom topping on each slice. return to oven; bake until topping is heated through, about 6 minutes. sprinkle with chopped parsley.

Sunday, December 27, 2009


may the moon remind you that, no matter how big the world may seem, and how far away a loved one might be, we are all still setting wishes free under the same brilliant moon wish. wish. wish xoxo

Friday, December 25, 2009

Thursday, December 24, 2009

t'was the night before christmas...

wishing all of you a very Merry Christmas. this holiday, i hope you get the chance to be surrounded by those you love, take part in favorite traditions, hang stockings with care and feel the joy in giving. my opinion is Christmas Eve is just about as much fun as the following morning. xoxo

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

small gift...

i almost didnt post this because you would see how easy it is and not think i had exceptional culinary skills. but i decided you may need a sweet little gift to share with a friend and christmas is the season of giving right? i tied them up with tiny loafs of honey bread and they were just the sweetest. xoxo

cinnamon honey butter
2 sticks softened butter
1 cup powdered sugar
1 cup honey
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
using the whisk attachment in your mixer, blend all ingredients until it is smooth and has an even consistency. occasionally scrape down the sides of the mixer with a rubber spatula to ensure even mixing. scoop all of it into a ziploc bag and pipe it into the small quilted ball jars you don't have to use the plastic bag but it helped me from getting it all over the place and seemed to make clean up a cinch.
i doubled the recipe and it made 9 jars. i highly recommend doubling it because it's so tasty and everyone will love it. it only took about 20 minutes from start to finish, easy !

happy happy birthday....

megan... love you and have a happy happy day.

Monday, December 21, 2009

winter solstice...

dec 21st is the shortest day of the year. it celebrates the return of light. today the sun will rise later and set earlier than any other day of the year. it marks the slow return of light and eventually the return of spring. so on this blustery day if you are held captive by wintery winds and marshmallow mounds of snow sit by a roaring fire and listen to a holiday tune or two and know that spring isn't really that far away. xo

"sometimes our fate resembles a fruit tree in winter. who would think that those branches would turn green again and blossom, but we hope it, we know it.”

Sunday, December 20, 2009


remember the magic. my sister and i are only 15 mos apart. we are so lucky to still be such good friends...

out my window this morning... snow makes everything magic...

around the house...

Friday, December 18, 2009

its's so much more than just's going back to memories of my childhood. i can remember sitting closely by my mom as she would decide on which christmas cookies were going to be made. once the planning had taken place, i remember seeing the ingredients piled up in the pantry and cookie tins waiting to be filled. afternoons coming home from school seeing all the cookies cooling on the racks or as I went to bed, listening to the timer go off as mom was finishing the last batch. i grew up tasting and knowing that there was a whole lot of love in every single cookie. she would plate these up so beautifully and deliver them to neighbors and friends. all the recipients loved receiving these yummy treats...

i learned that even though you can always have your favorites like chocolate crinkles, (i have never been able to duplicate these quite like moms) it's really fun to try out at least a couple new recipes. i also learned to always add a little variety to your cookie list because it just wouldn't be right if you ended up with everything being chocolate. (secretly most people wouldn't mind that tho)

many years ago i started having a cookie swap with my sisters, neighbors, and friends and it has turned into a annual event. it has evolved over the years into so much more than trading cookies. we share an evening filled with love, and laughter. i never realized when it started what it would really turn into. i hope this season you are making memories and traditions that will go on and bring you joy for many years to come. i think of christmases past and what will be in store this year. more memories are being made. on my cookie night i am always reminded of how things change, each year it's a little different, friends move on and away, but the love always remains in my heart, the memories stay with you and always will.

i suppose this is just one another area when i am just down right sentimental. i remember the familiar smells and knowing exactly how a cookie is going to taste even though it's been a year since I may have had it last.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

to drink fireside...

4 cups cider
1/2 an orange, sliced
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon whole cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1-2 tablespoons brown sugar, to taste
rum optional
combine ingredients in medium saucepan and stir over medium heat until sugar has dissolved. bring to a boil then reduce heat a little and let simmer for about 20-30 minutes more, stirring occasionally. add rum to taste... xo strain before serving.

making a list and checking it twice...

holiday spirits can work magic, can’t they? i am very grateful for the cheer all around me. it seems as though my heart is quite filled up, it's overflowing. love who i see and talk to (near and far)everyday. christmas reminds me of everyone i care for, and to make good wishes for all. as i strolled through the mall last night, the thoughts of my friends and family on my shopping list kept a smile on my face. there’s still a lot to do, but I am enjoying this christmas!i hope you are too.

Monday, December 14, 2009

merry and bright...

santa's workshop is totally underway

and there is always a celebrations or two - it just shouldn't last until 2 am... well at least
not on a week night. xo

Friday, December 11, 2009

in the lane snow is glistening...

my neighborhood is pretty close knit. once a month some of the women get together for what we call movie night. our friend kay (who was born and raised in london) is the host. she is a fabulous host at that. each months movie has a drink associated with the season and or movie itself - always makes things more fun. it has proven to be so much fun and has earned me the opportunity to watch movies i may not have seen. at the end of the evening we usually vote for what movie will be aired on the following month. last night our movie group got together for a movie /christmas evening. in the spirit of the season we even did a yankee swap. the movie being shown was it’s a wonderful life. a holiday classic for sure. one in the group had never seen it (she grew up in india) it was a treat. as we were watching the movie i remembered reading on martas blog about a grand ritual in her home, referred to as the george bailey award. they would buy a few copies of it's a wonderful life, wrap them in christmas paper, cast their vote for influential people who had made a difference in their lives that year. then during december, on blustery snowy nights, they’d hop in their van and drop by the home of the lucky (and most surprised) recipients. they would carol at their door before awarding them a video of their own with an explanation of the tradition. she says she has never forgotten the people who won the awards over the years and their random acts of (consistent) kindness that often went unrewarded throughout the other months. the best part about this ritual she says was sitting around the table each year, thinking of the george's in her life; i bet you could easily make a list of george's that have touched your life this year. i think this would be a fantastic christmas tradition and remind us what christmas is all about. love and kisses to you.