December 30, 2011

2011: A Year of Loving Photography

When I think back over the past year, there aren't really any special decorating or craft projects that come to mind, rather the thing that sticks out most to me, in terms of my blog anyway, is how I've really come love photography over the last twelve months.  I can see how as the year progressed so did my photo I've learned to use my camera, work with natural light and improve my compositions, as well as my editing. When I look through some of my earlier posts, I cringe, thinking I'd love to delete them, but then figure that it's all part of the journey...right?

I've mentioned a time or two that I have a special fondness for photographing food.  It's more than a fondness actually, I really love it.  Maybe it's because I can eat the fruits of my labor when I'm all done, you can't do that with a craft project...usually anyway :)  I talked about food photo love in my Artful Blogging article, as well as in a post I did last summer called A New Little Love, which is where I showed you these first two pictures.

Coming in a close second to my love affair with food photography, are taking pictures of flowers and little vignettes, with a few shots of my house thrown in the mix.  I wish I could add snapping photos of my kids, but sadly they're not too accommodating and I usually have to resort to bribery.  I've got my fingers crossed that the coming year will be better though.

I thought I'd take a little stroll down memory lane, highlighting a few posts from 2011.  There's a link to each accompanying post in case you're a new reader or you missed something and want to check it out.

I want to thank you all for your friendship and kind comments throughout the past year.  I hope 2012 brings you only joy and blessings.  Have a safe and wonderful New Year's weekend!

xo Tricia

December 22, 2011

Christmas Cherries and Snowflakes

Hello, hello!  So happy you're here! Amidst all the hustle and bustle this week, I'm really feeling the Christmas spirit and have put together a red and white holiday post with a few snowflakes thrown in.

A few weeks ago, when my daughter turned five, one of the things I made were cherry-topped cupcakes.  They turned out so cute and it occurred to me that they'd be perfect for the holidays too.  I know cherries don't really scream Christmas since they're more of a summer fruit, but their vibrant red color sure is right for the season, especially when paired with some whites and a few fun things like pretty cake wrappers and striped straws.

I was a total cheater when I made these.  I didn't have time to whip anything up from scratch, so box cake it was.  This particular cupcake turned out so perfect I could hardly believe it!

I made some chocolate and snowflake-topped cupcakes too.  The snowflakes are so easy to make and I think they add a nice festive touch.  I used candy melts, which I found at JoAnn's, melted them in the microwave, put them into a frosting bag and using a tiny little frosting tip, piped out a few snowflake designs.  It doesn't take too long for them to harden and then you can use them to decorate your cake, tart or cupcakes. 

Well, there you go lovely people, my easy, yummy and pretty Christmas food ideas.  Oh boy, do I need to be done with the sweets for awhile...I think I see some healthier eating in store for next week :)

I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas, enjoying time with your families and celebrating the birth of our Savior.

♥  Tricia


December 15, 2011

Cookies and Cafe au Lait Cups

Hello to you!  Hope your week is going well.  Are you all prepared for Christmas next week?  Me...not so much.  I still have a few gifts to buy and I haven't wrapped one single thing yet.  Oh, and then there's the Christmas cards.  Ugh.

In the midst of all my preparations, I've been eating a lot.  So much so, that I went and joined the YMCA this week.  I want to eat whatever my little heart desires, in moderation of course, so I'm going to have to ramp up the exercise to make up for it.  One of the things I've been enjoying a little too much of is cookies.  I made one of my favorites last weekend, Peanut Butter Blossoms.  Mmmm, chocolate and peanut butter...a delicious combination.

And what's the perfect pairing for a sweet and tasty cookie?  Well, okay, I'm sure some of you are saying coffee, but since I don't drink that, how about hot chocolate, especially in these super cute cups?  I found them at Garnet Hill and it was pretty much love at first sight.  They're basically a big bowl with a handle.

If by chance you don't have a recipe for these yummy cookies, here's the one we like to go with...

Peanut Butter Blossoms
  • 1/4 cup of butter, softened
  • 1/4 cup of shortening
  • 1/2 cup of peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup of sugar
  • 1/2 cup of brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla
  • 2 tablespoons of milk
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 teaspoon of baking soda
  • 1 3/4 cup of flour
  • Chocolate candy kisses
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Blend butter, shortening and peanut butter together in a large bowl.  Add the sugars and continue to beat until it's nice and creamy.  Add vanilla, milk and egg and continue to mix.  Then add the salt, baking soda and flour.  Roll dough into balls of about 1 inch in size and then roll each ball in some sugar.  Place on an ungreased cookie sheet.  Bake for approximately 10 minutes.  Immediately after removing from the oven press one candy kiss into the center of each cookie.

Make sure they're good, so eat about a half a dozen.  That's what I do anyway ;)

Well, I have lots to do, so hope you all have a great weekend!

xo Tricia

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