Thursday, December 26, 2013

Jarvis House Christmas Images 2013

 Over the time I have collected small Christmas ornaments.  I arrange them in different ways each year, sometimes adding new ones, (I do volunteer in a thrift shop!) and sometimes retiring others to rest until needed another year.
 I have a very nice hutch in the kitchen which makes a great backdrop for smalls.
 This is a plastic Santa candy holder from my childhood in the 50's.
 Other Santas have come along lately.
 I put a Christmas stocking on the ears or my  1950's Windsor chairs.
 A pair of Annalee dolls.  There was only one slipper on the Santas, so I made new ones from green felt.
 Other Annalee figures.
 This year, instead of putting up a huge tree, I decided to put the Shiny Brites in glass jars and Chrystal dishes.
 The Grinch and friends cuddle.
 Santa caps on chairs.
 Holiday books on the coffee table.
 Stockings on cupboard doors.
 This was a leftover doll last year at the thrift  shop. So adorable.
 Shiny Brites and other ornaments on the dining room chandelier.
 A huge clay cat on the steam radiator.
I saw lights in the powder room at the GCHA historical Society and decided to do that too.
 Wood stack
 The Thanksgiving cactus in full bloom, with the Christmas cactus budding out.
Small trees and a lantern on the kitchen window.
 Trays of rolled cookies waiting to go into the oven.

A Carvel cake that was not used for Thanksgiving, turned upside down and poorly  lettered, wishing you all a Merry Christmas 2013!

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Date Walnut Bars

A friend at the Thrift Shop handed me a Diamond Walnut Recipe Favorites booklet.  So I decided to bake because today on Long Island we had several inches of snow and I wasn't going anywhere.
 I assembled all of the ingredients.
 First,  the recipe called for three (3) eggs beaten, and one (1) cup of packed brown sugar whisked together until light and fluffy.
 Next three (3) tablespoons of melted butter which I put in one of my smallest cast iron frying pans.
 I added the melted butter to the eggs,
 There were some lumps of sugar which I blended better.
One  (1) cup of sifted all-purpose unbleached flour,
 two (2) teaspoons of instant coffee,
 One (1) teaspoon baking powder,
 one half (1/2) teaspoon salt,
 were sifted again with the flour.
 and it looked like this.
I added the dry ingredients to the egg mixture and blended it well.
 One (1) cup of chopped walnuts,
 was added then,
 I sliced each pitted date lengthwise,
 and reduced those slices by mincing the dates again with my knife.
The recipe called for one (1) cup of sliced pitted dates.
 They were added to the mixture and blended with a spatula.
 I used a spray butter,
 and brushed it on the glass pan measuring about 13" x 9" x 2",
 trying to get it evenly spread in the pan.
The recipe called for a 350 degree F oven

 The chocolate topping was melted in a double boiler,
 one and one half (1 1/2) tablespoons of butter

 and one (1) cup of chocolate pieces.
I have to admit that this part of the recipe really didn't come out as well as I had planned.
 This is the cover of the booklet from Diamond Walnuts.
 After 25 minuted of baking I took the pan out for cooling.
 The spray helped it come out effortlessly.
 I cut it into twenty-four (24) pieces.
The topping came out poorly, because I must have over cooked the chocolate.
 I used a spreader to top the bars which were cooling on a wire rack  covered with brown paper .
 I looked around for a small plate with a winter scene and a lovely tea cup and saucer.
 The company label on the bottom of the saucer.
Ready for tea time, but when I make this recipe again I just might use prepared frosting for a smoother topping.  You may have better luck. 

Date Walnut Bars
3 eggs
1 cup brown sugar., packed
3 tablespoons melted butter
1 cup sifted all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons instant coffee
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup coarsely chopped walnuts
1 cup sliced pitted dates
1 1/2 cups semi-sweet real chocolate pieces
1 1/2 tablespoons butter

350 degrees F.
20-25 minutes baking time