When Only A Sweet Sara’s Cookie Will Do


Today is a very important day in our household because today Dave starts his new job!

As a way to celebrate, I wanted to surprise my husband with cookies on his first day.

And I knew just the ones I wanted…….

A couple months ago, I was browsing the ol’ Facebook when these outrageously cool cookies caught my eye:

batman

(When your husband is a Batman freak, you tend to keep an eye out for Batman stuff.)

Turns out, the confections were made just down the street from my office at a home baking establishment called:

sweetsaras

Intrigued by Sara’s knack with the Batman, I began browsing her photo gallery…

Desktop

(Does anyone else suddenly have a hankering for cookies and cupcakes?)

What really struck me about Sara’s cookies was the level of excellence they were made with.

Even I, a stubborn do-it-yourselfer, knew I didn’t have the patience or skill to try to create my own version.  In fact, it would be a shame for me not to place an order!

In doing so, I discovered that Sara really is sweet.  🙂  She started the business a couple of years ago out of her home and tries to use local ingredients such as eggs and honey whenever possible.

photo

Sweet Sara herself!

She was even gracious enough to share a couple decorating tips with me!

Tip #1: The trick is in the tools

Using the right tools makes all the difference when making intricate designs.

cookietools

A few of these tools include:

*A spray bottle provides just the right amount of control when adding water to icing.

*Tips of all sizes are a must if you want controlled and detailed lines.

*White sanding sugar is a clean slate for mixing your own colors.

*Scrapbook paper is a great inspiration for color combinations and patterns. (not shown)

Tip #2: Custom-color your own sanding sugar

Red or yellow sanding sugar is easy to find…but aqua or lime?  Not so much.

Save time and money by purchasing white sanding sugar and coloring gel (both at Hobby Lobby) and mixing your own custom color.

sugarsupplies

You will need:

*1 cup white sanding sugar

*A few drops of food coloring gel (NOT the liquid food coloring)

*1/4 teaspoon cornstarch

*Ziploc baggie

Collages

Step 1: Pour sugar into the bag and add your coloring.

Step 2: Seal the bag and, leaving enough air in the bag for the sugar to move around, shake the bag.

Step 3: At this point the sugar will be damp.  Therefore….

Step 4: Add a small amount of cornstarch.

Step 5: Give the sugar another good shake.  Rub in any beads of the color gel that remain.

Step 6: Pour sugar on a parchment or wax paper-lined plate and allow to dry for about 15 minutes.

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Thank you Sweet Sara’s for your beautiful creations!  I can’t wait to see Dave’s face when he gets his Batmans.  Batmen.  Whatever.

minis

Share the love!  Support a local business!

Live in the Abilene area?  Order a batch of cookies or cupcakes by contacting Sara on her Facebook page.

Not in the Abilene area?  Unfortunately, home baking laws do not allow Sara to ship her creations. However, investigate to see if there are any excellent home bakers in your area!

Ye Olde Pumpkin


Hurray for October!!!!  Even though fall technically started ten days ago, this month makes the season more official.

WEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!   FAAAAAAAALLLLLLLL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Fall is my Christmas which means I am highly excitable right now.  And as if I needed it, my favorite way to get into the autumn spirit is to buy a pumpkin.

WEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!  PUMMMPKINNNNSSSS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

(Again, Fall = Christmas)

On our recent trip to Maine, we visited the most sincerest of pumpkin patches where we feasted our eyes on the greatest of pumpkins:

Nothing beats classic orange, but I went cuckoo for the blue and white ones.

Knock, Knock!

Who’s there?

What do you call a crate full of pumpkins?

A good start.

(Or something like that.)

And you thought pumpkins weren’t romantic!

Have you ever purchased a “pie pumpkin” with the full intention of turning it into a pie, but never had the guts to cut into it because it was just so cute?

Kooky?  Yes.  Heavy?  Yes.  Edible?  No idea.

Knock, knock!

Hello?

Orange.

Who is this?

Orange and black gourd at four o’clock.

Happy October, everybody!

Now go jump in a pile of leaves.

(And I mean that in the most sincerest of ways.)

A Clyde Woman in Maine


After five glorious days, Dave and I had to say goodbye to the Pine Tree State.

(Now excuse me while I cry into my keyboard.)

I believe there is a Maine-shaped void in all of our hearts that longs to be filled with salty, ocean air, bright red foliage, lighthouses, apple farms and everything else that makes Maine such a unique and magical place.

(Now excuse me while I drive back to the airport.)

Yup, Maine was just what this Clyde woman ordered.

Here were some of my favorite parts of the journey:

Behold, Portland Head Light.

Wish I could tell you what year it was built or how it produces light for wayward ships, but I was too busy gaping to learn anything.

Learn more here.

My first dinner in Maine: Crab-Stuffed Lobster with Newburg Sauce.  

Twas also my first lobstah evah.

(Word to the wise: You really DO need a bib when you eat these things!)

Deliciousness courtesy of Saltwater Grille in Portland.

Enjoying a bike ride along the shores of Peak’s Island, a small island off the coast of Portland.

(Above is a very boring sentence summing up what was probably the best bike ride of my life.)

Just look at these carrots!!

Now look at them again!!!

And again!!!

The produce at the Portland Farmers Market was what I imagine produce in Heaven to be.

I am still disgusted.

(But in a good, gastronomically-elated sort of way.)

Not disgusted enough? Visit the Portland Farmers Market webpage.

This gray, funky pumpkin was so fascinating that I couldn’t resist cradling it in my arms.

(Do pumpkins make you as happy as they make me?)

My favorite memory by far: Apple picking at Snell Family Farm!!

For more info on the farm, click here.

Enjoying apple pie ice cream at Peak’s Island.

It’s all about apples up here.

Apples and beer, I mean.  (We suggest Sebago Brewing Company!)

Maine is brimming with microbreweries which are brimming with tasty beer which means Dave was brimming with happiness:

Hmm, I have about 200 more photos left…but I guess I’ll spare you.

Otherwise, we’ll all be jumping the next plane to Maine.

I LOVE YOU, MAINE!!!

My Little Loves: The Donut Shop on the Corner


Who doesn’t love a charming, small-town doughnut shop?

Our small town of Clyde, America is home to a sweet dive called, “The Good Morning Shop.”  Every time I walk in, I’m greeted with the aroma of fresh doughnuts and a chipper, “Good morning!” by one of the ladies behind the counter.

A doughnut may not be the healthiest breakfast, but an apricot-filled confection handed to you by a friendly person who asks you how y’all been doin’ lately is soul food indeed!

Milk Glass Coffee Cups


While washing the dishes last night, I looked over at my milk glass coffee cups (which I use ALL the time) hanging on the drainboard and thought to myself: “I really love my little milk glass coffee cups.”

It sounds silly to be in love with a coffee cup, but me and one of these cups go waaaay back….

When we were kids, my Grandfather used to have something called, “Coffee Call” which was like tea time only with coffee.  And Little Debbie’s Donut Stix.  Or crackers with peanut butter and honey.  Or cookies.  Or leftover pie.

Grandfather had a sweet tooth.  He also believed that sugar was sinful and so he would add liquid artificial sweetener to his coffee instead.  Large amounts of artificial sweetener.

Sometimes me and my sisters would join Grandfather for Coffee Call.

“Time for Coffee Call,” he’d say with a grin.

Even though we were little, we were still allowed to drink coffee.  Lisa was brave and sometimes drank hers black.  Leslie liked milk and sugar.  I needed lots of milk and lots of sugar.  Though we all enjoyed our coffee different ways, one thing was for certain: we all wanted to drink ours out of the white milk glass cup.  Maybe it was Leslie who first favored the little cup.  Then perhaps Lisa decided that she liked it, too.  All I know is that whenever my sisters liked something a whole lot, I decided that I would like it a whole lot, too.

Inevitably, once we heard the words “Coffee Call,” we would all race to the cabinet to grab the cup first.  Then a fight would ensue.

I remember never getting it.

My sisters remember me always getting it.

In the end, I think Grandfather took the milk glass cup out of play thus putting an end to the argument.

About 4 years ago my grandma was thinning out her dishes and asked me if I wanted anything.  The first thing that popped into my mind was that cup.  And so she gave it to me.

A couple years later, a sweet friend gave me two more.

So now I have 3 milk glass cups.

One for each sister.

Or three for one sister.

Here’s to sisters and warm drinks and little loves.

And victories.

Heh, heh.