Honey Tea Bread

This is a recipe for a wonderful tea bread that I found in my Bob's Red Mill Baking Book, and it is full of healthy ingredients and good taste. It has a nutty flavor from wheat germ, a richness from Irish breakfast tea, and a gentle sweetness from honey.


Banana Coconut Pecan Muffins

This is one of the best breakfast muffin recipes I have come across in a while. These muffins are made with healthy ingredients, and the taste is wonderful! I know not everyone is a banana fan, but I think there will be some quick banana converts if they try these moist, delicious muffins made with demerara sugar and coconut milk. This recipe has been adapted from So Delicious Dairy Free.


Playing With My Food

During the past week I have been away from home and learning some new things about cooking. First of all, my sister gave me a lesson at her house on decorating sugar cookies with royal icing. There are so many possibilities for using the techniques that I learned from her, and of course, I had to buy some new cookie cutters in anticipation of future cookies I want to make. I have already made and decorated another batch of sugar cookies since I have been back home.

The second adventure of the week was attending a cooking class. After playing in the cookie dough and icing for a couple of days, my sister and I went to the Viking Cooking School at The Woodlands, Texas, to learn about pizza cooking. I had attended a Viking class once before on baking Artisan Bread, so I was excited to be able to go to another one of their classes. I was not disappointed with the tips I picked up there.

The class was a three hour hands-on workshop, and we baked several different varieties of pizza, including dessert pizza.


Learning to Decorate Sugar Cookies with Royal Icing

I've been in awe for some time of the ability of the decorators who create the beautiful cookies with royal icing. Blogger Bridget Edwards of Bake at 350 is one of those awesome cookie decorators, and my sister Helen is another one. This weekend I visited my sister at her home in Texas, and she gave me a hands-on cookie decorating lesson. Since it was my first time to work with the techniques of outlining and flooding the icing, it took a little practice to get the hang of it, but I got a batch of cookies decorated.

The cookie recipe we used is the one that Bridget recommends for basic decorated cookies, and it is a very tasty sugar cookie recipe.


A "Girly" Fleece Scarf

I suppose you could call me cold-blooded when it comes to my reaction to winter weather. I always long for sunshine and springtime throughout the cold winter season. One thing that helps me cope with the cold, windy weather here in northern Arkansas during January is a nice cuddly fleece scarf. I made one today that even someone with little sewing experience could make with success.


Quick and Easy Brioche

Brioche is a yeast bread, but this rich butter and egg loaf is so light you'll almost think you're eating cake. This brioche recipe is a quick version to make with little fuss. One plus is that it does not take the usual 4 hours for refrigeration of the dough that many other brioche recipes require.


A January Wreath

When it's time to take the Christmas wreath off the front door I always feel a bit let down, and I can't help but imagine the poor door shivering naked in the cold winter air.

I know the stores immediately restocked all the Christmas shelves with new goodies in anticipation of that sweetheart of a February holiday, but it's still too early to hang a Valentine wreath on my door. It's also too early for springtime florals, even though I'd love to see something in bloom.


Will Life Hand Me Lemons in 2013?

In the past, I had always assumed when life handed someone lemons, as in the cliche, it must be a negative thing, but gardening has changed my view of life and lemons. I'm actually hoping, very much, that life will be handing me lemons this year.