Sending love & chocolate for . . .

Friday, February 10, 2012

I have a few friends that throughout the year we surprise each other with little gifts.  This time I’m sending them a box with a few things I’m loving right now.
At Christmas, my sister included a box of Tazo Wild Sweet Orange Tea.  It’s the best tea I’ve had in a long time.  The only place that I can find that has this exact flavor is Whole Foods.  And they also happen to have this candy bar.…almonds, sea salt and dark chocolate.  I try to make the bar last the entire week…or sometimes I just eat the entire bar on my way home from the market…there are those days.
I also included a little package of shortbread cookies with a lemon glaze.  These are my sons favorite cookies.  Here’s the recipe:
 Lorna’s Shortbread Cookies
3 sticks butter, at room temperature
1 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla
3 1/2 cups flour
Mix butter, sugar and vanilla until combined.  Add flour and mix together.  On plastic wrap, form dough into rectangles and square the edges.  It makes 3 to 4 rectangle logs.  Refrigerate for an hour or over night and slice while still cold about 1/4 inch thick and bake on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper for about 10 minutes in a 350º oven.
For the glaze, add a scoop of confectioner’s sugar and a little fresh lemon juice.  Whisk together adding a little water if necessary until it is very thin.  Spoon the glaze over the cookies on a cooling rack over parchment or wax paper to collect the glaze that runs off.

I wrapped the chocolate using white paper and twine and then made little tags on card stock.  I used a red paper reinforcement and attached it to the knotted twine with a mini clothespin from the Advent Calendar project.  Since we are moving in June…I am trying hard not to buy anything.
I used supplies that I’ve had for years.  I tied the boxes of tea with strips of red and white gingham fabric.  Out and about in Laguna Beach this week we came across the most beautiful children’s shop. The entire shop is wonderfully decorated and they had these little necklaces that had a few charms on a piece of red window pane fabric.  I don’t have children young enough for this shop, but it was worth a visit just to see how the owner displayed things, worked with the space to make it a very charming shop called Hillary.
Now that these packages are in the mail I can concentrate on those living under my roof.  Growing up my mom celebrated every holiday with a special meal, beautifully wrapped presents and always an amazing dessert.  At Valentine’s Day that would most likely mean a homemade red velvet cake. I had better get going…


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