Tuesday, December 31, 2013

New Years Eve

Good morning! I hope you are well, if you are like me than you are still on "Christmas Break", enjoying family and friends and trying to not to eat too many tasty treats. So far I have not been too successful in the tasty treat department, but once tomorrow comes I will be back to my regular routine. 

I have to be honest, I am not a party person. I prefer small gatherings of close family and friends enjoying good food over the dinner table, laughing and talking for hours. 

Image April and May Studio

So tonight, I will be doing just that, talking, eating, and laughing with family and friends hoping to make it to midnight. What about you? Will you be out at a large party, enjoying a quiet dinner with friends, or something else entirely?

Image Me Paris 2014

Whatever your plans I hope you have a safe and happy celebration! I will see you here next year! Happy New Year!

If you would like a little chocolate this evening, try this recipe for a Bailey's Chocolatini from Once Upon a Chocolate Life.

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Silent Sunday 12-28-2013

Enjoy your day!

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Paris Storefronts

Good morning! As I mentioned, I am recently returned from my annual trip to Paris. In addition to visiting museums, sampling eclair's, and sitting in cafes drinking chocolat chaud, I spent many hours wandering and taking photos. Here are just a few of storefronts that caught my eye. 

I hope you enjoyed the window shopping, there is more to come! Have a great day and enjoy your weekend!

Linking to:
The Scoop on Stone Gable

Friday, December 27, 2013

A Little Break

Good morning! I hope that your Christmas was a magical time spent with family and friends, eating good food, having lots of laughs and enjoying the spirit of the season.

Mine was all of the above and more. I am sad that the season seemed to speed by so fast. But then again everything fun seems to do that doesn't it?

I am spending time with my family over the next few days and although I had intentions of posting I do not know that that will happen. I may just post from now until the end of the year photos of my trip to Paris, I have about 2000. 

I hope that you have a fabulous day! Enjoy your weekend!

P.S. If you feel the need for a few more calories before the end of the year, you can visit Once Upon a Chocolate Life where I have been featuring chocolate drinks for the last month, everything from hot chocolate, to Bicerin.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas!

 Sending you best wishes for peace, joy and happiness today and always! Enjoy your time with your family and friends.

Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Twas the Night Before Christmas

Twas the Night Before Christmas
By: Sister St. Thomas, B.N.D. de N

Twas the night before Christmas, and all through the town,
St. Joseph was searching, walking up roads and down;
Our Lady was waiting, so meek and so mild,
While Joseph was seeking a place for the Child.
The children were nestles, each snug in their beds,
The grown-ups wouldn't bother, there's no room they said;
When even the innkeeper sent them away,
Joseph was wondering, where they would stay.
He thought of the caves in the side of the hills,
Lets go there said Mary, it's silent and still;
Made pathways of light for their tired feet to go.
And there in a cave, in a cradle of hay,
Our Savior was born on the first Christmas Day!
The Father was watching in heaven above,
He sent angels, His couriers of love.
More rapid than eagles God's bright angels came;
Rejoicing and eager as each hear his name;
Come Power, Come Cherubs, Come Virtues, Come Raphael,
Come Thrones and Dominions, come Michael and Gabriel.
Now fly to the Earth, where My poor people live,
Announce the glad tiding My Son comes to give;
The Shepherds were watching their flocks on this night,
And saw in the heavens and unearthly light.
The Angels assured them, they'd nothing to fear,
It's Christmas they said, the Savior is here!
They hastened to find Him, and stood at the door,
Til Mary invited them in to adore.
He was swaddled in bands from His head to His feet,
Never did the Shepherd's see a baby so sweet.
He spoke not a word, but the Shepherd's all knew,
He was telling them secrets and blessing them too.
Then softly they left Him, The Babe in the hay,
And rejoiced with great joy on that first Christmas Day;
Mary heard them exclaim and they walked up the hill,
Glory to God in the Highest, Peace to men of good will!

Happy Christmas Eve my friends and family! I am sending you love and blessing for a wonderful Christmas. Thank you for blessing my life with your friendships and your wonderful blogs!

Monday, December 23, 2013

Crockpot Chocolate Candy

Good morning!
I hope that you are having a great day! Did you enjoy your weekend? Did you finish all of your last minute shopping, wrapping, and baking? I heard it was crazy out there, thankfully I did not need to venture out. I was home trying a few last minute recipes and trying not to eat it all before I could package it up.

One of the things I made was this "Crockpot candy". Basically you throw all of your ingredients in the crock pot and less than an hour later you spoon them out onto a Silphat or waxed paper, let set and enjoy.

Chocolate covered candy is a staple at Christmas, normally I use my chocolate tempering machine or the microwave but this method is so easy it is ridiculous. 

Chocolate Covered Nuts, Marshmallows and Pretzels

1 bag of semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 bag of 60% chocolate chips
1 bag of Wilton chocolate discs

24 oz of  honey roasted peanuts or
pretzels or
colored marshmallows or 
your choice of nuts, berries, seeds, etc. 

Place all chocolate into the crock pot, turn on low and cook for 30-45 minutes or until melted. 

Pour chocolate into bowls and add whatever you want to chocolate cover, then spoon out portions onto waxed paper. Let set, and enjoy. 

Note: Make sure to watch your chocolate so it does not burn. Each Crockpot is different.

I love this candy! It is shiny, smooth, rich, creamy, chocolaty and scrumptious!  After it set up I packaged it into bags, decorated with ribbon and gave it all away to the neighbors and some friends. I think I am going to have to whip up another batch because I am addicted the the chocolate covered marshmallows!  

The peanuts are pretzels are not bad either. 

You can cover anything, cookies, candy, dried fruits, nuts, or a combination f nuts and fruit. One of my favorites is cashews, dried cherries and pistachios. 

Do you make candy? What do you make? An old family recipe? Do you chocolate cover anything? What is your favorite things to cover with chocolate?

Travel safe this week if you are off to spend time with family and friends.
Have a great week!

Linking to:

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Eggnog French Toast

Good morning! The days are ticking away, the big day is almost here, are you ready? Will you be going out this weekend to shop? Experts say if you are a last minute shopper than you are going to get the best deals in 10 years!

I am finished with the shopping, shipping and decorating, the only thing left is the menu. At this point I am still trying to figure out what to serve for Christmas breakfast. I am wavering between Eggnog French Toast and Silver Dollar Pancakes with Spiced butter and syrup. 

I made the french toast yesterday to try it before I serve it and it is easy and delicious! 

Eggnog French Toast

11/2 cups of purchased eggnog
4 eggs 
1/4 teaspoon of fresh grated nutmeg
3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
oil or butter for the pan
1 loaf of day old French bread sliced

Maple syrup
powdered sugar


Heat a skillet over medium heat with a little butter or oil. 
Whisk eggs, eggnog, cinnamon, and nutmeg together in a shallow pan. Place bread slices in pan to soak for 30 seconds each side. Then cook for 2 to 3 minutes on each side or until golden brown. Serve with butter, syrup and powdered sugar. 

What will you be serving for breakfast? Sweet or savory dishes? If you are looking for some savory recipes and ideas click HERE. Or if you would like something sweeter, try this fabulous and easy Caramel Pecan Money Bread, your guests will love it!

I hope that you have a great day!

Friday, December 20, 2013

Friday Favorites from Yonks, Gwen Moss, The Glitter Guide, From the House of Edward and More

Good morning! I won't begin with the Christmas countdown because if you are like me you are wondering where the time went. I swear just the other day I was relishing Fall and in the blink of an eye it is Christmas.

Christmas decorations and window displays are one of my favorite memories from childhood. This week Sandy from You May Be Wandering has been featuring the beautiful and imaginative window displays from the biggest department stores in New York; my favorite so far are the windows from Lord and Taylor.

Image from Racked photo taken by Rebecca Dale

Although I have been enjoying all of the beautiful Christmas posts filled with scrumptious recipes, tasty treats, stunning Christmas decorations and fabulous DIY inspiration; there is so much stuff that it is easy to get lost in it all.  Leslie at Gwen Moss posted a excellent reminder this week on the reason for the season and The Gift of Simplicity

Image from The Glitter Guide

Speaking of the art of simplicity, this easy and delicious cocktail from The Glitter Guide has me intrigued. I think I will be trying this tonight. 

Fontina, Pear and Caramelized Onion Gallette

I will also be making this Fontina, Pear and Caramelized Onion Galette from Wisconsin Cheese Talk, doesn't this look delicious? Anything that contains cheese and caramelized onions is a favorite of mine. 
Are you finished with your shopping? If not, Pamela at From the House of Edward has published a three part book list for all of the men, women and children on your list. I found a few books on the list that I am gifting myself.

Image Di from Yonks

I may have mentioned once or twice that although I love Paris, my heart belongs to Scotland. It is actually a dream of mine to move there, but that is a story for another day. This week Di from Yonks is traveling in Scotland and as usual her photos are stunning and her writing witty. I hope that someday soon she publishes a book of her work.

 I wish you are wonderful weekend. Enjoy the magic of the season, soon it will all be over. 

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Christmas Around the House

Good morning! I hope that you are having a great week! I am TIRED! I am also feeling very rushed, what about you? 

This year for Christmas I decorated a little less than normal and mainly decorated the rooms I spend the most time in. After all I want to be able to enjoy my tree and snowmen while I am working. 

These decorations are in my kitchen, keeping room and adjoining family room. I can see them all from my kitchen island while I bake.

Kitchen Island 

I LOVE snowmen, can you tell? I have a small collection that I use in my kitchen and family room. I think they are cute, whimsical and they always bring a smile to my face when I walk by.

Of course I also use pine cone whenever possible, in my antique well buckets, in my new wagon and piled in silver bowls. 

Are you finished with all of your Christmas decorating and baking? What about buying and wrapping your gifts? Luckily I have finished the wrapping and the gifts, as for the cookies I am never finished baking. There are too many great recipes that I want to try.

I hope that in the hustle and bustle of the season that you are finding some time to relax and take it all in. Soon it will be a distant memory so remember to savor the season my friends.

Linking to:
Lamberts Lately
Stone Gable The Scoop
Savvy southern Style
Common Ground

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