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November 2013
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January 2014

December 2013

Storybook Year 2013


Before starting a new year, here is a look backwards!!

January- Handmade Christmas


February-Storyton Abbey party


March-Smoked Kale pasta


April-Naturally removing yellowing from whites


May-Clean cook series, which I still need to finish!!


June-My new stove Nerina


July-Make an herb brush


August-Tortilla scramble, which I still make for breakfast all the time


September-Gatherings in print


October-Pumpkin pie tips


November-Thankful cups


December-Folklore Christmas


A Folklore Christmas


    So taaDahhh our theme this year is Russian/folklore Christmas. Now I am not sure if what we did was what they do in Russia but that was not the point. It was what I think of when I think of my grandparents. I was also inspired by the book Uncle Vova's Tree. We used lots of black, gold and bright colors. As with all my Christmas themes there is so much I could have done but I had to narrow and pick things that worked for our family. 



    The vintage Santa collection is not Russian at all but we added woodland elements and the black paper to give it more of the feel Eastern European feel.



    We always make crafts to go with our theme. This years was little clay domed buildings and bright paper stars.





Christmas Entry


    I am back and feel better. Christmas was lovely and low key. I hope yours was lovely too. Here is my little entry room.  I will confess it was really cold so I just threw together my decorations in my little entry room. I already had the bark and moss going. Just added some snowflakes, deer and shiny balls. I love this because I can leave it up through the winter!!







    My little Storybook corner (several gifts from you!!)


Oh No ... Sick


    I just popped in to say I am sick, really sick. I was dieing about this time yesterday. Hopefully I am done and will have my strength back by Christmas. Also hopefully my girls do not get this (it was really bad). Anyways I will be back after Christmas, I still have lots to share. Enjoy a Christmas chocolate for me xox


Rudolf Reindeer AKA Eggnog Cookies

Rudolf cookie

    Even though I never make the same meal for Christmas dinner, there are some standbys that must be served. These cookies are one of them. I started making these eggnog cookies when the girls were very little. We use to add pretzels on the top for antlers. To be honest half the time the pretzels fell out or broke and basically made this mama very frustrated. So we started leaving off the antler but the girls were happy with the big red nose. These are basically a freezer cook and you could change up the flavor or roll it into a tub and slice off as wanted. Feel free to play with cookies but do think of me when you have one. After all Clarice is Rudolf’s girlfriend ;-)

Rudolf cookies

Rudolf Reindeer AKA Eggnog Cookies

Make 2 dozen


½ cup butter, softened

½ cup sugar
¼ cup brown sugar
³⁄₄ cups all-purpose flour or whole wheat pastry flour
½ tsp. baking powder
1 large egg

¼ tsp vanilla paste or 1 tsp vanilla extract
⅟₄ tsp. salt
1 TBL. rum or rum extract
¼ tsp. fresh ground nutmeg

Candied cherries, halved

Pre-heat oven 350◦F (or a ½ hour before baking.)

In an mixer cream butter with sugars, until fluffy (2-3 minutes). Then add rum, nutmeg, egg, vanilla and salt. Mix well. In a separate bowl sift together flour and baking powder, add to butter and mix well. You want a soft dough, you can roll.

Shape into 1 inch balls and set on a cookie sheet covered in a piece of parchment paper. Add half of a cherry to center of the ball, push down to make a nose. Set pan in freezer for an 1 hour. At that point to can bake them or transfer them to a container for the freezer. Bake for 10-13 minutes, until edges are starting to get golden. Cool on wire rack.


1. If your dough is too dry, try adding a bit of milk or rum. If your dough is too wet to hold a shape slowly mix in a ¼ cup of flour.

2. Yes fresh grated nutmeg is so much better.

3. These freeze beautifully for about 3 months if well wrapped. Just bake them off frozen. They will only take a minute or two longer to cook.

Silver Plates

Silver roudwall

    I am busy (or should I say lost) decorating my home this week for Christmas. I am quite excited about this years theme (hint, think black) and will share soon. But until then I thought I would share my latest kitchen project.


    I bought this clock for my French kitchen. I love the filigree sides (and the screaming deal too) but the wall around it was bare. It is a awkward space and everything I tried just did not work right. Until I was looking at one of my silver trivets.


    They are aged, look like something from a 100 years ago, very French and I love the way you can see the cutout pattern against the pale yellow wall. A winner!

Silver roundnail

    My favorite is the frame made from a tart pan. It had warped and rusted so I could not use it anymore. David drilled a small hole to hang it. I used some old music paper given to me by a good friend (thank you ;-) It gives that typography feel that my chalkboard wall on the other side of the kitchen has.

Silver wall2

    The plates, trivets and cake mold balances the clock and picks up the the touches of black in the room I want. Between what I owned and $3.37 cents I had to spend, I would say it is a frugal choice too. A big French, Victorian polka dot wall. It works for me!



Gatherings Winter Issue, Celebrating Scandinavia


    I am so, so excited the Gatherings Winter Issue, Celebrating Scandinavia is out. I am over the moon about this issue. My submission is about New Nordic cuisine, a hot new food trend.


    I created a lunch perfect for a cold winter's day based on the tenets of New Nordic cuisine: Potato Apple Soup with Rye Crumbs and Lox, a Quick Pickled Beets and Fennel salad and Smoked Salt Gingerbread Cookies with Strawberry Jam, gluten free and vegan.


    I have to tell you this is only my second photo shoot ever but my first in someone else home and someone I had never met before! It is very strange to go through a persons cabinets you do not know.  But I knew I was in for a life changing moment when I drove up to this small French estate on the water. The girls and I just ohhhed and awwwed. It was a fun shoot. Annetta and I work well together and she took breath taking photos. Over all it is an experience I will never forget. I have to give a big shout out to Auberne` and Chloe, they worked hard and were perfect assistants. Thank you girls. Now I am looking forward to the spring issue, I already know what I want to do! You can purchase a copy here!

Me whitefix