Sunday, February 28, 2016

Spring Tablescape Inspiration

Hello everyone.  I hope you are all enjoying your weekend.  It is still a bit cold and windy here in the Northeast making a little difficult to think about spring decorating....  Nevertheless, I am very much looking forward to pastels colors, spring flowers and warm days ahead.

We have been busy finishing up a few makeovers around the house.  My reading room is done with the exception of new blinds for the eight windows in the room.  Yes, eight windows and there are a total of 43 windows in our home.  Yikes....  And our master bedroom makeover is finally complete. Window treatments and all. 

I promise to share photos of these two rooms in the next few weeks.  Today however, I am sharing a few photos of a spring tablescape that I hope will ease the way into the spring season.  

As many of you know, I enjoy creating a beautiful table.  Part of the fun for me is the planning that goes into setting a table.  It does not have to be an over the top table but colors, lighting, mood and food are key for effortless entertaining.  I love layering a table with crisp linens of lace cloths, napkins, china, fresh flowers and of course, candles, especially if I am entertaining in the evening. Keep in mind that colors and patterns aren't the only ways to make your table setting pop.  A mix of interesting textures can add a subtle and elegant look with very little effort.  

Here, I used natural plate chargers layered with creamy textured porcelain dinnerware, check napkins, classic stemware and forge flatware to create a laid-back mood in this setting.  A simple floral center piece using tulips pulls it all together. To add a bit of visual impact to the table, I added a natural twig nest to each place setting.  Simply beautiful.

I think this table is easy for anyone to re-create.  It is fresh, elegant and very inviting.  I hope you can apply some of these ideas to your own tables this spring.  Now, it is on to watching the red carpet and the Oscars.





































SOURCES:

Linens:  Home Goods

Plate Chargers:  Sur La Table

Dinnerware:  Pier 1 - Pattern:  Antique Scrolls

Flatware:  Horchow

Napkins:  Pier 1

Stemware:  Pottery Barn





Thank you for stopping by today.  I wish you all a productive and happy week ahead.

Hugs,

Janet



Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Traditional Linzer Cookies

Who can resist a good cookie.  Especially with the classic combination of raspberries and almonds - they are perfect together.  The sweetness of the raspberries compliment the almonds like a dream. Add the subtle flavor of brown sugar to this combo, and you have absolute perfection in this recipe for traditional Austrian cookies.

These Linzer cookies are delicious the first day they are baked but they will taste even better on day two or three.  They practically melt in your mouth.  They are soft and naturally flavored by using real toasted almonds.  So much better than the store-bought kind.  They are not too sweet at all.  But my favorite part of making these cookies is that they are gorgeous and since it is Valentine's, I shaped them into pretty hearts.

One thing to take note of, do not let the dough harden too much because the dough will get too hard and not workable.  I let my dough rest for less than two hours.  Another thing to point out is that these cookies are great for shipping since they only get better by the day.  So think of those special cookie monsters in your life that may be craving home baked cookies this time of year.



































You will LOVE this recipe.  Easy to make and deliciosu.

I found this recipe on Pinterest.  The source was American Heritage Cooking.  Below is the recipe.



Thank you for visiting today.

Janet





Traditional Raspberry Linzer Cookies
Total Time: 3 hours, 20 minutes
Yield: 18 Cookies
Whole, toasted almonds and brown sugar are a wonderful backdrop for the sweet raspberry preserves. The cookies are not overly sweet themselves, so the preserves and powdered sugar make them more sweet than savory and a delightful addition to any cookie tray!
Ingredients
  • 2/3 cup almonds
  • ½ cup packed light brown sugar
  • 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour, spooned and leveled
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons powdered sugar, for dusting
  • 1 12-ounce jar seedless raspberry preserves
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°. Spread almonds on a rimmed baking sheet and toast in the preheated oven until lightly browned and fragrant, about 6-10 minutes. They will continue to cook outside of the oven so make sure to take them out as soon as you can smell them! Let cool.
  2. While your almonds cool, whisk together flour, baking power, salt and cinnamon in a medium bowl. Set aside.
  3. Process the almonds and a ¼ cup of the brown sugar in a food processor until they are finely ground. Be sure to pulse so as not to make almond butter.
  4. In a large bowl, beat the butter and remaining ¼ cup brown sugar with a hand mixer until light and fluffy, about 2 to 3 minutes. Beat in the egg and vanilla.
  5. Reduce speed to low and gradually add the ground almonds, then add the flour mixture in several additions. Mix until just combined being careful not to over mix.
  6. Divide the dough in half, shape into disks, wrap securely in plastic wrap, and refrigerate 2 hours or until firm but not hard! If you want to prepare the dough the night before, just allow the disks to warm up on the counter until they are still firm but not soft.
  7. Preheat oven to 350° and line 2 baking sheets with parchment.
  8. On a lightly floured surface, roll out each piece of dough to 1/8 inch thickness. Cut out using 3 inch cookie cutter and place on prepared baking sheet, spacing them 1 inch apart. Using a 1 inch cookie cutter cut out the centers of half of the rounds, re-rolling the scraps. Bake the bottoms and the tops (the ones with the holes) on separate cookie sheets!
  9. Bake, one sheet at a time, rotating the cookie sheet half way through, until the edges begin to brown, 8-10 minutes. [I baked the tops 6-8 minutes] Cool slightly on the cookie sheet and then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
  10. When the tops have partially cool, dust them generously with powdered sugar.
  11. Spread about ¾ teaspoon of preserves on each cookie without holes. You can use a little more if you like, but I didn’t want the raspberry flavor to overpower the almond flavor. Place a powdered top on each bottom and press gently to stick them together!
Notes:
I thought the flavor improved on the second day! Keep in a sealed storage container at room temperature for up to 5 days. Store between layers of parchment paper. After 4 days they begin to dry out.
Recipe adapted from Real Simple | November 2010




Sunday, February 7, 2016

Vintage Greeting Cards and Photos

Hello everyone.  I hope you all had a great week.  Things have been a bit busy for me this week. Between housework and the demands at the office, it has been difficult to keep up with blogging.  

This Friday however, I had the chance to visit my local antiques market which is one of my favorite things to do when I needed a little break form it all... I was looking for something special to create a post for Valentine's.  I had in mind something nostalgic and reminiscence of the past, then I came across a booth that had the loveliest vintage greetings cards and photos.  I knew then that I had found just what I had in mind. The graphics are adorable, colors bright and cheerful and the sentiments are always very sweet.  

Call me old fashioned, but vintage photos and greeting cards have always held a special place in my heart and I love incorporating them in my vignettes when ever I get the chance.  They are unique and each one has a unique story to tell... a captured moment  in time.

So here is my lovely tribute to this lost tradition and art...






























Thank you for coming to visit today sweet friends.  May your week be as lovely as your kind hearts.

Hugs,

Janet


I am sharing this post at the following lovely blog parties:


SUNDAY


The Tablescaper for Seasonal Sundays
http://thetablescaper.blogspot.com



MONDAY


The Dedicated House for Make It Pretty Mondays
http://thededicatedhouse.blogspot.com

Dwellings for Amaze Me Monday
http://www.dwellings-theheartofyourhome.com

One More Time Events for Share It One More Time Monday
http://www.onemoretimeevents.com

Rose Chintz Cottage for No Place Like Home 
http://sandimyyellowdoor.blogspot.com

Julie's Lifestyle for Cooking and Crafting with J & J Link Up

Strangers & Pilgrims On Earth for The Art Of  Home-Making Mondays



TUESDAY

A Stroll Thru Life for Inspire Me Tuesday
http://www.astrollthrulife.net

A Delightsome Life for A Return to Loveliness Tuesday
http://www.adelightsomelife.com

Bernidee's Tea Time Blog for Friends Sharing Tea Tuesday
http://blog.bernideens.com

Cedar Hill Farnhouse for The Scoop Tuesday 
http://www.cedarhillfarmhouse.com

Cozy Little House for Tweak It Tuesday
http://www.cozylittlehouse.com



WEDNESDAY

Ivy and Elephants for What's It Wednesday
http://ivyandelephants.blogspot.com

Savy Southern Style for Wow Us Wednesday
http://www.savvysouthernstyle.net



THURSDAY


From My Front Porch To Yours for Treasure Hunt Thursday 
 http://www.frommyfrontporchtoyours.com

A Delightsome Life for Home and Garden Thursday
http://www.adelightsomelife.com

Katherines Corner for Thursday Favorite Things
http://katherinescorner.com

No Minimalist Here for Open House Party Thursdays
http://nominimalisthere.blogspot.com

Have A Daily Cup of Mrs. Olson for Share Your Cup Thursday
http://jannolson.blogspot.com


FRIDAY


French Country Cottage for Feathered Nest Friday 
http://frenchcountrycottage.blogspot.com

Shabby Art Boutique for Shabbilicious Friday 
http://shabbyartboutique.com

My Romantic Home for Show and Tell Friday
http://romantichome.blogspot.com

Common Ground for Be Inspired Friday
http://www.commonground-do.com

Jennifer Rizzo for Fabulously Creative Friday

Rooted In Thyme for Sweet and Simple Fridays
 http://rootedinthyme.blogspot.com

The Charm of Home for Home Sweet Home Friday


SATURDAY

Pieced Pastimes for Saturday Sparks Party
http://piecedpastimes.blogspot.com

The Rosegarden in Malevik for Saturday Show Off
http://maleviksrosentradgard.blogspot.com