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Cinnamon and Ginger ebook giveaway!

My workplace, StockFood, is promoting its partner company icook2day and their newest ebook, Cinnamon and Ginger.  Starting tomorrow, November 23rd, the book will be available for free (normally $5.99) through Sunday.  Don’t miss out!

I’ve tested one of the many cookie recipes here for you to try.

Chocolate Crinkle Cookies

1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

2 cups granulated sugar

1/2 cup vegetable or canola oil

4 fresh eggs

2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup confectioner’s sugar, plus extra for dusting

1. Mix together cocoa, white sugar, and vegetable oil in a medium bowl.  Beat in eggs one at a time, then stir in vanilla.  In a  separate bowl, combine flour, baking powder, and salt; stir in to the cocoa mixture.  Cover dough, and chill in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours or until firm enough to shape into balls.

2.  Position oven rack in the center of the oven.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.  Line cookies with parchment paper.

3.  Place the confectioner’s sugar in a shallow bowl.  With lightly greased hands roll chilled dough into 1 in balls.  Roll the ball in the confectioner’s sugar until completely coated.  Place on prepared cookie sheet 2 inches apart.

3.  Bake for 8-12 minutes, just until edges are firm. Do not over bake, cookie should be soft and chewy.  Let stand on the cookie sheet for a minute before transferring to wire racks to cool.  Dust with the confectioner’s sugar.  Serve.

A few notes:  I found that baking them for 8 minutes was better for keeping the chewy center- that was perfect!  I also replaced most of the ingredients for raw or organic alternatives.  Raw cacao powder, raw organic coconut sugar, olive oil (that’s all I had on hand), gluten free flour, and pink Himalayan sea salt.  I did use eggs, although I believe you can use a flax seed replacement if you want to make a vegan version.

Follow this link to find the free download info.

Salty Fig cookie ad

Enjoy!

            

 

 

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Dollhouse

I had a beautiful blue and white Victorian dollhouse my mom once gave me.  Over the years it fell into disrepair.  When it arrived at my new house from my mother’s basement, it looked like this:

(Click on the images to display the gallery)

I probably hadn’t seen it in 20 years and it was painful to see it like this.  Right then I decided to fix ‘er up.

Now, I’ve restored it to its original condition, more or less.

My next plan is to improve upon it.  I’m thinking some wall paper, more furniture, new carpet, etc.  You might also see this house make an appearance in my Alice in Wonderland shoot with Lola Studios.  Stay tuned!

On a side note:  My mom and I wanted to put together a gingerbread lighthouse together.  We didn’t have time to design that, so we got a Disney Cinderella castle instead.  We got that and a bunch of fun candies at Cracker Barrel to decorate it with.  That was definitely a highlight of the holidays!

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Hope you all had a great holiday and have a happynewlear…YEAR!

~Lauren

Tiffany Sandwich Cookies

These cookies came from my mom’s best high school friend’s mom, Mrs. Tiffany.  These cookies are a special treat with coconut, oatmeal, and cornflakes with a chocolate cream these filling.  YUM!  They do take some time to make, which is why they are usually a once a year Christmas treat.  They are well worth it though.

tiff

Tiffany Sandwich Cookies

(recipe from my mom)

Sift  1 cup flour
½ tsp baking soda
¼ tsp salt
Set aside

Cream  ½ cup shortening
½ cup granulated sugar
½ cup brown sugar
Beat until light and creamy

Blend 1 egg
½ tsp vanilla
Stir in flour mixture

Add 1 cup corn flakes  – measure then crush
1 cup quick rolled oats
½ cup coconut

Remove 1/3 of dough  – reserve

Shape 2/3 into balls – Level tbsp per ball
Place on greased cookie sheet or on parchment paper
Flatten with bottom of glass (dipped in flour – to prevent sticking)

Shape 1/3 into Level tsp balls

Bake at 350 degrees for 8-10 minutes

Filling

Melt over hot water in double boiler
6 oz package Nestle’s Semi Sweet morsels
½ cup confectioners’ sugar
1 tbs water
Stir until smooth and creamy

Blend in 3 oz package soft cream cheese
Beat until smooth, Let Cool
Spread on larger cookies, Top with small cookies
Let cool

I typically double or triple this recipe.

Let me know if you make these. I’d love to know what you think!

Happy Holidays!

Lauren

‘Tis the Season

The day after turkey day, we went to Hanscome’s Christmas Tree Farm in North Yarmouth to pick out and cut down any tree of our choosing.  I have always wanted to do that and was happy to find a place in our own backyard.

Upon arrival we picked up a saw and headed out into the field.  I was hoping for a tall wide one like I had last year, but it wasn’t going to work out this year.  We finally happened upon a very nice, sturdy, tall, dependable tree – just like my husband 🙂 .  After playing around a bit we committed to it by chopping it down and carrying it through the village of trees.

  

Whenever I’ve put up a tree in the past, I’ve always put up all the ornaments I’ve collected as a child and as I grew up.  I’ve noticed other people creating trees with a theme and I thought for our first year in the house that I would try a collected look as well.

I decided to go with something beachy, silver and blue, and snowy- kind of like a Maine winter. Here’s what I came up with:

Here are a few examples of what I used:

A clear ornament with sand from our Honeymoon…

An assortment of scented balls from a potpourri set from Michaels…

Some funky disco balls to bring out the shine…

Coastal themed potpourri sets…

A bunch of little icicles…

And, of course, some sentimental items:

An ornament given to us by Scott and Ruth of the Brewster House.  We’ve stayed there every New Year’s Eve since the night we were engaged.

The ornament my mom gave us last year in honor of our first Christmas in Maine with the Lears…

And a his and hers first Christmas ornament from my mother in law, Cissie.

I hope you all have fun decorating for the season ahead.

Cheers!

Lauren

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