Thursday, October 31, 2013

Halloween Tablescape

Halloween is a time when monsters come out from under the bed and all our fears come true. But what happens when these ghouls and other ghastly creatures want to sit down for a midnight snack? This Halloween tablescape is a perfect centerpiece for a haunted house; here, in a place long forgotten by the living, the dead come back for a frightful feast.

The creatures of the night gather for the feast.

Creepy crawlies are attracted to the rotting delicacies.

Ravens join the fray. The table turns purple to reflect that night is upon us.

For the undead, only a taste of the living will satisfy them. The birds gnaw at the fleshy remains. An eye for an eye makes for a satisfying drink.

The birds and rats want a taste too. The goblet has only the finest blood, aged to perfection.
This hand once belonged to an ancient king. Now he’s nothing but bones.

As Halloween ends, the terrors scatter until next year.


Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Divine Macaroon Cookies

When I travel to small towns, I love trying out local bakeries.  I find the most interesting taste combinations and flavors that I like to try out when I get home.  These Divine Macaroons are a variation of macaroons that we discovered at a small town bakery in Fort Bragg, CA. 

Divine Macaroons


1 package 16 oz. Angel Food Cake Mix by Betty Crocker
1/2 cup cold water
1 tsp.  almond extract
1/4  to 1/3 cup  condensed milk
1 package (14 oz) sweetened flaked coconut
1/2 cup almonds, coarsely chopped

  •  Preheat over 325 degrees.  Line cookie sheets with parchment paper.
  •  Beat cake mix, water and almond extract at medium speed until blended.   
  • Add condensed milk, coconut, and almonds nuts. Beat until well blended.
  • Drop dough in balls or tablespoonful about 2 inches apart. 
  • Bake 20 -23 minutes (Note:  this will slightly flatten). 
  •  Let cool for at least 3-5 minutes then transfer to wire rack and let cool completely.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Floral Arrangement - Sunflowers and Other Yellow Flowers

There's something about Sunflowers that evoke brightness and cheerfulness.   Maybe because of their vibrant yellow color  giving off  energy like the sun.  Their color is bold  and yet has that comfortable feeling, maybe coming from the earthy brown color of their florets, which is the middle part.  In any case, sunflowers, to me, are the kind of flowers that make me smile.   

Below are samples of Sunflower arrangements and other Yellow flowers:

This was specially created for a sunflower-loving  niece's wedding.  I've added some crystals in the middle to make it a little fancier. 

For this floral centerpiece, I've combined two kinds of sunflowers and added some naked sunflowers (where the yellow petals are peeled off) to balance the middle part.

Some residual Sunflowers from the wedding

Silk flowers are so beautifully convenient in any season and so versatile.  Here are two samples  of how a simple change to the silk flower makes the floral arrangement:
Silk Gerbera flower

silk yellow Lotus flower

See also: