Winter Solstice Soiree*

*I lookled up the definition of soiree and found that it is derived from the French word for evening (soir) and means an evening party or gathering, typically in a private house for conversation or music. Perfect description for our party, except no mention of food!


(The little red car is actually our car that happened to be parked near the tree. A fitting snow covered tree for a winter solstice.)

Since today is also the first day of winter, I took a picture of the tree outside our living room window, which was snow covered from the brief snow we had last Saturday morning.

Inside we were warm, enjoying the conversation and the food. Here are some photos of the items we served: Hoomus from sprouted chick peas (recipe when I do sprouts again), guacamole, salsa, raw veggies, cheese & crackers, shrimp, tortilla chips, pita bread made into pita chips in the oven, plus beverages, melted chocolate fondue with fresh, organic strawberries for dipping, and cookies (My thanks to my daughter Basha for the recipe at the end of the photos below.)

~A perfect night for candles~

~Organic raw veggies & dips~

~Chocolate Fondue with Red, Ripe Organic Strawberries~

Recipe below for my daughter’s Cranberry Cookies (pretzel stars were a house gift.)

~Sweet & Tart Crunchy Cookies~ 
by Basha Starr

My mother always made too much oatmeal. She would make either oatmeal pancakes or oatmeal cookies from the leftover oatmeal. I loved these cookies and decided to give them a festive flavor by adding cranberries and walnuts. The unique combination of maple syrup with cranberries and walnuts results in a delicious blend of pleasantly sweet, crunchy and tart cookies. The whole cranberries make each bite have a little burst of tartness and the red from the cranberries gives these cookies a distinctive holiday look. 

Ingredients (I made some alternate or updated suggestions in italics.)

one egg
1/4 cup Land ‘O Lakes butter (or coconut oil)
3/4 cups maple syrup (1/2 cup)
1 cup cooked oatmeal (I used regular, not quick oats. es)
1 cup dry, rolled oats (same as above)
1 cup unbleached white flour (I used organic flour)
1 Tbl. double-acting baking powder
1 1/4 cups raw, whole cranberries, rinsed with stems removed
(Since I cut back on the maple syrup I reduced the amount here to one cup. es)
1 cup coarsely chopped walnuts (or pecans)


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. In a small bowl, mix egg, melted butter (or coconut oil) and maple syrup.
  3. In a larger bowl, combine cooked oatmeal, uncooked oatmeal, and baking powder.
  4. Pour egg mixture from smaller bowl into oat mixture into larger bowl and mix well.
  5. Finally, gently stir in rinsed cranberries and chopped walnuts. Drop by tablespoons onto cookie sheet sprayed with a no-stick spray (I used silicon liners on my cookie sheets) and bake 20-25 minutes, until tops and bottoms are slightly golden.

Yield: 2 1/2 dozen sweet ‘n tart crunchy cookies


Enjoy the solstice. Now the days will get longer!!!

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