Thursday, December 30, 2010

Happy New Year Dear Friends...

Happy New Year Wish

My Happy New Year wish for you,
Is for your best year yet,
A year where life is peaceful,
And what you want ,you get.

A year in which you cherish
The past year's memories,
And live your life each new day,
Full of bright expectancies.

I wish for you a holiday
With happiness galore;
And when it's done, I wish you
Happy New Year, and many more.

                     By  Joanna Fuchs

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Frosting Fiasco....

Ok,  just so you know I will be looking to take a basic cake decorating class in the near future.  Frosting cookies is obviously not my forte.  But believe me when I tell you that these cookies are delicious. They rise beautifully and are tender and light.

Sugar Cookies
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Bake about 8 to 10 minutes.


  •  1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 tsp. vanilla or almond extract.  I use half vanilla and half almond.
  • 2 tsp. cream of tartar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 4 cups flour 
Cream butter and sugar well.  Add eggs and beat until fluffy and light.  Add extract( vanilla or almond) and dry ingredients.  Refrigerate for 30 minutes.  Roll as thin or as thick as you like.  Cool and decorate.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Winter Has Arrived...

Now this is what I've been waiting for. A true New England Nor'Easter.  The storm started yesterday afternoon and continued  through out the night. I looked out my window to see snow swirling and drifting across my front lawn, the plows with their roaring engines on the roads, and the howling wind whipping the falling snow in all sorts of directions.

 It was quite a sight to see and I couldn't have been happier to finally receive the heavy snow fall that I have been dreaming of this winter.  Its been so cold without any snow for so long that I couldn't wait to run down to the bottom of my driveway and take a picture of this winter wonderland, (to document that we actually got snow this winter!)

The howling wind proved to be stronger than I thought! I brought Bella outside and discovered my snow covered garage.  It almost looks as if someone splattered white paint on a picture.  The extremely strong wind blew the snow so hard that it actually stuck to the side of my garage.  It's beautiful and I hope that it will stay like this for a long time!
Oh how my little girl loves the snow! Jumping, running and playing in the snow, winter has proved to be one of Bella's favorite seasons.  I watched this morning as my oldest son played with Bella in our front yard.  Improvising on fun, he used a snow shovel to hurl snow in the air while Bella jumped straight up off the ground all the while trying to eat the falling snow.  It was hilarious watching her little legs hop through the snow as fast as she could while trying to catch my son.  Quickly snapping this picture of her anticipating my sons next move has become my most favorite picture of Bella!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

My Favorite Christmas Cookie...

These little snowy cookies look like they could be a relative to the happy snowman living on this cookie dish.  Please try these buttery Greek Christmas Cookies.  I know you will love them!!
  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Bake for 18 minutes.
  • 1/2 cup confectionery sugar
  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp. almond extract
  • 3/4 cup ground walnut
  • 2 1/4 cup flour 

Blend butter and sugar well.  Mix in the rest of the ingredients.  Refrigerate for 30 minutes.   Roll into 1 inch balls and bake on cookie sheet.  When cookies are cooled, roll in confectionery sugar.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Some Christmas Cheer..

Sip  this delicious cocktail when you get home from Christmas shopping.
Cranberry Christmas Cocktail
  • 5 ounces cranberry juice
  • 2  ounces vodka
  • 2 ounces ginger ale
  • 1 tsp. lemon juice
Put all of the above in a cocktail shaker.  Shake until the shaker becomes cold to the touch.  Pour into a glass that has been rimmed in Christmas sugar.  Enjoy!

Friday, December 10, 2010

Where Is The Snow....

Tonight it is freezing out and  there is absolutely no chance of a snowfall, not even one single tiny white flake.   Tomorrow according to the weather reports it is suppose to be forty-five degrees  and on Sunday it will reach fifty-four.   I am becoming desperate for snow.

 My house could really use a soft  blanket of snow, maybe some frosty icicles hanging from the roof.   WE ARE READY!!  The snow shovels are piled neatly in the shed.  The snow blower is all set to go and waiting patiently in our garage. I am in a heighten state of anticipation for anything remotely white falling from the sky.  I will keep you posted on any weather updates.  Please keep your fingers crossed.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Let's Get Cracking....

Ok  I've had a week off and my decorating needs to get kicked up a notch or two.  In other words I need to get the lead out and start decorating.    My collection  of nutcrackers almost always finds a home on top of my corner cabinet.

One of my white pitchers with some peppermint candy canes inside and a winter scene trivet that belonged  to my mother.  These simple decorations will find a place in the kitchen.

The boxwood tree  is slightly decorated.   I think it needs some glittery silver ribbon .  Maybe a bow on top and a couple of bows  intertwined here or there should dress it up.

Our wreaths are hung on all the outside windows.  The spotlight is going in shortly.  Once the ground freezes its just too hard to place.  Next, the tree is coming in, lights are going on and ornaments hung.   I'll do my mantel next.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Christmas Count Down

I'm exhausted from cooking and cleaning for Thanksgiving and did not want to start on the Christmas decorating  yet.  This weekend was more about relaxing than anything else.  A few pine branches in the wood basket was just a start.

A few years back at an after Christmas sale I bought these adorable red sparkling berries.  They fit nicely on top of my lamps and add a festive look. Again,  not a lot of effort.  I'm still relaxing.

 A little egg white and granulated sugar make ordinary fruit a little fancy. But enough for one day.  I'll do a little more tomorrow.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Cranberry Nut Bread

We love our cranberries here in New England and will bake and cook with them all through the holidays and beyond.  Cranberry Nut Bread is a fall favorite.  It is quick, simple and delicious.  Try it and I'm sure it will become one of your fall favorite's too. Here is the recipe.
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 cup orange juice
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon grated orange peel
  • 1 egg well beaten
  • 1 1/2 cups cranberries coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 cup chopped nuts
Preheat oven to 350F.  Grease a 9 by 12 inch loaf pan.  Mix together flour,sugar,baking powder, baking soda and salt in a medium mixing bowl.  Stir in orange juice, oil, orange peel and egg.  Mix until well blended.  Stir in cranberries and nuts.  Spread evenly in loaf pan.  Bake for 55 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Cool on a rack for 15 minutes.  Remove from pan and cool completely.  This is an Ocean Spray Cranberry recipe.  Go here for more cranberry recipes.http://www.oceanspray.com

Congratulations to Postcards From the P.P. on winning the Dedham Pottery flower vase.  Please email  me and let me know where I should ship your thank you gift.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Veteran's Day..... Lest We Forget

In Flanders Field
by John MacRae 

In Flanders field the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below

We are the Dead.  Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe;
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Cranberry and Orange Chutney

My sister-in-law made this delicious chutney years ago as Christmas gifts for the family.  If memory serves me well,  I believe she also made beer bread to go along with the chutney.  We all loved it and I have been making it every year since.  This cranberry and orange concoction is delicious served with your Thanksgiving Day meal and  then spread on your left over turkey sandwiches. I think it screams holiday! Here is the recipe.  Enjoy!!
  • 3 small oranges, seeded, coarsely chopped, peel and all
  • 4 cups cranberries
  • 1 cup chopped tart apple, not peeled
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1/2 cup orange juice or apple cider
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 tbsp. cider vinegar
  • 3/4 tsp. ground ginger
  • 3/4 tsp. cinnamon
  • 3/4 tsp. ground clove
  • 1/2 cup bourbon (optional) I always use it 
Mix all the above ingredients in a heavy pan, simmer until cranberries pop.  About 20 minutes.   The mixture should look like jam. 

Friday, November 5, 2010

Dedham Pottery Give Away

Blogging was just a word that I heard people say, but had never really experienced myself.  That is until one afternoon in late June when I happened to google something and I came upon what I now know as a blog.  How interesting this person's life was,  how delicious her recipes looked and how clever her craft ideas seemed to be. Well one blog led to another and another and so the story goes.

It took me all summer long to get up enough courage to create From Beyond My Kitchen Window.  I'm still not sure if my blog is as clever or as tastefully assembled as some others, but I have enjoyed every minute of trying to make my blog a reflection of who I am , what I enjoy cooking and where I like to go on a Saturday afternoon.

Thank you to all the wonderful people who share their amazing ideas and lives through their blogs.  Blogging is a great vehicle to meet caring, kind, giving and supportive individuals who for an hour or two a week through their computers invite you into their lives.  So this give away is just a small token of gratitude for all of the kind comments and supportive words  you have written on my blog.

A few weekends ago a friend and I went to the Potting Shed to buy a thank you gift for the give away.  Dedham Pottery is something I have loved for over twenty-five years. Each piece is hand made and takes about a week to finish.  I hope that whoever is lucky enough to win the flower vase will enjoy it as much as I do.  To read about the history of Dedham Pottery go here.www.harelooms.com

If you are already a follower your name will be entered in the drawing twice. If you are not yet a follower but  would like a chance just to win, you can join and your name will be be entered once. The drawing will take place next weekend. Good Luck and Thank You!!!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

When Life Gives You Lemons......

You make Ina's Lemon Bars of course,

  • 1/2 pound unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 6 extra-large eggs at room temperature
  • 3 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons grated lemon zest (4 to 6 lemons)
  • 1 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 cup all purpose flour

Confectioners sugar, for dusting
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees

For the crust, cream the butter and the sugar until light in the bowl of an electric mixed fitted with the paddle attachment.  Combine the flour and salt and, with the mixer on low, add to the butter until just mixed.  Dump the dough onto a well-floured board and gather into a ball.  Flatten the dough with floured hands and press it into a 9 by 13 by 2 inch baking sheet, building up a 1/2 inch edge on all sides. Chill.

 Bake the crust for 15 to 20 minutes, until very lightly browned.  Let cool on a wire rack.  Leave the oven on.

For the filling, whisk together the eggs, sugar, lemon zest, lemon juice, and flour.  Pour over the crust and bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until the filling is set.  Let cool to room temperature.

Cut into triangles and dust with confectioners sugar.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Fruitlands Musuem

Fruitlands Museum in Harvard Massachusetts is set on 210 acres of woodlands,  pine barrens , swampland and meadows. Situated on the property are several small building which house some very unique exhibits.  There is an Art gallery as well as an Indian Gallery, Shaker Gallery, and The Fruitlands Farmhouse.

Included on the  property is a small thoughtful gift shop and restaurant which is a treat to visit after you finish your tour.  The grounds are also used for weddings which are celebrated in a large
 snow white tent overlooking stunning farmland vistas. 
 Artfully placed throughout the trails are Massachusetts sculptor Joseph Wheelwright's  Tree Sculptures.
The sculpture pictured above is called Pine Man and is twenty five feet tall.
 The below photo is of a figure called  oddly enough, Cherry Figure.   It stands in at thirty feet tall.

If only you could experience these nature inspired masterpieces in person.

Smoke Jumper is one of my favorites because of it's soulful eyes.

Another view of this breathtaking tree sculpture .

Here is one of the smaller trees in the exhibit,  it is called Shiva.

Again another view of Shiva.   If you look close enough you can see it's face.

This ominous looking figure has the misfortune of being named Predator Tree.

 There is the oddest granite sculpture located just outside the Art Gallery.  This different piece is called Fox Face.   I really can't decide if I like it or not.  Do you have an opinion on this unique piece?

Hopefully you  have enjoyed my photo gallery of this talented sculptor's work.  Sadly, the exhibit ends at the end of October.  I have been lucky enough to see these wonders quite often. One of my sons works part time at the restaurant and I visit The Fruitlands Museum whenever I get the chance.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Ina's Maple Oatmeal Scones

After my visit to Parker's over the weekend I knew I just had to make something with maple syrup.There are a few cookbooks that I always seem to go to when I need a recipe and Ina Garten's cookbooks most often fit that bill. Here are her delicious and easy maple -oatmeal scones.

  • 3 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup quick cooking oats, plus more for sprinkling
  • 2 tbsp. baking powder
  • 2 tbsp. granulated sugar
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 1 pound cold unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup cold buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup pure maple syrup
  • 4 extra large eggs, slightly beaten
  • 1 egg beaten with 1 tbsp milk or water, for egg wash
  • 1 1/4 cups confectioners sugar
  • 1/2 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract

    Preheat the oven to 400 degrees
    In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, combine the flours, oats, baking powder, sugar,and salt.  Blend the cold butter in at the lowest speed and mix until the butter is in pea sized pieces.  Combine the buttermilk, maple syrup, and eggs and add quickly to the flour and butter mixture.  Mix until just blended.  The dough may be sticky.

    Dump the dough out onto a well floured surface and be sure it is combined.  Flour your hands and a rolling pin and roll the dough 3/4 to 1 inch thick.  You should see lumps of butter in the dough.  Cut into 3 inch rounds with a plain or fluted cutter and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.

    Brush the tops with egg wash.  Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until the tops are crisp and the insides are done.

    To make the glaze, combine the confectioners sugar, maple syrup, and vanilla.  When the scones are done, cool for 5 minutes and drizzle each scone with 1 tablespoon of glaze.  then sprinkle some uncooked oats on the top, for garnish.  The warmer the scones are when you glaze them, the thinner the glaze will be.

    As you can tell by my photo above they really are  good size scones. The recipe states it makes 14 large scones, I made 16 scones out of this batch.

    Monday, October 11, 2010

    Parker's Maple Barn

    This past weekend we took a short trip up to New Hampshire to one of my favorite places to have breakfast. Located in Mason New Hampshire, you can read all about Parker's Maple Barn Restaurant here. They have a great gift shop with loads of their very own maple syrup and maple products.

    The restaurant was packed so I felt awkward about taking out my camera and snapping pictures while everyone was eating their breakfast. Unfortunately, there are no photos of the inside to this quaint  little restaurant.  I did however manage to snap a few of the outside area .

    We assumed that the license plate must belong to the owner of Parker's.  After all it is a genuine working maple sugar farm. 

    Parker's is usually packed and the wait can be up to one and a half hours. We were lucky this weekend though and got in and seated in about twenty minutes.  But for times when we are not so lucky and the wait is longer we can go to The Outpost  and purchase a  maple donut and a cup of hot coffee while we wait.   The small Outpost building happens to be right next to the sugar house pictured below .

    After you get your donut and coffee there is this sweet little covered bridge with benches inside to sit and wait for your name to be called over the loud speaker.

    We however did not have a seat in the bridge this time but  instead  went directly to the gift shop to stock up on maple syrup and other maple products that struck our fancy

    The gift shop was fun,  our breakfast  was delicious and as usual the ride up was well worth it.

    Saturday, October 2, 2010

    The Boston Public Library

    If you are ever in Boston and get the chance to visit the Boston Public Library please do so, you won't be disappointed.   While we were in town attending the New England Dessert Showcase,  we took the opportunity to take the short walk to the corner of Boylston and Dartmouth in Copley Square where the historic Boston Public Library sits.

    This grand historic library is very much a library of firsts.  The Boston Public Library was the first publicly supported municipal library, the first library open to the public, and the first to let the public borrow books.

    The photo taken above shows a closer look  at the lights of the outside entrance. Aren't they unusual looking?   Bottom photo is of the main  inside entrance viewed from the front stairs looking down.

    This regal lion seems as though he is guarding the marble stairs to the reading rooms above or  perhaps he is keeping watch over the 1.7 million rare books and manuscripts housed here. 
    Gazing down the middle aisle of the reading room gave me the shivers. So beautiful, I wish my amateur  photography had captured the reading rooms true beauty.  Look at all the green lamps  glowing.

    Here is a  closer view of the photo on my sidebar of the
    statue in the courtyard.  She has such a look of pure joy on her face. 

    What a treat it would be to spend a leisurely afternoon in the warm fall sun sitting in the courtyard with a cup of steamy coffee and a good book.  Simple pleasures. 

    Friday, October 1, 2010

    Pumpkin Fudge

    This pumpkin fudge is delicious.  The only change that I made to the recipe is with the sugar.  Instead of using the recommended two cups of sugar,  I use only one and a half cups. Two cups seems a little too sweet for me.

    • 1/3 cup butter
    • 2 cups sugar
    • 1/3 cup evaporated milk
    • 1/3 cup canned pumpkin
    • 1/2 tsp.pumpkin pie spice
    • 1/2 cup marshmallow cream
    • 1 cup white chocolate
    • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
    • 1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract                                                                                                           
      1. In medium saucepan, mix together first five ingredients.  Cook over medium heat until mixture has risen and fallen in the pan.  About 8 to 10 minutes.
      2. Drop a little of the mixture into a small saucer of cold water. If mixture forms a ball it is ready for next step.
      3. Add marshmallow cream and white chocolate chips,  stirring until melted and smooth.
      4. Stir in nuts and vanilla.
      5. Pour into greased 8-by-8 inch pan.  Cool for 30 minutes.  Cut into bite size pieces and enjoy.

    Wednesday, September 22, 2010

    Pumpkins on Parade

    Traveling around New England you see farm after farm selling mountains upon mountains of pumpkins.  All of them unique yet all of them beckoning you to stop in for a closer look.
     There are  crates of pumpkins still dusty from the field
    Vintage buckboard wagons piled high with the day's harvest.

    Around New England in autumn , orange is the new pink! 
    Unless of course its white.

    Baskets brimming with pumpkins waiting to decorate the mantle, front porch, back steps or even baked into a delicious dessert.

    Where ever you live , whatever farm road you travel down, or neighborhood you pass through on your way home from work.
    Make sure you stop in for a closer look and treat yourself to a pumpkin.  Its always best to buy local. Happy Fall !!!!

    Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...