Brrrr... It's cold outside!
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Want a recipe 'fur' a cozy afternoon that is sure to create warm memories? Read on!
Step 1. Have your child cuddle up with his/her Touring Teddy, Bernardo from Italy.
Step 2. Read this book together: 'Stati Zitta, Josie' by Rachel Guido deVries.
Step 3. Bake a batch of beary delicious biscotti. (If you prefer, this step can be done first.)
One of the ways to extend the magic of the Touring Teddies gift experience is by introducing your child to books that continue to teach and/or touch upon the countries and cultures that your Touring Teddy represents. A number of wonderful recommendations can be found on our Pinterest boards.
A delightful book I personally enjoy reading is 'Stati Zitta, Josie' (Be Quiet, Josie) by Rachel Guido deVries.
The storyline is engaging and the illustrations are charming. The book is about a little girl named Josie, who has a very active imagination. Josie loves to tell stories, yet most people are just too busy to listen to her. Turns out that her grandmother from Italy, who she never met, had the gift of storytelling too! I won't give away any more details, but I will tell you that it's a heartwarming read. Yes, indeed!
Not long ago, I was in the midst of organizing my office and discovered the book resting between two teddy bears. (Hmmm...how did it get there? Is that what the teddies do when I'm asleep?) Looking for an excuse to take a break, I sat down to read it once more. As I neared the end of the story, an overwhelming urge came over me. I just had to get in the kitchen and bake a batch of biscotti!
I've been meaning to try my hand at baking biscotti for years, but somehow never got around to it. However, the way the author described the mother comforting her daughter touched my soul, and got me up and searching through recipes. All I could think of was greeting my daughter with this delicious Italian treat when she got home from school. Perhaps I was secretly hoping she would one day remember me in the same way little Josie described her mother; 'Mamma smelled good, like biscotti and lemons and coffee.'
Wouldn't that be nice...After browsing online I came across a basic biscotti recipe. I baked a batch of the classic first.
For the second batch, I tweaked the recipe a bit. I added a handful of cranberries and almonds.
Pretty simple, really! Form the loaves...
Bake 'em... Slice 'em...
Bake once more... even better than before! (I should know - I stole the end piece!)
Less than an hour later I sat down with my daughter to share and enjoy.
She dunked hers into hot cocoa, I dunked mine into my cappuccino.
We enjoyed some more with the family after dinner.
And one more biscotti before bedtime...
Now if you can think of a better way to enjoy a wintry day, well, please fill me in!
Until then - Buon Appetito!
Bear hugs, Leah
UPDATE: Since writing this post, I have experimented by adding blueberries to the basic recipe.
I then drizzled the cooled biscotti with a sugar glaze flavored with lemon.
Ahhh... a taste of spring in snow-time!
For a step by step on the authentic Italian almond biscotti, we also love Cooking Italian with Joe. Enjoy!