Monday, May 14, 2018

Meringue Roses

Meringue roses have been on my cooking
bucket list for a long time now, but you
know how that goes - something else always
takes precedence!  

After making the Cookie Cake for Easter
that was covered in macarons, meringues, chocolate
eggs and fresh flowers, I realized the grandchildren
loved the meringues as much as the macarons,
and so I decided to add them to the Mother's Day Cake.

Don't worry, I didn't slave over a cake for my
own Mother's Day celebration!  Hubby bought the 
Chocolate Tower Truffle Cake from Cheesecake
Factory (truly amazing) and I had the fun of
decorating it.

They are so quick and easy and it is
amazing what two little egg whites can do!
I decided to use a little Raspberry Jello to
add flavoring.  All I had in the pantry was
sugar free, so I tried it.  I have made many
meringues in my years of baking, but adding
just a little Jello made the best flavored
meringue and it was so firm and make
such pretty lines on the roses.  I will
always use a little Jell-O from now on.

Meringue Roses Recipe

2 egg whites room temperature
1 1/2 tsp. corn starch
1 1/2 tsp. white vinegar
1/2 C. granulated sugar
11/2 tsp. sugar free Raspberry Jell-O

In a clean bowl with whisk attachment,
begin whipping the egg whites until
frothy.  Mix the cornstarch and vinegar
together and whisk in for about a minute
to form soft peaks.  

Continue beating the egg whites 
adding the sugar slowly, until glossy
stiff peaks form.  Beat in the dry Jell-O.

Pipe out onto parchment paper.  Bake at
200 for one hour and fifteen minutes,
 then turn off the oven and leave them in the
oven for six hours or overnight.

I piped a pan full of roses and still had
plenty left, so I piped another pan of hearts and

The cake was decked out with fresh roses,
meringue roses, hearts and dots.  

Then I dipped the bottoms of some roses and hearts
in melted chocolate.  They were all a hit and
made such pretty cake decorations.

The chocolate Eiffel Tower I made using a mold
we had bought in Paris a few years ago.  I then
painted it with gold lustre.  It was hollow and
had hidden treats in it.

Now that I know how much the little ones love
meringues, we will be making them a lot more
often - they are so quick and easy and beautiful.

Thursday, May 10, 2018

Mother's Day Lilacs

I just love Mother's Day.  I love all of the beauty of the
world and gardens at this time of year.  I love that lilacs
are out in full bloom at Mother's Day here.

Which came first, my love of my parents' lilacs or
my love of purple?

As I was setting this table, the smell of the lilacs
brought back the smell of spring at home.  I used
to bring bunches into my bedroom when I was
in high school.

Although I was tempted to set this table outside,
as it would have been our first pretty weather,
I decided it was best in my formal dining room
with the purple banquets and chairs from Z Gallerie.

I started with white and silver polka dot
placemats.  Then I stacked ruffled purple plates
with ruffled white dessert plates.

These gorgeous ruffled dessert plates I found at
Tuesday Morning a few years ago.  They remind me of 
my French heritage on my mother's side.

The sterling came from my father's side.

This cut glass relish bowl is also from my father's side.

My life was made wonderful my both of my parents.
I didn't get my love of bling from my mom, but from 
my dad.  He loved beautiful home items and often
bought them for her.  

My life has also been made wonderful by being 
a mother and a grandmother.  Of all of my blessings,
there is nothing that compares to them.  

May Mother's Day bring you joy and sweet
memories of your mother or mother figures 
in your life.

Posting this table with

Monday, May 7, 2018

Chocolate Limone Brownies

The tang of lemon with chocolate is right up
there with the tart of raspberries paired with

One of our favorite places for pizza is
Pizzeria Limone and they have a lemon
frosted deep, dark and rich brownie
that I just can't get enough of, so I
decided to make a copycat recipe.

These were easy to make and they have just the right
amount of lemon to give it that punch against
chocolate.  If you like lemon and chocolate together,
these are going to become your favorite go to brownies.

I made mine is a huge 12x18 inch pan, so I tripled
the brownie recipe.  That gave me about 60 brownies
and I only needed about 30 for a neighborhood
"Walk and Talk".  We do this during summer months
and two or three homes are designated as the stopping
spots on a Sunday evening.  Food is served at the spots
and neighbors take turns making the items.  I was asked
to bring brownies, and I wanted to bring something unique
as others were bringing brownies also.  

We also had a dinner for our Young Single Adult
group that we are in charge of, so I brought a huge
plate to that, as I had so many.  They were gobbled up
first thing at both places.  I did make a little sign
designating them as lemon brownies, as I have a
son who doesn't like lemon (can you imagine?) and
I didn't want them wasted.  

Brownie Recipe

(For a 12x18 metal pan - cut in half for a 9x13)

4 1/2 C. flour
1 1/2 C. cocoa
6 C. sugar
2 tsp salt

Mix the above with a whisk.

Stir together
3 C. vegetable oil
2 T. vanilla
12 eggs

Stir into the flour mix.  Add 3 C. semi-sweet
chips, or a combination of semi-sweet, milk, and
white.  The chips are optional, but make it really

Stir together.  Grease the bottom of pan and spread
batter in pan.  Smooth out.  Bake at 350 for 40-50 
minutes.  You can tell brownies are about done when
you begin to smell them.  

Let cool.

Lemon Cream Frosting

1 C. softened butter
6 C. powdered sugar
Rind from 2 large lemons, finely grated
Juice from 2 large lemons
Additional water or milk as needed

In a large mixing bowl, mix the butter, powdered sugar
and lemon juice and rind.  Add water or milk 1 T. at
a time until you get a nice soft consistency.  Beat for
about 5 minutes.

Spread evenly over cooled brownies.  Let sit until
the frosting develops a crust.

Chocolate Glaze

2 C. semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 C. butter

Melt together for 1 minute in microwave safe
bowl.  Remove and stir.  Melt for additional
30 seconds if needed.  Stir until smooth.  Pour over
the frosting and smooth lightly with an off-set spatula.

Refrigerate until chocolate is set.  

When you want to cut the brownies, let them come
to room temperature so that the chocolate doesn't
break while you cut them.  Run a sharp, long knife
under hot water and quickly wipe it dry with a paper
towel.  Make a lengthwise cut, then repeat the heating
and drying of the knife for every cut.  This will give
you beautiful sharp edges.

Store tightly covered.

These would be great with some ice cold lemonade
on a hot summer day!

Thanks for stopping by to visit.  I hope you try them.

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Return of the Garden Fairies

After a long winter, the garden fairies have
returned to brighten our garden and create
their magic.

They inhabit every nook and cranny in our garden
and bring such delight to me and to the little ones.

We have them living in metal chairs,

 and in planters on the fence,

and in their own dedicated garden.  Of course, they
decided there wasn't enough room for them just in
the garden, so every year they continue to spread out.

But we don't mind - they are welcome everywhere.

They beautify the spaces of our garden

and plant crops.

They even invite us over for treats sometimes.
Fairies create magic wherever they decide to land.

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Berry Pretty MacKenzie-Childs Table

 Today is a day to celebrate the hope
of summer with MacKenzie-Childs
Berries and Blossoms Plates.  Just the thought of 
fresh berries from the garden makes me
excited for summer.

  We started the day out with
four inches of snow, which finished by 9:30 am
and then the sun came out and warmed it up
so you didn't even need a coat.
You never know what the temperature might
be at this time of year.

Miss Madi K, my MacKenzie-Childs Traveling
Tote and I are headed on a couple of fun adventures
these next two weeks, so we thought it would
be perfect to break these plates out.  You can
read about those adventures in our upcoming
giveaway on June 1st.

I just love the addition of berries and blossoms
to the traditional Courtly Check border.  The
blossoms look just like all my blossoms on
my fruit trees - which I am very worried about
with two days of snow this last week.  

I have had this black and white checked 
tablecloth for quite some time.  It is 
actually covered with sequins.  It is
from and picks
up the checks on the Berries and Blossoms plates.

 My MacKenzie-Childs canisters made perfect
vases for red and white flowers for the
center of the table.

I sprinkled a few of the berries 
on the tablecloth too.

The plates are topped with white tea cups
filled with a Vanilla Bean cupcake garnished
with fresh fruit.

Yum!  A Berry Shortcake Cupcake.

The red roses pick up the color of the
strawberries and raspberries.

This close-up shows the black and
white sequins.  I stacked my square wooden
chargers with round white plates for the stack
and accented everything with cherry red flatware.

Red goblets add another pop of color
to the table.

I am in love with these plates.  I purchased them
for picnics since they are melamine.  They will also
be great for little people.

I hope this table brought a little sunshine
into your life, even if it is snowing today!

I will be sharing this with 

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