Friday, December 25, 2009

ssh...a winner

There is something special about Christmas night.  The hustle and bustle is over. The Presents are wrapped, opened and enjoyed.  The cookies are baked and eaten.
Finally, a night you can sit back and enjoy the lights of the tree,  and the quiet that surrounds it.

Before I  grab my blanket,  a cup of tea and curl up on the couch..
I have one more thing to do...announce the winner of the Winter Solstice giveaway...chosen by the highly scientific method, "pick a number."
With no drum roll please (it will spoil the quiet) The winner is ......
The lovely Julia from "Hooked on Houses".  So, Julia if your reading this, congratulations, I will be contacting you "tomorrow" for the address to send your pillow. 

I also want to thank all of you for your wonderful comments and the warm welcome back to blog land


I hope your holiday was merry and filled with love and you are now enjoying the beauty of this night ~

Thursday, December 24, 2009


The baking of Christmas cookies is a large part of the holidays for my family.  We have certain ones that have been handed down through the generations and are still baked every year.  The recipe's may have changed slightly,  but the feeling and memories are as strong each time.

For as many Christmas's that I  remember, my mother would talk about a cookie she always had as a child. She could not remember it's name, just what it looked and tasted like.  Shaped like a cone or tree, it was bits of fried dough stuck together with honey and sprinkled with bits of candy.  A centerpiece on a plate, everyone would simply break off a piece.

This year I did a little searching to see what I could find.  In "The North End Italian Cookbook" I came across a recipe for Strugfoli.  Sounded just like what I was looking for.  So I gave it try.

Here's the recipe, if you'd like to give it a try.
2 cups peanut oil
2 cups sifted flour
1/4 tsp salt
3 eggs
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup honey
1 tbsp sugar 
1 tbsp multicolored sprinkles
Mix the flour &  salt in a large bowl -make a well in center of flour - Add the eggs, one at a mix slightly after each using a fork or tossing with your fingers. Add the vanilla- mix well to make a soft dough
Turn dough onto lightly floured surface & knead for 5 mins. - Divide dough in half and lightly roll into 1/4" rectangle- cut the dough into 1/4"wide strips - use the palm of your hand to roll the strips to pencil thickness- Cut each strip into pieces about 1/4" long.
Heat oil in deep saucepan to 365 degrees.  Add enough pieces to hot oil so they float uncrowded- Fry 3 to 5 mins until lightly browned, turning often during cooking. - transfer with slotted spoon to paper towels to drain - Finish frying all the pieces.
Meanwhile cook the honey and sugar in a separate pan over low heat for about 5 mins.
Remove from heat and add the deep fried pieces. - Stir to coat all the pieces with the honey sugar mixture
Put the Strugfoli on cookie sheet and put in refrigerator to chill slightly
Transfer to serving platter and arrange in a cone shaped mound -**Note..wet your hands first, this part was tricky**
Sprinkle with multi colored candies 
Chill in the refrigerator to set the shape desired and cool the syrup. Serve by breaking off individual pieces

Maybe kept in a box for up to 2 weeks. 

**My take on it...good not great..but being my first time making definitely could be the cook.
**I thought it could have used more flavor but the kids loved it!

**I've since found a few slightly different versions of this recipe here and here

If you've made this or have another recipe for this dessert I'd love to hear about it. 
I plan on trying to improve on it myself.

Happy Holiday Baking and Don't forget there's still time to enter my holiday giveaway


Monday, December 21, 2009

Happy Winter Solstice ~ Thank You Giveaway

I have been wanting to get back to this long lost blog for awhile now.  Each morning, I put it on my list of must dos. Each evening, it seems that is the thing that is not checked off  (well, one of the things). I find lately there are so many thing I'd like to share with you, my mind gets cluttered with all of it.

What better day for Solsticehome to start, but the Winter Solstice. A celebration in recognition of rebirth, gatherings are valued for emotional comfort,  and having something to look forward to at the darkest time of the year.

To celebrate this rebirth and to thank followers.  I'm having a winter solstice giveaway!
A handmade vintage fabric lavender filled pillow
made with vintage linen fabric and button it is 6x6 & filled with wonderful dried lavender.
Tuck it on your bed.. or in your will be a treat for your sense of sight and smell.

To enter..just leave me a little note & hopefully you will visit often...
winner chosen Dec 25th Christmas night!

Happy Winter Solstice & remember the days can only get longer now

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