Monday, November 29, 2010


"Silent gratitude isn't much use to anyone." ~G.B. Stern

What a full weekend it has been
so many little moments to cherish
I couldn't possibly pick a favorite
such a glorious time of fellowship
surrounded by the ones I love
exchanging stories and smiles
rejoicing in plentiful provision
counting blessings
sleeping in
prayerful solitude
late night movies with friends
putting up the christmas tree
Anthony's pancakes
children's laughter
baking with my sisters
an eggnog toast
and biscochitos
chocolate dipped biscochitos
*recipe below*


I am so very humbled when I think of
how God took a broken vessel like me
and made it useful,
beautiful even,
blessed in ways that are too numerous to count.

A thankful heart is a happy heart.
and this heart is doing cartwheels.

I am also exceedingly grateful
for new friendships
that have blessed me beyond measure...
you know who you are
and with all that is within me
thank you....

This is known as New Mexico's Traditional Cookie, and it's a staple in our family around Christmas. But this year, I decided to make them early, cut out with festive fall shapes of maple leaves, acorns, pumpkins, turkeys and apples. I don't remember who originally gave me this recipe, but I'm certain that any true New Mexican has it written down somewhere, on an old piece of notebook paper with faded ink, and it will continue to be passed down for generations to come. Anise is the star ingredient in this simple cookie, and as a tribute to my sis in law Jo, who brought us our first "chocolate dipped" biscochito from Orlando's Restaurant in Taos years ago, and then insisted it become tradition thereafter, it is half dipped in chocolate to add one more layer of decadence....but one disclaimer: it has lard in it....yes, I know, lard. I can barely say it without gagging...however, it is the authentic way to make this recipe, and I'm all about authenticity.....

6 cups of flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 teaspoons baking powder
2 cups lard
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 teaspoons anise seeds
2 eggs
1/4 cup brandy (you may also substitute rum, or even grand marnier)

cinnamon sugar dusting:
1/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon cinnamon

Sift flour with baking powder and salt. Cream lard with sugar and anise seeds until fluffy. Beat in eggs one at a time. Mix in flour and brandy until well blended. Turn dough out on floured board and pat or roll into 1/4" to 1/2" thickness. Cut into shapes (fleur-de-lis is traditional). Dust with mixture of sugar and cinnamon. Place on parchment paper on baking sheet. Bake 10 minutes at 350 degrees or until browned.

If desired, half dip in chocolate.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010


"Hope is a seed
that God plants in our hearts
to remind us that better things are ahead."
~ Holley Gerth

Praying this morning.
Praying for those I know
and those I don't.
those who are struggling.
those who are searching.
those who are longing.
those who are hurting.
those who are hoping.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Green Chile Cheese Potato Knish


"You have not lived

until you have done something for someone

who can never repay you. "


It's amazing what a difference one day makes.
One day you're here, the next you're gone.
Mortality is a real eye opener, isn't it?
Friends, life is precious
don't squander it
don't take it for granted
live with passion
smile much
laugh often
don't sweat the small stuff
express gratitude
love fearlessly
live authentically
let your light shine
give of yourself

Simone Weil said
"There are only two things that pierce the heart.
One is beauty.
The other is affliction."

I know there are so many in our lives
who are going through something
challenging right now...

no matter how small the gesture
one simple act of kindness
can impact someone's life forever

With that in mind I created this dish
in an effort to reach out and touch
who desperately needs it.

Kraft has teamed up with Feeding America, the nation’s leading domestic hunger-relief charity, with the goal of helping secure 100,000 meals* for people in need. For every recipe with photo uploaded to the Real Women of Philadelphia website with their new product (Kraft Natural Cheese with a Touch of PHILLY!) they will donate 20 meals, for every video uploaded, they will donate 40 meals.
I have been making a variation of this meal for my husband for several years, but I have altered it to include the new Kraft product and stuff it in phyllo dough to create my twist on a potato knish. This dish is a wonderful vegetarian dish that would be great with a salad or soup (or both!) - this is a most lovely side dish with chicken or beef - it is a truly delightful appetizer - and would be a mouthwatering breakfast with a fried egg on top...ohhhh yeahhhhh.....
I originally made this dish in a 9 x 13 pan, and then with the left over potatoes and phyllo that was still in the package, I made another pie, and then decided the pie picture was prettier than the 9 x 13 dish so I used that as the intro - so whichever way you choose to make it, I know you will enjoy.

Here's what you need:
12 sheets of phyllo dough
6 Cups of Baby Red Potatoes (skin on), boiled & drained
3 Tbsp of Butter
2/3 cup of milk
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 Cup Manchego Cheese, Shredded
1 Cup Fontina Cheese, Shredded
1 Cup Kraft Natural Cheese with a Touch of PHILLY! - Triple Cheddar
1/2 cup green chile, chopped (roasted and peeled if fresh, or canned is ok)
salt to taste

to brush phyllo dough i melted appx 6 tbsp of butter in a bowl and made an egg wash with 1 egg and some water in another bowl

Here's how you make it:
After the potatoes are boiled and drained, add butter, milk and begin to mash right in the pot.
add garlic, mix well
add some salt to taste, mix well
add all 3 cheeses, incorporate very well
lastly add green chile and mix well, taste and add salt if desired
preheat oven to 350 degrees
spray a 9 x 13 pan with cooking spray
lay 2 sheets of phyllo dough down, brush butter over the entire sheet to moisten
add 2 more sheets of phyllo, brush more butter to cover entirely, then add 2 more sheets of phyllo
brush with more butter to cover sheets entirely
add potato filling in to cover sheets entirely
then add your last 6 sheets of phyllo in sets of 2, followed by brushing butter over entire sheets
when final layers of phyllo are on and butter is brushed evenly, then add one layer of egg wash over entire sheet
preslice before putting into oven for easy slices (thank you Sheila Cutchlow for that tip when working with phyllo casseroles!)
place uncovered in oven and bake for 30 minutes

I also want to extend a very special thanks to Chef Dennis for his warm invitation
to write a guest post on his amazing site
"Ask Chef Dennis"
He has impacted me in more ways than one
and I invite you to
become a part of his world - click here to see the guest post

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

A Whole Lotta New...

Come to the edge.
We might fall.
Come to the edge.
It's too high!
Come to the edge!
And they came,
and he pushed,
and they flew.
-- Christopher Logue

Oh, the thrill of spreading those wings and flying...
This month has been full of new experiences.
some joyful.
some painful.
Feeling the beautiful growing pains of a heart expanding over time...
But it reminds me that I'm ALIVE
and more importantly

Checked off a few items from my
"bucket list"
which started with a free adrenaline rush
i.e. Catered my first gig.
*Thank you Jodi, what an honor to serve you! And thank you Stacy, for your slicing, dicing, and mad serving skills*

Started the Italian lessons =)

*continua a splendere bellas dolce!*

Learned to knit.
my first project: a scarf of course!

Learned to sew.
my first project: a mini smock apron for Sophia
*just look at those ADORE-able lil' owls*

kept tradition going with an all day frolic

I'm discovering more beauty in "change"
and the "new."
true metamorphosis.

Late blossoms from my neighbor's rose bushes
were plump and full just the other day
and now have wilted and gone.
Life is like this I think.
I want to make the most of it.


Share |
Related Posts with Thumbnails