Sunday, February 11, 2018

A Sweet February

 Ready to play along? This blog post will be short and "sweet" I promise :-) This is the sunroom in our house, the room I blog in. Lots of windows and skylights, perfect for a romantic, locally sourced dinner from the farmers and food artisans of the Oneida County Public Market. 
 We decided to show how much we care by cooking with our own two hands for our anniversary. We picked up our "Farm Gate to Dinner Plate" meal ingredients from our public market. They chose the menu and gave us the ingredients.
 I love how they did the bread. You just pull apart the sections. No slicing necessary!  
 The table is set, I froze the bread and will warm it up on Wednesday. They also gave us some wonderful cookies for dessert but I had already made the heart sugar cookies so I froze them. Joe's picking up a small bouquet of roses for the center of the table. This table is small and space is of a premium. 
 The menu is below. I can't wait for this dinner to happen. LOL
I appreciate you stopping by!

Thursday, February 1, 2018

Valentine's Day

 I am still swooning over these heart shaped sugar cookies with Magnolia Bakery buttercream frosting that I've made for Valentine's day for several years. It is the only buttercream recipe I ever use. Even though I think making these cookies is a big accomplishment (ha ha), you must check out this Gal-entines Day Dessert Party. Major swoon!!!
My husband is drawn to hearts when we shop at antique stores and second hand stores, and sneaks a heart purchase while I am still wandering through the store. I use several of the cookie cutters making a variety of heart cookies. I use he mini one for my grandson Xavier now that he can eat cookies. 

I like to start my baking early, so here is the recipe if you'd like to try it. I was shopping for Easter bunnies yesterday. I guess in blogland we are thinking a holiday ahead :-)

World Famous Paradise Bakery Sugar Cookies with Magnolia Bakery Buttercream Frosting

Cookie Ingredients:

1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup powdered sugar
2 cups vegetable shortening
3/4 teaspoon vanilla
1 large egg, beaten
3 1/3 cups cake flour
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt

1) Preheat oven to 375°.
2) In a medium bowl, cream together the sugars and shortening using an electric mixer.
 3) Mix on slow speed 30 seconds, then scrape down the bowl with a spatula.
4) Increase speed to medium and mix for 3 minutes.
5) Slowly add vanilla and beaten egg while mixing.
6) In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Gradually add the flour mixture to the mixing bowl, mixing on slow speed until just blended. Do not overmix.
 7) Scoop with an ice-cream scoop if decorating with sugar only
8) Place directly on cookie sheet.
9) Bake at 375° for 9-10 minutes. Cookies are done when small cracks appear and are pale golden. Ideally, the edges do not brown.

If making cut out cookies form dough in to two balls, chill dough in refrigerator for at least two hours covered.

Roll out dough on floured surface and cut out cookies with desired shaped cookie cutters.
Place directly on cookie sheet. Bake at 375° for 9-10 minutes. Cookies are done when small cracks appear and are pale golden. Ideally, the edges do not brown.

Decorate with Buttercream Frosting or Sugar (See recipe below).

Magnolia Bakery Buttercream Frosting Ingredients:

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
6 to 8 cups confectioners' sugar
1/2 cup milk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Place the butter in a large mixing bowl. Add 4 cups of the sugar and then the milk and vanilla. On the medium speed of an electric mixer, beat until smooth and creamy, about 3 to 5 minutes. Gradually add the remaining sugar, 1 cup at a time, beating well after each addition (about 2 minutes), until the icing is thick enough to be of good spreading consistency. You may not need to add all of the sugar. If desired, add a few drops of food coloring and mix thoroughly. (Use and store the icing at room temperature because icing will set if chilled.) Icing can be stored in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

Monday, January 29, 2018

Groundhog Day Anyone?

In case you need a sweet treat for Groundhog Day this week! Seems like there are so many fun events coming up. We are going to a Winter Olympics dinner party next Saturday, and I was assigned the Bobsled event, Jamaica is my country and my representative food is Jerk Chicken wings. I will do a trial run on the wings for the Super Bowl. 

I couldn't resist making these cute little guys a few years ago. ~♥~

They have all my favorite flavors: ginger, cloves, cinnamon and molasses.

(Recipe source: Click here Penzeys.)

Thank you for stopping by!


Monday, January 22, 2018

No-Knead Cranberry Walnut Bread and Saturday in the Finger Lakes

Oh Beautiful for spacious skies is how I felt taking this photo at MacKenzie-Childs on a sunny, winter day. It was truly the perfect winter day with an amazing sunset. We usually get at least one of these days all winter. LOL 

My friend Monique posted her beautiful bread on IG and I was inspired to bake a loaf of easy bread before we left for the Finger Lakes on Saturday. This is a NO KNEAD bread, so I put all ingredients in a bowl Friday evening when I got home from work. 

Stirred it, and let it sit overnight on the kitchen counter. In the morning, I turned on the oven to 475 degrees, heated the cast iron dutch oven and baked a loaf of bread before we left the house at 9:30 am. We each had a slice and it was the start of a perfect day :-) I've included the link as it is a winning bread recipe that anyone can make. I am not one to fuss over baking bread since I don't have the time. Since I only have a three quart cast iron dutch oven, I just used a knife and cut the dough ball in half after it rose overnight. I saved the other half and baked it when we got home from the Finger Lakes and am taking to a friend for her to enjoy. Here's the link to the bread. Sally's Baking Addiction.

  • 3 cups + 2 Tablespoons all-purpose flour, plus more for hands
  • 2 teaspoons coarse sea salt 
  • 1/2 teaspoon Red Star Platinum yeast (instant yeast)
  • 3/4 cup chopped nuts 
  • 3/4 cup dried cranberries
  • 1 Tablespoon honey
  • 1 and 1/2 cups warm water 
  • 6 quart or higher dutch oven or any large oven-safe pot with a lid (lid is crucial-- see post!)

Here's some eye candy and Courtly Check treasures for you. We all need some color in the winter :-)

Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Joe's Game Day Stromboli and Winner Announced

Planning your menu for the big game? Gear up with Joe's Stromboli that is a big hit here in town. This stromboli goes to every event.   


One package of refrigerated pizza dough (Multi-grain pizza dough from Hannaford's is the best if you can get it)

6 ounces thinly sliced provolone cheese (5 large slices)

6 ounces thinly sliced hard salami (15 slices)
6 ounces thinly sliced pepperoni (completely cover the salami)
1 large roasted red pepper cut lengthwise into six pieces  (we use the roasted red peppers in the jar)

Directions Preheat oven to 375°. On a greased baking sheet (we use olive oil), pat dough into a 16x13-in. rectangle. Layer the cheese, salami, pepperoni and roasted pepper over entire dough, leaving a 1/2-in. border at each end. Fold up long sides of crust over filling, pinching seam and ends to seal. Flip over so seam is on the bottom. Cut slits in top. Bake 25-30 minutes or until nice and golden brown. Remove from oven and let cool for 15 minutes.

Yield: 1 large stromboli

Congratulations to Lynn @ Happier Than A Pig in Mud who is the winner of the Celtic Salt.  Lynn, please send me your address and I'll get your package shipped out this week.

I enjoyed reading all the comments! 


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