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Posted by on Dec 27, 2011 | 0 comments

Quick and Easy Homemade Biscotti

Quick and Easy Homemade Biscotti

One of my favorite cookie recipes is for Lemon Cranberry Biscotti, which I got at a cooking class I attended many years ago. It’s a staple in my house and every Christmas, my father-in-law requests orders. Ingredients: 1 cup sugar 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened 1 tsp lemon extract 3 eggs 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour 1/2 tsp baking powder 1 cup dried cranberries 1/4 tsp salt Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Using electric mixer, blend butter and sugar well. Add lemon extract then eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Stir dry ingredients together, mix into butter and egg mixture until well combined. Form into two loaves, 12 inches x 2 inches. The dough will be a little sticky. Bake until a light golden color and the top starts to crack (about 20-25 min.). Remove from oven and let cool for 5-10 min. Slice diagonally into 1/2 inch slices, then place on sides on baking sheet. Bake again until golden brown (about 10-15 min.). Cool...

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Posted by on Dec 1, 2011 | 1 comment

Holiday Gift Baskets from Downtown Del Ray, Part II

Holiday Gift Baskets from Downtown Del Ray, Part II

A few weeks ago, we wrote about sweet and savory treats you can find on Mt. Vernon Ave. in Del Ray to add to a gift basket or gobble up yourself. Yesterday, DIY Del Ray took another stroll in search of more gifts of the non-perishable variety. Ideas abound. Once again, we return to St. Elmo’s but this time for a to-go mug and tshirt. I love the pool ball wine stopper from Kiskadee. I also like their series of handsome ties for the man on your list and a dinner party game that looks like a lot of fun. Kiskadee mainly carries clothing and jewelry, but I went in looking specifically for smaller gift items.       A Show of Hands features a variety of wonderful handmade creations from local artists and musicians. Their store has so many affordable items to choose from like a signed CD from a local musician, or lavender sachets, letter openers, handmade wooden bowls, and crocheted coffee cup cozies.      If you can take your eyes...

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Posted by on Nov 21, 2011 | 0 comments

Eight Ways to Entertain in a Small Space

Eight Ways to Entertain in a Small Space

With the holiday party season about to go into full madness mode, DIY Del Ray wondered, how do people entertain in small spaces? We interviewed a few local folks, and here’s how they make it work: 1. Mitigate bottlenecks Basically everything is spread out throughout the room so that there is no bottleneck traffic.  People can either congregate to the couch or the bar/kitchen. 2. Keep it simple, low-key My small townhouse, and having small children underfoot, limits the ability to throw large dinner parties.  So when I do have people over, it is generally for a birthday party, a soup exchange, or something else that feels low-key.  I generally put finger food on the dining room table, pull the chairs away from the table and allow a free-flow between the dining room and the living room. 3. Stack it up I fill the dining table with all the hot foods while I put the nibbles on the coffee table. I provide little square white plates for eating because...

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Posted by on Nov 17, 2011 | 1 comment

Furoshiki: A Twist on Traditional Gift Wrapping

Furoshiki: A Twist on Traditional Gift Wrapping

You can find a wealth of ideas for wrapping presents with paper and ribbon. If you want to try something different, a gift wrapping technique that is both lovely and environmentally friendly, look no further than furoshiki. The technique originates in Japan and is simply cloth that you fold in various ways to wrap items to give as gifts — both for boxes for under the tree or for housewarming or hostess gifts. You can also make shopping bags or decorative items for your home. You can buy cloth specifically designed for furoshiki folding, but it’s easy enough to use festive cloth and hem it, or else find scarves at consignment shops to use. We’ve also seen it done with cloth napkins and decorative dish towels. Katie and I tried out a few different folds to demonstrate how easy it is to master furoshiki. We consulted the furoshiki Web site and its handy step-by-step descriptions of folds. Wrap number 1. We started with a big square cloth and used...

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