Gourmet Magazine had the best Christmas cookie recipes.  Just one of many reasons why they will be missed.

Jelly Bowl Cookies

1/2 prepared Basic Butter Cookie Dough at room temperature (see below)

3/4 cup cherry jam

1/2 cup ground hazelnuts

Butter Cookie Dough

4 sticks (1 pound) unsalted butter, softened
1 1/3 cups sugar
3/4 teaspoon salt
3 large egg yolks
2 teaspoons vanilla
4 2/3 cups all-purpose flour

In large bowl of a standing electric mixer beat together butter, sugar, and salt until light and fluffy. Beat in yolks, 1 at a time, and vanilla and beat until smooth. Beat in flour gradually, beating dough until just combined well.  Dough will be dry.  Knead it a couple of times and it will hold together.  Preheat oven to 350°F.

Form level teaspoons of dough into balls, roll in hazelnuts and arrange about 1 inch apart on baking sheets. With your thumb make an indentation in center of each ball of dough and fill with about 1/4 teaspoon jam.

Bake cookies in batches in middle of oven until edges are pale golden, about 12 minutes. Cool cookies on baking sheets 2 minutes and transfer to racks to cool completely.


I love fresh cranberry relish.  This year I used honey from my bees as the sweetener and it turn out wonderful.  Check out the snow on my deck.  There are snow crystals all over the place this morning

1 bag fresh cranberries

1 navel orange

1/2 cup honey

2 TBS cointreau

Roughly chop orange.  Process cranberries, orange and cointreau  in food processor until everything is finely chopped.  While processor is running slowly add honey.  Transfer to a serving dish.



Winter has finally arrived.  I thought something with a little lemon in it would take our thoughts away from the raging storm outside.  Lucky for me my parents were here a few weeks ago and they brought with them a large bag of Meyers lemons from their tree. 



Unsalted butter, room temperature, for custard cups
3 large eggs, separated
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 T all-purpose flour
2-3 t grated Meyer lemon zest (1 lemon)
1/4 cup fresh Meyer lemon juice (about 2 lemons)
1 cup milk
Confectioner’s sugar for dusting


Preheat oven to 350°. Set a kettle of water to boil. Butter four 6-ounce custard cups and place in a baking dish.

2. In a large bowl, beat egg yolks and sugar until light; whisk in flour. Gradually beat in lemon juice, then milk, vanilla extract and zest.

3. With a hand mixer, beat egg whites until soft peaks form. Add to lemon batter and fold in gently with a spatula.

4. Divide batter among prepared custard cups; place baking dish in oven and fill with boiling water to reach halfway up sides of cups. Bake until puffed and lightly browned (but pudding is still visible in bottom), 30 to 35 minutes. Serve slightly warm or at room temperature, dusted with confectioners’ sugar.

Me again!!  Campviola’s sister.  I think I might make this a habit.  🙂

So my son’s friend from school had a birthday party this weekend.  We really adore him and his family, but lets face it, birthday party food typically sucks.  It’s true, you know it is.  So armed with this knowledge, I always eat before.  That way, I’m not hungry and don’t cave and eat cold pizza that resembles cardboard with cheese on top.  Boy was I bummed that I did that this party!!  The birthday boy’s Grandmother made the most amazing yummy gooey buttery tomatoey pasta.  Oh, I forgot to mention they were also serving equally yummy red wine to go with the yummy gooey pasta!!  Even though I was full, I still stuffed myself with TWO full plates.  It was just that good!  But honestly, you can’t go wrong with anything that has butter and cream cheese, can you?

Here’s how you make it……

Cut up your tomatoes

Cook one pound of medium pasta shells, I forgot to take a picture of that, oh well.  Place it in a pan and cover it with olive oil.

Combine cream cheese, butter and Parmesan cheese.  Mound cheese on the pasta and cover with tomatoes.

Place in a 325-degree oven for 20 to 30 minutes until the sauce is warm, not runny.

Meanwhile grab some fresh basil.

Chop it up.

Remove from oven and cover with the basil.  My kids were crazy about the basil.  They made me chop up a extra batch of it to put on their plates.  They are not your typical kids, what can I say. 

Here is the complete recipe:

Pasta Roma
1 pound medium pasta shells (cook as directed)
1/3 cup olive oil
2 8-ounce bricks cream cheese
1 cube butter
1 cup Parmesan cheese
10 to 12 tomatoes, chopped
1 to 1 1/2 cups chopped fresh basil
Place the cooked pasta in a 9×13-inch pan, then pour in the olive oil.
Combine the cream cheese with butter, then blend in a food processor. Add the Parmesan cheese and blend again.
Mound the blended cheese on top of the pasta. Cover with tomatoes.
Place in a 325-degree oven for 20 to 30 minutes until the sauce is warm, not runny.
Remove from oven and cover with 1 to 1 1/2 cups of finely chopped fresh basil. Serve.

Below is the link of her recipe that was printed in the Ventura County newspaper.



Hi, I’m Dianne, Campviola’s favorite sister.  I’m her only sister, but that is besides the point.  She’s been lagging on posting on here (she’s lazy) so I thought I’d invade her blog and post the best fall cookie ever.  It’s the yummiest.  Truly, I don’t lie. Well, on occasion I do, but I’m not now.  I swear. 

Pumpkin Whoopie Pie
Doesn’t this good????!!!!   It is.  I should know, I just ate three. (Don’t judge, I had to test them!!)
Whisk together the melted butter, brown sugar, eggs, pumpkin puree, pumpkin spice, vanilla, baking powder, and baking soda, and salt.
Fold in flour with a rubber spatula.  
I’m not condoning eating dough……but…..this dough taste amazing!!  Like pumpkin mousse!  Soooo good!!
Make 24 generous mounds on 2 cookie sheets.  Bake 10 minutes at 350 until cookie is springy to touch.  
Meanwhile, using an electric mixer, cream the softened butter with the cream cheese. Add the confectioners’ sugar and the remaining 2 pinches salt and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla; mix on low speed until blended, then beat on medium-high speed until fluffy, about 2 minutes.  Spread the flat side of 12 cakes with the cream cheese frosting. Top each with another cake.
This is how I eat them.  That way there is more frosting to cookie ratio.  🙂
Recipe below.  Enjoy!!!
    *   1 1/2 sticks (6 ounces) unsalted butter, 1 stick melted, 1/2 stick softened
    * 1 cup packed light brown sugar
    * 2 large eggs, at room temperature, lightly beaten
    * 1 cup canned pure pumpkin puree
    * 1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
    * 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
    * 1 teaspoon baking powder
    * 1 teaspoon baking soda
    * 3/4 teaspoon plus 2 pinches salt
    * 1-2/3 cups flour
    * 4 ounces cream cheese, chilled
    * 1 cup confectioners’ sugar
Granola Bars

2 cups old-fashioned oatmeal
1 cup chopped pecans
1 cup shredded coconut, loosely packed (I used unsweetened)
2/3 cup honey
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 cup dried fruit, or a mix of dried fruit (I used chopped cherries, cranberries and raisins)
1 TBS butter
Preheat your oven to 350°F. Butter an 8×13 inch baking dish.  Toss the oatmeal, pecans, and coconut together on a sheet pan and bake for 10 to 12 minutes, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned. Transfer the mixture to a large mixing bowl and stir in the wheat germ. Reduce the oven temperature to 300°F. 
While the mixture is still warm, stir in the honey, vanilla and buuter until the mixture is well coated, then the dried fruit. Pour the mixture into your prepared baking dish and press, press, press it in (wet fingers and/or a silicon spatula work great for this) until the mixture is packed as tightly as possible.
Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until light golden brown. Cool for 2 to 3 hours before cutting into squares — your best serrated knife is great for this.

Modified from The Smitten blog.

White Peach Jam with Fresh Ginger and Cointreau
For years I’ve tried to grow  peach trees in our orchard.  Every year I would buy a tree or two, always the cold  hardiest species. Most would last a year, if I was lucky one would live for two years then die the next  winter and I would start the project all over.  Finally, I gave up and nowadays I buy peaches from our local farmers market.  One of our vendors the Tonnemakers sells white peaches.  This year I bought a flat. This would be enough to make a batch of jam and then have peaches to eat all week.  The jam came out so good that I made two batches and had no leftovers.  It will be worth it January.

White Peach Jam
4 cup chopped peaches
5 cups sugar
Juice from one lemon
1 box pectin
Several large pieces of peeled ginger
2 TBS Cointreau
1 tsp butter
Mix peaches, pectin and butter.  Cook over medium high heat until boiling.  Add sugar all at once.  Bring back to a boil, then boil for 4 minutes.  Remove ginger pieces.   Pour into small canning jars and hot water process for 5 minutes.

Kale Slaw

The favorite salad of the summer.

5 cup of finely chopped kale
1 cup of chopped or grate carrots
1/3 cup mayonnaise
1/3 cup plain yogurt
1/3 cup fresh dill (or more)
1 TBS honey
1 TBS fresh oregano
1 TBS lemon juice
pepper to taste

Mix first two ingredients in a bowl. Mix last seven ingredients and adjust favors until it is slightly tangy. Mix dressing well with Kale and carrots.

They are three, originally uploaded by campviola.

The boys have grown into very nice dogs. Although my house may never recover from their puppyhood.

easy like saturday morning, originally uploaded by campviola.

Blueberry Buckle

7 tbs butter
1/2 sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp baking powder
3/4 cup flour
dash of salt
2 eggs
1 cup blueberries

Mix butter and sugar. Add vanilla. Slowly add flour, baking powder and salt. Slightly mix. Add eggs one at a time. Stir in blueberries. Spread in a small pan. I used a 6×6 dish.


1/2 stick butter
1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup flour
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg

Blend together until it looks like cornmeal. Sprinkle over batter. Bake at 350 for about 40 minutes. You can see the blueberries bubbling in the middle.

Serve with pesto scrambled eggs. Breakfast music was Rory Block “From the Dust”

Di, This was an epicurious recipe that I modified.