Christmas From Scratch With Maria Provenzano

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Happy Holidays! The holiday season is the perfect occasion to create memories ‘from scratch.’ Taking the time to craft, cook, or bake with family and friends creates those special memories that will last a lifetime. My hope is that this magazine will inspire you! Have a wonderful, homemade, holiday season, ‘from scratch.’

Christmas Tree Pallet Active Advent Calendar I never get enough pictures during the holidays, so this year I decided to challenge myself, and you, to take a picture each day, and post it on your favorite social media platform using the hashtag #ChristmasFromScratch. To create this Active Advent Calendar I painted a simple wood pallet white with a green Christmas tree. Using twine and small clothes-pins I added little gift tags that each say a Christmas word to inspire you to capture that day, and share! Click HERE for the Christmas Tree Pallet Active Advent Calendar Tutorial

1. Joy 2. Green 3. Memory 4. Elf 5. Tradition 6. Poinsettia 7. Mistletoe 8. Snowman 9. Merry 10. Red 11. Candy Cane 12. Gingerbread

13. Christmas Lights 14. Stockings 15. Ornament 16. Silver 17. Snow 18. Reindeer 19. Christmas Sweater 20. Christmas Tree 21. Gift 22. Cookies 23. Santa 24. Food

25. Family and Friends

Once you have all of your Active Advent Christmas pictures taken, and shared, you can get them printed! How cute are these Polaroid inspired pictures made by PhotoLove? Simply go to their website, link your social media account, and order the pictures you would like printed from your Active Advent Calander. It is a great way to document your memories!

Gift Wrapping Gift wrapping doesn’t have to be difficult! This year all you need to do is buy one kind of wrapping paper, and then jazz it up with fun details. Go for something simple like brown kraft paper for a rustic look, or a solid gold wrapping paper if you want to go more glam. Gold wrapping with glittered puffs attached with a glue gun in a variety of colors and sizes (left). Solid gold wrapping paper gets a rustic touch with red and white baker’s twine and candy canes (top right). Brown kraft paper gets glammed up with glittered scotch tape (bottom right).

Gift Wrapping Cover a gold wrapped gift with dots of mod podge, and then cover with red glitter. Shake off the excess and allow to dry.

Layering adds nice texture to gift wrapping. This gift is wrapped in brown kraft paper, then has a layer of burlap, red ribbon, bakers twine, and a few silver bells for a holiday touch.

This gold wrapped gift is finished with rustic baker’s twine, and an elegant white poinsettia. It is a perfect mix of rustic and chic.

Hot Chocolate Bar

The holiday season isn’t complete without hot chocolate! This year is the perfect time to make your own from scratch. A woodland themed tablescape makes for a pretty way to display your holiday treats. Most of this dÊcor is from the craft supply store, Michaels Arts and Crafts.

Hot Chocolate Bar Homemade hot chocolate is as simple as mixing milk and chocolate syrup together. To make it really special, you can make my Fudgy Brown Sugar Chocolate Sauce to add in with the milk. Start by pouring 3 cups of whole milk in a sauce pan, and stir in 1 cup of the chocolate sauce. Stir continuously until very warm, and serve. You also can keep it warm in a hot chocolate pot. Top with homemade marshmallows, and a candy cane.

Finish off the hot chocolate bar with something sweet! Homemade marshmallows are the perfect topping for hot chocolate, with a side of crumbly shortbread cookies, and frosted chocolate cut-out cookies. This year I tried out a company called Cookie Cutter Kingdom. They have a great variety of unique cookie cutters, and you don’t have to worry about them rusting, since they are not metal!

Cookie Cutter Kingdom

DIY Moss Reindeer These adorable reindeer are covered with what is called “reindeer moss.” It adds a soft, rustic, outdoor touch, while also having a fancy holiday feel from the touch of gold glitter. The paper mache reindeer can be found at Michael’s Arts and Crafts. Simply attach the moss to the reindeer with a hot glue gun, then cover the antlers with mod podge, and coat with gold glitter. Finish it off by gluing on a red glittered ornament to the nose! Hang them over the hot chocolate display to tie the look together.

Christmas Morning Christmas morning is the perfect reason to stay in your pajamas all day, drink coffee (or hot chocolate), and relax. The morning wouldn’t be complete without breakfast! Christmas breakfast shouldn’t be something you have to get up super early to prepare. By making something ahead of time, and having the rest be really easy, you will be able to enjoy the morning. This year try making Bacon and Cheddar Scones, that can be made a couple days ahead of time, and placed in the freezer until ready. The buttery scones are made savory from the bacon, and rich cheddar cheese. Baked Eggs with Spinach and Tomatoes are a perfect paring to the scones, because they are light, packed with veggies, and an easy way to prepare eggs without having to stand over a stove making them different ways for different people. This gives you the opportunity to relax, and spend time with your family.

Christmas Morning


Monogrammed Kids Pajamas


Ladies Pajamas Gentlemen Pajamas Pants

Plate for Santa’s Cookies

Baked eggs with Spinach and Tomatoes For 1 serving: 2-3 tablespoons chopped tomatoes 2-3 tablespoons chopped spinach 2 eggs 1-2 tablespoons cream salt and pepper grated parmesan for topping fresh herbs for topping, I like using chopped thyme and parsley

*Preheat the oven to 400 degrees *Spray a ramekin with cooking spray *Place the tomatoes and spinach into the ramekin *Crack both eggs into the ramekin, and add a splash of cream *Sprinkle the top with a little freshly grated parmesan cheese, and a sprinkle of salt and pepper *Bake for 15-25 minutes, or until the whites have set, and depending on how well done you like your eggs *Remove from oven and sprinkle with fresh herbs

Bacon and Cheddar Scones 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour 1 teaspoons baking powder 1/2 teaspoon baking soda 1/2 teaspoon salt 1/2 cup unsalted butter, cold, cut into small cubes 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese 6-8 slices cooked bacon, preferably maple bacon 3/4 cup buttermilk 1 egg, lightly beaten 2-3 buttermilk to brush on the tops of the scones 2-3 tablespoons finely chopped scallions for topping, optional

*Preheat the oven to 375 degrees *Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl, and mix to combine *Place the butter into flour mixture, and use a pastry cutter to break up the butter into smaller pieces; the mixture should look crumbly but still have some larger pieces of butter *Toss in the shredded cheese, and bacon; use your hands to toss the ingredients together *Whisk together the buttermilk and egg; slowly pour the buttermilk/egg mixture into the flour mixture, stirring just until the dry ingredients are moistened and a dough forms *Turn the dough out onto a floured surface, and use your hands to form the dough into a large circle, about ½â€?-1â€? thick, or about an 8 inch circle *Use a knife to cut the circle in half one way, then the other, then cut each half in half, this will create 8 slices, and look like a pizza *Place the scones onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, and place in the fridge for about 10 minutes, OR if you want to make these ahead of time, this is the point when you would place them in the freezer *Then, brush the tops with a little bit of buttermilk, using a pastry brush *Bake at 375 degrees for about 15-17 minutes, or until the edges start to become golden, if baking these right from the freezer it may take closer to 20-25 minutes to bake

Chocolate Gingerbread Poppers Makes about 24 poppers 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour 1 teaspoon baking soda 1 teaspoon baking powder 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder 1/2 teaspoon salt 1/2 cup unsalted butter; room temp 1 cup sugar 2 eggs; room temp 1 cup sour cream; room temp 2 teaspoons vanilla 2 tablespoons molasses Sugar and Spice Mixture: ½ cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled ½ - ¾ cup sugar and 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice

*Preheat your oven to 350 degrees *Mix together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cocoa powder, pumpkin pie spice and salt in a bowl *In another bowl combine the sour cream, molasses and vanilla *Cream together the buBer and sugar in a stand-mixer or using a hand-mixer unDl light and fluffy *Add the eggs to the buBer/sugar mixture, one at a Dme, and mix unDl combined *Add in the flour mixture alternaDng with adding in the sour cream/molasses mixture *Combine unDl just mixed (being careful NOT to over mix) *Spray the mini muffin Dns with cooking spray or brush with oil *Scoop the baBer into the muffin Dns, about ¾ full *Bake for about 10-12 minutes or unDl the baBer has puffed up and is set *Mix together the sugar and pumpkin pie spice in a bowl and pour the melted and cooled buBer into another bowl *Let the poppers cool enough to be handled *Using a pastry brush to brush the melted buBer all over the popper and then roll it in the sugar and spice mixture; if you don't have a pastry brush you can simply dip them in the buBer, then roll them in the sugar and spice mixture. *Place on a cooling rack

Gingerbread Biscotti with Maple Glaze

*Preheat the oven to 350 degrees *In a bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and pumpkin pie spice until well combined *Place the cubed butter into a stand mixer with a paddle attachment (a hand-mixer can be used as well) *With the mixer running, add in the sugar and brown sugar *Cream the butter and sugars together until well combined, and starts to become lighter in texture, making sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl *Add in the molasses; stir until well combined *Add in the eggs one at a time mixing well after each one is added *Stir in the vanilla extract *Slowly add in the flour mixture, and stir until just combined, making sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl *Line a baking sheet with parchment paper *Cut the dough in half to create two loafs about 10 inches long and 2 inches wide, making sure the two loafs aren't placed too close to each other *Bake at 350 degrees for about 20-30 minutes or until the sides start to become golden *Allow to cool for about 20 minutes *Use a large sharp knife to make about 1 inch cuts diagonally to create the biscotti *Place the cut biscotti on one of the cut sides, on the parchment-lined baking sheet, and bake again for 5-10 minutes depending on how crunchy you like them! If you like them to be a little softer, bake closer to 5 minutes, and closer to 10 minutes for more of a crunchy biscotti

2 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour 1 teaspoon baking powder 1/2 teaspoon baking soda 1/2 teaspoon salt 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice, or cinnamon 1/2 cup cold butter, cut into cubes 1/2 cup sugar 1/2 cup light brown sugar 2 tablespoons molasses 2 eggs 2 teaspoons vanilla extract Maple Glaze 1 cup powdered sugar 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice, or cinnamon 1 tablespoon maple syrup 1-2 tablespoon milk

*Allow to cool and prepare the glaze *In a bowl, combine the powdered sugar and pumpkin pie spice using a whisk *Whisk in the maple syrup *Whisk in 1 tablespoon milk *Continue to whisk until well combined, if it is too thick add more milk, if it is too thin add more powdered sugar; you are looking for more of a thicker glaze that will be able to hold its shape *Drizzle the glaze over the biscotti; to make it really pretty, pour the glaze into a plastic bag, cut off the tip of the bottom corner, and use that to drizzle the glaze over the biscotti, allow the glaze to set up for at least an hour

Place the icing in a plastic bag, and cut off the corner, to create a really pretty drizzle on the top of the biscotti.

Peanut Butter Pie with Oatmeal Chocolate Crust Filling 1 1/2 cup heaving whipping cream; cold 8 ounces cream cheese, room temp 3/4 cup brown sugar 1 cup creamy peanut butter 2 teaspoons vanilla extract Chocolate Topping 3/4 cup heavy cream 8 ounces dark chocolate chips

*Whip the cold heaving cream in a stand-mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, or with a hand-mixer, until it holds soft peaks, set aside *In a stand-mixer with a paddle attachment, or hand-mixer, beat the cream cheese until smooth *Add in the brown sugar, and mix well until fluffy *Add in the peanut butter and vanilla and mix well, scrapping down the side of the bowl *Fold in the whipped cream, and gently stir together until evenly mixed *Place the mixture into the cooled pie shell, and place in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour *Make the chocolate topping by heating the heavy cream in a saucepan, and bringing it just under a boil *Place the chocolate chips in a bowl, and pour the milk over the chocolate chips, do NOT mix *Allow to sit for 10 minutes, then stir until the chocolate is completely melted *Pour the chocolate sauce on top of the pie; you can also drizzle it over the pie by pouring it in a plastic bag, cutting off the tip, and drizzling it over the pie *Refrigerate for about 30 minutes *Serve chilled

Click here for the Chocolate Oat Pie Crust

Peanut Butter Pie with Chocolate Oat Crust

Gingerbread Loaf With Dark Chocolate and Spiced Crumble 1 cup whole wheat flour Topping *Preheat the oven to 350 degrees 1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour (if you don't want to use whole wheat you can use entirely all-purpose) 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice, or cinnamon ½ teaspoon salt ½ teaspoon baking soda 1 teaspoon baking powder 1 cup brown sugar ½ cup melted butter; cooled 3 eggs; room temperature 3/4 cup sour cream; room temperature 2 tablespoons molasses 2 teaspoons vanilla extract 1½ cup chocolate; chopped if using a bar of chocolate, or you can use chocolate chips Topping ½ cup butter; melted and cooled ½ cup oats ¼ cup brown sugar ½ teaspoon pumpkin pie spice, or cinnamon ¼ cup sugar ¾ cup unbleached all-purpose flour

*In a large bowl combine the flours, pumpkin pie spice, salt, baking powder, baking soda, and brown sugar into a bowl *In another bowl combine the sour cream, molasses, vanilla, and eggs *Stir the sour cream mixture and the melted/cooled butter into the flour mixture *Stir until just combined *Fold in the chopped chocolate *Spray the two loaf pans with a good amount of cooking spray *Pour half of the mixture into each pan *In a small bowl get the crumble ready by combing the oats, brown sugar, sugar, spice, and flour together *Stir with a fork and gradually pour in the melted butter *Distribute the crumble evenly over the top of each loaf *Bake at 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes, or until the middle is set and a toothpick comes out clean when inserted *Allow to cool for about 10 minutes or so before taking it out of the pan

Dark chocolate adds a deep, rich, flavor to the Gingerbread Loaf, but semisweet can also be used.

This recipe makes two medium loaves, or 4 small loaves. Wrap them really pretty, and they make great hostess gifts

The crumble is the best part!

Kitchen Themed Gifts

Double Boiler Mini Muffin Tins

Baking Sheets

Copper Measuring Cups

Kitchen Towel

Paring Knife

Cast Iron Skillet

Cookie Cutter Kingdom

There is nothing quite like handmade jewelry! These exquisite designs are uniquely crafted by the very talented designer, Monica Marcella. She creates custom jewelry just for you! Monica’s skills go way beyond her beautiful jewelry work. Her work ranges from large metal designs to these very cute, and intricate, baby spoons. Monica is offering the ‘from scratch’ readers 20% off custom orders. When you visit her site, enter the code FromScratch. She is also offering 15% off all items listed on the site with the code MONICASHANDS2015

From scratch perfection! These gorgeous items are made by a very talented creator, Jamie Rodopoulos. The ceramic ring dishes and spoons are handmade, and are done with a 22k gold luster glaze. The spoons are lead free and food safe. The wall art is done using a collage technique with texturized paper strips that she created via printmaking techniques. Jamie works with natural color palettes and uses natural/raw materials across the board. To order these items check out her site!

The Ladies Personalized Necklace UGG Boots Metallic Geo Body-Con Dress Truffle “Everyday Bag”

“Ugly” Christmas Sweater

Leopard Hat

S’well Champagne-Colored Business Card Holder Water Bottle

The Ladies

Kym Douglas Beauty Bib Tom Ford Contour Kit


NARS lip gloss in “Orgasm”

BeachWaver Curling Iron Ibiza Hair Brush

NARS “Orgasm” Blush

Blush Brush

The Gentlemen

UGG Slippers Briefcase

Jonnie-O Shirt

Burberry Tie

Shinola Watch


Rhone Workout Apparel

Peter Millar Shirt

Baby Love


Truffle Pouch

Reindeer Towel

UGG Boots

Aden + Anis Swaddles

Infant Serenity Star Clock

Pouch Pal


Kids Cash Register

Bed Tent Personalized Chair



Swingy; Happy Screen Time For Kids

The In-Laws Bistro Mugs

Coupe Champagne Glasses

Michael Aram Candle

Striped Mug

Decanter Holiday “JOY” plates

UGG Blanket

For The Home

NEST Holiday Candle Fireplace Candle Holder

Crate and Barrel Snowflake Plates and Mugs

Reindeer Pillow

Jonathan Adler Smart Phone Holder

Reindeer Plates

“More Than Sparrows is a women's cooperative located in Kigali, Rwanda. It is comprised of 34 hard working, talented women, many of whom are mothers! These women are faced with the challenge of being in extreme poverty, but by learning valuable skills such as sewing and making jewelry, they now have a way to make a dignified wage to provide for their families. Their products consist of home decor, jewelry, accessories, and holiday items. The cooperative was started to help these women with a holistic approach by focusing on their social, economic, spiritual, physical, emotional, and intellectual needs.� From the GoodGali site! How You Can Help! You can help end the cycle of poverty for GOOD by purchasing some of their great products! Check out the website for more details.

New Years! Shot Glasses Sugar Paper Desk Calander

Champagne Bag Champagne Glasses

Sugar Paper Planner

Desk Calendar Sparkly Skirt

“One of the most glorious messes in the world is the mess created in the living room on Christmas day. Don't clean it up too quickly.” -Andy Rooney

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