Thursday, December 30, 2010

One Perfect Cookie

The crowning achievement of a Christmas Eve day spent elbow-deep in butter, sugar, and red sprinkles... 10 dozen perfect little sour cream drop cookies topped with clouds of rich, sweet buttercream.  These are hands-down my favorite kind of cookie. 


1 stick of butter (softened)
1 cup white sugar
1 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
4 cups flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking soda
1 cup sour cream

Cream butter, sugars, eggs and vanilla together; beat until fluffy.  Mix dry ingredients together and add a little at a time, alternating with the sour cream.  Mix thoroughly.  Drop by teaspoonfuls onto a baking sheet.  Bake at 375 degrees for 11 minutes.  Cool on a wire rack before frosting.


3 sticks of butter (softened)
5 cups powdered sugar
3/4 tsp. vanilla

Cream butter on med-high speed until light & creamy, about 2 minutes.  Reduce speed to medium and add powdered sugar 1/2 cup at a time, mixing well after each addition.  After every 2 additions, beat on high for 10 seconds before adding more sugar.  Add vanilla and beat until smooth. 

One batch of dough makes about 5 dozen cookies.  Enjoy!

Friday, November 26, 2010

Wire & Ironstone

A few of my latest favorite finds that will be showing up on Etsy after we get unpacked and set up in our new home next week!  Right now, everything is carefully packed up on a truck and making it's voyage to Nebraska.

Vintage Locker Basket #243 from
Vintage French Wire Egg Basket from

Vintage White Ironstone Serving Bowl from

Antique white ironstone pitchers, platters, and bowls are a few of my absolute favorite things to collect.  I keep my small but growing collection of well-worn ironstone pitchers - the more discolored, the better - on display on a shelf in my kitchen.  I currently only have 6 or so, but I'm always on the lookout for more.  Hopefully Nebraska has ironstone, too!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Cooking School

I am not particularly elegant in the kitchen. 

Let's just be honest, I don't even really like to cook.  One of my staple ingredients is Velvetta, and I get flustered trying to get microwaved peas to the table at the same time as the spaghetti.  I am certainly no gourmet chef, although the way I watch the Food Network you'd think I was the next Iron Chef in training. 

But, despite my proficiency with a can opener and not much else, I have a profound weakness for classic cookbooks.  I can walk past a book store clearance rack full of generic and trendy books about pasta, cookies, and easy indian food, but I have fallen completely under the spell of those thick, elegant, beautifully-bound books from culinary power-houses such as Martha Stewart, Betty Crocker, and Williams-Sonoma.

Which is why my heart skipped a beat when I saw this Williams-Sonoma Cookbook on the book sale shelf at the library... for $3.00.  Full of recipes with awe-inspiring names like "Seafood & Sausage Paella", "Crown Roast of Pork with Baby Vegetable Stuffing", and "Duck Lasagne with Chianti Wine Sauce", it's like gourmet cooking school for under five bucks.  And because of my extensive knowledge of at least the language of chef-dom, (thanks to the afformentioned cable network) I feel like this time, just maybe, I might actually know what I'm doing when I pick up a roasting pan.

All this does not change the fact, however, that my contribution to Thanksgiving dinner at Grandma's house this year is 3 quarts of gravy, which is ready to be picked up from carryout at the Hartville Kitchen at 4:00 this afternoon. 

Happy Thanksgiving!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Turkey Hunting

Photo from Country Living

With Thanksgiving just days away, and the anticipation of the best meal of the year mounting, I have taken a shine to antique turkey transferware.  I love seeing plates and platters in warm shades of brown, caramel, rust and cream mixed in with classic white china.  I haven't spotted any yet at my favorite "hunting grounds", but I am keeping my nose to the ground. 

Just imagine eating a piece of pumpkin pie on one of these finely detailed plates... 

Photo from Country Living
Photo from Country Living

Photo from Country Living


Saturday, November 20, 2010

Countdown to Moving Day

Just 2 days till moving day!  More specifically, the moving truck will come and load up our house in Pennsylvania in two days.  Apparently when you move 1,000 miles across the country, "moving day" turns into a week-long affair.  Our final destination?  The wide open prairies and infinite horizons of Nebraska.  That's right, folks, we are heading west!

Moving is becoming a hobby of mine...  Almost 2 years ago I married  the man of my dreams, who, despite growing up in my very own rural Ohio hometown, had settled in the heart of the stylish Gold Coast in downtown Chicago, surrounded by soaring glass highrises, huge stone townhouses, and history-making architecture.  So with wedding day curls still in my hair, we hit the road for a 2 week honeymoon along the beautiful coast of Maine, and then, with a final tearful goodbye to my family and one last load of clothes and wedding gifts packed in the back of the car, I moved with my new husband to my new home in the big city.

Our first home together, a tiny studio apartment with a little lofted sleeping area, saw us through our first several months as cozy little newlyweds, until we found a less tiny apartment a few blocks away in a nice highrise building with a beautiful sunset view.  That move was mostly accomplished with rolling suitcases, good friends, and an afternoon with a borrowed pickup truck.  We literally walked our dining room table and chairs down the street :)

Less than a year after that move, we took an exciting new job that moved us to Pittsburgh, PA, just an hour and a half from our Ohio hometown and both our families.  With the help of my parents, we stuffed a 26' U-haul truck to the roof and drove in a 3 vehicle caravan across 3 states through brutal, unrelenting rain. 

Now, a mere 4 months after landing in western Pennsylvania, we will hit the road again with our house on our back, unexpectedly following that new job to Lincoln, Nebraska.  We'll do the 15+ hour drive for the first time next weekend. 

I'm getting really good at my new hobby...

See you in Nebraska!

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