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Thursday, November 29, 2012

Christmas Cookies Series - Mexican Wedding Cakes

Hi dear friends! Thank you for stopping by at The Coffee Shop! Today... I bring to you... one of my very favorite kind of cookie: Mexican Wedding Cakes aka Russian Tea Cakes

 I just love this melt-in-your mouth good cookies! They are buttery and deliciously rolled in powdered sugar... They are very delicate and just perfect for Christmas!

Today I made a batch... and I know I'll be baking many more! Yes... again... this recipe was shared to my by one of hubby's aunts!

Mexican Wedding Cakes aka Russian Tea Cakes



Yield: 48 cookies

Ingredients:
  • 1 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar (plus more for rolling)
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 2 cups of flour
  • finely chopped nuts (optional, although, authentic Russian Tea Cakes ALWAYS include nuts)
Directions:

Preheat Oven at 400F.
In a mixing bowl cream Butter, Add sugar and mix to incorporate, gradually add salt, vanilla, flour and nuts (in that order) just until incorporated. Mixture will be a little stiff. Pinch small amounts of dough to make 1" balls. Bake on ungreased sheet for 8-10 minutes just until bottoms are golden and the cookies show tiny cracks on them.  Roll warm cookies in powdered sugar; cool on wire rack. Roll in powdered sugar again.


Enjoy!

© Paloma K.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Christmas and Thumbprints

Hello everybody... How are you doing? I hope you're all excited about Christmas! I know some of you might not celebrate it... But it's a big deal here in our house. We are all excited about this season! I've hope everybody who does celebrate Christmas makes sure to celebrate it peacefully and with a joyful heart! Remembering that the Reason to celebrate is Jesus... When we remember that... then nothing can go wrong... Because Jesus was born NO matter what. I know this is a hard season for many, those who have lost someone dear to their hearts or those who might be struggling financially... I am not trying to minimize anybody's situation but I am just trying to help us keep in mind that He was still born... He was born in a dark world that needed His light and salvation, that first Christmas was pretty "frugal" if you remember... But there were still angels singing! And they still are... singing to our Savior! Let's join the angelical choir regardless of our situation...

 So...

Now that I've shared a little bit about Christmas... let me ask you... will you be baking cookies? as I said previously... we don't need to get too stressed about anything and Christmas is not about food, money or even about family... it's all about Him... but still... it's great when we can share this wonderful season with those we love while enjoying some good food... not indispensable... but ... it's nice if we can do it... Today I want to share with you a recipe that I found in the "Living" Magazine by Martha Stewart...

Thumbprints with Raspberry Jam and Pistacchio

Still in the "Filling" process

 Ingredients
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder (omit if making thumbprints, ball cookies, or spritz cookies)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 sticks unsalted butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup chopped pistachios or sanding sugar (optional)
  • 1/2 cup raspberry jam

Directions

  1. Whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl. Beat butter and granulated sugar with a mixer on medium-high speed until pale and fluffy. Beat in egg and vanilla. Reduce speed to low. Add flour mixture, and beat until combined. 
  2.  Roll dough into 1-inch balls, then roll in finely chopped nuts or sanding sugar, if using. Arrange on parchment-lined baking sheets, spacing each 1 inch apart.
  3. Press a well into the center of each using your finger. Refrigerate until firm, about 30 minutes. Bake at 350 degrees for 7 minutes. Remove from oven, and press well again with handle end of a wooden spoon. Bake until firm, 7 to 9 minutes more.
  4. Let cool completely. Spoon jam filling into thumbprints.
 Enjoy!

© Paloma K.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Christmas Cookies - Do you have the right baking sheets?

Hello everybody! Welcome to another post here at The Coffee Shop! It is being harder than I thought to get back into blogging! but we must do it! So... have you already planned some Christmas cookie baking? These are the days when Cookie Exchange Parties take place... I used to have this sort of tradition with a friend in Wisconsin, we would get together and bake cookies... I also tried to bake with hubby's aunts... although... for some reason we didn't do much baking together the last year I was there... It's just a busy time for everybody! This time, living now in Texas... I have already been invited to a cookie exchange.... we must all bring four dozens of cookies and share with everyone (along with the recipe) ... sounds cool and fun! But I know I am going to miss baking with my friend from Wisconsin, Ashley, so we are both going to try to bake this Thursday, so we at least get to bake the same day, even if we're far away. 

Her oldest son, then about 9 months old and my oldest daughter a 15 months old, playing while we bake

The "materials"

Here she is!

So... now, that we approach those dates... I'll be sharing some cookie recipes... But first I wanted to know if you have the right baking sheets... You must make sure you have aluminum cookie sheets and baking pans/sheets (avoid non-stick sheets because aluminum bakes more evenly as heat is distributed better throughout the sheet/pan). Cookie sheets are different from baking sheets, cookie sheets do NOT have rolled edges like baking sheets do, they are perfect for cookies because of the larger surface area but of course you can't roast on them because they can't keep any juices in. Just make sure to line your sheets/pans with parchment paper or a French nonstick baking mat to avoid your baked goods to have any metallic taste from the overheated aluminum.

I thought I would share a video that I found from our friends of America's Test Kitchen (now Cooks' Country)... I really trust them, their advice and recipes... so watch it and hopefully you'll find it helpful! Not only for cookie baking... but also for other dishes...



Tomorrow I'll start sharing cookie recipes! Stay tuned!

© Paloma K.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Thanksgiving through the eyes of a Mexican!

 Sorry I've been away... Thanksgiving was great here! We had so much stuff to eat but most of all we gave thanks, shared what we are thankful for and had a great time with family! My brother, his wife and my sister were able to spend some time with us, they came from Mexico specifically to spend Thanksgiving with us. Thanksgiving is not celebrated in Mexico since it doesn't really have anything to do with our history... but in my house there's been always love towards the American beginnings and its history... I've also always loved the whole Thanksgiving Tradition because, when in Mexico, living right at the Border with USA I had some friends who lived in Texas and they did celebrate it! I even got to be part of one Thanksgiving Dinner and I know I still didn't get the "whole experience" because there were "tamales" involved! LOL! ... I wanted to know what the traditional meal was really like... but never occurred to me that one day I would be hosting my own! I try to keep it as traditional as possible to make sure hubby enjoys everything he loves about it and also to share it with my Mexican family, who also appreciate it all... it's so different from our traditional food in Mexico! so they get the taste of what Josh (my husband) grew up with!

So... Here are some pictures of what we enjoyed here...

Our Thanksgiving Table (Thanksgiving Tree in the back)

My girl!



Appetizers: Stuffed Celery, Pretzels, Deviled Eggs

My littlest one! Enjoying too!

Everyone happy!
With my sister and my brother!

With my hubby!

YUM!
Pumpkin Pie, Pecan Pie, Sugar Cookies, Pumpkin Brownies, M&M's

So... That was our Thanksgiving... we are very thankful for all our blessings, most of all for salvation, family and good health.

Now... I am gearing up for Christmas! I just wish there weren't so many events in between so I can lose more pounds and not be tempted with more food! LOL! ... I am already getting recipes, memories and just random thoughts on Christmas to share with you!


© Paloma K.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Vintage Cakes / Shoo-Fly Cake

Hi everybody! Ready for Thanksgiving? How is everything going? Everybody is healthier here! So that's definitely a reason to be thankful!

As you know...  Today is Tuesday and I share quotes on Tuesdays!  for what I call... Tuned-In Tuesdays!

But... before we go to our quotes, I have to share about the latest cake I've made... As most of you know, I belong to a Secret Baking Club, The Cake Slice, where many fellow bakers and cake lovers vote for a cake each month and we bake it to finally reveal it on the 20th of each month! ... This year we are baking from the Vintage Cakes Book and I am loving it! As soon as I got my book I immediately baked something from it just to see the quality of cake recipes we were dealing with and the cake was lovely... Today... well... today I am sharing the cake that was the winner in our latest poll:
 

Shoo-Fly Cake


Interesting Name, isn't it? All the cakes from this book are a compilation of "Vintage/Classic/Traditional Cake Recipes" Shoo-Fly Cake is from the early 1900's and it was very, very easy to make. Some of my fellow bakers had some issues when baking it, the crumb sank and/or the cake came out of the pan when baking... I decided to half the recipe and even when my crumb topping wasn't really "Crumbly" and it became part of the cake... it was just moist and delicious! Hubby said this is now one of his favorite cakes, he is a very expressive guy and I know when he doesn't like something or when he is just being "nice" but yesterday he couldn't stop eating and just raving as he ate! It's definitely on top of our Cake List right now, that's how much he loved it! I thought it was delicious as well, but since I don't eat much cake, I couldn't enjoy it as I would've liked!

I must confess I was really "suspicious" of this cake, since I hadn't heard many great things about it... I still made it because I thought I'd give it a chance and make my own decision whether I liked it or not... I am so happy I did! I've never really liked molasses but this cake, is just heavenly! I did not reduce sugar or molasses at all and I am happy I didn't... It just wouldn't have been the same, it's perfectly balanced as it is! (And I am not into very sweet stuff)

The recipe says to eat it warm right from the pan
I still decided to give it a try and flip it, I used shortening (like always) to grease my pans and it just came right out without trouble! It was easy to do this since the crumb topping wasn't really that "crumbly"


Right now I am just sharing pictures, maybe I'll be sharing the recipe soon. For now the pictures will have to do... I am in a real hurry and I still have to squeeze some "related" quotes in before I end the post!

A real Vintage Cake! Molasses, Cinnamon and Ginger make this a very special cake! Perfect to enjoy with some coffee in my vintage cups!

My friends and fellow bakers from "The Cake Slice" will be displaying their cakes too! Check out their blogs to see what they're doing! (Just click on the button below)


The Cake Slice


And Now... Just a few Quotes... talking about time.... old times...

  
""Old times" Never come back and I suppose it's just as well. What comes back is a new morning everyday in the year, and that's better." - George E. Woodberry

“I love everything that's old, - old friends, old times, old manners, old books, old wine” - Oliver Goldsmith

"Say you not, What is the cause that the former days were better than these? for you do not inquire wisely concerning this." Ecclesiastes 7:10


© Paloma K.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

My Thanksgiving Tree


I finally got the chance to make this! I've been wanting to make it from the very beginning of November but my girls have been sick and I just couldn't gather the inspiration to make it! Last night I decided this couldn't wait any longer, once the girls went to bed and regardless of being tired, I made it. It was easy because I already had what I needed and hubby helped me put the branch in the pot while I traced, cut and "prepared" the leaves. The branch is in a pot and inside the pot there's cardboard to make it steady, the cardboard is cut round to have a tight fit inside the pot, with a hole in the middle for the branch to go through it... so... there's rocks, cardboard, rocks, cardboard and more rocks on top. Those rocks you can buy in the gardening section of any big store. I bought a bag of them last year in Home-Depot.

The leaves are made with brown and yellow cardstock, The shape of the leaves I got it from some artificial leaves I have, you can find great leaf shapes from clip-art or even looking for leaf images online.Once I traced and cut the leaves I just colored their edges with crayon to give them a more "real" look. (used brown crayon for the yellow leaves, dark orange crayon for the brown leaves).

Then I just wrote the things we are thankful for, used some yellow sewing thread to hang them (passed the thread throw the leaf stem with a needle) and hung all the leaves on my branch (you need a dry, "nice looking" branch) the size of it will depend on the size of your pot.

Voila! You have a cute, earthy looking, Thanksgiving Tree!
 
© Paloma K.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Candied Sweet Potatoes - Two Ways!

 Ok... Thanksgiving is pretty much over us, I just came back from doing Thanksgiving Grocery Shopping! Oh wow! Expensive! and I am trying to keep it simple!

So I know I haven't gone through my whole Menu and shared all of my recipes with you... but here I am ... This time I am bringing two recipes on how to make candied sweet potatoes... I don't like sweet potatoes, so they are not even on my menu, but I know this is a "Thanksgiving Staple" and a favorite of many

These recipes were shared with me by two of hubby's aunts... Auntie Sally (you've heard a lot about her here!) and Auntie Janet, well, she sent me Grandma's recipe. I trust them both with their recipes but this seems to be a dish where "the sisters" disagree! LOL! .. I am sure they are both great (If you like sweet potatoes)

So... here they are! Choose your favorite:



Auntie Sally's Candied Sweet Potatoes: (** Original Notes by Auntie Sally)

Ingredients:
  • 6 medium yams
  • 1/2 c. brown sugar
  • 1/2 c. Karo syrup
  • 1/4 c. butter
Directions: 
  •  Preheat oven at 375F. Bake yams until fork tender (not too tender,they'll fall apart) about 25-30 mins.  Peel and cut into pieces 2x2 or so.  Layer in a baking dish, 8x8 or larger depending on how much you have, single layer is best.
  • In the meantime combine sugar, syrup and butter and bring to a boil.  Reduce to low heat and simmer 5 min. Stir occasionally.
  • Pour syrup mixture over potatoes and bake, about 50 minutes basting 1 or 2 times.
** I do cover with foil and remove it in the last 5-10 minutes.
  • They should have a nice glazed look, not crispy.
**I definitely bake them and don't put them in a slow cooker or anything like that.  I think the texture and richness is not obtained unless they go in the oven.  There may be a discrepancy among the aunts on that.

-------------

Grandma Shirley's Easy Candied Sweet Potatoes (**Original Notes by Auntie Janet)

 ** Here is the recipe for the sweet potatoes that Grandma gave me.
 

Ingredients:   
  •  3- 16oz cans whole sweet potatoes (drained) slice into nice size pieces if you need too.
  •  3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  •  3/4 cup dark corn syrup
  •  6 Tablespoons butter
Directions:
  •  Drain the sweet potatoes and put into a 13x9" pan.  Heat the brown sugar, dark corn syrup, and butter bring to a boil.  Simmer stirring for 5 minutes. Pour syrup over sweet potates and bake for 30 minutes. I baste the sweet potates with the syrup after 15 minutes just to keep the tops of the potates from drying out.   
 **    Love Auntie Janet

 Aren't they great? Ah! I love hubby's family! And I love it that they all took the time last Thanksgiving to share all this with me! I am respecting their secrets though... I am only sharing the recipes that I know they don't mind sharing... those recipes that I was told: "This is just for your eyes" well... it's stayed that way!

I hope you like these recipes, let me know which one you picked!

© Paloma K.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Coffee Friday - Traveling Mug!

Hello everybody! This is a very expected day for me! Yes, it is Coffee Friday and as you know we have a link-up party that I hope you are part of and I also hope you enjoy and get to know other bloggers that also, somehow, mentioned coffee in their blogs... Maybe they said "I hate coffee!" or maybe something like "I need coffee" whatever it was, you already have something in common! And I am very honored to have you here!

But... the other reason why I've been expecting this day, is because I have been talking to Marysia  from My Travel Affairs  about featuring her blog! Things happened, even my SITS Day Happened... and we had to schedule her blog for today! She has such a special talent and opportunity in her life... guess what she does... she just TRAVELS! yes.. she gets to see the world and share what she sees and learns with all of us! I love her blog it's always so interesting and colorful, the different places, cultures, costumes... it's just amazing!  I see the world like a huge house, some of us just get to see one or two rooms, some get to see even three or four, this lady is taking the whole tour!I hope you visit her! I know you'll love her and her blog too!

Now... here is Marysia and her post:


When I found out from Paloma that I will be featured on the Coffee Friday I wasn’t too sure what I’m going to write about. I drink coffee everywhere wherever I travel and those can be really normal places like Zurich, Paris, Oslo and Tel Aviv or some outstanding and unusual places like Oman, Jordan, Benin and Kazakhstan.

I have decided to write about coffee drinking customs in Arabic countries. To be frank I love traveling in the Arab World. It is always a genuine experience, and I’m always seeking for those. People are extremely polite and hospitable. Sights breath-taking. And sun is everlasting!


Coffee is omnipresent in daily life in all Arab countries and under most circumstances. It has been this way for centuries, in homes, coffee shops, deserts and streets. Coffee is central to the meaning and symbol of any event. When coffee is served at their inception, it certainly means that things are going well.When people meet and guests visit, coffee is served as a gesture of hospitality. Often served for free to signify that visitors are welcomed. That is something I have learned in Oman while visiting Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque in Muscat. I have been approached be Arabic woman to join for coffee and talks on the tourist-welcome center.

Socializing without coffee in Arab homes and public places comes across as not right. Serving coffee has a strong deep rooted significance in Arab life, traditions and cultures. The host serving the coffee expects the guest to drink it as a sign of respect and acceptance of the hospitality. There is many rules coming with it. In Oman the host has to be standing when serving coffee to sitting guests and can only sit with them after the drinking coffee is finished.


Omani people will serve only little of coffee so you can almost see the bottom of the cup and there is no rule about numbers of servings while Bedouin in Jordan will serve almost full cups and you should customary shake the cup after 3rd round. Fourth is considered greedy. The proper etiquette is to tilt the cup a couple of times, quickly, from side to side, holding it between your finger and thumb and it means you do not wish to have a refill.

Arabic coffee tends to be bitter. Often, but not in every country, fresh dates will be offered with the coffee to sweeten the brew. In Oman yes, Jordan very rarely. Iran and Saudi always. Refusing coffee is considered rude and often insulting to the host.

In some countries you can be lucky and observe the old custom for coffee preparations, serving and drinking which is called ‘gahwa’. Whole coffee beans are poured onto a shallow long-handled iron pan called "mahmasa." This pan is set above the flames. The host stirs the roasting beans with an instrument called "yadal mahmasa." The roasted beans, when cool, are pulverized with a pestle in a mortar called " mahbash”. But those days it is usually the powdered coffee, ground in electric grinders, usually prepared by adding it to boiling water with or without sugar. It can be left to brew as the case is in Arab Gulf states and among Bedouin communities or served immediately. Spices such as cardamom and saffron can be added to the coffee. Cardamom usually softens its strong taste. I personally love cardamom! Like a real Arabic person, they even put it in the food while cooking.

I have seen both way, first one in the private house in Oman and the other in Ajlun Castle in Northern Jordan where I have been invited by supervisor after a guided tour to join his team workers for coffee in the office - meaning a desk in the corner of one of the rooms of the castle. The coffee has been cooked in front of me while we spoke about our countries and recent weather anomalies in Jordan. Coffee making is always accompanied by lively conversations!


If you will ever have the opportunity to partake in an authentic Middle Eastern coffee preparation, do it because you will cherish the memory and find it extremely interesting. Until then, what about enjoying a delicious cup of Spicy Pumpkin Latte or real Italian espresso?!  Im just putting a kettle on...


WOW! I learned so much! Loved it! Thanks, Marysia, for sharing all this with us! I hope many of "The Coffee Shop" regulars will stop by your blog and thank you for "the cup of coffee" you brought today!

Visit Marysia's blog: My Travel Affairs
Like her On Facebook
Follow her On Twitter



© Paloma K.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Between a bucket and paper towel

Hello everybody, that's how I've been living my life lately... between a bucket and some paper towel! My littlest one was sick a few days ago... and yesterday, when I had just started "celebrating" we were "out of that" my oldest (4 yrs. old) started throwing up... and here I am again, holding a bucket "when needed" and just taking care of her... I am exhausted, haven't been getting much sleep, but it's ok... I must say I am very blessed to be able to be a SAHM and I don't have to worry about a job or who will take care of her... I can do this day and night and know that I don't have to go anywhere... it gives me peace and I am sure, even when my girls don't know just yet how blessed they are by this, they are appreciative for everything I do... (even when I sometimes even get yelled at by a very demanding sick little girl) ... of course she is moody and even has headaches... but it's just a virus and I am thankful it's nothing more serious...

So... when little ones are sick... it's not always easy to see the good side of it... or to be able to count your blessings in the midst of it all.. But I've found great encouragement through prayer, His Word and a little, simple devotional for mommies...

So, I thought I'd share a portion of what I read last night... hoping someone else can benefit from it as well...

 The verse was: "And they blessed Rebekah, and said unto her, Thou art our sister, be thou the mother of thousands of millions and let thy seed possess the gate of those which hate them." Genesis 24:60

The devotional for the day mentioned how, it would be very weird if we people said something like that on the day of our wedding (or any time I think!) ... thousands of millions of children? I can't even deal with two!

Drawing obviously isn't one of my talents... but this is how I can picture it in my mind
 
But ... Children... are a blessing! and when Rebekah heard this, she knew they weren't joking ... of course they didn't think she would have thousands of millions but that was a way of saying "I hope you have a very blessed, fruitful life"

Then... and now I'll quote directly from the devo: "Children are God's blessing to you. Whether you have one child or many, you have a unique opportunity to influence the world..." (source: Whispers of Wisdom for Mothers of Preschoolers)


Last night... thinking about that... and thinking of what a blessing (or curse) my children can be for those around them... and the impact that their lives can have on others, some day, hopefully for God's glory... it made me feel that me holding a bucket isn't as irrelevant... this is serious work... I've always known being a mom is important... but sometimes I lose sight of it, when I get lost in the mundane, living day by day in a routine of washing dishes, doing endless laundry and feeding mouths that are always ready for more! ... I hope I can always remember this... I hope I can put things in perspective and do things more intentionally... redeeming the time I have with my little girls... a sleepless night seems endless when you're going through it... but the days of a children go way too fast... and I know I haven't been taking as much advantage of them as I could!

Ok... now I have to go... I need to go have a cup of coffee.. this night might be hard too... and speaking of coffee... would you join me on Friday? We'll have our last featured blogger of the year (don't worry... Our Coffee Fridays will continue) but I'll take a break due to the Holidays and I've already scheduled some bloggers for January... so... come on! Mention "coffee" somehow in any of your posts... even if you say "latte, Starbucks, Gevalia, Dunkin Donuts, coffee table, coffee cake" ... something that is about coffee... please link back and link up! I'll be very happy to see you here!



© Paloma K.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Tuned-In Tuesdays - About Peace!

Today... I thought about sharing some quotes on Peace! Since there's all this rush of the Holidays coming... I hope we focus on the things that really matter and stay calm! And stay peaceful! And enjoy it all! Even the mishaps :) ... SO ... enjoy the quotes.... (some serious, some humorous, all good!)

Thank you for Joining!

 “Peace begins with a smile..”  - Mother Teresa


"My therapist told me the way to achieve true inner peace is to finish what I start. So far today, I have finished 2 bags of M&M's and a chocolate cake. I feel better already.” - Dave Barry



"For every minute you remain angry, you give up sixty seconds of peace of mind." - Ralph Waldo Emerson

"There are many things that are essential to arriving at true peace of mind, and one of the most important is faith, which cannot be acquired without prayer." - John Wooden

"The LORD gives strength to his people; the LORD blesses his people with peace." - Psalm 29:11


"You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in you." - Isaiah 26:3

“Peace is the number one beautiful ornament you can wear, I really believe that. They say you should always wear a smile, but I don't believe that you should "always" wear a smile, seriously, you're going to look stupid! But peace, you should always carry peace within you, its the most beautifying thing you could ever have or do. Peace makes your heart beautiful and it makes you look beautiful, too. You want to have perfect physical posture when you stand, sit, and walk, and peace is the perfect posture of the soul, really. Try perfect posture outside as well as inside. Peace creates grace and grace gives peace.” - C. Joybell C.


Have a great and peaceful rest of the week!



© Paloma K.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Share your Holiday Disasters AND get unplugged!

Hi everyone! Today I am asking everyone to share about their "Holiday Disasters" on my Facebook Page. I hope I get good stories, things we can now all laugh about and also to be encouraged! As you know I've been sharing tips and ideas to make the Thanksgiving Dinner an enjoyable event, not only for the guests but for the host/hostess as well! This doesn't have to be something you just want to "get it over with" but a special time to show your loved ones how special they are... not through perfection, but through YOUR best (not a Magazine's Best), through your smile (not faked, but a relaxed, sincere one), through your ability to have fellowship with them.

 Another tip I am going to share... and ... forgive me if it seems "too much" but... let's make a deal... do not discard it immediately, bare with me...

ehem... Here I go

"Turn off the TV and... avoid the cell phone"

 And this I say with my deepest, sincerest love and respect... but... why do we have to stare at a screen all the time? You can watch that show (or football game) maybe online, maybe later (DVR), you can send that text some other time... But we never have the certainty we will all have another Thanksgiving together... And I don't mean this to be a gloomy post... but I just want to encourage, all of us, to treasure each moment when you get to spend time with the family and, if you have little ones, it's a great opportunity to teach them what's really valuable! We can turn our "screens" off for PEOPLE, people are important! Family is important! If the Turkey is dry, if the cookies are flat, if the Pumpkin pie is still jiggly and the pecans burnt... that doesn't matter... everything will end up in the toilet! (sorry about the expression) but it's true! Laugh about it! It's great to have a perfect meal! But life wouldn't be as enjoyable if everything was perfect! We wouldn't have funny stories to share if nothing went wrong once in a while! Take a picture of your burnt cookies, your mismatched napkins, your chipped gravy boat... and laugh about it! Turn it into a story to talk about after dinner!

My first time Baking Christmas Cookies... I didn't add peanut butter to Peanut butter cookies - LOL!

Don't let all the guys go watch football while all the girls talk at the table about what could've gone better ... it's a great opportunity for everyone to visit! Make a Thanksgiving Tree or just have everyone write in a piece of paper what they're thankful for this year so then you can all read about it later, turn it into a game by mixing the "thankful notes" and trying to guess who wrote what!

This is such a great opportunity to create more moments to be thankful for!

I got good hugs this Thanksgiving. I don't think those watching the football game have as many good memories as I do!

So... now... share... what are your biggest "Holiday Disasters" ... anything we can now laugh about?


© Paloma K.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Freedom isn't Free

Source: Pyzam
 Looking for images for Veterans Day I found many that said "Freedom isn't free" ... And it's true... Physical Freedom isn't free.... Someone had to pay for that.... It's great to have physical freedom and something many times we take for granted...... and... what about Spiritual Freedom? it isn't free either... Jesus had to pay for it... have you let Him Free you? Have you Thanked Him also?

Thanks to all those who have served to this country, thanks to all who still are far away from home, fighting for us to keep our freedom...

Linking up with: Fibro, Fit and Fab / Twenty two Days of Thanks

© Paloma K.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Coffee Friday - Let's figure out How the Pieces Fit!

 Hi everybody! Today is Coffee Friday, and I am very excited to introduce our Featured Blogger! Her name is Melissa Edwards  from Figuring Out How the Pieces Fit. Her blog is interesting, creative, educational and filled with knowledge! I really admire Melissa for her passion for education and for always seeking for new methods to learn, create, explore and not retain it to herself but also share it with the world!

Melissa earned Masters degree in Reading Education, and I love it when she says "my favorite time of the day was when it was time to Read Aloud." I can identify with that! She is not only knowledgeable, but she is also compassionate and such a great friend! If you want to meet a blogger that will for sure correspond with the same level of friendship... well...here she is! So please stop by her blog and make sure you get to know her better!

Now... I leave you with Melissa:

---------------



I am Melissa and I write over at Figuring Out How the Pieces Fit ...
I tend to write about creativity, learning, and instructional technology resources ...
My blog started as a place for me to keep track of the things that I found that I wanted to remember  .... 
Over the years, it has taken me on a journey full of making connections, collaborations, and having a great time exploring creativity! 
I know that is a lot of things that start with the letter C ... but coffee is one C word that I don't interact with .... well at least yet!

I am not sure why I haven't tried coffee ....
I used to enjoy drawing coffee cups ...
I love collecting coffee cups ...
I even just ordered a coffee mug with the name of my blog on it ...
But I don't drink coffee ...

I do have a shirt that I enjoy wearing ....
Theme: Coffee
I had that shirt on this other day and my dad asked me why I was wearing it since I don't drink coffee ...
I don't know ...
I like the shirt! :)

I even participated in a coffee cup blog swap one time! I got partnered up with another blogger and then we looked at the other person's blogs and picked out a coffee cup to send! What does your blog say about you?

Maybe it is the warmth and comfort that I associate with coffee that keeps me so interested in things that go along with coffee ...



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So... if you enjoyed Melissa's cup of coffee even when she hasn't had any... would you please stop by her blog and say "Thanks"? :) You can also follow her on twitter here

Happy Coffee Friday Everyone!


© Paloma K.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Update and Old-Fashioned Pecan Pie!

Hello everyone! Happy Thursday! I am sorry I didn't post my usual/traditional quotes on Tuesday! it's been busy here and I've been a little bit under the weather...

Sunday was a very emotional day in church... it was "Adoption Sunday" and ... well... everything that has to do with children being abandoned/abused, etc just really affects me... then we attended an Adoption Forum in the evening... and all the stories just break my heart and actually have physical consequences! I just felt sick for the next two days... We're praying about adoption... it's not something certain... but ... we're open to look into it.

 Then on Tuesday (still not entirely well)  I went with a group of ladies from church to the Houston Mission Centers, I was a little hesitant about going... because of how I was feeling but it was a blessing and we had a blast! Bagging Rice/Beans, Sweeping, organizing skates for the children who go and play there, inflating balls, weeding in the gardens, making bags of candy, etc... (I didn't do all that, I am just mentioning the chores that were assigned to all of us) ... so... that was a good reason to not be able to blog, don't you think? Here is a picture of all of us!

I am the first one standing from left to right

Yesterday, I just took it a little slower and I did feel better! I think I was needing a break... Today... well, here I am! Looking forward to tomorrow's Coffee Friday! Did you think I forgot? Well no! So I hope you join us!

Now... here comes the Recipe to make a delicious and very old-fashioned Pecan Pie! It uses Maple Syrup and Molasses instead of Karo Syrup, to make sure it has the robustness, deep flavor and crisp crust from the original Pecan Pies.

This Pie is Original from the Cook's Country Show/Site... and I thought it would be great to share with all of you!


Pecan Pie, Top it with Homemade Whipped Cream Preferably

Ingredients
  • 1 cup maple syrup
  • 1 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon molasses (regular or light, not dark)
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1/2 teaspoon Salt
  • 6 large egg yolks, lightly beaten
  • 1 1/2 cups toasted and chopped pecans
  • 1 (9-inch) unbaked pie shell (you can use your favorite pie shell or my own recipe which I shared in the Pumpkin Pie Recipe I posted a few days ago), chilled in pie plate for 30 minutes
Instructions
  • 1. Make Filling: Adjust oven rack to lowest position and heat oven to 450 degrees. Heat sugar, syrup, cream, and molasses in saucepan over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until sugar dissolves, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool 5 minutes. Whisk butter and salt into syrup mixture until combined. Whisk in egg yolks until incorporated.
  • 2. Bake Pie: Scatter pecans in pie shell. Carefully pour filling over. Place pie in hot oven and immediately reduce oven temperature to 325 degrees. Bake until filling is set and center jiggles slightly when pie is gently shaken, 45 to 60 minutes. Cool pie on rack for 1 hour, then refrigerate until set, about 3 hours and up to 1 day. The wait is totally worth it! Bring to room temperature before serving.
 Enjoy!

© Paloma K.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Traditional Pumpkin Pie!

Hello everybody! How was your weekend? How are you feeling today? I hope that "exercising gratefulness" in November sticks with all of us and we turn it into a lifestyle! Thanksgiving should be part of our daily life!

So... I hope you are enjoying my Thanksgiving series (go back a couple of posts and you'll be able to see what I am talking about) ... Well... I've been sharing my Thanksgiving Menu with all of you... and the next item would be Lime Jell-o and then even Dinner Rolls... but I thought... I would postpone that for a little later and instead I am going to share with you a "Traditional Pumpkin Pie" recipe because we don't need to wait for Thanksgiving to enjoy it... am I right?

(I am using Libby's recipe for the filling)

Ready?
Traditional Pumpkin Pie with Homemade Crust
 
Traditional Pumpkin Pie

First of all, let's make the crust! (skip all this if you are going to buy a "ready to bake" pie shell from the store)

(I use this recipe every time! You can use this for apple, cherry or your favorite pies too! just double it so you have enough for the bottom and top if necessary)

Mix in a large bowl:
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 tsp. sugar

Then cut in using the dough blender (or a fork):
3 tbsp. softened butter
3 tbsp. shortening
3 - 4 tbsp. ice water (just enough water to make the dough come together, once it forms a ball, stop adding water)

Chill the Pie Dough

Wrap your pie crust in plastic wrap. Then place in refrigerator for 20 or more minutes, while you make the pie filling.  

Let's make the filling!

  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 can (15 oz.) Libby's 100% Pure Pumpkin
  • 1 can (12 fl. oz.) Evaporated Milk
  • Whipped cream  for garnish (optional).

Directions

MIX sugar, cinnamon, salt, ginger and cloves in a small bowl. Separately Beat eggs in a large bowl, stir in pumpkin puree and sugar-spice mixture. Gradually stir in evaporated milk until just incorporated. Set aside.

Rolling Pie Crust

Roll the dough until it is around 1/8th of an inch thick. Once you have rolled out the dough, wrap it around the rolling pin and unroll it onto your pie pan, shape it to fit the inside of the pan (and shape the borders with your fingers to make it look "wavy" like a traditional pie)


Now POUR filling into pie shell.

BAKE in preheated 425° F oven for 15 minutes. Reduce temperature to 350° F; bake for 40 to 50 minutes or until knife inserted near center comes out clean. Cool on wire rack for 2 hours. Serve immediately or refrigerate. Top with whipped cream before serving (homemade whipped cream is SOOOO good and easy to make! I'll share my recipe tomorrow, but again, don't stress about it... if you want to just buy the whipped cream already made, then it's your choice!).

Note: You can also buy a "ready to bake" pie shell from the frozen section in the store... but homemade of course it's better... although trust me... what matters most is that you don't fret about it... and if you want to save time and energy just buy the shell! I won't tell anybody!

© Paloma K.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

That was so much fun!

I just want to thank everybody who stopped by for my SITS day and made it extra special with encouraging comments!  I am still trying to catch up with all of you! So be patient if I haven't replied to you... I'll get to it!

Many thanks again!

Now... I just want to share a picture of my girls and my hubby... We went to a pumpkin patch and they had one of this "face in the hole" thingies for pictures... hubby got behind the "indian" structure... to have his picture taken but the girls decided to turn it into a kissing booth!


They sooo melt my heart! Today... is the 3 day of November... and I am thankful for... Family love!

What are you thankful for?


© Paloma K.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Coffee Friday with my SITSTAH's!

Hi! Welcome to "The Coffee Shop" My name is Paloma, I am a funny, creative, very random and disorganized woman, passionate about God and about my family! I love cooking/baking, music, reading and writing! But more than anything I love spending time with my family and there's no better time than when we're all together!
I embrace fall... and I let it embrace me as well!

I started blogging about 4 years ago and even when becoming a mom for the first time and then having a second one made me struggle at times,  I've continued to blog. I really enjoy it! When I started back then... I immediately knew I had to "meet others" to connect, learn and succeed! I found out that SITS would make all of that possible! What is SITS? Well if you're reading this post you probably already know, but just in case and for those that don't know yet, SITS is an "all girl community" where women/bloggers support each other! and we call each other "sitstahs" pretty cool, huh? And today, well, today is my turn to be in the spotlight and I am thrilled and excited to see how many new and kind bloggers I get to know and get to know me!

If you know me already you probably know that "The Coffee Shop" is not about "coffee" necessarily, it's a place where I get to connect with others, make them feel welcome and hopefully provide with not only great recipes but also good conversation and encouragement! In this busy world and age we need that connection, especially women - I think - to stay sane and be able to juggle with it all! I have two precious little ones and a wonderful hubby, they sure keep me busy, so I don't have as much time to just go to a coffee shop with friends and relax. So I thought of creating a place where we could do that even from home, office or wherever we are!

Cool! huh? Right now I am working on a Fall/Thanksgiving Series where I hope I can motivate others to host their own Thanksgiving dinner and know that the host/hostess can enjoy it (stress-free) as well!!




Today is also our "Coffee Friday" Party! Read more about it here and send me an e-mail if you'd like to be featured!

And, well, just jump right in and get to know me a little better! I'd love to get to know you too!



© Paloma K.