No one ordered cookies from me last week…I was lost…what to do…I had been making cookies for a month for various occasions with graduation and a baby shower

I had bought different items in getting ready for the baby shower which had a whale theme…

so……………I decided to make some shortbread and use the whale tail cookie cutter I had bought…so I researched some recipes…not that I needed to…but the stuff people put in their “shortbread cookies”…lots of folks using eggs…there are no eggs in shortbread…that is the beauty of shortbread…it is a 3 ingredient cookie…butter sugar and flour…NO EGGS ! some people add flavoring…though not needed it is an easy method to create variety…add a little vanilla…or lemon rind or some ground lavender buds

I opted to make a recipe I never tried before…instead of granulated sugar it called for confectioners sugar…I don’t think I will do that again…the cookie was tasty…but it was too light…next time I will stick with granulated

So made the cookies and started on some photographs I had planned to make or already made and needed some post processing done .

Set up my little studio and did some macro photography…refracted water droplets always interested me…I became easily frustrated with one failed attempt after another…went back the second day…learning a bit from the 1st day…and was alittle bit better…and still a long way to go…so I found some santa clauses…those fluffy white cottony thing that blow around in the wind and put it in a clothes pin to hold it…then i spritzed some water on it…put it in front of some sunflowers…you will have to look through the images to see a phot or 2 of what I got

And I guess it is going on 2 weeks now that the Futures of Pittsburgh tennis tournament took place in Mt lebanon…It was some of the lowest quality tennis that has ever come through here on the Futures circuit….the finalists and semifinalist put on a good show…It was won by Argentine…Mateo Nicolas Martinez who defeated Colombian Alejandro Gomez 6-4 , 6-4…though the scores seem close it really never was as Martinez was in control the whole match

Last image is of Tucker in PPG plaza…if your client will get up early and you ared doing a photo shoot…PPG plaza on a sunny morn between 8 and 10…the light is phenomenal


The Onesy or Onesie Cookie Caper

Some folks wanting to hold a baby shower approached me and said…can you make us a onesie with a baby whale on it . I said let me look into it…So after some research…I said sure I can do this

So about 6 weeks before the event…I start to experiment with recipes…that taste good and hold their shape…I end up with a chocolate sugar cookie…an oatmeal cutout cookie and a rtegular sugar cookie

So I ordered my onesy cookie cutter…an Ann Clark design…she makes some really nice cookie cutters but you must treat them with respect and make sure they are completely dry…or they may rust…how to care for the cutters…after all done…wash and dry the cookie cutters…then in an oven of 300 degrees…turn off oven and place cutters in oven for 10 minutes or so…this method works for me…some makers are making theirs out of plastic now…I like that…so much easier to care for

So I got my cutter…so how am I going to make the baby whale…I thought of a paper punch…a whale paper punch…punch whale shapes in a thin mylar or cardboard stock …and fill the holes with chocolate or royal icing…well I dod find there exists a whale paper puch produced with Martha Stewart’s name on it…but they have been discontinued…but yes…you can still get one on ebay for a mere 100 dollars…nope…then I found whale confetti…it looked a whole lot likethe whale from the Martha punch…I figured I could use those as a template …which I did…I placed the individual whale pieces under wax paper and with a number 2 icing decorating tube I traced the whales…let the icing dry and then put on the onesy…they looked oK but the whale was a bit too big…but angling it…I could make it work…or scan the whale and downsize it in photoshop…but then I found a food grade silicon mold of a whale on etsys…one was in spain the other in france…well the one from france arrived first…and it was the perfect size…the one from spain arrived a week later and was too big

So I ended up melting white chocolate and then tinting it and then piping the melted chocolate into the mold…the issue was there was only one little mold…I had to fill the mold…only one at a time…put in the freezer…unmold and repeatI had to do this about 80 times in order to make 58 whales as frequently the whale tale would break as I tried to unmold the candy

So after one full day of baking…and 2 days of decorating…I ended up with some onesy cookies…not too bad looking especially with someone with shakey hands…and better yet…they taste good

It’s New To Me

It is with good intention that I am starting this …its new to me blog…I want to give my opinion on products that are brand new…or I haven’t tried before and have been around for a while

So first up is a product from Tootsie Roll Industries…and it is the Junior Mint minis

It comes in a bag that is resealable…which is something that I like…I always had some qualms about the regular 4.5 oz box….or any of the boxes larger or smaller…I mean the boxes have spaces they are not hermetically sealed….maybe i am somewhat of a germaphobe…anyway for a buck 99 you can purchase this item…the 4.5 ounce box costs only a dollar…so if you are looking for value you might stick with the old standby

As far as taste…eating these one at a time is not the best experience as the chocolate is not as smooth as i would like and actually you can feel it is gritty…but if you put 2 in your mouth at a time …the flavor is more chocolate than mint and the creamy mint center takes away the grittiness of the chocolate…and if you are like me and like a stronger mint sensation put 3 in your mouth at a time and to me the balance of mint and chocolate is perfect .

These candy pieces are pretty small…smaller than a dime and I actually could put 3 of these on a dime…with a little overhang

This product is certainly different than your regular size Junior Mints…but the taste remains pretty close to the original…unlike when York went to making their minis…they taste nothing like a regular size York peppermint patty…but that is a story for another day

On a budget…stay with the original…you get an ounce less and pay a dollar less…so if you bought 2 boxes of the 3.5 ounce mints …the regular size candies…you pay 2 bucks and get 7 ounces of candy compared to the minis 4.5 ounces

More Wayne State

Just Stuff

Went to see the Pirates play midweek afternoon game…those are my favorites to attend because there are not a whole lot of folks there to annoy me…and actually saw a game the pirates won…I dont go to many ball games but I believe the last 3 games i saw they won…previously I was 0h for 12 years

took some more pictures of flowers and processed some then the computer crashed…that is what happens when I do larger projects than normal

anyway…some images

Happy Mother’s Day

Happy Mom’s Day to all you Moms out there…and everyone please rememeber your Mom

Some folks were saying they could not see all the flower images I posted yesterday…so lets try it again…but this time here…I am changing up the flowers…but if you are the 1st to identify all correctly…you win the Oscar Schmidt Ukulele

there are some clues below each picture

Another walk in the Forest

It was nice and cool…62 degrees this afternoon…Pirates just won 1-0…and tucker needed to have a nice walk…after putting rose geranium oil on Tucker and myself to ward off ticks…we headed into the woods at Boyce mayview Park…for people who do not like to use deet on themselves or use harsh chemicals on their pets…I have been using rose geranium oil for the past 3 years and with good results

not a whole lot more on the forest floor except we found a hillside filled with trillium that were just ready to burst open…but not quite….wild white bleeding hearts…and a bunch of other wild flowers whose names i do not know

some flowers for your enjoyment

I Love Winter in Mid April

just a coating of snow this morning that did not last that long…but I enjoyed it enough to walk in the woods out at Boyce Mayview Park…took my little camera with me and got a few images on the forest floor with a bit of snow….if you dont like the cold…at least I hope you can enjoy the images…the cold doesnt bother me ….anyway

Martha’s Run 2018

Saturday the 14th of April…a warm morning upper 60’s at 9 a.m. …it was the start of Martha’s Run which has been going on for about 20 years now in Mt lebanon…also one of the smallest number of participants I can recall in a long time….maybe the Pirates run had something to do with it…but there is something I like about a community run…probably takes me back to my days of running 40 years ago…when there were a lot of races with only about a hundred entrants…those were the days…I actually ran in pittsburgh’s great race and there were under 5,000 entrants…I no longer run as my knees are not quite what they used to be…but that doesnt stop me from enjoying a good community run

This was a nice run…sunny and not too warm…with an unusual finish…Usually you have the overall winner…and the ladies winner…well it so happened that Larissa Park was the first person to cross the finish line…congratulations Larissa…and there was no one close to her at the finish . I wonder if there was a trophy for the first male finisher ?
Anyway people chatted at me or waved at me as they saw me on the side with a camera…they all seemed to be enjoying themselves despite the tough start . The first mile and a quarter are pretty much uphill…the only benefit to that is it is all downhill to the finish for the most part

Here are some images from Martha’s Run 2018