photos courtesy: Martha Stewart.com
A favorite holiday tradition of mine is making gingerbread houses but it's amazing how often I don't make them because I just can't seem to find the time. So imagine my delight when I saw these darling no-bake, mini cottages from the creative geniuses at Martha Stewart! Because of their small size I know that I won't spend hours obsessing about decor - there just isn't enough square footage for that!
I recently saw this project on Elizabeth Anne Designs blog and did a little digging to find this gem of a craft from Pam Garrison! I love the creamy colors and can imagine so many uses for it - from vintage inspired Christmas decor to swags for a wedding! Here is a link to Pam's site with instructions.
She also made some small pompom garlands that are super fab! Wouldn't they be an adorable embellishment on a gift? Read more about them here.
I plan to make some of the little ones for sure - they're too cute to pass up! Please let me know if you make them and how it goes!
Thank you so much Pam for sharing this awesome creation!
I hope that wherever you are that you are having a wonderful day of thanks-giving! Even if you're not officially celebrating this all-American holiday - I still wish you a day of pausing and being grateful. It's so good for the soul!
I am grateful for God's love, my husband, family & friends. There's a lot that's been hard about 2009 but one thing that I've really appreciated this year is how it has helped to refocus priorities - "the best things in life really are free!"
Today I'm baking, watching the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade and hanging out with my loved ones. Nothing fancy - and that makes it perfect! During dinner we'll all share things we are grateful for. Despite the difficulties of our current economy - I find that I am a very, very grateful girl!
I'm also thankful for Martha Stewart & her team for all the inspiration they provide day-after-day, year-after-year. Above are some lovely photos from their collection of Thanksgiving Inspiration. You can see more here.
I hope you are thankful for much in your life too!
My love affair with Amy Atlas' delightful dessert & candy buffets continues with this gorgeous Faux Bois spread! You can see more here on Amy's blog including some recipes and a template for the adorable acorn garland!
The recipe for the cinnamon pistachio meringues pictured above can be found on her blog here.
I feel so inspired to make a fabulous Thanksgiving Dessert Buffet now!
Happy, happy Wednesday!
I love pumpkin (in case you couldn't tell!) and this Pumpkin Layer Cake recipe that I created is one of my favorites! Simple and oh, so yummy! Just right for Thanksgiving!!
Pumpkin Layer Cake
1 box spice cake mix (18.25 ounces)
1 cup canned pumpkin
1/2 cup milk (I use 2%)
1/3 cup canola oil
3 large eggs
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 cup chopped pecans, toasted whole pecans
8 ounces cool whip
8 ounces cream cheese
1 cup, sifted confectionery sugar
1/2 cup butter, softened
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 - Preheat oven to 350. Spray 2 - 9” round
cake pans with baking spray. Pour a little of the spice cake mix into pans and
shake to coat, tap excess into mixing bowl.
3 - Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 28 minutes. Remove the pans from the oven and allow to cool for about 10 minutes. Turn cakes out on to a cooling rack to finish cooling.
4 - Place chopped nuts on a baking sheet and bake at 350 for about 2 minutes or just until you begin to smell them.
5 - Meanwhile beat cream cheese until
soft, add sifted sugar, softened butter and vanilla. Once well combined use a
spatula to hand mix in the whipped topping.
6 - Once cakes are cool, spread frosting on bottom layer of cake. Sprinkle chopped nuts all over frosting. Place other layer on top of cake. Frost entire cake. Garnish top with whole pecans in pattern of your choice.
Let me know how you like it!
Happy Tuesday!Jennifer Carroll
As promised here is the recipe for the mini Ginger Pumpkin pies from the Thanksgiving shoot! Using Libby's pumpkin pie mix it's really easy and soooo yummy! Here is a slightly altered version of their classic recipe.
4 mini pie pans (I used 5" disposable pans)
1 cup of rolled oats
1/4 cup candied ginger, chopped finely
1 cup pecans, coarsely chopped
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 :: Cut pie shells to fit mini pans - mine needed to be trimmed to 7". (I used a plate as a template to make cutting simple.)
2 :: Prepare topping: mix rolled oats, candied ginger, pecans and brown sugar in a bowl. Set aside.
3 :: Prepare pie filling: mix sugar, cinnamon, salt, ginger and cloves in a small bowl. Beat eggs in large bowl. Stir in pumpkin and sugar-spice mixture. Gradually stir in evaporated milk.
3 :: Pour pie filling into pie shells. Sprinkle topping generously over each filled pie shell.
4 :: Bake in a preheated 425° F oven for 15 minutes. After the first 15 min. cover the crust with foil to protect it from getting too brown. Reduce temperature to 350° F; bake for 20 minutes or until knife inserted near center comes out clean. You may want to remove the foil near the end of the cooking to help your crust achieve the perfect golden color - just keep an eye on it so it doesn't burn. Cool on wire rack.
5 :: Serve immediately or refrigerate.
Enjoy the pies!
I love the lanterns that Pat & Sherry brought for our Real Simple magazine Thanksgiving shoot! The lanterns hanging in the trees helped to add dimension to the branches - especially since all the leaves had fallen! :-) But my absolute favorites were the lanterns on the table filled with grass!!!! I just love, love, love this look! It's so simple but has so much impact - details like those are my fav!
How about you - do you have any favorite simple but powerful ideas for lanterns? I'd love to hear them!
The first bit of details I want to share with you about this wonderful Thanksgiving (or Harvest) table are the place settings. If you look closely the glassware, flatware and chargers are all matching which I think gives a cohesive look and feel to the table. But to mix it up a little we used old and new dinner plates - this gives the table a vintage allure. We began with new plates in a beautiful pheasant pattern that we rented (this is a great tip that folks often forget about when hosting small dinner parties - you can always rent china! It's not just for big weddings or galas.) Then, Pat & Sherry (the florists) brought some brown transferware - which is one of my all-time favorite patterns for Thanksgiving! Finally, Jen (the photographer) has a collection of antique china plates which we had fun sorting through to find plates to round out our mix and match settings!
If you don't have your own collection of antique china to pull from, visit your local Salvation Army or Goodwill stores to find inspiration. With plates selling for 25 cents or less it's easy and inexpensive to begin your own collection. And who cares if it's not a rare and expensive china - perhaps this is better because if one gets damaged you didn't break the bank!
I'd love to know what your favorite thrift shop entertaining finds are! Please leave a comment!!