Valentine's Day

Valentine Treat! Almond Chocolate Cake/Torte

The recipe for this yummy, dense, jam covered almond and chocolate torte found it's way into my recipe box many, many years ago.  The cake is very simple to make and frosting it couldn't be easier - simply cover it with jam after baking?

When I make this torte on Valentines Day, I bake it in two little 8" heart pans - one to eat and one to give!.  But a 9" or 10" spring form pan is recommended.  The recipe makes 1 - 9" or 10" cake or 2 - 8" heart cakes.

Chocolate Almond Torte

3/4 cup unsalted butter
7/8 cup + 1 Tablespoon granulated sugar
5 eggs, separated

Making Woven Paper Heart Baskets to Celebrate Santa Lucia Day

 

I have been wanting to learn to make Danish woven paper heart baskets for years, but always felt intimidated by the instructions available to me. So this Fall, Diane and I spent the day together figuring out how to make them. (Of couse, SHE caught on right away and by the time I had finished my first practice basket, she was already in the middle of constructing a 5-strip basket with variations in the strip widths.) Sigh!

I thought I'd share the process of making a basic three-strip basket with you...

Christmas trees for every season

 

Christmas trees and christmas tree ornaments are my absolute favorite symbols of the season, and packing away all of my ornaments is the saddest part of the holiday.

Over the past 35 years I have collected a LOT of ornaments. And even after giving my children all of those that were theirs, I have way too many for my tree. Five years ago I found a very happy solution for both problems. A "Seasonal Tree" - a 4 foot tall artifical tree that takes up just a little bit of space next to my fireplace.

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