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Showing posts from November, 2016

Thanksgiving By the Sea

For as long as I can remember we been celebrating Thanksgiving together in the family home on the banks of a Chesapeake Bay tributary.  The water has been the backdrop to many celebrations over the years, but none so treasured as Thanksgiving.  


Even though we are expecting about thirty people to join us this year, way more than I have turkey place settings, I couldn't resist setting up a little tablescape on the porch, just for fun. The porch is a favorite place for many of us to eat- it is usually warm to sit comfortably enough even in November.  You can tell how bright the sun shines by the glare in the photo.
I found these turkey plates years ago at TJ Maxx. I used them in my "Al Fresco Thanksgiving Tablescape" blog last year, along with the pumpkin napkins.


I am still enjoying this beautiful little pumpkin I found at a little farmer's market in early October.  It has such a great shape and beautiful color.  Perfect for this table.  I just love these turkey napkin …

Pumpkin Spice- Still So Nice!

Here at Glitter and Gardenias we are still enjoying the fall flavors and spices, especially Pumpkin Spice.  But it's not just in our desserts- after I made the pumpkin spice soap I posted here, I found a Pumpkin Spice Sugar Scrub recipe.  



This is a great treat in the shower or bath, especially if your skin is getting dry in the cold, blustery weather we have been having lately. And it couldn't be easier! 

Just like the pumpkin spice soap that I made last week, I started with a recipe from www.happinessishomemade.net.  You simply mix a quarter cup of coconut oil with 1 cup sugar, 2 teaspoons of pumpkin pie spice and 2 teaspoons of vanilla. This makes about 8 ounces.   The recipe that I used didn't say anything about melting the coconut oil, but it is easier to mix when it is a liquid.  You can melt the oil in a microwave safe container for 15 seconds before you blend in the spice and vanilla and that should help.  This is the first time that I ever used coconut oil and I did…

A Special Pound Cake for Thanksgiving

Years ago I made Southern Living's "Gentleman's Pound Cake" for Thanksgiving.  It was so good that I made it the next year and the next, but for some reason never made it again. Until now.  When I was thinking over my contributions to this year's dinner, I decided that it was time to bring out this bourbon and pecan favorite again. 



This morning I began the week long process by baking the cake and then soaking it in bourbon.  I don't have a beautiful "after picture" for you (yet!) but rest assured, this is one beautiful delicious cake when the big day finally arrives. 

You can find the original Southern Living Recipe here.  What follows is the recipe with my notes and changes. 


Southern Livings Gentleman's Pound Cake
2 cups unsalted butter, softened3 cups sugar, divided8 large eggs, separated1 cup bourbon, divided, plus more2 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract3 cups all purpose flour3/4 cups chopped pecans, toasted (see instructions below)Powdered sugar …

In Honor of World Diabetes Day- Cookies!

I had another post all ready to go this morning (admittedly already late!) when I found out that it is World Diabetes Day.  I couldn't let the day go by without a mention and a recipe for those who are affected by this disease, and there are so many people who suffer from it. 

The International Diabetes Foundation and the World Health Organization first established World Diabetes Day in 1991.  The purpose is to promote awareness of the disease and encourage people to be screened. You can read more about it on the IDF website.  According to Wikipedia, November 14 is the birthdate of Sir Frederick Banting, the co-discoverer of insulin and the first to use it in humans. He is still the youngest Nobel Laureate due to this discovery, having earned the Nobel prize in medicine at the age of 32. Her Majesty, the Queen Mother lit a Flame of Hope in 1989 as a tribute to Dr. Banting and everyone who has lost their life to diabetes.  The flame will remain lit until a cure for diabetes is found…

Pumpkin Spice and Let's All be Nice!

Now that the election is over and everyone has had a moment to take a breath, it is time to go back to the important stuff- like Thanksgiving and pumpkin spice!  It has been well documented in this blog that I am a huge fan of pumpkin in almost anything and now I have discovered a new way to enjoy my favorite scent of the season. 


I found some great recipes for pumpkin spice soap!  There are several tutorials on Pinterest, but I started with one from happinessishomemade.netand then made some changes. 


Pumpkin Spice Soap
1 lb. Soap Base (1/2 of the block)2 TBSP Pumpkin Pie SpiceRed Soap ColorantYellow Soap ColorantSoap molds of choice
The soap base can be shea butter, glycerine or, as I used, just plain soap. I did see goat milk soap at Michaels.  I am not sure that will work. Make sure that you get soap colorant so that it will not come off on your skin.  I used a mold with different shapes, but I would really like to find one with just blocks for future use.  
One pound is about one-half …

Vote!

It has been a contentious campaign season to say the least!  I think that people on both sides deserve a sweet treat for surviving this election cycle! 



A few months ago I found these party cookie cutters.  I just knew that I had to have them for special election day cookies.  




The elephant for the GOP- Republican Party: 



And the Donkey for the Democratic Party: 



I chose to decorate a couple of cookies with my interpretation of the two parties' color scheme in fondant.  The remainder I simply used decorating sugar in the color that is associated with the party- Republican/Elephant/Red and Democrat/Donkey/Blue.  I used the leftover dough to bake some little star cookies and sugared them with red and blue. 




I  have been "auditioning" sugar cookie recipes for awhile now.  I think that I have found a favorite.  I really like the way that the dough is rolled out before chilling and the little taste of almond in the cookie.  The recipe can be found at sallysbakingaddiction.com.  

I …

Pumpkin and Peanut Butter Puppy Treats

Just because Halloween is over does not mean that it is the end of Pumpkin Season. It also doesn't mean that you have to keep all of that pumpkin goodness to yourself!  I made these wonderful little dog treats for my four-legged best friends for Halloween.  



The recipe originates from allrecipes.com by way of the American Kennel Club and it couldn't be easier!


Pumpkin and Peanut Butter Puppy Treats
2 1/2 cups whole wheat flour2 eggs 1 cup canned pumpkin*3 tablespoons smooth peanut butter1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon1/2 teaspoon salt (optional)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Stir dry ingredients in a large bowl.  In a separate bowl, mix together eggs, pumpkin and peanut butter.  Add egg mixture to the dry ingredients and knead ingredients together until mixed.  You may need to add a little bit of flour if dough is too sticky to work.  
Roll dough to 1/4 inch thickness and cut with cookie cutter.  Bake about 30- 40 minutes, depending on size of cookies.  The treats should be hard and d…