Tuesday, May 25, 2010

My neighbors.......

my friends, for 27 years!

Here's the gate that connects our (back) yards together
the path that leads me to their (back) door.

This sign greets me at each visit as I enter their yard.
We have traveled this path back and forth through many seasons of our lives.
Come rain, snow or sunshine.

(that's my back yard in the background)

Cinnamon streusel bread +

Butter cream frosting =

a delectable loaf of tastiness for my back door friends.

Along with party napkins, I have a plethora of cellophane bags too.
They come in handy for packaging an assortment of gifts.
I thought you'd might like to see how I spruce them up.
I start with.....
coffee filters, they're ideal for packaging baked goods,
they're absorbent with a charming ruffly touch .
The tan filters matched my kitchen themed tissue paper.

I've got all three designs of Goose Berry Patch tissue: Christmas, Garden and Kitchen prints,
(my all time favorites).
To my disappointment the tissue and matching bags have been discontinued from the GBP line, if anyone has any connections...
I would love it if they'd bring it back.

I cut a strip long enough to wrap from top to bottom.
Covering only the front and back, leaving the sides exposed, for a tiny hint at the surprise inside.

To dye the tags, dip or spritz with brewed tea.
Sprinkle cinnamon over damp tags , let dry.
Once again, the impatient one that I am...they went into the oven for a quick dry.
When they completely dried, I sprinkled a few drops of extract.
Some of my tags were scented with vanilla extract the others with cinnamon.
I change the extract to match the flavor of the confection inside.
Lemon, orange, coconut and almond extracts are the scents I use the most.
(I always use extracts and tea dyes for wrapping all food products)

Jot a note or recipe.

Tie with jute twine.

Reach into your collection of......Napkins, laces, ribbons or handkerchiefs, these are all simple elegant options.
Using fabric napkins or vintage hankies is giving a gift wrapped in a gift.

Dried or candied fruit slices can be used as charms with the tags.

Teas and candied fruit can be given during any season,
served up hot or cold.
I drop a few slices in the cello bag with the tea.
The candied lemon and orange slices are wonderful when they're infused with the tea.
Throughout the summer......sun tea is always brewing on my patio.

A swatch of lace, candied fruit and a little flower makes your cellophane bag into an elegant gift.

An easy and inexpensive way to personalize your ribbon is simple to achieve with rubber stamps.
You choose the caption, ribbon and color of ink, then stamp away.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010


in spring with the help of Heather Bullard 's boutique
I purchased these vintage porcelain appetizer plates.
My only regret is not having a few more to add to my collection.
Who knows, maybe Heather will discover a lovely set in her flea market ventures.

You'll find the most exquisite treasures at her boutique.
I will warn you...if you find something that strikes your fancy, act fast because items get snatched up quickly.

When you stroll over for a visit,
you can get the latest scoop on her new magazine
Flea Market Style
This magazine is a" must have" for your coffee tables.

I adore my vintage plates!
The delicate details of their raised divider.

If you look closely... these precious ball handles are reminiscent of my favorite snack,
sugar snap peas and every bit as sweet.

To my surprise these were the perfect size to serve as luncheon plates.

Potato medallion, strip steak, sauteed mushroom asparagus with a Parmesan cheese trumpet filled with a Boursin aioli.

Filo nests with lemon curd creme, fresh berries and candied lemon peel.

You can find the creme and strawberries recipe here...
I added 3-4 tablespoons (to taste) of lemon curd to the recipe.

I can serve my main courses and desserts at the same time without any worries
of savory mixing with sweet.

Italian ravioli salad.

cheese ravioli or tortellini
Genoa Salami
Julienne carrot
green onion
Italian seasoned julienne sundried tomato
Italian cheese (grated)
Good Seasons Italian (all natural) Salad Dressing

( one packet prepared)

Romaine hearts

Dark chocolate mousse topped with mandarin orange marmalade.

You can find the chocolate mousse recipe here...
sweet and petite
Pot Du Creme

I combined semi chocolate with the milk chocolate chips.

Gently blend mandarin orange segments with orange marmalade.

Filo nests

Cut one single sheet of filo in half.
This is where neatness doesn't count, lay the pastry loose and crinkled in a (non stick) muffin tin
(preferably the larger cups).
The more wrinkles the better the effect.
Bake at 325 just until a pale golden brown, approx.. 5 mins.

Cut single strips of filo.
Spread a wrinkled layer on cookie sheet.
Spritz pastry strips with a coat of spray cooking oil.
Bake the same as the nests.

Scatter a few of the loose strips into your nest and fill.
I freeze both the mousse and creme.
When frozen it actually takes on a gelato consistency.
Plating it while it's frozen keeps it chilled throughout dinner.

Both nests and fillings can be prepared well in advance.

I've received many request for suggestions on your upcoming special occasions Mother's Day, weddings and showers. That is why I choose this particular theme, because these nests can be applied to each of these events.

Pearls Of Wisdom

This idea came to me while I was playing in my jewelry box and came across a strand of pink pearls.
As mother's we're always giving advice to our children.
Suggestions that may have been given to us by our own mothers.
Our hope is... those "pearls of wisdom' we gift our posterity will be handed down through the line to future generations.

In advance...have each guest send you their pearls of wisdom, especially those that include humor.
Print or write them on (decorative) paper.
**Don't forget to include the tittle
"Pearls Of Wisdom" on each note**

Tint and Roll small balls of fondant to form pearls.

After they've partially dried and are firm to the touch, drill a hole with a toothpick through each pearl .
(I'm not patient... I put the pearls in the oven at 200 degrees for about 3-4 mins).

Set aside to cool.
Brush with Lustre pearl dust.

String the pearls with a narrow ribbon, bakers twine, or crochet thread.
Gather both ends and tie a knot.
Tie the rolled note onto a larger decorative bow.
Gently place your pearls of wisdom. on your dessert.

As your guest are seated and ready to enjoy their desserts, have them read some or all of the notes aloud .
Gather the pearls of wisdom together and place them in a keepsake box as a gift for your guest of honor.

I've also had several inquires about the Glad Press'n Seal.
To clarify...it's a plastic wrap not a sealing machine.
I know the name can send a mix message.
I purchase the large rolls from Costco, but you can find it in any store on the same shelf as the (Saran) cling wrap and tin foil.