Butter Cookies

December 19, 2013

Yesterday I made Christmas cookies with my toddler using an old recipe from my great grandmother. While the cookies baked we all watch Rudolph the Red Nose Raindear as another 8″ of snow fell outside.  It was one of those perfect, perfect moments I will cherish even when I am old and gray.  (I also, didn’t remember all the characters in Rudolph being such jerks.  Seriously, Don Draper looks like a little bunny rabbit compared to Rudolph’s dad.  Gotta love the 60’s.)

But back to the cookies.  My mother would make these every Christmas and all us kids would decorate them with sprinkles.  With our Christmas party on Saturday, I thought this would be the prefect year to bring the tradition to my own family.  The recipe is beyond easy and the cookies are as advertized…butter cookies, requiring nearly two sticks of butter.  Yum!

Ingredients:
3/4 lb butter
7/8 cup of sugar
2 eggs
4 cups of flour*
1 tsp vanilla extract

*I found the best gluten free flour!  It is by no means Paleo or anything like that but it totally gluten free and I swear the cookies taste exactly the same.  It is called Cup 4 cup and can be found here.

Directions:

1. Cream butter and sugar together, then add flour, eggs and vanilla.

2. Stuff dough into a cookie press and go to town pressing cookies.  (If you haven’t used a cookie press before they are super easy and actually quite fun.  Here are a bunch of options on Amazon.)

3. Decorate as you like.

4. Bake in oven at 350˚ for 14-16 min depending on how thick each cookies is.

Here we are going at it yesterday.

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Merry Christmas

December 25, 2012

From our home to yours.

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What the what?!?!

December 12, 2012

So the other weekend, while bébé was napping and the hubs was on the sofa fighting off the stomach virus I so thoughtfully passed onto him, I saw a Pinterest contest over on my friend Cassandra Lavall’s blog, Coco+Kelley for the online shopping site Taigan.  I thought, what the heck, why not do a little fantasy shopping with the hopes of winning a $500 gift card.  Then last week I got an email telling me I had won!!!!  What the what?!?!?  $500 to go shopping on Taigan all for me…errrr…I mean to do some Christmas shopping.  I still don’t even know what to get but my wish list has spent the $500 already and then some.  Here is what I “pinned.”

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1. canoe (way over $500 but so pretty) 2. necklace  3. earrings  4. gold leaf box  5. horse trays  6. ceramic elephant  7. Louis Vuitton portfolio (another one way more than $500)  8. luggage tag  9. Equipment sweater  10. Vogue, The Editors Eye book

Christmas time in the city

December 3, 2012

Peeks from our weekend at home in Boston’s, Beacon Hill. I love it when the shops are all decorated and trees and wreaths are for sale on the side walk.

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Christmas Cards…

November 28, 2012

The dreaded “Christmas Cards”.  I never really knew how much of an ordeal the whole Christmas card tradition was until I got married and had a baby.  After you have a baby, you feel an immense pressure to send out the perfect card with your darling cherub proclaiming to the world what a perfect family you have.  I am also asked to photograph many many many families for Christmas card images every October – December.  (We are talking 3 to 4 shoots a weekend.)  So I feel your pain.  Getting the whole family: mom, dad, baby, toddler, dog etc. to all smile, look at the camera and not have an expression of sheer disdain on their face is quite a feat.  For all parties involved.  Which is why I absolutely LOVED designer, colleague, client and studio mate of mine, Stayci Fast’s, idea for her family photo shoot.  She styled the whole shoot down to every detail and her kids were easier to work with than some professional models.  Goldfish in drink…check.  Pink colored dog…check.  Punk, preppy kids…check.  The shoot was so much fun and I loved that she decided to go with a funny take on the whole holiday card thing.  “Peace, Love and Whatev.”  Don’t we all feel like that sometimes during the holidays?

Holiday Style and Shop Local

November 20, 2012

Last week I photographed a shoot featuring five Boston bloggers, Amanda Knorr of Spreedia, Lani of Mon Petit Chou Chou, Renata of Scorpion Disco, Kristen of Boston Fashionista, and Sean of Boston Mo. They were told to think “Holiday” and styled themselves with clothing and accessories from local boutiques. Here are some of the photos from the shoot, but all you Boston people, make sure to check out their links for where to shop the shoot. Just in time for “Shop local Saturday.”

Photoshoot Credits:

Hair: Tim Robishaw of Jeffrey Lyle Salon
Makeup: Lauren Genatossio of Sarra
Photography: Sarah Winchester
Location: Marc Hall Design Studio

Sean of Boston Mo – quirky prep

Kristen of Boston Fashionista - retro/glam
Amanda Knorr of Spredia - tailored chic
Lani of Mon Petit Chou Chou – romantic, feminine
Renata of Scorpion Disco - polished structure
Here is the whole crew ready to party.

All is quiet

December 27, 2011

We had a wonderful relaxing Christmas with family, including Christmas Eve dinner with the in-laws and then Christmas Day up in Maine with my sister.  We arrived in Maine just as the snow began to fall giving us a white Christmas.  I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas filled with family, friends and food.

Jake at Willard Beach, Cape Elisabeth, ME

Taken with Instagram then applied some HDR toning.

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Willard Beach, Cape Elisabeth, ME

Taken with my Canon (as usual)

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My Home for the Holidays

December 22, 2011

With 5 weeks until my due date we are sticking pretty close to Boston for Christmas and New Year.  No air travel for me, but my forced grounding has really lead me to appreciate and love my home even more.

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Our home all decorated for Christmas

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Beautiful 1927 American Flyer train, and 1940’s Aquarium given to me by my dad.

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Charles Street of Beacon Hill, just outside our door.

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3 days until Christmas!

I have gotten a few requests for the White Chocolate & Peppermint Bark Recipe from the previous post.  It is super easy.  I order my chocolates and peppermint from Cake Art in Atlanta http://www.cakeart.com you can order online or call and order via the phone at 770-493-1505 but you can probably buy them lots of places.  That is just where my mom always gets them.

Ingredients
• Ck Products – Merkins 1 lb. White Chocolate
• Ck Products – Candy crunch Peppermint Red & Green 1lb

I typically use 5lb of white chocolate per 1 lb of peppermint.

Instructions
• Use a double broiler to melt the chocolate. I don’t have one so use a 2 inch or so deep pan with some water.
• Heat the water to almost a boil. Then place a 2 quart pot in the pan of water.
• Place the white chocolates in the pot (I only heat up about 1 1/2 lb at a time).
• Stir until the white chocolate until smooth and creamy.
• Pull off stove and stir in peppermint
• Pour the chocolate onto a cookie sheet
• Place cookie sheet into freezer for 10 min (line the cookie sheet with wax paper helps)
• Break into pieces and eat or share :)

I hope this helps.

Sarah

For as long as I can remember, my mother has made white chocolate candies for the Holidays.  In particular, white chocolate & peppermint bark.  The stuff is to die for…we are talking crack addictive level goodness.  Old roommates, office colleagues and friends would begin to ask me if my mom was sending the chocolates sometime right around Thanksgiving.  Without fail, that tin full of homemade candy would arrive shortly thereafter.  This year I decided to try my own hand at making my Christmas favorite to share with many of my new wonderful clients and friends.  Thankfully I had a batch of my mother’s on hand to taste test compare.  One burnt batch and 2 1/2 pounds of white chocolate later, I had the whole double broiler thing down to successfully melt chocolate.

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