Tuesday, December 29, 2015

My Wedding--It began with Polish Polka practice and ended with Pinochle!

I married my partner, John, on December 26th, 2015. I wanted a Christmas wedding, with all the decorations still up, lights lit, and colors of red, white, and gold abounding. I got my wish!
I love this picture. Sometimes simple is the best!
We had the wedding at St. John the Apostle MCC Church in Fort Myers, Florida. The church was awash in red poinsettias. We added two red and white floral arrangements to flank the altar. Pastor Steve Filizzi performed the ceremony. Wonderful friends served as attendants.
John and I at the altar after our wedding service.
The flowers from Cape Coral Florist were beautiful!
A picture of the wedding party.
We are truly blessed to have great friends!
One of the cookie trays.
There weren't any left at the end of the evening!
Cutting the "cakes." We had five! All different.
They came from Fresh Market in Fort Myers and were delicious!
Blake Becker was our caterer.
His friend, Nicole, was his assistant and bartender.
Blake's food was out of this world good!!! And he is a great friend!
 I made a side dish of Polish Hunter's Stew (Bigos) and kielbasa. I also made the cookies that were served and given as favors to take home in little gingerbread houses. 
We never danced the polka at the reception, but we did end the evening with a couple of rousing hands of pinochle at the hotel where relatives were staying.
How we spent our honeymoon--
after the reception playing pinochle with the family!
My sister, Felicia, joined, us later.
It was a magical day! I am so happy that John and I had the opportunity to join our lives together from now to eternity!
Our friends, Kurt and Jack, gave us this ornament.
It is very special!
Feel free to post a comment below.

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Christmas 2015

I am so very busy...getting married on the 26th of December. So here I am on Sunday evening baking Christmas cookies for the reception. Magic bars and fruitcake cookies are done. The last batch of chocolate chip cookies are in the oven. Tomorrow I will make mocha crackle cookies and lemon squares and Reece's peanut butter cookie cups if I have the time. Should have started last weekend!

One cookie I will have to make this year is a new cookie that is quickly becoming a favorite--it's a play on jam thumbprint cookies, but with a Florida twist. I use orange marmalade for the jam and add minced rosemary to the shortbread. The cookies have a touch of sliced almonds and are dusted with powdered sugar--a cookie that says this is Christmas.

P.S. It's a prize winner!! My recipe won the prize for being the best Holiday Cookie in the Fort Myers News-Press Holiday Cookie Baking Contest!

I tried making these Florida's Finest Orange Marmalade Thumbprint with Fresh Rosemary cookies a couple of different ways,  but liked them best with a simple dusting of powdered sugar.
Florida’s Finest Orange Marmalade Thumbprints with Fresh Rosemary


1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
1 1/2 teaspoons fresh rosemary, minced
1/4 cup orange marmalade
1 egg white, beaten
1 cup sliced almonds, roughly chopped
1/4 cup powdered sugar

In a small bowl stir together flour, cornstarch, and salt; set aside.
Beat butter until fluffy. 
Add 1/2 cup powdered sugar, minced rosemary and almond extract. Beat until combined.
Stir in flour until just combined.
Wrap dough in plastic wrap and chill for about an hour.
Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
Line cookie sheet with parchment paper.
Shape dough into 1-inch balls.
Dip into beaten egg white.
Roll ball in chopped almonds.
Indent each cookie with thumb or back of 1/2 inch measuring spoon.
Spoon about 1/2 teaspoon marmalade into center of each cookie.
Arrange 2 inches apart on cookie sheet.
Bake about 14-17 minutes or until edges are lightly golden.
Cool on rack. When completely cool, sift powdered sugar lightly over cookies.
Makes about 2 dozen cookies.