Monday, December 22, 2008

Cookie Decorating

Andrea and her sister Jamie came over for sugar decorating night.
They were very creative!

This is a ladies mitt that Jamie created, so cute!
We had a great time watching Christmas movies, visiting, and decorating cookies.
I have been busy at work... this is our busiest time of year. And I still need to finish my Christmas cookie platters. More baking for the next couple of nights.

Thursday, December 11, 2008


This shortbread recipe comes from the owner of the kitchen store, Lorraine Hitchcock. It is one of the fabulous recipes in our cookbook. We have featured it in one of our classes, "gifts from your kitchen". It really is a good cookie recipe for your cookie platters. This shortbread is easy, uses only 4 ingredients, it keeps well, and it makes a lot. Did I mention it's the most delicious shortbread I have ever tasted???


1 lb. unsalted butter, room temperature

4 cups all purpose flour

1 cup superfine sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt

Sift flour, sugar and salt over top of butter. Knead until mixture forms a smooth ball. Press into an ungreased 10x15 inch jelly-roll pan, and prick the dough with a fork. Bake in a preheated 325 degree oven. Check the shortbread after 20 minutes (mine took about 30 minutes). You're looking for a very light golden brown. Cut while warm, and cool in the pan. Makes about 48.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Kitchen Inspiration

I wanted to take a little break from Christmas decor for a little kitchen inspiration
image: southern accents

image: cottage living
ok, a little holiday.

image: sunset magazine
Love this retro kitchen

image: sunset magazine

image: sunset magazine

image: coastal living

image: coastal living

image: cottage living
Classic, I could make myself at home here.
And now back to our regular scheduled programing...

The Sugar Cookie Package Giveaway Winner is...

Debbilou from Taking one day at a time. Congratulations! Please send me an Email with your address so I can get it mailed to you.
Thanks everyone for entering my first giveaway. Keep an eye out for future giveaways.
Happy Baking!

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Christmas Inspiration

image: contry living

image: BHG

Just some random Christmas inspiration.

I love white and green Christmas decor, but don't know if I could actually use it in my home. It wouldn't be the same without the traditional red and green.

images: country living

image: BHG

How fun is this apron from City Girl Aprons ?

Don't forget to leave a comment on the previous post for a chance to win my first giveaway.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Some Christmas Decor and My First Giveaway

I am having my first giveaway! And I thought it would be fun to pick something from the kitchen store. We put together these cute little packages of Stonewall's sugar cookie mix, some green sanding sugar, and a little Christmas tree cookie cutter. Just in time for your holiday baking. Or it would make a cute little hostess gift all wrapped up and ready to go. To enter to win just leave a comment on this post and if you would like to be entered twice let me know that you have mentioned my giveaway on your blog with a link to my blog. I will randomly pick a winner on Sunday, December 7th.

And now on to some decorating! I have slowly but surely been getting out my Christmas decor. Just wanted to share a few things that I have done so far. We haven't gotten the tree yet (hopefully tonight)

This is a hand-made bear that a friend's mother made. Some people are so talented!

My mantel

My pastry tree in the kitchen area

Just a few things that I have collected over the years.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Ranger Cookies

This is one of Melissa's favorite cookies. It is delicious, and has just about everything in it except the kitchen sink. It would also be wonderful with chocolate chips or maybe white chocolate chips added. We are going to use these in our cookie gift platters this year.

Ranger Cookies
3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup butter flavored shortening
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/2 cups brown sugar, packed
3 lrg. eggs, room temperature
1 Tbsp. vanilla extract
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
3 cups quick oats
2 1/2 cups Rice Krispies
1 3/4 cups sweet coconut flakes
3/4 cup pecans, toasted and chopped
1 cup dried cranberries

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper or silpat. Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a bowl and stir to combine. Set aside. Combine the oats, Rice Krispies, coconut and pecans in another bowl and stir to combine. Set aside. Cream the butter, shortening and sugar at medium high speed. Add the vanilla and then the eggs one at a time. Beat until well incorporated. On low speed, add the flour mixture in two stages. Now, add the oat mixture in two stages. Drop by tablespoons, or a medium cookie scoop. Bake approximately 10-12 minutes or until set.

Some of my Favorite Baking Tools

These are a few of the things that makes baking a little more enjoyable for me.
Silpat, I'm sure everyone knows what these are by now.

CIA's measuring spoons

CIA's measuring cups. I like the rounded bottom (easy for scooping) and the short, chunky handles, again, easy for scooping.

These strainers are wonderful for sifting flour.

A lemon squeezer, quick and easy, and the small holes keep the seeds from escaping

Messermeister's heat resistant spoon, for those of us with wooden spoon issues.

Chicago Metallic's mini cheesecake pan.

Rosle's spatula. I love that it has a stainless steel handle (can go in the dishwasher, also see above wood issue lol) and it's heat resistant.

OXO liquid angled measuring cups. You can see the measurements from the inside, no bending down to see amount.

OXO cookie scoop. What did we do before these???

What are some of your must haves in the kitchen?

Friday, November 21, 2008

Soap Dispenser

Remember the fabulous soap dispenser that we were all wondering where we could purchase?
I came across one that looks very similar here.
What do you think?

Sunday, November 16, 2008

A Little Kitchen Inspiration

I love the openness of this kitchen. The long table (love the chairs) it just says family and friends to me.

Of course right away I'm drawn to the organized cabinets.

This just makes me happy. Look at all that whiteware, perfectly stacked. And a ton of it. I don't particularly care for a lot of "stuff"... But having this stuff is wonderful ;)
Just look at that floor, and the counters!
all images:

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Imagine the Possibilities

This home is for sale in my town. I know... it has awful curb appeal (It's an REO, in the middle of a re-model) and it's on the main street.
But... check out the inside.

Love the windows, and it has built-ins!
Wouldn't this home be fun to decorate?
I can really imagine it all decked out for Christmas.

Love the kitchen, the wood counters look very warm. Wonder what the up-keep would be like? Professional stove, glass front white cabinets.

So the outside needs a lot of help, but it looks like the inside is practically move-in ready. It has such charm! It was built the same year as my home. I sure would like to see the rest. I might just have to go check it out. You can find more information here. Not a bad price in this area, especially considering the size.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Have You Started Decorating???

Ok, I'm giving in. I'm surrounded by Christmas ;)
We are pretty much decorated at the kitchen store, we already have Christmas music playing in the background.

I have been seeing Christmas inspiration at all the blogs I visit.
I'm not complaining, I love Christmas. I just wasn't ready for it to happen quite so fast.
Heck, we have even been playing the Santa Clause movies at home. NON-STOP

With all this going on around me, tonight I find myself thinking about my own Christmas decorations that are safely stored away in the garage. Wondering if it's too early to start bringing some of it in???
And as of today, I'm finished with my Christmas shopping (other than the kids) yay! Let's just say refer to the prior post, and there will be lots of baking involved.

all images: country living