Monday, March 31, 2008
Friday, March 28, 2008
Thursday, March 27, 2008
So many friends said, "Oh...The Shell Seekers!" knowing that it is one of my favorite books by Rosamunde Pilcher.
Have you read it? It is set in Cornwall, England and spans a family over 3 generations. It is filled with love, family lore and friends stopping by for tea.
I always tend to reread it in March when I am longing for the garden and picnics on enamelware plates. In one of the opening scenes, Penelope Keeling straightens the kitchen after breakfast and then heads out into the garden to check on her roses. It is my kind of fiction!
I'm including a photo from my shell seeking. Can you see the white shell near the bottom that is filled with bubbles from the last ocean wave? So pretty.
Tuesday, March 25, 2008
In 1897, Mark Twain wrote of Weggis, Switzerland..."this is the most charming place we have ever lived in for repose and restfulness." I couldn't agree more. Set in the Swiss Alps on Lake Lucerne, Weggis is a lovely place to stay during a European vacation.
Travel from town to town via paddle steamer from April to October and end a day of hiking with a gourmet meal at the Beau Rivage Hotel. The entire area looks like a children's train set - lush green hills, lakes, mountains and picturesque villages. Oh, I must return to Switzerland...
Monday, March 24, 2008
Saturday, March 22, 2008
Friday, March 21, 2008
One biscuit is the face, use a glass to cut another biscuit into 2 ears, and take a small piece of leftover dough for the nose. Pop two raisins in for eyes, bake for 8 minutes at 450* and you've got bunny buns!
Thursday, March 20, 2008
Coconut Nests: (3 ingredients and 10 min to make!)
Melt chocolate in microwave safe bowl by microwaving a 1/2 bag of semisweet chocolate chips for 30 seconds - stir. Microwave for 30 more seconds - stir. The chocolate should be melted and smooth, if not, microwave for 10 more seconds.
Stir in 1 cup of sweetened coconut flakes.
Make each nest by arrange a heaping tablespoon of chocolate mixture on a Silpat sheet or waxed paper lined cookie sheet.
Nestle 3 jelly beans inside each nest.
Place in freezer for 10 minutes to set.
Thank you Easter Bunny!
Wednesday, March 19, 2008
Tuesday, March 18, 2008
Country Living Women Entrepreneurs Part 2:
The "Make the Web Work For Your Business" panel discussion was led by Susan Mernit (Blogger & Yahoo Product Developer) and featured designer & blogger Heather Bailey, Beth Ferreira from Etsy (online marketplace for handmade items), and the team of Ann Fox & Donna King from a favorite catalog/website of mine, Room Service Home. The takeaway points were these: Make sure that your website tells your story and differentiates you from your competition. Use great photographs to represent your brand online and consider having your media kit available as a downloadable pdf. They all felt that a blog was a great way to humanize an online store and that blog activity helps with page relevancy and link rank. It was a great discussion and I left with a page full of notes and a brand new "to do" list.
Monday, March 17, 2008
Friday, March 14, 2008
My job is a little like being the tooth fairy. Women are usually planning the surprises...I think it is high time they get surprised with a bit of whimsy themselves.
That is delight.
Thursday, March 13, 2008
Tuesday, March 11, 2008
Cream Cheese Frosting
2 (8 oz each) pkgs cream cheese, softened 1 c. (2 sticks) butter, softened 2 c. powdered sugar 2 t. vanilla extract 3 drops of red food coloring
Beat cream cheese and butter together until smooth. Beat in powdered sugar. Add vanilla and red food coloring and mix well.
Monday, March 10, 2008
Cherry Pound Cake
1 c. butter
1/2 c. Crisco
3 c. white sugar
1 (10 oz) jar maraschino cherries
2 t. of cherry syrup (reserve from jar)
1/4 t. vanilla extract
1/2 t. almond extract
3 3/4 c. all purpose flour
1/4 t. salt
3/4 c. skim milk
Beat butter & Crisco with electric mixer. Gradually add the sugar. Add the eggs one at a time. Drain (reserve 2 T. cherry syrup) and chop cherries. Add cherries, reserved syrup and the extracts to the batter and mix. In a separate bowl, mix flour and salt together. Turn mixer on low and alternately add some of the flour mixture to the batter, then some milk. Repeat until all flour and milk is mixed into the batter. Pour into a greased and floured bundt pan (or Wilton's 3-D Egg pan) and bake at 300* for 1 hour & 45 minutes. Allow to cool for 10 minutes and remove from pan.
Sunday, March 9, 2008
Friday, March 7, 2008
Thursday, March 6, 2008
Wednesday, March 5, 2008
March is "garden planning" month and I'd like to suggest that you shake things up a bit this Spring. Plant some edible flowers and plan on one beautiful salad after another. Yes, you can add nasturtiums to a green salad. The petals are a beautiful orange color and have a peppery watercress-like flavor. Or plant some pansies and make an appetizer (Alouette cheese on celery with a halved grape tomato, a sprig of parsley & a pansy) that your book club will be talking about for years. Baking this Easter? How about your favorite lemon cake scattered with crystallized pansies & violas from Sur La Table. Would you like to read more about edible flowers? This site tells you everything you need to know. Spring is coming...