Lauren

Nothing puts me more in the Christmas spirit than transforming my dining room into a warm and inviting space for my family to gather. Personally, sharing dinner with my loved ones on Christmas Eve makes this my favorite night of the year.  Cheers to making new and long lasting memories with friends and family this holiday season. 

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Karen –

One of my favorite holiday memories was watching my grandmother, Nunnie, make “Kusciki” aka Pig Ears or Polish Donuts.  This family favorite has been passed down and enjoyed by all generations.  We enjoy them with a great cup of coffee for breakfast, mid-day “pick-me-up” or late night snack.  I hope you enjoy these delicious treats as much as we do!

6 eggs
1/2 lb of margarine or butter
1 1/2 cups of sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons of salt
1 1/2 cups of milk or 12 oz can of evaporated skim milk
5 teaspoons of baking powder
7-8 cups of flour or more if needed
Use oil to fry

Mix the flour, baking powder & salt. Then melt the margarine or butter on the stove.
After the margarine or butter is melted put your milk in the same pot and let it get warm. Add the mixed eggs & sugar, then slowly add the flour. Knead well on a floured surface until the dough does not stick to your hands. Then take half of the dough and roll approximately 1/8 to 1/4 inch thick.  Cut  3 inch long strips. Cut a slit in the center of each piece and loop the dough through as seen the picture above. Drop Kusciki in hot oil and fry until golden brown ( takes approx 20 seconds depending on oil temperature) per side.  Remove from pan with tongs and drain on paper bags. Once cooled, sprinkle with powdered sugar when ready to serve.

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Books for yourself or the avid reader on your gift list, here are some of Barnes & Nobles Best Sellers this Season!

TAKEDOWN TWENTY- Janet Evanovich (F)

The First Phone Call from Heaven- Mitch Albom (F)

Heaven is for Real- Todd Burpo with Lynn Vincent(NF)

The 5 Love Languages/The Secret to Love That Lasts-Gary Chapman(NF)

Dark Witch/Book One of the cousins O’Dwyer Trilogy-Nora Roberts(F)

Lone Survivor-Marcus Luttrell with Patrick Robinson(NF)

Killing Jesus-Bill O’Reilly & Martin Dugard(NF)

George Washington’s Secret Six/The Spy Ring That Saved The American Revolution-Brian Kilmeade and Don Yaeger(NF)

Things That Matter/Three Decades of Passions, Pastimes and Politics-Charles Krauthammer(NF)

David and Goliath-Malcolm Gladwell (NF)

Cookbooks:

Giada’s FEEL GOOD FOOD-Giada De Laurentiis

Celebrity Chefs- More Than 60 Delicious Recipes- by renowned chefs

The Pioneer Woman Cooks, A Year of Holidays- by Ree Drummond

Teens:

Catching Fire (Second Book of The Hunger Games)- Suzanne Collins

The Book Thief- Markus Zusak

ALLEGIANT-  Veronica Roth

Children:

The Tail of Emily Windsnap-Liz Kessler

The One and Only Ivan-Katherine Applegate

Ever After High-The Storybook of Legends-Shannon Hale

The House of Hades-Rick Riordan

The Lightning Thief/Percy Jackson & The Olympians Book One-Rick Riordan

Diary of a Wimpy Kid Hard Luck-Jeff Kinney

Coffee table books:

The Vatican/All the Paintings-Anja Grebe

Emily Dickinson The Gorgeous  Nothings –Marta Werner and Jen Bervin with a Preface by Susan Howe

Leonardo da Vinci/The Complete Painting  and Drawings-Frank Zollner

LENNONlegend/An Illustrated Life of John Lennon-James Henke

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Need a last minute gift idea that will only take about 30 minutes?  Even those of you who don’t consider yourselves crafty enough, can do this.  A friend of ours, Emily, is making these for her Christmas gifts.  These are very inexpensive to make, just your time and the cost of the yarn.  We thought these trendy scarves were so adorable and personal that we wanted to share them with you.  Most of us search Pinterest routinely to get fresh ideas and inspiration on anything, and everything, like this infinity scarf. Emily followed the Arm Knit Infinity Scarf Tutorial  as we took pictures from start to finish. Maybe we will be lucky enough to receive one from her!

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If you are a jet setter, or looking for a different destination to bring in the New Year, The Huffington Post lists The World’s Best New Year’s Celebrations.  To have you looking extraordinary as the ball drops, InStyle magazine shares a collection of gorgeous Holiday Dresses and Clutches.  Get this, the best part is they are all $100 & under!  Your clutch is just as important as what you carry inside of it.

Here’s a few things we will be carrying so that we look picture perfect at the stroke of midnight.

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Cell phone- To capture those special moments!

Lip Gloss

Compact Mirror

Oil blotters

Mints

A sample of your favorite perfume – Depending on the fragrance they carry, Nordstrom or Sephora will fill a sample size of any fragrance you want.  These are perfect to toss into your clutch when you need an extra spritz.