Monday, December 24, 2007


Merry Christmas to all my friends in Bloglandia.
May you have a White Christmas
… a Pink Christmas
… or the Christmas of your dreams.



Everyone loves getting presents and I’m no exception! Imagine my glee at finding not one, but two packages on my back porch when I go home the other day.

One was from my dear friend and talented artist Jo-Anne Coletti. What a box of cheer! I just kept pulling more treats out. I knew I should make and serve dinner quickly, so I could enjoy the irresistible almond, coconut and chocolate chip cookies.I debated saving them for dessert. But when my husband and son walked into the kitchen and saw the cookies on the counter, I decided to I invoke the always eat dessert first rule.

For delayed gratification, she provided a package of apple pie bread. Hmm… maybe that should be dessert???

In addition to a cornucopia of chocolates and sweet treats, Jo gifted me the sweetest treat of all… one of her ceramic heart ornaments with hand-painted roses. Must have one for yourself? Go to
Wow! What did I do to deserve ALL this? Thanks Jo.

The second box, from my phone buddy and shabby chic-er extraordinaire, Janet, contained an equally delightful surprise. One of Janet’s amazing Nighteas.
Crafted from an antique rose teacup and saucer, and topped with a pink candelabra bulb, these romantic nightlights are truly dreamy. Words do not do her teacup creations justice. So, see for yourself.
Janet added Nighteas to her superb assortment of shabby furniture, artwork, china, gifts and lighting . Trust me, you need one…maybe two. You’ll find more details at

In the magazine world, in order to meet publishing deadlines, Christmas photo shoots often take place in July. Just try to find gingerbread men in New York City when it's 90 degrees!

My mom was often pressed into service to bake all sorts of Christmas specialties to appear on the pages of my magazines. Here's her recipe for gingerbread. She made a batch this week and this year, we got to eat them right away... instead of waiting for them to star in a photo shoot first!

1 cup of brown sugar
1/2 cup of butter or margarine, softened
2 eggs
1/4 cup of molasses
3 cups of flour
2 teaspoon ginger
1-1/2 teaspoon of baking soda
1/2 teaspoon allspice
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt
Gingerbread cookie cutters
Currants for eyes
Tube of icing for features

Beat sugar and shortening together in a large bowl until well mixed. Add eggs and molasses and beat, then stir in the rest of the ingredients. Cover the bowl and refrigerate for 1 hour. Remove from refrigerator. On a floured board roll out to 1/8” in thickness. With cutters, cut into shapes. Place on greased cookie sheets . Put 2 currants on each one for eyes. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and bake for 10 minutes. Remove and cool on rack. For mouth decorate with icing as desired.

Photo Credits:
Ornaments & Santa photographed by Dan Mayers at The National Christmas Center, Paradise, Pennsylvannia. Gingerbread photo by Dan, too.


Vintage Rose Collection said...

Merry Christmas my sweet friend! Im so happy you liked the cookies,my unique recipe made with a hand full of Special K cereal for added crunch. Love it with cinimin stick tea. Can you tell Im a chocolate junkie, I sent you everything I love...
Wishing you love, peace, happniess and a best seller on your new book for 2008 Barbette!
Merry Christmas

Alison Gibbs said...

Barabara, great post. Thanks for stopping by my blog through out the year.
Wishing you and your family a Merry Christmas.

fabulous fifi said...

Beautiful gifts and yummy cookies! And, you DO deserve them all!

Cathy said...

Barbara, You are one lucky lady receiving all those beautiful treats from wonderfully beautiful ladies.

Merry Christmas to you and yours.


cjan said...

Merry Christmas to you and your Family! I appreciate your sharing your life and talents with us here at Bloglandia! You have given us "Specials" to add joy to our lives each day. Thank you!

Gail McCormack said...

Beautiful presents Barbara, Jo's parcel, looks scrumptious! Janet's Tea cup tea lights are delightful, I'm lucky enough to own one, makes me smile everytime I walk past it. Hope you and your family had a enjoyable Christmas Day
Gail xxx

Penny @ Lavender Hill Studio said...

Hi Barbara!
Hope you had a marvelous Christmas filled with warmth and wonder!

Siobhan said...

hello Barabra,

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!


Shabbyfufu said...

I hope that your holidays have been going well Barbara~sure looks like it from your posts! It has been a pleasure to get to know you and I enjoy our chats:-). Please let us know when THE BOOK comes out, and Happy New Year to you and your family. XO~ Janet