Friday, December 21, 2012

Cranberry & Pistachio Biscotti , BLOGHER & Liebster Award

The past few weeks have been crazy busy,
and I'm sure if you have children in school, you know what exactly I am talking about.
For days,
 I have been baking like crazy in my kitchen.
flour was the foundation on my face,
hair looking like a bird's nest,
and fashionably rockin' my pajamas, in running shoes, and my Red Apron.
I have started baking for my children school teachers,
favorite school staff, the school bus driver.
The handymen, mailman, and babysitter's baked goods are all delivered.
 I'd be crazy if I don't admit to being tired,
but there's 2 things that have boost my energy back this week.
A special Thanks to Blogher for featuring
Since the feature,
the traffic views on my blog has tripled and more.

A BIG Thank You to the awesome Honey & Lulu for the nomination
for another Liebster Award.
Nothing makes me happier when my work is recognized by very talented bloggers.

 A Liebster Blog Award is given to talented bloggers who have less than 200 followers (through Google Friend Connect). ‘Liebster’ is a German word that means ‘Dearest’, but also means ‘Favourite’.
So, in a way, the award not only recognises these bloggers as amazingly gifted
in their own right, but also as your very own personal favourites.

The rules to keep this award going are as follows:

- Add the award icon to your blog
- Link to your nominator to say thank you
- Answer the questions the nominator has set for you, and create 11 questions for your own nominees to answer
- Choose 11 bloggers with less than 200 followers, go to their blog and tell them about the award

My Answers to Questions from Honey & Lulu:
1. Summer or winter? Summer
2. What’s your all-time favourite movie? An Affair to Remember
3. Facebook or Twitter? Facebook
4. New York, Paris or London? Paris
5. What's your favourite Christmas carol? White Christmas
6. Which iPhone app do you use most often? Pinterest
7. Breakfast, lunch or dinner? Dinner
9. Online shopping or offline shopping?  Offline shopping

8. What’s your favourite holiday destination? Panglao Beach, Bohol, Philippines

10. What’s your favourite lifestyle brand? No particular brand
11. Black & white, or colour photography? Black & White
Questions for the Nominees:
1.   House on the Beach Living or House on the Hill?
2.   California or NY?
3.   Flats or Stilettos?
4.   SUV or Minivan?
5.   National Geographic, Architectural Digest or Times Magazine?
6.   A. Bourdain or A. Zimmern?
7.   Who is you favorite Famous Chef?
8.   Sweet wine or Dry Wine?
9.   What's your favorite dish?
10. What ingredient can you not live without?
11. What made you decide to blog?

The Nominees:

1. Skinny Simple Recipes
2. Slice of Southern
3. The Boo, The Bear and The Goji Berries
4. This and That
5. Spring Chick
6. 40 something Undomesticated Devil
7. Al Dente Gourmet
8. Crostini and Chianti
9. Life on Food
10. Mess makes Food
11. A Baker's House

Congratulations Everyone! You all deserve the Nomination.

Now let's get back to baking.
Got my Nike's on,
need that extra support on my feet,
standing in the kitchen for hours is strenuous.
The next few days I will be posting a few more recipes
for the bake goods I have made.
I love Biscotti,
and I have been looking for a delicious recipe for Biscotti
and this Biscotti is IT! 

Thanks to my Favorite Italian Chef Giada de Laurentiis,
of whom I can always count on her delicious recipes without fail.
Though I have not met her yet,
Funny, how true the saying "Six Degrees of Separation".
Mine was 2 degrees of separation. LOL!
I had a very close connection to Giada, 
 her late grandfather Movie Producer Dino & stepgrandmother Martha.
My former employers were friends with them,
 shared the same office building, and have done business with their Production company.
With the courtesy of my former employers Strath and Marcy Hamilton 
I vacationed with the Hamilton's and the de Laurentiis' at Park City, Utah
during the Sundance Film Festival in the early 90's.
Well ... it was more like a work vacation.
We all stayed at the same vacation home.
I learned a few dishes from Dino's personal chef named Gigi too.
Well ... Gigi is a man.

Back to Giada's Biscotti, this recipe is perfect as it is.
It has both the crunch and chewy combination with just the perfect sweetness of the white chocolate coating the end of the cookie.
I love the festive look of the red cranberry and the green pistachio,
fitting for the holidays.
Unlike Giada's Biscotti,
 I coated the entire bottom of my biscotti with white chocolate,
so I get that sweet savory flavor in every bite.
And I love having the kids help with the dipping,
messy but fun.
Cranberry & Pistachio Biscotti         
Recipe courtesy Food Network Chef Giada de Laurentiis
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 tsp lemon zest
2 large eggs
3/4 cups pistachios, coarsely chopped
2/3 cup dried cranberries
12 oz good quality white chocolate, chopped
Red and green sugar crystal, for garnish (optional)



  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  • Line a heavy large baking sheet with parchment paper. Whisk the flour and baking powder in a medium bowl to blend. Using an electric mixer, beat the sugar, butter, lemon zest, and salt in a large bowl to blend. Beat in the eggs 1 at a time. Add the flour mixture and beat just until blended. Stir in the pistachios and cranberries.
  • Form the dough into a 13-inch long, 3-inch wide log on the prepared baking sheet. Bake until light golden, about 40 minutes. Cool for 30 minutes.
  • Place the log on the cutting board. Using a sharp serrated knife, cut the log on a diagonal into 1/2 to 3/4-inch-thick slices. Arrange the biscotti, cut side down, on the baking sheet. Bake the biscotti until they are pale golden, about 15 minutes. Transfer the biscotti to a rack and cool completely.
  • Stir the chocolate in a bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water until the chocolate melts. Dip half of the biscotti into the melted chocolate. Gently shake off the excess chocolate. Place the biscotti on the baking sheet for the chocolate to set. Sprinkle with the sugar crystals. Refrigerate until the chocolate is firm, about 35 minutes.


  • The biscotti can be made ahead. Store them in an airtight container up to 4 days, or wrap them in foil and freeze in resealable plastic bags up to 3 weeks.
  • You can substitute Pistachio with Almonds.




  1. Congratulations on your award, you deserve it. Merry Christmas to you and family.

    1. Thanks Veronica! And Congratulations to you too!
      I know you were nominated as well.

  2. Good morning! How delightful to find YOU! You found me through Aldy? Her blog is so gorgeous and I see that you food blog here is most deserving of an award! I tried making biscotti once and it turned out hard as a rock!!!!!!!!!! I don't know what I did wrong!

    May you have a household full of laughter, children, happy adults and wonderful FOOD this holiday! Thank you for visiting and leaving a comment! Anita

    1. Yes, I found you through one of Aldy's posts. Your Blog title is so catchy and since I love castles you got me to click on your site.
      Lovely lovely blog. Thank you for dropping by.
      The only 2 reasons I could think of is that you baked it longer or you probably mixed the ingredients longer in the mixer. Mix it just until blended, sometimes overmixing makes the biscotti hard.
      Try this recipe and follow Giada's intrauctions to the tee. I love this recipe.

  3. Oh I love biscotti at Christmastime especially and haven't made them yet this year. Now I know what I am doing tomorrow!

  4. Thanks for the award. That is super sweet of you. I also find it funny we made the same type of dessert today. Great minds!

    1. You are most welcome! You so deserve it!
      Have a great Holiday!

  5. I love the flavors and colors here in your biscotti so perfect for the holiday season. I love how you can crunch biscotti or dunk them and they are equally good both ways.

  6. Congratulations on your award and thank you so much for nominating me.. I feel very privileged that you thought of me. I will try and get my post done first thing in the New Year. Thanks again.

  7. THOSE biscottis look wonderful! CONGRATS on your award!!! Thank you for nominating me and for your SWEET comment.I'll make a post about it soon. Have a WONDERFUL NEW YEAR!!!!!

  8. Oh WOW! Thank you so much for the nomination!! :D Have only just been catching up in the blog world so that was a lovely surprise! Huge congrats to you too, I always enjoy your blog. Happy new year! x


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