‘Tis the Season

Hello all!

This will probably be my last post for 2013 – unless of course there is Wi-Fi in Bahia Honda, Florida! But that is doubtful. I don’t see myself dragging my laptop or tablet to the beach (sand damage and all that!)

I haven’t so enjoyed making my edible gift baskets in such a long time. I think the last time that I spur-of-the-moment (with some preparation!) decided to do so was B.K. (Before Kids!) when time was something that was available in spades!

In the past couple of months I’ve been feeling ridiculously happy (not even Grumpelstiltskin’s freak-out episodes as we pack and prepare for our imminent departure has managed to sway me – and that’s saying A LOT!) Mind you, he is at this very moment out for a Big FIVE-OH-MY-GOD birthday with his buddies so he should be mellow upon his return…

So now that I’ve gone to New York by way of Miami, I’ll get back to my subject.

I just did two episodes of “DalesDelectables” now called “Dalectables” so I had some goodies to share – actually that is WHY I did my two episodes, to tell the truth…

I had a few people I wanted to say “Thank You” to and another just for love (yeah, that’s you, Patricia!) so I set to work creating my baskets.

They included Cranberry-rum sauce, Quick fruit cake, biscotti and sweet and spicy mixed nuts.

I then went off to deliver the goods and meet Pattie for our monthly dinner together, this time in the Gay Village, a fabulous BYOB Italian Restaurant Mozza. The whole menu is table d’hôte, including Caesar Salad, choice of entrée (appetizer) and choice main course pasta (all sorts of wonderfully interesting combinations – such as brie and green apple, chèvre and porto, to name but a couple. Of course they have the more standard à la vodka or arrabiata for the less adventurous.) And, as if the great food, super wait staff and ambiance were not enough, check out the bathroom!

Boogie in the Bathroom

Boogie in the Bathroom

As this was our Christmas get-together, my friend brought bubbles! Woot!

A most gentle snow was falling, the brutal cold had lifted (though by no means warm!) and all was well. A perfect end to a perfect evening.

Scccccrrrrreeeeeaaaaaccccchhhhh! WTF? I got a bloody parking ticket! Dammit! $52 poorer for the holidays…..

Oh well, not one to waste my energies on the negative, I turn the page and really, must get back to my packing if we are to leave at 2:00 A.M.

Too all of you, I wish you the most wonderful Christmas (or whatever holiday you celebrate) and may 2014 bring you all the love, happiness, fun, excitement, good health, and prosperity to you and yours.

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas

How to Make Christmas Biscotti

Christmas is just around the corner and if you’re looking for something easy-peasy to make and delicious to boot, try these out!

Now that you’ve seen how they’re done, here’s the recipe and “how-to”

Christmas Biscotti
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
1/8 tsp salt
3 large eggs
2 large egg yolks
1 tsp vanilla extract
zest of 1 orange
1 1/2 cups pistachios (shelled)
1 cup dried cranberries

1. Heat oven to 350ºF.

2. In a stand mixer (or using a hand one, just a bit more difficult) fitted with the paddle attachment combine flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.

3. In a bowl, beat eggs, yolks, vanilla and zest. Add to dry ingredients, mix on medium low until crumbly.

4. Add pistachios and cranberries and mix until sticky dough is formed (longer than I did in the video!!!)

5. Turn dough out onto well-floured counter; sprinkle with flour and knead slightly. Shape into 2 9-by-3 1/2-inch logs. Flatten a bit. Transfer to parchement-lined baking sheet and bake until golden, 25 to 30 minutes. Let cool enough to handle, about 10 minutes.

6. Reduce oven to 275ºF.

7. On cutting board, cut logs on the diagonal into 1/2-inch thick slices. Return pieces, cut side down to baking sheet. Bake until lightly toasted, 10 minutes (20 if you prefer them hard) Turn over. Bake until slightly dry, about 10 minutes (20 if you prefer them hard). Cool on wire rack.

Store in air-tight container.