The Complete List of iPad Tips, Tricks, and Tutorials – December 14, 2010 – For all you iPad (or soon to be) owners. Here is a collection of tricks to help you get the most from your iPad. Some are geekier than others, but I think almost everyone will find something of use in this article.
Chocolate Graham Cracker Toffee – December 14, 2010 – Even though I am done with my big cookie baking for the year, I think this one might be worth a try for an upcoming party.
Black Pepper Gnocchi – December 14, 2010 – This will be a great thing to try in addition to my usual homemade gnocchi. I love black pepper so I imagine it can only get better.
We had a great time visiting with friends and family…some whom we only at this time of year. It was a smaller group this year, but a conversational one. Fewer people means more time talking and less time running around refilling the cookie plates. It also means more leftovers to share when we go visiting others.
My biggest laugh this year was the success of the Strawberry Milk Chipster cookies, made with Strawberry Quik powder. Nearly everyone I mentioned them to thought they would be horrible, but they received more raves than anything else at the party. I thought they would be very successful and I am happy to laugh and say “neener, neener” to the naysayers. (LAUGH)
I thought the Limoncello Pandoro Cake also came out really well. It is so silly to do and will always bring back great memories of our Christmas trip to Sicily about 6 years ago. This is made all the easier to make as we can now easily find a whole collection of Pandoros, imported from Italy at the Claro’s Italian Markets located around the Southland. We hit the store in Arcadia again this year, as we were making a trip to the Inland Empire to see our near-niece Emily in a high school production of “Into the Woods.”
One great addition to this year’s party was an impromptu tasting of several cordials. Myself, my friend Keri and my friend Liam have all gotten into making up these fruit and alcohol infusions. I made my traditional Limoncello, while Keri made Limoncello and a wonderful cranberry liqueur. Liam created a wonderful cranberry/cinnamon drink and an adventurous, but amazing strawberry-banana, too.
Now that our party is over I can settle into the holiday season, enjoying what our friends have to offer. We’ve already 2 invites for New Year’s Eve, so it is off to a good start.
When Jeanine Colini showed me these cards at a recent New Media Mastermind I was blown away – and immediately wanted some of my own. I grew up in the 70’s and had many fond memories of playing with the Spirograph set my older sisters received for Christmas one year. These cards immediately touched some deep sense memory. I could feel the teeth on the little plastic gears and remember the small push pins that held them to the background so you could make your “art.” The artwork for these cards is hand-produced using Spirograph, scanned and then printed on quality card papers.
You can order your own set of these “groovy” cards online via PayPal — Order Now!
Anyone can LOOK at Christmas lights, but can you PLAY your Christmas Lights?
Ric Turner of Santa Clarita ups the ante from last year’s Christmas Light Hero by creating an interactive video game — Snowball Blaster — using the Christmas lights on his house. Players sit in a moving rocket seat and try to blast the snowballs to help Santa make his rounds. The garage door is the play field and the entire house interacts with the game. Old school arcade fun on an entirely new scale!
“The Christmas Light video game – Snowball Blaster! Hop in Santa’s electric training sled and grab the game controller for an adventure in snowball dodging. Press the left button to move left and the right to move right. Make it past all the snowballs for a big light show! (nobody has made it yet!) Game is easy enough for kids and challenging for adults… and quite addictive. High score so far is 910.”
Snowball Blaster has 128 channels of Light-o-rama controlled by a PC. The game logic is running on a Basic Stamp which accepts inputs from the player switches and controls the Red Arrows with sold state relays. The BS also sends logic level triggers to the LOR system for Game start and Crash. The snowballs, scoreboard (and the rest of the light show live in the LOR program.) There are separate LOR programs for Attract, Crash and Game play. The BS knows when the snowballs reach the bottom, and compares that to where it knows the Arrow is to detect crashes.
The game is designed around the limitation of having very few positions to light up. The timing of when they light up is more versatile, so that’s where the game lives. It’s easy to learn, starts easy and gets harder pretty quick. The audio is broadcast on FM so people watching in cars get a good show too.
You can stop by and play Snowball Blaster – The Game on Philbrook Avenue in Santa Clarita most nights after dark.
Angry Birds Seasons now available – December 2, 2010 – My son and I enjoy trying to best each other on the levels…and helping each other out a bit (SMILE). Greta casual game to dive into for a few minutes as a break, but it can be addictive if that’s the way you roll. (LAUGH)
After a couple of days off it was time to finish the cookie baking. The party is this weekend, so there isn’t much time left anyway. I hope you have enjoyed this daily account of our cookie baking adventures. Hopefully it has enticed you to bake some cookies of your own and invite the neighbors in to share.
If you have any questions about these cookies, or any other cookie baking questions, please add a comment and let me know how I can help or what I can offer.
These cookies were a staple on the cafeteria plates of elementary and high school. Unfortunately, none of our guests seems quite enamoured of the them. They can be pretty homely looking and are more candy than cookie. Still, I figured I might make them anyway, at least for myself.
Imagine my luck when I found an alternative recipes for these cookies that included chocolate chips instead of cocoa and (and this is the big deal) Nutella, the chocolate-hazelnut spread that most of Europe loves but many Americans haven’t even heard of. Faced with a new idea to try I had to make these. I might still be the only one to eat them, but I will love every one of them.
I discovered these gems on the Closet Cooking blog out of Toronto, Canada. They looked absolutely scrumptious even if they were a bit more difficult than typical recipes I might try. I wanted to get some cranberries into the cookies this year and this recipe does it full force. I don’t have my own picture, as the bars are still cooling as I write. I am afraid I didn’t quite get the caramel sauce hot enough so the bars might be a bit mushy, but even if we have to serve them with a fork they will still be tasty.
Just in time for the holidays, my batch of limoncello (an Italian cordial or digestivo) has completed its rest and is now bottled up and ready for tasting. I made only half as much as I made last year as I didn’t plan on making gifts with it. Even so, there is still enough to last me for quite a while.
Cookies and More Holiday Special
A Holiday Special from WelchWrite.com
Each year I make over 80 dozen cookies and candies for our annual Cookie Party. After 15+ years of putting this party together, I have collected a lot of cookie stories, recipes and advice. This year, I am putting together “Cookies and More for the Holidays” — a New Media special full of holiday reminiscences, recipes, cookie baking tips and more… and I would like you to be a part of it.
There are several ways to participate:
Join us live in the “studio” to talk cookies
Call in live via Skype or other online media
Record your story, recipe, question or advice via voice mail by calling 818-804-5049
Post an audio or video clip to YouTube and send us the link
Email your story, recipe, question or advice to firstname.lastname@example.org
I am planning producing the show in mid-December, right after i have finished up all my baking for the party and reminded myself again about all the joys, trials, tips and hints of cookie baking for the holidays.
Start thinking of what you would like to add to this special. You can start sending in your emails, audio and video immediately. If you have any questions, send them email@example.com.
We have had 2 of these units over the years, but only because I burnt out the motor trying to mix up some bread dough one day. I was pushing it far too hard so I don’t really blame it for breaking. The unit was so good I picked up the same model as a replacement. We also have a smaller unit for those day-to-day chopping tasks, but this is the one I bring out when comes time to make my 20 quarts of Christmas Chili each year.