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Mine never look this beautiful. Image from

Mine never look this beautiful. Image from

This is the only cookie recipe I’ve ever committed to memory. These are pretty much the best rolled cookies there are. I used to call them “Sailboat Cookies” because for some reason, I was in possession of only one cookie cutter, and it was shaped like a sailboat.

  • 1-1/2 cups pure unsalted butter at room temp
  • 1-1/2 cups confectioners sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3 cups flour

(You can add optional flavorings like lavender, almond oil, lemon extract, etc.) Cream the butter together with the sugar until light and fluffy. Add egg and vanilla, then salt and flour. Roll and cut. Don’t make these too thin, because they’re very tender and will break (see below). Make them nice and thick. Lay on ungreased parchment lined baking sheets and bake at 325F for about 10 minutes, just until they start turning brown at the edges. Frost with your favorite icing or make a glaze of confectioners sugar mixed with an egg white. Sprinkle on colored sugar. Barkis is interested in the cookies.

From the Gundersen family right-brained recipe file. No cookie cutters required!

Christmas Morning Plum Bread

2 c. self-rising flour
2 c. sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. cloves
1 c. oil
3 eggs
2 jars baby food plums

Dump everything in a bowl and beat with mixer. Pour batter into oiled and floured pans. Makes 2 medium loaves, 4 mini loaves or one bundt pan. Bake at 325-350 for 50 min. to 1 hour.

Intensely Flavored, Moist Gingerbread

I adapted this from the Splendid Table website. I cannot tell a lie–I simplified it, increased the sugar and added the candied ginger and cayenne pepper. It’s pretty much the best gingerbread ever.

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 cup chopped candied ginger
  • 1/2 cup melted unsalted butter
  • 3/4 cup molasses (dark corn syrup works, too)
  • 3/4 cup very hot water
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 egg

Preheat oven to 350°. Line an 8-inch square baking pan with waxed paper (you can also use 2 loaf pans or 4 mini loaf pans), coat with nonstick spray and dust with flour. Beat together the butter, molasses, hot water and brown sugar. Beat in the egg and quickly add the rest of the ingredients, stirring until blended. Pour into pans. Bake 40 to 50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in center of cake comes out clean. Cool on a rack in the pan.

When the peaches are this good, you don’t need a fancy scone recipe. Just this one. I’m posting it here because I can never find mine but I can always search my blog. Bon appetit.

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 stick cold unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup plain Greek yoghurt (Fage), buttermilk or sour cream
  • 1 egg


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Mix flour, 1/3 cup sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Chop butter into flour mixture.
  3. Whisk together yoghurt and egg until smooth.
  4. Stir yoghurt mixture into flour mixture and form dough into a ball.
  5. Place on a lightly floured surface and pat into a circle about 3/4-inch thick. Sprinkle with coarse sugar. Cut into 8 wedges; place on a cookie sheet (preferably lined with parchment paper). Bake until golden, about 15 to 17 minutes.

she is one smart cookie

she is one smart cookie

So the lovely and talented Lindsey has made something for you. A downloadable, print-outable reading group guide, with a favorite recipe. Because we all know that a book club meeting without food is like a day without sunshine, eh? Enjoy!

Lakeshore Christmas- book club

My book club has trouble staying on topic. It’s such a great time to get together with friends. The one thing that excites us, though, is a really great read, one we can’t stop talking about. This fall, I convinced my gang to adopt When Autumn Leaves by Amy S. Foster for an upcoming meeting. I adored this debut novel and want to make all my girlfriends read it. I’m also excited about Tell Me Something True by Leila Cobo (yes, THAT Leila Cobo). Interesting that both Leila and Amy have strong, strong ties to the music industry. Look them up and see what I mean.

I would love to hear about your book group. What are your meetings like, do you get in cat fights, are Cheetos involved, what?! Inquiring minds want to know. Post in comments below.

peninsula women's expo

Annual Peninsula Women’s Expo

September 26 & 27, 2009

Saturday 10 am-6 pm    Sunday 10 am-5 pm

Kitsap Sun Pavilion, Kitsap Fairgrounds, Bremerton

Grab a girlfriend & come join us for a fun weekend of fashion, food, health,

business, home, travel and all areas of interest to women.

The Peninsula Women’s Expo will also feature fashion shows by C.J. Banks,

Christopher & Banks, Macy’s, and Catherine’s; specialized health screenings &

services; author presentations; book signings with Susan Wiggs and Sheila Roberts; Master Gardening; food presentations and more!

Admission: $5 ages 12-adult; Sunday-Sr. Celebration Day: Ages 65 & older free.

Proceeds from ticket sales to benefit Susan G. Komen Foundation.

For more information go to:

They look nice in my pottery from Ravello.

They look nice in my pottery from Ravello.

Do you get Rainier cherries in your part of the world? Maybe they’re called something else. Here in Washington state, we call them delicious. They are only in season for a few weeks a year. They’re very delicate and probably don’t travel well. But they are the best treat of the summer.

Submitted without comment:

It's a work of art.
It’s a work of art.

Here’s my favorite Italian cooking site:

Hey, local writers! Real quick–go look at the winter class offerings from Field’s End. This is a place that will help your writing dreams come true, with small classes, skilled instructors and fascin

bringing you bad books since 1967

bringing you bad books since 1967

ating topics. This winter, you can write a play, try your hand at writing about food, travel and the arts, or explore writing for children.

Trivia quiz–one of the winter classes is taught by the first “poster child” of Field’s End–a writer who started off as a student in one of the classes, and went on to be a hugely successful, multipublished writer. Can you guess which one?

Hurry! Registration closes this week!

I don’t know about you, but when I see something like this, I am forced to buy it. This can be found at Cost Plus World Market. Get enough for your friends. You know they’re gonna want it! Even the Daily Show can’t resist.

Dig in!

Dig in!

It’s served with a white, creamy custard sauce which only makes it sillier. Immature, I know. But c’mon.

Tater Tots!…we passed by the place where Tater Tots are made. I guess it never occurred to me before that “Ore-Ida” comes from the fact that it’s located on the Oregon-Idaho boundary. Who doesn’t love Tater Tots?

Join me on Facebook. You won’t be sorry.

I tend to spontaneously give stuff away to readers and libraries. Join the fun here. Really.

take a look at a book

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April 2020