"Place, with a trace of humanity" Photography/Photo of the Day/Pittsburgh

Posts tagged “cookies

Cookie Trays Await Saturday’s Wedding

Nice job Marlene!  (Mark’s MIL-and Erika’s mom) has been sending me the photos of the cookie baking and today all the sisters got together and “trayed” the cookies.  I had never  “tray” in a verb form until I lived in Pittsburgh.

Marlene is Godmother of the Bride.

If you’ve been following the blog this week, you’ve watched the progress and everyone pitching in to help.

Here is what they did today and took them to the hall. The hall where the wedding reception will be held tomorrow June 7th.

The Alphabet Stamp cookies are from that well known kitchenware store but I see alphabet letters are available in other locations online so no commercial plug.

We used them at Laura and James wedding and also for Jaclyn and Mike’s wedding.  It is fun to change the little letters to spell out their names.  (Well, not that much fun, they are tiny.) But so satisfying to have them as part of the cookie table display.

 

Thanks Marlene for the photos for today’s post about the cookie baking this week in preparation for the big day….

I added the last one of the biscotti I baked after school yesterday.  Will bring it to the wedding tomorrow.  xxoo Ruthie

 

p.s.  My dear friend Donna commented on the cookie table blog, remembering the cookie tables she put together for her son John and his bride Angie’s wedding which was five years ago.    Click here to see her beautiful and delicious baking


While Waiting for Wedding Cookies Post #2

To the bakers of the wedding cookies  for Vicci and Ben  

‘Twas Three Days Before the Wedding

 

While aunties and cousins are baking all day,

Kennywood’s open- people scream while at play

 

Upstreet the neighbors, childhood friends, drop in to chat.

They help eat misshapen rejects, reminisce and laugh.

 

Praline grahams, oatmeal raisin, and chocolate chip

Coconut macaroons all lovingly dipped.

 

Nut horns, peanut blossoms, dough rolled out, shaped and cut.

Almond, vanilla, sticks of butter, chopped nuts.

 

Ladylocks, pinwheels, and sugar cookies in a heart,

snowballs , biscotti and pecan tassie tarts.

 

Cookie tables laden, all homemade sweet treats

Pittsburgh baking traditions cannot be beat.

 

(Marlene is gathering the photos of Wednesday’s Cookie Baking from various members of the family.  Stay tuned)

 

Taken after I left the cookie bakers on Monday evening

 

steel phantom2

 

 

 

steel phantom

 


Wedding Cookie Production Begins- Part 1

Monday night I got a preview of the beginning of wedding cookie production but today Marlene sent me this cookie dough still life photo she took Tuesday.

She said she knew I would like it.  Nice photo Marlene.Thanks for sending it tonight for the blog.

photo 1

 

Marlene sent these photos she took today also

 

 

Here are a few I took Monday evening as they were just gearing up.

 

 

 

I took the portraits through the screens using my 70-200mm Canon L Series lens.

 

aunt linda

Aunt Linda

 

 

Aunt Marlene
marlene

Stay tuned for more baking for Vicci and Ben’s wedding


Macarons, Mailed

They tasted good, even though they had a rough trip.  My sister shared these with me. The colorful macarons photo is from a while back but I found it tonight.

The cookies were very fancy.  I’m not sure what they did to them on their journey.

Macarons

 


Lebkuchen Recipe from Aunt Rhea, (Well actually from her Mother’s Father)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This recipe is from Aunt Rhea’s mother’s (Marie) father, Julius Rickel(, who died in 1933.) That’s all the info I have on the handwritten recipe.  Not much more.

How to bake a Family Favorite recipe that hails from Germany. I copied it down from Aunt Rhea. Sunday before I left Ohio I dropped into the Kroger and bought what I needed

Aunt Rhea married my mother’s brother Robert.

She’s 98 years old today and celebrating, too.

   I plan to call her up and ask if there’s anything else to know about this particular recipe.

Love to you.

pecans and citronChopped pecans and citron. The recipe didn’t say how much.

Oh yes, prepare two 8 inch pans to bake.  Fire up the over to 35o degrees

I used disposables and cut out some parchment paper

 

Pans

 

 

 

cinnamonMix the cinnamon into the flour

 

 

 

cinnamon mixed inAdd the finely chopped citron and nuts to the flour mixture to coat evenly

Beat 4 eggs and 2 cups of brown sugar together until light. I used a heavy duty mixture.Lebkuchen recipe

 

 

add the flour mixturepouring the flour in

 

 

lebkuchen batter

 

 

 

 

 

cooling lebkuchen

 

Baked  between 25 and 30 minutes

 

 

 

 

glazed lebkuhen

A light glaze on top.  The whole kitchen smella so good.

 

 


Macarons

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Almost everyone’s crazy for Macarons these days.  What’s all the fuss about?

Macaron stores popping up in NYC every few blocks. And in Pittsburgh!

They’re everywhere.   “meringue- like almond cookies” says Jean- Marc Chatellier’s website

And they’re gluten-free.

Have you made them yourself yet?  Most people don’t, but buy them at the bakery.

Preferably an excellent French bakery. In France.

I’ll skip the peanut butter and jelly flavor, though.

I was knitting at a friend’s for tea and she had a lovely sleeve of multi- flavors and colors including a lavender, a lemon  and a salty caramel. (See the red box!)

My favorites are still Jean-Marc Chatellier in Millvale, PA, across the Allegheny River.

I read David Lebovitz- Living the Sweet Life in Paris blog  I Love Macarons with terrific photographs and a multitude of links for more info on macarons you ever thought possible….and if you want to try making his French Chocolat Macarons click here for directions and recipe

 

macarons (1)

 

New York City display

macarons in a box

From Squirrel Hill French Bakery

 

macarons

 

West Village, New York City

 

Macarons 4

 

Jean -Marc Chatellier Bakery    Millvale PA

 

 

Macarons2 7

 

Independence Day Macarons in July

 

 


Inspired by Christopher Boffoli Miniature Food Work

When I saw photographer, Christopher Boffoli’s work, I thought that this was something we could do in the digital photo classroom.  He has really perfected the art in this department of miniature food scenes.   And we tried to recreate one of his ideas at school. The miniatures are so appealing.Miniature Food Scene

Only problem is 6 mini HO scale figures run almost 14 bucks at Esther’s Hobby Shop  so that makes it pricey.          They’re fragile too but oh so fun.

The Oreos were on sale at Giant Eagle.  But they don’t last, either.   I took in beans and rice and we had some Cheerios but it just wasn’t feasible for more than 120 students to get satisfactory results.

This is one of my practice shots.  The students liked the little figures.  I had some larger plastic dogs that they photographed, too.

Thanks Mr. Boffoli for the cool inspiration.  It isn’t that easy to do it as successfully as you’ve done.

I’d photographed a model railroad mother hanging out the wash before but not the whole scene with props.

Be sure to check out his picture show at this link cause his creativity and imagination is endless.


Weekly Photo Challenge: Surprise

Seven surprises!

The weekly photo challenge: surprise.

I’m thinking about Stef’s Three Daily Delights blog and how she faithfully lists three delights from her day.  Thanks Stef for the inspiration.

Here are 7 surprises captured by the handy iPhone, save #2,shot with Canon 5D.

1. Jack found the fresh snow when he opened the front door Saturday morning.  That’s my unpacked suitcase by the front door.  Surprise!

jack finds the snow

2. My wonderful DIL Erika sent a hot cup of coffee out with Anna as I was watching the kids play in the snow in the backyard.   (this is the only shot with the regular camera) Yes, that’s a Roadside America souvenir travel cup. Surprise!

coffee in the snow

3. Penny the Golden Doodle actually watches TV(Christmas Vacation) at Laura and James’ house.  Matthew and I arrived Friday night and ate delicious bowls of chili and cornbread, after a 6 hour drive in the snow and traffic (usually a 3 1/2 hour trip).  

Surprise!

Penny watches TV

4. My SIL James’ parents sent the wonderful gift of perfect, juicy pears.  I sliced one and it disappeared in seconds. Thanks Chuck and Sharon.

Surprise.

the gift of pears

5. Thursday afternoon I was stuck in traffic in the rain and saw this pink building and two pink vehicles for Bread and Pastries. This is the true color, not enhanced!    Surprise.  

Bread and Pastries Truck

6. Anna(9) baked a cake all by herself then took a sandwich bag, turned it inside out and filled it with buttercream and then snipped the tip of the corner off and proceeded to decorate the chocolate cake.  

anna makes a cake

7.   Kerry, the student teacher(Art Department) did some serious baking and made special message cookies for the last day of school before Winter Break.  Surprise!

carrick Cookie


Google Pittsburgh

When we first lived in Pittsburgh and Matthew played baseball in Mellon Park across the street from Bakery Square we could smell the aroma of baking. Crackers, cookies, it was the NABISCO Factory built in 1918.  Bakery Square has been “repurposed” as they say.  And GOOGLED.  

There’s a Coffee Tree that opens at 5:30 AM. for the early birds.

 

And a close-up crop of the Google flag.


Molasses Cookies Mystery

Sunday, a beautiful box of homemade molasses cookies was left on my doorstep.  My friend Steve brought them into the house.  The sugar on the cracked tops is the fancy kind.  I drove back from Ohio Monday night.  Ate a couple with some hot tea. Mmmmmmmmm!  Reminded me of the cookies my mother used to bake.

I have called three friends to ask if they are the one who dropped off these delicious cookies. My friend V said that another friend came to her mind when I told her I didn’t know who made them.  I called.

Wasn’t her either!

Thank you for the delicious molasses cookies.  Whoever you are.

(and then I got worried and had to look up grammar rules- whoever/whomever?? )

Most people knew I was away with the family.  But maybe they thought I was driving back Sunday night?


Anise Cookies

This recipe has been in a folder for ten years. I have now made it twice. I
Like anise but many do not care for it. The recipe has a name on it. I also baked Mrs Scarano’s strip cookies. Twice. Don’t like to double recipes. Taking the split second cookies out now raspberry Jam apricot preserves and Fig jam filled.
From the phone. I hope it works

20111109-000707.jpg

20111109-000741.jpg


Gateway Clipper Cookie Cruise

The 19th Annual Bob O’Connor Cookie Cruise- this year’s charity chosen to benefit is the Cribs for Kids (SIDS). Matthew and I were invited to sail Wednesday night and were the fortunate guests of some dear friends and neighbors. A perfect summer evening. We shook hands with a slew of politicians including the mayor as we boarded the The Majestic. The city was in a beautiful light and as dusk came the scene was heightened in drama, especially as we sailed past the Pirates game in full swing at PNC park. Hot dogs and watermelon and pasta and fried chicken with coleslaw was the menu.There were fireworks over Heinz Field and what caught my eye were the guests lined up to get the cookies once it was announced- the sheets were about to be removed and the platefuls they took to eat- piled high.


Unexpected Mail

Home after being away for ten days. Steve bought a pizza for us. Found a pile of mail in the front hall; catalogs, bulk mail, a Bed Bath & Beyond coupon, a notice of a tangelos and grapefruit delivery, a bank statement and the water bill. A few Christmas cards and the Barbie scrubs I ordered  for Christmas from Etsy. A nice card with a Starbucks giftcard from Cj. AND a “Mug Rug” with a Norfolk VA postmark from Colleen, a long time friend of Joanne in Omaha.  Joanne insists that Colleen and I have met but we haven’t– yet! Colleen stitched a quilted “mug rug” and sent it to me with a lovely card. (Depending on when you are reading this, I am writing on the 9th Day of Christmas so it is 9 Ladies Dancing, 10 Lords-a-Leaping, Mary.) I love the numbers on the fabric.  There were instructions for a cup of tea and room for two cookies on the side but I didn’t want to cover up the fabric for the photo. What a happy surprise to find a handmade gift in the sea of fliers and junkmail! And how fortunate Steve had some cookies to supply for the shot.  What a great way to end the vacation. And Deb B I like the quote on your handmade card.

“How we choose to think,

Determines what we will see,

And so it is that we,

Create our reality.”

(a quote but no attribution, maybe someone will help find the source)

 

It is a happy 2011 already. Thanks friends.

*If you want to see the Blog Year in Review 2010  and the Top Posts- click here for late post 1/2/2011

 

Thank goodness Steve had some cookies a patient brought him. Delicious with Good Earth tea. (after the photo)


Joy in Winter

Spread the Christmas tablecloth and place the matching plate next to the mug of steaming hot tea.  Take two Split-Second cookies out of a tin.  The ones I baked for knitting. A bite of shortbread cookie with raspberry jam. Try the fig one. Nibble slowly, make them last.  Sip the almost scalding tea.  Savor the combination.  Open the book you’re reading for book club. (Angle of Repose by Wallace Stegner-1972 Pulitzer Prize- I’d never heard of it until Tess picked it).  Listen to the furnace kick on. Wrap a shawl around you. Sip more tea.  Read until you doze.  Think of the cookies still in the tin. Repeat tomorrow.

I love the Naif Christmas pattern.

It wouldn't feel the same if you did this in July.


Book Club Held During Power Outage

It was all candles.  Candles on the mantel, the table, the desk in the hall.  It was very dark. I thought all of us looked great by candlelight.  We discussed The Help and The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. The power was off for about two hours.  Fortunately the night before I baked a Gateau di Sirop (recipe)with a bottle of Steen’s Cane  Syrup. Baked Split Second Cookies with Bon Maman Fig Jam.  Extra sharp cheddar and Honeycrisp apple slices.  And Tess and Chris brought me a box of St. Moritz truffles from Oxford Centre downtown. Lovely.  A gold box with an oval window in the middle.  There’s a spider and a tiny dancer one and a pumpkin one and each one is delicately embellished.  Just before everyone arrived, Laura had sent a picture on my phone of a lovely ring on a finger.  Then she called. James Weaver asked her to marry him and she said YES. It was a happy night!

Tess told me every flavor and I promptly forgot almost all of them. Going to have to eat each one and be surprised,


Jean-Marc Chatellier’s French Bakery in Millvale PA

Crossed the Allegheny River to go to Millvale.  After I went to Panza’s to pick up Joan’s painting I had reframed, I went to get some brioche  and a loaf of crusty bread from Jean-Marc Chatellier’s French Bakery. 412.821.8533   Everything in the bakery is beyond delicious. There are samples on the counter of the melt-in-your-mouth butter cookies and a French shortbread called Breton Cake. There are little fruit tarts, apricot tarts and flaky croissants, even Key Lime pie slices.  As I was about to pay for my order, I saw him frosting a cake in the back.  I asked the young woman waiting on me if it would be all right to take a picture. She said,” Just take it!”  So I did.  Magnificent artistry in cake making.  And delicious.  I have eaten memorable wedding cakes made by him.  Once I bought a cake there for Laura’s graduation from Marquette and drove it to Milwaukee WI.

Memo to self: Drive across river more often to Millvale and buy delicious pastries from Jean-Marc Chatellier.


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