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Showing posts from June, 2014

Perfect Royal Icing

The Perfect Royal Icing  is finally yours.  For those of you who bake and ice cookies throughout the year or bake and ice festive cakes with highly decorative work, having a good, reliable royal icing is absolutely essential. Everyone wants their royal icing to pipe well, flow beautifully and finish off with a smooth surface.  Moreover, the perfect royal icing has to taste as good as it looks and it has to be easy to remember so that one can whip a batch at a moment's notice. Over the years I have tried many recipes from various sources, but not until now have I actually approached coming up with one of my own.  What I did was what any responsible recipe developer normally does.  They study sources and then experiment in the kitchen until the recipe is to his or her specifications and perfect.  In my pursuit of the  perfect  royal icing I turned to those trusted sources from my personal cookbook library, remembering which recipes I had tried and loved. Bo Friberg’

Martha by Mail and The Catalog for Living

It was back in 2000 when I encountered the Martha by Mail catalog just as we were moving into our first home.  The idea of starting a home with a blank slate was new and exciting for us, so at the time I turned to the trusted source for everything concerning the home. What was it about this catalog that captured my attention from the moment I saw it?  Was it the unique product line designed and selected by Martha & the editors of her company that wasn’t available elsewhere, or was it that I noticed and picked up on what America’s lifestyle maven was using in one of her television segments, and had to have it?  Actually, it was a mixture of several things. I had never in my life come across a catalog which encompassed so many facets of the home with such beautifully-designed, high-quality products.  Martha by Mail  contained items ranging from crafting, gardening, homekeeping, baking, cooking, pantry, home decorating, entertaining, weddings, catering, outdoors, holidays

Can I Freeze Iced Cookies?

Dear David Dear David, is it possible for me to bake and freeze your Sugar Cookies  ahead of time and can they also be frozen once iced for a later date?  ~Patrick Patrick, This question gets asked every now and then here on the blog and I always tell people that they most certainly can freeze my sugar cookies once they've baked and cooled.  In fact, I think it's a time-saving thing to do if you're going to be icing dozens of cookies for an event or celebration.  No one wants to be stuck at the last minute baking & icing a mass of cookies in the wee hours of the night.  That is not fun. Here are some things to consider if you want to freeze baked & undecorated cookies, as well as baked, iced & decorated cookies. Baked & Undecorated Cookies Once baked and cooled, freeze exposed cookies in single layers on a flat cookie sheet. Frozen solid cookies should then be placed in freezer zip-top bags or vacuum-sealed bags in stacks of no mo

Keeping Your China Protected

One of life's lessons is to learn from our mistakes so that we don't repeat them. Due to an oversight on my part I recently lost a nice piece of Wedgwood china from one of my prized collections.  This accident could have been prevented had I taken my own advice and not been so careless when storing a stack of my plates.  You see, I have been protecting my fine china for years by layering each piece with felt rounds and I have to say that it has always worked for me. How could I have lost a piece of china if I was doing this you ask?  I happened to use the wrong-sized round in between a stack of plates. Over the last few months, with my shifting of pieces of china from one cabinet over to another, I have inadvertently been switching the proper-sized pieces of felt with ones that were too small.  It took this particular accident to make me realize that I had been careless.  It's always in hindsight that we see our mistakes and wish we had done something differently, isn

Under the Sea Cookies

Baking and decorating cookies in the shapes of sea creatures is such a fun way to bring a little of the deep into one's home, without having to dive countless fathoms to catch a glimpse of them.  Imagine tentacled octopuses, small seahorses, turtles, fish, lobsters, starfish and jellyfish iced in bright, cheerful icing.  A squiggle here, a dot there, a sprinkling of sanding sugar where you see fit, along with a good measure of creativity, is all you need to create an oceanic wonderland. That is exactly what one dear reader did a little while back.  Carol created these sweet wonders for a very special production of The Little Mermaid in Hoboken, NJ, where her daughter is music director.  To help defray the costs of this large-scale musical, Carol baked and iced dozens upon dozens of Under the Sea Cookies that she sold at the event.  She was kind enough to have shared the wonderful cookies with me and told me that she took a little inspiration from yours truly! It seems now t