Chestnut Caramel Cheesecake

Sugar plums are nice but visions of cold winter nights, a roaring fireplace, mulled wine and roasted chestnuts dance in my head.  Especially during the holidays, chestnuts are a traditional holiday treat I always look forward to.  They become first available in the fall but I normally wait to purchase them until the holidays and through the winter months. Continue reading “Chestnut Caramel Cheesecake”

Sicilian Fig Cookies

I absolutely love the holiday season!!  In every way, the season is a magical and happy time!  Through the bustle of it all, I remind myself I am not overwhelmed… I’m overblessed!  I’m blessed with a sweet, loving daughter, a caring and kind son, and two little chihauhaus that love me endlessly!  And just when I least expect it….surprises come my way, like a visit from The Fairy Hobmother!!  Continue reading “Sicilian Fig Cookies”

Anisette Cookies

The Italian Anisette Cookie.  The familiar “S” shaped cookie with the white icing and colored sprinkles.  It just wouldn’t be an Italian Cookie Tray without it!  Many may not like the distinct licorice taste from the oil of anise so at times I’ve left it out to please those who were not familiar with it or in finding the crushed herb seeds in their cookies! Continue reading “Anisette Cookies”

Traditions of Christmas Pasts, Italian Tutu Cookies

My earliest memories of Christmas were watching my mother bake cookies.  The kitchen was filled with the most wonderful aromas as tray after tray of cookies emerged out of the oven.  My mother worked diligently and calmly; I often wonder how she effortlessly produced so many cookies.  She was also a perfectionist.  I had to learn how to apply the sprinkles on cookies just so by demonstrating that I would not overload them with sugar.  She had rolling and cutting out cookies to an art.   She cut the shapes precisely and close to each other not to waste dough as she said rerolling the dough caused the cookie to be tough.  Again, until I mastered that skill, I was not cutting out the cookies! Continue reading “Traditions of Christmas Pasts, Italian Tutu Cookies”

‘Twas the Night Before Christmas, Calamari Pomodoro

In many Italian homes Christmas Eve celebrates the Feast of Seven Fishes.  I say many homes, but not all Italian homes, as my family did not follow this tradition.  Christmas Eve was more about the children, getting together with my cousins, playing games and keeping ourselves busy until we were finally allowed to open our presents, pretty close to the midnight hour.  Among all the food served that night, it was the homemade Sicilian pizza that I reached for every time! Continue reading “‘Twas the Night Before Christmas, Calamari Pomodoro”

White Chocolate Hazelnut Cranberry Cheesecake

There will always be a cheesecake on my holiday menu.  I’ve made so many over the years I believe they are in direct competition for my love of biscotti!!  The true beauty of cheesecakes is that they can be frozen!  Preparing a cheesecake a few weeks ahead of your planned party is truly a time saver while your guests think you are an incredible hostess…..  “wow…she works full time, raises two kids and throws together fabulous dinner parties with homemade cheesecake!  how does she do it all??…”  Yes, just smile, we are in on the secret together and I never kiss…oops, bake and tell! Continue reading “White Chocolate Hazelnut Cranberry Cheesecake”

Its beginning to smell alot like Christmas

What better way to kick off the holiday season than to fill your home with the aromas of cinnamon, ginger and cloves.  I L.O.V.E Christmas!  Beginning right away by transforming my home from the pumpkins of Fall to pine cones, garland and glitz of the season.  In my kitchen, Gingerbread Boys tastefully decorate my windowsill, counter and table.  A small Christmas tree is also placed in my kitchen with various handmade and gifted Gingerbread boys.. and girls! Continue reading “Its beginning to smell alot like Christmas”