Friday, December 31, 2010

French Door Love And A Happy New Year

I have always been fond of French doors. And with it being new years, I wish you a year that is elegant, stylish and dreamy. I wish you a fantastic view of your very own little corner of the world. And I wish you everlasting sunshine in your home and in your hearts.

Images from Coastal Living, House Beautiful, House and Home, and Decor Pad. 

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Chewy Ginger Molasses Cookies

These are by far the BEST ginger cookies. Ever. Better than Starbucks in my opinon! I added finely chopped pieces of candied ginger and I also added some chopped Black and Green's organic ginger dark chocolate bar. 

2 1/4 cup flour
1.5 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1 tsp baking soda
3/4 cup salted (yes, salted) butter
1 cup golden brown sugar
1/4 cup molasses
1 egg
1/2 cup chopped candied ginger (optional)
1/2 cup chopped dark ginger chocolate (optional)
granulated sugar for rolling

Preheat oven to 350 F. Sift dry ingredients together, stir, and set aside. Cream butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy (I used a hand mixer) and then mix in egg and molasses. Add dry ingredients to wet, and mix well. Stir in candied ginger and chocolate. Form into 1.5 inch balls then roll in granulated sugar. Place on a cookie sheet 2" apart, then pop into the oven on the middle rack for 7 to 8 minutes. Don't overbake - they are meant to be super chewy. Let cool slightly before removing to a cooling rack. Enjoy!

Brandy Balls

These are easy, no-bake, and boozed up. They remind me of the moist rum balls that I had as a treat when I was a kid. So delicious, especially for the holiday season.

1 box vanilla wafer cookies (2-3/4 to 3 cups, finely crushed)
1 cup pecans, toasted
1/2 to 2/3 cup brandy 
1 cup confectioners sugar
3 tbsp good cocoa powder
2 tbsp honey

After toasting the pecans (350 F on a cookie sheet until lightly browned and fragrant), place them in a food processor with the vanilla wafers and pulse until finely crushed. I like my brandy balls moist and smooth. Another option is to finely chop the pecans instead of adding them to the food processor if you want a bit of texture. Next, add the cocoa powder and confectioners sugar and stir until combined. Add the honey and brandy (you could also use rum) and mix well. Form 1 inch balls and roll in chocolate sprinkles (or chopped nuts) and store in an airtight container. Enjoy!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

The Kitchen Rooster

I've always liked the farm house feel of kitchen roosters as statement pieces. My wonderful parents found one for me for Christmas (from The Added Touch in Oakville as a set of two). He is EXACTLY the kind I was looking for. Needless to say, as I unwrapped, the rest of my family responded with sideways glances and wrinkled brows, as not many knew of my rooster obsession. Rather handsome, isn't he?

Images from (in order): My own, Decor Pad, Country Living, Coastal Living, Architectural Digest and Pottery Barn.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Take Me To...

...Paula Dean's Savannah Beach House in Tybee Island, Georgia. While I can't say I'm a huge Paula Dean fan, this beach house which is available for rent via Mermaid Cottages would be a dream vacation for those like me who a) love to cook and b) love the beach. It is a short 4 blocks away from the sand and surf.

For the Christmas season, the house is decorated with all the festive trimmings to help celebrate the holidays.

The beach house itself is lovely!

And of course, the pantry also comes stocked with cookbooks, spices, sauces and inspiration. Cute.

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