Celebrating La Befana

befanaGrowing up, we celebrated the feast of the Epiphany with a special meal and treats. While my brothers and I attached more significance to Christmas Day, my mother considered January 6th to be the Italian Christmas. She would regale us with tales of la Befana, the friendly witch who delivered gifts to good children and lumps of coal to the bad ones.

While I’ve heard many variations of this tale, I prefer my mother’s version.

Continue reading on the Sisterhood of Suspense blog.


This Year is Yours

20118867_s

God built and launched this year for you;
Upon the bridge you stand;
It’s your ship, aye, your own ship,
And you are in command.

Just what the twelve months’ trip will do
Rests wholly, solely, friend, with you.

Your logbook kept from day to day
My friend, what will it show?
Have you on your appointed way
Made progress, yes or no?

The log will tell, like guiding star,
The sort of captain that you are.

For weal or woe this year is yours;
Your ship is on life’s sea
Your acts, as captain, must decide
Whichever it shall be;

So now in starting on your trip,
Ask God to help you sail your ship.

By Alfred Lord Tennyson

Happy New Year!

Earth Friendly Gifts

21408782_sWhen selecting a gift for a special friend or relative, I try to think and act with the Earth in mind. Instead of spending countless hours searching for that perfect item or gadget that will eventually be relegated to a drawer or closet, I stop and consider what would be appreciated. Mindful gift giving that creates deeper connections and honors environmental values does not require a lot of money or effort.


Continue reading on the Long and Short Reviews Blog.


A Mangiacake Tradition

italy1Scalilli. Turdilli. Crostoli. Grispelle. Biscotti. Pizzelle. I have fond memories of all those Italian desserts my mother and grandmother prepared during the Christmas season. They would start baking early in December and then make more batches as the month progressed.

While I enjoyed partaking, I was not overly thrilled with the amount of work involved. In fact, delicious and labor intensive would be two apt descriptions for many of the entrées and desserts that emerged from my mother’s kitchen.

One Christmas in the early 1970s, my mother presented a different kind of dessert. She placed a dish filled with unusual shapes on the table and said, “Help yourself to a snowball.”

Continue reading on Kathy Bryson’s blog.


Free…And Two By Me!

comfortfoodsholidaygardengourmetTreat yourself to our favorite comfort food recipes–soups and stews; breads, biscuits and muffins; salads and sides; cookies and bars–all from the kitchens of The Wild Rose Press authors.

I’m happy to share two of my recipes: BCR Casserole on Page 28
and Banana Muffins on Page 104.

Happy Holidays!

download