Showing posts with label Christmas. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Christmas. Show all posts

Free Audiobook Reading of A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens

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For the 12 Days of Christmas ,
I'm sharing a public domain reading
of this beloved English holiday story,
which is also part of a long tradition of telling
ghost stories at Christmastide...


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-----------------------------------------

So turn the lights low,
watch the firelight twinkle,
and let the theater of your mind
enjoy this classic by Charles Dickens,


Merry Christmas to you!
May God bless us,
every one...


How to Turn Candy Canes into Pink Peppermint Syrup by Cleo Coyle

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Got candy canes? Then you can make this excellent pink peppermint syrup. It's delicious stirred into hot cocoa, coffee, and tea; drizzled over ice cream, cookies, and cupcakes; and splashed into holiday cocktails.


Cleo Coyle has a partner in
crime-writing—her husband.
Learn about their books
by clicking here and here.

Whether you're new to the Coffeehouse Mystery series or have been reading them since the first book was published (circa 2003), my husband and I extend our sincerest thanks for supporting our work. 

Enjoy the recipe, everyone, and have
a very Merry Christmas and a joyous New Year!


~ Cleo 



You can download this recipe
as a Free PDF by clicking here.

Or see the recipe as a full blog
post by scrolling down 
or clicking here...

A Free Audiobook Reading of A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens

Print Friendly and PDF


For the 12 Days of Christmas ,
I'm sharing a public domain reading
of this beloved English holiday story,
which is also part of a long tradition of telling
ghost stories at Christmastide...


----------------------------------


-----------------------------------------

So turn the lights low,
watch the firelight twinkle,
and let the theater of your mind
enjoy this classic by Charles Dickens,


Merry Christmas to you!
May God bless us,
every one...


A Free Audiobook Reading of A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens

Print Friendly and PDF


For the 12 Days of Christmas,
I'm sharing a public domain reading
of this beloved English holiday story,
which is also part of a long tradition of telling
ghost stories at Christmastide...


----------------------------------


-----------------------------------------

So turn the lights low,
watch the firelight twinkle,
and let the theater of your mind
enjoy this classic by Charles Dickens,


Merry Christmas to you!
May God bless us,
every one...


~ Cleo 



Baking up Biscochitos by Cleo Coyle

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Biscochitos (aka bizcochitos) are tender shortbread cookies irresistibly flavored with anise and cinnamon. They were originally developed by Spanish settlers in the New Mexico Territory and finally adopted as the official state cookie of New Mexico in 1989. The cookies are traditionally served at weddings, birthdays, and religious holidays, including Christmas, but they're also enjoyed with coffee or milk in the morning and after dinner with wine or again (you guessed it) coffee.

Readers of my Coffeehouse Mysteries may remember these cookies from a scene in Holiday Buzz. A Latina baker named Rita included them on her special display table at one of The Great New York Cookie Swap parties. I wasn't able to include the recipe in the book's recipe section, but I'm happy to share it with you here as a bonus. 

As for my approach to this cookie...

How to Make Christmas Pain Perdu: Italian Fruit Cake French Toast

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A popular breakfast in New Orleans, pain perdu literally means lost or wasted bread. Traditionally it's made with thick slices from a crusty French loaf that's gone stale, which tells you where the name originated. If not used this way, the bread would be wasted, lost to crumbs or bird feed.

There are two reasons I chose this recipe for Christmas day. The first is a gift to my readers, many of whom just finished Holiday Buzz. In the book, my amateur sleuth (Clare Cosi) talks about her special plan to cook up this dish on Christmas morning. Although I mentioned the recipe, I didn't publish directions for it.

The second reason I'm sharing this with you today is much more practical. Fruit cake is a customary gift for this Season, so many of you may have it on hand, and pain perdu is a very tasty use for those leftover pieces that might be going stale.

The Italian version of fruit cake is a rich, sweet bread lightly laced with dried fruit called panettone. If you've never had panettone, look for it in boxes like the one in my photo below. Boxed panettone can keep for months but once it's out of its wrappings, this delicious bread goes stale fairly quickly. When that happens, simply follow these directions for a festive French toast.


Merry Christmas, everyone...
Eat with joy to the world!
~ Cleo

For the recipe, scroll down or click here...

How to Turn Candy Canes into Peppermint Syrup by Cleo Coyle

Print Friendly and PDF

Got candy canes? Then you can make this excellent pink peppermint syrup. It's delicious stirred into hot cocoa, coffee, and tea; drizzled over ice cream, cookies, and cupcakes; and splashed into holiday cocktails.


Cleo Coyle has a partner in
crime-writing—her husband.
Learn about their books
by clicking here and here.

Whether you're new to the Coffeehouse Mystery series or have been reading them since the first book was published (circa 2003), my husband and I extend our sincerest thanks for supporting our work. 

Enjoy the recipe, everyone, and have
a very Merry Christmas and a joyous New Year!


~ Cleo 



You can download this recipe
as a Free PDF by clicking here.

Or see the recipe as a full blog
post by scrolling down 
or clicking here...



A Kinder, Gentler Pfeffernusse (Gingerbread Snowball Cookies) by Cleo Coyle

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Like any recipe that's been around for several hundred years, there are countless variations of the German cookie pfeffernüsse (aka "pepper nuts"), and I've made several. Some bakers, for example, put finely chopped nuts into their "pepper nuts." Some don't. 

Cleo Coyle has a partner in
crime-writing—her husband.
Learn about their books
by clicking here and here.

Some bakers like to add a potent amount of black or white pepper into the cookie, giving them very peppery bite. Some add ground cloves. 

The version I'm sharing with you today is my favorite way to make it: soft on the inside but with a light crispness on the outside shell. No nuts to take away from the contrast of spicy, delicious gingerbread flavor with the sweet dusting of powdered sugar.

My version also takes a kinder, gentler approach to the spice aspect, using only a pinch of pepper and leaning more heavily on the ginger, nutmeg, cinnamon, and allspice. (Allspice, I find, delivers that ground clove flavor at a much lower price.)

BTW: Allspice is not a spice mix (like pumpkin pie spice). Allspice is actually a pea-sized berry that mimics the flavors of cloves, nutmeg, and cinnamon. The berry comes from the evergreen pimiento tree, grown in South America and the West Indies, including Jamaica.








Eggnog Shortbread by Cleo Coyle

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This blog post was chosen among thousands
of food blogs to be a "Top 9" post at Foodbuzz


Eggnog is a holiday taste that my husband and I look forward to enjoying every year. While Marc drinks it straight from the fridge, I prefer mine in a comfortingly warm latte. So, I thought, why not put the flavor in a cookie?

Cleo Coyle’s Oatmeal Cookie Brittle (No Flour, No Butter, No Kidding!)

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This recipe was featured 
by New Jersey Family Magazine 
for their 12 Days of Cookies.


The holidays in my big, Italian family were always gastronomically glorious. Several of my relatives were (and still are!) in the food or restaurant business and my aunts, great aunts, and cousins were all excellent cooks, most of whom took pride in giving trays of homemade Italian cookies as holiday gifts.

Cleo Coyle has a partner in 
crime-writing—her husband.
Learn about their books
by clicking here or here.

I learned much growing up at the knees of these folks, and (no surprise) I was a chunky monkey through much of my girlhood. Over the years, the bathroom scale has gone up and down, but I’ve never let it kill my joy of cooking and eating. The older I become, the more I channel my foodie passion into experimenting with recipes, challenging myself to make them lighter and healthier—without giving up the pleasure of flavor...