Thursday, April 12, 2018

I'm off to the MacKenzie-Childs Warehouse Sale!!

Wish me luck! Not that I need a thing :-)

UPDATE 4/14/18:  We had a wonderful time at the sale, met some wonderful people, and I will post about the sale and the Traveling Tote on June 1. 

 20+ years ago, my co-workers happened upon MacKenzie-Childs in Aurora, NY (Finger Lakes region of New York). I had never heard of it. Enthusiastically, they would tell us about their purchases, most of which were seconds at reduced prices that they bought from Richard and Victoria MacKenzie-Childs. 

In 2017, MacKenzie-Childs hosted their FIRST warehouse sale in Union Springs, NY. We went, we enjoyed it. Not too crowded. It was like the July barn sale, just on a smaller scale and MUCH LESS crowded. This year may be different since it seems EVERYONE found out about it.  LOL

In the photo above, you will see the "black and white checks". Courtly Check got its start more than 30 years ago and in 1995 it was featured on the enamelware in the Camp MacKenzie-Childs collection, which was designed for casual outdoor use and glamping. The enamelware was called Roasted Marshmallow because mixed in with the overall black and white check were subtle hints of additional colors that resembled the caramelized sugar on marshmallows toasted over an open fire. A few years later, the pattern was renamed Courtly Check after an editor referred to MacKenzie-Childs as “the court jester of tabletop.”

This is me last April at the sale. And I still love that wreath that I bought!

Headed out early on Saturday. I'll be back soon with a full report!

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Tales of the Traveling Tote Swap - The Taste of Southwest CT

I had some winter therapy with some of the Tales of the Traveling Tote bloggers that participated in a swap called "The Taste Of....." where we exchanged gifts that included items of our area. My swap partner was Linda at More Fun Less Laundry 
Linda is from southwest CT and sent a fabulous gift box.

I had no idea that PEZ are made in CT. The factory, museum and shop would be a fun place to visit! I'm sure you remember those crunchy little rectangles of sugar you may have consumed as a child! Did you know that PEZ is an abbreviation of the German word for Peppermint: PfeffErminZ?  I chuckled when Linda sent me the PEZ as it reminded me of a co-worker that has a Pez collection of 700 that she's accumulated over the years and keeps quite a few of them on display in her office.
Gingerbitz is very popular in New Canaan, CT, owned by a husband and wife team, and the wife started baking as a child in her Suzy Homemaker oven. So did I, and should have opened a sweet shoppe!! :-) I would love to know her secret gingerbread recipe. Yum!
Thank you Linda for my very first piece of Juliska!  A few members of our tote group have a passion for the dishes, and I have long admired it. I love this little candy/nut dish!
I am familiar with the Terrain store through bloggers, and lucky Linda has one close to her home. Terrain started out as Anthropologie's house and garden shop and the one near Linda has a cafe with excellent food. Linda sent me a recipe for white bean and arugula soup, and I have planted the arugula seeds in a pot. Soup will be on the menu in May (I hope).

In case you want to stop by and see what the other pairs who participated each swapped, they are as follows:
Patti at Pandora's Box and Emily at The French Hutch
Ricki Jill at The Sketchy Reader and Jackie at Purple Chocolat Home
Linda P at Life and Linda and Jenna at The Painted Apron
Rita at Panoply and Sarah at Hyacinths for the Soul

One more thing before you go, I spotted some Banana Oatmeal muffins on IG and have been nibbling on these at my desk this week. Now I need some of Sarah's lemon pie!
Until next time, have a wonderful week!

Friday, March 30, 2018


I've been hopping all over this month of March and this bunny needed a vacation day so she could play with No Bake Easter Bunny Bark and getting the table set for our crew. I broke up the bunny bark and put into small Easter gift bags with a window so the bunnies could peek out. 
 Joe has the Good Friday holiday off from school, so we were able to coordinate our schedules. I better hop to it since we are also hosting Easter on Sunday and thankful that my two sisters and nieces have offered to bring several side dishes. I am making salmon for Joe since he dislikes ham. And I'm hoping it will look as pretty as this. 

When I saw these Bunny Lollipops, I knew I wanted to make one for Xavier. I may also put a few on the Easter table as well. I better get hopping as I have made only one so far!
My wonderful co-worker is leaving me after 31 years! Boy do we have memories of attending sales meetings in several states. I think my favorite was the Dude Ranch in Lake George, NY when my horse's saddle came loose and I was hanging on for dear life.  We were in our 20's when we started with the company, and I am going to miss seeing her at work every day. I know she is only a text and phone call away, but I will truly miss seeing her beautiful face. I still can't believe she is leaving but am very happy for her.

For those who celebrate, I wish you a very blessed Easter! 

Friday, March 16, 2018

St. Joseph's Day

Italian cream puffs are always made around this time of year and especially on March 19th, the Feast of San Giuseppe, St. Joseph's day. In the bakery, you have your choice of the traditional vanilla custard (zeppoli) and the other is filled with a rich cannoli cream (Sfinge). I drive by Cafe Caruso several times a week, see the handwritten signs and of course had to stop at least once (photo above). The feast honors the patron saint of all fathers, and since my husband's name is Joseph (his family is from Massena, a harbor city in northeast Sicily), he enjoys them "the Debbie way". He asked that I make them if I had the time so I made eight last evening and will make eight more on Monday. 
 I've been using a recipe from a handwritten cookbook that my friend's family put together over 30 years ago. I had very little interest in baking desserts when I was younger, and when I made these cream puffs for the office (at age 25) everyone raved about them and asked for the recipe. They probably didn't bake either. LOL I remember being so proud of myself and it was one of my first successful baking experiences. So fast forward to St. Joseph's Day, the cream puffs are consumed on his Name Day, it is a celebration that is larger than one's own birthday. I've made cream puffs for him a couple times on St. Joseph's Day but almost forgot this year until he asked if I was making them :-) And I just realized that I have never blogged about the cream puffs. Hope you will give them a try. 

Debbie's (and Joe's) Cream puffs

Heat to rolling boil in saucepan:

1 cup water
½ cup butter

Stir in:

1 cup sifted flour

Keep stirring over low heat until mixture leaves pan and forms well – about 1 minute. Remove from heat.

Beat in thoroughly:

4 eggs – one at a time

Stir until smooth and velvety. Drop from spoon onto ungreased baking pan. Bake at 400 until dry 45-50 minutes. Cool puffs before filling. Makes 8.

2 half pints heavy cream
1 ¼ cup cold milk
1 package instant vanilla pudding

Whip all ingredients until thick. The filling makes enough for 16 puffs.

Filling the puffs:

Cut off tops; pull out any filaments of soft dough. Fill puffs with filling. Replace tops. Dust with powdered sugar or drizzle with chocolate. Refrigerate until serving time.

Wishing everyone a good weekend!

Monday, March 12, 2018

March is Maple Month

Living in Central New York, we are accustomed to seeing signs for maple syrup for sale and the buckets attached to the trees that collect the sap. My love of maple syrup started as a child and our parents would treat us to maple sugar candy in our Easter baskets. And in the summer, they would treat us to maple walnut ice cream at an ice cream stand on the way to our camp. To this day, I still enjoy maple walnut ice cream if we are out for a drive and stop for ice cream. We were recently in Lake Placid and picked up some maple syrup from the Black Rooster, and I have to resist putting it on everything :-)
I use manilla folders to organize my recipes, and they contain only recipes that are winners that I wish to make again and again. Would you like to see my drawer in the kitchen? LOL A few years ago I was delighted to find a biscotti recipe on La Table De Nana's blog. The recipe came from Costco Connection Magazine so please check it out at their site if you are interested. If you are a maple lover, this biscotti will win you over big time. 
If you are hosting Easter this year, may I suggest this cute bunny decoration for your door. I bought the last one they had at our store, and am glad I spotted her. For ten dollars, all I had to do was add a couple checked eggs and a ribbon. 
Joe "the cannoli man" made cannoli and three Stromboli for Xavier's second birthday celebration. This little guy is growing up so fast.

Thanks for stopping by!


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