Friday, December 25, 2015


Wishing everyone a very Merry Christmas and a healthy and happy 2016.  Thank you for stopping by.

Friday, December 18, 2015


Hubby loves all things cranberry-orange so these cookies are a perennial favorite with him.
This is a simple recipe with one exception - it needs orange oil. You can use orange juice or orange extract but to get a true orange flavor you need to use orange oil.
This is not a high yield batch of cookies so I use my convection oven and bake them together, setting my timer and turn the trays around mid-bake.
If I am not going to drizzle white chocolate on these cookies I will sprinkle sparkling sugar on them before I bake them.
Just put some of the white chocolate in a microwave safe bowl and heat on high at 30 second increments, stirring after each 30 seconds, until the chocolate is melted.
I use a freezer strength zip lock bag and pour in the chocolate and then just when I am ready to drizzle zip off one end with scissors - just a little snip.
Ready to serve or for the freezer.

This lovely Sur le Table cookie plate was a recent birthday gift and I thought the perfect way to display some of these delicious cookies.


Preheat oven 350°


1 3/4 cups AP Flour, preferably King Arthur
 1 1/2 sticks softened butter (not margarine)
3/4 cups dried cranberries
The zest of one orange
1/2 scant tsp orange oil
2/3 cups white chocolate chips or chunks
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
1/3 cup sugar
1 egg, room temperature
 1 1/2 tsp cornstarch
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt


These are a little sticky so use Silpat mats or line cookie sheets with parchment.

Mix together flour, cornstarch, baking soda and salt in a bowl.

In your mixer cream together the butter and sugars and whip until nice and fluffy.

To the creamed mixture add the egg, the vanilla, orange zest and the orange oil, whip, scrape down the sides if necessary and whip some more to combine.

Gradually add the dry mixture, then the white chips and dried cranberries.

Make tablespoon size balls and set on the Silpat or parchment, if desired now is the time to sprinkle the balls with the sparkling sugar. If I add the sugar I flatten the balls a little.

Bake for approximately 10 minutes, if using your convection oven turn the sheets mid-way for even cooking.

Cool on racks, drizzle with the white chocolate if desired.


Orange oil, Whole Foods, Williams-Sonoma and other specialty food stores, I prefer Boyajian
Cookie plate, Sur le Table
Silpat Mats, specialty stores, online, Artisan Non-Stick Silicone Baking Mat - 2 Pack

Thank you for stopping by.



Thursday, December 17, 2015


Last Friday night was the Alzheimer's Idaho annual support group Christmas dinner.  If you follow this blog you know I volunteer for this wonderful grassroots, local organization. For the December get-together I also do a tablescape for them.  Friday was also the six week check-up for my new knee.  So....I did the table and decided to give myself a little break from standing in the kitchen for long periods making a dessert for them.

At my local bakery I bought a small chocolate cake - just plain and then removed all of the frosting that I could remove and frosted the cake with homemade vanilla bean buttercream, lined the bottom with editable pearls and then added fondant snowflakes dusted with sparkling sugar.

Store bought cupcakes with white chocolate curls - I just added some of the fondant snowflakes. I don't think they minded and I also sent vanilla and peppermint ice cream to be served with the cake and cupcakes.
Using Wilton fondant, I simple rolled out the fondant (sprinkling my counter with powdered sugar so the fondant would not stick) and then brushed with vodka and add the sugar, let them dry overnight in the oven with no heat and then the next day turned them over and brushed them again and added more sugar and let them dry again.  They need to be dry and firm to be able to stand up in the cupcakes and the cake.

I did a white on white tablescape so the white frosted cupcakes and cake went well with the theme of the table.

I hear the ladies and their hostess had a great evening.


Fondant, Walmart and other stores in the baking area
Wilton sprinkle sugar, Specialty baking stores, Wilton White Sparkling Sugar, Net Wt. 8 oz.
Decorative edible pearls, Specialty baking stores, Ck Products Candy Beads Pearl White 7mm 3.5 oz.
Snowflake cookie cutters, Snowflake Tin Cookie Cutter 8 Piece Set L1989
Lighted tree, Tuesday Morning

White Reindeer, Tuesday Morning
Scalloped chargers, Pier One
White flatware, Tuesday Morning
Nikko Christmastime China
Link to previous post with more complete instructions for the snowflakes and a great cake recipe, Link

Thank you for stopping by.

Friday, December 11, 2015


I am often saying that a project was easy-peasy, you just need to be organized, etc. This project was not hard but a little complicated.
I found a couple of these large pillows (20") at my local Marshall's.  I loved them and did not discover until I got them home (bought two) just how very nice they are - zipper on the top and the insert is down.  I put one on my couch and the other on the matching love seat. I wanted to make matching pillows for the two chairs in the same room.  I looked at them for several days and finally figured out a way to make another pair of pillows.

The first thing I did was purchase a plaid tablecloth. Using the pillow as my guide I cut out the two covers.  Because I have made so many pillow covers I found this to be an easy way to cut these out - the plaid made great cutting guidelines.  I will include a pattern for cutting out the covers later in the post.
 Next I found a couple of snowflakes online, sized them to 8 1/2x 11 and printed them out on printer ready fabric paper.
 There are many fabric paper products available - my particular paper recommended that you print out the fabric paper and let it sit overnight before carefully removing the paper backing.
 So now you have fabric with your image transferred so how do you get this image onto your pillow without having to do intricate sewing?  You use a product like this one.  This product has removable paper on both sides of the Pellon - or fusible webbing.
Per the instructions with your product (may vary from product to product), remove the sticky side and place your fabric snowflake to this sticky side.
 Cut around the image to make the intricate cutting easier.
This is what you end up with - a snowflake.  Gently pull the backing off of the snowflake and you are ready to steam it onto the pillow.
After putting the pillow inside the cover, using a hot steam iron, place the snowflake on the pillow and go over it several times with the iron - and now you have a snowflake pillow.
This is the second pillow!  I love them and even though the pillows have a different plaid fabric they coordinate well and look great.  With the left over fabric from the tablecloth I am going to make napkins - you can never have too many Christmas napkins, right?
Pattern for pillow envelope.
Feel free to grab these snowflakes.


Pillows and tablecloth, Marshall's
Paper fabric, craft, hobby and office supply stores.Epson Iron-on Cool Peel Transfer (8.5x11 Inches, 10 Sheets) (S041153)
EZ-Steam-II,Pellon EZ Steam II 12"X9" Sheets 5/PKG-White

Thank you for stopping by.

Wednesday, December 9, 2015


Keeping with my deer, woodsy, plaid decorating theme I have this year, I gathered some materials and put together (with not a whole lot of effort) this arrangement for my entry table.
I pulled out an old copper bucket from the garage and then took all the fall flowers out of the urn....
Got out some Christmas greenery and transferred the florist foam from the urn to the copper bucket - you will note that unless they are cut up pieces I leave the wrapping on the florist foam - it tends to be very messy but not so much if you leave the wrapping on the blocks.  I never glue them or use that sticky florist tape I just make sure that the container if full and that the foam feels stable - that way they can be reused several times.
Last year after Christmas I found this lovely swag on sale 90% off and tucked it away planning on cutting it up to use in arrangements.  Good swags tend to be very stable and well made and this one was no exception - to cut this into usable pieces for an arrangements I had to go from needle-nose pliers to the big guns - had to borrow Hubby's tin snips.
I put the first piece in the back and used that piece to arrange the others around.
I used a deer from Antique Farmhouse - pushed his little deer feet into the florist foam to stabilize him and then pushed pieces of the chopped up swag around him.
Keeping with my theme added the wool flannel ribbon bow.
Added a couple of pieces of cut up grapevine wreath.
Added three large rustic jingle bells and I think I'm finished.
I added cute pine-cone candles on either side sitting in old Jello Molds. I love this old copper bucket - I have had it for years - it had the dent when I purchased it and it looks a little beat up but that is what I like best about it - looks well loved.  I have used it for so many things - it has even had fire wood in it for a time. Because of the dent it was highly discounted but if I don't want the dent to show I just turn it around.  I love the old (antique some would say) Jello molds mostly for tea lights or votives and they are safe being made out of aluminum. You can find them very reasonably at antique stores/malls, on Ebay and Etsy.

Getting closer to finishing my projects for decorating this year - a good feeling.


Pine cone candles, DecoGlow Pine Cone, Medium
Jello molds, Ebay, Etsy, antique stores
Copper bucket, Tuesday Morning
Florist foam, $ store, Walmart
Wool Flannel Ribbon, d. Stevens, Nell Hill's, 913-367-1086, Central time.
Swag, Hobby Lobby
Picks, Hobby Lobby
Large jingle bells, 80MM RUSTY BELL (12 pack)
Deer, Antique Farmhouse 

Grapevine to cut up in to half circles,Darice 1/2-Inch Twig Garland, 15-Feet

Thank you for stopping by.