Friday, December 3, 2010

Winter Wonderland Snowflake Cookies

My children's school had a winter wonderland fundraising evening, so I made some snowflake cookies for the bake sale table.  I love the robin's egg blue and tiffany blue so much so they were fun to make.  I packaged them in clear goodie bags with ribbon for the children to buy.  

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Pumpkin Whoopie Pies

 This is what I'm bringing to Thanksgiving dinner.  
I found the recipe at the Martha Stewart website and followed it to a T.  The only change I made was to bake the pies on Silpat sheets instead of parchment paper.  Be careful not to over bake them, they taste so good when they are moist.  The cream cheese filling is incredibly delicious!  What are you making for Thanksgiving?

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Autumn Cookies

Now that fall has arrived, we've been busy getting into the spirit of colorful leaves and brisk nights by baking some cookies.  The oven warms the house and the cookies smell so good.  I added some lemon to the cookie dough and it tastes wonderful.
What are you doing to cozy things up this fall?  

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

A Vintage Craft Party

Every since I can remember, our daughter has liked tape and scissors.  It was only natural that she wanted a craft party to celebrate her 6th birthday.  We started out with the idea that we'd put craft supplies on the table in old blue mason jars, so we used that aqua blue color and pink on invitations.  Carli at Dimpleprints found a vintage scissor images and put together this wonderful invitation.  (I've deleted the contact info and address for web privacy.)
Colored pencils, scissors, markers and paintbrushes filled the jars.  Alongside is some of Elise's original artwork.  (hmm, I think she was 3!)

I found these old fashioned striped paper straws on 62cards' Etsy shop, and added the flags to them.  Don't they look sweet in the old mason jar?  I found quite a few at a local antique shop, and I borrowed some from my mother in law.
We made "windsocks" out of embroidery hoops and crepe paper.  I found the directions in Better Homes and Gardens magazine.

Monday, September 27, 2010

A Science Party

It all started with the idea for a science party. My son loves to learn new things and what boy doesn't like to watch something erupt?  We found some wonderful invitations on Etsy by  Carli of Dimpleprints.  She will put all of your information in to a file and email it to you so that you may print it at home, or at a print shop if you prefer.  Fantastic for me to get them out to all of my son's friends at the last possible minute!  (What can I say, it's the end of summer and school started on my son's birthday!  I was a bit overwhelmed to say the least!  :)

I did a search for science experiments and came up with the Steve Spangler website.  A great resource for experiments, and inexpensive ingredients.  We purchased instant snow, glow in the dark powder, a geyser tube and magic sand

I had my husband bend a regular round cookie cutter into an erlenmyer flask shape and made cookies.  I added pearls for bubbles and sprayed the cookies with pearlized spray.

I found beakers and erlenmeyer flasks at Scientific Equipment of Houston.  We filled the small beakers and flasks with water and food coloring.

I found plastic petri dishes at Steve Spangler Science.  We filled them with Jello and put the sprinkles in to make it look like bacteria growing in medium.

We found a local store that carries dry ice.  I filled the large beakers and cylindrical vases (found at Michaels craft store.)  I filled the vases with Aqua Gems.  They come as small spheres that swell up when water is added.  I also purchased water proof lights and put them in with the beads.  Since the vases were glass, I put plastic containers in the top of the vase with water to drop the dry ice in.  (Dry ice can shatter glass.)  It looked so cool, especially outside on the table at night.  You must be careful that the kids can not touch the dry ice as it can burn their skin.

The kids enjoyed making "tornados" out of two liter bottles and a coupler from Steve Spangler Science.

I think this was the favorite experiment of the night - Slime!  We made it with white school glue, water, food coloring and borax.  We also added some glow in the dark powder for fun.  

It was a hot night, so instead of cake we had Rita's italian ice with sparkler candles.  It was the perfect treat to cool off with.  (And allergen free for our friends with nut, egg and dairy allergies!)

We also served Izze Sparling Juice for the kids.  It's made with juice and carbonation so a bit less sugar.  It went over big, since the kids thought they were getting away with tons of soda!

Carli of Dimpleprints created the design for the favor tags.  I made them into stickers too and used them on the tops of our slime containers.  On Escapade Direct's site, I found plastic test tube and rubber stoppers.  I filled these with the snow, sand and gel beads and put them in clear bags for party favors.  (Along with some great magnets I found at 5 below,  Pop Rocks and the erlenmyer flask cookies

We also sent pictures from the party to Dimpleprints for our Thank you notes.  They turned out great, and Cole wrote his notes on the reverse side.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Bella Luna

This is one of my favorite stores in Rehobeth.  I always look forward to shopping here because it is a visual smorgasboard.  No matter how many times I walk through the store, I always discover something I haven't seen on my last pass through.
  The displays are just gorgeous.  How about this ferris wheel?
Isn't this chandelier pretty?  I am attracted to the beautiful blue color, and with the little birds on it, I could picture it in a nursery.

Love this vintage party hat!
Fun pom poms on this purse!
There is beautiful jewelry throughout the store, artfully placed, such as this display with a glass cloche.
This little felt house is so sweet.  The store also carried a selection of Eeboo games and coloring supplies.
Bella Luna is located at 127 Rehobeth Avenue. Rehobeth Beach, Delaware.  You can view their website here, and their blog here, or friend them on Facebook!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Holy Hydrangeas!

Oh it's my favorite flower, blooming in abundance in my yard.  I love them so much that I cultivate them so I can have even more!  Below is my favorite white hydrangea.  It's an Annabelle that was given to me in remembrance of my Grandmother.  I love that the flower heads are huge, pure white and don't wilt in the heat.  The flower in the front is probably 8 inches across.

This is the hydrangea that was at our house when we bought it.  I don't know which type it is, but it is a true blue.  When I wasn't sure if we should get the house, this bush is what pushed me over the edge.

This is Hydrangea Macrophylla Blauer Prinz - Notice how large each of the flowers are on the flower head?
Hydrangea Macrophylla Ayesha.  I find the way the petals cup to be really sweet.  I had never seen this particular plant before so I had to snap it up when I saw it on Hydrangea's Plus site.

This hydrangea was a gift to my from my sister in law.  My daughter is thrilled by the pink shade.  I don't know the variety, but it's is pink every year, and more compact than my other plants.
If you are interested in hydrangeas, I highly recommend Hydrangeas Plus.  Their site is very informative and they have many plants to choose from.  What is your favorite flower?

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Wedding Cookies

I just finished these cookies for a wedding and thought I should share them with you!  They are decorated with royal icing, dragees, pearls and Disco Dust.  I found the dragees and pearls at Fancy Flours and the Disco Dust at Sunflower Sugar Art.  I spread the royal icing on and let it dry.  Then I sprayed the cookies with PME Lustre Spray in Pearl for a little sparkle.  I piped on some lines of icing and sprinkled on the Disco Dust or placed pearls and dragees on the intersections.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Cookies to Celebrate a Birthday

A good friend asked me to make cookies to celebrate his sister's 50th birthday.  I found these champagne flute cookie cutter and couldn't resist them.  I used edible pearls to make the bubbles.  Using more than one size pearl helps the illusion.  I had to incorporate some glitter too!  (Disco Dust, available here.)  I have to share a new find.  PME Lustre Spray.  (You can purchase it at Country Kitchens Sweet Art.)  One quick spray and your icing becomes pearlized and a bit sparkly, but not too much.

Since the party will be around the pool, I tried some summery colors for the rest of the cookies.  these incorporate more of a freeform icing style for the relaxed nature of hanging out poolside.

I ended up spraying all of the cookies with the PME Lustre Spray after I took this photo.  It pulled everything together with a touch of sheen.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

The Best Breakfast: Petit Provence, Portland Oregon

While visiting Portland, we ate out a many different restaurants, and Petit Provence Boulangerie and Patisserie was the standout.  Many a morning I wake up thinking of the display of pasteries, and the excellent breakfast I had there.  I had the Risotto Cakes with eggs.  So incredibly yummy!
Just to make you salivate, here is the description of this flavorful dish:
Slow simmered risotto rice with bacon, asparagus, mushrooms, red onions and fresh basil finished with cream.  The risotto is then formed into cakes, lightly breaded and grilled to perfection.  Topped with poached eggs with crowd pleasing provencal potatoes and butternut squash on the side.

The cases at the front of the store were filled with the most beautiful pasteries.
How pretty are the checkerboard cookies?
I can not get over how fancy the script is on these lemon tarts.
The empty trays prove how popular this eatery is with the locals.
This wonderful pear pastry was sublime.  I can proudly say there was not a crumb left!

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Portland, Oregon!

I'm just back in from visiting my sister in Portland, Oregon.   We saw some beautiful gardens, ate at some wonderful restaurants, shopped at some super cool stores and experienced a few museums.  The Hollywood farmers market near her house was a lushness of fresh veggies that I just have to share...

I love the colors of these radishes.  They were truly perfect, not a crack among them.
Everything looked so fresh and inviting.  If you are in Portland, you must stop by!

Friday, June 4, 2010

Teacher's Gifts

The end of the school year is fast approaching so I thought I'd share what I am doing for teacher's gifts this year.  I often hesitate to give actual gifts, because no matter how nice you think the item is, it just might not be someone's taste.  I picked out something I thought would be useful, yet fun.

I found these wonderful baskets on Etsy at SewCute Thread's shop.  These baskets could be used to carry items to the classroom, the beach, on a picnic or the farmer's market.  My friend and I went together on these gifts, so we were able to fill them with some flowers and beautiful note cards from Target's Liberty of London line.  (On clearance!)  What are you gifting your child's teacher this year?

Sunday, May 9, 2010

A Thank You to Mothers

A very happy Mothers Day to all moms out there!  It's only my 7th chance to celebrate the occasion, and as such I still think of it for a day to thank my mom and mother in law for all that they do.  Especially for what they have done to make me and my husband the adults we are today.  Our meal of choice is brunch because is it fun to make (and eat!)  I am lucky to have an abundance of pansies in the garden to decorate with so I added them to the watermelon, strawberry and kiwi salad.

My daughter helped decorate the table with more pansies.  Very elegant.

My husband treated us to his special handmade crepe recipe.  I especially love the crispy edges!

A strawberry coulis for an angel food cake.  I just threw some strawberries, lemon juice and a pinch of sugar in a bowl and pureed them with a stick blender.

I made some simple drop scones to tide the kids over until breakfast was ready.

2 cups all purpose flour
1/3 cup sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/3 cup butter
1/3 cup orange juice
1/3 cup milk
2 tablespoons grated orange peel
1/2 cup chocolate chips.  (Or white chips, dried cranberries or raisins)

Heat oven to 375 degrees, grease cookie sheets.
In a large bowl, combine dry ingredients well.  Using a pastry blender or fork, cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.  Add orange juice, peel and milk and stir until just moistened.  Stir in chocolate chips and drop by heaping teaspoonfuls on greased sheet.  Top each scone with cinnamon and sugar and bake for 8-10 minutes.  Serve warm.
*adapted from Pillsbury The Complete Book of Baking.

Some pretty gerbera daisies, one bouquet for each mom.

The grandest gift of all, handmade cards from my children.