| December 30, 2010

As 2010 comes to a close, we all have a tendency to look back, reminisce, wonder. Some of us regret what we did…or did not. Some of us are thrilled that we did…or did not. Some of us saw new births (Beanie Baby!) and joys (Leva’s new bump!). Some of us saw heartache and loss. (Some of us also broke their camera during cookie making and had to make use of a camera photo until super nice camera guy fixed it that day).

But the lucky of us ate.

Candy Cane Chocolate Marshmallows (recipe below)

(You didn’t think I was going to close out the year without an “sound the alarm” post, did you?) Imagine: going to get food and then getting killed because of nothing you did other than getting food for your family. On Christmas Day, while many of us (including myself) were happily gorging themselves on cookies, cakes, and pies, 43 people were killed trying to get food at a World Food Programme distribution point in Pakistan.

Lemon Sugar Cookies (recipe below)

Or imagine not having enough food to make the tummy stop growling. In the U.S., 1 out of every 7 person in the U.S. lives on food stamps. The middle class is the newest class to be dependent on food stamps. About 1 in 6 children were food insecure, aka, not enough food. Check out CNN’s Eatocracy’s report.

German Butterman (recipe below)

The bright spots are the numerous organizations and programs out there, such as Share Our Strength and backpack buddy programs, which provide countless of meals to those who need it. Especially in a tight economy, we must dig in to offer support so those food pantries are not depleted after the holiday rush, we must volunteer extra weekend hours to help stock or serve food after the holiday volunteer boom.

Berry Rugelach (recipe below)

It makes enjoying cooking, baking, and eating more personally satisfying as well, when you’ve helped someone else out too. Check out your local food pantries to see what you can throughout the year. Give to organizations like WFP – your donations count for 2010 if you do it by tomorrow!

Rosemary Pecan Shortbread (recipe below)

I am one of the lucky ones. I can eat. I can cook. And that I did for the holidays.

Paprika Parmigiano Pinwheels (recipe below)

Admittedly, these cookies and snacks were a big hit. And if I continue to eat them at the rate I have been this holiday, I will have some serious health issues. But they sure were fun to make and even more fun to share and make others smile.

These are made with real food, authentic food. No substitutes here. Of course, my favorite Kerrygold butter, I believe, makes all the difference in the world. (recipes below). Warning: the lemon sugar cookies are addictive, the German butterman are naughty, and the marshmallows are simply sinful.

Before we close this year out, for those who have been reading and supporting us, thank you for making us a part of your daily reads. In a year of meeting many new foodies friends online, we thank you for sharing your lives with us. For those of you who had some real ups and downs this year (Baby Ryan, you’re never far from our thoughts), indulge Mariah Carey’s rather Zen-like attitude.

I have learned that beauty has to flourish in the light
Wild horses run unbridled or their spirit dies
You have given me the courage to be all that I can
And I truly feel your heart will lead you back to me
When you’re ready to land

I can’t pretend these tears aren’t over flowing steadily
I can’t prevent this hurt from almost overtaking me
But I will stand and say goodbye for you’ll never be mine
Until you know the way it feels to fly

If you should return to me
We truly were meant to be
So spread your wings and fly

It sounds terribly cliche, but this is a good time to count your blessings, to let bygones be bygones, to let go of regret and guilt, to look forward to a fresh start in 2011, and to celebrate and enjoy the wonders everywhere (including those 20 inches of snow – lucky!)

Goodbye, 2010!

Candy Cane Chocolate Marshmallows

Candy Cane Chocolate Marshmallows
24 marshmallows
2 ounces fair-trade dark chocolate
2 ounces fair-trade milk chocolate
6 organic candy canes, crushed

1. Crush candy canes (use bottom of a glass, mallet, whatever works)
2. Over double burner (or other concoction where the chocolate doesn’t touch the water), melt chocolate
3. Dip marshmallow into chocolate, then into crushed candy cane
4. Set on wax paper
5. Chill for at least an hour or until chocolate hardens
6. Store in airtight container
7. Enjoy alone or dunk in a mug of hot chocolate.

Zomppa’s Lemon Sugar Cookies

Lemon Sugar Cookies
2 1/2 cup flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 lb. butter, room temperature
2 cups sugar
2 large eggs
zest of 1 Meyer lemon
1 tsp vanilla

1. Sift flour, baking powder, salt, and lemon zest
2. Mix butter and sugar at medium for 3 minutes
3. Add eggs, one at a time
4. Add vanilla
5. Slowly add dry ingredients and mix at low (don’t overdo it)
6. Chill in refrigerator for at least one hour
7. Roll out about 1/4 inch thick
8. Bake 15 minutes at 350F

German Butterman

German Butterman
3 cups flour
1 TB cinnamon
1/8 tsp salt
1/2 lb. butter
1 1/8 cup sugar
1 egg
1 egg white, beaten
1/4 cup Riesling or other fruity white wine

1. Sift flour, cinnamon, and salt
2. Mix butter and sugar at medium until fluffy
3. Add egg
4. Alternate between dry ingredients and wine, 1/3 at a time
5. Chill in refrigerator for at least one hour
6. Flour surface area and roll out 1/4 inch thick
7. Use gingerbread man cookie cutter
8. Brush surface with egg white
9. Bake 20 minutes at 350F

Zomppa’s Berry Rugelach

Berry Rugelach
Ready made pie dough
3 TB sugar
3/4 cup all berry spread

1. Put sugar on work surface
2. Lay pie dough on it and press gently so it picks up the sugar
3. Spread berry…spread
4. Roll tight
5. Chill in refrigerator for at least 1 hour
6. Slice into 3/4 inch thick pieces
7. Bake for 25 minutes in 400F

Rosemary Pecan Shortbread

Rosemary Pecan Shortbread adapted from Angie’s Recipes
1 1/2 cup flour
14 TB butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
2 egg yolks
1 1/2 TB rosemary
1/3 cup chopped pecans

1. Mix flour and butter on low-medium
2. Add sugar, egg yolk, and rosemary and mix on medium
3. Add pecans and gently work into dough
4. Roll into long cylinder and wrap in plastic
5. Chill in refrigerator for at least one hour
6. Slice
7. Bake for 20 minutes at 350F

Paprika Parmigiano Pinwheels

Paprika Parmigiano Pinwheels
1 sheet puff pastry
1/4 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
1/4 tsp paprika
Dash of chili powder
Olive oil

1. Mix cheese, paprika and chili powder
2. Brush both sides of puff pastry with olive oil
3. Sprinkle 2/3 of cheese mix onto puff pastry
4. Fold both sides into each other, so outside edges meet in middle
5. Sprinkle rest of cheese mix
6. Fold both sides again into middle
7. Tighten
8. Slice (chill in refrigerator helps to hold shape)
9. Bake 10-12 minutes at 400F until browned

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Category: Appetizers, Dessert, Featured Articles: Food Politics, Food Politics, Recipe Vault

About the Author (Author Profile)

With a flair for spontaneity, pizzazz, creative excellence and her own unique sense of aesthetic grace and perspective, we have our very dear friend, Belinda (or B, to some of us). Although an incredibly accomplished professional and career woman, B’s down-to-earth approach and demeanor transcends all scenarios, communities and people. She manifests, in her day-to-day, the essence of the word “Zomppa” as demonstrated by her extraordinary commitment to creating sustainable and positive change for us and future generations to come. She’s asked for a dog every year since she was five. Check out Belinda’s work on global education research and coaching: or more about her portfolio

Comments (12)

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  1. Jeanne says:

    We truly are lucky to have safe access to plenty of food. Just reading your post and seeing all those treats makes me feel full. Happy New Year!

  2. Mmm … wonderful food for thought as always. You’re inspiring me both to humanitarian action and candy cane marshmallow-making 🙂 A very happy new year to you!

  3. Patty says:

    Thanks for the reminder and inspiration. Very good way to start the new year….gorgeous photos – looks like you did a WHOLE bunch of work!

  4. Hi Belinda- Thanks for stopping by and leading me to your site. Really really great and glad I came across ya’ll. I started my blog with a similar spirit and can very much relate to your approach to food and community. Keep it up!
    A new follower- Karen

  5. Simply Life says:

    Oh I’m getting hungry just looking at all those photos! Happy New Year!

  6. Biren says:

    What a lovely post! We are truly blessed to have abundance at the holiday table as there are many who do without. Happy New Year to you and yours!

  7. A very Happy New Year to you and here’s to many, many more wonderful recipes and delightful food blogging in 2011!

  8. A wonderful post indeed to start the New Year! It is good to be reminded that how bless we are compared to many!

  9. Megan says:

    Hi Belinda! Happy New Year… we are blessed to have access to food without violence – beautiful post with amazing photos and recipes! Taa Daa! Nicely Done – The marshmallows look totally off the charts!

  10. Beth says:

    A wonderful and thought-provoking way to end the year. Yes, those of us who are blessed with abundance have much to be grateful for. Thanks for the reminder.

  11. Lauren says:

    Those cookies look fabulous – you can never have too many, especially over the holidays 🙂

  12. Marie says:

    Hi! I know it’s long past Christmas, but I’ve only recently found this wonderful blog and I am trawling the archives and can’t get enough! I just wanted to say how much I loved this post. You have put in just the right amount of awareness, hope and thankfulness and that is not always an easy thing to do. As we say in New Zealand, Good on you!