Browsing the archives for the neighbors tag.

Cookie Packages and Christmas Twinkleberries

Crafty, Domestic, Kids, Small Town

When I baked and decorated the snazzy sugar cookies earlier this week for the Daring Baker challenge last month, I mentioned they were destined for our neighbour’s tummies, since we were going to package them up and give them out when we walk around introducing ourselves. We live in a seasonal area, and as we discovered this week, we are one of just five houses that are occupied all year! Most of our neighbours are long gone back to their regular lives and we wont see them again till next summer. Pfft. Amatures.

Our little treasures were only recieved by three of our neighbours, one was away for the weekend, and one I only found out later lives here all year (I thought she had cleared out with everyone else, whoops)!

The people we met and chatted with were all genuinely surprised that anyone would come and say hello, let alone bring a treat, which was sweet because they were all really warm and inviting. Of course, we are already friendly wiith the people next door, they are wonderful neighbours and I am sad to say they are trying to sell their house. 🙁

We will likely be driving into town for trick or treating, so the kids have houses to visit! We’ll bake up something cute and wish our handful of neighbours a spooky night though!

Even though it’s not even Halloween, I have started on Christmas knitting. As any serious knitter will tell you (hi Mom!) I am very late for this. So late actually, that before I could get started on I had to finish a Christmas project from last year! Behold the three Twinkleberry socks it took me almost a year to knit!


It’s not that it’s a hard pattern or that I had issue, it’s just that I wasn’t knitting. Life hit me hard and I was doing everything but knitting. Why are there three? What’s Christmasy about them? My bestie Miss Talea, bought me this yarn for my birthday last October. It’s called Starry Night, because it has flecks of real silver in it (!), I totally adore it. I also knew that she was leaving Toronto for Ottawa and the way my husband was talking it looked like I was leaving Toronto for the middle of nowhere (hey look, here I am), so I really needed to make soemthing special from this yarn.

I had read in a Martha Stewart Living magazine almost 10 years ago an idea to knit up little Christmas stockingsa for kids and hang them on the inside of their bedroom doors on Christmas eve! When the kids get up they have a wee snack, a few small toys and mom and dad can throw back a coffee or two before the kids bust the doors down and make a run for the living room.

Making something I’ll use every Christnmas eve forever was a wonderful way to know that Talea will be with me in some fashion every year no matter what – though she will hopefully be here for real too! The yarn is perfect for this project too because it’s all twinkly and pretty – and the pattern was chosen solely for it’s name – Twinkleberry! So sweet – and finally finished. Actually, almost! I need to find some pretty silver or blue ribbon to make a loop to hang them from.

Finally free from the shame for a year long knitting project that should not have taken more than a couple of weeks, I casted on just three days ago these lovlies, Socks of Kindness. They are knitting up so incredibly fast it’s bananas! The pattern is a snap and I’m already on the heel. I can only knit for a few hours a day with all the wee ones and other obligations so this is surprising!

Now I’m off to learn how to make a short row heel (hooray for You Tube)!

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Snazzy Sugar Cookies – Daring Baker Challenge Sept 2010

Domestic, Kids, Small Town

In this post, I’m participating in The Daring Kitchen, Tempt My Tummy Tuesday, and Tuesdays at the Table

The September 2010 Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Mandy of “What the Fruitcake?!” Mandy challenged everyone to make Decorated Sugar Cookies based on recipes from Peggy Porschen and The Joy of Baking.

This was my first official Daring Baker challenge and I was so excited to do it, and now I am so excited to show it off!! The theme for this challenge was ‘September’, it was pretty easy for me to figure out which way to go with that when I am surrounded by these beautiful September colours! The first photo was taken in my backyard (it’s part of the view from my kitchen window), the second photo was taken in my front yard. With these colours as daily inspiration, I used brown, green, orange and red on my cookies.

I’m jumping ahead here, I actually baked them on Sunday afternoon and spent wee one #3’s nap on Monday decorating them. I prepared them exactly as Mandy instructed. Sugar cookies are pretty basic, but it’s the most basic recipes that are the easiest to mess up. In this case, whatever you do, DO NOT overmix! As soon as you’re combined, stop.


This recipe was a total winner and was explained so well, I can’t wait to make more. And more and more and more. Amazing. Kneading the dough into three balls and then rolling between parchment paper to reduce both chilling time, and the necessity to re-roll was genius. I have made a zillion sugar cookies, and these are by far the best.

Also, this is just the second time I’ve used my Granny’s rolling pin. It’s so weird and sometimes feels so wrong that I reference her so much more since she’s passed than I did when she was alive. It makes me feel both like a terrible granddaughter, and somehow really connected to her. Ever since we traded city for country I’ve been thinking of her a lot – she was certainty an old fashioned country girl making the city work for her. Anyhoo, her rolling pin is very, very heavy – it’s marble with wooden handles and I love, love, love it. In this case specifically, where I’m rolling out soft dough on parchment paper, it makes the job come together in a snap.


I really think the rolling, chilling, cutting, chilling, baking procedure makes the cookies hold their shape so well and make them so easy to handle. Which doesn’t matter much if you’re just going to eat them plain. However, if you’re, oh I don’t know, about to attack them with a kilo of royal icing, it would be so nice if they were sturdy cookies that didn’t fall apart when handling!

Ahem. Excuse my baggies, I need new piping bags desperately. My birthday is less than a month away and pretty much everyone knows I’d love a refresh of my baking gear. 😉

Decorating these cookies was so much fun! Wee one #1 was at school, wee one #2 was home from school with a cold (as much as she wanted to go the poor thing) so she was in the other room playing Mario Kart and wee one #3 was blissfully napping. A quiet, (mostly) uninterrupted stretch of time?? Really? I took it! LOL


I had intended to also pipe out our initials (we planned when we named everyone to not repeat any initials!) but I got so wrapped up in the magic of dragging a toothpick through the icing, I had attacked all three dozen! Next time I make these, that’s the plan, but in brighter colours I think.

These cookies are destined to be in our neighbour’s tummies tomorrow afternoon. As I mentioned earlier, I have been here for 3 weeks and have only met two neighbours, so I will rectify that situation after wee one #1 gets home from school. Hmm. Maybe we should give some to the school bus driver as well!