Did you know that the word “noel” can be traced back to the Latin word natalis, which means “birthday”? I know a lot of you are preparing for your celebration of that special birth that night long ago in Bethlehem.

I’m curious…are there any of you out there with birthdays during the holidays? Or with family or friends who are Christmas or New Year’s babies?

We certainly have them in my family—Pop is Christmas Eve and my hubby and my sister are both New Year’s Eve– and I gotta tell you…they always feel like their special day gets overlooked during this season. Well…I’ve got some beautiful suggestions for you to make them feel extra special this year.


First: I was inspired to bake a three-layer cake from my daughter, who made a fabulous one for Thanksgiving while she was home on break…check this out:

3 layers of chocolate cake under apple cider buttercream with chocolate covered pretzel crumb coating, draped with homemade apple cider caramel. WOW!

How could I NOT get inspired by this beauty handmade by my beauty?  But of course, I had to put my own twist on it (as I do!), and the perfect opportunity came along when we celebrated my dear friend, Elaine’s birthday.





I just had to make something as special as she is, so—voila! I give you:


Chef Jacquie’s Three Layer Cannoli Cake with Chocolate Ganache –  Click for Recipe!



Trust me, this is one incredible cake for any special someone on their special day!

Second, I am so excited to share with you a very special new tour–“Dessert First“!  Talk about the perfect gift for a holiday birthday….this walking tasting tour of the Italian Market is a few hours of total indulgence that they’ll never forget (and they’ll always remember that YOU didn’t forget their birthday! Ha!)…artisan handmade chocolates, pastries, melt-in-your-mouth cookies, and the best cannoli you’ll ever have.  Treat your sweet to this decadent tasting tour for their special day– they say everything is good in moderation, but every now and again you just need to have dessert first! Click here to Book!


Merry Christmas, everyone!