Monday, February 23, 2009

...raindrops on roses.

Once of the best places to be after the rain is in a garden. Just to breath deep and smell the fresh bouquet of the earth is so grounding after the hectic responsibilities of day to day life. Being able to capture this through the eyes of a camera opens up an even a larger world. Through the lens you are challenged to notice things that would otherwise pass you by at a swift glance. Peer into the raindrop on the first photo and you can see the back door into my house. Natures microscope. If you let your imagination soar it could be the beginning of a great children' s fairy tale.
Perhaps sitting amongst nature is the way the richest tales are born.

Monday, February 9, 2009

...valentine cookies on a rainy day.

Sometimes I love a rainy Sunday! It allows me the excuse to stay in my PJ's all day and do whatever comes to mind, with no agenda. One of my favorite things is to play in the kitchen. It's my own personal therapy and I never quite know what culinary creation I might cook up. Of course on rainy PJ day there is no running to the store, so I have to make due with what I have at hand. Yesterday, after a search on Martha Stewart dot com, I settled for these Valentine treasures. Believe it or not I had all the ingredients right down to the cookie cutters, which when you think about it, is a bit scary! They are a little bit time consuming but well worth it. It's like making little edible Valentine cards. They also taste great with a warm cup of Earl Grey tea (yes, of course I had to taste test them)
Here is the recipe right off Miss Martha's site.


  • 2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3/4 cup pecan halves, toasted
  • 2 tablespoons confectioners' sugar, plus more for sprinkling
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup cherry jam, strained


  1. Sift flour and baking powder into a bowl; set aside. Pulse pecans, confectioners' sugar, salt, and cinnamon in a food processor until finely ground (but not wet); transfer to the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment.
  2. Add butter and granulated sugar; mix on medium speed until fluffy. Mix in vanilla and egg. Reduce speed to low. Add flour mixture; mix until combined. Halve dough; shape into disks. Wrap in plastic; refrigerate until firm, at least 2 hours.
  3. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Working with 1 disk at a time, roll out dough on a lightly floured surface to 1/8 inch thick. Refrigerate 20 minutes. Cut out squares with a 2-inch fluted cutter. Cut out centers of half the squares with a 1/2-inch heart cutter; reroll scraps. Space 2 inches apart on parchment-lined baking sheets. Bake squares and hearts until pale golden, 8 to 10 minutes. Transfer to racks to cool.
  4. Meanwhile, heat jam in a small saucepan over medium heat until reduced and thickened, about 7 minutes; let cool.
  5. Sprinkle cutout cookies with confectioners' sugar. Spread jam onto uncut squares; top with cutout ones. Store in an airtight container up to 2 days.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

...camellias, roses, and a heartfelt thank you.

Wow, it seems like forever since I've sat down and posted anything...three weeks really, but it seems much longer.It's great to be back in the land of blog!
Thought I would start Feb. out with a surprise in my garden. We've had such warm weather for the month of Jan. that my roses have been tricked into thinking it's spring. I went out to explore before the rain started this morning and came across the most beautiful blush of pink, and right next to that my camellia tree in full bloom. What a wonderful treat under today's grey and gloomy sky's.
I also want to thank everyone who took the time to find the perfect card, sent the most heartfelt e-mails, and just lent me their ear or shoulder in the last few weeks. It means the world to me to have such special people in my life.
I found a beautiful quote by one of my favorite people and used it in my father's memorial card. I try and remember this now in all aspects of my life even if it's just to stop and remember an unexpected rose on a rainy day.
"What we have once enjoyed, we can never lose. All that we love deeply, becomes a part of us" - Helen Keller 1880-1968


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