Is 2018 YOUR Year to Shine?

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Is it possible to look younger and feel better in 2018?  The answer is a resounding YES! Join me this month for Food the Secret Fountain of Youth, a special kind of cooking class designed to turn the clock back. I’m ready to share ALL of my hacks for keeping our bodies young. Make a few simple modifications and see astounding results.

Join me and make 2018, YOUR year to shine. Register HERE or send an email to lorie@atasteofparis.net

Food the Secret Fountain of Youth Workshop- Friday, January 19th 11:00-2:00 Let’s young up in 2018, it’s easier than you think! The key to staying young is keeping inflammation down in the body and the latest research supports the notion that gut health plays a huge roll in doing just that.   In the super fun class, participants will learn how to choose foods that support anti-aging. EAT WELL AND LOOK YOUNGER! In addition, I’ll share all my secrets for staying youthful including; moving your body, stretching, moves to kick start a sluggish metabolism and keeping your gut working, so wear clothing you can move in. The food fun begins with fantastic options to jump start your day. Mouth watering grass fed cow Yogurt and Berries and a fabulous Veggie Omelet so packed with flavor you won’t miss the bacon!  We’ll top that breakfast with my favorite anti aging condiment, zesty Homemade Salsa.  6 Bean Soup topped with grass fed cheese and avocado will become a family favorite.  Another fabulous weeknight meal is Garlic Chicken with Quinoa and Turmeric served with a marvelous Spinach Salad good enough to be a main course.  We will prepare a yogurt and flaxseed Crusted Salmon that is out of this world served with Marinated and Roasted Asparagus.  Almond Butter with pears, apples, and bananas make the perfect afternoon snack.  Have you heard?  Pickled anything is good for you so we will pickle my favorite veggies to snack or top everything!  Eating well means being satisfied so we need a little sweet, Honey Banana Oat Cookie Bites and my favorite Chocolate Shards topped with goodness will finish us up.  Class Fee $65.00signature3 no block

 

Oh My Cinnamon Bread!

 

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Cinnamon Bread Leaves were begging to be posted!  I was whipping up a batch for my fam to enjoy before heading to church this morning and it’s like they had a life of their own.

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What I truly love about this recipe is I cheat with frozen yeast rolls.  Just let them thaw completely, prepare the recipe according to the instructions and let them rise covered in the fridge all night.  Take them out and let them sit on the count 30 minutes or so before baking to crazy perfection!

Merry Christmas!

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Cinnamon Bread Leaves

24 frozen bread rolls thawed in one bowl (I use Rhodes brand)

1 stick of butter melted

¾ cup sugar

¼ cup cinnamon

1 8 ounce package cream cheese

½ cup powdered sugar

Roll thawed dough out into a rectangle about 12×10.  Brush surface of dough with butter mixture liberally.   In a small bowl, mix cinnamon and sugar and stir well.  Sprinkle the surface of the dough with sugar mixture. Cut dough into strips about 3 inches wide.  Layer strips on top of one another.  Cut layered strips into squares.  Place squares into a loaf pan.  Cover with plastic wrap and let rise overnight in the refrigerator OR place in a warm location and let rise until doubled about 1 hour.  Bake in a 350 degree oven for about 30 minutes until top is beginning to brown. In a small bowl combine powdered sugar and cream cheese and mix well.  Slather the cream cheese frosting onto warm bread leaves when the come out of the oven.

 

 

Joyeux Noël From A Taste of Paris

 

Lorie magic bars

One last treat before Christmas!

My mother’s favorite goodie this time of year is what we always called Magic Bars and believe me they are magical!  Gooey chocolate with crispy nuts and a dusting of coconut.  All of that goodness and the prep time is literally 5 minutes.

I hope you will make a little magic in your kitchen this year.

joyeux Noël

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Magic Bars

1 stick butter, melted

8 whole graham crackers

1 ½ cup chopped walnuts

2 cups shredded sweetened coconut

1 12 ounce package semi-sweet chocolate chips

1 can sweetened condensed milk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Pour melted butter into the bottom of a greased 9×13 glass baking dish.  Crush graham crackers into a fine powder.  Sprinkle crumbs evenly over butter.  Sprinkle first a layer of walnuts, then chocolate and last coconut.  Drizzle milk evenly over coconut.  Bake for 18-22 minutes until coconut is lightly browned.  Let cool before slicing to serve.

 

Gift Boxes From the Kitchen

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When planning my 13th annual Gifts From the Kitchen class this year, the words bento boxes kept coming to my head. Collecting an assortment of goods and packing them artfully in boxes seemed like a good plan.

I bought festive gift boxes at the craft store along with crinkle paper shred and of course lots of Mason jars to stuff with goodies.

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Creating a recipe for Homemade Hot Chocolate Mix, was the first step. The jars were filled with the chocolaty goodness and a “Got Milk?” tag was added.  On the back of the tags are the instructions for use. Next, old fashioned peppermint sticks were dipped into white chocolate and dusted with Christmas sprinkles.

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To give the boxes some whimsy, I decorated marshmallows to look like snowmen.

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SnowBall Cookies rounded out the edible assortment.  Each package was tied  with my HoHoHo From the Fangio’s ribbon.

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Add a holiday dish towel, some festive straws and you are done!

   Making the Relax-Bath Boxes was a fun project too!

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Creating charming gift boxes is fun and easy.  I hope you will give it a try this season!

Join me in 2018 for cooking classes, new titles just posted.

Hurry several are already sold OUT!signature3 no block

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Homemade Hot Cocoa Mix

3 ½ cups sugar

2 cups unsweetened cocoa extra dark

10 ounces dark or semisweet chocolate chopped

1 tablespoon salt

Mix all ingredients well in an airtight container.  When ready to serve, add 2 tablespoons mix to 1 cup warmed whole milk.

Snowball Cookies Everyone’s Favorite!

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Christmas cookies inspire such joy. I remember as a child baking with my mother.  The holidays were such fun because we had so many goodies in the house, it was hard to choose what to sample. The smell of baking cookies takes me right back to childhood.

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If you want to feel like a kid again too, bake up a batch of these darling treats.  They are salty, sweet, buttery, bites of goodness. Enjoy them yourself or give them as a gift.

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I love to place edible treats in special containers for a gifts.  It’s like an extra sweet surprise.

Enjoy!

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Snowball Cookies

1 cup butter softened

1 2/3 cup powdered sugar divided

1 ½ teaspoon vanilla

2 cups flour

¼ teaspoon salt

1 cup finely ground pecans

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  In a medium bowl cream butter and 2/3 cup powdered sugar, add vanilla.  Stir in the flour, salt and pecans and mix well. Form 1 inch balls of cookie dough using a melon scoop.  Place balls on a greased baking sheet.  Bake for 18-22 minutes or until golden brown.  Let cookies cool for about 5 minutes and roll them in powdered sugar.  When cookies are completely cooled roll them in the last of the sugar and store in zip lock.

Tune into Good Morning Texas, WFAA Channel 8, Tuesday!

 

Are you ready for Christmas?  I simply cannot believe it will be here in 2 short weeks.  Are you like me, still wondering what to gift the special people in your world?

Tune into Good Morning Texas, WFAA Channel 8, on Tuesday, December 12th at 9:00 am  to see me demonstrating LIVE No Cook, holiday gifts from the kitchen.  I will offer up inspiration to help you take care of all those last minute gifts!

I’m closed up in my kitchen workshop, santa hat and all, getting ready to dazzle you tomorrow.  I’ll show you some simple kitchen ideas, sure to make your mouth water AND festive packaging  you can craft in minutes. To see my festive Ho Ho jars, you will have to tune in!

Below is a sneak peek at the recipes for tomorrow.signature3 no block

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Marinated Mozzarella

1 pound fresh mozzarella cut into 1 inch cubes or use small mozzarella balls

¾ cup olive oil

1 tablespoon sherry vinegar

1 clove garlic sliced

2 tablespoons fresh herbs chopped such as rosemary and thyme

½ teaspoon black pepper corns

Dash or red pepper flakes

Mix all ingredients in a glass jar and marinate over night or up to 2 weeks in the refrigerator.

Jalapeno Vodka

2 cups vodka

1 large jalapeno pepper

Score the pepper 5 or 6 times from stem to end being careful not to cut all the way through to the seeds. Pour vodka into a clean jar or container, add pepper.  Shake 2-3 times a day for 1 week.

Remove pepper or leave it in for more intense flavor, and pour vodka into a bottle for storage.

Vanilla Vodka

2 cups vodka

1-2 vanilla pods

Pour vodka into a clean jar or container, add vanilla pods.  Shake 2-3 times a day for 1 week. Pour the vodka and pods into a bottle for storage.

Spiced Rum

750 ml bottle gold rum

1 vanilla pod

1 cinnamon stick

1 point star anise

2 cloves

1 piece all spice

2 strips orange zest

Place all aromatic ingredients into the bottle of rum.  Let steep for 24 hours shaking occasionally.

Burger Spice Blend

2 tablespoon salt

1 tablespoon black pepper

1 tablespoon dry mustard

2 tablespoon onion powder

2 tablespoon garlic powder

1 tablespoon paprika

1 tablespoon brown sugar

1 teaspoon dried basil

Mix all ingredients and store in an airtight container.

 

Mexican Rub/Taco Seasoning

¼ cup chili powder

2 tablespoons sea salt

2 tablespoons paprika

1 tablespoon black pepper

1 tablespoon cumin

1 tablespoon garlic powder

1 tablespoon onion powder

1 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Mix all ingredients and store in an airtight container. 

 

Cranberry Walnut Goat Cheese Spread

12 ounces fresh goat cheese at room temperature

2 tablespoons honey

½ cup chopped dried cranberries

½ cup chopped walnuts

Pinch salt

Mix all ingredients and pack in small jars for gift giving.  Store the goat cheese spread in the refrigerator until ready to serve.

Fabulous Christmas Dinner shared with TAOLB

It has been a real pleasure working with Lauren Palmer and The Art of Living Beautifully this year.  When she asked me for my December recipe I couldn’t resist sharing the meal that finds its way to our Christmas table every year.

Beef filets are so easy and fast to cook, making them the perfect option after the hustle of the season.

Filets are a very tender cut of meat and unlike a ribeye, have very little fat.  Since fat is what gives meat its flavor, I always do a sauce or topping on this cut of beef, and my Bacon Butter is the bomb!

I hope you will give these recipes a try this season, let me know how you like them and if you have not already, subscribe to The Art of Living Beautifully TODAY!  You will be glad you did.

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Beef Filets with Pan Sauce

6 6 ounce beef tenderloin filets

2 tablespoons Dijon mustard

1 teaspoon sea salt

1 tablespoon whole peppercorns

1 tablespoon canola or grapeseed oil

2 tablespoons butter

1 shallot finely sliced

½ cup red wine

1 cup beef stock

2 sprigs of thyme

Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Crush the peppercorns using a mortar and pestle or process in a food processor until pepper is broken but still very course.  Prepare meat by brushing both sides with Dijon mustard.  Season the meat with salt and dust with generous amounts of pepper on both sides.  Heat oil in skillet over medium high heat until it shimmers.  Place filets into hot skillet.  Sear the meat for 2-3 minutes on each side resisting the urge to move meat around.  Transfer meat to a baking sheet and place into the hot oven to finish cooking.  Remove meat when it has reached desired doneness.  Tent the meat with foil for 8 minutes before serving.  While steaks are in the oven prepare pan sauce in the skillet by melting 1 tablespoon butter, add shallots and cook over medium-low heat, stirring, until translucent, about 2 to 3 minutes. Raise heat to medium-high, add wine, and bring to a boil. Using a wooden spoon, deglaze pan. Add thyme and beef stock and bring to a boil.  Cook until sauce is reduced in half and is thickening.  Remove from heat and add swirl in remaining butter and salt and pepper to taste.  Serve steaks with a spoonful of sauce over each fillet and top with a scoop of Bacon Butter.

Sour Cream Smashed Potatoes

4 pounds Russet potatoes

1 stick of butter

½ cup heavy cream

1 ½ cups sour cream

3 green onions finely chopped

Salt and pepper to taste

Heat a large pot full of water over medium high heat.  Peel and dice potatoes and add them to the pot.  Once water begins to boil, add about 2 teaspoons of salt.  Boil potatoes until they are fork tender.  Drain water off of the potatoes.  Add butter, cream and sour cream and mash potatoes well.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  Sprinkle in green onions and mix well. Serve as a bed for beef fillets.

Bacon Butter

½ cup toasted walnuts

2 tablespoons softened butter

¼ cup blue cheese crumbles

4 strips bacon

1 tablespoon brown sugar

½ teaspoon cinnamon

Place bacon on a wire rack over a baking sheet and sprinkle bacon with brown sugar and cinnamon.  Place baking sheet in a cold oven set to 400 degrees and let bacon cook until crisp.  Place cooked bacon and remaining ingredients into a small food processor and pulse until smooth.  Serve a single scoop on top of warm filet.  Serves 6

Tips to guarantee fillets are cooked to perfection:

Always allow meat to come to room temperature before cooking. 

After cooking, tent meat for 5-10 minutes before serving to allow juices to redistribute.  If meat gets too cool you can always pop back into the hot oven for 1 minute. 

Invest in a good meat thermometer. And follow these guidelines

Rare – 125 degrees

Medium-rare – 135 degrees

Medium – 145 degrees

Medium Well- 150 degrees

Well Done-160 degrees 

 

The Perfect Gift~Table for Two

Table for Two is the perfect holiday gift for that hard-to-buy for someone on your Christmas list this year. My friend Audrey Friedman of French Vintage Homes, scours the Brocante markets all over France to bring you these very special boxes.

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The beautiful gift boxes are filled with one-of-a-kind French antiques.  Exactly enough to set a table for two!  The perfect number for a quiet, romantic dinner. Of course to set a table for more, buy in sets of two for a delightfully eclectic table!

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I got to thinking about what to make for my husband on our new Table for Two, and so I thought I would share the menu with you!

We will start with a green salad packed full of fruit and nuts, next up, stuffed Chicken Roulade with a White Wine Veloute.  The chicken will be served on a glorious bed of Luxe Potatoes.  For dessert I will simply serve a pear with honey and a few almonds.  Sounds like the perfect feast for two to me!

To get your own Table for Two or to order one for your friends and family CLICK HERE.

Au revoir for now Lorie

Fig and Seed Salad for Two

2 cups spring greens

4 dried figs chopped into cubes

2 tablespoons dried cranberries

2 tablespoons pumpkin seeds

2 tablespoons chopped walnuts

1 ounce fresh chevre

Dressing

2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

1 shallot finely chopped

2 tablespoons honey

2 tablespoons olive oil

Salt and pepper

To prepare dressing place all ingredients in a food processor or blender and pulse until smooth.  Assemble salad by tossing greens in the bottom of a salad bowl.  Add remaining ingredients.  Top with dressing and serve.

Chicken Roulade with White Wine Veloute 

2 boneless skinless chicken breasts

1 teaspoon butter

1 medium shallot thinly sliced

1/2 cup mushrooms thinly slices

1 garlic clove pressed

1/2 cup frozen chopped spinach drained and firmly packed

2 tablespoons parmesan cheese

pinch fresh thyme

1/2 teaspoon fresh parsley chopped

Salt and Pepper

Veloute

1 ¼ cups chicken stock

¼ cup white wine

2 tablespoons butter

3 tablespoons flour

Salt and pepper

To prepare chicken, preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Melt butter in a chef’s pan and cook mushrooms until they are brown, about 5 minutes.  Add shallots, garlic, thyme and parsley to the pan and cook until shallots are clear about 3 minutes.  Remove pan from heat and flake spinach into the pan toss well and add parmesan.  Prepare chicken breasts by making a slit in each breast length wise to make a larger flat piece of chicken.  Place ¼ of the filling in the center of each breast and roll up.  Secure with tooth picks and salt and pepper each breast.  Repeat with remaining breast and place them in a glass baking dish and into the oven for 35-45 minutes.  To prepare sauce, warm the stock in the microwave for 1 minute.  In a small saucepan melt the butter, add flour and cook stirring constantly until it has a golden color about 4 minutes.  Slowly whisk in the warm stock until it is all incorporated.  Add white wine and cook until sauce begins to boil and is thick, season with salt and pepper.  Remove from heat and serve sauce over chicken roulade.

Golden Luxe Potatoes

1 pound Yukon Gold potatoes cut into 1 ½ inch pieces

2 tablespoons butter

1/4 cup heavy cream

Salt and pepper

Place potatoes in a medium sauce pan, cover with water and put on a burner set to medium high heat. Add 1 teaspoon salt to water when it is boiling and cook until tender.  In small chef’s pan heat butter until melted, continue to cook over medium heat until it begins to brown.  Mash potatoes with cream and butter and add salt and pepper to taste.

Turkey Talk on Fox 4

We put so much pressure on ourselves to prepare the perfect Thanksgiving feast. Making a turkey only once a year can cause even the most accomplished home chef to get a bit nervous.  We all want the star of the show to be succulent and juicy and for me, the best insurance policy is a wet brine solution.

Join me on Wednesday, November 22nd about 8:40 am, on Fox 4 Good Day.  I will show you the simple techniques to insure you have a beautiful bird on the table this year and every year!

See the recipes and a recap of turkey tips below.

This year, I am most grateful for the time to share a meal of fresh food with my darling family.  What are you grateful for this year? I would love to hear from you.

Au revoir for now

Lorie

Turkey Tips

-Brine the turkey to insure it’s tender and juicy

-Let the turkey come to room temp before cooking, about 30 minutes

-For golden skin on the turkey, pat dry very well and brush with melted butter

-If you brine, don’t add more salt

-No need to baste!

-Let turkey rest 20-30 minutes before carving 

Wet Brined Turkey 12-18 Pounds

Brine

2 gallons water

1 ¼ cups kosher salt

1 cup sugar

8 whole cloves garlic

1 tablespoon pepper corns

2 onions cut in quarters

2 sprigs rosemary

2 sprigs thyme

Turkey

12-18 pound turkey

4 tablespoons butter melted

1 onion quartered

1 orange cut in wedges

1 celery stalk cut in pieces

2 sprigs rosemary

In a large pot heat 1 gallon of water with salt and sugar and bring to a boil.  Add aromatics and remove from heat, add remaining gallon of water.  When the water is completely cool, pour it into a large zip top bag inside a plastic tub.  Submerge the turkey in the cool water.  Zip the bag and place turkey tub in the refrigerator for 6 hours.  Remove the turkey and discard the brine solution.  Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  Let turkey come to room temperature about 30 minutes.  Pat the bird down until completely dry and place it into a roasting pan with a wire rack.  Stuff the cavity of the turkey with onions, orange, celery and rosemary.  Brush the entire surface of the turkey with butter. Place a meat thermometer into the thickest part of the breast and place the turkey in the oven.  Turn the oven down to 325 degrees after the first 30 minutes of cooking.  Cook turkey roughly 15 minutes per pound but be sure you test the thickest part of the breast to reach a minimum temperature of 165 degrees.

No Fail Cream Gravy

2 tablespoons butter

3 tablespoons flour

1 ½ cups chicken or turkey stock

1 cup milk

Salt and pepper

Melt butter in the bottom of a sauce pan, add flour and cook stirring constantly for 2 minutes.  Meanwhile, warm the chicken stock and milk together in the microwave for 2 minutes.  Add liquid to flour mixture whisking vigorously and cook until thick. Season the gravy with salt and pepper to taste. For brown gravy; simply cook the butter and flour mixture an additional 3 -5 minutes, to brown the roux before adding the liquid.

Tip: For a brown gravy, cook the butter flour mixture 5-6 minutes until is is medium brown in color, then proceed with recipe.

A Cookie Exchange Party with Texasliving

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I opened my mailbox and look what was inside…

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My fresh copy of Texasliving!

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I was invited by the editor of Texasliving to write an article on how to host a cookie exchange party.  If you plan to have some friends over for holiday cheer this year, now is the time to get the snowball rolling!

I have copied the article below to make it easy to read AND below you will also find the recipe for my delicious Cookie Martini and my no fail Sturdy Sugar Cookie recipe.

Enjoy and Au revoir for now! Lorie

Host the Merriest of Cookie Exchanges!

Hosting a cookie exchange party is a fantastic way to have friends and neighbors for a few hours of festive fun. Entertaining with a theme lets you narrow the focus to organize a fabulous event, without a lot of effort.  When you bring cookies and friends together good things happen!

Follow a few simple steps and you will be on your way to the perfect cookie exchange for a sweet time had by all.

Invitations

Be a smart cookie, and secure the date.  This is a busy time of year, so to ensure a good turnout, send invitations 3 weeks early and lock your guests down.

Themed invitations are an excellent way to generate excitement and boost party attendance.  There are a multitude of printable options available on the web.  Feeling creative?  Bake a batch of cookies to hand deliver to guests along with their paper invitation.  For mailed invitations, think about adding a pinch of cookie sprinkles like confetti inside each card before mailing.

Be sure to include all of the normal party details, in addition, tell your guests to bring 2 dozen of their favorite cookies to share at the party.

Let’s Party

Elaborate party set up with trays of food and loads decorations are wonderful if you have the time and resources, otherwise, keep it simple.  Do plan to have at least a few savory tidbits to balance the sweets.

A beverage station allows party goers to serve themselves and is a huge time saver for the host.  A coffee and tea station work well for a cookie party.  If cocktails are more your style, look for cookie inspired recipes on line to carry the motif forward.  Mix drinks in advance and serve them from a decanter or pitcher to make party time a breeze and don’t forget to give your glasses a sprinkle rim!

Prepare a cookie table in advance. Furnish serving platters, jars or cake stands to display the baked goods, for an inviting table arrangement.  Prepare place cards to detail the cookie flavors.

Cookie Party Games

The BEST Cookie Contest! Organize a BEST cookie contest for an added layer of fun. Conduct the competition by cutting bite sized pieces of each cookie for the guests to taste.  Prepare ballots calling for the top 3 choices.  When the votes are tallied, give your BEST cookie winners a small prize such as cookie sprinkles, a pretty mixing bowl or holiday cookie cookbook.

Deck the Cookies Instead of providing a cookie of your own for the exchange, set up a decorating station.  Bake plain sugar cookies in a variety of shapes.  Make frosting in several colors and place it in piping bags or better yet, purchase decorating frosting ready to go.  Buy a few small holiday candies and sprinkles for more embellishing fun.  Provide pictures of decorated cookies for inspiration, you can copy these from cookbooks or download on line. 

Games and Grins Fill a jar with tiny store bought cookies and have a “guess how many are in the jar” contest.  The winner gets to take all the leftover cookies!

Goodies To Go

Supply guests with a container to pack and take their shared confections. Purchase paper cookie boxes or think outside the box.  Look for pails, tins, even a clay pot lined with tissue paper is a marvelous vessel to stuff with cookies to be taken home and enjoyed. 

Host with the Most

Keep a few additional things in mind for hosting a terrific event.  Bake several dozen extra cookies just in case you need a few more.

As your friends RSVP, ask for their cookie recipe and organize a packet for each guest. Or think about a themed party favor, like an oven mitt, a cookie cutter or even a cute holiday dishtowel.

Most of all don’t crumble under the pressure of hosting; remember, if you are relaxed, your guests will be too.  So keep calm and cookie on!

Cupcake Martini

 

Cupcake Martini

Cocktail

2 parts vanilla vodka

1 part Amaretto

1 part whole milk

2 parts club soda

Garnish

Vanilla cake frosting

Sprinkles

To garnish glasses, pour sprinkles into a shallow dish.  Rub the edge of each glass with a small amount of frosting, press glass rims into the plate with the sprinkles. Shake all cocktail ingredients with ice and strain into prepared martini glasses.

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Sturdy Sugar Cookie

1 cup butter

4 cups flour

2 cups sugar

2 eggs

½ teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon baking powder

2 teaspoon vanilla extract

½ teaspoon almond extract

In a large bowl mix dry ingredients together. Cream butter and sugar together using an electric mixer until mixture is pale and fluffy.  Continue to beat and add eggs one at a time.  Next, add extracts.  Add dry ingredients slowly until combined. Separate dough into 2 gallon zip locks.  Flatten dough and refrigerate for 30 minutes.  Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  Turn dough out on to a floured surface and roll out dough to 1/8 inch thickness.  Cut out shapes and bake on greased baking sheet for 13-15 minutes.