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22 February 2013

That Lovin' Feeling

Did you survive Valentine's Day last week?  You didn't forget about it, did you?

If you're having one of those light bulb moments where it suddenly becomes clear why your significant other has been giving you the silent treatment for the past week...well, now you know.  Make amends - cook them a nice dinner, snuggle on the couch with a good movie - things will be back to normal in no time at all. Hopefully.

In the mean time, to further remind you of the "holiday" of love, how about some Valentine themed cookies?


Hugs, kisses, teddy bears, and love letters.  All present and accounted for.  Oh, and I unexpectedly received the gift of a new cookie pan last week.  Guess what shape it makes the cookies?  If you guessed hearts, you are correct!


I tested different royal glaze thickness levels on the light pink cookies; hence, the reason they all look a bit different.

Did you get any snow in your neck of the woods?  We did and were thankful for every inch of it (about 7" all total).  It even earned me a day off work!  Spent the day at home, making soup, baking cookies, shoveling snow, and, of course, playing in it as well.  All in all, a day very well spent.

Talk to you soon!  Stay warm!

19 February 2013

Meyer Lemon Juice Substitute

There's a difference between regular lemons and Meyer lemons; Meyers are slightly sweeter than their regular counterparts.  So, if you have a recipe that calls for Meyer lemon juice and you can't find Meyer lemons, what are you to do?  Simple:  just substitute equal parts regular lemon juice and orange juice.


13 February 2013

"F" is for Football

Yes, I know football is officially over for a few weeks.  The final big game was "lights out" for the season. (Pun intended.)  But, that doesn't mean that I can't still create football themed goodies!

After all, football love doesn't end just because the season does, as evidenced by this cake and cookies.



Speaking of love...don't forget that Valentine's Day is Thursday (that's tomorrow).  If you've got a sweetie, better plan something good.  And, if you don't, buy yourself something pretty - you're worth it. 

That's amore!

12 February 2013

Whipped Cream Wisdom

There's really no comparison between pre-made and homemade whipped cream.  And, since it's fairly easy to make at home, there's really no reason why you shouldn't make your own.

The basic recipe for Perfect Whipped Cream:
Chill a large bowl (either stainless steel or glass) and a whisk or mixer beaters for 30 minutes.  Combine 1 cup cold heavy whipping cream and 1 to 2 tablespoons confectioners' sugar in the bowl; whisk or beat on medium speed until the cream just holds soft peaks.  Yields approximately 2 cups of whipped cream.

Additional tips:
  • You can refrigerate the leftover whipped cream, just use within 24 hours.  Gently re-whip it, if necessary.
  • The higher the fat content of the cream you use, the better the whipped cream, so use heavy cream or heavy whipping cream - they are at least 36% fat.  Whipping or light whipping cream will make a less stable whipped cream, and light cream won't whip at all.

07 February 2013

A Sail by the Sea

You're already dreaming about white sand beaches and frozen cocktails with umbrellas, aren't you?  This cake can maybe provide some additional inspiration for adding to your simulated vacay.


And, now you're probably thinking these goodies were for a baby shower or a boy's birthday.  If so, sorry, but they weren't.  They were actually for my niece's 18th birthday...I'm guessing she's like so many of us and needs a warm weather vacation, too, hence the theme for the cake.  Oh, and the cake was a marble of red velvet and chocolate cake; I'm christening it "The Velvet Devil" and adding to the available flavor list.  Yay!

My favorite (or at least one of my favorite) cowboys put in an appearance this week, too.


Is it college football season yet?  Basketball helps tide me over, but let's be honest - the first love is football.

Talk to you soon!

05 February 2013

Rise Up

A drafty kitchen makes it difficult to find a good place to allow bread dough to rise, since yeast doughs rise best when it's between 75 and 85 degrees.  Try one of these places:

  • A gas oven turned off with the door closed - the pilot light provides a little extra  heat.
  • An electric oven (turned off) with the light turned on and the door shut.
  • Inside the microwave with the door closed.
  • On top of the fridge - the compressor tends to give off heat.
  • Near a radiator or space heater, but not directly on top.
One other tip, you can add extra heat to a closed space by putting a saucepan of steaming water next to the dough.