Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Celebrating our 6th Anniversary!

January marks our 6th anniversary, and that is cause for  celebration! What better way to celebrate than with a giveaway? The first of six,this giveaway will be the beautiful new book by Darcy Miller, Celebrate Everything! It has gorgeous photos,fun ideas and delicious recipes you will love. Head over to our instagram page for details . Good Luck!

Monday, January 9, 2017

Saying Goodbye to the Holidays

  I spent the better part of this past week putting away all of the things I love to place around my home during the Christmas season. Today, I will work on the tree. I always feel a bit sad taking it down because I love the glow of the lights every night, and the cozy warmth it gives to my living room. However, as we know, all good things must come to an end, and while the house definitely looks empty without it, I also enjoy the fresh start of a new year.
   As I pack my ornaments, dinnerware and assorted decorations, I wanted to take the time to share a few of my old favorites,along with some new favorites with you.
  I am a lover of Lenox. Have been for as long as I can remember. I cannot recall when I originally purchased these plates, but I absolutely love them. They are from the Lenox Old Williamsburg Boxwood and Pine series,and they are one of my favorite sets to use throughout the holidays.I had the matching mugs, but sadly,they encountered my children over the years and are no longer part of my collection. One of these days I will look for replacements,if I am ever able to find them.
 




Each plate is designed with a different seasonal fruit. The fruits are apple,pear,pomegranate and orange. I just love these...they make me happy.
    I also received some new gifts this year that I absolutely love and am looking forward to decorating/using for many years to come.
   I've had my eye on this plaid pattern from Le Creuset since I first spotted it in the Williams Sonoma holiday catalog. When I received it as a gift just prior to Christmas,I could not wipe the smile off my face!  I am looking forward to making some wonderful holiday dishes in this for many years to come.
 When this packaged arrived,I was so excited! Naturally, when I see anything made by Lenox,I am happy. I adore these beautiful measuring cups. The perfect gift for a baker! I also recieved this beautiful pillow and blanket, which are part of the Martha Stewart collection. I must tell you, as a girl who is always freezing come winter, this blanket is by far, one of the warmest,coziest blankets I 've had in a long time. I will definitely put the pillow away until next Christmas, but the blanket...that is another story.
I also purchase these large candy decorations this year from QVC. They light up each night with a timer and really add a festive feel to my dining room. Fun and whimsical.
 
One of the last things I put away are my ornaments. I just love having the tree up, and try to keep it up as long as possible. Inevitably, I take everything down because I do not want to be that crazy person that still has a tree up in February! I have, as I am sure many of you have as well, collected many ornaments over the years. Again, Lenox tops my list, along with Radko, Annalee and various others. I started my collection of Lenox ornaments when I was first married. My husband would purchase one for me each year and I love them all. Here are a few of my favorites.
 

 

 I love the  Victorian style of both of these ornaments. Just reminds me of an old fashioned Christmas.
Love the snow scene of the first,and the decor of the building on the other. Such beautiful art work. The ornament below is one I found on ebay and had to have. Love the fireplace theme.
I also happen to love cardinals, so I always have a few on my tree.

The first is Lenox, and I believe the second may be Martha Stewart, but not 100% sure. It is one of my favorites.
   What is Christmas without a few mice?


The first two are from Annalee and the last a Christopher Radko. Love them all,especially the gingerbread baker.
 
One of my oldest, and most treasured ornaments is this one. Sleeping Christmas mice in their cozy little sardine can and teacup. This is the first of the  Lenox series "Twas the Night Before Christmas." It was given to me by my hubby,and each year when I take it out and hang it up,it evokes a plethora of wonderful memories.
    Well, time to wrap them all up and put them away until next year, except the blanket.That is staying attached to me all winter!
  Wishing you all good health, love,luck and friendship in 2017. I hope it is a sweet year for us all.
 

Thursday, January 5, 2017

A New Year!

Well, it is 2017 and I have a lot of things to share with you! I have been so busy making cookies that I have fallen behind on my posts, so this one will share many pictures of all that has been going on in my kitchen. Better late than never,right?
 
I will begin with Halloween. I made many platters for many people,so I will share a few here.
I had an opportunity to make and send cookies to The GO BO! Foundation fundraiser this year(children's cancer awareness), which I was very happy to participate in. These are some of the sweets I sent. Here are a few more Halloween platters....


I also made a variety of goodies for Thanksgiving.
 

 I am throwing in this random picture of Thanksgiving flowers because I loved them so much! I received them from www.bloomsybox.com , a great company that sends flowers whenever you need them or on a monthly basis. I get the monthly bouquets to brighten up my living room! Fun!

  As December approached, I was busy making many holiday platters, but had some other special platters to make as well. A special 9 year old was excited about her Spongebob cookie platter!
 
 These baby elephants made their way to a baby shower for a sweet mom to be!
 I always like to offer my services to people and causes I believe in. These dog themed cookies went to a fundraiser for a local animal shelter,Bobbi & The Strays, who do a wonderful job placing loving animals with great families.
 The ice-cream cookies were one of a variety of sweets I made for a 5 year old boy's special celebration at school!

 Emojis are also a popular theme this year!
 These are gifts for soccer/football coaches.
I also made some Mickey themed cookies for the sweetest 1 year old!! My nephew!
Then, my world became one big blur of Christmas cookies! Below are a few of my favorites.





 This one was fun to create. It was for one of the Radio City Rockettes and her family. Her mom requested the soldiers,which is everyone's favorite part of the Radio City Christmas Spectacular!! Love the show,and loved making the cookies!
 Another friend requested ugly sweaters,without any specific holiday theme! She later told me some of the people she worked with took some home to decorate their trees!

 Chocolate covered pretzels are always on the holiday menu.
 I loved making this box of joy for a couple who bring joy to so many others, They loved it!

 This platter was one of my favorites. It was for a local family who have a serious health issue they are battling and I wanted to include some angels for them. They loved it,and I keep them in my prayers daily.
 This platter was made to celebrate a birthday,New Year's and Hanukkah for a great family!
I

Every so often, I receive a request that I consider to be special. Below are pictures of cranberry/pistachio ice-cream cakes,along with a platter of sweets. These cakes aren't something I ordinarily make,however a very close family friend asked if I would make them for her husband. His mother made them for him every year for Christmas as well as his birthday. This would be their first Christmas without her and she thought it would lift his spirits if I could make these for him. I did, and he enjoyed them. Honestly, I was not only flattered to be asked to replicate his mother's special cake, but honored to do so,as she was one of the nicest women I had the pleasure of knowing. Special requests such as this,really make the holidays special.
 Whew! I know that I shared a lot of pictures today, but now I feel as if I am all caught up! Now, I will be  posting more often and sharing new recipes,baking tips,decorating tips and more fun ideas with you!Check in often! Happy New Year!!

Thursday, October 6, 2016

October Salad

 
I love a good pasta salad. This delicious salad is quick,easy,versatile  and festive too! I was able to find purple cauliflower at my local farmer's market, but any color will do. The kids will love the colors and the flavor! It is a great way to get your kids to eat veggie pasta as well as new,colorful vegetables.Feel free to substitute any shape of pasta or different  vegetables. This makes a great addition to any Halloween party table. The dressing is also wonderful on a green salad.

Salad Ingredients:
1 lb. pasta(I used both orange veggie and regular penne pasta)
1 small head of cauliflower,blanched in boiling water for approx.one minute
1 small head of broccoli,blanched in boiling water  for approx. one minute
2 carrots,peeled and cut into 1 inch rounds
1 red pepper,chopped
1/2 small red onion,sliced thin
1/2 small sweet onion,chopped
1 clove of garlic,chopped
black olives,sliced(as many as you like)
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
fresh mozzrella,cubed
1 scallion, chopped
fresh basil,chopped

Dressing:
1 clove of garlic,minced
2 Tbsp. white vinegar
1 tsp. Dijon mustard
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1/4 c. of good olive oil

- Mix all of the dressing ingredients together.Whisk well, set aside until ready to use. Store any extra in the refrigerator for up to one week.
** I like to mix mine in a mason jar. Just toss in all the ingredients, put on the lid,shake and pour onto the salad. Then just put the lid back on to store any extra in the refrigerator.


-Cook the pasta according to the manufacturer's directions,approximately 5 minutes.Drain and place in a large mixing bowl. It should be al dente.
-While the pasta is cooking, mix the red pepper,sweet onion,carrots and garlic with 2 tbsp. of olive oil, salt and pepper. Place in a 350 degree oven and roast for ten minutes.
-When they vegetables have finished roasting, mix them and any oil left in the pan with the pasta,cauliflower and broccoli in a large bowl. Add in the mozzarella,scallions,red onion,basil,olives and grated parmesan. Drizzle with the dressing while pasta is still warm so it absorbs the flavor. Toss well. Enjoy immediately or cover and refrigerate for later use.


Enjoy!

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Earn Holiday Savings with Sur la Table


   I always like to share when I find great recipes,products or a great deal. This is a great way to save some money this holiday season. Sur la Table is currently offering a way to save on your Holiday shopping. Their "Earn Holiday Savings" program allows you to earn points from all of your purchases between now and November 23rd. You will then be sent an email with a savings code on November 29th, which will be good between 11/29-12/12. If you need to make any purchases for your Thanksgiving gatherings,or you are setting up a new home or even attending some bridal showers, this is a great way to save some money for your later holiday shopping. See the Sur la Table website for all the details. Happy Shopping!

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

What's Been Going on in my Kitchen


It has been a while since my last post. I have been busy enjoying the last of our summer days, and getting everyone back to school. Now the house is quiet again, and I have an opportunity to catch up on some work. Here are a few pictures of what I've been working on over the past few months.
   The Peanuts themed platter above was for a young lady's 21st birthday. She also happens to be a fan of Charlie Brown and the gang. This was a fun one to decorate!

   Typically, I slow down my baking during the hot summer months. However, I did make this beach themed platter,along with chocolate covered pretzels for my friend's daughter's birthday celebration.

 

I also made birthday favors for another party. Each guest received three pretty cookie candles to take home.
 
This platter was an assortment for a fun backyard BBQ.
 
A lovely lady was celebrating her 93rd birthday and was looking for some sweets to bring to her local church coffee hour. I made her an assortment of muffins,scones,cookies and mini tarts. She loved them!

 
This past week, emojis were on the menu. These were the three favorites of a sweet young girl for her party favors.
 
   I also made some banana-chocolate chip muffins for my family. Now that the weather is cooling down,I love to turn on the ovens and bake! Those are also mini baby boo pumpkins from our garden in the background!
This week I will be working on cookies I am donating to the GoBo Foundation.Very excited about that, and I will post the pictures of my decorated goodies before I ship them!

Have a sweet week!