Thursday, December 24, 2009

A Merry Christmas To All

Just wanted to send warm, wintery blessings to all of my faithful readers, and wish all of you and yours a very Merry Christmas, and a peaceful and healthy New Year! I will be away for a while til after the New Year to try and catch up on things, and I will be closing my Etsy Shops for a week or two, or even three so I can catch my breath and just enjoy a bit of down-time! But I'll be back before you know it! Happy Holidays, dear ones!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Congratulations, Colleen T. of Hillsdale,Michigan!

Colleen has been selected to receive the Sledding Crow Hang Tags offered in my latest Blog Give-Away. (I know... I'm a day late in posting this, as I was gone all day yesterday to Vermont getting feed and food!)

Colleen raises shelties and has a lovely Cafe Press shop full of all kinds of items featuring her photographs of her beautiful shelties.  Here is her shop greeting...
"Welcome to our Sheltie store fellow dog lovers! We have items for all Sheltie lovers, but we know how hard it is to find that special Tri-color Sheltie item, so we are trying to offer all kinds of great gifts featuring Tri-color Shelties."

You may visit her shop here...

Again, congratualations Colleen, and thank you to all who entered, and to all who read my humble ol' blog! May each of you find peace and joy this holiday season. Warmest regards, Laura of Wildenblue Farm

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Holiday Recipes

As promised in my last post, here are a few recipes for the holidays that make perfect gifts... to you or yours!

Orange & Chocolate Truffles
8 ounces Bittersweet Chocolate
1/3 cup Heavy cream
1 tablespoon Espresso Powder
4 tablespoons Butter
1 teaspoon grated Orange Peel
1 or 2 tablespoons Grand Marnier
Cocoa Powder for dredging truffles

Melt the chocolate in the microwave carefully. Add the cream, espresso powder, butter, orange peel, and Grand Marnier. Mix all til combined, then refrigerate for an hour.
When mixture has chilled, dust your hands with cocoa powder and roll teaspoonfuls of the mixture into balls. Dredge in cocoa powder. You may also choose to dip the truffles into melted chocolate first, then dredge in cocoa powder.

Chocolate-Raspberry Truffles (my favorite!)
In a saucepan over low heat, melt together
1/2 cup Heavy Cream
12 ounces chopped Bittersweet Chocolate
1/4 cup Butter, cut into small pieces

1/2 cup Seedless Raspberry Jam
2 tablespoons Chambord

Refrigerate for about 4 hours or overnight. When properly cooled, form into balls , then dredge into cocoa powder or dip into melted chocolate.

Kahlua Truffles
In a saucepan, melt together
2 cups Chocolate Chips
1/2 cup Heavy Cream
1/4 cup Butter
1 Tablespoon Instant Coffee crystals
2 tablespoons Kahlua
Whisk til smooth, then refrigerate for at least 4 hours. Form into balls and dredge in cocoa powder.

Alright, enough of the truffle recipes! You can have fun with these three and adapt them to suit what you like by varying the liqeurs and flavorings you use! I will include two of my other favorite sweet-tooth recipes for holiday gift-giving, too! Enjoy!

Candied Orange Peel (use organic oranges!)
2 cups orange peel, sliced into 1/2 inch strips
Place peel into a pan and cover with water, bring to a boil , then drain.
In a saucepan, combine the drained peel with
2 cups Sugar and 1/2 cup Water

Heat and stir til sugar dissolves. Cook slowly til peel is translucent. Drain, then roll in granulated sugar. dry on a rack or on a parchment-covered cookie sheet. If you like, dip into or drizzle with chocolate.

1 cup chopped Almonds
2 cups Butter
2 cups Sugar
2 tablespoons light Corn Syrup
2 cups Chocolate Chips
6 tablespoons Water

Line a large heavy baking pan with aluminum foil. Sprinkle with half the chopped almonds, set aside. Melt the Butter in a large heavy pot over low heat. Stir in the sugar, water and corn syrup. Cook over medium-high heat til mixture boils; stir and let boil for 4 minutes. Clip a candy thermometer to pan, lower heat to medium, and stir often til thermometer registers 290 degrees... soft crack stage.
Pour into prepared pan, let stand for three minutes, sprinkle the chocolate chips on top, let stand one minute, then sprinkle with the remaining nuts, pressing them into the melted chocolate. Chill and break into pieces. This makes about 1 1/2 pounds of toffee.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Christmas Tidings and A Give-Away!

Sigh... December 1st, and still no snow. I do tend to get impatient when Christmas Time is coming and there is not even a hint of snow. I remember when we were little, we would have snow at Thanksgiving... and occasionally when we were out on Hallowe'en, we'd be spreckled with snow flurries! We had more snow then than now, that's for certain!

Well, I am having another Give-Away! I have been trying to get my workshop in order (there is still SO much to be done!), and I have discovered exactly how many Rubber Stamps I possess! And whilst mom has been sewing my curtains, I've been trying to feel useful! So I will present a very primitive looking set of six Sledding Crow hang tags to one  reader, whom I will select on December 15th!

If you'd like to enter the SLEDDING CROW HANG TAG GIVEAWAY, simply send an email to, attention Hang Tag Giveaway, and include your name and address. On December 15th, I will select a winner and will mail your Hang Tags to you!

Each grubby tag measures 2 1/4" by 4 3/4". They are stamped in red, brown and black, and feature two prim Crows on a sled. They top phrase reads "Christmas Blesses Little Hearts" and the bottom says "BELIEVE". The back is stamped with a bottom row of red hearts, and "to" and "from". I have drawn a line of "stitching" all around the tags.They are tied with scraps of red checked cotton Homespun.

Well, I just had to stop in with holiday wishes to you and yours! I'll be back in a few days with recipes for homemade truffles. They make wonderful little gifts, and you'll want some, too! Til then... remember the true meaning of this season, and that the best gift is a gift not from your wallet, but from your heart!