Christmas Treats Through the Oven

Christmas Treats Through the Oven

Here’s some famous Christmas treats from Ceresota Christmas Cookie Recipes that will help you delight your entire family with their home made goodness.

These recipes are from an old vintage recipes book that was published by Ceresota Company in 1925. Every recipe is as good today as they were back then. These are time-honored, time-tested recipes that will live on – and on and on and on!

The images you see below are reduced in size for web viewing. If you would like a copy of the full size images, you can download a PDF file with the two original i. These have been digitally enhanced for easier viewing, but not one word of the content was altered. These were graciously shared with us via our friends over at Cybernation on Etsy.

Christmas Treats: Page One

Christmas Treats Page One

Christmas Treats: Christmas Cut Out Cookies

Ingredients
1/2 cup shortening
1/2 cup sugar
1-3/4 cups unbleached flour
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon baking powder

Directions
Have shortening at room temperature. Cream shortening and add sugar gradually. Add egg and vanilla. Sift flour with baking owder and add to creamed mixture. The dough should be easy to handle. If not, chill for an hour or so.

Roll dough out to 1/4-inch thickness. Cut out with cookie cutters in any variety of shpaes desired. brush with white of egg and sprinkle with colored sugar. Bake 10 to 15 minutes in 375-degree oven.

Christmas Treats: Christmas Nut Thins

Ingredients
1 cup butter or margarine
1 cup sugar
1-1/2 cups unbleached flour
2 eggs
1 cup chopped nuts
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon salt

Directions
Blend sugar and butter together. Add well beaten eggs. Sift in flour and salt. Add nuts. Add flavoring and mix until smooth and light. Drop onto greased baking sheet, spaced well apart. Place half nut-meat in center of each cookie. Bake in moderate oven (375 degrees) about 10 minutes.

Below each image are the recipes typed out for you. The PDF is at the end of this post. Hope you enjoy one – or all – of these Christmas treats!

Christmas Treats: Page Two

Christmas Treats Page Two

Christmas Treats: Pecan Ball Cookies

Ingredients
6 tablespoons shortening
1/2 cup butter
1/4 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 tablespoon milk
2 cups unbleached flour
2 cups coarsely chopped pecans

Directions
Cream shortening and butter together. Add sugar and cream until light. Add vanilla and milk. Blend well. Add non-sifted flour and nuts to creamed mixture and blend well. Roll lightly into small balls. Bake in 325 degree oven for about 30 minutes or until light brown. When cool, roll in powdered sugar.

Christmas Treats: Christmas Crescent Cookies

Ingredients
1/2 pound butter
2 cups unbleached flour
2 cups chopped pecans
5 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 tablespoon water
1/2 teaspoon salt

Directions
Cream butter and add sugar, vanilla and water. Sift flour and salt together and stir into mixture. Add pecans and mix thoroughly. Using portions about the size of small walnuts, roll into crescent shaped cookies. Bake in slow oven – 325 degrees – about 20 minutes. While warm, roll in powdered sugar.

Christmas Treats: Christmas Date and Nut Cookies

Ingredients
1 cup butter
1-1/2 cups brown sugar
2-1/2 cups unbleached flour
1 cup dates cut in small pieces
1 cup chopped nuts
3 eggs
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt

Mix and sift dry ingredients. Cream butter, add sugar and beaten eggs. Add dates and nuts mixed with dry ingredients. Mix thoroughly. No liquid used. Batter should be very stiff. Drop from spoon onto greased pan and bake in slow oven (325 degrees) 18 minutes.

Christmas Treats in PDF

Download a 2-page PDF file of the original images in full size.

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Rose Symbolism and Rose Petal Tea

Rose Symbolism in Honor of Valentine’s Day

Generation to generation, story tellers have passed on myths and legends regarding Rose symbolism. Since roses are showing up every where, I went and dug up some rose symbolism and history to share. There a bit of this and a bit of that, but for the up-coming Valentine’s Day, it makes for a few conversation starters, if nothing else.

 

Rose Prose

Roman Rose Symbolism

The rose has been called the flower of love due to its link to the Roman goddess Aphrodite. Aphrodite was the Roman goddess Venus. Romans believed that roses symbolize love, beauty, purity and passion. The Romans were known to use rose petals in their bath water. They also decorated their homes  with petals and strew them across the floor at banquets.

Roman legend says that suitors passionately in love pursued a beautiful maiden. She took refuge in the temple of the goddess Diana (the Greek god Venus) who became jealous. When the suitors broke down the temple gates to get near their beloved maiden, Diana turned the maiden into a rose and her suitors  into thorns.

Cleopatra was probably the most famous symbol of beauty. It is said that she bathed in ass’s milk to keep her skin youthful.  The cedarwood ship on which she sailed to meet Marc Antony had rose-scented sails. She welcomed him into a bedroom carpeted several inches deep in rose petals!

Today, roses are used in culinary creations and crafts. Rose essential oil is used in perfumes. The rose is still an essential element in perfumes such as Chanel #5, Arpege, Joy, White Linen, Beautiful, Lauren and Opium.

Rose petals can be used to make elixirs, tinctures and vinegars.

Many people swear that rosewater positively alters their mood. It would seem it has the ability to muster an  emotional strength from within.

The Complete Book of Roses provides a general history and guide through  the complex evolution of roses.

Relish Rosebuds with Rose Petal Tea

1/2 cup black teaUnopen Rose for Rose Symbolism
2 tablespoons organic rosebuds
2 tablespoons hibiscus
2 tablespoons seedless rose hips
1 tablespoon cloves

Place tea in food safe container. Mix in all ingredients and store in
airtight container.

To Brew: Place one teaspoon tea in muslin bag or tea infuser. Fill cup
with one cup boiling water, cover, brew 3 minutes. Remove tea and
serve sweetened with sugar or honey and lemon, if desired.

Aromatherapy effect: roses give feeling of well being and happiness.

See also: Edible Flowers

Bells on Christmas Day

Bells on Christmas Day Poem by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Merry Christmas Sign

With all the craziness going on these days, this poem has sprung to my mind as quite appropriate this year. It is very touching and inspiring.

A Bit of Background

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow was grief stricken when his wife died tragically in a fire in 1861. The Civil War broke out the same year. Two years later, Longfellow learned that his own son had been seriously wounded in the Army of the Potomac. Sitting down to his desk, one Christmas Day, he heard the church bells ringing.  This was the setting in which Longfellow wrote the following lines, which would be called, Bells on Christmas Day.

Bells on Christmas Day Poem

I heard the bells on Christmas DayHenry Wadsworth Longfellow author of Bells on Christmas Day
Their old familiar carols play,
And wild and sweet
The words repeat
Of peace on earth, good will to men!

And thought how, as the day had come
The belfries of all Christendom
Had rolled along
The unbroken song
Of peace on earth, good will to men!

Till, ringing, singing on its way,
The world revolved from night to day,
A voice, a chime,
A chant sublime
Of peace on earth, good will to men!

Then from each black, accursed mouth
The cannon thundered in the South,
And with the sound
The carols drowned
Of peace on earth, good will to men!

It was as if an earthquake rent
The hearth-stones of a continent,
And made forlorn
The households born
Of peace on earth, good will to men!

And in despair I bowed my head;
“There is no peace on earth,” I said;
“For hate is strong
And mocks the song
Of peace on earth, good will to men.”

Then pealed the bells more loud and deep.
“God is not dead, nor doth he sleep!
The wrong shall fail,
The right prevail,
With peace on earth, good will to men!”

— Pulpit Helps, 12-92, p. 23

Sitting by a fire in the fireplace“It was always said of him, that he knew how to keep Christmas well, if any man alive possessed the knowledge. May that be truly said of us, and all of us! And so, as Tiny Tim observed, ‘God Bless Us, Every One‘”

Read more about Mr. Longfellow: Henry Wadsworth Longfellow Biography

Celebrate the Season with Cinnamon

Celebrate the Season with Cinnamon Spice

Help celebrate the season with cinnamon, warming to the senses and marking the festivities with its familiar aroma. One of the oldest spices known to us, it has been coveted as a medicine, flavoring, embalming agent, and preservative. So common to households today, it was once quite rare, much sought after, and almost worth its weight in gold.

Celebrate the Season with Cinnamon
Celebrate the Season with Cinnamon

Cinnamon comes from the brown inner bark of several trees from the genus, Cinnamomum, in the laurel family. Ceylon, or “true cinnamon“, and Cassia (also called Chinese and Saigon) are the most common. They are available as dried tubular sticks or ground powder. The oils in the bark contain cinnamaldehyde, among other substances that give this sweet spice its antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties.

Just two teaspoons provide 44 percent Daily Value for manganese, which helps the body maintain normal blood sugar levels.

Seasoning high-carbohydrate foods with cinnamon significantly reduces the rise in blood sugar levels by slowing the rate at which the stomach empties after meals, according to a study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. Though it is premature to deem cinnamon a treatment for type 2 diabetes, it has shown promise.

Ceylon and Chinese Cinnamon Spice

Ceylon and Chinese are very similar, but the harder-to-find Ceylon is a bit sweeter and more refined. Look for Ceylon in spice stores or online. The spice’s pungent, sweet scent is the best freshness indicator, so when possible, smell it before buying. Cinnamon sticks store up to a year in a tightly sealed glass container in a cool, dark place, twice as long as the stronger flavored ground variety.

A lovely enhancement to both sweet and savory foods and beverages, cinnamon is easily simmered in tea, cider and milk, sprinkled into dough and batter for breads and baked goods, and mixed into beans and curries for a unique ethnic twist.

Hot Apple Cider Recipe

8 cups apple juice or cider Apple Cider in a glass
4 cinnamon sticks (or 2 tablespoons ground cinnamon)
1 teaspoon allspice
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1 tablespoon lemon zest

Heat apple juice or cider in a large saucepan and bring to a simmer. Add cinnamon, cloves, allspice, nutmeg and zest; simmer for 30 minutes.

Strain and serve hot. Garnish with sticks and a dash of nutmeg, if desired. Makes 8 servings.

Nutrition information per serving: 124 calories, 0 grams protein, 0 grams fat, 2 grams fiber, 30 grams carbs, 11 milligrams sodium.

Recommended

Frontier Natural Products Cinnamon – Fair Trade, organic Ceylon cinnamon, with a more delicate flavor than other cinnamon’s. Certified Organic, Non-GMO Verified, Fair Trade Certified.

It Is Independence Day

Independence – Are we Losing It?

Listening to the news as of late, it seems the world is burning…how do we stay emotionally calm, physically healthy and able to engage in “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” promised to all Americans under so much chaos and confusion? I can’t find the answer … so I began to look to the past.

While pondering all of this, I compiled what I’ve learned and decided to walk off my usual beaten path and share a bit about the history of this special day.

Most of you, I’m sure, know that the 4th of July is a national holiday in the U.S., marking the acceptance of the Declaration of Independence. It was first celebrated on July 8, 1776. The Declaration of Independence was not finished until August of that year, however, July 4th became the accepted Independence Day in the U.S.

Independence Day Declaration of Independence written in 1776

Did you know…

The 4th, formally known as Independence Day, was not made a legal holiday until 1941!

Did you also know that two of the men who signed the Declaration of Independence died on July 4th? U.S. Presidents John Adams and Thomas Jefferson died 50 years after the signing, to the day. President James Monroe also died on the 4th, but in 1831. On July 4, 1872, President Calvin Coolidge was born.

The Thirteen Colonies

On July 4, 1776, the thirteen colonies claimed their independence from England, an event which eventually led to the formation of the United States. Each year on July 4th, also known as Independence Day, Americans celebrate this historic event.

Richard Henry Lee
Richard Henry Lee

Conflict between the colonies and England was already a year old when the colonies convened a Continental Congress in Philadelphia in the summer of 1776. In a June 7 session in the Pennsylvania State House (later Independence Hall), Richard Henry Lee of Virginia presented a resolution with the famous words: “Resolved: That these United Colonies are, and of right ought to be, free and independent States, that they are absolved from all allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain is, and ought to be, totally dissolved.

Lee’s words were the impetus for the drafting of a formal Declaration of Independence, although the resolution was not followed up on immediately. On June 11, consideration of the resolution was postponed by a vote of seven colonies to five, with New York abstaining. However, a Committee of Five was appointed to draft a statement presenting to the world the colonies’ case for independence. Members of the Committee included John Adams of Massachusetts, Roger Sherman of Connecticut, Benjamin Franklin of Pennsylvania, Robert R. Livingston of New York and Thomas Jefferson of Virginia. The task of drafting the actual document fell on Jefferson.

On July 1, 1776, the Continental Congress reconvened, and on the following day, the Lee Resolution for independence was adopted by 12 of the 13 colonies, New York not voting. Discussions of Jefferson’s Declaration of Independence resulted in some minor changes, but the spirit of the document was unchanged.

The process of revision continued through all of July 3 and into the late afternoon of July 4, when the Declaration was officially adopted. Of the 13 colonies, nine voted in favor of the Declaration, two — Pennsylvania and South Carolina — voted No, Delaware was undecided and New York abstained. John Hancock, President of the Continental Congress, signed the Declaration of Independence. It is said that John Hancock’s signed his name “with a great flourish” so England’s “King George can read that without spectacles!”

Today, the original copy of the Declaration is housed in the National Archives in Washington, D.C. July 4 has been designated a national holiday to commemorate the day the United States laid down its claim to be a free and independent nation.

USA Flag
USA Flag

May we heal our nation and once again be the free and independent nation we were built to be.

Happy Independence Day to all!

Independence Day Fireworks
Fireworks

On a lighter note, check out our Independence Day Recipes!

How About Going Organic This Easter?

How About Going Organic This Easter?

Just some food for thought. Have you considered going organic and filling your Easter baskets with organic chocolates? It’s very healthful!

Why Organic Chocolate?

Raw, organic chocolate is a wise choice. Organic chocolate is not polluted with toxic chemicals and pesticides.

Going Organic this Easter with Organic Chocolate
Commercially produced cocoa beans are grown with more pesticides than any other plant, besides cotton! Chocolate that is marketed as organic is grown without the use of chemical pesticides.

Best of all, consuming organic chocolate can offer significant health benefits. The variations in processing sweetened organic chocolate are the secret to maintaining the natural health benefits.

Conventional vs. Organic Chocolate

  1. Conventional chocolate is usually sweetened with corn syrup. Corn syrup is an artificial sweetener derived from genetically modified corn.
  2. Organic chocolate is sweetened with fruits (dates, raisins, etc.) malt syrups, or cane juices.

Organic chocolates contain plenty of flavonoids. These are a form of antioxidant that can help support your immune system. It will also protect your body from illness and possibly even prevent premature aging.

You can find high quality organic chocolate in health food stores, online and possibly at your local grocery store. The demand is on the rise.

Are you now thinking of filling those Easter baskets this year with organic chocolates instead of conventional? Chances are kids won’t know the difference – but their bodies will! There may be other online retailers selling organic Easter chocolates, but we get ours from Lake Champlain Chocolates. Follow this link for their Easter treats. (Disclosure: We have no affiliation whatsoever with Lake Champlain Chocolates, other than enjoying  their products).

Another favorite of our staff’s children is Organic Cheeky Bunnies Milk Chocolate#:

Organic Cheeky Bunnies#

Kids tend to enjoy the flavor of milk chocolate over dark.

Beyond Easter, going organic can become a habit. Stock up on organic chocolates for yourself! Then, the next time you have an intense craving for chocolate that nothing else will satisfy, you can enjoy healthful organic chocolate. Your body will thank you in many ways.

You may also like…

Irish Blessings Images

Irish Blessings

While no one here is Irish, we love our Irish friends and family! They have a special way with words and a sweetness to their blessings that is tough to beat.

We are sharing a collection of Irish blessings in both images and video. Feel free to save these and share with your friends and family. Each one is a wonderful sentiment whether you are Irish or not.

We have 18 Irish blessings in image format. The little Irish blessings images below are thumbnails; click on one to bring up the full size copy.

Want video? Go here: Irish Blessings Video

Irish Blessings 01
Irish Blessing 01
Irish Blessing 02
Irish Blessings 02

Irish Blessing 03
Irish Blessings 03
Irish Blessing 04
Irish Blessing 04
Irish Blessing 05
Irish Blessing 05

Irish Blessing 06
Irish Blessing 06

Irish Blessing 07
Irish Blessing 07

Irish Blessing 08
Irish Blessing 08

Irish Blessing 09
Irish Blessing 09

Irish Blessing 10
Irish Blessing 10

Irish Blessing 11
Irish Blessing 11

Irish Blessing 11
Irish Blessing 12

Irish Blessing 13
Irish Blessing 13

Irish Blessing 14
Irish Blessing 14

Irish Blessing 15
Irish Blessing 15

Irish Blessing 16
Irish Blessing 16

Irish Blessing 17
Irish Blessing 17

Irish Blessing 18
Irish Blessing 18

The Irish Blessings in Text

Wherever you go and whatever you do, may the luck of the Irish be there with you.

Here’s to you and here’s to me, I pray that friends we’ll always be, But if by chance we disagree, the heck with you and here’s to me!

May the sun shine all day long, everything go right and nothing go wrong. May those you love bring love back to you, and may all the wishes you wish come true.

May your past be a pleasant memory, your future filled with delight and mystery. Your now a glorious moment, that fills your life with deep contentment.

Always remember to forget the friends that proved untrue. But never forget to remember those that have stuck by you.

We’re in this earth together, and if we would be brothers, fight not just on your own behalf, but for the sake of others.

May your right hand always be stretched out in friendship and never in want.

Like the goodness of the 5 loaves and 2 fishes, which God divided among the five thousand me, may the blessing of the King who so divided be upon our share of this common meal.

May your blessings out-number the shamrocks that grow, and may trouble avoid you whereever you go.

‘Tis glad I am and glad I’ll be that you like knowin’ the likes of me!

Always remember to forget the troubles that passed away. But never forget to remember the blessings that come each day.

The Irish ne’er walk but what they dance an Irish fling, and Irish ne’er talk but with lilting voices sing.

May you live as long as you want, and never want as long as you live.

May the hinges of our friendship never grow rusty.

May you live forever and may the last words you hear be mine!

As the sun rises gold over the Emerald Isle, may your oat’s hot steam warm your hard work smile.

May you work like you don’t need the money, love like you’ve never been hurt, and dance like no one is watching.

May the cool rain quench your flowers thirst, renew your spirit and wash your troubles away.

You may also enjoy…

Irish Blessings Video

Irish Blessings Video

An Irish blessings video for all of our Irish friends, visitors and neighbors in honor of the upcoming St. Patrick’s Day holiday next week. The blessings in the video were given to me by a very dear Irish friend.  She did not have the originating source for them, but said they go way back in Irish history.

 Watch and Share the Irish Blessings Video


Irish Blessings from fitnfree on Vimeo.

 

Irish Blessings Video. Top o the morning to you!
Irish Blessings Video

 

Wherever you go and whatever you do, may the luck of the Irish be there with you.

Here’s to you and here’s to me, I pray that friends we’ll always be, But if by chance we disagree, the heck with you and here’s to me!

May the sun shine all day long, everything go right and nothing go wrong. May those you love bring love back to you, and may all the wishes you wish come true.

May your past be a pleasant memory, your future filled with delight and mystery. Your now a glorious moment, that fills your life with deep contentment.

Always remember to forget the friends that proved untrue. But never forget to remember those that have stuck by you.

We’re in this earth together, and if we would be brothers, fight not just on your own behalf, but for the sake of others.

May your right hand always be stretched out in friendship and never in want.

Like the goodness of the 5 loaves and 2 fishes, which God divided among the five thousand me, may the blessing of the King who so divided be upon our share of this common meal.

May your blessings out-number the shamrocks that grow, and may trouble avoid you whereever you go.

‘Tis glad I am and glad I’ll be that you like knowin’ the likes of me!

Always remember to forget the troubles that passed away. But never forget to remember the blessings that come each day.

The Irish ne’er walk but what they dance an Irish fling, and Irish ne’er talk but with lilting voices sing.

May you live as long as you want, and never want as long as you live.

May the hinges of our friendship never grow rusty.

May you live forever and may the last words you hear be mine!

As the sun rises gold over the Emerald Isle, may your oat’s hot steam warm your hard work smile.

May you work like you don’t need the money, love like you’ve never been hurt, and dance like no one is watching.

May the cool rain quench your flowers thirst, renew your spirit and wash your troubles away.

You may also enjoy…

 

Symbols Valentines

Symbols Valentines

(It’s supposed to be symbols FOR Valentines but the search engine doesn’t like the word “of”. What to do?)

Throughout time, many different symbols Valentines have been used for a special Valentine. Maybe an old tradition would be fun to bring back to life!

Ribbons and frills have been associated with romance since the days of knighthood when a knight rode into battle with a ribbon or scarf given him by his lady fair. The dictionary states that the word “Lace” comes from a Latin word meaning to “snare” or “noose”.

Cupid was one of the gods of mythology. In Latin, the word Cupid means “desire.” Cupid is typically represented as a chubby, naked, winged boy or youth with a mischievous smile. He possessed a bow with a quiver of arrows by which he transfixed the hearts of youths an and maidens.Cherubs are descendants of Cupid. They are depicted as lovable little winged creatures without arrows and quivers. Cherubs were typically not mischievous like Cupid.

Symbols Valentines Red Cupid Shooting His Arrow

The Rose. The rose, which is undoubtedly the most popular flower in the world, speaks of love and has been the choice of lovers in every century. If you rearrange the letters of the word rose you get Eros, the god of Love.

Red Rose on Stem

Hands. A lady’s hands was a favorite decoration that depicted “femininity.” Its beauty was enhanced by adding a frilly cuff and a jeweled ring on the third finger. Clasped hands represent those of Queen Victoria and prince Albert and were symbols of the friendship between their countries of Germany and England.

Turtle Doves and Love Birds

“Oft have I heard both youth and virgin sayLove Birds in Red
Birds choose their mates, and couples too, this day;
But by their flight I never can divine,
When I shall couple with my Valentine.”
Herrick

It was thought that birds chose their mate for the year on February 14. Doves and pigeons mate for life and therefore were used as a symbol of “fidelity.”

Puzzik-circa 1840. A puzzik is a quaint sort of homemade valentine which was a sort of puzzle that the receiver had to solve. Not only did she have to decipher the message but also to figure how to refold the paper once it was opened. The order of the verses was usually numbered, and the recipient had to twist the folds to determine what was being said.

Daguerreotype-popular from 1840 to the Civil War. An old-time tintype was found in the center of a card surrounded by an ornamented wreath. Another type was a “Mirror Valentine” which had a small mirror placed in the center to reflect the happy face of the receiver.

Rebus. Although it had many forms, a rebus usually was a romantic verse written in ink with certain words omitted and illustrated with a picture. Meant to be a riddle, they were not always easy to decipher.

Watch Papers. Popular when men carried pocket watches, these were made to fit the back or front of a pocket watch.

Watch Paper

 

One last honorable mention – our Valentine Recipes!