Wednesday, November 26, 2008

One Day and Counting

We are busy preparing for the big day! Tony is running all the last minute errands and soon the kitchen is going to be a hub of activity. I am presently thinking of all the wonderful things I am grateful for. My husband and I have 3 parents still with us who are in their 80s and who will be joinging us around the table, our 3 children and 2 spouses, our 3 grandchildren and our many friends near and far. I am grateful for each day that dawns and finds me well and employed. I am grateful that I have plenty and enough to share. I am grateful for my little kitty who makes us laugh every day with her antics.
I am so fortunate. Happy Thanksgiving....I hope you all have plenty.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Engineer Baker: TWD: Thanksgiving Twofer Bars

Engineer Baker: TWD: Thanksgiving Twofer Bars

Baking Time

I have been getting my recipes together for my Christmas marathon of baking! I just found Tanya's (Sunday Baker) pistachio bread recipe that is going to be a great addition next to my Spumoni biscotti recipe. They both use pistachios and cherries and will be so festive.
Here is the recipe:

Spumoni Biscotti

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsps baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1/2 tsp almond extract
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup shelled pistachios, coarsely chopped
1 cup well-drained maraschino cherries, patted dry and coursely chopped
small bag of semi-sweet chocolate chipsDirections
Combine flour, baking powder and salt;
Beat butter with sugar until fluffy; beat in eggs, one at a time and add extracts;
Add in flour mixture and beat well;
Stir in cherries and nuts;
Shape dough into 2 logs and place on baking sheets lined with parchment paper;
Bake at 325 degrees for 40 minutes or until edges start to brown;
Remove from oven and reduce heat to 250 degrees;
Allow logs to cool slightly;
Using a serrated or bread knife, cut logs into 1/2 inch thick, diagonal slices;
Transfer slices to baking sheets;
Bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until edges are golden and cookies are almost completely dry;
Cool on rack.
While cooling, melt chocolate in microwave;
Dip half of each cookie into melted chocolate; set on wax paper to dry;
Store in an airtight container.

These are just go good with tea or coffee. Speaking of which, I would love to be curled up on the couch with my kitty, with a hot cup of tea and watch the snow that is falling right now. It looks like we may have a white Thanksgiving. See you tomorrow.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Back again

I am off to my Nia exercise class. This is the one wonderful thing I do formyself each week. If you have never done Nia, check out on It is a combination of many techniques, many of which are free flowing dance and movement. After an hour of tha, I am rejuvenated and ready for the week ahead.

I am also looking at different blogs and wow, there is a world of wonderful people out there. I am so excited to learn and share ideas and trends.

Have a great evening.

Tote this along

Speaking of Tanya and her Sunday Baker blog, she is giving away a great tote. Stop in and take a look.

Thanksgiving Week

Well, it is countdown time. My husband is running some last minute errands and soon we will be in the throes of cooking and baking for Thursday. Over the weekend, I made some wonderful apricot bars that I found on Tanya's Sunday Baker blog. You just have to try and buttery. They are a definite addition to the cookie tray for this Christmas.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Busy Weekend

We had a lot of family for the weekend, but I must say it was so much fun. We went to a Holiday Open House at the Rome Community Arts Center in Rome, NY which was just beautiful.
Cooking yesterday was wonderful and we tried a few new recipes. One of the sides was from this month's Bon Apetit and was a big hit! Here is the recipe:

Broccolini with Pecan-brown butter

· 2 1/4 to 2 1/2 pounds broccolini (about 4 bunches)
· 6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) butter
· 1/4 cup finely chopped shallots (about 2 medium)
· 1 garlic clove, chopped
· 1/2 cup toasted pecans, coarsely chopped
· Coarse kosher salt
· Bring large pot of salted water to boil. Add broccolini; stir to separate and cook 2 minutes. Drain. Transfer broccolini to paper towels to drain. Cool. DO AHEAD Can be made 1 day ahead. Wrap broccolini in several layers of clean paper towels; enclose in resealable plastic bag and chill.
· Melt butter in extra-large skillet over medium heat. Add shallots and garlic, then pecans; sauté until shallots are soft, about 3 minutes. Increase heat to medium-high; stir constantly until butter is browned and pecans are aromatic, about 3 minutes. Add broccolini to skillet and toss gently until heated through, about 7 minutes. Season to taste with coarse salt and pepper. Transfer to platter and serve.

Try it and hope you enjoy it as much as we did!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Planning Thanksgiving

I am so lucky that my husband is the cook at Thanksgiving. He is the turkey roaster and stuffing preparer! I do the baking and the cranberries. He makes his late dad's recipe for stuffing. It contains Italian sausage and is truly wonderful. No more stuffing the turkey anymore, however, because of health reasons. But a couple of nice pans of it are always made and devoured over the 4 days of the holiday. That reminds me..I still have to order our fresh turkey!

Getting Ready for the Holidays

Since we are traveling for the holidays this year, I have to make sure I am super organized.
Our daughter wants cookies...thank goodness we are driving...15 hours! But of course I will comply. Baking for the holidays has been a tradition for me and I have to make everyone's favorite. I have some new things to try this year thanks to all the baking sites I have been visiting. Just how much can you put on a cookie platter?

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

New to blogging

I am new to this and I hope to share some ideas for decorating and cooking with all of you out there who share the same interests. Because I work all week, my creative cooking and baking is reserved for the weekends. I do, however, try to make healthy and quicker meals during the week. I don't use frozen meals. They are expensive and loaded with things not good for you. I love fresh, local and from scratch recipes.
I hope you have a wonderful week and I look forward to sharing thoughts.