Welcome 2012! Happy New Year, Friends!!

I'm wishing everyone a year of health, wealth, faith, peace ~ 

Along with abundant love to you and your loved ones.

I hope in the new year you each continue to Wish, Hope and Dream.

Happy New Year Friends!!

xoxo ~Mari


Merry Christmas ~ Season's Greetings!


 * Joyeux Noel * Feliz Navidad * Buon Natale * God Jul * Nollaig Shona * Gelukkig Kerstfeest * 聖誕節快樂 * Veselé Vánoce *
Срећан Божић * Fröhliche Weihnachten * Glædelig Jul *

I hope you get the *warm fuzzies* while watching this video. Even though it's a commercial, it lifts my spirits.    :)

I hope you all have very Happy Holidays!

I'll be taking a short blogcation ~ and look forward to seeing you all after the first of the year.

Merry Christmas and Season's Greetings, friends.

Abundant good blessings in the New Year!

xo ~ Mari


Snowflake Peppermint Bark ~ Redux

A redux, by request ~ Thank you friends!

Peppermint Bark Snowflakes
(make them any shape you like by using
other molds or filling various cookie cutters.)

You can also just make the recipe on a silicone pan 
liner (such as silpat®), then break into irregular

Wilton's has instructions to make shaped peppermint
bark ~ HERE.

The process is simple using the typical Peppermint Bark recipe. 
Choose your favorite type of chocolate; milk, semi-sweet, dark etc., 
white chocolate, crushed peppermint candies (or candy canes), 
a small amount of vegetable oil, 
and a few drops of Peppermint extract.

But instead of spreading the chocolate layers on a sheet pan, 
I  placed the melted chocolate (spiked with a couple of drops 
of peppermint extract, optional) in a silicone mold. 

First the dark layer and placed in the refrigerator until firm.

The melted white chocolate is spread on top of the dark layer 
and sprinkled with larger pieces of crushed peppermint, 
then back into the fridge to harden. 
As soon as the chocolate is firm the candy snowflakes 
are pushed out of the flexible silicone mold with no problem.

I used a small cookie scoop to portion the melted chocolate into 
the molds with a minimum of mess, that worked really well. 
Something that I found useful was to use a toothpick to 
swirl through the chocolate in the mold to help move 
it into the mold's details.

Stacked into little cellophane bags, or candy tins I think 
these would make a great little gift from your kitchen.  
If you try them I hope you have fun and enjoy them too.

I used a small cookie scoop to portion the melted chocolate into 
the molds with a minimum of mess, that worked really well. 
Something that I found useful was to use a toothpick 
to swirl through the chocolate in the mold to help move it 
into the mold's details.

Stacked into little cellophane bags, or candy tins--
I think these would make a great little gift from your kitchen.  
If you try them I hope you have fun and enjoy them too!

Happy Holidays!


Drum Roll Please! The Winner for Mamma Ro 2 Qt. Casserole . . .

2 Quart Covered Casserole by Mamma Ro

. . . by random drawing is

Gail @ Faithfulness Farm !

Gail, if you'll email me your mailing/shipping address I'll let the folks a Wayfair know so they can send it out to you right away.

onceuponaplate [@] gmail [dot] com

Thank you everyone for entering!

We'll be having another giveaway in the future, so please check back!


Caramel Popcorn with Fleur de Sel ~ Redux

So popular at our house ~ I'm reposting because this popcorn is perfect for the holidays!

Note: Please see Giveaway details HERE.
(or click on image of casserole over on the top right column, this page.)

I first learned of the basic recipe for this utterly delicious caramel popcorn from my friend Em on her blog The Repressed Pastry Chef. Em's blog was one of the very first I began following, even before I started blogging myself.

Unlike some caramel popcorn recipes this one does not require a candy thermometer, you just mix and boil the simple caramel ingredients for 5 minutes, then stir in a little baking soda and vanilla and pour the mixture over the popcorn, place in the oven and slow roast, stirring occasionally until the corn is evenly coated and nicely crisped.

I am not a huge fan of caramel popcorn, unless it is exceptional, and I LOVE this version.

Crispy and light, not heavy or sticky. I think you might love it, too.

The recipe calls for peanuts (an optional ingredient), I used pecans this time. You could use most any nut you like.

The popcorn made according to the recipe is delicious, and is not overly sweet. Since I tend to prefer salty tastes over sweets, I took the liberty of sprinkling the finished caramel popcorn with Fleur de Sel. Perfection!

This is a delightful snack and makes a nice little gift at holiday time, too.

If you would like a printable copy of the recipe you can find it
HERE on my recipe blog.

Merry Christmas to all who celebrate !

Thank you for stopping by to visit my blog today ~
I appreciate any comments you would like to share.

Come visit Foodie Friday @ Designs by Gollum


Simple Country Christmas Table (redux) and a NEW Giveaway!

Welcome Friends, please come in and make yourselves at home.

Lots of pictures, and few words this time ~ the page may take a few moments to load. So thank you for your patience.


~ Giveaway ~

You'll find a link for details about our current giveaway at the bottom of this post, and also you can click the image of the covered casserole at the top right  column on this page.


This time I've set a simple country table ~ comfortable and not at all fussy.

It didn't feel right to me to overdress the table, knowing there are some who are going without again this year.

I thought this would be a good time to set a comfortable, cozy table ~ a place to draw loved ones near to celebrate what is truly important in life.

For the centerpiece I simply plunked some candy canes in a thin, plain beverage glass [CB2], placed it on a Barley twist pedestal [Southern Living at Home, from some years back.]

I clipped a few fragrant Douglas Fir branches from the property and placed them around, then placed a special vintage-style Christmas card from my dear friend,  Linda and placed a glass cloche over all.

I covered the round walnut table with a tablecloth from Williams-Sonoma, and instead of place mats, I placed a snowy-white vintage German hand worked square linen table topper over the cloth.

In keeping with the theme of simplicity, I gathered just two of my favorite things to place on the table ~
this Limoges hand-painted Christmas ornament box . . . and an old, old brass-framed print I found in an antique store a few years ago.  I love the print; usually it is on my bedroom dresser.

For the place settings (from the tabletop - up) ~  I used round Czech platters for chargers [Nell Hill's several years ago], "Merry Christmas" plates, those were from Home Depot a couple of years ago.

Next, my everyday white salad plates [Apilco-France, Williams-Sonoma].

Poinsettia plates [Williams-Sonoma, last season].

Vintage milk-glass compotes to finish the place settings. 

Flatware ~ Pottery Barn from the Savant Collection.
Napkins ~ Neiman-Marcus/Horchow.

My first set of crystal from my newlywed days, many, many years ago ~ by Rogaska; 'Gallia'


To dress the chairs up a bit I draped the extra, matching crochet-trimmed napkins over the tops.

The little cast iron elf candle holders are from CB2, two years ago. 

Raphael's "Madonna of the Chair", c. 1514

A closer look at the brass framed Madonna print ~
as we remember the Reason for the Season.

Thank you so much for stopping by today. 

 To all who celebrate,
I wish you a most cherished and blessed Christmas Season from our home to yours.

We're having another GIVEAWAY ~  

Please visit Between Naps on the Porch to find a list of all who are participating in Tablescape Thursday this week.


NEW DRAWING!! MammaRo 2 Quart Casserole

2-Quart Covered Casserole
La Vita Vera
Made in Italy!

Great news!  

The people at Wayfair (formerly CSN Stores) recently asked if I would like to host a giveaway for Once Upon a Plate followers ~

I jumped at the chance ~ I LOVE giveaways!

If you haven't checked out Wayfair's fabulous website, you're in for a treat ~ 
You'll find over 4.5 million items of merchandise from over 5,000 brands!*

Including Furniture (for both home & office), Kitchen & Dining, Patio & Garden, Things for your Pet, Tools, Exercise & Fitness Equipment, Luggage and Bags, Health & Wellness, Bed and Bath, Baby and Kids and much more . . . 

Speaking of kids ~ do you have an aspiring young kiddie cook/chef in your life??

 Well, you might want to consider kid's kitchen playsets.

 And a huge bonus ~ many of their products ship for free.
 How can you beat that? Hassle-free shopping and free shipping. 

With the holidays right around the corner, I especially LOVE that!
From personal experience I know orders are fulfilled quickly and on time.

So ~ On to the Giveaway, sponsored by 

 2-quart covered casserole
by La Vita Vera

- Handmade Italian earthenware pottery
- Provides steady, even cooking that brings out the natural flavors of food
- Made from all natural material
- For oven use only, do not use on stovetop

And, if red isn't your color, you can opt for this pretty "Marigold" ~
Your choice!

(These retail elsewhere for $70.00) 

*Wayfair recently surpassed Crate and Barrel to become the internet's second largest retailer of home furnishings and housewares in the U.S., based on annual sales. Congratulations Wayfair!


The Drawing Details

To enter:

1.) Just leave a comment here, and mention if you would rather have the Red or Marigold casserole.

2.)  Extra Chances to Win:

If you are a 

-Google Friend follower

-Face book friend


-If you follow OUaP by RSS feed

state so in your post and you'll increase your chances of winning

Sorry, contest is open to continental USA only.

Entries will be accepted until Saturday, December 3, 2011 at 9PM (Pacific Time)

Winner will be announced Monday, December 5th.

Best of luck to all who enter!


Edited: 12/03/2011

Saturday 9:23 PM  (Pacific time)

Thank you for participating!

Entries now closed.

Our drawing winner will be announced Monday


A Sampling of my food . . .


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