A Hint of the Holidays

 

19th century scalloped cookie cutters.

 

I am thinking alot about the holidays.  The decorating I want to do, the things I want to bake and the gifts I want to give.  Standing in the check out stand at the grocery store, I spied a holiday cookie magazine and decided to give one recipe a try.  My lovely neighbor, Darlene and her family are always the recipients and by extension, the judges of my experiments.  Seems to be thumbs up all the way around for these delicious and festive Cherry Almonds Half Moons.  Looks like they will find a permanent place in my recipe files. Recipe after the pictures below.

Cheers to what lies ahead.

I hope you find some inspiration.

xoxo.

Cindy

Chilled and freshly rolled.

A dollup of cherry pie filling.

Not neat, but lovingly home made.

 

Folded over, sealed and ready for the oven.

Almond glaze drizzled on the warm, just out of the oven cookies and topped with sliced almonds.

Warm pastry enveloping a sweet, cherry center.

A treat for the Holidays.

Cherry Almond Half Moons

1 c. butter, softened

1 8 oz package of cream cheese, softened

1 t. almond extract

2 c. all purpose flour

1/2 c. canned cherry pie filling or cherry preserves

2 egg whites

3/4 c. powdered sugar

1/4 t. almond extract

1 – 2 T. water or milk

1/2 c. of sliced almonds

1. In a large mixing bowl, beat the butter and cream cheese with an electric mixer on medium to high speed for 30 seconds.  Beat in 1 t. of almond extract until combined.  Beat in the flour, on low, until dough comes together.  Divide dough in half.  Wrap each half in a disc shape in clear wrap and chill dough for about 1 and 1/2 hours or until dough is easy to handle. A couple of notes on the dough.  Once it is mixed, the dough is actually a little bland.  However, once it is filled with the filling, baked and add the sweetness of the glaze…it all seems to come together very well.  Secondly, if the dough is too hard once it comes out of the fridge, let it sit to soften a bit.  It needs to be somewhat pliable to roll out properly.

2. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Line cookie sheets with parchment paper, set aside.  On a lightly floured surface roll half of the dough at a time to 1/8 inch thick.  Using a 3 – inch scalloped-edge round cookie cutter, cut out dough.  place the rounds 1 inch apart on the prepared cookie sheets.

3. Spoon 1/2 t. of filling in the center of each round.  Fold dough rounds in half, enclosing filling; press edges to seal.  Whisk egg whites until frothy; brush cookies lightly with egg wash.  Bake 12 to 15 minutes or until cookies are light brown.

4. In a small bowl, stir together powdered sugar, the remaining almond extract, and enough of the water or mil to make the icing a drizzling consistency. Sprinkle with almonds.  Let cookies stand until icing is set.  Makes 32 cookies. (recipe from Better Homes & Gardens)

 

 

Pretty Holders

End of season flowers in a miniature, vintage glass pitcher.

I am always on the hunt for pretty little things that can be used in very practical ways for home keeping and organizing.  These lovely little shells do the trick as soap and sponge holders in my cottage kitchen.  As my style has evolved into a more coastal style (see a previous blog article, Coastal Leanings) they fit right in.

I picked up these two little shells from my good friend, Vince at GOOD LOOK, Inc. around the corner in Princeton, Texas.  I am grateful to know him, as he reminds me and helps me every day to see the beauty in simple things. He has recently opened an online shop where he offers his beautiful antiquities at secondshoutout.com.  His wonderful eye and great style are available to the masses since he now ships.  Please give him a look, you’ll be glad you did.

What pretty little things can you use to organize your home?

I hope you find some inspiration.

xoxo.

Cindy

Faint hues from faded flowers and handmade lavender and oat soap.

 Vintage bottle for soap, vintage pitcher for flowers and lovely little shells for soap and sponge caddies.

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Spicing It Up With Old and New Lab Jars

 

Lovely kraft paper labels to add some vintage style.

I used to store my spices in small round tins with vintage labels.  That worked for a while, but at some point I decided I wanted glass jars.  Searching high and low in the Internet, I finally found the ones I wanted at a lab supply warehouse.  As I was jumping around their website, I came across amber etched stopper bottles and decided they would be great as vessels to hold and preserve my extracts.

Using a mixture of old apothecary jars, vintage squat jelly jars, new amber jars, larger tins and clear, straight sided jars, I was able to store each kind of item conveniently along with adding visual interest that variety brings.

I built the shelves for these items to fit the space.  The spice shelf was built to be inset in a window that is permanently sealed shut that is in exactly the right spot to be able to grab and go anywhere in the kitchen.

I hope you find some inspiration.

xoxo.

Cindy

Old and new jars to hold each kind of item.

Inset in a sealed window that is easy to display and convenient to access.

 

Old apothecary jars to hold larger quantities.

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My Blog Featured by Cottages and Bungalos Magazine Talent Scout

 

Clever Vintage Kitchen Organization Solutions Featured at Whisperwood Cottage Blog, Talent Scouts for Cottages and Bungalos Magazine.

 

My lovely friends at Whisperwood Cottage, who are also talents scouts for Cottages and Bungalos Magazine,  featured my blog in their article about vintage kitchen storage.  Happy to be chosen and happy to be featured.  Thanks so much!

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To get to the article, click here.

Using the Vintage for Storage

 

A variety of vintage and antique containers.

For a long time, I used to collect vintage aluminium measuring spoons that came in a set, held together with a small ring.  The problem, however, was that aluminum does not come through a wash cycle in the dishwasher very well and keeping them on a ring was necessary to keep them from getting lost…but kind of inconvenient for practical use.  It seemed that being able to grab them and use them individually made more sense…but I wanted to find spoons that were more substantial and had some style to them.

I was perusing an import store and found a set of white china measuring spoons for a very reasonable $2.99 a set and decided on the spot that I wanted several sets to break apart and use a variety of little vintage containers that I already had in my collection.

Even the most functional storage can be beautiful and useful.

I hope you find some inspiration.

Always,

Cindy

 

Stored by measurement, as a group.

Organization that Works!

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Homekeeping and Organization with Vintage Wireware

Vintage Wire Basket holding dish towels.

Vintage Wireware.  Just as functional today as it was many years ago.  But considered much more lovely by those of us who appreciate their considerable charm.  Usefulness and beauty.  You really can’t ask for anything more.

I hope you find some inspiration.

Always,

Cindy

Remember to click on pictures twice to bigify!

 

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