Sunday, December 17, 2017

How To Spice Up Your Hot Chocolate

After yesterday''s holiday cookie extravaganza, we need something with which to wash them down:

How To Spice Up Your Hot Chocolate! Imaginative and simple additions to hot chocolate to create delectable, gourmet holiday drinks!

Saturday, December 16, 2017

Holiday Cookies 2017

My first clear memory of winter is connected to our house on West Main Street, in a picturesque village on the Oatka Creek in upstate New York. My mother hung wreaths of red, crinkled cellophane with a single tiny red bulb in the front windows. We had a fireplace and my mother and father helped me make a long chain of loops cut from colored construction paper to hang from the mantle. Mom made her Christmas butter cookies and I associate their warm, safe smell and luscious, enveloping taste exclusively with Christmas. We mixed white frosting with food coloring to get red and green and I got to frost a few cookies, and then sprinkle on the multi-colored decorations. I ate several before bed each night with a glass of milk and it was heaven. And of course, Santa had to have some on Christmas Eve so my mom and I would leave a little plate for him—and a carrot for the reindeer.

Mom’s Christmas Butter Cookies
Sift together three cups of flour, one teaspoon of baking powder and half of a teaspoon of salt. Then cream together one cup of butter and three quarters of a cup of sugar; stir in one unbeaten egg, two tablespoons of milk and one and a half teaspoons of fine vanilla extract and mix well. Add the dry ingredients a third at a time. Chill the dough for one hour. Roll the dough onto a floured surface with a floured rolling pin. Roll to one-eighth of an inch thickness. Use cookie cutters and place them on an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake them five to eight minutes at 350*, watching carefully. Frost and decorate. Enjoy.

A cookie for Santa:

Friday, December 15, 2017

BEAUTY: Photography For Winter--Patrick Vierthaler

Austrian landscape photographer Patrick Vierthaler now lives in Japan where he has taken some breathtaking photos of Kyoto rock gardens and temples in snow. What glorious serenity.

Winter at the San Luis Retreat

Fancy a winter getaway? How about the glorious San Luis Retreat Hotel in South Tyrol, Italy with its choice of lodges, chalets, and treehouses...and a stunning indoor pool with a fireplace!