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BLUE HAWAIIAN/ Endless Summer

 

‘It ain’t over until we say it’s over’ … remember that famous line from Animal House? That’s how I feel about Summer 2014. This summer has been perfect and I’ll give you two reasons why.

This was my 36th summer in the Washington DC Metro Area and I've never seen one more beautiful, thanks to El Nino. We had none of the heat and humidity of our usual summers. It was warm, comfortable, breezy with occasional showers which seemed to come only at night. Summer is a 7-month season here beginning in April and ending in late October. In mid-September the temps cool a bit, just for a few days and deceive us into thinking Autumn is here. Then Indian Summer arrives in late September/early October with 80 degree temps. The nights are cool, just right for the fall mums and pansies to burst with color, and our daytime temps are warm … really! The forecast all weekend is sunny in the 80s. The cool air finally returns for good after Halloween and then it’s officially Fall.

I said two reasons, right? The weather has been lovely but the best part of this summer has been our NATS. The Washington Nationals baseball team is comprised of a talented, tenacious and classy bunch of athletes who have played outstanding baseball, led their division most of the summer and clinched the pennant for the National League East. It has been very exciting watching them play and the camaraderie among the team. They finish up the regular season tomorrow having played 162 games. Next week begins the Championship Playoffs and if all goes our way, onto the World’s Series. For you baseball fans whose teams are not playing in post-season, come join the curly Ws and catch our NATS in action … and tell me if you don’t fall in love with these guys!


With warm temps and plenty to celebrate there is still time to enjoy a delicious summer cocktail. The turquoise screams Caribbean and conjures up images of white, sandy beaches as you sip this delightful concoction. The Blue Curacao lends the blue color and a slight hint of orange. Add pineapple juice and coconut mix to complete the deal and don’t forget the rum!


Blue Hawaiian Cocktail
2 oz Rum
2 oz Blue Curacao
2 oz Coconut Mix
4 oz Pineapple Juice

Fill a blender with crushed ice.
Add all ingredients. Blend a few seconds until mixed.
Pour into glasses. Makes 4-6 drinks.

GO NATS!


 
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GENDER REVEAL COOKIES/ Boy or Girl?

 

‘Gender Reveal’  is a relatively new term and it pertains to the new tradition of parties which have gained in popularity in recent years. The days of waiting until the baby’s birth to know the gender went out with the last century. Instead of relaying news the old-fashioned way ... like talking, the gender of the baby yet to be born is often conveyed in cupcakes and cookies. One bite will reveal pink or blue. What a tasty idea and a great reason to throw a party!

I recently filled an order for gender reveal cookies for a baby boy. Some cookie artisans dye a section of dough blue or pink. I tried a different method where the color is revealed in the icing. This was my first attempt and I’m ready for my next order. Come see the process.


Gender Reveal Cookies
Square Shortbread Cookies
Royal Icing for outlining, flooding and detail tinted with AmeriColor Super White
Royal Icing for flooding tinted Blue with AmeriColor Turquoise and AmeriColor Sky Blue
Royal Icing for outlining in various leftover colors
Disposable piping bags & couplers
Squeeze bottles
Wilton Decorating Tips #2, #18

Outline cookie with #2 tip in white icing.

Flood cookie with white icing. Let sit 30 minutes.

Pipe an inner square with #2 tip in white icing.

Flood inner square with blue icing. Let sit 30 minutes.

Pipe and flood inner square with white icing. Let dry overnight.

Pipe dots in various colors on top of cookie.

Pipe border around inner square of cookie with #18 tip in detail white icing.
Let dry overnight.




MORE COOKIE DESIGNS




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STRAWBERRY COOKIES/ First Cousin



Growing up my brothers and I were close to our aunts, uncles and cousins. Even though none lived near us, several times a year we would pile into the car on a Friday evening and drive north to New York or Connecticut to visit relatives for the weekend. We often visited my Mom’s sister and her family on Long Island. The eldest cousin on my mother’s side of the family is someone I always looked up to. Thomas, his brother and sister are more like siblings than cousins to me and my brothers. He attended college just an hour’s drive from our home and every so often he would drop in for a surprise visit. We would glance out the window as he drove up on a friend’s motorcycle or his white Chevy convertible with red interior and yellow daisies on the visor. Daisies? It was the 60’s and the era of flower power! The running joke was that my mother only served hamburgers for dinner because nearly every time he visited was Friday burger night. We loved those surprise visits … great memories!

During his college years Thomas was in Navy ROTC. A year after his graduation and the summer before my freshmen year in high school, he was sent off to that awful war in Vietnam. His duties were not on the battlefield but in the city of Saigon teaching English to the South Vietnamese. It sounds fairly safe, doesn’t it? Not really; cafes in Saigon where the American troops hung out were frequently bombed. I remember a picture he sent with a rifle leaning next to his bed. It made me cringe and I worried about him being so far away in that violent region of the world. Every single week for the entire year he was in-country, I wrote a letter to my cousin. I doubt my correspondence about football scores and high school dances were too fascinating but it was a touch of home. At one family party when the entire family was together my aunt set out a tape recorder. Remember those things? We recorded the goings-on which was constant chatter. I remember him later saying 'it felt like home' even though he could not understand a word anyone was saying and telling his buddies … ‘that’s my family.’

We were all so happy, relieved and proud of Thomas when his tour of duty was over. Once stateside he got on with his life, career, married and had a family. I doubt he talks about the 12 months spent in Vietnam but his four children would certainly be proud of their Dad. Thanks Thomas for your service to our country, for being an outstanding role model to us younger cousins and thanks too for teaching me how to sail!

Thank you to all the servicemen and women from previous and current generations who have put their lives on hold and at risk to serve our country.

My cousins and brothers; me in blue in front of Thomas - 1966

My strawberry cookie cutter is small and sometimes I roll out cookies from scraps of leftover dough. In an effort to save time I skipped the step of making flood icing and only used outline icing to decorate. Also, instead of piping seeds onto the cookie I piped a simple yellow swirl.


Strawberry Cookies
Strawberry Shortbread Cookies
Royal Icing for outlining tinted Green with AmeriColor Leaf Green
Royal Icing for outlining tinted Dark Pink with AmeriColor Electric Pink and AmeriColor Super Red
Royal Icing for flooding tinted Light Yellow with AmeriColor Egg Yellow
Disposable piping bags & couplers
Squeeze bottles
Wilton Decorating Tip #2
PME Decorating Tip #1.5

Outline leaf with #2 tip in green icing.

Flood leaf with green icing. Let sit 15 minutes.

Outline rest of cookie with #2 tip in pink icing.

Flood rest of cookie with pink icing.
Pipe detail onto leaf with #2 tip in green icing. Let sit 30 minutes.

Pipe zig-zag line with #1.5 tip in yellow icing. Let dry overnight.


GREEN APPLE COOKIES

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SNOW CONE COOKIES/ Post 100



Wow, My Cookie Clinic has reached 100 blog posts in just 20 months. Writing is not something that comes easily to me so I find it amazing that I have written 100 posts, as I sometimes struggle with writer’s block. No doubt, there will be no novels in my future. Creative writing was a fascinating class in high school and luckily my blog writings are not getting a grade. As for my photography, it's still a work in progress. To those of you who have followed my blog from the beginning, I truly appreciate your loyalty. To new followers, thank you for subscribing and I invite you to visit the index page and take a tour of older posts. We love to meet new people at the Clinic and invite your friends to drop by sometime.

I discovered cookie decorating three years ago when I was searching YouTube for a video on decorating cupcakes. See, I wanted to pipe frosting onto cupcakes with a fancy swirl like those seen in a bakery. I stumbled upon a video demonstrating how to pipe dots onto a cookie. It looked like fun and gave it a try. Suddenly, I was bitten by the cookie decorating bug. Much to the delight of family and friends they enjoy the goodies from my cookie passion.

What I like about blogging is that I am the boss. I can choose to write about anything I’d like. The anecdotes on the posts vary but I’m often drawn to write about childhood memories and my family. The blog is a way of telling my nephews about their fathers’ childhood. They refer to me as the family investigator from my years of researching our family history. The guys are fascinated by facts I’ve discovered about our ancestors and I thought there were probably things they would find interesting about our current family. Isn’t that what sisters are for to spill the beans about brothers? My family stories are similar to everyone else’s so I hope they rekindle your own childhood memories. Stay tuned for the next 100 posts.

These cookies are a simple square cookie upon which I traced a design. This is the first time I’ve used this decorating technique. It takes a little more time but I like the effect of the raised design on the cookie.


Snow Cone Cookies
Square Shortbread Cookies
Royal Icing for outlining and flooding tinted Cream with Wilton Ivory
Royal Icing for flooding tinted Bluegreen with AmeriColor Turquoise, AmeriColor Sky Blue and AmeriColor Leaf Green
Royal Icing for flooding tinted Light Purple with AmeriColor Royal Purple
Royal Icing for flooding tinted Hot Pink with AmeriColor Electric Pink
Royal Icing for flooding tinted Light Gray with AmeriColor Super Black
Disposable piping bags & couplers
Squeeze bottles
AmeriColor Food Decorating Pen
Silver Luster Dust
Meringue Powder
White Sanding Sugar
Paintbrushes
Wilton Decorating Tip #2
Hint: Just a smidge of Super Black creates Light Gray

Outline cookie with #2 tip in cream icing.

Flood cookie with cream icing. Let dry overnight.

Trace image of snow cone onto cookie with decorating pen.

Outline cone with #2 tip in gray icing.

Flood cone with gray icing. Let sit 30 minutes.

Outline and flood top of cookie with #2 tip in bluegreen, purple or pink icing.
Pipe arc for reflection with #2 tip in gray icing. Let dry overnight.

Mix 1 tsp Meringue Powder and Tsp Water. Stir until smooth.

Using a paintbrush apply to top of cookie.
Sprinkle with white sanding sugar. Gently shake off excess. 
 Apply silver luster dust with paintbrush onto cone. Let dry 30 minutes.



MORE COOKIE DESIGNS

POPSICLE COOKIES

 BEACH COOKIES

WATERMELON COOKIES

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