20 February 2018

Tuesday's Snapshots: A Circus Animal Cheesecake

This cute cake is a Circus Animal Cheesecake.! It uses the pink and white frosted circus animal cookies for the crust. It is my sister's favorite cheesecake, and she requested it for her birthday last week. You will need two bags of cookies, because they seem to be packaged smaller these days. You will only use the pink ones from both bags. Save some for the top if you want. ( I end up adding a few white ones as well. A handful doesn't make a difference in the pink color crust.) I use the food processor, because the crust is sticky due to the frosting. I also think that is why I end up using some white ones as well. I want the bottom of the pan fully covered.

I used this recipe, and I have made it before. So, I halved this recipe except for the crust.  The crust recipe needs to be the same to cover a 9 inch springform pan. I also use less sugar, because for our tastebuds it is sweet enough with the crust and ganache.  After halving the recipe except for the crust, I reduce the sugar to 1/4 of a cup. If you like a sweet filling keep it at a half.
The reason I half the filling recipe is because it is a huge cake. You won't be able to fit all the filling in your pan without it overflowing when it cooks. (I've done that before.) I think it then took an hour to cook instead of an hour and a half, but I kept checking it every five minutes at 45 minutes.

It's perfectly fine to follow the recipe exactly, just don't put all the filling in the pan, because it could overflow as it heats.
The larger cake is certainly more dramatic. That's the way I made it for another birthday party.

Before you pour it in the pan divide the filling into two. You put a few drops of food coloring to make it pink. Alternate the colors during pouring.
This time, it was warm here, and my circles didn't come out great, so it had more of a marbled effect than stripes, but still cute when cut.

This is the recipe I used for the Ganache. If you want it to spill down the sides you would have to make more. I only put it on the top. Immediately and quickly sprinkle the beads on the cake for a neater look and kitchen! 

This is really helpful. Your sides will come out cleaner and not as browned
 if you remember to do this. I forgot, and
 lined only the bottom of the pan this time. Also, place a cookie tray under your cheesecake. I placed a tray on the lower rack, because our pan leaks.

It's super cute and super festive, and really not that hard to make, though a bit time consuming.
I made the crust the night before. Also, the cake has to cool before putting the ganache on it.
The link to recipe includes a video, which makes it look even easier.

Have a wonderful week.



14 February 2018

7 Touches of Pink for Spring

First, I'm in love with this shade of pink.
Some years ago now, it was the shade that I painted my daughter's first bedroom.
Here it is is a pretty scalloped quilt found for 20 dollars.

Secondly, I love pink spray roses and this time of year it seems easier to find them.
Here they are in an Ikea bucket.

Third) Here are pretty bottles of something pink to drink, and rose scented drinks are calming.

 Fourth) For the next couple of months our garden will be at its best.
Gathered here are some pink blooms from the garden. 

Fifth) Here is a pretty pinkish glass jar with a candle placed with another garden arrangement.
To make the bouquet, just lay a flat bowl in the bucket and then layer the blossoms.

Sixth) One single spray of pink roses in a bottle can be so elegant.

Seven) Here is a garland of pink fabric roses found in a craft store.

I am also making a pink and white cheese cake. It is so cute, and it is for my sister's birthday, because that's what she wanted. I actually made it for my daughter three months ago, but forgot to take a photo. Alas, it is not done. I knocked a wine bottle behind the refrigerator, so all I accomplished last night was the crust. Typical mess in the kitchen for me!
Hopefully, later this week there will be a photo. It was suppose to be 8 touches of pink. :)

No compensation was received for these selections.
They are just pretty and inexpensive pretty and all removable pretty accents.
I love to look at objects in different ways.
For example, a two dollar glass water bottle is quite pretty as a bud vase once you have finished the water. I'm always using pretty cans, bottles, and empty containers for pretty vases. Here's a spring mantle from a few years ago or here is one from three years ago unopened.
Have a wonderful Valentine's Day.
Thank you for visiting each and every year.


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07 February 2018

1 Way to Create a Photo Album of Your Digital Memories

My daughter grew up in the digital camera age. To be honest, I have only the first two years of her life on paper, because I didn't know how to use my digital point and shoot any other way.
But you know, she loves to flip through those old photos! But also, she has been dismayed that there are so few photos to page through. Since both of us love taking photos I thought I would try a different service to make photo albums. Well, I've used others, but this one was the simplest by far, and the only one I wanted to try again.
This is NOT a sponsored post, I just liked the ease of use and the product.

I used my laptop and signed in for free, and I did not have to give them my card number until I was done. Since it was easily accessible and organized, I began archiving one year of Instagram, but I could of chose photos from my computer photo album. In less than a minute, the company generated an album that was formatted and ready to print.  I decided to spend a couple of hours editing captions and removing some  photos, before I sent it in, because hashtags can wind up on one page if you have too many.  It allowed me to easily change the captions, but I mostly kept the hashtags, because it was my instagram. However it was certainly easy to delete them too. It also allowed me to deselect photos.

Since it was many photos, I decided on a 8 x 8 inch custom book. I think that I selected at least 175 photos, so it made the price with shipping around 75 dollars. So not inexpensive, but not outrageous considering how many photos I chose!

It took about a week to arrive. I chose the soft cover and it is bound tight. Its cover is heavy paper like one of those heavy card stock, and its pages are non shiny like high end magazines.

The photos here don't do it justice. Now, I am going to make another of my first year of Instagram.
Now if I wanted to create one automatically, I would set up an account with my credit card number. Presently, it is ten dollars for every sixty photos, which I would have 3 days to edit in the same manner before printing and mailing. A series of smaller books may be a better option for some. 

The company's name is Chatbooks. You can use photos from your Instagram, Facebook, or camera. I did the entire project on my laptop, because it is just easier for me. I input my instagram account, and it immediately accessed the photos and inserted it into a book in less than a minute. However, for some it easier to use a phone, so download the free app from apple or google. It's that easy.

I've used some other services in the past, but this was the easiest yet!
Their website explains the process, and it super simple.
I definitely plan to make more.

Coming soon
our Cottage Garden
and other projects that I've been busy with.

Have a Happy Week!



(this post was NOT sponsored)

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Shabby Art Boutique

30 January 2018

Five Ways to Make Cozy in the Winter

A cup of tea or wine in an antique tea cup with some rose candy.

Blooms from the store or blooms from the garden with a good book or photo album.
That's a photo album I made, and that will be coming up in a future post.

Twinkle lights or candles...

Just one blossom in a teacup.

I love playing with our garden roses.

Make a shrine. This one has a wreath, some topiaries, and a small fresh bouquet.

Thank you for reading Tuesday's Snapshots.


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21 December 2017

Christmas in the Garden

Bringing you some pretty photos of the garden.
Here is a wreath with green tucked in asymmetrically and hung on the garden cottage she shed. 

It is also time to pick the citrus. These are Meyer lemons, and they are ready earlier this year.
The warmer autumn probably caused them to ripen sooner. Last year I made lemon bars and canned lemon marmalade. Actually, it was my first time. It canned properly, but didn't set well, so ended up using it to make sweet and sour chicken or lemon chicken during the year.  It was quite tasty, because I had placed cinnamon sticks in while it cooked.

The weather is nice enough to place the pumpkins outdoors now. Earlier they would have rotted.
This is a grapefruit tree. It sort of folds over on itself, because the fruit is so heavy right now, and it is fairly young. But once the fruit is picked it will straighten. The tree on the left is filled with delicious mandarin oranges.

Some tasty tangelos over here...

The white roses are blooming and the lavender will begin to bloom soon.
There are tomatoes out here, lettuce, and basil as well.

This time of year, even without snow, there is a peacefulness and quiet ness. The trees that do change color have turned gold and are dropping leaves, and the wind that picks up this time of year will blow them away.

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays
And thank you for visiting throughout the year!

Christmas in the House is here.

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French Country Cottage

13 December 2017

Christmas 2017 at Butterfly and Bungalow

I hope your are enjoying this beautiful season of light.
I wanted to post my Christmas tour before it became too hectic.
This year, I begin with the sleeping porch.

Here we have our version of an advent wreath. The Santas represent several countries. France, Russia, Italy, Sweden and so on. The little clogs have goats painted on them, and they were my daughter's some years back now.

Here is my desk area with a fresh rosemary topiary with some flowers from the garden, and a theater that is a cupcake decorating box with a pair of dolls from Poland embracing in a dance.

the porch bed...

The garden... blooming with white roses.

The she shed cottage... with an asymmetrical wreath that I fashioned with fresh cedar.

My daughter decorated the inside in a Swedish style.

Joyeux Noel
Vintage pitcher from Germany and little wooden German  Christmas scenes.

The egg ornament was made in Russia.

We have two decorated trees this year. 

There is one in the library decorated by my daughter.
Owls, Mushrooms, Birds

Library Mantle

Library Rocking Horse

Kitchen and Dining Room

Simple Greens

and the living room...

A basket fill of bleached pine cones and some handmade ornaments of pottery from Mexico.

Madeline in Candy Cane Ribbons
She likes to take photos...
Not so much the other two dogs or the cat...

My bedroom...

My Bedroom...
The Nativity's pieces are all made in Italy. It was started by my mother many years ago.

That's it... Just a peek of our home at Christmas... I hope to return with closeups, but it is the busiest time of the year for most everyone.

Merry Christmas and Happy Hanukkah