All posts tagged holiday

dark chocolate-cornflake marshmallow treats.

chocolate-dipped cornflake marshmallow treats.

You guys, Easter is upon us. I don’t know about you, but I’m bound by some age-old, preschool-centric law which requires me to fill easter eggs with something and hide them strategically around my home. If I don’t? who knows what could happen. Continue reading →

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italian tricolor [rainbow] cookies.

italian tricolor / rainbow cookies.

Okay, so Tricolor / Rainbow cookies – you knew these had to show up this week, right? It’s the quintessential Italian-American bakery treat: those colors aren’t supposed to denote christmas, people, those colors are to celebrate the Italian flag. And they look a little tricky to make, so obviously…here I am, like a moth to a flame. And I brought charts.

italian tricolor [rainbow] cookies.

Continue reading →

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baci di dama (gluten-free chocolate-filled hazelnut cookies.)

baci di dama [chocolate-filled hazelnut cookies].

Baci di Dama: Italian for “disturbingly tedious cookie balls.” Even for me, who relishes a difficult task. And not just part of the process, either: every single step is rife with things which can and will irritate you. Easy to make? Nope. Fun? Not in the slightest; no one is going to throw any Baci di Dama cooking-making parties anytime soon, at least not around here. If you’re interested, hazelphiles (and I know some of you are), this one’s for you. Hopefully my little tutorial will eliminate some aggravation, and you can get right to the best part: popping them in your mouth, one by one, ad nauseum. Continue reading →

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pignoli [pine nut] cookies.

pignoli [pine nut] cookies.

Imagine for a moment that it’s the holiday season, and you have an Italian Nonna in town for a visit.

Now imagine I am that visiting Nonna. Let’s talk cookies.

Blame it on Bravo, or the Real Housewives of New Jersey, but I’ve had an obsession with Italian-American holiday cookies ever since Theresa berated Melissa for bringing sprinkle cookies instead of pignoli cookies to Christmas Eve. I relate to these women for many reasons: there are aspects of my personality which, in another life, would have made me a spectacular Jersey-born Italian-American. I’m emotional and passionate…about everything. I talk with my hands, I’m independent, I have lots of opinions – some founded, some completely crazy – which I will defend to the death, and I relish a healthy argument every now and again. Most importantly, I believe in honoring history and carrying on old school traditions, and I think Italian-Americans in particular do this extremely well. Continue reading →

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chocolate-covered cherry, apricot, + walnut biscotti.

chocolate-covered cherry, apricot, + walnut biscotti.

It’s American Thanksgiving week, friends! Are you hosting this year? Are you stoked about your menus? Have you thought about what you’ll do with the leftovers yet? Of course you have, because that’s what food-centric individuals do this year: focus 100% of their efforts on the prepping, pre- and post-game, and general food merry-go-round which revolves around the main event happening this Thursday. Hooray for Thanksgiving, I say. Continue reading →

Well-Seasoned: a feature article + recipes for Feast Magazine.

well-seasoned: a feature article for Feast Magazine.

As I mentioned in the previous post, Feast asked me to do a feature article for the November issue. Here’s how they asked (I’m paraphrasing):

“Shannon, we’d like to feature some locally-packaged products in the magazine, and we think you’d be a good fit for it. We’ll need an intro and some recipe development. Would you be interested?”

Here’s what I heard:

“Shannon, It’s your turn to make thanksgiving dinner this year…for everyone.”

My sophisticated response:

(trepidation…hesitation…doubting myself…) OKAY!!!” *exceedingly large grin*

I equate November issues of food magazines to the September issues of Vogue: important, defining, and critical to the advancement of the human race. Food-centric magazines I don’t buy any other time of year end up in my house during November because of the recipes. Continue reading →

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bloody brains petit fours [for halloween, silly.]

bloody brains petit fours.

That’s not a typo: I said brains.

It’s Halloween week! and around my house, that means Halloween craft projects, a near-constant debate over what costume to wear, and me holding off on buying candy until right before Halloween night due to my lack of control around the sweets of my youth.

allow me to give you this little Halloween project to make, if you so desire, for your Halloween festivities. Totally kid-friendly by design, but adults will love them also; anyone can make these, and if I were that kind of blogger, I’d call these “6-ingredient popcorn petit fours.” Continue reading →

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you’re invited: the wee one’s birthday party, 2014.

you're invited: the wee one's birthday, 2014.

The Wee One is officially 4 years old! Can you believe it? She’s got some nerve, growing up this fast. When I started the blog, she looked like this:

you're invited: the wee one's birthday, 2014.


Now, she looks like this: grown up enough to be slightly awkward and self-conscious in posed photographs. To me, it’s just another delightful way in which she and I are identical. Continue reading →

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tsoureki! [greek easter bread.]


Hello, and welcome to perhaps the only recipe I’ve ever made which makes use of not one, not two, but all three of your stand mixer’s standard attachments. Hooray! It’s like the Holy Grail of Baking.

People of Greece: I want to thank you for this bread. Thank you for making this an essential part of your Greek Easter celebration, thank you for its incredible flavor, its delightful sweetness, and most especially for my ability to make it on my very first try without utter failure. I would have cried had it not worked out, because just the scent of the dough was enough for me to long for it. Seriously, this may be my most favorite sweet dough ever. And I’m going to show you how to make it. Continue reading →

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easy holiday teachers’ gifts (featuring cinnamon ornaments.)

easy teacher gifts.

Food is on the way, friends: I promise you. But until then, we craft.

I hope, for those of you who have school-age children, that you didn’t miss the boat on teachers’ gifts this year. The half-hour of my yesterday I spent at the Wee One’s preschool only confirmed what I already knew, and that is that teachers of pre-school age children deserve to be paid way more than football players, actors, or anyone else, for that matter. Have you ever spent any amount of time with 20+ 3 year olds? It’ll steal a part of your soul. It will suck the life force right out of you. You’ll feel like curling up into a tiny ball and hiding under very small furniture. There is not enough time on this earth for me to outline the amount of things I’d rather do than spend 5 minutes with pre-kindergarteners. Except for mine, and she is awesome. Continue reading →

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