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Showing posts from March, 2016

Cats and Hearts Sugar Cookies

Cats and Hearts make a wonderful theme for a kid's birthday party, and this year, I set out to create some adorable one-of-a-kind sugar cookies for my niece's special day.  I had been searching online for some cookie decorating inspiration, but I just couldn't find what I was looking for.  It wasn't until I came across a handmade Valentine card that I had my breakthrough moment. I knew the instant I laid eyes on the charming image of a cat hugging a giant heart, that it would translate well for decorated sugar cookies. I had to search through my cookie cutters for the hearts that I thought would be great for this project, and then sketch out the treats to see how I could make them work. This is my original sketch of the cookie, along with the cookie cutters and candy elements I wanted to use.   These cookie cutters are made by Wilton and can be found at craft stores.  At the very top of the photo we have the Wilton Hearts 4-piece set.  The largest

Ice Cream Cone Cupcakes

Cupcakes are great for those times when you want something sweet for dessert without having to take up too much time in the kitchen.  Kids birthday parties, school bake sales, workplace related events, among other things, can benefit from having cupcakes for dessert.  Recently I was asked to make some cupcakes for a few individuals in town, and because of the warm weather we were experiencing at the time, I decided to bake the little cakes in ice cream cone cups.   Have you ever baked cupcakes in ice cream cone cups?  You should because it's very easy, and because it delivers an unexpected surprise when you set them out for guests. Whether you set out a dozen of them on a great cake stand or you package them up in cellophane bags for a bake sale or for gift giving, I think it's a good idea to make them as colorful as possible.  Remember, they should be just as enticing as an ice cream cone topped with sprinkles. What I did was make one batch of my  vanill

Easter Bunny and Easter Egg Sugar Cookies

Create beautiful Easter bunny and Easter egg sugar cookies to give as special gifts this coming holiday.  A few decorated treats can easily be placed into Easter baskets for the kids, but they can also be baked by the dozen for favors at your Easter luncheon.   Elegant, yet easy to do, each of these cookies can get embellished with any number of sprinkles, pearl candies or sanding sugars.  You can, however, keep them simple and charming without any edible ornaments.  With only four colors of royal icing, there is minimal effort in making a flock of bunnies and eggs. The first order of business is to choose the cookie cutters for this project and then make the cookie doughs.  The bunny you see here is an American made copper cookie cutter from  Copper Gifts .  When I found out that  my friend Janet was putting her entire collection of cookie cutters up for sale, I sought out the shapes I needed to fill my own collection and purchased them (thanks, Janet!).  

The Wine Review: Biante Garnacha (Grenache), Campo de Borja 2014

Dear Readers, I have been wanting to do a wine tasting here on the blog and write short, one paragraph reviews of the good wines I enjoy at home.  It's no secret to those who know me that I like to pair my dinners with good wines several times a month, and that I have my opinions when it comes to them.  I'm no wine expert, but over the years I have come to trust my palate to guide me to good, decent wines and to steer clear of the ones that leave a bad taste in your mouth.   This is what the parameters will be for my wine reviews so that you can better understand what I like and what I will cover.   I will not present sweet wines because I don't like them. I will review red, white, and rosé varieties as I see fit. I won't write bad reviews, because it's not what I do here on this website.  Bad wines that I encounter won't make the cut. I will stick to wines with an alcohol content between 12% and 14%.  These are the ones I prefer, becaus