Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Seasons Greetings to All...

May all the days of Christmas bring you a gift of love from your love ones, and on the third day of Christmas, Three Fench Hens.  As the story goes the symbols of the french hens stand for Faith, Hope and Love, and with that you have everything.

I will be away for several days sharing my holiday with all of my family members and I wish you the happiest of holidays and all the gifts of the 12 days of Christmas.

Have a Merry, Merry Christmas and a safe and blessed New Years.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

My mini decorations this holiday...

I have been so terribly busy and really under the weather the past few weeks that I have been very bad in keeping up with my posts and comments.  I guess it is the time of year that gives us all too much to do and usually crummy weather to make us sick that we all have the same complaints.  So sorry but I think I have finally caught up and gotten my act together.

I am planning to move to a new and larger place after the new year so I decided to go with a minimum of decorations this Christmas.  I figured it would be less to unpack from storage and less to have to pack after Christmas if we just did one small tree and my favorite
Christmas decoration, St. Nick in the pink robe.  Tonight my minimal Christmas decorations are complete and as pretty as they are I feel like I'm missing tons of things.  I am crazy about the Christmas season and love all the many decorations I usually install.  I like to put different themes in different rooms and also use lots of garland and swags. Watch out next Christmas, with more space I will go crazy!

I have finished all the shopping and baking early this year so now it's just wrapping and making a couple of small pieces of jewelry for a gift exchange.  I'm hoping to be able to just kick back, open a bottle or two of wine and relax away the rest of the weekend.  Nice thought, hope it works that way!

I sure hope all is going well with all of you this season and you are at the spot in the craziness you would like to be.  I have a lovely glass of vino with me now and I send all of you a toast for the holiday. Cheers and wishing you a very safe, happy and blessed season!!

I'd love to hear how everyone else is making out with their plans this year. Drop me a note, your comments always brings smiles.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

A new favorite Christmas candy...

This past weekend my girlfriend and I, along with my Mom, spent hours making candy for Christmas and to sell at the holiday church bazaar next week. We made all of our favorites, Turtles, Pralines, Peppermint Bark, Toffee, Toffee Bark, Chocolate and Caramel covered Pretzels and this year my new favorite, Eggnog Truffles. Actually I am not much of an eggnog drinker unless I am served up someone’s homemade eggnog with a hit of rum or brandy but these wonderful little candies are fabulous. They taste wonderful and truly melt in your mouth. I know they will all sell at the church bazaar and we will have to make another batch the week before Christmas just for us. Try these, they are not difficult to do and they are worth the effort!

Note: I doubled this recipe with no trouble at all.
1 pound white baking chocolate, divided
4 ounces (1/2 package) cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup confectioners' sugar
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg. Fresh is best if you have it.
1/4 teaspoon McCormick® Imitation Rum Extract or ½ teaspoon Rum or Brandy
(I used the real Rum)
About two tablespoons of ground nutmeg for sprinkling. I use the fresh nutmeg

1. Melt 8 ounces of the chocolate as directed on package. Beat cream cheese, confectioners’ sugar, nutmeg and extract in large bowl with electric mixer on medium speed mixer until well blended and smooth. Add melted chocolate; beat until well mixed. Cover. Refrigerate 4 hours or until firm.

2. Shape into 24 (about 3/4-inch) balls. Place on wax paper-lined tray. Refrigerate until ready to dip.

3. Because when you drop each cold truffle into the melted white chocolate to coat you can only coat 12 truffles at a time. The temperature of the coating drops to cold to coat more than 12. I found just doing 10 at a time worked best. Then melt 4 ounces of the remaining chocolate in small microwavable bowl on MEDIUM (50% power) 1 1/2 minutes, stirring after 1 minute. Using a fork, dip 1 truffle at a time into the melted chocolate. Tap back of fork 2 or 3 times against edge of dish to allow excess chocolate to drip off. Place truffles on wax paper-lined tray. (If there are any “bald” spots on truffle, cover with melted chocolate that remains on the fork.) Sprinkle truffles with nutmeg between each batch while they are each still wet from dipping. Repeat with remaining 4 ounces chocolate and remaining truffles.
4. Refrigerate 1 hour or until chocolate is set. Store truffles between layers of wax paper in airtight container in refrigerator up to 1 week.

Don't be afraid of making any kind of truffles, they are easy to do just takes a little extra time. These are delightful and not an overwhelming eggnog taste so anyone will love them.