Summering At Home: What I Wear…& Lemon Sugar Cookies

Keep choosing happiness daily and happiness will keep choosing you back. -Fawn Weaver

Hello, sweet friends…

Heading out to the nursery

I thought I’d share a few ‘go-to’ summer casual outfits I recently put together as I edited items from closets this past week.

Heading out for an appointment…
Heading out to garden…
Heading out for groceries…
Casual day at home…
Heading out for a walk..

For now these simple casual pieces will work well for me as I look ahead and plan summer activities.

👩‍🍳

What’s Cooking?

Lemon Sugar Cookies

These lemon sugar cookies are so soft with a scrumptious perfect taste of lemon in each bite. I think once you taste these cookies, you are going to be baking them throughout the summer…I know I will!


INGREDIENTS

2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

Zest of 2 large lemons

1 1/2 cups granulated sugar

1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature

1 large egg

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

1/2 cup granulated sugar for rolling cookies

INSTRUCTIONS

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together butter and sugar until smooth and creamy. Add lemon zest, egg, vanilla extract and lemon juice; beat at medium speed until combined, about 30 seconds. Add the dry ingredients and beat at low speed until just combined, about 30 seconds, scraping down the bowl as needed.

Place the ½ cup sugar for rolling in a shallow bowl. Roll a heaping tablespoon of dough into a 1½-inch ball, roll the ball in the sugar, and then place it on the prepared baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining dough, spacing the balls about 2 inches apart

Bake until the cookies are slightly brown around the edges and their center are just set and very lightly colored, 8 to 10 minutes. Cool the cookies on the baking sheets about 2 minutes; using a wide metal spatula, transfer the cookies to a wire rack and cool to room temperature. Store in an airtight container at room temperature.

Marcia
Posted in A Quarantined Life, Coastal Living, Cooking, My Style | 1 Comment

A Quarantine Life…Seizing The Spirit of Summer

You will never have this day again…so make it count

Hello, sweet friends…

Memorial Day 2020

With Memorial Day behind us the unofficial beginning of Summer is upon us…

Do you have any fun plans?

This Pandemic has opened me up to discovering new in the familiar…embracing it all..

finding that every moment counts…so make the most of it…

one of the biggest take-aways during this time for me has been getting outside…

seeking ways to embrace the outdoors at home…

it does not have to be intense; it can be anything you want it to be! thank goodness…

Living in such a beautiful area I’ve been fortunate to go on daily walks…

Walking has helped me to get moving and feel motivated to accomplish something during the day…

As summer approaches I plan to spend as much time outside in nature as I am able (in my own personal outdoor space, of course) and making the best of this time…

which is good for my soul.

Happy June! (and Summer)

👩‍🍳

What’s Cooking?

BLUEBERRY PIE

There are few desserts that are are well loved as blueberry pie, and for good reason! The crust is crunchy, the blueberries are sweet. Over the Memorial Day weekend I defrosted frozen blueberries picked last summer to welcome the unofficial beginning of summer and PERFECT season to be enjoying life.

Ingredients:

3/4 cup white sugar (I used raw)
6 tablespoons cornstarch

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

4 cups fresh blueberries

two piecrusts

1 tablespoon unsalted butter

one large egg

1 tablespoon water

DIRECTIONS

Start off by washing your blueberries.

Then, in a large bowl, stir together the sugar, cornstarch, salt and cinnamon and cover the blueberries with the mixture.

Once you’ve done that, take your bottom crust and line a pie pan with it, then pour the pie filling into it.

Cut pieces of butter and set them on top of the filling.

Make the lattice for the top of the pie (don’t worry if you aren’t sure how to do this, we’ll cover that later).

Mix together the water and egg to make an egg wash and brush it over the top of the lattice.

Mix egg with water and brush on pie crust then sprinkle on sanding sugar.
Bake pie on middle shelf of oven for about 50 minutes, or until crust is golden brown.

HOW DO YOU MAKE A LATTICE TOP?

Now when making the lattice top, the first thing to remember is to not be intimidated. Lattice tops look fancy and difficult, but in reality they are easy to make. Here are step-by-step instructions for how to make a perfectly imperfect lattice top. ( and you can see mine is perfectly imperfect!)

Roll out your dough and cut it into 1/2 to 3/4 inch strips.

Then, lay about five of them vertically across the top of pie, and make sure that they are evenly spaced.

Fold every other strip in half, making sure not to the the dough stick to itself (dust the dough with a little flour before you start to keep them from sticking.)

Take another strip of dough and lay it horizontally across the pie over the vertical strips that are laying flat, leaving the folded ones alone.

Roll the folded strips flat and fold back the ones that are now covered by the horizontal strip.

Once they’re flat, lay another strip horizontally across them.

Keep doing this until you have half of the pie covered.

Turn your pie so that the unfinished side is towards you and repeat this process until the entire pie is covered.

Marcia
Posted in 2020, A Quarantined Life, Coastal Living, Cooking, My Style | 2 Comments

A Quarantined Life…Creativity…Let’s Make Pizza

In the midst of chaos lies creativity

Hello, sweet friends…

Many of us think creativity in terms of making something…

however did you know that the root word for creative is ‘to grow’

The other day in preparing to make a pizza I realized “I have a problem!” I didn’t have yeast to make pizza dough. This week my creativity “grew” as I problem solved a different way to create a meal. It was the perfect landscape and opportunity to create an exquisite meal…and grow.

Homemade No Yeast Pizza Dough


INGREDIENTS

2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour

3 teaspoons baking powder

2 teaspoons salt

1 teaspoon onion powder

1 teaspoon herb spices

1 teaspoon garlic powder

3/4- cup + 2 tablespoons water

1 tablespoon canola oil

DIRECTIONS

In a mixing bowl, combine flour, baking powder onion powder, garlic powder, herbs, and salt; whisk until thoroughly combined and set aside.

Combine water and oil in a separate bowl or cup; stir to combine.

Slowly add water to the flour mixture.

Using a wooden spoon, or your hands, gently stir and mix until dough forms a ball; dough should be soft, but not sticky. Add more water if it’s too dry, 1 tablespoon at a time. If it’s too sticky, add more flour.

Lightly flour your work area and knead dough for 5 minutes.

Line a baking sheet or a pizza pan with paper and lightly spray it with cooking spray.

Spread pizza dough on the prepared pan, using the palm of your hands and fingers to stretch it out to about a 1-inch thickness.

PIZZA DOUGH NOTES

To add toppings, pre-bake crust for 8 minutes; add tomato sauce, cheese, pepperoni, and continue to bake for 10 to 12 more minutes. 

Grill or bake in a 400-degree oven for 15 to 20 minutes, or until lightly browned.

Happy Memorial Day!

First Memorial Day at Rose Castle Cottage 💕

First Memorial Day in new home 2020

Marcia
Posted in 2020, A Quarantined Life, Coastal Living, Cooking, My Style | 3 Comments

A Quarantined Life…What I’ve Learned About Myself…(so far)

Edit your life frequently and ruthlessly. It’s your masterpiece after all.

Hello, sweet friend…

There has never been a better time to get to know yourself —intentionally or not…

This week I decided to take Joe’s suggestion and write about masks. I’m now realizing that perhaps he was referring to the cute ones I made…

that being said…

I’ve been able to see and experience another part of myself day-to-day…week-to-week in this whole evolution of quarantine time.

It’s a strange revelation, during a time of social distancing, just how important a healthy relationship with yourself can be.

As life pauses and reorganizes… I’ve found this time as a unique opportunity to embrace these changes, by being more loving …kind and compassionate to myself.


I’ve always thought ( been told ) I was an extrovert as I excel in social situations… don’t have trouble talking to (never) or in front of (seldom) people, and enjoy going out (some might say I border on the social butterfly side)…

However, during this quarantine time, I have discovered that, at heart, I’m truly an introvert. Ok… just extroverted/introvert, if you will.🥰

The main thing I’ve learned is that I really do love the quiet time alone. Not socializing gives me an opportunity to sit and reflect on my life, my mistakes, my strengths, my weaknesses, and ponder all the things that I have done right over the years…

which has given me a deeper appreciation and confidence for the little things in life and the reminder to look at the bright side of things.

This time has led me to doing things again that I had stopped doing…

and discovering that I really enjoy doing them…and am pretty good at doing them.💕

👩‍🍳
What’s Cooking?

Neiman Marcus Chocolate Chip Cookies

When I was still living in California I would enjoy a day spent window shopping at Fashion Island in Newport Beach. The day would often include lunch and take home chocolate chip cookies from Neiman Marcus Cafe. I have baked these cookies 2 times during quarantine and I must say they really are better than delicious.seriously better. Make sure you use light brown sugar instead of dark, decaf espresso…and of course the full cup 1/2 of chocolate chips.(no cheating)👩‍🍳

Marcia
Posted in A Quarantined Life, Coastal Living, Cooking, Our Cottage, Together Apart | 9 Comments

A Quarantined Life…Memory of My Mother

Sometimes you will never know the value of a moment until it becomes a memory.

– Dr. Seuss

Hello, sweet friend…

I have a wonderful memory that goes back to when I was in the third grade. At the time my family lived in La Habra, California.

On this particular morning I awoke to a red Barbie doll case which was sitting on the floor against the side of my bed.

It wasn’t Christmas…not my birthday…just an ordinary day in which my mother chose to surprise me with a gift.

I was so excited…

With the passing of years a few dolls found a loving home along with cherished outfits which my mother had sewn…

now many years later that memory is still so powerful…

👩‍🍳

Homemade Flour Tortillas

This past week I thought it would be fun to make flour tortillas. I had never made them before and had wonderful memories as a child sitting in the kitchen wearing one of my mother’s aprons & excitedly waiting to make small tortillas from the dough she had prepared.

INGREDIENTS

  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 2/3 cups hot water
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil

INSTRUCTIONS

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour and salt.Add the water and vegetable oil and using your hands, mix together the dough until it is a cohesive ball and all of the liquid has been absorbed. If the dough is too sticky, add more flour 1 tablespoon at a time, as needed. (The dough should be soft and Playdoh-like in texture, but not sticky.)

Transfer the dough onto your work surface and knead it about 10 times until it becomes smooth all over. 

Divide the dough into 12 equal balls then flat each ball slightly into the shape of a hockey puck. Flour each piece of dough on both sides then set them aside and cover them with a towel.

Heat a large nonstick sauté pan over medium-high heat.

Roll out one piece of dough into an 8-inch circle then transfer it to the hot pan. Cook the tortilla for about 1 minute then flip it once and continue cooking it an additional 30 seconds or until golden brown spots appear on both sides. Transfer the tortilla from the pan into a towel and cover it while you roll out and cook the remaining tortillas.

Marcia
Posted in 2020, A Quarantined Life, My Style | 8 Comments