Skip to main content


Showing posts from January, 2013

Martha by Mail ~ Heart Cookie Cutters

Delicious, fanciful hearts can be baked by the dozens with this set of heart cookie cutters from Martha by Mail .  Twelve gleaming cutters made from solid copper by a talented  American coppersmith, were exclusive designs for the catalog over a decade ago.  Very collectible and truly meant to be treasured for years to come, the beautifully-shaped cookie cutters are perfect for any kind of celebration or holiday.  Chocolates are nice and always welcomed on Valentine’s Day, but what sweetheart wouldn’t love a few of these cookies tucked into a special box tied with a gorgeous ribbon?   If you own the set, bake a few dozen hearts to give out.  Follow the decorating instructions that were provided with each set (below) or make them your very own works of art.  Perhaps you want to add a little message or simply want to flock the cookies with pastel-colored sanding sugars.  Get creative!  I guarantee that there won’t be a heart left.   For present and future collectors & bakers

Ultimate Hot Chocolate

It isn’t often that I indulge in a cup of hot chocolate, but when I do, I want it to be rich, smooth and delicious down to the very last drop.  With only a handful of ingredients in my recipe, everything must be of the highest quality in order to taste like the best hot chocolate ever.  Fresh organic milk from a nearby farm, ultra-dark cocoa powder from France, bar chocolate from one of Belgium’s best chocolatiers and some  vanilla sugar  from my pantry is all I need to create this cold weather treat.   Ultimate Hot Chocolate Go to your pantry and gather the components to my ultimate hot chocolate, and treat yourself & a dear loved one to a mug of some.  I love having it after I’ve come in from a  brisk walk around town or from a trek around our trails, especially if there’s snow out.  It’s such a decadent tasting thing to have and yet, it’s one of the easiest things in the world to make.  Just a few minutes on the stove and voila .   Froth up some for your beloved this

French Macaroon Rosettes

French macaroons are light as a feather and tres tres chic .  These little morsels which are extremely popular in France are really taking America by storm, so I thought I'd make my own version of the cookies for everyone to try.  Nothing more than meringues which have the added bonus of finely ground blanched almonds, French macaroons are quite simple to make.  With the addition of some food coloring and various fillings to sandwich each cookie, an endless array of them can be assembled in no time.  Visit one of your specialty food stores and expect to pay quite a bit for these treats, but if you gather a handful of ingredients you can quickly make some at home and enjoy the pleasure of dozens of them. Rather than piping them in the familiar wafer shape that we all know, I thought my version of them would be best if made into rosettes.  The lovely macaroons can stand on their own and be nibbled just as they are (my favorite way), but they can also be sandwiched with tradit

Winter Pet Care Tips

With winter in our midst throughout the country and many of us seeing freezing temperatures, I think it’s necessary to keep certain things in mind when caring for our pets.  There are many factors which can pose problems and dangers to dogs and cats such as snow, below freezing temperatures, cold wind, ice, antifreeze, rock salt and even our own vehicles.  These members of our family need special attention during the colder months in order for them to have optimal health, be comfortable and stay safe.  Let’s make sure that they are kept out of harm’s way.  If you happen to have cats that are occasional outdoor explorers, I highly suggest that you keep them indoors during the winter because they can certainly get into a lot of trouble if left to wander when it’s inhospitable outside.  Dogs also need to be protected from extreme conditions during the season.  Don’t think that just because they have fur that they are protected and can withstand the weather better than we can.  The wa

Cinnamon Tea & Coffee

Cinnamon tea is a delicious drink to sip when the weather turns cold and when one wants something soothing.  As you simmer the infusion on your stovetop and steep the liquid, the most inviting scent will waft throughout your house making you crave some the moment it’s done.  Perfect for the afternoon when you want to warm up and perhaps nibble on a cookie, my cinnamon tea is wonderfully suitable for the evening as there is no caffeine in it.  Treat yourself to a cup of this invigorating infusion the next time you want to sit down to a chat with a dear friend or when you want to curl up with a good book at night.   Mom likes to make this for me when I visit her in the winter, usually at night when we sit and reminisce or discuss friends & family.   I will never tire of drinking this ‘tea’ because it is at once comforting and so heavenly. If you let the infusion cool down and and steep overnight, the most luxurious-tasting cinnamon coffee can be made in no time.   You’ve be

Caring for Silver Salt & Pepper Shakers

Silver salt and pepper shakers and/or grinders are beautiful pieces to own and use in one’s home.  They enhance, beautify and provide wonderful table settings which can be either formal or informal.  Depending on the style and type of shakers or grinders one wants to use, a table that offers at least one of each will undoubtedly make the dining experience a more pleasant one.  I find them to be one of those little good things that my table much nicer.  Although I don’t have an extensive collection of silver salt and pepper shakers, (since I enjoy using my salt cellars  a lot) I do have some nice pieces that I take good care of.   It’s always recommended that you never store salt or pepper in a silver container.  Salt is corrosive and will pit the silver rather quickly; pepper won’t have this effect, but I find it best to treat both vessels in the same manner.  If you’re going to use them for a dinner or luncheon, it’s always best to fill the pieces on the day of the occasion.  A