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Showing posts from May, 2014

Patriotic Star Cookies

It's nice to get down to the basics when creating simple cookies for holidays and celebrations.  Often times if we're decorating sugar cookies with royal icing, our first instinct is to grab a piping bag or perhaps a squeeze bottle.  One doesn't have to do this to make tasty cookies that are equally eye catching and wonderful.  If you want to cut down on time spent making cookies everyone is going to devour in two or three bites, then search no further. With a few baking sheets, cooling racks, a small offset spatula, baked & cooled cut out cookies and some tinted royal icing, you can turn out a large amount of decorated cookies in no time.  Save the cumbersome squeeze bottles and piping bags for those perfect cookies and baking projects that have to be picture perfect.  For times when you just want simple goodness to hand out to guests or loved ones, make it quick, make it easy and keep it basic. Think backyard barbecues, family get togethers, bake sales or pi

The Evolving Gardens at Turkey Hill

It's been seven years since Chuck & Casey Berg bought Turkey Hill from lifestyle maven, Martha Stewart, and since then they have not been shy about making changes to this idyllic estate.  The Westport, Connecticut Federal home, which many consider a landmark, is a magical site that continues to evolve under their ownership.  Changes to the main house and the carriage barn located behind it have already been documented, but it isn't until now that we've seen how the gardens have developed since Martha left. All photographs by Rob Cardillo My friend Colin, recently sent me the May issue of Cottages & Gardens which has a wonderful story on the gardens of Turkey Hill the way they are today. The article gives us insight as to how the Bergs felt about acquiring Martha's estate and how they wanted to fine tune it to make it their own.  This beloved and bucolic home that graced the pages of Stewart's namesake magazine, and was featured on her television s

Dear David ~ Do I Keep My Depression Glass?

At the suggestion of a friend of mine, I thought I'd try an 'advice/opinion' column here on Good Things by David as a way to answer some of your questions.  On any given month I get many emails from individuals asking about this or that, which I try my best to answer in a timely manner.  Many of those queries leave me thinking that a lot of my readers would benefit from sharing this back & forth dialogue.  Why not do it in an open forum here on the blog and have you see what others are asking? I don't pretend to be an expert, but I do have opinions, I do have experience and knowledge in areas that I blog about (otherwise I wouldn't be doing so) and I think I have an eye for spotting a "Good Thing" when I see it.   Let's keep this fun, informal and open.  I don't want anyone to feel inhibited or shy about asking questions regarding the home, baking, cooking, collecting, style, etc.     ❃ Dear David, I have Fire King an

Mailing Treats the Good Way

If I'm baking cookies for individuals and plan on mailing them a box or two of treats, I like to make sure that I've done a good job of packaging, labeling and parceling out the goods.  It is tempting to just put cookies into those reusable plastic containers which one can readily buy at the grocery store; there's nothing wrong with this.  However, if you do want your package(s) of treats to stand out in some special way, then I highly recommend purchasing some clear cellophane bags, some baker's twine (these come in many colors) and last, but not least, a labeled sticker which tells the recipient who made what they are receiving, and/or what the sweets are.  Taking these extra steps always makes the person receiving the baked goods feel special. Recently, a friend of mine asked me to make several dozen cookies for her family and friends to enjoy at an event.  Without a moment to lose I baked what she requested and gathered my packaging materials, assembly line

Happy Mother's Day!

I hope the mothers in your life, past or present, are remembered this Mother's Day with love and respect for all that they have done.  To my very own mother, I thank you for being a wonderful teacher, listener, friend and parent.  I couldn't have asked for a better mother. Happy Mother's Day! David 

Mailing Fine China

If you should ever find yourself having to mail a few pieces of china or an entire set with dozens of items, there are a few points to consider before doing so in order to avoid any accidents.  Let's face it, these heirlooms and cherished possessions are, indeed, investments.  All types of china no matter whether priceless or meant for the every day need to be protected during transit.  One cannot put a little bit of bubble wrap and a few packing peanuts and hope for the best, because inevitably, boxes will get handled many times before they reach their final destination.  This is why it is of the utmost importance to get the right materials for the job. It turns out that I just mailed a nice set of my beloved Wedgwood Drabware to an individual who was enthusiastic about acquiring this classic dinnerware for his home. Without a moment to lose, I gathered the pieces and set them aside in my office so that I could package and send them safely.  Boxes, bubble wrap, packing peanu