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Posts tagged ‘Christmas’

Wanderlust Wednesday |Santa in Venice

They know that Santa’s on his way
He’s loaded lots of toys and goodies
On his sleigh
And ev’ry mother’s
Child is gonna spy to see if
Reindeer really know how to fly

Photo credit unknown

Photo credit unknown

Copyright 2014, Once in a Lifetime Travel

Dreaming of Italy?  Follow me.

Christmas Biscotti Recipes

I love making biscotti at Christmas time, they make great gifts if you manage to not eat them all yourself.  Below are links to the recipes of some of my favorites.  Buon Appetito.

Peppermint Chocolate Chip

cookie baking christmas

Chocolate Candied Orange Peel

Candied orange chocolate

White Chocolate Pumpkin Pie

baking

Bacon Chocolate Chip

Italy baking cooking

Triple Ginger

recipes

Red Velvet

Red Velvet Biscotti

Butterscotch Dipped Chocolate Chip

Italian recipe

Biscotti Toscani

biscotti recipe almonds

Pecan and Candied Orange Peel

pecan and candied orange peel biscotti

Chocolate Chip Pumpkin

Tastes even better served in my grandma's tea cup.

Copyright 2014   Andi Brown,  Once in a Lifetime Travel

Holiday Recipes from Italy

It is that time of year again!  The holidays just aren’t the holidays without something yummy baking in the oven.  I have compiled links to some of my favorite recipes that I am getting ready to test out this year.  Let me know what you think, and if you have a favorite tell me about it!

Madonna del Piatto

If you were following me this August, you will remember my month of favorite Italian websites.  This wonderful lady was one of those.  Here is her recipe for Bace di Dama cookies and she even put the measurement conversions in for us Yankees.  Another is her Assisi apple and olive oil strudel.

Baci di Dama

Baci di Dama

Over a Tuscan Stove

Another of my favorite cooking bloggers.  Here are several links and I can’t decide where to get started.  Fig and Walnut Paneforte, Christmas Treats, Bollito Misto (ok I’m dreaming here, following the links to actual recipe).

 

Red Star to Lone Star

I stumbled across this blog and loved the looked of it, then later found this post about the famous Italian cookies called Befana.

 

The Italian Dish

Another new mouthwatering blog that I am now following.  So so many recipes to go through.  Croccante, pine nut brittle and Mosiac Biscotti just for starters.

croccante italian baking

Croccante courtesy of the Italian Dish

I’m obsessed with feedback, let me know what you think.

Love it??  Pass it on!

Copyright 2012   Andi Brown,  Once in a Lifetime Travel

 

 

Peppermint Chip Chocolate Biscotti

Peppermint Chip Chocolate Biscotti

I had to bring this one back for the holidays!  The perfect festive and yummy treat for this time of year.

cookie baking

Ingredients:

1 cup  coarsely chopped Hershey’s Kisses Candy Cane (hurry, only available during the holidays!)   plus approx 1 cup whole for drizzle

1 cup chocolate chips

1/2 cup  butter

2 large eggs

1 cup granulated sugar

1 tsp vanilla extract

2 to 2¼ cups flour

1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1½ tsp baking powder

1 tsp salt

Directions:

1. Heat the oven to 350°. Melt the butter and chocolate chips together (I put them in a Pyrex measuring cup and microwave them) and set aside.

2. Beat the eggs and sugar until lightened, about two minutes.

3. Add the vanilla and chocolate mixture.

4. Mix in the flour, cocoa, baking powder, and salt just until combined. You should have a soft, but not sticky, dough. Add the extra 1/4 cup of flour if dough is too sticky.  I usually have to add more.  Mix in peppermint chips.

5. Divide the dough in half. On a lightly floured surface, form each half into a log that is 3½ inches by 9 inches. Place the logs on a heavy-duty baking sheet.  Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until the tops are set.

6. Reduce the oven to 275°. Let the logs cool, then slice into 1/2-inch thick slices. Arrange the slices on baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes. Remove from the oven, carefully turn the slices over, and bake for another 20 minutes.

7. Cool on a wire rack.  Heat remaining peppermint chips in microwave on 70% power for 1-2 minutes, then drizzle over cooled biscotti.  Store in an airtight container or freeze.

Copyright 2012   Andi Brown,  Once in a Lifetime Travel

Waterspout off the Coast of Genoa Italy

christmas tree bozeman montanaWeird weather continues everywhere.  Here in Montana we are starting to wonder if it will be a white Christmas or not.  We actually wore our mud boots out on our outing to find a Christmas tree instead of the usual snow boots.

I wanted to share this pretty incredible photo of a dramatic waterspout off the coast of Genoa Italy yesterday.  Click here to read the article on Storm Chasers.

Courtesy of Storm Chaser Movies

Courtesy of Storm Chaser Movies

 

 

I’m obsessed with feedback, let me know what you think.

Love it??  Pass it on!

Copyright 2012   Andi Brown,  Once in a Lifetime Travel

 

Peppermint Chip Chocolate Biscotti

Biscotti Recipe:  Week One – Peppermint Chip Chocolate Biscotti

For those of you that missed my previous post, my New Year’s Resolution this year is to make a new biscotti recipe every week.  Take that weight watchers!

cookie baking

Ingredients:

1 cup  coarsely chopped Hershey’s Kisses Candy Cane (hurry, only available during the holidays!)   plus approx 1 cup whole for drizzle

1 cup chocolate chips

1/2 cup  butter

2 large eggs

1 cup granulated sugar

1 tsp vanilla extract

2 to 2¼ cups flour

1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1½ tsp baking powder

1 tsp salt

Directions:

1. Heat the oven to 350°. Melt the butter and chocolate chips together (I put them in a Pyrex measuring cup and microwave them) and set aside.

2. Beat the eggs and sugar until lightened, about two minutes.

3. Add the vanilla and chocolate mixture.

4. Mix in the flour, cocoa, baking powder, and salt just until combined. You should have a soft, but not sticky, dough. Add the extra 1/4 cup of flour if dough is too sticky.  I usually have to add more.  Mix in peppermint chips.

5. Divide the dough in half. On a lightly floured surface, form each half into a log that is 3½ inches by 9 inches. Place the logs on a heavy-duty baking sheet.  Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until the tops are set.

6. Reduce the oven to 275°. Let the logs cool, then slice into 1/2-inch thick slices. Arrange the slices on baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes. Remove from the oven, carefully turn the slices over, and bake for another 20 minutes.

7. Cool on a wire rack.  Heat remaining peppermint chips in microwave on 70% power for 1-2 minutes, then drizzle over cooled biscotti.  Store in an airtight container or freeze.

Copyright 2012   Andi Brown,  Once in a Lifetime Travel

Italy in the News: The Colosseum is falling, saving lives in church, bringing Mona Lisa home and more

Headlines from December 25-31

(ANSA) – Priests at the Pistoia Cathedral in Tuscany may soon be saving more than just souls as the church became the first in Italy outfitted with a heart defibrillator on Thursday….Read More

(ANSA) – Premier Mario Monti said Italy was not following Greece’s economic demise despite its love of the country….Read More

(ANSA) – The Holy Shroud of Turin cannot be a fake according to a new five-year study highlighted by Vatican newspaper l’Osservatore Romano….Read More

(Reuters) – A courtyard column of a Roman house in Pompeii collapsed on Thursday, renewing concerns about the state of the site which was frozen in time when Mount Vesuvius erupted 2,000 years ago, burying inhabitants alive and preserving their homes….Read More

(ABC News) – Florence officials are launching a campaign to bring the “Mona Lisa” back for a visit….Read More

(ANSA) – The Colosseum lost another bit of masonry Tuesday following a fragment of wall that fell off on Christmas Day, fire services said….Read More 

(New York Times) – The traditional inauguration of the Christmas season got underway early this month in Rome, but travelers can visit vestiges of those early celebrations, and still take in a few more ceremonies, after the gifts have been opened….Read More

(ANSA) – Pope Benedict XVi on Wednesday stressed the importance of families praying together….Read More

Dreaming of Italy Christmas Give-Away WINNERS

Italian Riveria, Vernazza, ItalyThank you to everyone who was a part of the give-away, I had fun reading your dreams!  I decided to make each one of you a winner, so you all will receive $50 off any of my travel planning service with NO expiration date!  More info about my service here.

The following are my randomly chosen winners:

Iris Beard:  Magic Bridge (and 50$ off)

Amy Hill Cooley:  Inn Food cookbook (and 50$ off)

Meg King-Sloan:  Magic Bridge (and 50$ off)

Contact me so that I can find out where to send your prizes!

Dreaming of Italy Christmas Give-Away

That’s right!  If you can dream of Italy then you can be a part of my Italian Christmas Give-away.  Just tell me your Italian dream.  If there was one place in Italy you could go, where would that be and why.

Rules:  Enter your dream destination and why on my Facebook page.  For a second chance to win, follow my blog (sign up on the right hand corner) and comment on this post.

Three lucky and random winners will receive one of the following:

Contest ends at midnight Friday December 23.  Winners announced Christmas Day.  Good luck and start dreaming!

Copyright 2011  Andi Brown  Once in a Lifetime Travel 

Christmas Treats | Chocolate Dipped Butterscotch Biscotti

Chocolate Dipped Butterscotch Biscotti

Italian recipe

It’s down to the wire, only five days until Christmas and I still need to come up with little gifts for the neighbors, the teachers, bus driver, garbage man and anyone who decides to give me something unexpected.

What better to make than these?  They look like I spent all day in the kitchen, and let me tell you they taste fantastic.  So good in fact, I am on my third cup of coffee just so that I can keep dipping.  Which reminds me, anything said on this post was done by a hypercaffienated mom who hasn’t spoken to anyone over the age of 8 in two days.

So here is the recipe, I have made some modifications from a post I found on Savory Simple.

Chocolate Dipped Butterscotch Biscotti

**I have adapted this recipe for my food processor, but it can be just as easily done with a standing mixer**

Ingredients

  • 2 cups flour (may need up to a 1/2 cup more depending on dough consistency)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • pinch of salt
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 tsp of vanilla
  • 1/2 cup semi sweet chocolate chips for dough;  2 cups for dipping
  • 1 cup butterscotch chips

Directions

  1. Mix dry ingredients together in food processor.
  2. Add eggs and vanilla to mixer, while pulsing the machine on and off.
  3. When the dough starts getting crumbly (if it still looks wet add more flour a 1/4 cup at a time), add the chocolate and butterscotch chips.  Continue to pulse until everything is evenly combined.  If your processor starts to grate the chips instead of mix, then remove dough and mix by hand.
  4. Push the dough together in the mixing bowl or on a table until it’s a firm, slightly sticky dough.
  5. Divide the dough into 4 even pieces and roll them into logs.  Set the logs in a sheet tray covered with parchment.  Make sure you leave an even amount of space to prevent logs from sticking together as they cook.  Not a big deal if they do, they just don’t look as pretty.
  6. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes.  Tops should be firm, then allow to cool.
  7. Slice on the bias about 1/2 inch each.  Try to cut them all the same size so that they will cook evenly.  Place slices back in the oven at 300 degrees for 5 minutes per side.
  8. Heat remaining chocolate in double boiler.  Dip long flat side of the biscotti into the chocolate and place chocolate side up on a cooling rack to dry.  Store in an air tight container or freeze.
  9. Immediately make a large pot of coffee, dip and enjoy!!

italian recipe

Copyright 2011  Andi Brown  Once in a Lifetime Travel

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