Russian Tea Cakes (Mexican Wedding Cakes) – Great Holiday Gift Idea

Russian tea cakes or Mexican wedding cakes

Cakes? It is a slight mystery why these are called cakes and not cookies, but no matter the name, they are delicious. How can you go wrong with toasted pecans, brown butter and sugar? The texture is like a shortbread cookie that is taken to new heights by the richness of the nuts. They are typically served at the holidays, maybe because they look like little snow balls, and at special occasions, like weddings, as the name suggests. This holiday my aunt Kristin, who is my pastry muse, requested them. It is ridiculous that my house isn’t stocked with them all year round. The recipe is so simple and the results so incredible. Thanks to Kristin my cookie jar is now full. They make a great gift because they pack up well and actually improve with a bit of time, which can’t be said for many cookies. (more…)

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Turkish Spice Market and a Snap Shot of Greece.

One of the most dramatic aspects of traveling to Istanbul were the flavors and smells of the city. Nothing about it reminded us of home and much to my delight (and relief) this was a thrill for the boys. I was a little nervous about starting our month long journey in Turkey. Everything I had read about traveling with kids said to start in a place that has things which are recognizable to them. Italy would have been a safer bet, all kids adore pasta and pizza. But, we ignored the advice and went to the place that resembled home the least. They loved it, perhaps best of all.

On our third day in the city we found our way to the spice and fish markets. Here is just a small portion of what we saw. I only wish this were Smell-O-Vision. (more…)

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