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Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

I have to admit, I didn’t even wear green today and didn’t even notice until I had gotten to work. Ah well, we can’t all be on top of everything!

Irish Proverb Sea Glass

I have, however, been working on some cute Irish proverb sea glass art that I sent to some very Irish friends of mine! While some celebrate this day with food and beer, others hold more traditional Read More…

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Baked Brie and Cranberry Puff Pastry

Who doesn’t love gooey, hot cheese? Especially with flaky breadBaked Brie and Cranberry Puff Pastry filled with sweet cranberry sauce to dip in it! These baked brie’s always look so fancy but are actually really easy to make. They are perfect to bring to potlucks, parties, for holidays, and of course to have on a night in with family.

With only three ingredients (well okay, four if you count the melted butter), you can put together one of these in a snap but make it look good enough that people will think you’ve been in the kitchen for hours! Love those recipes as it is so much nicer to bring this amazing dish to share even though it takes just about the same time Read More…

Cranberry Pound Cake for Valentine’s Day

This is the sweetest gift to make your loved ones on Valentine’s Day, Cranberry Pound Cakeor for any special occasion! The buttery pound cake with the velvet cream cheese frosting and burst of tart red cranberries make this cake something special. I’ve actually made this cake around Christmas time as it has that festive white and red look that makes you want to pour a second cup of tea and eat it near the Christmas tree with your family. Even though it is a pound cake, it is quite light and a nice way to round out a family meal, dinner party, or even a romantic meal for you and your sweetheart. This cake and the easy frosting both stay well for a day Read More…

Christmas Crack Update

We have always made Christmas toffee or what today seems to be

Ritz the new ingredient!

Ritz the new ingredient!

called “Christmas Crack” to enjoy and give away to friends and family. I’ve been seeing a ton of videos and posts on social media about Christmas crack and the different ways to make it.

One new twist caught my eye and I just had to give it a try. It was awesome! So, I have updated my mom’s version and will most likely Read More…

Homemade Peppermint Patties

First of all, these are SO EASY to make! For some people, dealing

Homemade Peppermint Patties

Homemade Peppermint Patties

with chocolates or making candies seems overwhelming with all the extra steps or having to use a candy thermometer and fancy equipment. This recipe uses simply ingredients, no cooking or heating (other than a microwave) and can be done in under an hour!

I have always loved the combination of chocolate and mint so of course, I have always been a big fan of peppermint patties! I enjoy coming up with creative cookies and goodies to give to friends and family for the holidays and this creation is the perfect addition to our cookie box.

We try not to have the same old shortbread and peanut butter smash cookies in our special Christmas cookie box as the whole point of our cookies boxes is to surprise people with fun and Read More…

A Czech Tradition, St. Nicholas Day

Well, I forgot to put my shoes out last night, but my dad just St. Nicholas Dayreminded me, Happy St. Nicholas Day!
For those that don’t know about it, this day has a very long tradition in the Czech culture (mom’s side of the family). On the night of December 5th families put their shoes out and put some hay or carrots in them for the reindeer (or donkey) that travels with St. Nicholas. During the night, St. Nicholas visits all the homes and if you have been good, leaves a treat in your shoe like candy, some coins, an orange or sometimes a book.  Mom always did this for us as kids and then we took up the tradition.

Read More…

Snow is Here in New England

Well it finally feels like winter here in New England! The snow was

First sticky snow of 2016

Magical Sticky Snow, VT

falling all over the upper East coast yesterday and we all woke up with a blanket of white everywhere. Vermont as well as Maine look like winter wonderlands!

While it doesn’t always make good driving weather, my favorite kind of snow is the wet stuff that sticks to every single branch on trees so you get these magical winter scenes like this one.

Melt-in-Your-Mouth Sugared Pecan Balls Recipe

These are the worst and best cookies to make. The worst becausemelt in your mouth pecan balls
you not only want to eat them while you are making them, but then the smell attracts the whole family and before you know it, they are all gone! The best because they are not too sweet and go so well with a cup of tea, or coffee, or even hot chocolate. They pack well and everyone enjoys getting powdered sugar all over themselves because they are just so darn good you don’t mind!

I also love these cookies as they are so easy to make and because of the simple ingredients and fast baking time, I can make these on a weeknight and save the weekend for the more intricate baking.

These make amazing Christmas cookies as they look perfect in a clear cellophane bag tied with a big red bow as a gift! But why bake Read More…

Pumpkins, Pumpkins Everywhere

Pumpkins out on the lawn, set up next to fall mums and corn stalks, on steps, porches and along railingsfall pumpkin and mums is one of those sure signs that October is here! Fall is my favorite season in New England and nothing makes it better than some pumpkins – for decoration or for eating! Who knew that this squash would become such an icon in America? Thought to have originated in America, the pumpkin has been eaten as a winter squash since colonial times. They were much smaller, more the size if a pie pumpkin and used primarily for cooking.

The tradition of the Jack O’Lantern or carved pumpkin began not in America but over in Ireland. The history began, like many do, with a folktale. This one was about a man named Stingy Jack who was a cheapskate that tricked the Devil several times. When Jack finally died, God didn’t want him and the Devil didn’t either so the Devil cast him back to the mortals with only a lump of burning coal to light his way in the dark. Jack put the piece of coal inside a Read More…

Dreaming of a White Christmas

Well, here it is, December 9th and still no snow in Vermont! I can’t say I’m really complaining as it has been quite nice to not be buried deep in snow andwhite christmas having to shovel my way out to the car each morning. The chickens certainly are enjoying the freedom of walking about and free-ranging this far into winter. It is also nice that the stream hasn’t frozen over yet so no need to trudge out buckets of water each morning to the chickens. I can’t help but feel that something is missing though. It just doesn’t FEEL like December in Vermont with all this brown and green across the fields and lawns. This must be what it feels like living down South or out West where the Christmas decorations are hung up but everything is still green.

One of our all time favorite Christmas movies is the wonderful White Christmas starring Bing Crosby, Danny Kaye, Vera-Ellen and Rosemary Clooney. It is a great Christmas classic set in rural Vermont during the 1940’s. The characters, all music performers, set out to Vermont for various reasons (chasing two beautiful ladies) and wind up trying to help save a failing inn and of course fall in love along the way. The music and dancing are so reminiscent of that era and makes you (or at least me) wish you could dance like that! Our family all loves the cozy feeling we get while watching this movie. Read More…

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