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When I started my retirement travels - the first of which was my solo overseas trip to Italy in 2009 - I wanted a way to share it with family and friends as it happened. Hence, "My Travel Journal". However I realized I wouldn't always be on a trip and wondered what to do with the blog in between times. My daughter pointed out, wisely, that travels can also include trips to the kitchen to try a new recipe, trips to visit family, trips to my neighborhood Starbucks, or a fun day trip with a friend. You're welcome to join me on any of these journeys!

P.S. I've set up separate pages for each of my major trips (see tabs above).

I recently added an "Italian Word a Day" thingie which shows up at the bottom of every page. You see the word and can click to hear it pronounced. I've been enjoying it and I think my accent is improving as time goes by.

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December 21, 2010

I Think I'm Going to Make It!

It's Tuesday evening, December 21 and counting...and I got my trip to the post office done today, finished with all of my wrapping except for the grandkiddies and I'll be delivering theirs in person after Christmas.  Although I'm going to try to get them wrapped tomorrow - I don't think there's anything too much worse than wrapping presents after Christmas.

And last night I managed to get the filling made for my cuccidati cookies which have been my favorite Christmas cookie ever since I made them probably 5 or 6 years ago.  This morning I got the pastry made for them and will either put some together later tonight (doubtful) or do them tomorrow.  The filling and the pastry have to chill for at least 8 hours.  I can remember in "the olden days" doing my Christmas baking til 2:00 in the morning!  Of course back then I would make a rum cake, a cheese cake, fudge, at least 3 or 4 kinds of cookies and a Christmas mix thing of various cereals, pretzel stix, peanuts and M&M's all coated with melted white chocolate.  I think of doing that all now and can't imagine it.  Here's a picture of the filling with a picture of the cookies behind it.

They are a glorified - and I mean truly glorified - fig newtons basically and funny thing is I never cared for fig newtons.  But with these, the pastry is a butter pastry with milk, egg and vanilla, and the filling is figs and raisins with 2 kinds of nuts, orange and lemon zest, spices, vanilla, and brandy.  And, oh my goodness, they are good!  I am going to try real hard to remember to take a couple pictures of the putting them together process and the finished product but I seem to get so involved that I tend to forget.  And some day, I may post the recipe, but it'll take about two days to type it!

Oh, and I almost forgot!  I'm not the only one stirring up goodies for Christmas - here's my sweet little Sophia mixing up a batch of cookies.  That mixer is almost bigger than she is!

Lastly, here's a picture of my chocolate castle all decked out for Christmas.  I made these little luminaria a few years back and tried putting them out in front of my fabric store one year which didn't work too well.  I really like them in front of the chocolate store...

Guess that's about it - I just felt so darned good getting finished with my presents I had to say so.  And I discovered this Italian TV series on DVD's at the library and picked up another three episodes today so I can settle in for a cozy evening.  They're detective stories and quite enjoyable (plus the subtitles are actually readable) and, of course, the scenery is wonderful.  They are filmed in Sicily and I suppose it won't surprise anyone to hear that I've already started a "next trip" folder with Sicily info! :)

Buon Notte!


Christopher said...

Ahhh, cuccidati! I trust you'll have a few left to bring over here? While I can't wolf them down as in the past, I would love to nibble one or two ;)
As for wrapping---I have yet to start mine; need to get that done pretty soon, I reckon!
Seeya soon!

January said...

Yumtown! I can't wait to see you...and to nom nom nom on Christmas goodies :)

vrmichie said...

Your chocolate shop looks enchanting and so, of course, does Sophia. Is the back wall of the shop actual lattice? It's nifty whatever it is. And while I know you'll be looking for things to do while you wait for January & Maggie to arrive, don't waste your energy on typing the cuccidati recipe because you did last year, along with an enticing picture of all your Xmas baking :) What I'm hoping to make soon is your chocolate shortbread recipe. I'd love the cuccidati but more work than I'm up for. xoxo

From the Editor's Desk... said...

I had to go back and look at the castle picture to figure out why you thought lattice and you're right - it does look like lattice. But actually it's a wallpaper with a tiny, tiny brown medallion pattern. And duh on me - you're also right that the cuccidati recipe is already in my recipe collection. I've tried a couple new "construction" ideas this year trying always to make the process a little easier. If they seem to make a difference, I'll add those to the recipe after I'm all done.

jamie said...

Ah, cucciadati...how I miss them...I'm with your sister - too much work for me! But they are incredible! The chocolate castle looks amazing and I love the luminaries. Merry Christmas to you and your family.

Love ya,

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