Monday, April 30, 2012

Good Things in April

I was glad that the month of April was a good one in so many ways and that I was able to share some of my favorites with you.  Those chocolate chip cookies were a big hit with a lot of you readers here in this country and abroad.  It's exciting for me to hear from someone in another part of the globe who is not only reading the blog, but is also having success with a recipe or two.  Getting a nice note or email from a cookbook author I happen to look up to and admire is such an honor for me and it's a good feeling knowing that what I'm attempting to create & present on this blog is considered good; I'm humbled.  Thank You!

Every month is cookie month for me, so this past month I just had to share with you my new favorite roll out cookie dough.  The brown sugar cookie recipe that I use for sandwich cookies got reworked and altered; a few things were subtracted & other things were multiplied.  They turned out so well using a few of my collectible cookie cutters this month.  Speaking of collectible cookie cutters, let's not forget that adorable duo, Hatching Bunny & Barnyard Hen from the former Martha by Mail catalog.  I love making Easter cookies using those (I know some of you do too), so it's a Good Thing we all have a new recipe for them!  This month also marked the beginning of having a photograph behind the title header on the blog.  I had been wanting to put one up for quite some time, but just never got around to it until now.  A stack of perfectly shaped sugar cookies seemed appropriate enough and I'm happy the way it turned out.  It's going to be fun adding a different image every now & then.

I also showed you a delicious quiche recipe along with a simple lemon sugar one that are in heavy rotation at my house.  One gets baked whenever I get the craving for it and the other is stocked in my pantry for the days when I feel like adding a bit more lemon flavor to my baked goods.  Chicken stock is another essential item for me.  If I see my reserves running low I make sure to make some later in the week or over the weekend.  It's the easiest thing ever!

The month of April has given us plenty of showers in our area and the landscape has shown a complete transformation.  No longer are the deciduous trees bare or the lawns tinged with brown spots or yellow patches.  Some neighbors happened to mention having a 'bumper crop' of lilacs just a few weeks ago, so I hope the month of May proves to be a beautiful one.  Our ostrich ferns which seem bigger than ever this year have completely unfurled.  The dogwood trees are still in possession of their delicate blooms, I'm  happy to report, and the viburnums have come into their own at the moment.  Over the last two weeks or so, it's the azaleas that have become the showy beauties around the area.  The vibrant hues and bursts of vivid colors we're experiencing right now are quite something.  Perhaps I should capture images of them and show you soon.  

A quick look back at Good Things in April.

The cookies fresh out of the oven cooling on racks have such an enticing aroma.  I always "test" one at this point just to be sure.

My favorite way to eat a chocolate chip cookie is with a tall glass of milk.  The classic duo is loved by kids of all ages!  Make a batch this week and see for yourself.


These cutters make such beautiful cookies year round.  Don't use them only for Easter!


One word: Delicious!  This recipe is a keeper in my opinion. 

A tray of egg cookies using this recipe waiting to be flooded with royal icing.

I marbleized them for my niece and she loved each one.  So easy to make & so chic.

I took this photograph on one of my walks.  A patch of ostrich ferns is in the foreground and the primitive colonial is the center.

For me, the glade in the backyard is always breathtaking and always lush.  The ferns look so different now.

Tender baby spinach fresh from the market always makes a superior quiche.  The greens get sauteed briefly in the fruitiest of olive oils.
Right out of the oven, the quiche's crust has begun to pull away from the pan.

There's a reason I love Martha's perfect pate brisee.  It always bakes to perfection and the taste is out of this world!
See the flakiness? 

One of our neighbors centered this pink dogwood in their front yard.  It's still a young tree, but its showy blooms are spectacular.

 Down the road from our house is this lovely dogwood.  Its trunk is mesmerizing in my opinion.

Looking upward, the blooms are exquisite.

These cherry blossoms have nothing to do with the story, but I thought I would show you what we experienced a few weeks ago.  This is certainly one of those moments in nature we all anticipate every single year.

The spring house of that lovely farm I visited is such a nice piece of history.  It's a shame I didn't go in it.

Here's another spring house I visit quite often.

 A jar of lemon sugar should be in every baker's pantry.

This can be used to sweeten & flavor a cup of tea.  I often do.

Another of those items I can't live without.  I don't consider it a chore to make a batch every couple of weeks, because I know it's so much better than store bought & a lot better for my wallet.

My three favorite knives of all time.  Read that blog entry and pick what's best for you.


Let's make May a good one! 

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