Saturday, December 31, 2016

Happy New Year!

Wishing our beloved readers a Happy Healthy 2017!

We are flashing back to New Years' Past with some fun and easy DIY's to add some sparkle to your holiday

We made champagne truffles and party hats in break out the bubbly  
citrus meringues in champagne meringues
  Noisemakers and glass ornament bubbles Auld Lang Syne 
and sweet treats in Mimosa parfaits

“Ring out the old, ring in the new,
Ring, happy bells, across the snow:
The year is going, let him go;
Ring out the false, ring in the true.” 
― Alfred Tennyson

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Christmas by the Sea: Historic Cape May and Victorian Printable

Friends and frequent readers may have guessed from my many posts featuring Cape May NJ that this charming historic town is one of my very favorite places to visit. While winter finds other nearby beach resorts closing their shutters for a long winter's nap, Victorian Cape May dons her holiday festive finery, trims the tree and decks the halls. Now a yearly "girls getaway" tradition, four friends and relatives headed beachside for a little dose of coastal Christmas spirit. With limited time and budget, we still managed to have the most delightful visit and enjoy the sights and sounds of the season. So I thought I'd share our

Cape May Christmas To-do List

Get glimpse of Santa(s) at the Virginia Hotel
This elegant hotel adds some Christmas whimsy each year with playful climbing Santas

 Admire the "Gingerbread" Houses
Often referred to as "Gingerbread", Many Cape May houses boast intricate Victorian scrollwork and vibrant colors seemingly inspired by their candy covered namesakes

Step Back in Time at Congress Hall
America's oldest seaside resort (1816) began as a large but modest boarding house and grew in popularity and grandeur to host several presidents. John Philip Sousa composed the Congress Hall March in its honor after performing there. Nowadays it is transformed into a winter wonderland, delighting young and old at Christmas time.

OoH and aah over Holiday Lights
You won't want to miss a visit to the historic Emlen Physick Estate, and their wonderful tree and Dicken's village in their gift shop and tea room. Take one of their trolley tours and learn about the town's unique history. Or simply stroll around the area to admire the houses, shops and B&B's by night.

Enjoy Holiday Shopping (or just browse)
Browse the areas unique mix of shops including Winterwood, a year round Christmas shop or the art and vintage co-op gallery West End Garage.

and of course
Eat Drink and Be Merry
Time out at one of our absolute favorites for award winning eats and
 the "Happiest" (and budget friendly) happy hour
The Mad Batter

Of course the real gift was fun times spent with friends and family!

Wishing everyone
the Joy of the Season
Please enjoy our Victorian Cape May inspired
 printable Christmas Card
simply right click on image and choose "open in new window" and print for holiday crafting and giving
Created using images from The Graphics Fairy, cat image from Pinterest, source unavailable 

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Mini Poundcake Gingerbread Houses

 Despite my extremely limited baking skills, it seems as December approaches I invariably have the sudden desire to create those most complex of confections: a Gingerbread house. 
Past experiences have not gone well, resulting in collapsed roofs, piles of crumbs, an entire bottle of Elmer's glue and a quickly scribbled sign "Do Not Eat!"
In an effort to scale down my culinary expectations, I thought I'd attempt an easier mini version of a Gingerbread house with all of the spicy flavor, snowy icing, sweet details and none of the heartbreak.

You'll Need

gingerbread pound cake (bought or homemade)
white chocolate melts or almond bark
your choice of assorted candies, sprinkles and cake decorations
finely shredded coconut 
freeze gingerbread until firm
using a sharp knife cut into house-like shapes
I first cut in blocks then carved off diagonal sections for roof
brush crumbs off and return to freezer. 
Melt chocolate according to package directions, letting cool just slightly
Carefully dip roof of houses in white chocolate. Set houses on wax paper  letting some drip off like icicles. Top with sprinkles if desired or candy accents. I put some melted chocolate in a plastic baggie, snipped off the tip and piped some details like doors and windows.
 Since the houses are quite small I kept them relatively simple 
I opted for a snowy white theme but use your favorite holiday colors
Let harden completely and display on a bed of snowy coconut or powdered sugar.
You can set them on a tiered stand
or create a little town on a long tray
serve with a warm cup of tea 
Of course wasting cake is frowned upon in our household, so you can layer the leftover gingerbread scraps into an impromptu trifle with ice cream or Greek yogurt!

Gingerbread Fun Facts
The first gingerbread recipe is believed to be one from Greece from the year 2400BC!  

Henry the Vlll is thought to have eaten a ginger mixture in hopes of avoiding the plague!
Gingerbread houses appeared in Germany in the 16th century and were often decorated with gold leaf!
In 2006 the world's biggest Gingerbread house constructed in Texas required a building permit!

For these and more on the 
fascinating history of Gingerbread visit

Wishing Everyone 
Sweet Holiday Season!