Christmas Gifts From the Kitchen

Peppermint Cookies with Cherry Center

I really like giving stuff I made in my kitchen to my friends, neighbors, and Spane’s school. So, this year I decided that I was going to give out some of the fudge and cookies that the kids made at the Kid’s Christmas Party on Saturday.

Life has been hectic since then, and Spane really wanted to help me to decorate the Roll Out Cookies. Today was also the last day of school before the winter break, a perfect opportunity to give his teacher and the front office some nice treats.

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Children’s Christmas Party

Leo (in red) and Mateo holding the White Chocolate Cherry cookies

Today is the 17th of December, in the year of our Lord, 2011. My friend Valencia had emailed me about having her child come for a sleep over a few weeks ago. Spane then came to me and asked if his other friend could sleep over. Then Spane and Noelle started practicing Rudolf the Red Nosed Reindeer at the park, and the idea sparked in my head to have a kid’s Christmas party.

So, today we’re baking and making candy. I’m writing down the recipes on cards that I’ll give to the children so we won’t have to do anything with the computer except take pictures.

Here’s what we’re going to make:

Before we get cooking, here’s a little entertainment for you. Presenting Mr. Leo, Mr. Spane, and Miss Noelle doing their rendition of Rudolf the Red Nosed Reindeer. Amber and I are backup singers (seriously, we’re off camera).


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Apple Cranberry Raisin Puff Pastries

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Apple Puff Pastries with Apple Topping

Apple Pastry with Apple Topping

On September 24, 2011, I gave you the recipe for the Shabby Chic Apple Raisin Crostata, but it did not have any pictures. That crostata was so good I decided to make another one, but this time, I got a combination of raisins and dried cranberries, and instead of pie dough, I bought ready made frozen puff pasty.

This was my first time working with puff pastry, other than making Chicken Cordon Bleu a la Wellington, so this was more of an experiment that anything else. I had enough dough and filling to make a turnovers, too, but, I wasn’t paying attention, and they got a little over cooked. No problem, the others turned out fine, and the over done ones will still get eaten.

Let’s start cooking:

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Oreo Rum Balls

I am sorry we have no pictures of the Rum Balls. It was really hot in Glendale on Wednesday, September 7, 2011, that as I formed the balls, they immediately started to flatten, so I had Rum Pancakes instead. I’ll make them again when it’s cooler and take pictures.

On Tuesday, my local Ralph’s had Oreos on sale, 2 packages for $5.00, so I bought one to eat with milk, and one to make rum balls. I also got a package of Duncan Hines Fudge Frosting.

Oh, the humanity! Some of you are saying this I am sure, but that’s okay. Rum Balls are made at bakeries from cake remnants, so using packaged cookies and packaged frosting I think is still okay. Even though my Rum Balls got flat, after they were refrigerated, they were still very rich and good.

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Pickled Watermelon Rind and Pickled Beets – I’m in a Pickle!

Recipes in this Post Pickled Watermelon Rind

In Act 5, Scene 1, of Shakespear’s The Tempest, King Alonso asks his jester, Trinculo, “How camest thou in this pickle?” And the drunk Trinculo – who has indeed gotten into trouble – responds “I have been in such a pickle since I saw you last …”

Well, I’m not in that sort of pickle. I made Watermelon Rind Pickles. Let me tell you, that was quite the journey.

Four great things about watermelons:

  1. The meat tastes great on a summer day. The redder the better, I say!
  2. The black seeds can be salted and baked in the oven for about 10 minutes to make something very similar to sunflower seeds, only you eat the whole thing. You cannot get the black seeds in a seedless watermelon, however, so you may have to go to an organic or farmer’s market to find them.
  3. The juice of the watermelon makes a fine drink when filtered through a very fine mesh. Pantyhose work very well for this, clean of course!
  4. The rinds make delicious pickles, so you can have watermelon with your roast pork in the winter time when summer is only a warm memory. The best rinds are from the larger melons, usually the ones with seeds, so if you want good pickles, you might want to get melon with seeds.

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Cookies for Spane – May Crowning Day

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Spane's Religious Education Class Picture taken 2011

Spane's class picture, 2011

May 12, 2010 was Spane’s last day in Catechism for the year. It was also the May Crowning at our parish.

Maria had asked me weeks ago if we were going to have anything special for the children, like we did for Christmas. Last week when I saw Sandra, and she mentioned that she was going to BUY cookies for a gathering after class. I told her to not buy cookies, that I would happily make cookies and bring them. Since I knew it would be the May Crowning, I thought that flowers would be appropriate.
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