Thinking of you today ... my sweet, loving, beautiful mother.

I was very lucky to have her … my wonderful mother who was such a compassionate, thoughtful, understanding and special person. I was especially lucky because she was not only my mother but my best friend. We were like twin sisters; we were so close. There are not enough words to express how much love and appreciation I have for the constant love and support from Mom throughout my life. She was always there for me, for us…. Dad, my brothers, her mother and siblings, nieces and nephews, daughters-in-law and grandsons. Her spirit and goodness lives on in us and in the great-grandchildren she never knew. Mom would be 88 today … oh how she would not have liked that big number. I’m sending my birthday wishes to the skies today with thanks for watching over us from heaven.

Mom's High School Graduation (1944); new Mom with my eldest brother (1949)

With my younger brother (1966); holding his son (1991)

Doesn’t every lady like pink? Mom was no exception and she liked pink roses. This is my basic shortbread cookie with lemon instead of vanilla flavoring. The icing is traditional buttercream. This was my first time making rosettes and it’s not as easy as it looks. With such a large decorating tip, it takes lots of squeezing. These cookies are less time-consuming than decorating with royal icing and great for a last minute dessert. Just get ready for a sugar rush at the first bite! 

Round Cookies
Round Shortbread Cookies
Crusting Buttercream Frosting tinted Pink with AmeriColor Electric Pink
Disposable piping bag & coupler
Wilton Decorating Star Tip #M1

Crusting Buttercream Frosting
4 cups Confectioner’s sugar, sifted
1/2 cup Crisco Shortening
1/2 tsp Vanilla (use clear extract for white frosting)
1/4 -1/2 cup Milk

Cream Shortening and Vanilla.
Gradually add Confectioner's Sugar stirring alternately with Milk.
Use more milk for a creamy consistency. Use less milk for a stiff consistency. Add coloring.
[This is a slight variation of the Perfect Crusting Buttercream recipe at I Am Baker]

Using any large star tip apply icing.
Pipe from center of cookie and swirl to the edge of cookie.
Repeat for a fluffier rose. 
Buttercream frosting remains soft. Cookies must be stored in a single layer.

(Remembering Joy)
(Remembering Aunt Ro)

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STAR COOKIES/ Starry Night

Summertime in the Washington DC Metro area means Nats Baseball, fireworks on the Mall and Wolf Trap. A national park nestled in the woods on a hillside in Northern Virginia, Wolf Trap is a popular venue for outdoor concerts and theater plays … anything from Garrison Keillor’s Prairie Home Companion to the National Symphony, from Frankie Valle to Camelot. Whatever your taste there’s a full schedule of entertaining events. There is also children’s Theater-in-the Woods. There is indoor and outdoor lawn seating to BYO food and libations. We attend several concerts each summer and love to spread a blanket, picnic with friends and enjoy the music dining on shrimp, cheese, fruit and brownies while sipping wine under the stars. Sounds romantic, doesn’t it? 

Star Cookies
Star Shortbread Cookies
Royal Icing for outlining and flooding tinted Blue with AmeriColor Sky Blue and AmeriColor Royal Blue
Royal Icing for flooding tinted with AmeriColor Super White
Disposable piping bags & couplers
Squeeze bottles
Wilton Decorating Tip #2
Silver Luster Dust

Outline cookie with #2 tip in blue icing.

Flood cookie with blue icing.

Pipe dots onto cookie with white icing.

Pull with toothpicks to create design. Let dry overnight.

Apply silver luster dust with paintbrush onto cookies. Let dry 30 minutes.


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I've learned that you can tell a lot about a person by the way he/she handles these three things: 
a rainy day, lost luggage and tangled Christmas tree lights.

I've learned that regardless of your relationship with your parents, you'll miss them when they're gone from your life.

I've learned that making a "living" is not the same thing as making a "life."

I've learned that life sometimes gives you a second chance.

I've learned that you shouldn't go through life with a catcher's mitt on both hands; 
you need to be able to throw something back.

I've learned that whenever I decide something with an open heart, I usually make the right decision.

I've learned that every day you should reach out and touch someone. 
People love a warm hug or just a friendly pat on the back.

I've learned that I still have a lot to learn. I've learned that people will forget what you said,
people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.

Maya Angelou

These Bungalow Cookies were a sweet gift to welcome new neighbors. You may notice my experiment with these cookies where I painted gray icing to add some depth to the window. The icing dried into the cookie and did not create the effect I imagined. So for the finishing detail, I painted the window with silver luster dust and I’m lovin’ the shimmery look.

Bungalow Cookies
Bungalow Shortbread Cookies
Royal Icing for outlining and flooding tinted Light Gray with AmeriColor Super Black
Royal Icing for detail tinted Dark Coral with AmeriColor Deep Pink and AmeriColor Super Red
Disposable piping bags & couplers
Squeeze bottles
Wilton Decorating Tip #2
Wilton Decorating Star Tip #16
White Luster Dust
Rose Luster Dust
Hint: Just a smidge of Super Black creates Light Gray

 Outline window with #2 tip in gray icing.
Outline and flood door with #2 tip in gray icing. Let sit 15 minutes.

 Outline rest of cookie except chimney with #2 tip in gray icing. 

 Flood cookie with gray icing.

Pipe chimney, door detail and windowpanes with #2 tip with gray outline icing. Let dry overnight.

Pipe window shutters and roof with star tip #16 in coral detail icing. Let dry overnight.

 Apply rose luster dust with paintbrush to roof and shutters.
Apply white luster dust with paintbrush to rest of cookie and inside windowpanes. Let dry 30 minutes.





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