Friday, March 29, 2013

The Ladybug and The Blue Hydrangea~

My friend has offered me this beautiful blue hydrangea for Easter~

It's  brightening Easter weekend so much~
It arrived at the door today..Good Friday~ Vendredi Saint~
I placed it in the kitchen..until I know where the table setting is the lovely light in our kitchen..~

It took but moments for a resident Spring ladybug to take pleasure in climbing all the hydrangeas petals~

How such tiny things scale such huge obstacles..:) Is mesmerizing~
I almost felt like  I was experiencing parts of  a book I read..

The Sound Of A Wild Snail Eating..while examining it~

She was so adept.. so lovely~

It was  charming for me to observe her journey today  amidst some chaos :)~

I can imagine that vacationing in a land of blue such as she was doing..
Had to be such a pleasant experience~

A great Good Friday sighting for me~In the simplest of a most beautiful form~

Joyeuses Pâques~

Monday, March 25, 2013

Bunny Preps~

If you start now..

Right now..this minute..
You can have indoor real grass too for your bunnies and eggs~

I started mine last Sunday..8 days ago..

It really adds a bit of real springtime freshness in the house when outside is still all white~  and grey~

Now would be perfect..I started too soon this year..and Peter may have to mow:)

I also wanted to show you a cute cute idea I found yesterday ..A small pattern for a linen bunny..It was easy to make and I like the way these small stuffed bunnies turn out..I made an organza bloom for the tail..but hop on over and see how Julie made them..

I made first attempt was a bit too tight for the next 2..I added just a bit to the outer outline..of the pattern..not much..  maybe 1/4 inch..and it then became easier for me to turn inside out..Next year..after I have thought this through..I can imagine adding initials ..embroidery etc:).

Sweet as sweet can be..You can find it at Julie's blog..the linked above~
I ♥ them..
I had everything on hand..which inspired me to spend a nice Sunday afternoon creating~I love when a blog does that..and again never underestimate what you share..the ideas..the tips ..the tricks..So appreciated!!

I find sometimes I see something and just Pin.  since Pinterest...often in case I have forgotten to comment when trying a new recipe..or making a new craft..Forgive me..and ..
Thank you~.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Gleaning Yet Again~ Birthday Cake ..Take 2~

I shared with you that darling ♥cake roll and the cute cute site..The cake was delicious but poor Jacques ate my practice cake all week~
Couldn't let him have it again at his real birthday:)
Weeks and weeks Sprinkle Bakes~ ( I have shared her site before when I made the wafer paper cookies at Christmas.. and mentioned her book)~I saw her Espresso Biscoff cake..
I knew we were heading into town..and could stop at La Vieille Europe..where I knew I could find the Biscoff~
I was expecting friends for dinner and thought I would make the it turned out they were blessed with a new little grandson..Francesco~ and looked after their other 2 little ones they could not make it..
When I saw that Jacques had eaten the roll to his ♥'s content..I thought try the Biscoff for this weekend..It's actually Jacques' birthday tomorrow:)So I tried the cake~Wish I didn't put it on that cake thing.. but it's too late now:)  Happily it sits on a pedestal for the party~Takes nerve to will see why after seeing hers:) So much work goes into posts like her Biscoff cake..I was in the kitchen 5 hours I am sure..had I wrapped it in the transfer paper..well..I just couldn't..Hats off to those who keep sharing great etc..

It's actually an espresso-biscoff cake..  I made the cake round instead of heart the other cake had had hearts:) I was going to wrap it in transfer paper and chickened out..I only made the small heart with the chocolate transfer sheet..the gold music notes..  and simply used that tool bottom right to line the sides..
It's a two layer biscoff cake..that has an espresso biscoff chocolate filling and an  is topped with the same..sort of.. as a buttercream though~
I was totally excited to make chocolate seals..which appeared on her post shortly before I made the cake..
They were much easier to make than the piped buttercream on top..since I did not surround teh top w/ a large transfer sheet..the sides of the top are not perfect..I hope the seals and heart distract the diners:)

You can find the recipe at the links above~
I was excited to share the link to the seals..You may remember the Monogram I had fondant..

I never thought to use the seals:)  So go see..and have fun making them..they are lovely on chocolate and her video is excellent.

It's also my friend Susan's birthday..this coming Monday..we go back to Gardenbuddy days~
She lives at..Savoring Time In The Kitchen..beautiful photos..wonderful recipes~
Happy Birthday Susan~:)

I think the cake will be the fillings are divine..Not that I will eat any..but I had to taste
Have fun browsing the links..weekends can be such a nice time to visit~

PS I am still under magic melt yet!:) is Sunday and the dinner was last night..everyone loved it and asked what that delicious flavor was..
:) I grew up with a Dutch friend..who's dad flew for KLM airlines..they would give me real speculaas exactly that a Speculoos spread..
I can get it at European stores.. quite pricey..the 350 g jar was $7.59.
But worth it makes the cake..Really it was a hit..
Serve it room temp as it is a buttercream..and will be too rad if not room temp.
Ours was perfect.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Spring has Sprung!Or has it? Or will it?

On the EVE..of Spring..this is home..
And the Easter Bunny can't wait to come here!How is he ever going to hop up those steps? Why our Easter wreath is on the door..I have no idea~

Just as the "no sun of the day".. was about to set..I went out for a few photos of the night before Spring~
You have to have a sense of humor to really look at it all and beautiful to have 2 feet of snow in the driveway March 20th~

Anyways..I did find beauty all along with snow up to my knees on our back pathways..Oh lala..
It's been quite a winter..

  Look up Jerome look all the way up..maybe you will find Spring~

Truly ...

And the potting shed? Rose Cottage you call it? :)

  As sure as the sun sets and the sun rises  I know deep in my ♥ spring..will spring again~

Thank Goodness..Hope never dies in the heart of a true gardener..My clematis and roses must be crying their eyes out..let alone my tree of enchantment..the scillas..the snowdrops..the peonies ..the lilacs..the ferns..the tulips and jonquils..~
Not to mention..the fairies~

Monday, March 18, 2013

Hippity Hop~

Getting  little Easter things ready ahead of time~

I thought I would post early enough in case anyone wants to get a head start also:)

I've had some cute printables printed for cupcakes..(not only is Marie a fabulous cook..she's a fabulous artist~)
... and Easter treats..the Bunny Tails are here..
and they turn out can find   more here..  and here..  and here!The last  2 I had printed up also~
In fact printables are a plenty..graciously designed and offered..It's difficult to know when to stop:)
 My printers are not printing..I need a new one and am confused as to which all in one printer that is  wireless I should actually buy~
So Staples has been doing a great job for me:)
I also wanted to learn different royal icing techniques and found many many resources on the web..So far I am more inclined to just dip them in a light glaze of icing..let dry then paint..
I find the pipe and fill techniques..just add too much icing..

Cute..but too much..So I am going to use the cookies I tested as perhaps the centerpiece for our  Easter Brunch table..

I added each of the little boys names on some of the smaller ones thinking they would be cute place settings..but then I got carried away and made a little church scene for I think that's what I will do with them..the centerpiece..

I used the Ateco edible markers for the bunnies and Chick..again..I prefer freehand..I find mixing our own colors with food coloring gives a softer effect..and of course you can use a small small bush for fine you can painting skills are rudimentary so anyone can do these.
I can just imagine how real artists could embellish these as works of art~

I adore my little we all do ♥..They all know how to spell their names..and Olivier loves to say O~L~I:)  So sometimes we call him that between ourselves(Jacques and I)'s amazing how when our kids are small..all we talk about as a couple when we are together alone..are our children..I am here to tell you that as grandparents..well most of what we talk about that makes us smile out loud..are our grandchildren.~

I used Sol's sugar cookie recipe..thank you thank you thank you dear Sol.. ..
One tip ..or two I liked that I found for working with Royal Icing..was to keep a mister handy case the icing hardens..but the best tip was the saran in a piping bag:)

Hope you have found some inspiration for Easter..I have to admit.. I enjoyed Easter preparations when my children were's only when my grandchildren arrived that I got back into the cute little things..And I know how quickly time flies..and that I have already lost many I am trying to keep some memories safe   for now:)

PS Pic Monkey has darling little things to add to photos right now:)~~~

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Practicing My Husband's Birthday Cake~

Gleaned ..totally gleaned at Dulce Delight

So..I still need practice..But I had fun trying:) I found a blog ..that..well you have heard how opposites attract?
The first time I saw one of her videos..I thought ..what a bubbly happy talented creative girl~
You have to go and see for yourself..
Total Opposites~
I am fair.. older..much older:)..listen to classical music while I bake..or..Norah Jones..Adele,Henri Salvador,Rod Stewart..etc..
I am quiet..and somewhat reserved..
What a breath of fresh air this girl is..
I even love her music..
I had to watch the video for this cake over and over to get it..must admit the whole movie is the Portuguese music..(I think that's what it is:) )This girl should have her own show..A Happy fun show:)
So creative..
Anyways..I have errors..the template wasn't available at the time for the hearts and dots so I drew my own.. not quite perfect..I should have colored the polka dots a different pink..I think I need to tap my I had a lot of air holes..contrary to my white rolls..I don't like the lines my parchment paper made..
I practiced without the berries.. and I made a slightly different white chocolate cream..I used 1/2 cup heavy cream and 1/2 cup white chocolate..just a small amount to add to my whipped heavy I was concerned it would not work..
Anyway I am definitely making this type again..
It was fun..and it will be better for J's actual bday:)~♥

Cute eh?  Wait till you watch some of her videos:)~
For the recipe you will just have to go see for yourselves..
I think she makes people feel happy.
You'll see I left 3's in person that I am more reserved:)
She lives at Dulce Delight~

In the interim..I will be making this again next Sat..if anyone has any tips about my air bubbles..and the lines the parchment left..pray tell:)?

and ppss plse forgive the's dreary..cold and still loads of snow here~

Monday, March 11, 2013

There's a new kid(s) on the block~

Triplets actually~L'Arc De Triomphe~ La Tour Eiffel~Sacré Coeur~

A new French Tampons set.. 3 in a box..  one main wood stamper and 3 heads..
Un Coup De Coeur ♥ for me..found at Isa's~Our very own QC..cookbook author:)

Considering this may be as close as I get to Paris apart from visiting blogs I love that revolve around Paris..and my latest favorite Netflix show.."Engrenages"..(Spiral)..
I will  make believe I am enjoying Paris while baking these:)

 These are perfect at Tea Time~

You can basically use the recipe you love..There are so many that suit themselves to these cookie stamps..
A booklet comes with the stamps..
Cute packaging as always~

From ..French side:)

Shipping will take long..but do not be discouraged..not as long as the site states..Well for me it was not..nor for Isa~
But I have heard..and they warn you:)

I love these little cookies so special~...

I have posted the recipe I used before..many moons ago..I didn't use one from the book..but I will as there are chocolate ones and savory ones as well and the book is too cute..
So well done..I love Marabout/Hachette collaborations~
I used one(almost identical) I had found at Binôme Gourmand.
With very slight differences..
You can see the post here~

La Recette~

150 grams softened butter
250 grams sugar
250 grams self rising flour
250 grams flour
salt(I use salted butter so I don't add)

beat butter and sugar until light  and almost white
add vanilla..
and beat in eggs one at a time..beating well after chaque addition:)
Sift the two flours together and add to the mixture..
Form into a flat disk and least 1 hr..better all night..
Roll out on lightly floured surface(sometimes I use icing sugar instead of flour) to desired thickness..
If using these stamps..FLOUR  each stamp WELL  before stamping..I then use a cookie cutter to cut around perfectly..(well  not PERFECTLY:)  )..
And then I place the cookies on my Silpat or a baking sheet w/ parchment paper..
I then glaze with the "dorure"..see below..
and REFRIGERATE again..they keep their beautiful shape.
Bake at AP 400 degrees..until nice and golden..

You just have to watch..:)

Again I halved the recipe.. yes 1 1/2  egg easy to do in a bowl first:)

Cool on racks..  and then look..admire and enjoy..
You can use your favorite cookie recipe that holds it's form well..But I suggest a butter cookie.And I love the glazed look and taste.

use the recipe you prefer for sablés~
 I love adding  "dorure"~
..  which is egg yolk mixed with a bit of water and a touch of vanilla..that you brush on your cookies.. before baking  or refrigerating ..the dorure  gives these the real Sablés Bretons look.

♥                                                          ♥                                                      ♥

Friday, March 8, 2013


You know I have a thing for teas~
Blooming teas~And Jasmine teas~and here:)
Tea Forte teas~
David's Teas~
Harney and Son's Teas~
Japanese and Chinese Teas~
Cupcake Teas~


And teacups..and ..all the beautiful paraphenalia that comes with teas~..
So sometimes..I rename coffee cakes as teacakes:)

This is one  of those coffee cakes that goes particularly well with tea..anytea:)..

It's from a very old cookbook.. a woman I once knew made it for a broker's inspection on a home we were visiting..years ago! I kept the recipe and I alter as I go along..the shape..sour cream sometimes..greek yogurt sometimes..golden raisins or dark..even chopped dates work well..
I do prefer this TEA Cake..shortly out of the oven..or warm it if it is 2 days old..But warm..out of the oven..
"Le Best":)

La Recette~

1/2 cup of butter
1 cup of brown sugar
2 eggs
1 cup sour cream(or go crazy and sub:))
2 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup golden raisins..again you can vary and I always PLUMP mine.

Topping and Filling

1/4 cup brown sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1 cup chopped nuts(you pick)
1/4 cup golden raisins..again you chose..and I always plump raisins.

Preheat oven to 350 F..Cream butter and sugar..Beat in eggs and sour cream..Sift dry ings.and add to creamed mixture.Fold in raisins.Mix topping ings together.
Spread half of batter into a greased and floured spring form or tube pan..Cover with half of topping mixture.
Spoon on remaining batter and lightly press in remaining topping mixture.
Bake at 350 40-50 mins or until the famous toothpick comes out clean~
Let sit for 10 mins before removing from pan~

I like this cake..
But if I had to pick between this one and my daughter's chocolate chip coffee cake..I'd pick hers..
But then..  again..this is a TEA cake:)And just  a bit out of the oven..Il est bon:)

Here is her recipe:)

My daughter's Sour Cream Chocolate Chip Cake

Have a great weekend~

Et oui ..the little heart cup and saucer are filled w/ ♥ and Namaste~
And is printed with the hearts and word:)

♥                                                        ♥                                                    ♥

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Peanut Butter Milk Chocolate Chip Shortbreads..~

The kind that melt in your mouth~

The kind you get from The View From Great Island:)
Delicious little tender morsels..♥

I am hooked on stars these days..shooting stars ..regular stars..not just for Christmas anymore for me..There's wonder in stars I find~

I made these late Friday afternoon..and had to have a bite right away..
See.. I can resist desserts... all kinds..but cookies are  different:)  I made half the recipe as there are only 2 of the moment..and I made mini mini mini stars too:)  like a penny  (soon to be defunct here..)~
So..  no a bite:)
Half the recipe made so many!

as you can see by the stack in back..Perfect for here..
Not only that but I was able to fill a teacup for my daughter's friend.. who is such a trooper..but has not been well this week.I admire that girl so much.
She looks like sunshine..the beautiful smiling face..the blonde wheat..the sense of humor and adventure..The laugh..the giggle..She faces  challenges   most adults cannot fathom.
A little hero to me..

Look how great they are at balancing acts too:-)
Le Cirque Du Soleil..:-)
There were even enough for my daughter and Noah  to bring they are embarking on a Spring Break trip to Florida~
They will have a ball~
It is still the weekend as I many of you have the time to whip these up before workday Monday:-)

This is the recipe for Sue's cookies..if you have never been to her blog..which I highly go see..Recipes are in abundance and lovely photos too~
I love her straw:-)
I saw some at Michael's..but big bold bright colors..I am not there yet I am still buried in snow..and more is falling right now..but next week we change the time..more daylight hours to melt the snow..I love the snow..the's the maintenance I deplore-
Here you go...

La Recette~

Oven to 350 F
Remember..I halved mine~

2 sticks of unsalted butter at room temp..(Make sure it is soft!) the way I have a huge confession to make..I never  use unsalted butter..I know..
1 cup creamy peanut butter
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup confectioner's sugar
2 1/2 cups of flour
1/2 tsp salt(not me)
1 1/2 cups milk (I LOVE milk chocolate way better than dark..I know)chocolate chips.

Cream butter and peanut butter together until well combined..beat in vanilla
Sift sugar ..flour..and salt together and mix in..Mix until dough comes together and is no longer dry and crumbly.
Add chocolate chips and distribute evenly.
Turn dough out on board and mix until it comes together..flatten into 2 disks..
Refrigerate ap 1 hr..

Roll out on a lightly floured surface to desired thickness and cut with preferred at the moment cookie cutter.
Bake on a parchment lined baking sheet ap 13-15 mins..
Mine were small so they baked less long..
They should be soft and white when they come out..they firm up:)
 Yes they do:) and still just melt on your tongue:)
Let the cookies cool for a minute or two..then  spatula them onto cooling racks..
Thanks Sue~

 Ils sont très bons avec un verre de lait~

♥                                                                   ♥  

Mes 4 petits-fils:-)