Sunday, December 29, 2013


Red is my favorite color.  So naturally, my favorite bird is the cardinal.  ☺

The cats and I enjoy the birdfeeder...but for completely different reasons.  My chocolate lab, Luke, is on constant squirrel patrol.  I only have to whisper "squirrel" and he goes crazy. My yellow lab, Josie, sleeps through the whole thing.

I shot through the window, and bokeh flares are from the Christmas tree lights.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Frozen Morning

About 2 weeks ago we had small snowstorm that ended with a decent icing (1/2").  We lost power for about 15 hours...and when one has a well, that means no running water and! no flushing toilets!

With no electrical distractions, I ventured out with my trusty canon and found some great shots.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Spritz Cookies

These are wonderful little butter cookies!

1 Cup Butter (2 sticks)
3/4 Cup Sugar
1 Teaspoon Vanilla
2 Egg Yolks
1/2 Teaspoon Salt
2 1/4 Cups Flour
Food coloring (optional)
Chocolate chips, lemon curd, sprinkles (optional)
Cookie Press

Preheat oven 350ºf degrees.

Cream butter and sugar until fluffy.  Add vanilla and egg yolks (and food coloring).  Mix together.  Sift flour and salt and add to butter mixture.  Mix thoroughly (start slowly or you will have a cloud of flour!)

Dough is sticky.  Place in cookie press.  Squeeze shapes onto Silpat baking mat and cookie sheet.  Add sprinkles or chocolate chips.  If using lemon curd, making an indentation in middle of cookie.  Add a small dollop of lemon curd.

Bake cookies on middle rack for 10-12 minutes until edges are lightly golden.

Now, try to only eat 1!

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Pecan Puffs

I love baking Christmas cookies.  I go through at least 15lbs of butter by the end of December...

The first cookies I ever learned to bake are Pecan Puffs. Yes, they may look like Mexican wedding cookies, but they are far more delicate and just so yummy to eat!


1 Stick Butter
2 Tablespoon Sugar
1/2 Teaspoon Salt
1 Teaspoon Vanilla
1 Cup Flour
1 Cup Pecans (ground after measuring)
Sifted Powdered Sugar (in a separate large bowl)

Preheat oven to 300ºf degrees. 

Cream butter, sugar, salt, and vanilla. Add flour and pecans.  Mix thoroughly.
Place dough in fridge until firm.   Roll dough into 1" balls. I use a Silpat baking mat on a cookie sheet, but if you don't have one, use parchment paper.  Place dough balls about 1/2" apart.  Place cookie sheet on a rack in the middle of the oven and bake for 30 minutes.

Cool cookies.  Place small batches of cookies in the bowl of powdered sugar.  Roll cookies until completely coated.