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

Posts tagged “cookies

Change: From Dough to Cookies

Change is this week’s photography challenge and Friday I posted my children as they are all grown up with families of their own.  I’ve looked at quite a few fellow bloggers posts and didn’t see this one yet but I might have missed it.  So many possibilities for posts illustrating change.  

I was baking some cookies, noticed the mixing bowl of dough, and I thought- change.

I went to the other room and got the real camera instead of the phone.

The light seemed nice in the kitchen.


cookie dough

Oatmeal Crisps from the Farm Journal Cookbook (1972 ed.)

 I cut the recipe in half and left out the coconut. You could add nuts and/or raisins.

My minor adjustments to the original recipe below.



1 C butter, room temp ( I happened to have Irish butter on hand)

1 C brown sugar

3/4 C white sugar

2 eggs

1 tsp vanilla

1 1/2 C flour

3 C Bob’s Red Mill Oats

1 t baking soda

1 t salt

dash of cinnamon and dash of ginger

Bake about 11 minutes @ 350


Thanks to Kristin Snow for the challenge this week. You have to check out her blog Snowmads

Excerpt from her blog is below.  You will be inspired for adventure after reading it.  

“Who are the Snowmads?

We’re Jason and Kristin Snow, a travel-addicted couple who walked away from cubicles and conventional lives two years ago to roam full-time, gaining valuable perspective on life and meeting new friends at every turn. We hope to inspire others to follow their dreams and collect experiences instead of things. Please feel free to share some travel tips right back at us whenever possible — we love hearing from you!”

3.14.15 9:26:53 Celebrating Special Pi Day at School


A very special Pi Day.  Once in a century.  Tomorrow, 3.14.15 is it.    Get ready!

Celebrated at school today. Spearheaded by Mrs. Mihalic.  Creating some spirit!

There were numbers posted all around the hallways on the 800 level to who-knows-what place…..some cool art which I didn’t get to photograph yet.

Eat'n Park Pi Day Cookies

And my neighbor across the hall…. I went in this morning and said “Hey, where’s your Pi shirt?” and then she turned around and showed me!

The librarian, wearing the machine stitched embroidery shirt her Mother, J.E., created espcially for her.Pi Day Shirt Machine Stitched`

Mrs. Mihalic, math teacher, created a wildly spirited event, complete with Pi Day cookies she special ordered from Eat’n Park 

Eat 'n Park Pi Day Cookie




cutting slices of pie


In the cafeteria there was a game where students could win a slice of pie. (Similar to a Cake Walk)




Posting this one so you can see how you had to land on a certain number when the music stopped to win a slice of pie.

pi day shirt
Photographed by Steve after school Friday the 13th. I’m wearing one of the shirts Mrs. Mihalic created.





IMG_9395A different shirt worn by one of my  photography students.Everyone was getting in on the festivities.

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

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.



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






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.












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




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).  


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.


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


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