Wednesday, December 12, 2012

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas

Let it snow . . .

On Dasher, on Dancer . . .

Winter Wonderland

Christmas Gifting

"Pick Your Plum" had clear boxes that package circle cookies perfectly for teacher treats.

Let there be light.

Individual Santa packs make great favors.

Tis the season for presents.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Star Light, Star Bright

When my husband passed away last August, my very dear friend surprised me with a jar full of star cookies and a beautiful card.  The Eskimo proverb has been a source of comfort for the past four months, so I decided to "pay-it-forward."

I created favor bags for others who lost loved ones during the past year.  The stars were cut in two different sizes and then spattered with gold luster following Sweet Sugar Belle's tutorial.

As I sat at the Memorial Tree Lighting Service hosted by Hospice, I began to think, "There is no way my husband would be sitting here doing this for me."  Rather than hanging a special ornament in his memory, I should have gone to his local watering hole and raised a beer or two. 

Regardless, those attending seemed to appreciate the cookie gesture.  One woman who lost her husband asked if she could take a second favor for her daughter.  She told me, "She has battled cancer for ten years.  It is close."  So much love in that room.  So many of us holding on to the past,  trying to navigate the present.  I can only hope that some will find comfort as they look to the stars.

May Peace, Love,  & Comfort embrace you this holiday season.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Pass the Turkey for a Touchdown!

My mom is having Thanksgiving dinner for my brother's family and was asking what time they would like dinner served.  I reminded her that the Bears will be playing on Thanksgiving Day, so she could check the TV schedule to know what time it would be SAFE to have dinner. 

There are many ways to celebrate Thanksgiving and football. 
 I prefer NOT putting one of these on my lawn: 

I also do not want to wear this to our Thanksgiving dinner.( if you do)

So, instead, I made cookies.  Before you think that I am creative and came up with this idea all by myself, I will be honest and admit that these cookies are the result of a very good friend visiting me with some very good wine.  You can see Diane's version here:  As you can see, Diane is very good at sharing.  That is why we call her My Cookie Friend.

I know the Bears wear navy, but that just isn't a good cookie color (what were they thinking???), so I took the liberty of dressing the turkeys in more seasonal tones of the Bear blue and orange.
Thanksgiving and football . . . goes together like mashed potatoes and gravy.

Remember all your blessings this Thanksgiving and take time for hugs (even if you do it during halftime). 

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Home is Where the Heart Is

My granddaughters' Meemo and Papa are moving into a new home this weekend.  I am sure the girls will be excited to see all the space the new house provides, including several bathrooms.  Up until now, whenever all the married children and their families came home for holidays, they shared one bathroom.  Did I mention that the new house also has a pool?  Kendra and Kylie are part fish, so I am sure they will want to spend many summer days!

My Cookie Friend turned me on to cookies in a jar when she sent me stars with a beautiful card.   It was so simple and so striking and meant so much that I decided I wanted to warm a few hearts as Diane had done for me.

I made mini cookies of houses, hearts and trees in Sweet Sugar Belle's fall colors  I piped "Home, Sweet, Home" on several of the hearts.  Then I began assembling my jar.  It is much more difficult than it looks to try and keep the cookies peeking outside the jar and right-side up!  It is also surprising to see how many of those itsy cookies it takes to fill a jar.  I may need to cheat with Easter grass for the next jar!

I shipped the package to the granddaughters with a note that they could give the cookies to their Meemo and Papa when they help them move.  I hope it makes for a pleasant housewarming . . . after all . . .

Home, Sweet Home . . .

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Thanks Gifting for Gregg's Birthday

My sweet husband's birthday is October 30.  Rather than be sad and just sit at home, I decided to use the day to thank those who were kind to him in his last days.  Using Sweet Sugarbelle's pretty Autumn color palette (, I created a  Fall collection of leaves, pumpkins and acorns.  What better way to say "thanks" than to use Thanksgiving colors? 

The elongated pumpkin with a curly stem (tucked into the very top row) is a new cutter from our son's family.  I believe Kendra picked it out especially in remembrance of her Grandpa's garden and the magnificent pumpkins he grew.

Since the cookies are for the nurses at the hospital where my husband spent eight days, I added scrubs to the collection.  The same cookies will be going to Hospice for responding to his needs so quickly and supporting me in those final hours.  The wonderful team of nurses in both locations could do very little medically, but they treated Gregg with compassion, eased his pain, and even made him smile.  For that, I will be forever grateful.

I wish Gregg were here to blow out his candles and hear the little ones sing. Instead, this year we look to the stars and reminisce about his birthdays past. 

In the end, it is not the number of years in your life, but the life in your years that matters.
Happy Birthday, Big Guy . . .  Love and Miss You.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Off to a Baby Shower

These little elephants are ready to make an appearance at a baby shower.  Can you guess the sex of the baby?  Ok, even if you didn't read the "It's a girl" cookie!

Friday, October 12, 2012

Gathering Grandpa's Pumpkins

Yes, this is a blog about cookies, but those of us who craft these sweet creations know it is really not that elementary.  It is more about the people behind the cookies.  The key ingredients are love, support, friendship, and memories rather than sugar and flour. We create them to welcome babies, celebrate birthdays, honor accomplishments, and sometimes . . . to ease pain or sadness.   I've been out of the kitchen for a few months following the loss of my husband to cancer.  I just couldn't make cookies until now.

Gregg had a huge garden and loved to drive the grandchildren out there with his lawn tractor and trailer.  Kendra, Kylie, Jack and Ben would fight for a position on Grandpa's lap or snuggle together in the trailer.  The grandkids didn't eat the tomatoes or onions but were so proud when they appeared on the dinner table.

Gregg also planted pumpkins each June and watched them grow in anticipation of Columbus Day weekend when our son and daughter would bring their families out to the lake to harvest the pumpkins.  The little ones would select the pumpkin they wanted for themselves and which ones they thought their parents should have.  It was surprising that no one argued or fought over pumpkins.  Once one was claimed, they would simply search for another.  We loaded them into the trailer, hauled them to the house, and made a big production of washing and lining them up.  It was our favorite Kodak moment, capturing beautiful fall colors and the joyous interaction between cousins in cherished photos. 

At the end of this special weekend, each family would drive away with their four pumpkins. . . tall, chubby, squatty, and monstrous.  Later in October, we would get pictures of everyone carving them at home and the final jack-o-lanterns staged on front porches.

Unfortunately, this is our last Fall Harvest of Grandpa's treasures.  He left us 14 huge pumpkins and 9 buckets of the funkiest gourds, but we had to collect them without Grandpa.
Here is what the girls did with their pumpkins this year.  Anna always tries to match the costumes that the girls will be wearing.  Quite creative, wouldn't you agree?  It's Belle and a butterfly fairy.

Kendra and Kylie helped decorate a few of the pumpkin cookies earlier in the month.

Aren't they the cutest assistants?

Little Kylie refers to me as "Cookie Grandma."  How could I not return to the kitchen and live up to my name?  I decided to make pumpkin cookies for the Women's Club bake sale to honor our fall family tradition of Gathering Grandpa's Pumpkins.  I kept it simple.  My only requirement was that they had to have happy faces . . . to remind me of all the blessings I gathered with Gregg.

Peace, Joy, Cookies . . . and Memories of Gregg

Thursday, August 9, 2012

One Sweet Gesture

A sweet gift from my very special Cookie Friend
Let me begin by saying these are NOT my cookies.  Well, they ARE my cookies, but I did not MAKE them.  They were a surprise gift from Diane, My Cookie Friend, and they arrived at a perfect time.

My husband has been cancer-free for twelve years.  He has faced a plethora of medical conditions and aftereffects of chemo and radiation.  He has also watched both our son and daughter marry wonderful individuals, buy their first homes, build admirable careers as coaches and teachers, and begin families of their own.  He held those babies and watched them grow to become the entertaining and exhausting toddlers they are today.
Gregg's greatest joy is being Grandpa to Kendra, Kylie, Jack and Ben.
Three weeks ago a mass was found on his CT.  Three weeks ago our world turned upside down.  His cancer has returned, meaner than ever before.

Cookies cannot cure cancer, but that package from Diane reminded me why we make cookies.  Those cute little shapes, the cheerful colors, the soft bite into the cookie, and the dissolving of icing let me escape from life-changing challenges and remember the peace and joy which has blessed our lives.

The greatest gift, Diane, is your friendship. Thank you for the beautiful cookies.  They touched my heart beyond words.

Peace, Joy, Cookies.
Spread the love. 

Monday, July 30, 2012

Spiderman and Super Powers

Meet Jack. 

He's 3 and off to preschool next month. 

Jack recently demonstrated amazing super powers that left his mom and dad cheering (and breathing a sigh of relief).  In one giant leap, he tossed diapers and his pacifier.  He also started telling us he wants to be Spiderman for Halloween.

So, how do you celebrate losing the paci and the Pampers?  You make Spiderman cookies.

I've read several blogs about making Royal Icing transfers and know that My Cookie Friend has had great success with them.  This seemed like the perfect chance to give them a try.  I drew a template of Spiderman's eyes, ensuring that they would fit on his oval face. 

Meet Spiderman.

Well, actually, meet Spiderman's face.  Somehow, giving up the paci and learning to use the potty seemed to merit so much more.

Alas, meet Spiderman, his whole body, complete with a spider emblazed on his chest.  While we are celebrating, let's toss in some boots and a web cookie.

. . . and there you have it.

. . . a super plate of cookies for a boy with super powers.

"I Love You" Yummy Leftovers

Usually leftovers will not entice the family to come running to the kitchen table, but I think I might get exactly that response when the granddaughters come to visit.

I had plenty of Royal Icing left from the last batch of cookies.  Rather than toss it or mix it all together to make black, I decided to create some simple girlie cookies.

What girl doesn't like nail polish or lipstick?  Toss in a few flowers and then a cookie that means so much to me. 

It is sign language for "I love you."  Whenever we say goodbye, my last sight is two little girls waving their hand with fingers carefully in position.

So, Kendra and Kylie, this is my special cookie for my special girls.  

"I love you" back at ya!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Ava's ONE-ce Upon a Time

A sweet cookie collection for Ava's First Birthday!

As you can see, little Ava is celebrating her first birthday.  What is sweeter than a one-year-old but a one-year-old with cookies?

Her mom requested a variety of cookies to be packaged up as favors. She specifically asked for a "one" design, but my one cutter is small and really not very impressive. We decided to go an alternate route . . . party hats decorated with a one.

Every princess needs a tiara.  Since this is Ava's celebration, the crowns are decorated with her name (I just love short names).

Ava's party balloons include daisies, so a few of those were tossed into the mix. 

Sweet birthday wishes to Ava!

Sunday, July 8, 2012

CASA Cares

Cookies for a CASA Cause

What better set of cookies to post after being away from the blog for one year than ones requested for a fundraiser

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Baby Got Her Blue Jeans On!

Step into those Lee jeans and keep on steppin' . . .  

These cookies were made for our line dancing end-of-season celebration.  In addition to the traditional cowboy hats and boots, I wanted to toss in some blue jean pockets.

I pulled out a pair of blue jeans and started detailing with Lee pockets as my guide.

Nothing blue about Boot Scootin' . . .

Friday, June 29, 2012

Look Who's Coming to the Picnic!

What speaks summer more than watermelon?  That combination of pink and green is so cool and refreshing, so I decided to bake a batch to escape the heat.

Cookie Crazy had a wonderful tutorial on how to create the ant.

Thank you, Pam for the detailed step-by-step directions to turn my flip-flop cutter into a cute little creature.

Glorious Treats posted a tutorial on gingham checks using the spray coloring or an airbrush.  It looked much easier when Glory described it, but perhaps that is because I used my slated spatula.  I will need to cut a template and try my hand at this again. 

I am hoping the kids enjoy their summer cookies.  They all love bugs, except Kylie.  She loves watermelon, though!

I hope you are "in the pink" on this hot summer day!

I Scream for Ice Cream on the 4th of July!

In addition to some stars, I created ice cream bars and and popsicles in the traditional red, white and blue colors.
The confetti cookie (created by Sweet Sugar Belle) seemed like the perfect addition to a holiday marked with fireworks.  A few of those will be tossed on to the dessert plate as well.

Here's hoping you have a cool 4th of July!

Friday, June 22, 2012

Golden Friends Celebrating a Golden Anniversary

Our very good friends and neighbors are celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary.  Well, actually their children are surprising them with an anniversary party.  (It's a secret, so be careful not to say anything.)

I knew I wanted to make the heart shaped bridal gown and tuxedo cookies that I have always admired.  I am not fond of black cookies, so this was a "golden" opportunity to create the tux in another color.  While I like the gold tux for a cookie, I certainly hope that Ron did not actually wear one of these back in 1962 (but it is a definite possibility)!

Since I was creating platters of cookies for their guests to enjoy, I wanted more than just heart cookies.

I added the wedding cake, diamond ring, and "joy."   I know this is really a Christmas cutter, but it fits so many special occasions and can be used year round.

I have a confession to make. . .  the Cookie Fairy helped me with this collection. 

While I iced them, I was not happy with the colors or the designs.  Nothing seemed right.  I worked late into the night in order to finish them and went to bed feeling slightly defeated. 

My Cookie Fairy, however, spun her magic during the night as I slept, because the collection in morning's light was much nicer than I had remembered!

This is how the tray was arranged, but I had a slight problem.  I had more cookies than one tray could hold.

Easy solution!  I arranged another tray and REALLY stacked the cookies.

Ron and JoAnn's family and friends will have lots of cookies to enjoy during the celebration, but I also wanted them to have their own special selection.  (After 50 years, they DESERVE their own cookies!)

Thanks to BRP of Clinton, Iowa,, I had the perfect box for this personal gift.

Happy Golden Anniversary, Ron and JoAnn!  Cookie Cheers for even sweeter years!