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Showing posts from May, 2015

Kitchen Culinaire

Julie Marr's blog, Kitchen Culinaire , is a gastronomic tour de force when it comes to sharing, styling, and photographing the season's best.  I first came across her beautiful photography through instagram, and quickly became a follower and fan of her work.  For me, good food blogging has always been about style, context and composition.  Kitchen Culinaire exhibits these so effortlessly, and what's more, Julie's website is organized with a good layout. A well-organized blog is something I truly appreciate, because it's what compels me to come back time and time again for inspiration. When you go through the singular, inimitable style that is Julie's, you too will connect with what she is teaching us at any given moment and be inspired to create your own plat du jour in the kitchen.  Whether she is throwing a dinner party or is teaching a cooking class at home in Vancouver, Canada, for chef Julie, it's all about making the connection between what is on

Woodland Bird Cookies

Being surrounded by woodland birds here at home, I can't help but admire the seemingly endless variety that make this area their dwelling.  With a beautiful set of American made copper cookie cutters that I recently added to my collection (more on that later), I baked and decorated a medley of adorable cookies as surprises for a few individuals.  Some of the cookies are whimsical, while others look rather much like what I see outside my windows.  Sweet, delicious and colorful, these Woodland Bird Cookies are bound to attract a lot of attention.     It's always a wise thing to keep a cookie or two after a cookie decorating project so that I can have a sweet nibble with my afternoon tea.  Bakers should always check to see if their product is up to snuff! Ingredients for this baking project include Chocolate Cookie Cutouts  (baked & cooled) Royal Icing  (tinted in pastel colors) Green nonpareils Heart Candies Disposable Pastry Bags or Squeeze Bottles Piping

Fox Kits & Mom

Watching the fox kits and their mother relaxing on our lawn is truly remarkable.  Over the course of this past week or so, the babies have been rambunctious, hilarious and really adorable.  I love how they emerge from behind the forsythia one at a time, and begin their playtime activities with one another.  At times they even manage to get their mother to play along, but most often, mom sits upright with her ears perked and her eyes watchful of any intruders.  She is a good mother who fiercely guards her kits. It's amazing how tan-colored, bordering on the brown, the babies are at this stage of their life.  In a few months their coats will take on the familiar red tones of their mother.   I would venture to say that the kits are no more than two months old, but I could be wrong.  Even so, at this age, they are already showing the common traits of little hunters.  The babies stalk and pounce on one another, only to end up biting each other as they roll around on the lawn.

National Chocolate Chip Cookie Day

It's National Chocolate Chip Cookie today, so I thought I would bake a batch of my all-time favorite and bestselling cookie.  For me, it's chocolate chip cookie day whenever the craving strikes and in order to satisfy that hunger, I turn to my favorite recipe.   Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe Happy Baking!!

Layers in the Woodland

Here in Pennsylvania, May is all about flowering dogwoods, crabapple trees, viburnum shrubs and even some Cercis siliquastrum (Judas trees).  It's as if the cherry blossoms and beautiful magnolias bow out gracefully, giving these other beauties the chance to take center stage for us to admire.  I'm not reticent about the love that I have for the numerous trees which surround our home.   It is the layers of the woodland, however, during the warmer months that deserve to be noted for what they are.  I have been wanting to share with you the various noteworthy layers which are crucial to any property, big or small, and I've even included two short videos taken while on my walk around the meadow for you to see what I'm talking about.  Layers in the woodland have several benefits in promoting biodiversity for plants and animals.  The more 'structures' one provides near and around one's home, the more flora and fauna it can sustain throughout the seasons.

Happy Mother's Day!

To all mothers, past or present, who have done the courageous job of raising children by giving them love, encouragement and sage advice, a very Happy Mother's Day to you!   To my very own mother, I love and cherish you more than words can say.   Happy Mother’s Day! 

Patchwork Rose Quilt Cookies

Patchwork Rose Quilt Cookies make wonderful gifts for any mother this Mother's Day.  Many moms adore roses in any form, so for all of the fantastic mothers out there who like roses just as much as my mother does, bake and decorate a few marvelous sugar cookies to make her feel extra special this holiday.  The homespun quality of these "patchwork" cookies will have you wanting to create them for other occasions besides Mother's Day.  Think weddings, birthday parties, art gallery receptions or bake sales and tag sales. Arrange them on a dessert buffet in a patchwork pattern for an eye catching presentation. What I love about the Rose Quilt Cookies is the simple color scheme.  You can, of course, pick and choose the colors for your roses according to taste.  The idea is to create custom, one-of-a-kind patchwork cookies that will charm the recipient.  Another good thing about these little sweet edibles is that they are a cinch to make. Let me show you how!