A perfect day for this …

It was Thanksgiving today in America!

I made my usual sausage and walnut stuffing.

And 4 dozen dinner rolls.

And a pumpkin pie.

But it was also the 36th anniversary of our wedding for my husband and myself-

and I had my heart set on this-


a Berry Meringue tart!

I got the recipe here at cityhippiefarmgirl’s  blog.  And I’ve been thinking about it

ever since.   Meredith was here for our celebration and since her next stop is Canberra,

Australia, I decided to make a version of the Pavlova for her.

Pavlova’s are a distinctly Australian ( and New Zealand) treat and they usually don’t

have a pastry shell.  But Brydie’s looked so good I couldn’t get it out of my mind.

I started off with a short pastry crust- I made a regular pie dough ( 2 1/2 cups flour, 1 stick

cold butter, 1 tsp salt, 1/4 cup ice water) and then I rolled it out and place another stick of

unsalted butter in a thin layer on the dough.  Then I folded it in thirds, and then folded

it into thirds again and refrigerated it.  When it was cold I took it out and rolled it out and

placed it into a deep dish pie plate and baked it after scoring the surface with a fork in

quite a few places.

When it cooled I mixed together whipped cream and marscapone cheese and about 1/4

cup sugar and put a light layer of this on the bottom of the crust.

Then I made meringues-


and placed them on top of the layer of cream and cheese.








And then I piled the rest of the whipped cream mixture on top,

added the berries and sprinkled sugar over the top.

It was delicious!  I cut the tart into 10 pieces and the adults all

had a piece.  Most had never had Pavlova before- and they loved

it!  I am making this again.  Maybe for Christmas.

meringue berry tart

The blackberries and strawberries made a stunning display- and were perfect together.















Because this is my new favorite dessert!

Thanks, Brydie!

In My Kitchen- November 2011

I just got back into my kitchen after two weeks on the eastern coast of

Virginia.  It is like culture shock.  Down there I keep the ingredients to

a minimum- less to use up or carry back home- or

~shudder~ – have to throw away!

My kitchen is overstocked.

I have goodies from all over the world, thanks to Meredith, my niece

serving in the US Navy.  I have bulk items from the Amish stores in the

next county- and I have a bunch of interesting specialty items from Aldi’s

and Trader Joe’s markets. 

I also have a problem with collecting.

Or should I say, collecting is a problem I have.

In my kitchen-


I have cookie molds all over- these are wooden and wax.  I also have about 10 ceramic molds.

In my kitchen-


I have a large jar of cinnamon imperials or hearts- I use them to decorate cookies.

In my kitchen-


I have the fixings to make gingerbread houses.


silicon molds ….. and ribbon candy and sprinkles,Icing bags and tips,and marzipan and almonds,

and color pastes and large cake boards and meringue powder!

In my kitchen-


I have a new insulated glass with a sand castle imbedded in it!

In my kitchen-


I have fresh pineapple sitting on top of a pineapple vase.

I love fresh pineapple and love to decorate with it during the holidays.

In my kitchen-

(or more precisely, in the stairway down to the basement, off of the kitchen)


my husband built me some pantry shelves.  I love this pantry-

I can see everything at a glance and don’t have to worry about

a heavy can falling out of the cupboard onto my toes!

Well- that is just a peek into my kitchen this month.  I have lots

more that I will share along with recipes as the holidays progress.

What’s in your kitchen?

( This is a continuing series in conjunction with Celia’s at Fig jam and Lime cordial

go and take a look at all the posts she has listed in her side bar, if you are interested

in a peek into kitchens all around the world!)

Our first annual Porch dance on Chincoteague!

We are getting the front porch replaced and new steps added to the

house in Chincoteague.  It’s a big job and has taken the better part of

two weeks for our builder to accomplish- so tonight we ushered in this

new era of safe front porch with a porch dance!


Old porch.


No porch.


New porch.


Porch dancing crew!




It was a foggy sort of night.  We danced to James Taylor’s last Christmas

Album- and ended our dance with “Baby, it’s cold outside”.

The neighbors probably think we’re nuts.  The little boys think we are so

much fun.  And I?  I think this is the one and only porch dance I’ve ever attended

and I loved every moment of it!

Baking and Decorating in Chincoteague!

rest 005

Oatmeal and apricot cookies!


Mantle piece in dining room.


Christmas tree!




The tree is decorated JUST for Meredith!  The camel, elephants, and kangaroo

all represent her travels-  (Iraq, Thailand, Australia).  The mermaids, lighthouses,

firetrucks,seahorses and keys represent her house on Chincoteague.  The teapot and

cups on a tray- her preferred hot drink- and it all speaks of the sailor and places she has

been and hopes to go.  The pink flamingo is just to remind her how she needs to

have a sense of humor- (she hates pink, hates flamingoes, and hates the big picture

of a huge pink flamingo that graced the hallway of her house when she bought it!)

And, just in case you thought that one picture of cookies doesn’t count for much



-here’s a loaf of Italian bread I made yesterday!

Recipe for cookies-

1 stick butter

3/4 cup of white sugar

3/4 cup brown sugar

1 egg

1 tsp vanilla

1 heaping cup AP flour

1 cup oatmeal

1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

pinch of salt

apricot and pecan paste*

Mix together the first five ingredients until smooth and creamy.

Measure all the dry ingredients into a bowl and stir, then add to

butter and sugar mixture.  Take a pinch of the apricot and pecan paste

and wrap cookie dough around it and place on parchment papered

baking pan, about 3 inches apart.

Bake at 350 F for 8-10 minutes, until golden brown.

Apricot and pecan paste

1 1/2 cups dried apricots

1 cup chopped pecans

2 to 3 TBS white pear basalmic vinegar

1/2 cup honey

Put all ingredients into food processor and

run until everything is a paste.  Place in loaf pan lined with

parchment paper and cover top with another sheet of paper,

weigh down top to compress.

(See how Celia at Fig jam and Lime Cordial, makes a variation of

this in a fig and walnut paste- or an almond and apricot version. )