Sunday, January 31, 2016

Oyster Cookies

Oyster Cookies, aka, Pretty In Pink, aka, When Party Prep Goes Wrong.

Soooo, I wasn't planning on doing a separate post on these cookies, 'cause they've been done and shared a hundred times. BUT, when I accidentally flung frosting across the room, I grabbed my camera mid-cleanup.

I learned this super slick trick a few years ago for filling your pastry bags with frosting, and have been doing it ever since.
You put the frosting in the center of a strip of plastic wrap, twist it up, then drop it inside your bag.
Easy cleanup and easy to pull out any extra frosting you may have.
Easy enough, right?
Welllll, to twist it up, you grab both ends and twirl it mid-air.
You should probably make sure you have more than barely enough plastic wrap to go around your frosting glob.
Like, make sure it's wrapped at least twice before the mid-air twist action.
This is after scraping most of it off the counter.

Not only did it go shooting into the plant, it went over to the dining room table, and also spun back around to leave a giant gloppy stripe down my middle.

This poor piece was knocked right out of the pot from the force.

I ended up having to rip the rest of the pieces out by the roots so that I could wash them off in the sink.
Poor baby.
But once I got the disaster all cleaned up, I started over and got the pastry bag all set up.
This is how it's supposed to work.
You grab those two ends and twirl it in the air.

Then you drop it into the pastry bag and pull one end through the coupler.
That's what it's called, right?
A coupler?
Spellcheck disagrees.

Then you just cut off the excess.

Add your tip, screw on the other coupler piece and you're all set.

This is what the back end looks like.

When you're done, unscrew the tip and pull the plastic wrap out from the back.
Pretty darned slick.
And this is what all the hubbub was about.

Cute little oyster cookies for Baby's 4th birthday party.
I just used some store-bought shortbread cookies, dyed some frosting pink, and used some "pearls" from the bulk bins at the grocery store.
Lather, rinse, repeat.

I think they turned out pretty cute, even after the wee setback.
Can you guess the party theme?

And the plant is no worse for wear.
They need a bath every now and again, right?

The party was today, so of course, I'll be sharing everything this week.
Until then....

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

The Yard: 1/26/16

I've been staring out the kitchen window at a patch of daffodils for days now, thinking I had better go out and take pictures before they fade.  I finally headed out into the mist yesterday afternoon, starting in the backyard, and making my way out front.

I didn't even realize the Winter Jasmine (Jasminum nudiflorum) was blooming until I was practically on top of it.

The Sweetbox (Sarcococca), however, has been making its way into the house for a couple weeks now.
It still isn't blooming enough to be fragrant outside, but once it gets goin' in the house, it'll 'bout knock ya over.
The plant has gained quite a bit of ground over the last year and needs a serious prune job to scale it back a notch.

The Hellebores are all starting to get buds.
Some are just barely up out of the ground, but others, like these two, will be bloomin' in no time.
These first pics are from the monster plant and it's loaded.

These are on Maddie Girl's plant that my girlfriend gifted me last spring when we lost her.
Can you believe it will be a year next month!?!?

The daffodils are just starting to poke up in The Girl's pot.

Moving out front, the Daphne is ready to explode.

And the reason I headed out in the first place, my little clump of early daffodils, that Libby attempted to demolish today.
I had her out front with me for about three hours.  My first garden cleanup of the year.
She's got a LOT to learn about flower bed rules.
Gad, I wanted to throttle her.
I foresee some plant casualties in my summer's future.

And there ya have it.
The very first signs of spring at our house.

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