Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Mexican Wedding Cookies/Russian Teacakes

My other favorite Christmas cookie is Mexican Wedding Cookies or Russian Teacakes.  The recipes are very similar so it probably depends on what your family calls them.  Another butter based cookie great with coffee!

I also got this recipe from Food.com

Prep:  15 min   Total Time:  45 min  Serves: 36, Yield: 3 dozen


  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 1/4 cups sifted flour
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup cup nuts (walnuts or pecans)(or both)
  • Powdered sugar (for rolling baked cookies in)


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Cream together the butter and powdered sugar until light and fluffy.  Add Vanilla extract.
  3. Mix together flour and salt, gradually add to butter mixture.
  4. Stir in nuts.
  5. Form dough into 1 inch to 1-1/4 inch  balls and place onto parchment lined baking sheets.  
  6. Bake for 10-12 minutes or just until the cookies start to turn light golden brown.
  7. Remove from oven allow to cool slightly, roll in powdered sugar while still warm (but NOT hot) then cool on wire racks.
  8. Cookies can be rolled again when cooled in powdered sugar a second time once cooled to room temperature.
*1 inch balls will increase yield to 48 cookies*

Spritz Cookies

My favorite Christmas cookie is always Spritz cookies, maybe because they are basically just butter and sugar but they are simple to make.  Well besides using the cookie press.  We recently purchased a newer cookie press to replace our ancient one and it works much quicker.

This recipe is from Food.com, I usually use Betty Crocker, but switched it up this year.  Basically the same recipe.  I use vanilla instead of almond extract because we tend to prefer it and have it on hand all the time.

Prep Time:  25 mins  Total Time:  33mins   Yield:  36-42 cookies


  • 2 1/2 cups All Purpose Unbleached Flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tsp almond extract or (Vanilla Extract)
  • Colored decorating sugar or candies


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Combine dry ingredients in a small bowl
  3. In a large bowl cream together butter and sugar.
  4. Blend in the egg and almond extract; beat well.
  5. Gradually add the dry ingredients to the wet mixture.
  6. Press dough through the cookie press onto parchment lined baking sheets
  7. Sprinkle with decorating sugar or candies
  8. Bake 6-8 minutes until cookies are just starting to turn lightly brown.
  9. Cool on wire rack.

Cannoli Dip

I made this dip for our Family Christmas Eve desert and served with Chocolate graham crackers and waffle cones.   I found the original recipe on Pinterest from the CookingClassy blog, and modified it a little bit to fit my own Cannoli taste preferences.  I left out the heavy cream because I prefer a more traditional style cannoli filling. This is after refrigeration, it looks less like cookie dough when you first make it but I forgot to take a picture when I made it.

I preferred it to be a little sweeter than the original amount.  I would start with 2/3 and 1/4-1/3 cup more powdered sugar till the mixture is slightly sweet but not super sweet. Remember: You will be adding mini semi-sweet chocolate chips to the dip also.

Yield:  8-10 Servings


  • 16oz  Low-Fat Ricotta Cheese, Strained with paper towel or cheesecloth
  • 8oz    Mascarpone Cheese
  • 2/3 cup     Powdered Sugar (Start with 2/3 cup,  Add  1/4 cup-1/3 cup to desired sweetness) Extra for Dusting 
  • 1/2 cup mini-morsels semi-sweet chips
  • Chopped pistachios or nuts if desired for garnish or filling.


  1. Strain Ricotta Cheese by squeezing excess liquid out in several layers of cheesecloth or paper towel.  Remove as much excess liquid as possible. 
  2. In mixing bowl, beat together ricotta and mascarpone until smooth, gradually mix in powdered sugar.  I added about 1 cup of powdered sugar to the mixture.
  3. Fold in Chocolate Chips morsels or nuts.
  4. Serve with waffle cones, graham crackers, fried flour tortillas dusted with cinnamon, animal crackers, fruit, sugar cones,  etc.   

#FrostyVoxBox from Influenster

I received a complimentary box of goodies from various brands in a #FrostyVoxBox which is similar to the promotional boxes most brands send out now featuring their products.  I was excited to see what brands were in my box.  Here is a picture of the #FrostyVoxBox of goodies.

 Fruit Vines Bites- Addicting little things!  Did not last long! #SweetSide
 McCormick Naturals Gourmet Thyme- Can't wait to use in my Copycat Olive Garden Chicken and Gnocchi Soup!  #McCormickGourmet
 Love the Ecotools brush!  The vented styler and smoother is so versatile, the ball tip on the bristles are cushion like and massage the scalp and don't pull your hair when detangling.  #LoveMyEcoHairBrush   Plus its got a bamboo handle that is nice and wide so its comfortable to grip while drying or styling.
 NYC Expert Last LIP Color in Sugar Plum has a pleasant smell, feels smooth and moisture rich and has a pleasant feel.  Its supposed to last  up to 6 hours, I did not track how long it lasted but I did wear it Christmas Eve, but did not reapply or check whether it stayed on after dinner but my lips didn't feel dry all night.  #SugarPlum
 The Rimmel Gentle Eye Makeup Remover removed my eye makeup without any trouble.  I usually use Clinique's gently creme formula and this formula was pretty good although it still had somewhat of a rubbing alcohol affect (maybe just cooling) or due to the fact it has alcohol in it.  It did not burn my eyes or appear to dry out my skin so I will try again.  #Rimmel
The No7 packet I gave to my mom since she is a big fan of their line of products.  The sample was for the Protect and Perfect Intense Advanced Sachet.  #GetAdvanced
I have not tried my sample of tea yet but I love green tea and peppermint so I think if its not to overpowering that it will be a good combination.  It may need some raw honey to sweeten, then it would be ready for drinking on a cold day.   #CelestialTea

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Bailey, Boomer and Kiwi

Bailey enjoying his window seat with his self warming cushion.

Bailey and Boomer enjoying the comforts of soft blankets on the bed. 

                                       Kiwi  keeps jumping down and climbing up the hamper, crazy bird!
Its a tough life being a spoiled animal.