Dakota Says: No Chocolate for Doggies

dakota-xmascard Hi Mommy’s Bloggy Followers,

It’s almost Christmas! I’m soooo happy! My stocking is full of stuff for my first Christmas holiday with my new family. I hope my Mommy and Daddy got me some fun and yummy stuff!

So far this Christmas, I helped my Mommy make some cookies and pies. It smells so good in the house when she bakes!

But, I gave Mommy a little scare on the day after Thanksgiving. Lemme tell you why…

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Cookie Swap

Heading to Monarch Lofts cookie swap tonight? If so, I’ll be there with my Polish Kolaczky Cookies. Stop by and see me and get the recipe. Otherwise, the recipe will be available in a few days over at Boston Sweetie’s blog where I’ll be writing a guest post during her December Cookie Blitz-a-thon — she’s got a cookie-a-day recipe so be sure to stop by and show her some love, too!

kolaczky-1Happy Munching!

Holiday Shopping Finds 2012

Black Friday. Small Business Saturday. Cyber Monday. Giving Tuesday. So many ways to spend your well-earned paychecks in the days following Thanksgiving and leading up to Christmas.

I thought I’d take a quick glance at some of the quirky foodie finds that you can find out there this year. All of these items were found at a local CVS pharmacy in the metro Boston area so you may not be able to find all of these in your area. I’ve tried linking to online shopping sites that carry the items, if you’re curious.

Let’s take a closer look at some of the foodie gifts…

super pretzel makerThe first item on our wish list is this Super Pretzel maker. Now, you can bring home that soft-baked pretzel taste from the ballpark. You can make five mini soft pretzels and warm up cheese for dipping. It also comes with a recipe book. In the store, it sells for $19.99. Buy online here.

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A Grand Floridian Gingerbread House

Ingredients in the Grand Floridian Gingerbread HouseWalt Disney World’s signature gingerbread house at the Grand Floridian Resort and Spa is a towering achievement. It’s constructed with more than 1,000 pounds of honey, 600 pounds of powdered sugar, 800 pounds of flour, and tons of Pixie Dust and creativity.

Let’s take a moment – one week from Christmas Day – to take a needed breather from all the wrapping presents, signing cards and other hecticness to look inside this marvel from some of the most talented bakers in the country, if not the world.

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Christmas Caramel

Homemade caramels by Stacey MuellerI’m so excited to introduce another new guest blogger to the All’s Fare family! Stacey Mueller is a dear friend and mentor of mine from back in the Milwaukee area. She recently tried her hand at making homemade caramels for gifts.

With 10 days left of shopping before Christmas, here’s one way you can impress your friends and family this holiday season…and avoid the crowded malls and shopping centers!

Take it away, Stacey!

My family is all about food gifts: cheeses and smoked meats, game harvested by the hunters in our group, homemade treats and home-assembled gift baskets. Last year, I visited Penzey’s spice shop (locate one near you) in Greendale, Wis., bought 4-packs of spices and turned to the staff at my local liquor store for some great wine pairings to go with the spices.

This year, I’m trying to reconnect with cooking skills set aside in the last few years when I was busy with other things. My mother-in-law makes awesome cookies, so I don’t ever want to compete in that venue. My mom also makes some lovely cookies and also fudge, toffee and nut brittles. Taking a cue from my mom but also wanting to offer something different, I decided to try homemade caramels. And, since I made just about every possible mistake with the first batch, I thought I’d share the experience to help you fast-track toward rich, creamy, sweet success.

This recipe makes about 6 pounds of caramels. A pound is a nice amount for a gift.

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Holiday Sweets at Main Street Confectionary

The Railroad Station at Magic KingdomEditor’s Note: This post is featured on the Disney Blog Carnival #37. Read more great posts about all things Disney!

I am back and wicked exhausted from a spectacular vacation at Walt Disney World with my hubby and father-in-law.

This was my first time experiencing WDW during the holiday season and it was nothing short of amazing. Words cannot describe some of the experiences that we had.

We came back home to find we took nearly 2,000 photos – a good quarter of them just of food! That means TONS of Disney-related posts in the coming days and weeks! Lucky you!

Today, I bring you some of the sights from The Confectionary on Main Street USA in Magic Kingdom. Think of candy stores from a bygone era. The smell of fresh cotton candy being spun before your eyes. The spotless chrome and glass display cases full of sugary treats and concoctions that delight your imagination and inner child with sheer delight.

I hope you enjoy some of these holiday sights from Magic Kingdom!

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Gingerbread Fun at Disney Resorts

The gingerbread displays at Disney World are nothing short of amazing. This is my first time here during the holiday season and I have been awestruck by the creativity and the detail of these sugary creations.

Here’s a quick glance:

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The really large house (there’s even a retail store inside) at Grand Floridian.

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The great gingerbread tree at the Contemporary Resort. The artwork is akin to “It’s a Small World” at Magic Kingdom.

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My favorite so far is the display with Chef Stitch at the Boardwalk Resort. It cones with a working train, too. There are 15 hidden Mickeys on it. We found 14 and were stumped by the last. Hint: a cast member told us the last one you can only see from above.

I’ll be back soon with more sweet details and foodie fun when we get home later this weekend. Till then were off for another day at Epcot!