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Showing posts from 2020

Christmas Wreaths, Snowflakes and Snowmen

If you're looking for some Christmas cookies that are very much of the holiday, but are also holiday neutral images, look no further.  Wreaths, snowflakes and snowmen can be made for any winter occasion.  They can be given as gifts to friends, family and neighbors no matter their religion, and they can be shipped anywhere in the country or across the pond if they're made thick enough and packed well.  Holiday Sugar Cookies Can you believe that I don't actually own a wreath cookie cutter?  How utterly embarrassing, I know.  This, by no means, should prevent one from cutting out beautiful wreaths as long as there are fluted rounds and/or plain round cookie cutters on hand.  These are a must for any baker of any baking skill level.  The snowflakes and snowmen cookies do require you to have cutters in those shapes, but they can be found just about anywhere baking supplies are sold.  Online is best these days! Christmas Wreath and Snowflake Sugar Cookies on Wedgwood The wreath i

Thanksgiving 2020

  It's Thanksgiving, a day to be thankful for what we have. I have my health, as does my husband. Our baby cat is healthy and happy. The house is warm and our plates are never empty. Mom, dad, my brothers, sisters-in-law, my niece and nephews are all healthy (they're  celebrating the holidays responsibly). Every day I am thankful for this. My family are never taken for granted.  Peace and love to you and your cherished ones. Happy Thanksgiving,  David

Thanksgiving Sugar Cookies

This year's Thanksgiving will undoubtedly be different in many ways for everyone.  Small gatherings of immediate family members that live in one's household only is what we should be doing.  Let us follow proper guidelines now so that we can gather with our loved ones to celebrate many more holidays in the future.  I want everyone to be safe and healthy. Thanksgiving Sugar Cookies Sitting here on this L.E. Smith Caramel Glass cake stand is a set of Thanksgiving-themed sugar cookies that are absolutely easy to make.  No intricate designs that require skill.  Perfectly baked sugar cookies, a bit of tinted royal icing, a few tools to help you along, and you're good to go!   Make a small batch of sugar cookies in the shapes of turkeys, acorns, adorable foxes and some apples to have at the dessert table for your family.  Get the kids involved and have them personalize turkeys with the names or initials of those who will be sitting for the feast at the end of the month.  If you w

Vintage Cream and Green Enamelware Canisters

My wonderful cream and green enamelware canisters from the early 1930s deserve to be recorded and displayed as reference for every collector out there.  What I try to do here on the blog is not only share ideas and creations, but I also hope to guide people in the right direction with correct information about a particular subject.  Nothing is more frustrating than doing an online search and coming up empty about the things I like to collect.     After opening a dialogue with several individuals here and abroad, I came to realize that no one had really written about the canisters that I love having in my colonial home.  Little did I know when I was able to acquire these, that it would lead to a new bounty of information about a particular company specializing in steel objects for the home.     Vintage Cream & Green Enamelware Canisters If you were to quickly glance at these cream and green enamelware canisters sitting on my large kitchen island, you might think that they were early

Martha by Mail Caramel Glass Cake Stands

My collection of L.E. Smith caramel glass cake stands from the Martha by Mail catalog is finally complete.  It took quite a while to gather each of these pieces, because I didn't have the luxury of buying them from the catalog when it was in business.  A vendor here with a set, a vendor there with one, and then the keen eye of a friend of mine (thank you Daniel!) who thought the cake stand may or may not have been a Martha by Mail piece.  That is how I acquired these cake stands.  This exclusive shade of slag glass was commissioned by Martha Stewart for her catalog business (Martha by Mail) in the late 1990s.  I've written  a detailed post about this collection before.  You can read about it by  clicking here .  The plain round cake stands for the catalog come in four sizes.  The smallest measures 6" in diameter and the largest measures 12" in diameter.  The ones in between measure 8" and 10" in diameter.   I had no idea that the 6" cake stand existed i

Ultimate Chocolate Cake

You can never go wrong with a chocolate layer cake.  Whether you make one for a birthday or to celebrate someone fantastic in your life, a tall, dark chocolate cake covered in a delicious buttercream is the way to go.  I have yet to find someone who refuses a slice of chocolate cake. Plan ahead: bake and cool the cake layers, and if not icing that day, wrap each layer in plastic wrap and chill until ready to use.  You can freeze the layers for up to one month (thaw overnight in the refrigerator).   For this cake, I used Martha Stewart's Ultimate Chocolate Cake.   Click here for the recipe.   I find that chilled cake layers are key for applying flawless Swiss meringue buttercream.  You can do it on room temperature cakes, but crumbs are more likely to come off if the layers aren't hardened a bit. Swiss meringue buttercream is perhaps one of the easiest buttercreams to make, because the preparation is straightforward and basic.  Egg whites and sugar get heated and whisked over a

Golfing and Fishing Sugar Cookies

Do you know an avid fisherman or golfer who is celebrating a birthday this year?  If you do and you happen to be a little crafty with cookies, consider making that individual some iced sugar cookies which depict putting greens and perhaps a fishing rod complete with hook and/or lure.  They make fantastic party favors. At the request of a dear neighbor whose husband was turning sixty, a set of sporty cookies were created for a milestone celebration.  The cookies were a snap to make.  Golfing & Fishing Sugar Cookies My neighbor Elfie even thought of a clever way to celebrate her husband's birthday during quarantine.  I'll show you what she did! Putting Green Sugar Cookies Putting Green Sugar Cookies :  using a game controller-shaped cookie cutter, cut out and bake as many of these shapes as needed.  Using leaf green royal icing and a #3 piping tip, outline and flood the inner shape of the putting green and let dry completely.  Outline and flood the outer

Honey Lemon Whole-Wheat Bread by Bernard Clayton

There's nothing like freshly-baked bread.  During these past few weeks I've been wanting to bake, but because of flour and yeast shortages at the supermarket, I have not been able to do so.  Finally, as if looking over the horizon onto an oasis, I found yeast at a local supermarket!  Wasting no time in bringing several packets home, I quickly assembled my ingredients for a nice loaf of bread.   Freshly Baked Whole Wheat Bread Bernard Clayton's book, 'New Complete Book of Breads', is my bread baking bible.  In it, there are dozens upon dozens of recipes covering different types of flours, grains and types of breads.  From quick breads to yeast risen breads, there is a little bit of everything for everyone.   Bread Baking Mise en Place I was looking at Clayton's whole wheat bread recipes, and decided to settle on the honey lemon whole wheat, which is found at the beginning of the chapter.   I love deep jars for storing my flours. Each jar