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Showing posts from October, 2016

Halloween Sugar Cookies: Brooms, Cats, Moons, Owls, Pumpkins and Witches

This year's Halloween sugar cookies were inspired by a set of cookie cutters that I recently purchased, which came in a very festive box.   The small set includes an adorable Halloween cat, a witch, broom, bat, an owl and a small pumpkin.  To enhance these festive shapes I added a few spooky night silhouettes made from simple round-shaped cookies.  As soon as the cookies were baked and cooled, I tinted several bags of royal icing, and used a few tools and candies to embellish these ghoulish treats. It's always a challenge coming up with new sugar cookie designs for my niece and nephews no matter the occasion or season.  Since I don't like repeating myself, I'm constantly searching images, artwork and colors for inspiration. I'm pleased with the results and I think my little ones will be too.  If you happen to make some iced sugar cookies for your Halloween party, make it a point to have a few pumpkins, cats, witches and spiders.  Kids of all ages love a

A Hint of Fall & A Birthday Cake

You wouldn't know it from the warm weather we're having at the moment, but Fall is certainly here.  Everywhere I look there are warm browns, yellows, shades of orange and dark crimson tones.  Yes, autumn is here and if the weather behaves, the deciduous trees promise to give us a splendid show of color. I took a few photographs this past afternoon so that you could see the hints of autumn we're experiencing in our area.  Although I did not do a long photo shoot, because I was on a lunch break, I did capture what I think are the best views around our home. The photo of our group of beech trees was taken from the second floor of the center hall.  If the time is right and the weather has been kind to the trees, I literally gasp the first time I notice the splendor of that giant beech that is front and center.  So many leaves fall from this area that our driveway is completely covered for days.  Someone is going to be busy clearing them next week. Walking up th

Cooking for Jeffrey, by Ina Garten

Ina Garten is about to release her tenth cookbook, 'Cooking for Jeffrey', on October 25th.  This cookbook is perhaps her most personal compilation of recipes, because they are those which Ina's husband has enjoyed for many years.  Ina states: "I can assure you that all the recipes have been 'Jeffrey-tested' again and again."   In the cookbook, which I was given an advance copy of, Ina gives us snippets of the early days being married to Jeffrey, and of creating a home and opening a business (Barefoot Contessa) in East Hampton, New York.  Not only is the cookbook a compilation of amusing and fascinating stories from Ina, it is also a book dedicated to cooking with good ingredients, and showing us step-by-step how to make each fantastic dish. What I love about all of the Barefoot Contessa cookbooks and Ina's style, is that each recipe is approachable and doable.  None of them seem complex or intimidating in the least.  I already have my ey

The Teal Pumpkin Project for Halloween

Are you familiar with The Teal Pumpkin Project ?  If not, you may want to participate in it this year, especially if you have kids with food allergies or know of any in the neighborhood that do.   The teal pumpkin project was created so that all kids could have a safer Halloween.  By putting a teal-colored pumpkin on your doorstep, you are letting trick-or-treaters and their parents know that you will be providing non-food items as treats on Halloween. Make Halloween in your neighborhood an all-inclusive occasion for the kids this year by providing food/candy alternatives to those who can't eat packaged candies & treats. For more information on The Teal Pumpkin Project , please visit:

Halloween Sugar Cookie Ideas

Halloween is a good time to ice sugar cookies for gift giving.  Whether you hand them out at a Halloween party or package them up in clear cellophane bags for local trick-or-treaters, decorated sugar cookies can be as intricate or as simple as you want them to be.  There are a few things, however, you should keep in mind when making these types of cookies: make them colorful and make them flavorful. Over the years I have made several sets of Halloween cookies for my niece and nephews, each of which have been devoured with such pleasure.  I have yet to get started on this year's designs for them, but rest assured that I will get the task done. In the meantime, let's go over some of the more memorable cookies I've shared here on the blog. With several dozen cookies in shapes of owls, skulls, spiderwebs, pumpkins, witches and cats, you can ice some frightfully delicious cookies in all sorts of colors.  You can even tint the cookie dough to make things super easy.