Go away, little Grinch!


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Darlings, I know it has been a rough year!

DolceDolce.com readers know that my heart breaks for the victims

of terrorism, hate, discrimination and poverty.

But, suggestions I have read to cut out decorating and gift giving are

written in a righteous tone and get my ire up.

I believe the best way fight darkness is with light!

So deck your halls! Give your gifts! They shouldn’t cost a fortune.


There is a reason all cultures and most (excepting fanatical sects)

religions light the darkest season and feast in the cold – and it is to reaffirm life! Just tell the little Grinches in your life to go away!

Now my darlings, this should break the bank —

as my dear friend and finance Guru Buffie Purselle would say

– don’t go “Ballin if you should be financially crawling” but celebrate!

Open your heart, light your lights, and let your heart and your love shine.

No matter you’re what your affiliation or faith this is truly a joyful time!

Share with those in need and celebrate with those you hold dear!


Please forward us to your friends who enjoy the same things you do. And please follow us on Facebook.


We post new items and tips weekly, except during our posted hiatuses several times a year. Please send us your comments by emailing us at the same address, or sharing on Facebook. We will respond! We want to know what you think. Let’s start the conversation!


Until next time, have a sweet week and please follow us on Facebook


We would love to hear from you. Tell us what you think.


PS: If money stress is getting you down Buffie is offering help expert help for $1 – really!



Gracey Hitchcock

Editor, DolceDolce

Follow me @graceysays

All contents copyright © 2015



Maker’s Mark Tipsy Salted Caramel Trifle

 Maker’s Mark Tipsy Salted Caramel Trifle

Maker’s Mark Tipsy Salted Caramel Trifle

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If you are looking for an easy but posh looking dessert for holiday gatherings try my Maker’s Mark Tipsy Salted Carmel Trifle. It is decadent, chocolaty, and a little boozy. I made it with brownie mix and homemade caramel sauce but you can use your own brownie recipe, store-bought brownies, and – if you must – a jar of gourmet caramel sauce with Maker’s Mark bourbon added.

This recipe serves six but it can be doubled or tripled.

You can make it in advance and keep in the refrigerator. Do not leave it out as the cream will spoil.

You can watch me make it


I also make the caramel. It is foolproof and can be done days in advance.

Maker’s Mark Tipsy Salted Caramel Trifle 

2 cups of Brownies cut in ¼-inch cubes.

I baked a Duncan Hines Brownie mix.

I used the option given for “Cake Brownies and replaced half the water called for with Maker’s Mark bourbon.

2 frozen chocolate-covered toffee bars, broken into small pieces, mixed with half a cup of toasted walnut pieces. ( I like to freeze the candy bars and then hit them with a rolling pin while they are still wrapped.)

1 cup of heavy cream whipped with 3 tbsp. of icing/powdered sugar in to soft peaks. You need to keep it very cold.

Salted caramel bourbon sauce or 2/3 cup caramel sauce warmed with 1½ tbsp. Maker’s Mark bourbon.

Salted caramel bourbon sauce:

In a heavy bottom sauce pan with a cover on high heat place

2/3 cups sugar and 1/3 cup of water and cover

Near the stove have:

Small bowl of ice water in case of burns

½ cup cold cream

1½ Tbsp. Maker’s Mark bourbon

Wait 3-4 minutes

Remove cover and watch sugar boil


Hot sugar is dangerous

Keep children away and keep the pot handle turned in

Do not leave the area

Watch and you will see it turn caramel and smell “butterscotch”

Once it turns into caramel it goes quickly

Move off heat

Add half of cream slowly as it bubbles up

Stir with a long spoon

Add the rest of cream stir

Add the bourbon and stir

Add 1/8  tsp sea salt stir

Cool before using.

(If you use a jar of Caramel Sauce warm it and add the salt and Makers Mark.

Do not heat it to the boil just warm it.)

To make the trifle:

In a wine glass or old-fashioned highball glass; layer the following:

Spoon 1 generous spoonful of Caramel sauce

3-4 brownie cubes

Spoon of whipped cream

Sprinkle of toffee and nuts

Repeat the whole series of ingredients

Finish the dessert with a spoon of whipping cream, a drizzle of caramel, and a sprinkle of toffee and nuts. Sprinkle lightly with a little sea salt.

Sometimes I also add dark preserved cherries, layering them in and topping the dessert with them. Do not use Maraschino.



Silence is golden

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As we officially enter “the busy season” try to remember that silence is golden.

Silence can help restore your peace of mind. Try holding your tongue when you are tired or cross, or when someone offends you or is looking for a fight. Then watch how quickly they lose interest in you. The holidays make many people fractious, anxious, and angry. If you remain calm and above all quiet in the face of hot tempers and frustrated egos, tempers cool faster.

And restore your own energy in blissful silence with a cup of tea, on a yoga mat, or in a hot bath. You may be surprised at how refreshed you feel after a few moments away from the din.

Make time for the things you enjoy and the people you love because, my darlings that is truly where the sweet life lies.

DolceDolce is free. Please forward us to all your friends. And please follow us on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/pages/dolcedolcec#om/215363998481866 . We post new items and tips weekly, except during our posted hiatuses several times a year. Please send us your comments by emailing us at the same address, or sharing in Facebook. We will respond! We want to know what you think. Let’s start the conversation!

Until next time, have a sweet week and please follow us on Facebook


We would love to hear from you. Tell us what you think.

Gracey Hitchcock

Editor, DolceDolce

Follow me @graceysays

All contents copyright © 2014


Curl up with a holiday classic

A scene from Love Actually a quirky, modern holiday classicIf the stress of the season or recent events is getting to you, try what I do darlings: curl up with a classic. Never underestimate the feel-good factor of a fabulous holiday movie. A well-chosen one really can lift your spirits. You may think the airwaves are chock-a-block full of holiday specials. They are. So if Charlie Brown, The Simpsons, and Lifetime movies warm your heart – by all means have at it. What I am suggesting, however, is building your own library of old and new classics to get you through the season in style.
One of my husband’s holiday favourites is the Frank Capra classic, It’s a Wonderful Life, starring Jimmy Stewart and Donna Reed. If you haven’t seen it, darlings, you don’t know what you are missing. This bittersweet story has been remade, but the new versions can’t come close to the original’s charm. It is a timeless story of goodness and giving. A quirky angel shows a compassionate but frustrated man how great he was, and how different the world would have been without him. 
Jimmy Stewart plays small-town boy George Bailey. He dreams of making his fortune around the world, but he is forced to sacrifice his ambitions to stay home and help his family and his town. He marries Mary Hatch, his high school sweetheart, played by the lovely Donna Reed. Events bring George to the brink of despair one cold Christmas Eve, but he is saved by Angel Second Class Clarence Oddbody.
This black-and-white tale is grittier than most Christmas movies made today. George Bailey’s life was wonderful, but he had a miserable slog realizing it. Indeed, George goes through an earthly hell before the bells ring and the angel earns his wings. Maybe that’s why the film flopped at the box office when it was released in 1946. It found its true and loyal audience in the 1970s, when the ownership rights to the movie lapsed, and local TV stations broadcast it over and over because it cost them so little. That helped the film get rediscovered, and it became a classic because its characters and issues are timeless and unforgettable. It is at times hilarious and heartbreaking, an emotional roller coaster that would remind even a non-believer of the true message of Christmas. In many ways this shameless tearjerker has never been more powerful or relevant.
My must-see holiday movie isn’t that old. Love Actually was made in 2003 by director Richard Curtis. He also made the now-classic romantic comedy Four Weddings and a Funeral. Love Actually has that same wonderful quirky feeling and the same wry writing.  I fell madly in love with it the first time I saw it. I love the soundtrack and the song, All I Want for Christmas is You. It gives me a chill. It’s romantic and fun. This movie makes me laugh, cry, and feel exactly the way I think Christmas should feel – warm and delicious. It is the perfect movie for an unabashed romantic.
The cast is fabulous with Keira KnightleyHugh GrantLiam Neeson and Emma Thompson. It’s a compilation of stories that intersect the month before Christmas in London. The stories all involve love, loss, and renewal. It is an enchanting film for a magical season, made with uncommon grace and humour. 
A friend recently longed for a quiet afternoon with A House Without a Christmas Tree. This movie stars Jason Robards. Set in 1946, a young girl in Nebraska longs for a Christmas tree. The tree and holiday celebration are things her bitter widowed father won’t give her. My friend decorates fabulously for the holidays. She finds a way to bring joy to the most mundane situations. I can see why this is among her favourites.
I also have a fondness for Nancy Meyer’s Holiday with Cameron Diaz and Kate Winslet. Nancy Meyer makes smart chick flicks. She also made the wise and wry, It’s Complicated. In Holiday, Cameron and Kate are two heartbroken women who trade places. English editor Kate comes to sunny L.A. to escape her romantic disillusionment. High-powered Hollywood film producer Cameron lands in the icy cold Cotswold’s to recover from a broken romance. It is a delightful and well-written romantic comedy that’s all the more magical for the holiday setting.
Another favourite, The Diary of Bridget Jones, is not strictly a holiday movie, but it ends with a grand holiday finale. Renee Zellweger stars in this thinly-disguised modern take on a Jane Austen tale. Bridget struggles with her work, weight, and (self) worth. Then she has to choose between an honourable man and a romantic scallywag. It’s also lovely to watch Hugh Grant and Colin Firth co-star.
I also never miss the old musical Holiday Inn when it is on. I love the picture-perfect New England inn, snowy sleigh rides, and old show tunes. Corny?  You bet, and I love it.  After all, I like all the hoopla, holly, and silver bells of the holidays.
This is my list darlings. It is missing many classics that you may enjoy. My list is heavy on romance; for that I make no apologies. You may enjoy: A Christmas Story, Miracle on 34th Street, White Christmas, or Scrooged. I know someone who likes to watch The Walton’s Christmas Special, because that is what her family did. If you start to look into it, you may be astounded by the number of holiday movies available. I was.
The holidays shouldn’t be spectator sport – heaven forbid! But sometimes it’s good to curl up, relax, and enjoy a little holiday cheer, Hollywood-style.
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“Minting” tradition

Darlings, I adore tradition. No one likes a Currier and Ives holiday more than me – but moving about as we have, I have learned to appreciate the joy of “minting” new traditions. I cherish all my memories of growing up with traditional New England Christmases. In Montréal, I grew to appreciate the many traditions of that wonderful old city as we celebrated with family and fiends. It maybe cold, but there a few sights more beautiful than Montreal glittering with holiday lights and fresh snow.

I adored our big holiday parties in Moscow! And it may sound crazy, but some of my most romantic Christmases have been spent in Bangkok, in the tropical heat. We would spend the evening at the Oriental Hotel at their poolside party. The evening would end with a dancing and a fabulous fireworks display. My husband and I remember fondly last year, when we spent the evening at a wonderful Thai restaurant in Atlanta.  We always miss absent friends – that’s the drawback of moving often, but we learn to enjoy a new place in new way. So darlings, wherever you are, I encourage you to add sweetness to your celebrations by minting a new tradition.
Until next week, please sign-up if you haven’t already or email your info to domore@dolcedolce.com and I’ll do it for you! DolceDolceis free. And please forward us to all your friends. And please give us your comments by emailing us at the same address. We want to know what you think. Let’s start the conversation!
Gracey Hitchcock
Photo by: www.yanka.ca
© DolceDolce® 2010
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Naughty or Nice

Sexy elf www.honeydewintimates.com Be a sexy elf in a little floral slip or ruffled little bra and panty set from Honey Dew Intimates. These sweet little nothings are just the thing to raise the temperature on a cold winter night.

Hot look for a cold night www.honeydewintimates.com  Ruffle Heart Rayon/Lace Bralette, $30 and rumba panty, $18.
Bed of Roses Chemise, $48.

Life is too short

Gracey HitchcockLife is too short and precious to spend it surrounded by unkindness. Move through life with grace and compassion. Life is hard these days for most people in some way. You may never know why some are not at their best, so try to let those small annoyances and mistakes go when you can. Offer a smile and encouragement to those meet during your day. But, my darlings, never but never feel you need to put up with grown-up mean girls. Avoid their poisonous company. Life is short; surround yourself with lovers not haters.

Darlings, have a sweet week. Take time to enjoy your family and friends — maybe even bake a batch of Liz’s ginger cookies. Happy Thanksgiving!
Until next week, please sign-up if you haven’t already – DolceDolceis free. And please forward us to all your friends. And please give us your comments by clicking the “comment” link at the end of each item. We want to know what you think. Let’s start the conversation!
Gracey Hithchcock
Gracey Hitchcock
Photo by: www.yanka.ca
© DolceDolce® 2009
All DolceDolce content is copyright