Holiday Best-Sellers

‘Tis the season to deck the halls and spread holiday cheer near and far! As you do, be sure to include classic details in your home like a sprig of mistletoe, a beautifully decorated wreath on the front door, and a mantel full of holiday ornaments and garland. The lights, colors, and fresh fragrances of the holiday season all fill your home with peace and joy. When you include classic designs, you bring a nostalgia to the atmosphere that everyone will enjoy. Take a look at this collection of best-selling holiday items the design team at Walter Knoll Florist has put together for you to enjoy.

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Bountiful Baskets for Secret Santas

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

One of the best ways to inject some holiday spirit into the workplace or among a group of friends is to set up a Secret Santa. This group gift swap is popular in the West, where it goes by many names and several iterations, but always operates on the same principle: the gift giver’s identity is kept secret from the recipient.

At Walter Knoll Florist, we love any and all gift-giving scenarios, and Secret Santa is no exception. On the other hand, it’s the kind of exchange that presents a particular challenge. Namely, the fact that you may not know the tastes and preferences of your recipient.

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Origins of Labor Day


labor dayWhat does the first Monday of September signify to you? Traditionally, it is the time to put away the white shoes and pull out the school books; the end of summer and the beginning of a brand new season.

Many people enjoy the day off on Labor Day, due to a history that is deeply rooted in the history of the American labor movement. In 1882, union leaders organized a parade in New York City to celebrate the achievements of the American worker. 10,000 people attended and marched in the parade, and journalists declared it a “day of the people”. In 1887, Oregon was the first state to name the day as an official holiday; and New York, Colorado and Massachusetts were not far behind. In 1896, President Grover Cleveland, recognizing the growing power of labor in America, made it a national holiday.

Therefore Labor Day honors the social and economic contributions made by US workers since that time. We still throw parades, and many employees are granted the day off – allowing for the traditional barbecues. No matter your choice of activity, Walter Knoll has patriotic bouquets and flower arrangements to bring the red, white and blue to your party.

labor day

 

Although over the centuries the labor movement has changed, the observance of Labor Day is as relevant as ever. From the struggles over the minimum wage to the battle for benefits, the workplace continues to evolve. But one thing hasn’t changed – the ingenuity, perseverance and strong work ethic of the American worker continues to change the country. We think that deserves a day off with friends – don’t you?

 

From picnics to formal dinners, come into one of Walter Knoll’s St. Louis area florists to pick the floral arrangement that will perfectly express the spirit of the day.

Flowers This Easter

thumbnail-1Easter will arrive in just a few days, which means that now is the time to find the right holiday flower arrangements. Flowers can be a wonderful way to light up a home to get the entire family into the festive holiday spirit. They can also work well as gifts for those special people in life. Easter generally has strong connections with flowers, particularly as the holiday is traditionally associated with ideas of new life and renewal. Flowers are an excellent way to symbolize these ideas.

At Walter Knoll Florist, we love helping our customers find the perfect arrangement for their own homes or offices as well as to give loved ones. Here are a few of our favorite arrangements for the upcoming holiday season.

Egg vase

This arrangement uses stunningly beautiful flowers along with a creative vase to capture many of the associations with Easter. The roses, daisy poms, and buttons bring together some lovely spring colors that light up the entire room. The flowers are then held in an egg shaped vase that sits on top of a realistic looking nest. There is even a figurine butterfly placed among the flowers to add to the spring and Easter symbols. This arrangement is perfect as a centerpiece or as an accent in nearly any room of the house.

Eggciting

Eggciting

Easter centerpiece

Those who will be hosting an Easter meal this year will be likely interested in finding a beautiful centerpiece that will make the table look more festive. This arrangement uses beautiful Easter flowers such as yellow roses and pink carnations along with faux Easter eggs and a butterfly figurine. In the center of the arrangement is one or two candles, making the flowers perfect for adorning a table for a holiday meal.

Easter Centerpiece

Easter Centerpiece

Easter Lilies

The Easter lily has a rich history of being associated with the holiday. Tradition says that lilies were found growing in the Garden of Gethsemane, where Christ endured his agony before his crucifixion. The flower has been regarded as beautiful throughout history and they have been commonly associated with hope, making them a wonderful flower for celebrating Easter. It is common for churches to decorate with these flowers for the holiday.

Easter Lilies in Basket

Easter Lilies in Basket

People can decorate their own homes with these beautiful lilies in a lovely basket. The flower will add some light and beauty to the home long after the holiday has passed.

With Easter right around the corner, now is the time for people to find the right gifts and decorations. Flowers make for excellent choices no matter who the gift is for. Those searching for the perfect arrangement should use our above ideas to get started finding the perfect gift.

 

Lydia’s Butter Balls

It’s that time again – cookies, cookies and more cookies!

Always the first to be gobbled up out of my repertoire of holiday treats are Lydia’s Butter Balls.

Lydia’s gone, but her recipe brings sweet thoughts of her to mind.  Mother of an old friend, Lydia had to make this friend an entire batch of butter balls every holiday.  This old friend (and roommate for a few years) would hide the tin under her bed so as not to have to share them.  Occasionally one cookie would be doled out as payment for a favor!  Maybe you are still friends with Lydia’s daughter, in which case, my holiday gift suggestion for her would be a tin of these cookies.

I like to make them on the big side – they take just a tad longer to bake.

 Lydia’s Butter Balls

Makes about 3 dozen 1″ balls

1 cup butter (softened) 

4 teaspoons sifted powdered sugar (plus about a cup for rolling)

1 teaspoon vanilla 

2 cups sifted flour 

1 cup coarse and finely chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 350F.

Cream butter, add sugar and beat until light and fluffy. 

Add vanilla. 

Add sifted flour and mix well. 

Fold in chopped pecans and shape into small balls.  

Place one inch apart on ungreased baking sheet. 

Bake for 15 to 18 minutes.

Allow to cool slightly then roll in powdered (confectioner’s) sugar.

Don’t have time to do any baking for the holidays?  Check out the “baked” offerings at wkf.com

Our Italian cookie assortment from the “Hill” is a very popular and often re-ordered item – and we have some cute containers to go with them!

 

We love poinsettias around here! And Santa Pet Photos too!

Candy Cane Poinsettia

As usual at this time of the year, we have lots of varieties in many different sizes.  If you have received a poinsettia as a gift and are wondering how to care for it, we have some wonderful information at wkf.com – see bottom of page after clicking here – You can download our Poinsettia Care & Toxicology Pamphlet from a link there.  Basically give your Poinsettia lots of indirect sunlight and don’t let the soil dry out – but don’t drown them either, they need good drainage.  Also, they are not poisonous! Now don’t go eating a poinsettia, it will probably make you feel yucky, but it won’t kill you – same goes for the pets.

We have many styles and sizes to choose from, many are at our web site, but give us a call for more options including a different container or color choice.

Pink Poinsettia

I’d also like to recommend for the holidays that your bring your pet to Anmar Photography at 3308 Jamieson Ave in South St Louis and have his/her photo taken with Santa!  We used Anmar for our Open House Santa photos and thought they did a great job!  call Mark for more information at 314 644-1010 or to make an appointment- tell him Di sent you!

Toxic Neighbor Soup & Grammy’s Chocolate Waffies

Oh my neighbor kids and parents all have the swine flu, croup and/or ear infections! Poor mama! Yesterday while I baked off cookies for the holidays I thru together some chicken soup for them.

I gathered together celery, onions, carrots, garlic and ginger in the food processor and chopped it all pretty fine in case there is any throwing up going on!

Then I sauted the veggies until pretty soft add a couple cartons of chicken stock and a can of petite diced tomatoes a bit of salt & pepper and marjoram. Since I had ginger in there I also added a bit of soy sauce and Mirin.

I think little kids have got to have noodles in their soup so I broke up about a cup of hollow macaroni sticks into 1/2 to 1 inch pieces. I cooked the macaroni in a separate pot then added it to the soup. Took the whole pot over and plopped it on their stove. Feel better soon!

mm mm good!

especially with Grammy’s Chocolate Waffies!
Makes about 60.

2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup Dutch process cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon instant espresso powder
2-1/2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
2 cups sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Preheat Oven 350
Whisk together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter, 2 cups sugar, and eggs on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add vanilla, and mix to combine. Gradually add dry ingredients, and combine with mixer on low speed. Form dough into tablespoon sized balls – inch and a half apart on silpats or parchment paper bake 8 minutes – turning at 4 minutes, just until shine just starts to go away – cool on sheet a few minutes before transferring to cooling racks –

I made my dough a week ahead and refrigerated it in a bowl with plastic wrap pressed to the dough and a lid on the bowl – worked great to let it sit on the counter to soften a bit while I prepared the veggies for the soup!

Speaking of cookies . . . I just love this Merry Memories arrangement we are featuring this year – the container could be a great cookie jar kinda gift container next year! So a great gift for that baker friend of yours!

Speaking of cookies . . . Our Italian Cookies offering from our baker friends on the hill are selling like hotcakes this year! We also have their pies! The Cherry Pie is as good as my own!

WKF does Holiday Magic at the STL Visitors & Convention Center this weekend!

There’s a NEW holiday tradition being added to St. Louis’s social calendar this year! “Holiday Magic” comes to America’s Center, December 4-6, and it promises to be an exciting and entertaining event for families and shoppers. Enjoy wood carving demonstrations and hands-on crafts, a dazzling light show with over 40,000 holiday lights choreographed to holiday music, and a full-scale indoor carnival.
And best of all . . . Walter Knoll Florist will be there with a special treat for children . . .
webPoster

It’s gonna be great – we’ll have hundreds, maybe thousands of white poinsettias for kids to paint – as well as protective gear to keep their little outfits tidy – so come on down and get in the Christmas Spirit!

As we prepare and set up our booth for the big show we are also installing over 75 real live Christmas trees around the center-complete with lights!

And our booth will have lots of fully decorated trees and ideas as well as special “show” pricing – there will be ornaments and garland and wreaths and swags you can buy and take with you and we will also have on display our Holiday Arrangements (you may have seen them on our Holiday Unwrapped 2009 brochure we mailed out last week) – so come on down, bring the kids (and $5 of course-proceeds benefit Mathews-Dickey Boys and Girls Club). Tell ’em Di sent you!

Speaking of poinsettias – you know it’s an old wives tale about them being toxic, don’t you? Well, although we don’t recommend you eat them, they are NOT poisonous.

Here is a pic of a poinsettia painted by a 73-year old!

How about a blue or purple poinsettia?

How about a blue or purple poinsettia?

Can’t get down to the Convention Center this weekend? Don’t despair – visit our garden center at California and LaSalle and see all our poinsettia varieties – here’s a sampling!

dark-pink

pink-green

pinkish

red-white

red-white-splatter

toothy-pink

white-red

Holiday Gift Knitting

I’m ahead of the game this year – hoping to have dozens of knitted gifts to give –
Here are 5 hats I’ve made since mid August or so

Wacky Hats

Wacky Hats

I especially like these two, so if you see someone wearing something like this, ask them if Di made that hat!

Cool you say?  No, very warm!

Cool you say? No, very warm!

Please don’t ask me for the pattern! I figure them out as I go along or I copy a previous pattern from one I have made.

Are you perhaps not so nimble fingered and wondering about holiday gift giving? Walter Knoll Florist can solve that problem! Call us about our holiday corporate gift giving ideas! We’ll have beautiful poinsettias, wreaths (decorated and plain – live and everlasting) as well as a whole line up of holiday floral bouquets! After all, we’re Walter Knoll Florist, Your Personal Florist Since 1883 Call us at 314.352.7575 or toll free at 1-800-341-ROSE (7673) WKF.COM

Mini Pigs In Blankets

Three Little Pigs

Three Little Pigs

What could be better than salty buttery puff pastry wrapped around a little sausage or hot dog? These are easy to make, there will be very few left over and if there are leftovers, they reheat well.

Ingredients:
1 package Pepperidge Farm frozen puff pastry sheets (thawed)
2 1-pound packages of mini hot dogs or cocktail sausages (Hillshire)
Grainy Mustard
Egg Wash (egg mixed with water to seal edges and paint tops

Drain the wieners well in a colander and dry them well with paper towels. As you are dying them, poke each one just enough to pierce the skin with a fork or several times with the point of a sharp knife.

Unfold and smooth out a sheet of thawed puff pastry on a lightly flowered surface (do not roll the dough thin or manipulate it much or it won’t puff as much as it should – keep second sheet wrapped until ready to use)

Use a pizza cutter to cut the dough

Use a pizza cutter to cut the dough

Divide the dough into 3 long strips then make 7 rectangles of each strip (use pizza cutter) and then cut the rectangles on an angle to form triangles.

Put a little grainy mustard in the center of each triangle then roll it around a dry weenie, sealing the point to the base of the triangle with a tiny brushing of egg wash.

Space about an inch apart - they will puff up

Space about an inch apart - they will puff up

Space and inch or so apart on a parchment lined baking sheet, then lightly brush the tops lightly with egg wash.

Bake in preheated 400F oven for 20-22 minutes or until as brown as you like them. Remove from sheet pan to a paper towel laid over a cooling rack.

Serve hot with more mustard for dipping.

These reheat well at 325F for 8 or 10 minutes.

Hey!  Who Stole A Weenie?

Hey! Who Stole A Weenie?

One package of two sheets of pastry makes about 100 – or 2 pounds of mini weenies.

A great party snack, they are good hot or at room temperature.

Speaking of Party! Are you ready for your New Year’s Festivities? 2009 is the International Year of Astronomy and the 400th anniversary of Galileo’s use of a telescope! So drink a toast to Galileo and the skies this December 31!

Galileo Galilei (surely a big fan of Pigs in Blankets!) Painting by Giusto Sustermans

Galileo Galilei (surely a big fan of Pigs in Blankets!) Painting by Giusto Sustermans

Don’t forget to take or send ahead some flowers to your New Year’s Eve Party!