Archive for December, 2014

Biscochitos.

‘On the twelfth day of Christmas, my true love sent to me:, 12 Drummers Drumming, Eleven Pipers Piping, Ten Lords a Leaping, Nine Ladies Dancing, Eight Maids a Milking, Seven Swans a Swimming, Six Geese a Laying, Five Golden Rings, Four Calling Birds, Three French Hens, Two Turtle Doves, and a Partridge in a Pear Tree’…AND I give to you Biscochitos!

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Biscochitos are like the [New Mexico] state cookie. I do think they might have to grow on you but they have definitely grown on me, I could eat like 12 at one time if I let myself.

Here is the recipe

Ingredients:

1 ½ cups butter, crisco or lard*
1 cup plus 3 tablespoons sugar, divided
2 eggs
2 teaspoons anise seeds
4 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
About 3 tablespoons brandy or red wine
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

Directions:

Mix brandy or wine with anise seeds and let sit in cup for at least 30 minutes before baking cookies.

Preheat oven to 350°F. Beat butter* and 1 cup sugar in a bowl until fluffy. Add eggs and anise seed/brandy/wine mixture, and beat until very light and fluffy. Sift together flour, baking powder and salt. Add to creamed mixture. Mix thoroughly to make a stiff dough. Place dough on a long piece of waxed paper (towards one end). Bring the long end over the top and press to about one inch or slightly less in thickness and refrigerate until chilled; about 30 minutes at least.)

Roll out dough between waxed paper to just under ½ inch thickness. Cut with flour dusted cutters. Combine the 3 remaining tablespoons sugar and the cinnamon in a shallow bowl; dip unbaked cookies into the sugar-cinnamon mixture on one side. If dough seems to sticky do to this, just sprinkle the tops with the sugar-cinnamon mixture. Place cookies on ungreased baking sheets.

Bake 10 to 16 minutes or until tops of cookies are just firm. Cool cookies on wire racks.

*Notes: lard or margarine can be substituted for the lard, however the cookies will not be as crisp and moist. Lard is an original ingredient to these cookies. Apple juice, orange juice or milk can be substituted for the brandy or red wine, however they don’t compliment as well.

Makes 4 dozen cookies

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Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night!!!!

-xo

 

 

Christmas Movies

‘On the eleventh day of Christmas my true love sent to me: Eleven Pipers Piping, Ten Lords a Leaping, Nine Ladies Dancing, Eight, Maids a Milking, Seven Swans a Swimming, Six Geese a Laying, Five Golden Rings, Four Calling Birds, Three French Hens, Two Turtle Doves and a Partridge in a Pear Tree’…AND I give to you my favorite Christmas movies.

When it comes to Christmas movies people can have some big opinions on their all time favorites. I’m a firm believer in ‘to each their own’. So, here are my all time favorite Christmas in order.

1. Love Actually. Love Actually is one of my favorite movies ever really but Christmas time gives me an excuse to watch it 14 times and feel okay about it. Here is one of my favorite scenes …..

love

2. Home Alone I and Home Alone II (not the III one). Growing up I LOVED this movie and would laugh hysterically at basically the whole thing. My favorite characters were ALWAYS the old man and the bird woman. Even as a 7 year old I loved how they turned out to be kind people.

home

bird

3. A White Christmas – I mean the outfits, the songs…. I don’t know how someone can’t like this one. That being said my Mom doesn’t like it so I have to sneak it in before family time.

sister

4. Elf….. there are just too many good lines in this one. (SANTA….i KNOOOWWWW HIM!!!!!!!)

elf

5. Miracle on 34th Street

34

6. It’s a Wonderful Life (George lassos the moon!)

WONDER

AND…. The Holiday and Family Stone

holiday

stone

I have luckily gotten the chance to watch all of these this year and I have to say they have made my holiday much more festive. I hope that you’ve been able to take some time to see your favorites and if you haven’t I think you need to add it to your to do list. Because, I mean why not?

Lots of love,

-xoxo

Jane

 

Chewy Ginger Cookies.

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‘On the tenth day of Christmas my true love sent to me: Ten Lords a Leaping, Nine Ladies Dancing, Eight Maids a Milking, Seven, Swans a Swimming, Six Geese a Laying, Five Golden Rings, Four Calling Birds, Three French Hens, Two Turtle Doves and a Partridge in a Pear Tree’…AND I give to you Chewy Ginger Cookies.

Hi friends, can you believe Christmas is this week? I can’t, I really can’t believe it’s already here- but I guess I do this every year. Seth and I have 1 more day of work and then we are heading down South to celebrate Christmas with our families. I am definitely looking forward to spending time with them and friends from our hometown but NOT looking forward to a 5 hour car ride with 1 dog, 1 cat, 2 suitcases and a bunch of presents. Wish us luck!

Anyway, I love a good ‘chewy’ ginger cookie and this is my favorite recipe for them, it’s slightly modified from a bon appetite one. I don’t make them very often because they make ALOT … like 48 cookies. But it’s Christmas time and I couldn’t resist. Plus a ginger cookie always makes me feel a little bit better about the fact I’m eating a cookie. Ginger = healthy, duh.

Wishing you all the best this week! Check out the recipe below.

******SERVINGS: MAKES 48*****

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

2 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger

1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

 

1/2 cup blackstrap (robust) molasses

2 teaspoons finely grated peeled ginger

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 cup finely chopped crystallized ginger

1 cup raw or sanding sugar

3/4 cup (packed) dark brown sugar

1 cup (2 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature

1 large egg

Instructions:

  • Preheat to 350°. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
  • Whisk flour, ground ginger, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, and pepper in a medium bowl. Then using an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat brown sugar and butter in a large bowl, scraping down sides halfway through beating, until fluffy. Reduce mixer speed to low. Add egg, molasses, grated ginger, and vanilla; beat just to blend. Add flour mixture; beat on low speed just to blend (try not to over mix). Mix in crystallized ginger (dough will be very soft and sticky).
  • Place raw sugar in a shallow bowl. Using a tablespoon measure, scoop out dough. Using a second spoon, scoop dough from tablespoon measure into bowl with raw sugar; turn to coat well. Roll into ball. Transfer to prepared baking sheet. Repeat with half of remaining dough and sugar, spacing balls 1 1/2″ apart.
  • Bake cookies, rotating sheets halfway through, until edges are firm and centers appear cracked, 10–12 minutes. Transfer cookies to wire racks and let cool.
  • ***Be sure to use new parchment on the remaining trays of cookies.

-xoxo

Jane

Red Chile Popcorn

“On the ninth day of Christmas my true love sent to me: Nine Ladies Dancing, Eight Maids a Milking, Seven Swans a Swimming, Six Geese a Laying, Five Golden Rings, Four Calling Birds, Three French Hens, Two Turtle Doves and a Partridge in a Pear Tree”…AND I give to you red chile popcorn- my favorite TV or movie watching snack.

But, first before I tell you my super easy recipe let me show you this picture.

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I caught Flynn just waiting so patiently and totally eyeing our popcorn- He’s the cutest.

But, here’s the super easy super fast recipe for Red Chile Popcorn

*we pop our popcorn on the stove or with an air popper

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Ingredients

1/2 cup of popcorn or 1 bag microwave popcorn

1 Tablespoon of olive oil (if cooking on stove)

1 Tablespoon of melted butter

Seasonings; salt, pepper, red chile powder, garlic (you can season as heavy or has light as you like)

Directions

Once your popcorn is popped melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat, once melted add as much as the spices as you like. Stir to combine and then pour over pop corn. I like to put half the popcorn into a bowl and then add half the butter, pour the rest of the popcorn and then the rest of the butter. I also sprinkle a little bit more salt and red chile powder on top to add a little bit more flavor.

And… done!

We are enjoying it tonight while we finish up some wrapping and watching Netflix and clearly even the dog is jealous!

-xoxo

Jane

 

Christmas Carols.

“On the eighth day of Christmas my true love sent to me: Eight Maids a Milking, Seven Swans a Swimming, Six Geese a Laying, Five Golden Rings, Four Calling Birds, Three French Hens, Two Turtle Doves, and a Partridge in a Pear Tree”…AND I give to you my favorite Christmas Carols (for this season at least).

 

Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas- Sam Smith

Blue Christmas- Elvis Presly

Let It Snow- Michael Buble

All I Want For Christmas- Mariah Carey (also please notice the play views on this video….)

Silent Night- Bing Crosby

Hark the Herald Angels sing- St.Paul’s Cathedral – London (UK)

And there you have it, my top 6 Christmas songs this year that I basically have on repeat.
If you are in spotify you should check out Fireside Songs it’s a great mix of Christmas songs and… Christmas ‘vibe’ songs.

Cheers and happy listening!
-xoxo

Piñon Pine

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‘On the seventh day of Christmas my true love sent to me: Seven Swans a Swimming, Six Geese a Laying, Five Golden Rings, Four Calling Birds, Three French Hens, Two Turtle Doves and a Partridge in a Pear Tree’…AND I give to you Christmas fireplaces full of piñon wood.

 

Oh, and a only the most purrfect cat ever on the fireplace mantel. What?! I was so pleased with myself when I captured this shot. But, back to my main message. Piñon wood, or more precisely Piñon Pine is New Mexico’s state tree and piñon nuts are just totally delisious. My favorite thing though is the way it smells when you burn it – it’s Santa Fe’s signature winter smell and walking through our snowy, winding, almost non-American streets in the winter, this smell is just magical. It just seals the deal if you know what I mean. If you ever hear any reference to Santa Fe’s smell you can bet your money that it’s burning piñon wood. 

Here’s my favorite holiday dessert with piñon nuts.

Here’s my favorite way to ‘burn’ piñon in the summer time. 

So, a big Christmas cheers to you all and I wish you were right here with me in my living room so you could smell the smell of Santa Fe and… so you could meet the best cat of my life.

-xoxo

Jane

 

Christmas kindness.

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‘On the Sixth day of Christmas my true love sent to me, Six Geese-a-Laying, Five Golden Rings, Four Calling Birds, Three French Hens, Two Turtle Doves and a Partridge in a Pear Tree.’ … AND I give to you the idea (and action) of Christmas Kindness.

You heard me, Christmas Kindness. Here’s the thing, I love gift giving. I love receiving gifts and I also really love giving them. I’m a gift person. A gift can be a kind word on a sticky note, flowers, or one my favorites- food. They don’t have to be huge things like jewelry, expensive candles or knick-knacks… – they just have to be thoughtful. My favorite feeling in the world is that of thoughtfulness when I know someone thought of me or the feeling I get when doing something nice for someone else.

Christmas cards have been my ‘gift’ this holiday season and I have so enjoyed making them, decorating them, filling them with quotes and love to friends, family to anyone who wanted one! Today, when I was writing a few more and snacking on some very thoughtfully gifted Christmas Chocolate Crinkle cookies…. I just felt content.

I wanted to encourage you to act on your own version of Christmas Kindness -whatever that is. It could be wrapped up in fancy wrapping paper, inviting someone over for a drink or food- or it could just be letting someone know your thinking of them and love them. Just do it!!!!

I promise the outcome is just buzz/high feeling of love!

“Blessed is the season which engages the whole world in a conspiracy of love.” -Hamilton Wright Mabie

-xoxo

Jane

 

hot toddy!

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“On the fifth day of Christmas my true love sent to me: Five Golden Rings, Four Calling Birds, Three French Hens, Two Turtle Doves and a Partridge in a Pear Tree”…AND I give to you the Hot Toddy, because I mean… why not? 

It’s cold in Santa Fe and we are supposed to get another snow storm tonight or tomorrow, the sky was totally gray today and the air was still, you know the still right before a storm. I came home craving a hot toddy because honestly they were made for days like today. And yes, I secretly hope we get a huge snow storm so the Hot Toddy’s can just continue.

Here’s my recipe for your very basic but very yummy Hot Toddy- go ahead make one and warm up with me!

INGREDIENTS
  • 2 oz whiskey, irish whiskey is preferred
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons honey
  • Juice of 1 small lemon or 1/2 a large lemon
  • 1 dash Angostura bitters
  • boiling hot water (enough to fill your cup!)
DIRECTIONS
  1. Stir whiskey, honey, fresh lemon juice and dash of bitters in a mug.
  2. Add boiling water.
  3. Stir once more.
  4. Top with lemon (i like to cut mine into a whole circle and let it float on top)

Enjoy!!!

-xox

Jane

 

christmas cheer.

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‘On the fourth day of Christmas my true love sent to me – Four Calling Birds, Three French Hens, Two Turtle Doves
and a Partridge in a Pear Tree…AND I give to you Christmas in my neighborhood.’

One of my favorite things about Santa Fe is the way it feels at the holidays. Christmas time of course being my favorite. We took a walk around the neighborhood and I just had to take a few pictures of the decorations we saw. I just love that Santa Fe decorates for Christmas in very subtle ways – where I’m from (southern NM) people go all out with lights and blow up things in the front yard. Santa Fe – not so much. In Santa Fe they do wreaths.

Here are a few shots of some Christmas cheer from my neighborhood to yours.

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Cheers,

xoxo

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

maple and red chile roasted pecans.

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‘On the Third day of Christmas my true love sent to me Three French Hens, Two Turtle Doves and a Partridge in a Pear Tree…’ AND I give to you…. New Mexico Red Chile and maple roasted pecans. 
Hi again, I must say I’m pretty proud of myself I’ve made it to the 3rd day of Christmas… fingers crossed it keeps going this well and I keep having such scrumptious and cheerful things to share with you. Today, I want to share my take on old fashioned roasted pecans. I’m going to be real honest here and say I think the red chile just makes these. If you don’t have red chile powder you can also use cayenne pepper….
Also, I could live off nosh plates…. so the fact I got to make this one for Seth and I tonight left me feeling like the weekend wasn’t quite over yet, which is always a good thing.
INGREDIENTS
  • 2 cups pecans (whole pieces)
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • ½ tsp salt
  •  ½ tsp red chile powder (I used Chimayo red chile)
INSTRUCTIONS
  1. Heat your oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Melt butter and brown sugar on the stove.
  3. Add the maple syrup, salt and red chile powder. Stir till mixed well.
  4. Add the pecans and stir till they are coated.
  5. Pour the pecans on a parchment lined tray and put in the oven.
  6. Bake for 10 – 15 mins,  be sure to stir half way through the cooking time.
  7. Keep an eye on them so they don’t burn.
  8. Remove from oven and let them cool on the tray. When they are cool, break them up and store in air tight container.
  9. *If you want you can sprinkle at the half way point and once they come out of the oven with a pinch more of salt, sugar and red chile powder 🙂

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Cheers,

xoxo