Wednesday, April 23, 2014

More Wedding Treats

I have not entered anything on my blog for years! But I keep doing fun stuff. Here are more wedding treats I did for another wedding this year.

These are a favorite cookie I used to buy at a special bakery. I finally figured out how to make them!!!!! But it is a secret I am keeping to myself. They are filling with chocolate hazelnut buttercream.

This is a plate of all the goodies I made.

My first attempt at making macarons. The next three attempts failed. These are not easy!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Getting Back To The Blog

I have been busy. What have I been doing? Everything seems to take so long that it is hard to account for all this time!!! Here is a brief recap of my activities since my last posting:

Christmas Quilts! I made denim/flannel quilts for each grandchild.
For Grandchild #1

For Grandchild #2

For Grandchild #3

In Febrary I went to Montana for 50 days to babysit the grandkids while their Dad was away at school and their Mom was working most days. I loved being with them. However, I found out that the endless patience I thought I had mastered could still be shattered with enough nights of sleep deprivation. Here is a before and after Photoshop edited photo of getting ready to go to the park and where it would have been fun to have spent a vacation with them.

Since coming home from Montana, catching up on sleep and adjusting to total peace and quiet, I have started on the process of returning to the "Ranks of the Employed" or the "Beginning of a New Career" or "Coming out of Retirement." Whatever one wants to call it, it is pretty scary. I have not had a full time job for many years. My resume has gone through 20 revisions or more. A friend hired me part time for a summer job in the administrative assistant field and I love it. Anyone know of some openings?

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

My oldest daughter makes tatted snowflakes and I often get them as gifts for Christmas. Here is what I did this year with my collection.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Wedding Reception Treats

I love making mini desserts. Sometimes I get to do this for special family events. Last week I was busy creating treats for my nephew's wedding reception. I used a theme of fall colors and flavors. Shown above is the final tally of goodies. Below are some individual photos.
I loved the musings of another blogger who wondered what Fall leaves would taste like. So I started experimenting on that concept. I made some maple flavored crisp cookies that I cut out with a maple shaped cookie cutter. They turned out beautifully but did not photograph well. I also made cinnamon crisp cookies cut into oak leaf shapes which were also delicious but did not photograph well either. From that start I experimented with other Fall themed desserts.

These are mini turnovers. They are filled with berry and apple pie filling that I created using plenty of corn starch and tapioca for thickener.

These are mini meringues. I used an orange powder for the flavoring and color, and used decorating sugar for the topping. I also remembered reading somewhere that using a bowl of water to dip a finger into would let me smooth the pointed tops that were left.

These are mini lime and lemon tarts. They were really delicious and very popular!!!!!

These are heart shaped sugar cookies rolled very thin. I divided the finished dough into five parts and added paste food color to each part. I used yellow, green, orange, red and purple. Then I cut out the cookies. I made blended colors of different colored scraps of dough to make transition colors. I was going for a variety of Fall leaf colors and the concept of hearts as Fall leaves.

These mini cupcakes are one of my old standbys but I realized that decorating sprinkles over the top hides the rough pipping tips. Great trick!

Also served were mini cream puffs purchased from Costco, Nanaimo bars and cheesecake slices in a variety of flavors from a grocery bakery. These made a lovely presentation each on a different crystal like plate or cake stand and I had a wonderful time experimenting with new ideas.

Friday, April 30, 2010

Spring Projects

I have been busy the last few months but haven't posted. However, I continue to stalk many blogs. I saw something on this wonderful blog that I loved. I thought, I could do that! I don't need a pattern!" I had several yards of the chiffon already gathered left over from another project so I made a skirt. It took much longer since I didn't have a pattern and had to do a lot of planning and recovering from plans that didn't work like I thought they would. However, here is the result. I call it a cotton candy skirt although the one I saw was called something else. Here is the link to the skirt I saw on my friend's blog.

I also found a dress that was worn by my oldest daughter about 26 years ago. Each of my daughters had a matching dress and I saved one of them. When I found it again I realized that my granddaughter could wear it. However, I needed to lengthen it a bit since dresses were much shorter then. It looks like this will fit for a year or two! The old hemline left a mark so I did some embroidery to match the smocking on top. It turned out great. However, my granddaughter was tired of posing, I guess.

I couldn't send these to my granddaughter without also sending something to her brothers so I made hero shirts. I designed logos for them and printed them onto iron on transfer paper then applied them to the t-shirts. Then I made capes out of old table topper fabric pieces that were used at their mother's wedding reception. I used Velcro to attach the capes but I should have just made ties to tie them on. The weight of the capes pulled on the shoulders of the t-shirt.

I also have also discovered some wonderful additions to oatmeal cookies. Try adding some coconut, dried tart cherries ( I used Dried Pitted Tart Montgomerency Cherries from Trader Joes.), almond extract instead of vanilla and chocolate chips. YUM!!!!!!!!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Bean Cookie Experiments

I was reading about using cooked white beans as a substitute for fats in recipes and was very intrigued. So I started experimenting. First I tried a chocolate chip cookie recipe from the book, I Can't Believe It's Food Storage by Crystal Godfrey. These cookies are pictured on the tray in the center and are the brown cookies with the chocolate chips in the close-ups. The ones on the left on the tray are gluten free cookies using green pea flour and with beans as the fat substitute. Their close-up is the top photo. The ones on the right on the tray are the same gluten free pea flour cookies where I used the fat called for in the recipe. They are also in the lower close-up photo. This genius recipe was developed by Dorothy Allard:

Check her blog for lots of interesting GF recipes and information. When I made these cookies I used chopped Andes mints instead of chocolate chips for the mint flavor to go with the green colored cookies.

Here are the directions for the white bean chocolate chip cookies:

I used navy beans, a small white bean. For each pound (2 cups of dried beans, add 10 cups of hot water. Heat to boiling and let boil for 5 minutes. Turn off heat, cover pan and let soak for at least one hour or overnight. (My beans are several years old so it took an overnight soaking an about 4 to 5 hours of simmering to cook them.) Once the beans are tripled in size from the soaking drain well. This removes the sugars that cause bean gas. Rinse out the pan and put the drained beans back in. Cover with water until the water level is about 1-2 inches above the beans. Bring back to a boil and then cover the pan and turn down to a simmer to cook. Cook the beans until they are tender but not falling apart. Drain the beans and store in the refrigerator or freezer for future use.

The book says to use the beans in recipes where butter is creamed with sugar, just make sure the beans are well drained and mash them up and cream them with the sugars. The flat end of my meat tenderizer is great for mashing these beans. They add more moisture to the mixture than butter or shortening.

To use the beans in recipes were oil is called for, make a bean puree by placing beans in a blender, then adding enough water to blend beans into a smooth, thick paste with no chunks. I think you may not have to add any water at all from what I have tried so far.

White Bean Chocolate Chip Cookies

1 cup cooked, drained white beans
3/4 cup white sugar (I used evaporated cane sugar)
3/4 cup brown sugar
2 eggs (If you are using powdered eggs, omit the water for reconstituting)
2 tsp vanilla
2 cups whole wheat flour
2 cups old-fashioned oatmeal, pulverized in a blender
3/4 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
12 oz chocolate chips

Mash the beans and cream them with the sugars. Add eggs and vanilla. Mix flour, oatmeal, salt. soda and baking powder into the creamed mixture. If dough is too dry, add a small amount of water. (The dough was very moist for me without adding any water.)

Dough will be thick and slightly sticky. Slowly stir in the chocolate chips. Drop by rounded teaspoonfuls onto greased baking sheet and bake at 375 degrees for 10-12 minutes. Take the cookies out of the oven before they look done or they will be too crispy. These make about 7 dozen. Store any that will not be eaten in one day in a zip-top bag in the freezer.

I loved these cookies and totally felt like I was eating very healthy stuff. I could even eat some for breakfast and feel perfectly justified!


The pea flour cookies with the beans as the fat substitute and the ones with the organic shortening were the same in taste. Only the texture was different. The ones with the beans were softer and kind of seemed like a candy bar.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

My Favorite Christmas Cookie

Real Divinity Cookies

2 cups powdered sugar
1 1/4 cups shortening
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp salt
2 cups sifted flour
Optional: 1/2 cup ground nuts, chocolate sprinkle or colored sprinkles

Mix ingredients in order given. Roll into 2 inch thick logs, wrap in waxed paper and chill. When ready to bake, slice into 1/4 inch thick slices and bake 7-12 minutes at 350 degrees on an ungreased cookie sheet or on a parchment lined cookie sheet.

You can also roll the log in colored decorator's sugar before chilling. Then the outside of each cookie will have a colored sugar edge.