Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Lattice Sugar Cookies~

As I type the snow is falling like in movies..huge numerous beautiful snowflakes..
Not pretty for travelers..or commuters..but it sure is pretty out there and a balmy 20 F!:)
Most of us have watched Sunday is the season finale..
I don't want to give anything away here..but if I have to worry about Anna until next year..:(

I cried 3 times.
It was a wonderful episode.

Ever since I saw these lattice cookies..many many places..just do a Google Search..I have been enamoured with their look:)
I wanted to make some at Christmas..too many cookies had been made..Valentines? Too many desserts had been in the plans because it was a combined festivity of more than one thing..
So one  snowy February day..I made some..
Next time I will be more precise..with my strips..
But how sweet are they?
Invite a friend for tea or just for you..or the both of you..A little sugar cookie on a cup of tea never hurt anyone..
I thought even some boys in this family would like this little treat..Lucas and Noah are the most adventurous eatser so far in the boys.
I love having fresh cookies for them.
I have the time..and it is not every day that I see them to offer cookies..
But Lucas comes over after school sometimes  now..for a game of chess.. geography..dictée..Not for long.. just a recap sort of and then a game..
That's when I love to have something warm out of the oven the best♥
This week he and a friend..Tyler made a movie Tyler's mom filmed..all about No Bullying~
It was sent to me and my eyes filled with well done!
They wore pink t shirts..had posters..  their sweet faces..
I hope every school teaches no bullying.
We saw a sad sad reportage about France..  it's here.. there..and .. everywhere.
It must stop.
Schools must be on the lookout and there should be no tolerance whatsoever.
Poor little souls..

I made the same Sprinkle Bakes sugar cookie in her book ..because..well..Lucas loved the Valentine's ones..Not all sugar cookies meet his expectations..he liked them so much after eating one Hello Kitty cookie and the Je t'aime heart..he said..:"Nanan..(yes he calls me that now♥) can you make like Spiderman or Dinosaur ones next time?"
I have to get w/the boy program:) Little frilly hearts taste good..but..please bring on the more manly treats:)

Anyway..make your fave sugar cookie recipe.. or Sprinkle Bakes one recipe  below..

I rolled out 2 circles of I slit many strips w/ a pizza cutter..and I did the same w/ the other..Then I took one from the left circle and latticed into the right..and so on and so on..then you take a cookie cutter ..the shape you want..I measured the tops of the cups I would be using..and bake..
A soft sprinkle of icing sugar and there you are..

Sugar cookie recipe..Courtesy of Sprinkle Bakes.

La Recette~

2 sticks of butter or 1/2 pound softened
1 cup plus 2 tbsps granulated sugar
1 egg lightly beaten
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 cups all purpose flour  more for rolling.

Mix butter and sugar until just incororated in your stand mixer.Do not overmix now or they may spread.
Add egg and vanilla extract...mix on low and scrape down.
Add flour and salt.Mix on low until there are no streaks of butter left.The dough will clump around the paddle..that's when you know the dough is perfect.
WRap the dough and refrigerate 1 hour.
Roll out dough to 1/4 inch..(I think I need those rings everyone raves about)
Cut out shapes,place on parchment paper.Refrigerate the cutouts 30 minues.
Preheat oven to 350..
Bake 15-20 minutes until edges are golden.
Let cool and decorate..

Obviously for the lattice cookies I just rolled out and cut into strips:)

Years ago.. maybe 30 years work..we had gift exchanges..we each picked a name and at our Christmas party..we each had a gift unwrap..w/ no name as the sender.
I was a realtor for over 28 years..
This was my gift all those years ago..and I found out it was from Brenda..who had been thrilled to find this for me she said.
It is very vintage..even has an ink stain on the red polka dot lining..and a very pretty tag from the Co..  all says..
I used it and am wondering now if it was me that her pen leaked:)
I have been eyeing it and because of the embroidery..I would like to try my hand at making one..Confused as to how to make the fabric..turn to make the handles..Also need to get to a fabric few and far between ..  a rarity now.
Except for downtown..and Fabricville on the WI.
Isn't it absolutely adorable?
I love vintage things:)Vintage people too♥

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Linda's Lentil Soup~And delicious tomato tarts too:)

I love my friend Linda's Lentil Soup..more than the Indian Red Lentil one I think..
It's so daughter asked me for the recipe..
Soups in our climate are a staple..a necessity..a comfort.
I was so attracted to Flourishing Foodie's tomato tarts with parmesan crust.that I was overjoyd to find some minis myself..her a local food market.
They are indeed easy to make..beautiful..and very savory.I ended up with 3 tarts ..not six though..I have a feeling my 4 inch tart pans are a tad bigger than hers.
We enjoyed a lunch of them..
And I too was so impressed w/ the melting the butter in a hot oven to make the crust:) Worked like a charm.
I read another tomato tart recipe recently and there was the addition of maple syrup.I bet that would work so well.It's actually from the book on my sidebar..:)
It was my first time I think visiting that beautiful blog~That is how we end up flollowing I think? Either a comment we loved somewhere or a photo..or a recipe..or you just feel an affinity.
So nice~

Nancy gave me beautiful art/watercolor paper from her favorite paper store..and some brushes/pens from her Japanese Art store..
The big brush hangs upside down to dry.I had 2 very small ones..this one is so BIG..anxious to try it out.
The paper is unlike any I have much beautiful texture.I split a sheet in half and tried a mini greeting card..My technique needs work..I tried to copy a few small Susan Branch designs again for her..So bad.
But what a thrill.
We were at Caroline's home for a little bit the day of her real birthday..yesterday..and when we got there she showed me this..She said:"Is this well loved or what?"
I made them each   3 recipe books I think..this was the first..and this is YEARS ago..maybe 12..the year we moved here..
The cover is tattered the back is not even there anymore..the pages used and spotted..
They were all recipes they liked growing up..or even later in life  when they had moved out and on..and came to eat..
Only the very best of the best recipes get added to her waffles I will try from a friend of hers.
That is the main reason I started blogging so they could have whatever new recipe came the touch of their fingertips.When I look at that book..I see that that is the keeper.
Our eldest..Mylè the left..will be 40 in August..that's how old that front photo is..  40-4 maybe..xo
And aren't tulips in the sunshine an absolute thrill also?
I love tulips better than roses..  store bought..Except the old many petaled florists tulips that look like antiques♥
Tonight is the before last show of this season's DA..I read that next season is the last.
Too bad~
Perhaps Julian Fellowes will create another..Masterpiece:)
Let us hope so:)

PS..Linda's Red Lentil Soup recipe is from The New York Times....I found

I don't use a blender..I find the lentils..get a nice texture w/out blending..and I do like Linda..I add small small pasta..about 15 minutes before I am ready to serve.. tiny pasta..:)
Last time I didn't put the lemon..added Sambal Olek..and it's parsley here for J:)

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Downton Dreamin"~

So many scenes at Downton include a sponge cake..especially at Violet's..I had never made one..and wanted to see what they were like..
I trusted Jamie Oliver and made his w/ self raising flour..
I used a buttercream though instead and should not was too sweet..but I didn't have a heavy cream..The cake is delicious and if you have a sweet tooth add some buttercream as I did..
But for pretty factor..this cake has it all:)
I made a tiny I halved the recipe and put the batter in 2  4-5 inch   springform molds.
A big just too big here~

I am happy Edith has Marigold..although I admit to a  deep  sorrow for Mrs Drew. I wish she could have known and accepted this was temporary.I cannot imagine being so in love and having to say goodbye.
Mary actually bothers me..I have never suffered snobs..and have met a few.One of my daughters admires her backbone compared to Edith.I would be apt to be friends with Edith way before Mary.
I abhor Lord Merton's sons..both of them..and am not quite sure if Isobel will follow through..
Yet Lord Merton has assured her the boys take after their mother..:)Must have been a prize..I can see a pinched nose and face.
I love Tom...Feel sorry for poor Isis..but he is LOVED..What a great dog..reminds me so much of Juno..a dear dog my friend Nancy had when she lived here until he died.
Just a beautiful big sentimental dreamy dawg.
Rosamund Painswick..sorry to say is a pain to me..
I am talking about roles here:)
Anxious for the dénouement re Mr.Bates.. and wouldn't a baby be lovely for them?:)
Lady Rose and Atticus..not sure yet...Although at first sight he is charming.

Charming..very in I am smitten and so is my Sidney Chambers..
James Grantchester..Despised him in Happy Valley..but as a vicar?
What a lovely vicar.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

My 40+ year old carrot cake recipe~And Paddington~And Marie's tarts~

My 40 + year old carrot cake recipe...
Has ended up..wearing so many party dresses..
Valentine's Day..
And combined Valentines'/ Birthdays~
Yesterday...on the 14th..we celebrated Valentine's Day and our youngest daughter's birthday combined..
I volunteered dessert..s.....
I picked carrot cake ..because it had been so long since the last one was enjoyed..

The children ..hearing carrot cake..would turn away I I had as a teen..
But you just have to have one bite..and you are hooked ..In fact..the icing is so husband scraped away the buttercream on the sponge cake and replaced it w/ the cream cheese icing:)
It's not easy on a sun filled day to take a white icing..beigeish actually ..iced cake photo..
I seem to be always complaining in winter about the light..too dark..too grey//too sunny..too bright..for photos..
But I did want to show you that you can dress this carrot cake up to suit any occasion..

I put roses on top..and plain around..simply because I doubled the icing..yet had only enough for what you see.
I would have liked to go around the sides w/ roses..but my cream cheese frosting is not thick like buttercream..
So was ok..that I did not have enough icing  to go around..

For the 6 "littles"  well 4 "littles"  and  2 bigger kids..
I made Paddington cupcakes..

As per an agreement w/ Living Locurto..just go to her site here  ..for the how tos:)

Terry made some also..we were both inspired for our "littles"..

I  actually used a Duncan Hines mix for the cupcakes and Betty Crocker for the icing..
So truthfully Duncan and Betty were a huge help.
I must admit I am useless w/ mixes..and am surprised I finally got them done..
In the bloopers were some underdone cupcakes..and some burst icing bags..
However ..finally..all was well~
And thank you Living Locurto for such a cute cute idea.
I also kind of  stole..borrowed..
the word girls had Littles as wee girls.. but I had not heard that expression in ages..until I read..We Were Liars~
And it stuck with me..enough to borrow speaking..writing about the folk in our family..

As for those delightful little tarts..Marie made hers in a patty pan..I don't have seems it is more of a British baking pan..I did have a muffin top( not unllike how I felt last night..) pan..

And made her tarts in there..I halved the recipe and it made 4 large ones..all the other desserts were going to stay at the I thought I would make Jacques these.
Now..I Love them..more than cakes.. and cupcakes..Not too sweet..almond..raspberry jam..and Ricardo's shortcust pastry..
I used the sour cream addition.
The only difference to Marie's recipe I made was to add almond extract to the mixture .

Little Noah..had a wonderful Valentines..Through the house..his mom had placed clues regarding hi gift..there were many card like these..

This one says Cocou Noah..Happy Valentine's Day.I have a surprise for you..

We will leave in an airplane..

etc .. etc..

In 15 dodos..

She kept asking him to guess and finally he said:"Are we going to China?:)LOL..Don't know where that came from..So spring bread the French teacher and her Noah..will be electrifying Disney♥

We all had a great time..Alain is a musician as a hobby apart from others..and with his daughter they form a fabulous team..the living room was again set up as a music room w/ amps and mikes and guitars..So so fun to hear and watch..Lucas and Max are trying their hand at it so cute,,I spiked their hair..Noah sang baby of Mine..All night..a live show:)  

La Recette for the carrot cake~

2 cups of flour
2tbsps baking powder
11/2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp salt
add 1 cup light oil,2 cups of sugar..
4 eggs,1 can drained crushed pineapple,2 cups grated carrots 1 cup of raisins(you can plump them if you wish). 1 cup chopped nuts..(walnuts)
Pour batter into 2 8" round molds..Bake at 375 for 10-15 mins
350 for 35-40 minutes.

Let cool..unmold and ice w/ your favorite cream cheese frosting~

If I go to bed after's either a wedding or a party at my kids homes:)
And nothing magical happens to my car.
It is a real challenge leaving when it's so dark and so cold:)

Thursday, February 12, 2015

A fresh tasting salad~♥And a love letter~

Looks a little dry here..and the pith on these grapefruits would have needed  a scalpel..but..
 add that dressing to the left..and you are all set~
Pink grapefruit..arugula....and red onion again..

It is rare that we do not have arugula in the used to be rare:( in our local grocery stores..years ago..but now it seems to be a staple in all of them..

I love eating salads for have a salad and a whole meal is too much for us now..unless we are eating out at our daughters or a restaurant..
But as a works very well for us..and with the lovely citrus we have been finding the last 2 weeks..I made a few..
Jacques will add some protein..I can live w/out for lunch..
I like my carbs♥so I made puff pastry hearts to go on top~perfect for valentine'sDay..or just because you like hearts~
The dressing is what makes this..

From Food And Drink 2005

1 cup of olive oil
1 cup seasoned rice wine vinegar
3 tbsps soya sauce
1/4 cup chopped chives
freshly ground pepper
Whisk together all ingredients.  Season with salt to taste..

I halved mine and of course had some left over..In summertime some pesticide free blooms would be beautiful additions..

Our eldest grandson Lucas..studies in French..but he likes to write in english sometimes..and we were the grateful recipients of this ♥ letter I picked up at the mail..
His last name is Latendresse..He suits it well.
Best Valentine and it was not meant to be one..just a little note because he had done some homework with us one afternoon and played chess with grandad.
You know those cartoons when hearts are coming out of peoples eyes because of love?
Jacques and I are both ridiculously guilty of having them come out of our eys.
Thank goodness they are only visible to the recipients:)
I almost forgot..I made these one day when he came over..Straight out of the oven..they are sinfully delicious..from Sally's Baking Addiction.They would be great for a sleepover..brunch..breakfast..after school..and the house smells so good.They are easy peasy..
David's Teas have some adorable and tasty teas out right now.
I think  I like David's Tea..s a bit too much.~

Friday, February 6, 2015

Je t'aime♥

One day this past week I the kitchen..I had just gone through Ina's book Make It Ahead and I read she was excited when she tested things in the kitchen.
I am the same way.
Trying new things in the kitchen on beautiful sunny freezing days..or even grey days...just makes me happy.
I should be a product tester..meaning cute cutters..molds etc:)
Not so much meats ;)
I sipped a travel mug full of Paris Tea to keep it warm..It is undeniably one of my fave Harney teas..It needs nothing at all to make it so delicious.Not to mention the darling tin.I keep my Harney's tea tins..Keepers.
I am posting Valentine's a bit early..because for actual Valentine's Day..I am making a carrot 41 yr old recipe..and kiddie cupcakes that are not really Valentinesy so I'll share those later..

I  had another cup of that tea  later in the day when I made the Hello Kitty cookies.

So getting back to trying things in the kitchen..I made the cutout sugar cookies from my book..Sprinkle Bakes.That girl really makes her desserts oh so many of you do..but it's her book I have:)
I bought the book Nov 2013..I like looking through it a lot..very creative ideas.
Feel free to use any sugar cookie that holds it's shape well and you are all set to cut out perfect hearts.I again put my tray of cookies in our screened in porch for the dough to firm up before ovening them.
Some little hearts I left plain w/ just the lacy indent the Ebay plunger cookie cutters leave.
Others..I covered in fondant (purchased)..and then added a lovely toile wafer paper can get these papers at Fancy Flours..on Etsy..Ebay..most places carry them now.
You need to make sure your cookies are nice and air can either flood w/ icing..let dry..and then apply w/ some piping gel..then the wafer paper..or a thin layer of rolled out fondant..and again your wafer paper.The piping gel..makes everything adhere.
Wafer paper is edible..I have some plain sheets that I stamp w/ stamps that have been painted w/ edible food coloring.
The other cookie I wanted to try because they are so surprise like cute.are what the author called:"pinata cookies" can see her snowman snowglobe tutorial here..and that's what I did ..but with hearts~.
Think of the possibilities:)♥
I had to paint a cookie of course..I cannot resist a canvas to have fun..
I used royal icing to pipe around..(the internet abounds with recipes and videos)..and flood filled the interior..let them dry overnight and then painted..the a stamp..that I coated with edible food coloring.The words were reminded to me by Sarah's cute cute Valentine's post~
The Hello Kitty..I made the $ store they had a kit..the cutter..the noses..and the black and red gel coloring..I had to try..I love that cat:)
I will give them to Giu..the only girl here.
You know I have to say..I don't eat these..I make them as add-ons..cause they are so darn fun..but I don't like icing on a cookie;)
Give me a plain shortbread..or an oatmeal choco chip..I like my cookies..unadorned.
But to look at? Fun to play.
Let me just add my kitchen is a MESS when I finish playing and I love a sparkly it takes quite a few hours to get set up..bake..create..CLEANUP.
All worth it though~

And then.. outdoor love~

I love snowshoeing and x-country skiing..
Believe it ot not..the feeling is quite like walking on a beautiful
The beauty of it all..the wonder of it all.
Feels so clean and fresh and crisp.
A winter wonderland this past week~
Other little Valentine day ideas can be found here..and
here..I'll stop..I am going through posts remembering years gone by.
Love that about our blogs..we can see and feel what is different..what's not..who we have met along the way..who is gone..if only for a while..How our tastes change..etc.
Have a great weekend and week~