Thursday, March 24, 2016

Holiday Time Recipes - Biscotti

One of my favorite recipes during the holidays which seems to be made in many households, including mine is biscotti. Now I am not sure why I only make this during the holidays as it is a treat that can be enjoyed all year long. 

If you are not familiar with this treat, it is a twice baked cookie and the name is derived from an old French word bescoit  passed into the english word of biscuit. Many people like these cookies a bit hard as it is used as a dipping cookie with coffee. The recipe can be modified to shorten the cooking time for a softer cookie. 


You will need:
  • 2 C Sugar
  • 1 C butter or margarine (melted)
  • 1/4 C Anise seeds
  • 3 TBLS Whiskey, or 2 TSP vanilla and 2 TBLS water
  • 1/4 C anisette or other anise-flavored liqueur
  • 6 Eggs
  • 5 1/2 C all-purpose flour
  • 3 TSP baking powder
  • 2 C coarsely chopped almonds 

  • In a large bowl, stir together sugar, butter, anise seeds anisette and whiskey.
  • Beat in eggs.
  • In another bowl, stir together flour and baking powder; gradually add to sugar mixture, blending thoroughly. Mix in almonds
  • Cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2 to 3 hours. 
  • Shape dough with your hands to form a flat loaves about 1/2 inch thick and 2 inches wide directly onto a greased baking sheet.
  • Place loaves parallel and 4 inches apart.
  • Bake in a 375 degree oven for about 20 minutes or until lightly browned. 
  • Remove loaves from oven and let cool on baking sheets until you can touch them. Cut diagonally into 1/2 to 3/4 inch thick slices 
  • Place close together on cookie sheet, cut sides down and bake in oven for an additional 15 minutes.
If you are going for the softer cookie, you will not need to re bake the additional 15 minutes...but you will have a softer cookie that is more likely to crumble when dipped into your hot coffee!


Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Challenge #15 Midway: Optional Theme--Holiday Decorations

We have reached the midway point of Challenge #15.  YaY!  I finally got  the winner announcement posted for Challenge #13--now I just have to take care of Challenge #14.  Hopefully, I will be able to get the winner announcement done sometime during the course of this next week or so--man, my fingers are doing a lot of crossing these days.

 Right now, it is time to see what the Merry Maidens have been up to with their images from A Day For Daisies, our guest sponsor for this month!

Check out the sweet images that the team worked with this month for the midway of the challenge.  Clicking on any of the image watermarks will take you to their spot in the A Day For Daisies store.

Christmas Light Fairy
Christmas Light Fairy


Penguin Snowman
Penguin Snowman

 Christmas Bulbs
Christmas Bulbs

Christmas Ornaments to Hang
Christmas Ornaments to Hang

Tree Angel
Tree Angel

Christmas Poinsettia
Christmas Poinsettia

Tower of Gifts
Tower Of Gifts

Vintage Tree Party
Vintage Tree Party

While team members had the option of working with any of my Décosse's Dynamite Doodles papers, I did create a special set aptly called Holiday Decorations.  Check out the preview...

Everyone who links up a minimum of two cards during the month of March will earn ONE of the digital papers from this set. The specific paper up for grabs will be shown during the winner announcement post. Additionally, one random winner will earn the full set of papers.

Have your say in determining which paper will be offered to those who link up a minimum of two cards this month by completing the poll in the sidebar on the top right hand side.

Now check out what the Merry Maidens came up with to inspire you.  As I mentioned in the recent new DT announcement, we have three new Merry Maidens joining us--Christine, Granmargaret and Janet!  Monica is also here with a card!  Additionally, as I mentioned at the start of the challenge, Christina, from the Sleigh Belles, was away on business so she'll be joining us here today too.  Clicking on the names will take you to the individual blogs where you can check out the details for all these wonderful cards.

So if you haven't entered already, what are you waiting for?   It is time to link up your Christmas and other holiday cards for March.  Whether you choose to link up two Anything Goes themed cards simply to earn your free paper this month, or you choose to also follow the optional theme to have a chance at the sponsor's prize, it is completely up to you! 

Here is a refresher of the details for this challenge...

Please remember that this is a CARDS ONLY link up.  While we've had some lovely tag entries in the past, we've sadly had to disqualify them.

Optional Theme:  Holiday Decorations
I don't know about you, but one of the things that I love about Christmas time is the decorations that I see up all over the place.  Whether in people's homes, or out and about in the community, there are such a wide variety of beautiful holiday decorations to choose from.  Strings of lights, wreaths on doors, stockings on mantles (or in the case of my house, hanging from the piano!), window paintings, tree ornaments, angels on trees--the list goes on and on!  This month, let's bring some of those holiday decorations to your cards!

In order to have a chance to win the prize from our wonderful guest sponsor this month, make sure that your card has a holiday decoration on it in some form or other (i.e. lights, wreaths, ornaments, etc.).  The decoration can be in the image, part of your papers or even as a separate embellishment.  If you do follow the optional theme, be sure to add FT after your name so that we include you in the draw for the prize.

Remember, you don't need to follow the theme to link up your cards and earn a free paper each month, and have your name thrown into the year end draw for some extra digital goodies.  You only need to follow the theme if you want a chance to win this month's sponsored prize of a $12.00 gift certificate from A Day For Daisies.

If you are new to this unique challenge, you can find out the impetus behind why I started it under the 'Introductions' tab.  As this is a unique kind of link up where we have both an anything goes Christmas option and an optional theme to follow, be sure to read all the details and rules you need to know in order to participate, by checking out the 'Challenge Details' tab (both tabs located at the top of the blog).

You can find the Challenge Details Summary along with the link up for Challenge #15 by clicking HERE.

 Don't Forget, if everything goes according to plan...

  • Be sure to join us on next week when Monica will be here to share a Christmas recipe with you all.
  • Then hopefully I will get the winner announcement for Challenge #14 posted.
  • Next up it will be time for our new challenge to start on April 1st.
  • Pat will be back in April to share a tradition with all of you.
  • Then, the winners from Challenge #15 will hopefully be posted on April 8th.
  • Other special posts may be published throughout the month.  Be sure to sign up to have our posts delivered by email or follow us through Bloglovin' so you don't miss a thing!

We look forward to seeing you participate!

Tuesday, March 08, 2016

Challenge #13 Winners Announcement

I believe it is high time that I got the winner announcement ready for Challenge #13.  I promise to do my best to start working on the announcement for Challenge #14 as soon as I possibly can.  I do appreciate all your patience during my recent medical flare up.

I was so happy to see that several entries actually used our sketch!  So, right now it is time to announce the winner and our top three Stocking Stuffers from Challenge #13.  Are you one of those lucky peeps?!  Let's find out!

Marie, you are the winner of a $15 gift certificate to Ike's Art, our guest sponsor for January (chosen by Mini Web Tool), based on all eligible participants (i.e., those entrants who followed the optional theme).

Marie, please send an email to the_12_moc_linkup {at} outlook {dot} com (or click HERE to bring the address up in your email program), with the subject, "12MoC Challenge #13 WINNER" to make arrangements to receive your prize.  Please note that it may take me several days to get back to you.  Thank you for your patience.  In the interim, please grab a copy of the winner badge below for your blog.

Next, it is time to get on with showcasing the top three.  With so many wonderful entries to choose from, this was once again a difficult task for the design team.  We did however settle on three awesome creations.  So, without further ado, here are our Stocking Stuffers for Challenge #13:

Congrats to our top three Stocking Stuffers! Veronika, Hazel and Nancy S., please grab a copy of the badge below for your blog.

Once again, in an effort to save me time and get the paper out to you more quickly, I will be sending it to everyone who has earned it.  It worked well for December's mail out so we'll continue to see how this process goes over the next few months.  Everyone who linked up two cards during the month of December was mailed their paper.  If you thought that you had linked two, but did not receive it, please contact us and let us know and we'll look into it for you.

The individuals who linked up a minimum of two cards each, qualifying them to receive the digital paper from January will receive the paper with the stars which garnered 40% of the votes.   I have included the watermark of it, below...

To all of you who linked up during January, thanks ever so much!  We are so happy to have all of you with us and hope that you'll continue to link up your holiday cards throughout 2016!!!

Now, if it turns out that you thought you had linked up two cards but don't receive your paper via email by March 15th, please be sure to let us know and we'll sort things out.  Papers will be sent to the email address that qualifying participants used when they added their cards to the Link Up.

Once again, we are going to have a random draw from all the entries and give out the set of six papers to one lucky individual.  The papers are all made so why not have an extra prize!  Here is the watermark for the full set..

The winner of the Merry Mix 1 Mini Kit is (chosen by

Megan, instead of simply sending you the one paper that you earned, I will be sending out the whole set to you via the email address you used when linking up your cards.

Well folks, that is it for today.  While you are here, please be sure to check out the details for our current challenge going on now (if you haven't already), with the Optional Theme this month of being a "Holiday Decorations".  You can find out all the details along with the link up, by clicking HERE.

Also, be sure to join us on March 15th, for our midway post where you'll get to see cards created by the Merry Maidens!  Then during the third week of the month, Monica will hopefully be here to share a holiday recipe with you all.  Other special posts may be published throughout the month including the Winner Announcement for Challenge #14 as I am determined to catch up!  Be sure to sign up to have our posts delivered by email or follow us through Bloglovin' so you don't miss a thing!

Until next time,

Friday, March 04, 2016

Holiday Time Tradition & Recipe

Hello everyone!  I'm popping in today to share a combined Holiday Tradition and link to a recipe from Pat, one of our Merry Maidens!  I always love learning something new about the many unique traditions related to the Christmas season celebrated by different cultures.  I hope you will as well!

Three Kings Day

Most of us have heard about the three “kings” who came to the Christ child bearing gifts of frankincense, gold and myrrh. The original trio were called Magi, meaning “learned scholars.” They came from the East following a star that outshone all others in the night sky after interpreting its meaning to be that a great king was to be born. This day celebrated around the world, is called Epiphany, Three Kings Day, Little Christmas, and more.

Lots of traditions have sprung from this celebration. Families of Mexican heritage celebrate the day serving up La Rosca de Reyes, or Three Kings bread. Good luck is supposed to be bestowed on the person who finds the tiny figure of the baby Jesus baked into his or her slice. The bread goes very well with Mexican hot Chocolate (very chocolatey with a touch of cinnamon). Once you try the bread and hot chocolate you’ll be speaking Spanish. “Que delicioso!”

There are countless recipes on the internet, but I like the one from Mely Matinez best. Here is her link: