Friday, November 27, 2009
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
A place of their own: Kids will have fun practicing their table-setting skills with colorful paper pieces.When kids learn to set the table, they discover what all those forks and spoons are for. A diagram can get them started.
Place-Setting Practice How-To Silverware is put in the order it will be needed; items used first go on the outside. There are a few exceptions; for example, dessert silverware goes above the plate. Kids can adjust what they set based on the meal. No soup? Don't put out the soupspoon. If adults will have wine, add a wineglass to the right of the water glass.click here to get the print-out template!
Monday, November 23, 2009
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
Entrance to the big chapel (too bad it was closed)
The land around the farm
Thursday, November 12, 2009
White Chocolate-Cherry Christmas Fudge
Line the bottom and sides of an 8-inch square pan with parchment paper.
In a saucepan over medium heat, combine the confectioners’ sugar and half-and-half. Add the butter and bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Once the mixture reaches a boil, stop stirring and let it cook for 5 minutes. It will be thick.
Reduce the heat to low and stir in the chocolate, whisking until smooth. Stir in the dried cherries and vanilla extract. Pour the mixture into the prepared pan. Chill until firm, about 2 hours.
Invert the pan onto a cutting board, lift off the pan, and peel off the parchment. Cut the fudge into 1-inch squares. Cute the maraschino cherries in half. Remove seventy-two mint leaves from the mint sprigs (the smaller the leaves, the better). To decorate the fudge, place a maraschino half, cut-side down, on the fudge, pressing it gently into the fudge to adhere. Place two mint leaves at the top of the cherry to resemble cherry leave, pressing the gently into the fudge to adhere.
Store in an airtight container for up to 1 week
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
Dried Cranberry–Pecan Stuffing
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 medium Vidalia or sweet yellow onions, chopped
6 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme or 2 teaspoons dried, divided Salt Freshly ground black pepper
5 stalks celery, chopped
1/2 cup very thinly sliced fresh basil leaves, divided
1 1/2 cups chopped fresh parsley, divided
10 cups cubed bread (see headnote above)
1 cup dried cranberries, cherries, or tomatoes
1 cup (3 1/2 ounces) pecan halves or other nuts, coarsely chopped
1 to 1 1/2 cups milk
1. In a large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of the butter and the oil over medium-low heat. When the butter has melted and begins to sizzle, add the onions and garlic and cook, stirring, for about 8 minutes, or until the onions are soft. Season with half the thyme and some salt and pepper. Add the celery, half of the basil, and half of the parsley, and cook for 5 minutes, stirring frequently, or until the celery is just beginning to soften. The celery should still have somewhat of a crunch.
2. Meanwhile, place the bread in a large bowl, and mix in the remaining thyme, basil, parsley, the dried cranberries, and pecans. Pour the celery mixture from the skillet on top of the bread and gently toss to mix all of the ingredients. Place the skillet back over low heat and add the milk and the remaining 1 tablespoon butter and simmer for 2 to 4 minutes, using a spatula to scrape up any bits and pieces clinging to the bottom of the skillet. Pour 1 cup of the hot milk mixture over the bread and toss; the stuffing should be somewhat moist. If the stuffing seems dry, add the remaining 1/2 cup milk. Season to taste.
3. If making the stuffing more than an hour ahead of time, cover and refrigerate until you are ready to stuff the bird. The stuffing can also be placed in a lightly greased baking dish or casserole and baked at 350 degrees F for about 20 minutes, or until hot throughout. If possible, baste with some of the turkey juices from the bottom of the turkey pan to keep the stuffing moist.
Variations -- Add 1 dozen freshly shucked oysters (and their juices) to the skillet when the celery is cooking and cook for about 1 minute. They add a rich, briny flavor. -- Add 1 pound sweet sausage (taken out of the casing) to the skillet along with the onions and cook for about 8 minutes, until golden brown. -- Add 1 cup roasted, coarsely chopped chestnuts instead of or in addition to the pecans
Cranberry pepper biscotti
Put first 6 ingredients into large bowl. Stir. Make a well in center.
Cream butter and sugar in medium bowl. Add eggs 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Add to well. Stir until soft dough forms. Turn out onto lightly floured surface. Knead 6 times. Divide dough in half. Shape each half into 8 inch long log. Place logs crosswise on greased baking sheet about 3 inches apart. Flatten logs slightly to 3/4 inch thickness. Bake in 350ºF oven for about 25 minutes until edges are golden. Remove from oven. Let stand for about 10 minutes until cool enough to handle. Using serrated knife, cut logs diagonally into 1/2 inch slices. Arrange, cut-side down, on greased baking sheet. Reduce heat to 275ºF. Bake for about 20 minutes until bottoms are golden. Turn slices over. Turn oven off. Let stand in oven for about 30 minutes until dry and crisp.
1 biscotti: 102 Calories; 4.2 g Total Fat (1.1 g Mono, 1.2 g Poly, 1.5 g Sat); 23 mg Cholesterol; 14 g Carbohydrate; 1 g Fibre; 2 g Protein; 47 mg Sodium
Make Ahead: The biscotti may be baked up to 2 weeks ahead of time and stored in an airtight container at room temperature. For longer storage time, these freeze well for up to 3 months.
Fill a large glass punch bowl with ice. Pour in ginger ale, raspberry syrup, and lime juice. Stir. Serve in a glass punch cup, garnished with a slice if candied lime.