Wednesday, December 19, 2007


"Champagne and orange juice is a great drink. The orange improves the champagne. The champagne definitely improves the orange."
~ Philip (Duke of Edinburgh)

~ Santa never says "NO" ...

1/2 oz. Triple Sec or Cointreau

3 oz. Cranberry juice

slash of orange juice

4-5 oz. champagne


orange slices

Add chilled Cointreau or Triple Sec to cranberry juice. Add splash of orange juice. Plop 3 cranberries in champagne glass. Fill 1/2 glass with cranberry juice mixture and slowly top with champagne. Serve with orange slice. (Can also be served over cracked ice).


~ Delicious treat from Tom Fundaro, chef at Villa Creek.

6 ounces unsalted butter (1 ½ sticks)
¼ cup sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 ½ teaspoons cracked black pepper
¾ teaspoon dried thyme
2 1/3 cups flour
5 tablespoons whipping cream
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Place the butter in a mixing bowl and let it stand until softened, then cut it into small pieces. Add sugar, salt, pepper and thyme to the butter, then add the flour. Using 2 knives, cut through the mixture as if making pie dough until the butter is evenly mixed and in very fine flakes. Add the cream a tablespoon at a time until the dough holds together and can be formed into a ball. Mix with a fork while adding the cream. When the dough begins to hold together, mix with your hands. You might need a little more cream, but the dough should not be moist and soggy.
  • Form the dough into a flat round and place it on a sheet of baking parchment on a work surface. With a very lightly floured rolling pin, roll the dough evenly into an 11-inch square. Press with your hands to straighten the edges, but don't worry if the square isn't perfect.The edges will brown more deeply than the remainder of the square, and can be cut away later. With a sharp knife, cut the dough into six sections from top to bottom, then cut crosswise into 8 sections, forming 48 small squares. Prick each square two or three times with the tines of a fork. Do not separate the squares.
  • Lift the parchment onto a baking sheet. Bake until lightly browned, about 30 minutes. Turn the baking sheet back to front halfway through the baking time. When done, remove from the oven. With a spatula, transfer the shortbreads to racks to cool. When thoroughly cool, store in an airtight container. Some outer squares may be deeply browned and slightly irregular in shape. Set these aside as treats for the cook. ( 4 dozen)

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