December 17, 2017

weekend wrap up

It’s Sunday morning and while I’m here dreaming of a white Christmas, we’ve got cold and blustery Santa Ana winds blowing again today, with not a snowflake in sight. 

Everyone in our community and in all of California is praying and hoping for better weather conditions for those affected by the California wildfires, which are burning terribly in Santa Barbara and Ventura Counties.    

Right now, my favorite Christmas movie, Christmas in Connecticut, is playing on TCM right now, and I have it on in the background. The farmhouse pictured above reminds me of the idyllic home described in the movie. 

And here’s a lovely shot of two homes from my husband’s hometown of Geneva, Illinois, taken just this weekend. The one in the foreground belonged to the Bogash family and the one behind it is my husband’s childhood home. 

All this talk of nostalgia, really makes me appreciate all our pretty vintage ornaments that were handed down from our parents and grandparents. Do you have ornaments that remind you of your family?

The holidays are also a fun time to honor family recipes. I think it’s fun to go through old cookbooks and make holiday treats like our grandmothers did. I have a tattered little notebook from Woolworth’s filled with recipes that belonged to my husband’s great grandmother.

The handwriting is a killer, but I finally figured out the little quirks in her cursive, like not crossing her T's but kind of accenting them instead?!?

It’s interesting to see how that generation ate. No fresh herbs are included in any of the recipe I found in the book, lol. This weekend I tried her recipe for pralines, which I’ll share soon. After a little trial and error, I think I figured out how to make them the right way, since the directions were not detailed at all!

Yesterday was a busy day for me in the kitchen. In addition to making the pralines, I also made Spiced Pecans for gift giving, this week’s recipe of Chutney from Kate Middleton (so yummy!), and Pignoli Cookies that I remember from my childhood. If you’re Italian, chances are you’ve enjoyed these too!

Every time I want to make Pignoli (Pine Nut) Cookies I never have almond paste, which is essential for these cookies. Well, we found almond paste at Ralph’s, and the cookies came together easily in the food processor. They come out soft and chewy kind of like a macaroon. These are the classic old-school Italian cookies I grew up loving. Recipe found below.

BTW, we served the chutney over cream cheese and with manchego cheese on crackers at a gathering this weekend, and it was a hit! I'll share a few other yummy cookie recipes later this week.

I’m loving my collection of little scrabble tiles. They’re perfect for spelling out names or holiday greetings!

How about a holiday greeting from Dorinda and Ramona from the Real Housewives of New York City? Here they are sharing their Manhattan apartment Christmas trees.

I’m soooo excited that as we speak, they’re at Dorinda’s house in the Berkshires for their annual Christmas gathering. 

Here’s Ramona with the fabulous Berkshires tree in Dorinda’s beautiful blue living room. Could it be a 1920's themed party that they're having for Dorinda's birthday? 

It looks that way! Oh, how I love a good theme party!

I’m also excited for the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills to start on Tuesday night. Even though Kyle has recently moved, we probably won’t be seeing her fabulous new home this season. Here’s a little peek at the beauty from Kyle’s Instagram...

I hope you enjoy the rest of your Sunday,
and are ready to head into this final week before

Here's the recipe for the yummy Pignoli cookies...

Pignoli or Pine Nut Cookies

2 cups pine nuts
1 cup powdered sugar
¼ cup almond paste
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 large egg
½ teaspoon lemon zest
½ cup all-purpose flour
¼ teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Process ¾ cup pine nuts in a food processor with the sugar, almond paste, and vanilla until fine crumbs form. Add egg and lemon zest; pulse to combine. Add flour, baking powder, and salt; process just until dough comes together. Roll dough into ½ inch balls. Roll the cookie balls in the remaining 1 ¼ cups pine nuts and gently press to adhere. Space the cookie dough 2 inches apart on a cookie sheet. Bake until cookies begin to turn golden brown, approximately 20 minutes. Let cool completely on sheets on wire racks. Makes about 2 ½ dozen pignoli cookies.

ciao! fabiana

photos: 1. Country Living  3. Southern Living
Housewives photos: instagram

1 comment:

  1. Love seeing your husbands beautiful childhood home and the dreamy snow! I'm starting my baking this week and can hardly wait to do a little sampling as I go. Happy Sunday, my friend!


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