Sunday, December 14, 2014

A new favorite for 2014~

Don't you just love that dear little handstitched ornament♥?
Charming and whimsical..and dear.
And how about that church?
I love going to the beach in summer..but winter brings it's charms also..I got our mail.(rural delivery..we pick it up).and then decided to keep going to one of our town parks..which is on the is already partially frozen..and the picnic tables and benches are covered in snow..I felt like setting a table on one..but was alone and had nothing:)
So I simply looked across the partially frozen lake and admired the view~
God Bless Us Everyone~

It's all about cheer and goodwill right now..and parties (not me)..and festivities..
But everywhere,everywhere..someone is sad or hurting..missing someone..or in ill health..worse.. alone..
When I see people alone at hospitals..I very brave and courageous you are.
No one there lifting you up..encouraging you..making a day perhaps a bit more special.
So many questions..
While in Florida..I walked one day a peaceful stretch of beach..we walked neighbor an I least 1 .5 hrs..and talked a lot..
And wondered about many things..
How some seem to go through life unscathed..and others go through it tumultuously..or in pain  etc.
Her husband had passed this Sept afer living many many years in pain.
We talked of Robin Williams..and the deep sorrow  that lives in some.
No answers did we find.
But I loved that walk and talk.
So much more than party trivialities.

I just want people to know that what most of us show  on our blogs ..are all the good things ..
But into most of our lives some rain does fall...
And you are not alone.

I was baking yesterday  and thought again how fortunate we are to have the means to bake.
This is not afforded to everyone...and I was and am grateful.

I am still trying out new things here at Nana's..
Last year ..I had Pinned little wreath cookies..but not sure why I did not make them as I had planned on it..
Didn't take much convincing to make them this year when I read this post..
I knew instinctively..that these could become favorites..
They are so favorited by me! And Jacques..I can't wait for the girls to try..
Just look at the ingredients..the rice flour..the vanilla sugar(I always keep a jar on hand)..the icing sugar,the butter,the zests,,and the fact that you make them by rubbing the ingredients together..
Oh and wait..once they are done you ZigZag white melted chocoltae on them and then sprinkle your chopped up pistachios and dried cranberries..
The cookie..and topping ..blend into a citrusy..sweet salty bite of sheer delight.
Not to mention how very pretty they are..They actually look perfect in person..I took one to take a pic and it may not be the perfectest one:)
I see one of my pistachios is a bit over the top:) person..they are perfect little wreaths..
I had a feeling I would appreciate the dough..and I had a feeling it would hold an imprint well..
My Starbucks stamp/cutter is probably the most intricate and I tried..look  ..look Terry:)

Now this is a cookie that holds it's shape and imprint while being delicious and probably easier than my Italian the measurements were SPOT on.
Just remember you will need to knead to render it malleable enough to roll out.
Use all the zest..It's delish!
We haven't had one ounce of sunshine in the past week I most of my Christams baking photos are coming out a bit grey..
I need that pretty light..

Here is La Recette~ Courtesy of..Little Sugar Snaps~

PS..I may have gone overboard on my toppings..I should have looked again at her beautiful post..but I printed out the recipe the night before and thought I was invincible....not..
Plus make sure your white chocolate is perectly melted..I couldn't wait I think and the first few times..harder chacolate blocked my piping Baggie hole..
Look at hers..and do them as well as hers:)

I was a bit messier.

Ok here goes..

2/3 cup rice flour
1 1/2 cup all purpose flour
1 cup cubed butter (I use salted)
1/3 cup of icing sugar
1/4 cup of vanilla caster sugar
1 tsp mixed spice..(I used a touch of cinnamon only)
Finely grated zest of half an orange
Finely grated zest of half a lemon

Take your hands and finely blend all the flours and sugars and zest ..rubbing..add cubed butter and continue until it becomes like cornmeal ..or breadcrumbs as she said:)and then it comes together..Knead gently.
Roll out on a lightly floured surface to about 1/4 inch  thickness.
I used a Linzer cookie make the shapes.Chill ap 30 mins..
I put mine in my screened in must realize it's the arctic here.
You bake them at 300 F for 25-30 mins..until you can see they are done..go read how she says you don't want them to have a suntan..just lightly gold..and baked..mine took a bit longer..
Cool..then take your melted white chocolate and zig zag across the cookies..sprinkling the pistachios and cranberries..
I worried my choc. would dry too fast so I did 5 at a time..
It was just right.

The topping that falls the centre is great to eat once you remove the cookies:)

Be prepared to just ♥ these.
PS I will run out of things soon:)

PPSS Please read Jane's full post..for the whole proper chilling the wreaths etc,,:)


  1. Love the write-up - and your cookies look gorgeous. I'm going to have to get my cookie press out on the dough now!

  2. Que galletas tan lindas y que fotos tan preciosas. Una maravilla.

  3. Monique, these are as pretty as they must be delicious! I've printed the recipe and will hopefully make them. I'm trying to do more baking this holiday. For some reason I've gotten out of the habit. Your inspire me!
    Your words resonate with me. My heart aches for those who are alone or in pain. Your beach walk and talk are absolutely the type of activity that feeds my soul. So good for us! I'm so fortunate that through the years I've had walking buddies. We don't have a beach but park trails are a good alternative. My heart is missing one such buddy who left this world in October.
    We have to treasure the time we have with those very special ones in our lives.

    1. We must sweet Sarah.
      I am sorry about your friend..still so must be so fresh in your mind this holiday season.
      So many things are shared on walks.
      i really should walk more..My buddy across the strret next door neighbor is a great walker.I should really go with her sometimes..
      The beach..the woods..trails..
      Do try these will not be disappointed..and they are beautiful..just remember my workspace did not look like Janes:)
      I admire people who post ..take photos as they go along..I am one messy baker.I clean up very well though..I love a sparkling kitchen.No other way.:)

  4. I am blessed to have dear family and friends who share trials and tribulations and provide good counsel. Of course, we rejoice in the good times. Yes, I adore that sweet ornament. And, I'd love to have a cookie and a cup of tea right now.


    1. You are welcome to some..while you write your cards;)

  5. Love the plate and tea cup too. The lake and church do look beautiful. I haven't started any Christmas baking yet. I must soon!

    1. You have been busy with Sister:)
      Oh try these..they are so darn good.

  6. This post is beautiful.and really true is nice of you talk about that
    All of us have sorrow and pain.Last week pass away a friend of mine and I knew het many years and her family.
    But maybe she was tired I dont know
    She die like Robin Williams was a shock for me. Never mind....
    Only I pray by her now waiting she is inpeace.

    1. So sad Gloria..sorry for you.
      I think sometimes people just feel hopeless..Hope can be the hradest thing to hang onto.
      I had clients also who passed that way..
      I believe your friend is at peace also.

    2. Thanks dear I think so but Im sad but her family. I think this time is really difficult when you lost somebody.

  7. Beautiful post...lots to think daughter is a choral director at one of our high schools...on Friday evening her Chamber Singers went caroling at a local hospital...she said that it was heartwarming for all...patients and singers.....
    Serious cookie baking starts tomorrow...

    1. What a wonderfthing to have gone caroling at a local hospital..
      One need just spend a small amount of time ..a few see how many people do suffer.And small children..all ages.
      You have been busy Gingerbreading:) Now ..yes the cookies can begin:)

  8. I always complain about winter .... but have to admit it provides for some beautiful sights! Especially after some freshly fallen snow.
    And your recipes are always so enticing!!!
    I love your blog.
    diane @ thoughts and shots

    1. I think of you so often.
      I think winter is a healer of sorts.
      I really do.

  9. Hi Monique, these cookies are so pretty, just printed! Can't wait to make them and share them with my family.

    1. I know you will like they are not just another pretty face:-)

  10. That recipe sounds wonderful and if I can get it to work on the starbucks cookie press I will be a happy gal. I just sat down after a weekend of baking. Yesterday I made my Martha Stewart cookie dough recipe but added lemon rind to it. It did not impart a lemon taste but this is her large recipe I sent you so perhaps 1tsp was not enough. I may also have left out 1 cup of sugar (it calls for two) but maybe it will save my waist! I made butter cookie recipe that my Mom gave me a zillion years ago. Then I found more sugar cookie dough in the freezer so I was like Lucille Ball on the chocolate factory line but solo. Some of my cookies I made during the week did not stamp well, they puffed up. Maybe the lack of the sugar. I guess this happens. The butter cookies I made with the mirro press and they bring back so many memories. If I can't squeeze your recipe in before Christmas I will try soon. It sounds just like the kind of cookie we like.

    1. I love my old Mirror..Gail Bertram got me to love it .
      Over 30 years ago.I still think of of the nicest people I ever met.
      You have baked up a storm!:-)
      I found this dough..doesn' t even need a lot of flower on the press.
      Press hard for all the Starbucks logo to hair..eyes etc..

    2. Will do! I will probably be dreaming of cookies tonight!

  11. I just read her blog, they might also look sweet and taste delicious as heart shaped wreaths for Valentine's Day.

  12. We could be dangerous if we lived near each other. As much as we could probably save by sharing some of our baking toys I think we would enable each other and our motto would be "you just have to get it!".

    1. Very true..You need to get the Witon Bark mold with Season's Greetings etc:)

  13. You're right, Monique. Everyone has their own burdens to carry, even though we carry on as best we can and mostly don't share with our blogging friends. (They are an enormously sympathic and supportive group too.) I look around at my aging friends and know they need extra attention. We must share our time with them.
    Love your little spicy cookies and the toppings!

    1. Enormously caring:)So true.
      And people wonder why we blog?:):)

  14. The snow scene and church picture looks like a Christmas greeting! These cookies are beautiful and oh so festive! You must make your family very happy when you make these beautiful treats! I hear you about those less fortunate than us. We are truly blessed that's for sure. It is heartbreaking to hear about those who are alone anytime during the year. Merry Christmas!

    1. My daughters bake Christmas goodies too..both of them ..they are traditionalists..I love that they enjoy Christmas and the preparations..warms me.

  15. It would be wonderful if life were as joyous as what we share on our blogs and on facebook. Alas, even the best of lives suffer setbacks. But I think blogging gives all of us the chance to see the best of ourselves and others. It is an outlet for the best we have to offer. You are always an inspiration Monique. I love your wreath cookies and the view of your town. Have you read Louise Penny's books? Your town reminds me of Three Pines.

    1. I will look into Louise Penny..I just did and inspector Gamache is so familiar to me..She's frind Diane reads her..I am thinking I may have read one in the past..but not Three Pines.
      I want to now..
      I did read one book about here..:) The author lves up the street.
      It was a great book..Ice Lake John Farrow which is his nom the plume I think.
      Loved that book.

      Your first line sums up perfectly what I was trying to say..
      And I felt it was important that people know.
      Thank you.

    2. So true. I hope you will read Louise Penny's books. It is important to read them in order. Start with "Still Life". Thanks for the suggestion of Ice Lake. Will look for it.

    3. Thanks!
      I should really rejoin the library now:)

    4. I had to start with the latest! But thinking of you..I know I have read is all to familiar with me..:) Love it so far!

  16. What a lovely scene with the church in the background! It's all gloomy and damp here these past days. Not a speck of snow to be found anywhere and the ground is getting soft again. Of course, the weather is bound to change - that we can count on :)

    Charming, charming stitched ornament and the wreath cookies sound wonderful! I will read Jane's post. The recipe sounds like one I would like very much! Baking seems to bring some peace to the hectic days of shopping, card writing, entertaining friends and family. We just entertained friends of years and years Saturday night. She recently found she had breast cancer and had a lumpectomy on December 3. She's doing great! Very positive attitude and so far everything looks good for her. She is one of the lucky ones.

    1. She is like you then..always seeing the positive and not lingering on the negative.
      Yes nana you are like that.
      I agree..baking is so calming!

  17. Beautiful pictures Monique, and try words, Yes we are so fortunate and we are very thankful for it.Very good Christmas spirit in your house!



    1. I am hoping to make your pâté for Christmas eve :)

  18. Your are so right Monique, into everyone's life comes some rain. Blogging and the people such as yourself that I have met have brought such joy into my life. Your cookies are so pretty and so it the peaceful church scene.

    1. I am so happy to have ....met you😄through blogging Sam..

  19. Yes, all of us go through stuff, some more than others, unfortunately. I'm just glad I can't see into the future! The church pic is great, serene and pretty. No snow here, just gloomy rainy weather for now. Take care, peace!

    1. I have no desire whatsoever to see into the future either.
      Well said!

  20. I saw a cookie cutter/stamp with yr name on it last nite in Monop.
    It said"Made with Love"
    And had a heart in the middle. ;)

    1. So nice you thought of me!
      I have 2 new stamps for the New Year..Merry Christmas to me!
      One day..maybe you and I will meet in a designated Monop!
      You can guide me!

  21. I think many of us forget to be grateful for what we do have, especially when things aren't going very well. Sometimes just small moments can have a very curative effect. Many happen for me in the kitchen. I know when I inhale the lovely fragrance of spices cooking away, it pulls my spirit out of the doldrums just a little bit.

    Have a lovely holiday... great cookies and all!

    1. :) The kitchen is a favored place to listen to our quiet.

  22. Oh those cookies are delightful! Yes, my nieces are adorable! Thanks for stopping by!

  23. What I hear you speaking of is compassion & gratitude, they are for me 2 keys of living. Life has its different sides, doesn't it? I sometimes think of Michael J. Fox & Robin Williams: both suffered with Parkinson's is a mystery why & how differnt lives take shape...I prefer your snowy church landscape to a lot of the commercial images of Christmas that are on TV & in the stores. And, as always, I love your pretty cookies & rubber stamps & things!

    1. There is a quite famous person in our town with Parkinson's..It is like being a prisoner in your own body for some..
      There are different kinds..and some more advanced than others.
      It is exactly in circumstances like these that the "why's"..come into mind..ALS..etc..
      Commercial images of Christmas..and too much of boring to me now.
      The simple things are prettier.Calmer.
      I am totally guilty though of giving into my materialistic likings of baking things etc...
      Retirement toys I guess.😇

  24. I loved this post Monique. I love all of your posts, but I especially loved this one. It really speaks to the heart of me and not the least because of those deliciously gorgeous looking cookies. I often ponder on these things when I am cooking or baking and think of how grateful I am to have the luxury of being able to do so with gusto and variety. Not to have to simply subsist on what comes my way, but to really have the abundance and variety I have to work with. This is a blessing and yes, at times life could be better, but always, always it could also be so very much worse and so I choose gratitude. Because I am . . . grateful! Love you! xxoo

    1. I think it is the only way to live the Serenity matter how hard it seems sometimes.
      Some suffer with physical pain...which can be totally debilitating and enough to make you want to stop everything..where nothing shines..nothing gives joy..and you really just want to lie down..and stop..
      And some it is mental anguish..from your DNA creating lost problems..
      Just today a time span of 1 hour..I talked to 4 women..and apart from 1..3 had a story that only brought compassion.
      That's 75 the space of that one hour..

  25. Love that you are listening to Andrea Bocelli's music :)
    I have left a reply to you on Jennifer's blog :)
    xoxo hugs!

  26. I really like the Starbucks cookies, would like to make them.

    1. You can get the press on Ebay:) Very reasonably priced.

  27. Always love your posts!! Will try the recipe. Merry Christmas to you!