Wednesday, February 25, 2015

BISCOTTI....My Way....or Your Way.

I had a request for todays' baking project....
It was freezing cold...a bit of snow and the Boss was
Out of the House...
So I baked...
I love Biscotti and I love to make them trying
different ingredients...so Today looking through my
Pantry I found a container of candied fruit that I picked up on the
clearance table at Publix after the Holidays...
I have always loved Fruitcake...yes...I'm one of "those"
People...
So I thought I would try Fruitcake Biscotti...
Here is the recipe...it's simple...it's quick and
they came terrific....
at the end of the recipe I'll add some other variations you
can try because we know...
"everyone hates fruitcake"....

Easy Biscotti

2 cups of flour
1 1/2 teaspoon of baking powder
1/4 teaspoon of salt...
3/4 cup of sugar
1/2 (1 stick) of softened butter
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon of vanilla
chose your added ingredients....a list is below...

Preheat oven to 350 degrees...
Line a heavy large baking sheet with parchment paper. Whisk the flour, the baking powder and the salt in a medium bowl.
Using an electric mixer or your Kitchen Aid beat the sugar and the butter to blend..... add the eggs one at a time...
Add your chosen ingredients and beat just until blended...
form the dough into two 12" long 2" wide log...I use either
a Tablespoon or a Rubber Spatula to form the log as the dough will be sticky....You want enough room between the two so they
don't bake together....if that happens just use your knife to
separate them...
Bake until light golden brown for about 30 minutes. Cool about 15 minutes...
On a cutting board cut the logs on the diagonal into 3/4" thick slices.....arrange the Biscotti sides down on the baking sheet and pop back in to the oven which has been reduced to a
325 Degree Temperature....
Bake until they are golden brown....shut off the oven...open the door but leave the Biscotti in the oven for a bit longer...
when they smell so good you can't stand it any longer....remove...


Cool and get that cup of tea or coffee and enjoy!!
I prefer to leave them in until they are a little darker then golden...it gives them a wonderful taste and a great crumbly texture....

Here are the variations....

To the batter blend in....
Fruitcake.....a handful of toasted pecans, 1/4 cup of Golden raisins, 1/2 cup of candied red and green cherries and pineapple....
Add anything you love in fruitcake...dried apricots different types of nuts....anything fruity and nutty....

Another wonderful type is adding 1 1/2 teaspoons of Anise Seed plus 1 cup of Mini-semi-sweet chocolate chips...
Sounds like an odd combination but the Anise seed with the chocolate is a great taste together...

Traditional Almond Biscotti....
Add a teaspoon of Pure Almond Extract plus one cup toasted sliced almonds....
Toasting nuts before baking gives them an even more nuttier flavor...

Pistachio Cranberry Biscotti...
1 cup of dried cranberries...1/2 cup of shelled pistachio's
and 1 teaspoon of either vanilla extract or orange extract...

My "add on" ingredients are as much as I like....I don't stick to actual measurements....I just do a Rachel Ray and throw in
handfuls of whatever....
So whatever looks good to you....
But the more the better....don't skimp...

I plan on trying dried banana and walnuts....
also dried pineapple and Macadamia Nuts...
You get the Idea...


Now Babs....Put down those Nonni's Biscotti you bought at
Whole Foods and get in the kitchen and
Create your own!!

Bon App├ętit !!

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

HOW WOULD YOU LIKE TO BE BARBIE FOR A DAY!!

It's that time of year again when
This crazy person hiding behind the door
throws an equally crazy
"dress-up" party....
Last year (here) we all showed up dressed in
Downton Abbey Garb....
This year...
Be a Barbie for the Day!!
This is our friend Joyce....
"Queen of the Crazies"...
Once a Blogger now just a 60ish housewife
who just likes to have fun...
You might remember reading how on our last
trip to Ikea she set off all the kitchen timers in
the Housewares Department...
If we find stuffed animal hats we will be
the two who will try them on...
Okay someone out there might think...
Oh how immature these ladies are..
We like to think that having fun and laughing
Keeps you Young!!
So when we got the invitation about coming
dressed up as a Barbie doll everyone get
excited....
I mean...we all grew up with Barbie in the 50's and
60's....this would be perfect....
We left all the hi jinx and decorating up to
Joyce....
And the rest of us concentrated on our
costumes....
Does anyone remember playing this as a kid??
Barbie Queen of the Prom...
Who would get stuck going to the Prom with
Pointdexter?
Joyce left nothing un-decorated....
Barbies were everywhere...
Table set....Goodie Bags in place...
Barbie memorabilia everywhere you looked...
With this Group...
It's all about the food...
Our place cards to suit each of us....
Look it's a Beetle convertible!
we even had Barbie's Dream House....
more on this later on...
worth reading the long post to see what was on the other
Side...
I was the first to arrive....
Outfit from Forever 21...
I thought it was appropriate..
I'm suppose to be the original 1959 Barbie..
I did have a black and white striped bathing suit
just like the doll...But didn't want to scare the other
Ladies by actually wearing it...
Hard to see but there was a big pony tail
attached to the back of my head....which is
what is hiding the "ie" in Barbie on my top..
Heels were out of the question with my horrible
tootsies....and I figured if Barbie was my age...
She would be wearing flats too...
Note: the MFG. tag on my arm...
Our Rose....The world's most talented and creative
Blogger there has ever been...came as...
Hot Flash Barbie....
"How to Survive Menopause without Killing
Someone"....
For 50 and over.....This Barbie comes with a
portable fan...
Mood Swings...
Gray Roots...
Muffin Top...
Chin Hair...
Reading glasses....and
Pantyliners...
Miss Cheri came looking adorable dressed as
1950's Barbie going to a Sock Hop...
We would all like to know how this Barbie stays so
Young and Thin....She never ages...
It's like she stepped right out of 1959...
Cheri....share your secret please....
In the middle of saying "Bon Jour"
Our Favorite Francofile....
Miss Linda of the Blog..
A La Carte...
complete with FiFi the Poodle and her
pink Beret....
Linda....do you sleep in that hat???
Linda lived a lifelong dream last year during the
"Year of Linda"...as she penned it
And got to see Paris for the first time...I have
a feeling it will not be her last trip...
Our dear sweet Sandie...
Who represented all the Breast Cancer Survivor
Barbies out there...
Sandie we are all so proud of how strong and positive you
are...
I always love to get a candid shot when trying to
get everyone to pose for the camera...
They were paying no attention to me...
This is Better....
Joyce matched up the Barbies to match each
of us....This was Rose's who is the Queen of
everything Christmas...

No matter where we all came from we are
Now all Officially "Southern Ladies"...
So of course BBQ was on the menu...
We had pulled pork or pulled chicken....
cole slaw...baked beans...mac and cheese
and corn muffins...
"Say Yes to the dress".....
That would be the pink icing dress!
The chocolate cake was fabulous...
Okay....here is what you all stuck around for....
Believe me it's worth it...and if you thought
we were a little crazy before....well......
Here is Barbie's "Happy Life"....
Married to Ken....living in a McMansion...
Wearing beautiful designer gowns....
Barbie has it all....
Or so you thought.....
Here is the Real Story behind Barbie...
Barbie's House of Horrors.....
I know I know...but work with me here...You'll have to admit
this is funny....a little sick maybe... but funny....
"Barbie waves Goodbye to Ken's Mother"
"Barbie strips down for the TSA"
"Barbie can not understand why Ken is asking
for a DNA test"
Self Explanatory........
"Ken is a Wife Beater but Barbie
is in Denial"......
"Again.....self explanatory"...
Barbie Joins AARP in Prison!!
And last but certainly not least....
"Barbie waits for her stay of execution...
Always the Fashionista!!"
A fun time was had by all...we laughed for three
Hours Straight....
We may look like a bunch of nuts but believe me
everyone should have a group of fun friends
who get along so well...
We are not like the "Real Housewives of Atlanta"
No bickering....fighting....insulting....
I think we need our own show on Bravo!!

Next up...
Our very first "Road Trip"....
Five of us are going to the Biltmore Estate
in Asheville North Carolina in March...
They are having a costume exhibit from
Downton Abbey...an overnighter...
Who knows what trouble we'll get in to....
We threw around the idea of dressing up again
like last years party in our finest Downton frocks

Including the Dummy Board of Isis the Dog....
But then thought.....Nah....too far for our
Husbands to come and bail us out of jail....

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

THE CHRISTMAS QUEEN.......ROSE AND HER SANTAS.

It's that time of year again when the
Queen of all things Christmas
throws her annual Holiday Luncheon
This year was the "Ugly Sweater Party"
But the stars of the day were
Rose's Handmade Santas..... 
Can you say Talent on overload....
Rose use to Blog...
We all Miss Rose....
So every year I like to do a post on her
Fabulous Home....
And the most spectacular Christmas
Decorations you will ever see...
All made and designed by Rose...
This year would be lot's of
Ugly Sweaters...
On the table and on us lucky to
be invited...
Nothing is left un-decorated...
Here is our lovely Hostess....
and none other then Joyce....
ex-Blogger of "Flour Power" fame...
when I say everything is decorated.....
everything is decorated...
every inch...
And here is one of her
Fabulous creations...
For those of you who have never seen
these before...
Rose makes everything you see...
from the body to the clothing...
to the hand painted faces...

they are very large....
probably around 3 feet tall or more...
the ornaments come from Rose's
imagination....
she collects things all through the year
every where she goes...
Santa's are not her only talent...
the Lady can decorate....
She collects blue and white ware....
It's everywhere and it's Gorgeous!!
A new addition this year...
They converted a screened porch in to this
beautiful sun room...
See that wonderful sofa....
found at a garage sale...
Rose painted and distressed it and the
women even knows how to upholster
furniture....

The tree if filled with all
Santa ornaments..



The Dining Room....
Rose made this wreath from
vintage Christmas ornaments found
online and at thrift stores...
She's a milk glass collector too!
We all got party favors.....
Found at the Dollar Tree...
there is a container attached to the
grater that was filled with candy....
The card reads...
"To A Grate Friend Merry Christmas"
Can you see the miniature Sled
inside the Lantern...


It was an "Ugly Sweater Party"....and although
I left early I have a feeling Rose's Friend
Linda won the price....

Thanks Rose for a wonderful time...as always...
Can't wait for next year to see how you
can top yourself!!

Merry Christmas!