Sunday, November 30, 2008

home for the holidays...

photo: swell-space/iphone

TIP: Holiday decor doesn't always have to be difficult or expensive. I just filled a clear vase with water, cranberries and then added flowers and placed it in a corner of a room, that normally doesn't get the "Holiday Decor" attention the rest of the house may get. Finding subtle ways of bringing in the Holidays can make for a huge impact. Just remember, cranberries float, so don't fill your vase full with water. Add water only about 1/4 of the way up and then add the cranberries. They will push the water to the top and then you're ready for your favorite flowers or greenery.

Tonight at 8/7c on HGTV.

Hope you can join us at "Home for the Holidays."

Vern, Lisa, Eric, Kim, Steve, Monica and Myself celebrate the Season at home with family and friends.

I do an annual cookie party every year that started out with appox. 5 people and has now turned into a big family & friends blowout. It's the Holidays and being around people that you love and baked good makes for a great way to kick-start the celebrating.

How do YOU celebrate the Holidays and do you have a favorite cookie recipe? If yes, please share.

Here is one of my favorite cookie recipes:

appox 45 cookies.

8oz unsalted butter
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 large egg yolk
2 cups all-purpose flour

1. Beat the butter, sugar, salt and vanilla together until smooth.
2. Mix in the egg yolk well, scraping down the sides of the bowl.
3. Add the flour and mix until blended well together.
4. Scrape onto a lightly floured board and knead a few times, just until the dough smoothes out.
5. Turn onto a sheet of plastic wrap and roll into a log. Wrap up and refrigerate for several hours or freeze.
6. Preheat oven to 325 degree F.
7. Line your baking sheets with parchment or slightly butter the pan.
8. Slice the dough about 1/8-inch thick and place them on the sheets about an inch apart. You can also roll out and cut into shapes or use cookie forms.

As an added option, you can also roll the cookie balls in a mixture of cinnamon and sugar.

9. Bake until hey are just beginning to turn golden brown around the edges, about 16-18 minutes.

Let the cookie madness BEGIN!
I hope your Holidays are off to a fantastic start.

-angelo surmelis


The said...

Our family is SO looking forward to this tonight! We love your shows! Great cookie recipe.

Drew said...

Too much goodness! So excited about tonight's show.

HollyDaye Joy said...

You see things beautifully, extol the feel of luxuriously textured materials, proclaim one of the best things of the Holiday is the smell of cookies baking, you’ve discussed your love of music, from country to classical, and I am sure these cookies taste delicious. You seem to be the consummate sensualist. Adding in your strong hands, sad and soulful eyes, sense of humor and willingness to challenge others to step outside their personal comfort zones, makes me wonder, is there any way that you don’t excel at the intimate midnight pleasures?

So, Angelo, what bit of romance do you have planned for your Holiday season?

The Saunders said...

We've been seeing the promos everywhere and can't wait. We even are going to make our own cookies, have invited people over and now we're going to try your cookie recipe. We love you in North Carolina!!!!

Merry Christmas.
The Saunders

Tina said...

I love this time of year! Can't wait for tonight's show.

EditThis said...

Every year, my sister makes my grandmother's Twin Dot cookies. They are chocolate-nutty-raisony goodness! I saw this episode when it was being edited. Your party looks awesome!

Gina said...

Couldn't be more excited about this show. It's cool to see what you all are doing during the Holiday Season. We love cookies and we're making yours tonight!!!

Nancy said...

We just pulled the cookies out of the oven and THEY smell great! Thanks for the recipe Angelo. We like you, love cookies of all kinds. HAPPY HOLIDAYS!

Nancy said...

They're delicious!!!!!
Couldn't wait.

STEVE said...

It's almost time.....I CAN'T WAIT! I even made your cookies (they really are good) I added dark chocolate drizzle. DELISH.

Jim & Sandra said...

Happy Holidays Angelo! See you on TV later tonight.
-Jim & Sandra

Kevin said...

EXCELLENT show! Loved seeing you all celebrating the Holidays in your homes. Your home is gorgeous (no surprise)! I want all of it, especially your kitchen and outdoor spaces. Now, I want an invite to the cookie party. It looks like a blast. HAPPY HOLIDAYS ANGELO.

Anonymous said...

The show was great Angelo! I was so excited that you were first (I need to work on my patience!)......your home is gorgeous. Let's see more......bedroom, bathroom-- a great blog entry!! :)

Hope your holidays are fantastic!

Mary, Tom, Julie, Kellie & Joe Luis said...

I agree! I want a cookie party invite as well. It looks like fun and your home is so charming and beautiful, just like you. You practice what you preach-your home should be a reflection of you.

The cookies are delicious by the way. We tried the recipe.

Have a fantastic Holiday Angelo!

The Luis Family

Susan said...

YES! The show was GREAT and your home is so BEAUTIFUL!!! I loved it all. You are the consumate host and the cookies all looked so delicious. You should do a 1-hour special from your home and just do all sorts of Holiday ideas, foods, etc. LOVED IT!

Have a great Christmas.

LEXI said...

GORGEOUS! ALL OF IT! Your home was the best in my humble opinion. Enjoy your Holidays.

Patricia said...

This was a great special. So much fun to see you all doing your thing. LOVED your home and the party just seems so much fun, comfortable, casual and so you! Will definitely try the recipe.

Thank you Angelo!

Penny said...

Please thank whoever came up with the "Home For The Holidays" special because that was so much fun! LOVED getting to know everyone better through their family, friends, traditions, and homes.
Your home is incredible. The back garden area is absolutely dreamy! Every space you touch inspires me to get off the couch and do something creative in my home. Can't wait to try the Butter Cookies recipe. Thank you for sharing. :-)
Penny in Atlanta, GA
PS (I didn't know that Vern lives in Atlanta. Cool.)

Nancy said...

This was THE BEST special! I loved seeing all of you and your home is beyond gorgeous!

Love your style.

Karen said...


Your home is AMAZING! Loved this show and seeing all of you like this.

Shelly & Jerry said...

ROCK STAR! LOVED this show and your home is absolutely STUNNING! OMG, I want to live there. The outdoor areas and patio are beyond stunning. It took my breath away and you are magnificent

Gregg said...

I don't even know what to say. Your home, your stove, your kitchen, your patio, your EVERYTHING!!!

I LOVED this show and YOU!

Bree, Dave & family said...

SO DREAMY! THAT is what your home and you are. This was a wonderful special. Probably the best one HGTV has ever produced and I was thrilled to have you open it. Next year, can you host it as well as showing us more of your home?

BTW, the promos with you and Lisa talking about where you're from are ADORABLE!

Love you,

Deanna said...

The best HOLIDAY show EVER! I loved seeing the "behind the scenes" of your lives. Your home is stunning. HG should do like the Food Network when they do "Chefography" and do one on you and some of your other cohorts.

Angelo, I have been watching you for years and I feel so much pride at your continued success. It feels like it's good stuff happening to one of my kids. You are the BEST!

Have a wonderful Chrsitmas,

susan lm said...

Just saw the repeat and it just gets even better! I loved this show. Your segment was my favorite.

Dawn said...

Missed it earlier, but just saw the repeat. Oh man! Your home is enviable! How gorgeous is your place and how adorable are you? Loved it all, even my fiance said, "that guy is cool!" That's BIG props, trust me.

Yvonne said...

Loved it! OH MY GOD it was so good and my favorites were you and Lisa. It should have been the Angelo & Lisa Show. I could have sat through a whole hour of you and Lisa.

Your home could not be more beautiful and your kitchen remodel is incredible.

Ruth said...

What a great home you have!

You know one of the main reason I think you're best host out there? YOU ARE SO REAL! There is never a moment when I'm thinking this guy is reading a cue card. You're just smooth and real an just warm & wonderful. I hope that you will choose to be on TV for quite sometime because we need people like you.

I wish you more success and the best of Holidays.

Dave & Pat said...

Just saw the show. It was great. Your home is so great. Love that stove. What kind is it and where can i get one? I wish they would have shown more of it and more you!

Seth & Kylee said...

Your home & personality are beautiful. We loved your house. That stove ROCKED and so does your patio. The whole home is just beautiful. We wish that there were more lingering shots. Next year, can you do a longer special please. Are you married, single, we didn't see a significant other on the show.

Happy Holidays.

KittenNYC said...

Your home is a dream. It's a master showpiece, yet cozy and accessible. I loved the backyard area. I'd like to piggyback off of Ruth's comment that you never seem scripted. You seem very real and very warm!

Happiest of Holidays!


PS. It was great to see Jared, Wanda and your brother. Is he in design also?

Lilly said...

If I didn't love you before, I love you now! Your home is gorgeous and just seems to be the perfect reflection of you. There are so many areas I loved--the outdoors, the patio, the kitchen, the mail living areas...REALLY great place to live. Great show and you are so great on camera and it was wonderful to see your friends and family.

angelo said...

THANK YOU everyone for watching the special and for your incredibly kind comments.

To answer just some of your questions:

1) My brother does not work in the world of design, he has a much more"responsible" and grounded career.

2) The stove in my home if from BERTAZZONI
You can check out the many retailers that carry them on their web site.

I hope that you are all having an incredible Holiday Season with your family & friends!


Irene said...

It was an awesome special! Loved your home and your kitchen remodel turned out beautifully. Thanks for the "heads up" on the stove. I went to their web site and oh my, what cool stuff. I think I found me next stove.

Happy Holidays Angelo and I wish you and your family & friends all the best!

Wendy said...

One of the best Holiday Special on HGTV! Your segment and Lisa's were my favorite. The tow of you are too cute. Your home is so gorgeous and feels just as warm & charming as you. It was nice to see your brother and friends. Wishing you the most wonderful Holidays, Wendy

Dana said...

Such a good special and your home is gorgeous! I really loved that stove! The whole home feels and looks so good. Do you change stuff around all the time or is it pretty much the same all the time?

Deanna said...

Your place is just lovely and you are a pleasure to watch. I wish I was there...mmmmm, cookies.

Crowley said...

Simply THE BEST! WOW, what a charming home and host you are. Loved it and even made the cookies--delicious.

Lori said...

It was so nice to see everyone at home and with their family and friends! Your home is so beautiful and your kitchen remodel is just perfect. I love you style for so many reasons, but one of them is that it just seems real, yet quite unique at the same time. Your dining room and outdoor area are so gorgeous and your tree was lovely. I love your shows Angelo, and to see you like this was just heart warming. Much love and Holiday joy, Lori BM

Anonymous said...

I didn't really like this special, your home, or your style and the things you say are "good" on your blog. Thought you should know. Sorry.

designmom said...

Hi Angelo,
I loved your living room wall color. Will you share the manufacturer and color?

angelo said...

Hi DesignMom,

The color was custom mixed in L.A. at a place called Ball & Farrow and we kept mixing till it came out right. it was kind of a science project and unfortunately I no longer have that custom mix, but I have been able to find a very similar color for when I want to repaint the walls. It is from the Eddie Bauer Home paint collection from LOWE'S.

2) SHALE EB32-4

Check them both out and see what you think. Pale gray-blues can look quite different in certain lights, so you may want to have them mix you a small container of each so you can test them on your walls before make a commitment to one.

Best of luck & have a GREAT HOLIDAY!

angelo said...

Dear Anonymous,

I am OK with your opinions and your dislike of what I do, but the reason all your comments are not posted on the blog is because of your choice of "questionable" language.

Feel free to continue to not be a fan, but if you want me to post your comments...keep your language child safe.

Thank you,

mrsben said...

Angelo, thank you for the cookie recipe. I've printed it off, but can't guaranty I'll be baking them soon. (As I am so far behind in everything right now, I feel like I've taken on the persona of the befuddled Rabbit in Alice in Wonderland. I'm late, I'm late for....grin.)

Regarding 'Home for the Holidays'; da*n it I was/am not able to view it. From viewers' comments it sounds like it was spectacular!
Per chance are the online videos of "25 Great Holiday Ideas" segments of it?

Hope you will find some relaxation time for yourself during the Holiday Season....and for the next cookie party guests bring their favourite; and you have a "cookie exchange". Less baking for YOU! :)

angelo said...

At this time, "Home for the Holidays" is not in line but HGTV is planning on re-running it. You can check for possible air times and the separate special "25 Great Holiday Ideas" will also be re-running and there are segment video on line from that special.


Anonymous said...

OH, poor Mrs. Ben--our Canadian neighbor who doesn't get the same great HGTV we do in the states.

I feel for you! I would hate it if I did not get my Angelo fix regularly!!

mrsben said...

Angelo, thank you for the information. (Jill, it is verrrry painful. I may just send out an S.O.S. to my online American friends and see if anyone can record the two Specials for me.)

SK said...

You are a giant relief in a sea of taking heads and experts. Even when others go for "real" they come across insincere and just plain annoying. Your persona never feels calculated and if it is, even in the slightest way, you deserve an Oscar for your performance.

We live watching you and your personal style and aesthetic shines bright--it also helps that I think you're incredibly handsome.


Anonymous said...

Fine Angelo.

No more "questionable" language.

I think everything you do is awful, including the way you look.

I don't need "questionable" language to get the truth across.

KittenNYC said...

Hi Angelo,

Quick question for you. Would you please recommend where to get really good Greek food in the LA/SoCal area? I'm at a loss. Thanks!


SJW said...

LOVED IT!!!!! Your home is stunning. Oh gee, no surprise. That stove rocks!

JuJu said...

I LOVE YOUR HOME!!!! LOVE IT!! It feels so comfortable & stylish and so you. I think you are the best designer and host on TV. When is People, Us or even Details, GQ or one of my fave celeb rags going to do an "in depth" article? Hell, I would settle for some "in depth" photos. PLEASE.

Taylor said...

I LOVE this show, but I agree with some of the other posters. MORE YOU! A whole hour on how you celebrate the Holidays with family and friends and interviews with you and them would have been perfection.

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