Sugar Thin Christmas Cookies

Oops! I forgot to give you the recipe at the end of the blog!  Just like I said in the blog I just posted……this time of year, we are going in a million different directions and things get left behind!  Ok, so here it is:

Cream 1/2 cup butter with 1 cup sugar until light and fluffy.  Add 1 egg, 1 tablespoon cream and 1 teaspoon vanilla.

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Sift together:  2 cups flour, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon baking powder. Add to the creamed mixture and (as Aunt Doris wrote in her recipe) “mix as if you meant it.”  🙂


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Chill dough overnight.

Roll out a small quantity of dough at a time, very, very, thin, on a slightly floured surface.  Cut cookies out with small cutters.  Sprinkle with colored sugar.

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Bake on a greased cookie sheet about 5 minutes in a 350 oven, until lightly browned.  (I like the ones that get a little too brown myself!)  Makes 10 dozen.

The postscript in Aunt Doris’ handwritten recipe is:  “Have them thin, that is the secret.”

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I usually double the recipe, because they make small cookies, and it’s easy to eat a LOT of them pretty quickly because they are so good!

This post was written by Vein and Skin Laser Center | December 15, 2015



minnesota thanksgiving


Is anyone behind? This time of year is so overwhelming to many of us….with shopping, cooking, working, trying to think of others, do something , cook something, be somewhere, pick someone up, take a meal to someone, wrap those gifts, BUY those gifts, get to work, fight the traffic, go online and shop,  show up for that appointment, clean up this house!, what’s for dinner even……it just goes on and on.

decorating tree 2015

BUT, every now and then, maybe if you have the time to jog or do the exercise bike, or when you are sitting in traffic, listening to a wonderful song, you have time to REMEMBER. And I guess at Christmas (or the Holidays, whatever is your preference), you are allowed to reminisce, right?

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What sparked it for me was running across an OLD recipe book that belonged to my mother’s Aunt Doris (so that would be my grandmother’s sister )….so these are recipes from the 40’s!  But you know what?!  I still make these cookies every year.  They are so thin and crispy and sugar-y.  And as I make them, I remember… mother and I making them together…  she  rolling them out, me sneaking some of the dough scraps to pop in my mouth….ummmmm, so good!  My job was to sprinkle the colored sugar on the cookies.  Looking back, it was a kinda lame job, but you know what……I came away from that all these years later, knowing how to make the cookies and having a wonderful  memory to savor.  So think about creating such a memory for those in your family by using the recipe that will follow in this blog.

Ok, look at this photo that was pasted in the back of the recipe book for spaghetti. We have had a recipe handed down, but not really written down (I thought) in our family that we have used for years, and I made spaghetti this way, because my mom made it that way, and I grew up making it.  Well, somewhere in the back of my mind I knew my mom had gotten it from an Italian man.   And when I found this old recipe book, I found the actual ORIGINAL recipe written in this man’s hand.  Here it is!!

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So how does this tie in with MEMORIES? So, do you remember the first Walt Disney movie you ever saw?   I do!!  This does have a point in the whole story, I promise.   I really can’t remember which Disney story it was, but what I DO remember was the Fantasy Land Castle that is always shown and the music of “When You Wish Upon  A Star” and the feelings that I had of wonder and beauty and longing and wishing and dreaming and maybe even a little sadness.  You see, I was 6 years old and my dad had just told us we were moving to California with his job, and I think I probably didn’t want to move and I wished on that star that we wouldn’t go.  But even with the sadness, the beauty of that castle and the song was such a glorious experience that whenever I think of it, I am a little girl again.  Well, the wishing on the star didn’t work, because we did move to California, and to try to cheer us up, our parents promised we would have a pool in our California house.  You see, it was a temporary work assignment (it ended up being just 6 months, but you remember how long 6 months is when you are little).  We rented a guest house behind an Italian family’s house and yes, it had a pool.  That’s the #1 reason we rented it.  Looking back on it, how sweet of our parents to put up with a tiny, cramped guest house so that us kids could have that pool.  So the “big house” at the front had a wonderful Italian family, the Cardenellis and Mr. Cardenelli gave us his family recipe for spaghetti. And THAT’S THE STORY of the spaghetti recipe.  A little bit of my history and such fun to remember and find the recipe hidden away in this old cookbook.

So this busy holiday season, enjoy creating some memories, but don’t forget to slow down for a moment or two to pull up happy, funny, classic, epic… name it…..memories from YOUR past.

Merry Christmas!

Vail photo

   My favorite photo of the good doctor and me!



This post was written by Vein and Skin Laser Center | December 15, 2015

What is the difference between varicose veins and spider veins?

Snapshot 1 (3-29-2015 3-11 PM)


Believe it or not, both varicose and spider veins have similar causes. These  diseased veins are given different names (varicose or spider) mostly  because of their  size. Patients usually have more symptoms  when  the deeper, larger  veins are malfunctioning and varicose veins are present.  Symptoms can  include pain,  aching, heaviness and swelling of the legs.   Spider veins can also be symptomatic,  but usually cause more localized tenderness as well as burning and itching symptoms.


The size of the broken vein is what determines the way it looks on the outside of the leg .  The larger veins will appear to bulge and can be as large as finger-sized  twisting veins; these are referred to as varicose veins.

Lottie Espinosa (3)


Tiny veins that have a similar twisted and abnormal appearance are referred to as reticular and spider veins. These smaller veins sometimes can be blue, purple or even red in color.  So spider veins and varicose veins have similar etiologies or causes but have a different appearance depending on the diameter of the vessel.


Frequently patients who have spider veins or reticular veins that are prominent also have varicose veins.   Venous insufficiency in the bigger veins then  results in the spider vein condition.  Patients  who have spider veins that are prominent around the ankles should be checked for venous insufficiency which results from large vein disease.  Many patients are surprised to learn that their spider veins are a result of a varicose vein, of which they were unaware.   In such a case, both the varicose vein treatment as well as the spider vein treatment would be covered by insurance.

The venous system is like a tree with its trunk and many branches. The trunk of the tree are the main veins that primarily return blood to the heart. Back to the tree comparison,  there are  larger branches on the tree which branch off into smaller branches and then again into even smaller branches. The veins in  the lower extremities  are very similar. With each branching of the veins,  the veins become smaller and smaller.  Veins that we see in our legs are usually the small skin veins.  Normal skin veins are not visible beneath the skin because they are functioning properly.  With time and age and usage the valves in the veins begin to malfunction.   As a result blood flow in the vein becomes stagnant and there is a backup of blood into the veins.  The blood backup is what makes the vein bulge and stick out, becoming  more visible and beginning  to dilate and become tortuous.

Except in extremely rare circumstances, healthy veins are not that visible. If you have bulging or prominent veins, you could be suffering from venous insufficiency.

This post was written by Vein and Skin Laser Center | December 11, 2015