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Monday, December 31, 2012

Last post of the year.... Thanks and MORE!

Hello everybody! December has been hectic with good activities here "en Mi casa" which is "Tu Casa" too! I've had visits from Mexico, friends and family! I also had lots of baking to do and cooking, I sold tons of Christmas Cookies and Chocoflan Cake so I got a new camera with part of the money I made from alll the baking (I was soooo needing it for better pictures) and I've also been enjoying hubby being home! He's been off of of work for about a week now, he'll go back to work on Wednesday (I wish I was rich to keep him always to ourselves! LOL!) So... it's been impossible to post more often or reply but once things go back to normal I am sure everything will be better here!

I just want to take the opportunity to thank you all for being with me in 2012! This year has been the "come back" of  "The Coffee Shop" and I've been very blessed to get to know more people through this blog! Thank you all for being here! For sharing, for commenting, for being so supportive! And for encouraging me with my projects! Thank you for trying my recipes!

I hope 2013 will be filled with new blessings that we can all share together!

Do you have any goals/resolutions for this year? Would you like to share? Whether they are personal or blogging goals... feel free to share

I lost 40 pounds in 2012 and I'm going for the rest this year! I hope I'll do a better job with homeschooling and finally have a serious calendar/schedule that I'll adhere too... and in the blogging area ... well... I hope our Coffee Friday Party just "takes off" !

By the way... join us this Friday ... we will have a featured blogger!
Pic: New Year's Eve 2007 ... I was the photographer -sigh-

... Anything else? Well... I just wish you all a Happy and successful 2013!

© Paloma K.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Mississippi Mud Cupcakes with Marshmallow Frosting!

Hello everybody! As you know (I hope) I am part of an amazing baking group... The Cake Slice !

This time we all voted, like we do every month, and the "winner" was:

Mississippi Mud Cupcakes with Marshmallow Frosting

And AH! You have to trust me... They did not disappoint! They were MUDDY and good! Well... not muddy... not gooey but just so chocolatey moist! And the marshmallow frosting was just perfectly delicious and went really well with the cupcakes! I decided to half my recipe, 24 cupcakes would've been too many! But the 12 cupcakes I made were certainly enjoyed!

The Marshmallow Frosting required lots of precision and good timing! There were no "marshmallows" involved... you had to make your own! ... it was made with thoroughly beaten egg whites and candy (melted sugar until it reached 242 F) and then mix it all together at the exact time when the caramel reached the temperature (I had NO THERMOMETER!!!) and the egg whites were just right and stiff! I was nervous about it but ... everything went well! I am debating if I should post the recipe as well... I think I might but I am falling asleep and just exhausted from all the baking I've been doing, just today I baked about 300 cookies and 24 empanadas! but I didn't want to wait any longer because we're supposed to reveal our cakes on the 20th of each month and I didn't want to be late!

So... it was fun and totally worth baking these cupcakes! The recipe is a really great one from a book I've come to love: Vintage Cakes by Julie Richardson... If you don't own it yet and you love traditional cakes, this is a must have!

Here are the pics (horrible pictures by the way) of my cupcakes... And yes... I am asking Santa for a new camera! LOL! Santa might be late though!

Perfect and stiff egg whites, just right!

This is the marshmallow frosting, had to be piped immediately!

My finished cupcakes!

Merry Christmas!

© Paloma K.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Keeping our Lights Shining Bright!

 Hi everybody! I promise I'll try to visit some blogs today! It's been really busy here... and then after the horrible tragedy in Connecticut I haven't been feeling like blogging... Such a horrible thing! It's made me sick to my stomach... My prayers with the families of the victims. May God's surpassing peace flood their hearts.
Today is a new day but even when it's new... nothing will be the same...  what happened in that school, may it be something that we always remember, to use it for something good, if possible... hug more our children, kiss them every time, avoid holding grudges, focus on what matters most...

This Christmas hold your loved ones tight! Don't focus on gifts but focus on Jesus, on His love, eternal, perfect, pure! And rejoice in that love with those around you! The events made me want to turn my Christmas lights off... I thought: "how can we be celebrating in the middle of so much pain?" But how can we not? When our hearts ache most we need to remember and celebrate that Jesus was born! in the darkest hour His light continues to shine! His light came to this dirty, painful world that didn't even want Him but that so desperately needed Him... and we continue to need Him today, my Christmas lights are shining to remember that! not just for "decoration" ... Let your lights shine this Christmas... not to represent "wealth, parties and good times" but to reflect on the fact that this dark world needs Him, and if we don't let our lights shine... who will?

John: 8:12 -Then Jesus spoke to them again, saying, “I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.”-

© Paloma K.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Coffee Friday - Update

Hello everybody! Just to let you know Coffee Friday will be back after the Holidays! Our  next Coffee Party will be on Friday January 4th, 2013! Keep taking pics of your coffee mug, coffee stains, coffee beans.... even a coffee ring! Anything coffee! send them to my e-mail to be featured here or just mention "coffee", even if just randomly, on any of your posts to link up with us!

Here is our Coffee Party button...

The Coffee Shop


© Paloma K.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Picture Post!

ooh! Lots of catching up to do replying and commenting on other blogs! I hope once January starts everything goes back to normal and I can blog more... I just want to say I'm here, we're enjoying the feeling of Christmas all around us and ... well... here are some pics of how we're enjoying!

Paper Snowflakes

More Crafts
My princesses
Of course!

© Paloma K.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Christmas Cookies - Christmas Wreaths

Hello everybody! I have a very easy (and fun) recipe to make Christmas wreaths... These are not exactly my favorite cookie in flavor.... You know? but I always feel like they are a MUST HAVE for how festive and "Christmassy" they are!

Before I share the recipe let me give you a quick update on our Coffee Friday... I will be re-taking it in January! I already have some great bloggers that will be featured! So... don't think that we're done with our Coffee Party! Keep posting and mentioning "coffee" in your posts so you will be able to link up with us! Our Next Coffee Friday will be on the 4th of January 2013! Do not miss it! Here is our Coffee Friday button if you want to add it to your blog as a reminder!

The Coffee Shop
Now... Our Recipe:

Christmas Wreaths:

  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 30 large marshmallows
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons green food coloring
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 4 cups cornflakes cereal
  • cinnamon red hot candies to decorate
1. Line baking sheets with waxed paper. Set aside. Melt the butter in a large saucepan over low heat. Add marshmallows, cook until melted while stirring constantly. Remove from heat, add food coloring, vanilla, and cornflakes.
2. Quickly drop heaping tablespoonfuls (I use a small ice cream scoop) of the mixture onto waxed paper, and form into a wreath shape with lightly greased fingers. Immediately decorate with red hot candies. Place them in the fridge to chill before removing from waxed paper, and storing in an airtight container.
Note: it really helps if someone - a little one even - helps you add the hot candies as you shape the wreaths so they stick better.

Have fun!

© Paloma K.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Christmas Traditions

Hello everybody! I hope you've been enjoying the recipes I've shared with you! I've posted several cookie recipes and you can also check my Recipe Index for more yummy dishes/desserts!

Today... I want to ask you about Christmas traditions... Do you have any? Anything that you do with your family every year that you all enjoy? some little thing that you probably haven't even realized it's a tradition but you love doing on Christmas?

Share with everyone here... maybe someone will read them and even make your family tradition their own!

Something we do here every Christmas season is watch the movie:

 Such a beautiful movie!! We watch it a week or two before Christmas. We also love "White Christmas" and something we do on the very Christmas day is sing Christmas Carols with song books made for the whole family, the Christmas songs books get out at some point in the night and everybody sings together and Josh (my hubby) reads some Bible verses on the Birth of Jesus between some of the songs. It's very beautiful and we used to do this with hubby's family but now that we moved to Texas we "skype" to "be" with them.

Do you do anything special? I'd love to read all about it!

© Paloma K.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Christmas Cookie Series - Haystacks!

Hello everyone! Here I am just trying to at least get to post something! I will also dedicate some of my time today to stop by some blogs that have been kind enough to leave a comment here! Thank you all! for reading, liking, sharing, pinning!

Now... Let me share a quick and easy recipe to make the very popular "Haystacks" which are also known as "Chinese Cookies" and "Chow Mein Cookies"

There are many recipes out there... but these is the one I've found to be simpler and yummy... of course you can modify it to your own taste.


 Haystacks (aka chow mein cookies/chinese cookies)

  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate morsels
  • 1 cup butterscotch morsels
  • 1 can (5 oz each) Chow Mein Noodles (5 oz = about 2-1/2 cups)
  • 2 cups miniature marshmallows (optional, I don't use these)
  • 1/2 cup dry roasted peanuts
Directions  (First of all line two big baking sheets with parchment paper)
  1. Melt chocolate and butterscotch morsels in the microwave (on high for about 2 or 3 minutes, make sure you stir ONE time, after 1 minute). Once it's melted, stir until smooth.
  2. Add chow mein noodles, marshmallows (if using) and peanuts. Stir until well coated.
  3. Drop mixture by spoonfuls onto your prepared baking pans (not much space is necessary between each cookie, just enough so that they aren't touching). Refrigerate 1 hour or until firm. Enjoy!
Note: Store in sealed container in cool area or freeze so they stay good longer, to thaw just get them out of the freezer (to room temperature) and wait a couple of minutes.

© Paloma K.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Christmas Cookies Series - Peanut Butter Blossoms

Hello everyone! Thank you all for your comments... I promise I'll get to each one of them eventually! It's a busy season and I'm also baking not only for myself but baking for exchanges (even gift exchanges) and also trying to sell some of the cookies I make (and one or two chocoflan cakes! why not?!)

Right now I am going to share the recipe to make another Favorite Christmas Cookie... "Peanut Butter Blossoms", some people also call them "Hershey Kisses Cookies". I love these! but I am not sure if it's really the flavor I am so in love with or just the way they look! I know they are good... but also... love starts through the eyes... and these lovely cookies sure make you fall for them "at first sight"

Here is my recipe:

 Ingredients: (all ingredients should be at room temperature)
Yield: Makes about 80

  • 1 cup butter (softened)
  • 1 cup peanut butter 
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 3 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • extra: 1/2 cup granulated sugar for rolling (decorative purposes mainly)
  • 1 bag -12 oz.- of Hershey Kisses (milk chocolate) 


Preheat oven at 350F
Slightly grease cookie sheets
Combine flour, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
Cream butter, peanut butter, sugars until smooth.
Beat eggs one at a time, stir milk and vanilla. Stir in dry ingredients just until incorporated.
Make little balls (about 1") with dough, roll them in additional sugar. Bake them in preheated oven for about 8 minutes. Press 1 kiss of hersheys into each cookie and bake for 2 more minutes. Cool in wire rack.

Note: to make the dough balls I use a small ice cream scoop and drop them on the sugar where I will roll them, that will make the dough easier to handle too.


© Paloma K.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Christmas Cookies Series - Mexican Wedding Cakes

Hi dear friends! Thank you for stopping by at The Coffee Shop! Today... I bring to you... one of my very favorite kind of cookie: Mexican Wedding Cakes aka Russian Tea Cakes

 I just love this melt-in-your mouth good cookies! They are buttery and deliciously rolled in powdered sugar... They are very delicate and just perfect for Christmas!

Today I made a batch... and I know I'll be baking many more! Yes... again... this recipe was shared to my by one of hubby's aunts!

Mexican Wedding Cakes aka Russian Tea Cakes

Yield: 48 cookies

  • 1 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar (plus more for rolling)
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 2 cups of flour
  • finely chopped nuts (optional, although, authentic Russian Tea Cakes ALWAYS include nuts)

Preheat Oven at 400F.
In a mixing bowl cream Butter, Add sugar and mix to incorporate, gradually add salt, vanilla, flour and nuts (in that order) just until incorporated. Mixture will be a little stiff. Pinch small amounts of dough to make 1" balls. Bake on ungreased sheet for 8-10 minutes just until bottoms are golden and the cookies show tiny cracks on them.  Roll warm cookies in powdered sugar; cool on wire rack. Roll in powdered sugar again.


© Paloma K.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Christmas and Thumbprints

Hello everybody... How are you doing? I hope you're all excited about Christmas! I know some of you might not celebrate it... But it's a big deal here in our house. We are all excited about this season! I've hope everybody who does celebrate Christmas makes sure to celebrate it peacefully and with a joyful heart! Remembering that the Reason to celebrate is Jesus... When we remember that... then nothing can go wrong... Because Jesus was born NO matter what. I know this is a hard season for many, those who have lost someone dear to their hearts or those who might be struggling financially... I am not trying to minimize anybody's situation but I am just trying to help us keep in mind that He was still born... He was born in a dark world that needed His light and salvation, that first Christmas was pretty "frugal" if you remember... But there were still angels singing! And they still are... singing to our Savior! Let's join the angelical choir regardless of our situation...


Now that I've shared a little bit about Christmas... let me ask you... will you be baking cookies? as I said previously... we don't need to get too stressed about anything and Christmas is not about food, money or even about family... it's all about Him... but still... it's great when we can share this wonderful season with those we love while enjoying some good food... not indispensable... but ... it's nice if we can do it... Today I want to share with you a recipe that I found in the "Living" Magazine by Martha Stewart...

Thumbprints with Raspberry Jam and Pistacchio

Still in the "Filling" process

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder (omit if making thumbprints, ball cookies, or spritz cookies)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 sticks unsalted butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup chopped pistachios or sanding sugar (optional)
  • 1/2 cup raspberry jam


  1. Whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl. Beat butter and granulated sugar with a mixer on medium-high speed until pale and fluffy. Beat in egg and vanilla. Reduce speed to low. Add flour mixture, and beat until combined. 
  2.  Roll dough into 1-inch balls, then roll in finely chopped nuts or sanding sugar, if using. Arrange on parchment-lined baking sheets, spacing each 1 inch apart.
  3. Press a well into the center of each using your finger. Refrigerate until firm, about 30 minutes. Bake at 350 degrees for 7 minutes. Remove from oven, and press well again with handle end of a wooden spoon. Bake until firm, 7 to 9 minutes more.
  4. Let cool completely. Spoon jam filling into thumbprints.

© Paloma K.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Christmas Cookies - Do you have the right baking sheets?

Hello everybody! Welcome to another post here at The Coffee Shop! It is being harder than I thought to get back into blogging! but we must do it! So... have you already planned some Christmas cookie baking? These are the days when Cookie Exchange Parties take place... I used to have this sort of tradition with a friend in Wisconsin, we would get together and bake cookies... I also tried to bake with hubby's aunts... although... for some reason we didn't do much baking together the last year I was there... It's just a busy time for everybody! This time, living now in Texas... I have already been invited to a cookie exchange.... we must all bring four dozens of cookies and share with everyone (along with the recipe) ... sounds cool and fun! But I know I am going to miss baking with my friend from Wisconsin, Ashley, so we are both going to try to bake this Thursday, so we at least get to bake the same day, even if we're far away. 

Her oldest son, then about 9 months old and my oldest daughter a 15 months old, playing while we bake

The "materials"

Here she is!

So... now, that we approach those dates... I'll be sharing some cookie recipes... But first I wanted to know if you have the right baking sheets... You must make sure you have aluminum cookie sheets and baking pans/sheets (avoid non-stick sheets because aluminum bakes more evenly as heat is distributed better throughout the sheet/pan). Cookie sheets are different from baking sheets, cookie sheets do NOT have rolled edges like baking sheets do, they are perfect for cookies because of the larger surface area but of course you can't roast on them because they can't keep any juices in. Just make sure to line your sheets/pans with parchment paper or a French nonstick baking mat to avoid your baked goods to have any metallic taste from the overheated aluminum.

I thought I would share a video that I found from our friends of America's Test Kitchen (now Cooks' Country)... I really trust them, their advice and recipes... so watch it and hopefully you'll find it helpful! Not only for cookie baking... but also for other dishes...

Tomorrow I'll start sharing cookie recipes! Stay tuned!

© Paloma K.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Thanksgiving through the eyes of a Mexican!

 Sorry I've been away... Thanksgiving was great here! We had so much stuff to eat but most of all we gave thanks, shared what we are thankful for and had a great time with family! My brother, his wife and my sister were able to spend some time with us, they came from Mexico specifically to spend Thanksgiving with us. Thanksgiving is not celebrated in Mexico since it doesn't really have anything to do with our history... but in my house there's been always love towards the American beginnings and its history... I've also always loved the whole Thanksgiving Tradition because, when in Mexico, living right at the Border with USA I had some friends who lived in Texas and they did celebrate it! I even got to be part of one Thanksgiving Dinner and I know I still didn't get the "whole experience" because there were "tamales" involved! LOL! ... I wanted to know what the traditional meal was really like... but never occurred to me that one day I would be hosting my own! I try to keep it as traditional as possible to make sure hubby enjoys everything he loves about it and also to share it with my Mexican family, who also appreciate it all... it's so different from our traditional food in Mexico! so they get the taste of what Josh (my husband) grew up with!

So... Here are some pictures of what we enjoyed here...

Our Thanksgiving Table (Thanksgiving Tree in the back)

My girl!

Appetizers: Stuffed Celery, Pretzels, Deviled Eggs

My littlest one! Enjoying too!

Everyone happy!
With my sister and my brother!

With my hubby!

Pumpkin Pie, Pecan Pie, Sugar Cookies, Pumpkin Brownies, M&M's

So... That was our Thanksgiving... we are very thankful for all our blessings, most of all for salvation, family and good health.

Now... I am gearing up for Christmas! I just wish there weren't so many events in between so I can lose more pounds and not be tempted with more food! LOL! ... I am already getting recipes, memories and just random thoughts on Christmas to share with you!

© Paloma K.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Vintage Cakes / Shoo-Fly Cake

Hi everybody! Ready for Thanksgiving? How is everything going? Everybody is healthier here! So that's definitely a reason to be thankful!

As you know...  Today is Tuesday and I share quotes on Tuesdays!  for what I call... Tuned-In Tuesdays!

But... before we go to our quotes, I have to share about the latest cake I've made... As most of you know, I belong to a Secret Baking Club, The Cake Slice, where many fellow bakers and cake lovers vote for a cake each month and we bake it to finally reveal it on the 20th of each month! ... This year we are baking from the Vintage Cakes Book and I am loving it! As soon as I got my book I immediately baked something from it just to see the quality of cake recipes we were dealing with and the cake was lovely... Today... well... today I am sharing the cake that was the winner in our latest poll:

Shoo-Fly Cake

Interesting Name, isn't it? All the cakes from this book are a compilation of "Vintage/Classic/Traditional Cake Recipes" Shoo-Fly Cake is from the early 1900's and it was very, very easy to make. Some of my fellow bakers had some issues when baking it, the crumb sank and/or the cake came out of the pan when baking... I decided to half the recipe and even when my crumb topping wasn't really "Crumbly" and it became part of the cake... it was just moist and delicious! Hubby said this is now one of his favorite cakes, he is a very expressive guy and I know when he doesn't like something or when he is just being "nice" but yesterday he couldn't stop eating and just raving as he ate! It's definitely on top of our Cake List right now, that's how much he loved it! I thought it was delicious as well, but since I don't eat much cake, I couldn't enjoy it as I would've liked!

I must confess I was really "suspicious" of this cake, since I hadn't heard many great things about it... I still made it because I thought I'd give it a chance and make my own decision whether I liked it or not... I am so happy I did! I've never really liked molasses but this cake, is just heavenly! I did not reduce sugar or molasses at all and I am happy I didn't... It just wouldn't have been the same, it's perfectly balanced as it is! (And I am not into very sweet stuff)

The recipe says to eat it warm right from the pan
I still decided to give it a try and flip it, I used shortening (like always) to grease my pans and it just came right out without trouble! It was easy to do this since the crumb topping wasn't really that "crumbly"

Right now I am just sharing pictures, maybe I'll be sharing the recipe soon. For now the pictures will have to do... I am in a real hurry and I still have to squeeze some "related" quotes in before I end the post!

A real Vintage Cake! Molasses, Cinnamon and Ginger make this a very special cake! Perfect to enjoy with some coffee in my vintage cups!

My friends and fellow bakers from "The Cake Slice" will be displaying their cakes too! Check out their blogs to see what they're doing! (Just click on the button below)

The Cake Slice

And Now... Just a few Quotes... talking about time.... old times...

""Old times" Never come back and I suppose it's just as well. What comes back is a new morning everyday in the year, and that's better." - George E. Woodberry

“I love everything that's old, - old friends, old times, old manners, old books, old wine” - Oliver Goldsmith

"Say you not, What is the cause that the former days were better than these? for you do not inquire wisely concerning this." Ecclesiastes 7:10

© Paloma K.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

My Thanksgiving Tree

I finally got the chance to make this! I've been wanting to make it from the very beginning of November but my girls have been sick and I just couldn't gather the inspiration to make it! Last night I decided this couldn't wait any longer, once the girls went to bed and regardless of being tired, I made it. It was easy because I already had what I needed and hubby helped me put the branch in the pot while I traced, cut and "prepared" the leaves. The branch is in a pot and inside the pot there's cardboard to make it steady, the cardboard is cut round to have a tight fit inside the pot, with a hole in the middle for the branch to go through it... so... there's rocks, cardboard, rocks, cardboard and more rocks on top. Those rocks you can buy in the gardening section of any big store. I bought a bag of them last year in Home-Depot.

The leaves are made with brown and yellow cardstock, The shape of the leaves I got it from some artificial leaves I have, you can find great leaf shapes from clip-art or even looking for leaf images online.Once I traced and cut the leaves I just colored their edges with crayon to give them a more "real" look. (used brown crayon for the yellow leaves, dark orange crayon for the brown leaves).

Then I just wrote the things we are thankful for, used some yellow sewing thread to hang them (passed the thread throw the leaf stem with a needle) and hung all the leaves on my branch (you need a dry, "nice looking" branch) the size of it will depend on the size of your pot.

Voila! You have a cute, earthy looking, Thanksgiving Tree!
© Paloma K.