Your spring celebrations will blossom with creativity when you add edible flowers to cocktails, salads, and desserts. We partnered with @Moonflower Macarons , a small, locally owned pastry shop in Auburn, New York, to make some treats featuring edible flowers.

Moonflower Macarons specializes in French macarons, which are naturally gluten-free, and offers a dozen flavors that change monthly (how about Salted Lemon Shortbread, Blueberry Pancake or Cocoa-Mocha?), plus seasonally inspired shapes and macaron cakes.

Owner Theresa Mendez loves working with edible dried flowers, which, she says, are lovely additions to macarons, macaron cakes, and custom designs. “They can add a much-needed pop of color to an otherwise monochromatic palette.”

The first step for using edible flowers is to decide if the flowers are to be eaten or are just for decoration. “When the intent is to eat the flower along with the cookie, less is more,” says Mendez. “A few buds of dried lavender can enhance a lavender-lemon or lavender-honey flavor combination. But too much can overpower.”

Mendez has focused on using dried flowers that she orders online that are grown to be edible or used in candles or soaps. She is partnering with a local florist this summer and plans to add fresh flowers to macaron cakes.

Whether your flowers are dried or fresh, be absolutely sure they have been grown to be edible and have not been treated with pesticides. With fresh flowers, wash the petals thoroughly.

A few more ideas for adding edible flowers to the menu:

  • Cocktails: Make a cocktail or even plain seltzer water more colorful and fun by adding floral bits to the ice cubes. To make, boil 4 cups of water and completely cool it. Fill ice cube tray halfway, add the flowers, and then freeze. Add additional water that was previously boiled and cooled, filling the trays, and freeze again. Don’t over fill the trays, so the ice can freeze in a level line. Boiling the water is essential to keep the ice cubes clear, so you can see the flowers inside.
  • Salads: Add brightly colored nasturtiums, which have a peppery flavor like watercress, to fresh greens.
  • Desserts: Decorate a cake with small fresh flowers, such as pansies, roses, lilacs, lavender or peonies, or sprinkle them like confetti. You can also candy the petals, which gives them a sugary crunch. To candy, paint on beaten pasteurized egg white, then sprinkle with superfine sugar. Let harden before adding to the cake.

 

 

 

On Mother’s Day, we honor the women who gave us our start—as well as our wings to soar.

Marietta Bolster, a member of our design team, celebrates her mom, Patience Brewster, the creative force behind Patience Brewster by MacKenzie-Childs. Until her recent retirement, Patience spent decades illustrating the whimsical characters that are captured in the collection’s handmade and hand-painted ornaments, figures, and other decorative items.

Like so many other families, the Brewsters have traditions and traits that link generations. For Patience and Marietta, there has always been a connection to creativity.

Patience grew up one of six siblings, in a family known for its wide range of interests and skills. Her father made furniture and could fix just about anything. Her mother painted, sculpted, and sewed when she wasn’t golfing, swimming, or driving an obstacle course in a horse and carriage. Her grandparents took Patience to museums and taught her the art of telling a good story.

Patience started drawing almost as soon she could hold a pencil and doesn’t remember a time when she wasn’t. Years of illustrating and painting led to a degree from the Philadelphia College of Art. After that, she worked as a freelance artist, illustrating children’s books and greeting cards. Eventually, she started her own greeting card company and later began to turn her illustrations into figures and ornaments.

Marietta and her older brother, Herm, were surrounded by their mother’s creativity, as her business operated out of the family home. Marietta remembers reading, art, and other imaginative activities were ever-present. Watching TV “was just not an option.”

Now, Marietta’s youngest children, daughters Luna, 4, and Nova, 2, race from room to room, through that same house, giggling, before settling into their grandmother’s light-filled studio to draw and paint.

“Moonma,” as the girls call Patience, fills their paint trays with small squirts of paint, adds a little water, and distributes paintbrushes. Already they’ve made it known that they prefer grandma’s paints and brushes over the common kiddie versions. Soon, swirls of color fill the paper in front of them. Patience takes it all in, admiring and encouraging each dab and dot.

Patience can see the girls’ personalities reflected in their artistic styles. Big sister Luna is the more deliberate painter, filling her brush with color and making bold strokes. Little sister Nova is more reserved, making smaller swirls and strokes. But she’s eager to experiment and quickly discovers how to add even more dots of color by using an eyedropper dipped in the paint.

The scene takes Marietta back to her childhood when she and her brother would draw and paint in the same spot and in much the same manner. As she got older, her mother began to encourage her to add more details and layers to her paintings. After graduating from college, Patience joined her mother’s business and later returned to school to earn an additional degree in graphic arts.

After marrying and giving birth to Luna, Marietta brought the baby with her to her parents’ home, “the office,” every day. When Luna wasn’t sleeping in Patience’s studio, she was observing, watching her paint and draw. Eventually, Luna would sit with Patience at her desk and paint with her on occasion.

Their tradition of creativity has truly come full circle, extending from Patience’s grandparents to her granddaughters, three generations later.

Today, on Mother’s Day, Patience and Marietta plan to gather for a family brunch. Patience also plans to make her usual stop at the farmers market for annuals and perennials to plant for summer bouquets.

Marietta will also celebrate with Luna, Nova, and her two stepchildren, Avery, 11, and Ben, 10, who are quite creative as well. Marietta says Avery, whom Luna and Nova adore as a big sister, is also an amazing artist immersing herself in theater and dance. Ben, whom Marietta calls “one of the dearest people on the planet,” has a knack for science and math.

All four children and her husband, Thomas, have made Marietta’s life amazingly full, she says. “Meeting Thomas and his two children was all so wonderful and welcoming that I feel like I just flowed into this loving family. Then Luna and Nova came along, and it’s been a boisterous and extraordinary ride ever since.”

Both women say that motherhood is an experience like no other, and they’re grateful to have shared it with each other.

Says Patience, “Where does one begin with the rewards of motherhood? The profound gift is moving over, making this new one growing within you, and then beside you, your priority. Suddenly, sacrifice has no meaning, love has no bounds. To this day, a cord that once bound us physically still binds me constantly to my children emotionally and spiritually. There it is, every day of my life. And now it extends to my grandchildren.”

 

Gardening can be a family affair that involves green thumbs of all ages. To make gardening fun for children, make it an adventure that goes full circle—from planting the seeds to tending the young plants to harvesting the bounty. That’s why we love the idea of a pizza garden, which has a circular shape, like a pizza. Each “slice” is a plot for a different ingredient. There is one empty slice, for access to the garden. Eventually, when the veggies are ready to harvest, they can be used on a pizza that your child helps make. Just imagine how proud that little gardener will be when the pizza fixings grown in their garden take center stage at family pizza night.

Ready to dig in? We thought so. Here’s what to plant:

Tomatoes
Pick a paste variety such as Roma that produces meaty tomatoes perfect for sauces.

Basil
This herb seasons the sauce and is great for pesto, too.

Beets
Beets represent the sugar needed to help pizza crust rise.

Peppers
Sweet red and green bell peppers can top the pizza.

Onions
Plant sets of red onions, which have a sweet, more child-friendly flavor.

Marigolds
Plant these around the garden to define it and to represent the cheese on the pizza.

The idea of the pizza garden adapts to limited space, too, and the garden doesn’t have to be shaped like a circle. The ingredients could be planted in containers or in window boxes. You can also grow a pizza herb garden in cups that are attached to a wooden pallet like we have done below.

What’s important is to make gardening inviting for children. It’s as easy, you might say, as A-B-C.

AActivity

Make the garden a place that a child will want to be. Create a small sanctuary, like a beanpole tent or a sunflower house that is their special spot. The beanpole tent requires only a simple framework of lightweight poles, usually bamboo, arranged in a circle and tied at the top. Plant a bean variety like Scarlet Runner at the base of the structure and watch it take off. A sunflower house can be planted in a similar fashion but doesn’t require poles. Mark off a square or rectangle and plant seeds for taller sunflowers on the perimeter, leaving an opening for a “door.”

B—Bright Colors

Paint tomato stakes in a rainbow of colors or let children put their hands in finger paint and add their handprints to stepping-stones. Grow something in a surprising color, like blue potatoes or red, purple or white carrots.

C—Child’s Play

Let a child take ownership of their garden and decide what to plant. Some things that might appeal to children are sunflowers, popcorn, and pumpkins.

For more ideas on gardening with children, visit Kids Gardening, a nonprofit organization that brings the benefits of gardening to kids through grant programs, curriculum, contests, and educational activities.

 

 

You might not have considered wallpaper for your home, but have you seen wallpaper lately? The designs are bright, bold, and so much fun. Wallpaper can dramatically transform a room, whether it’s hung traditionally on all four walls, as an accent wall or even on the ceiling. Yep, the ceiling.

You can master wallpaper hanging with the right tools, patience, and some practice. We collaborated with blogger Mireille Beckwith, whose Instagram account, @city.peach, and blog, city-peach.com, cover fashion, family, and home, for this how-to and accompanying video. Mireille says she is more than a little obsessed with wallpaper in her home, and she’s eager to help you discover all its possibilities, too.

STEP 1: HOW MUCH WALLPAPER?

  • Determine square footage: Multiply the width of the wall (or walls) by the height.
  • The wallpaper roll should note the square footage it covers and the size of the pattern repeat. Larger pattern repeats require more paper.
  • Buy at least 10 percent more paper to accommodate adjustments and even more for larger patterns.

STEP 2: THE TOOLS

  • Measuring tape
  • Straightedge
  • Level
  • Pencil
  • Lightweight vinyl adhesive (we recommend Roman 880 Clear Adhesive for our wallpapers)
  • 9-inch paint roller
  • Paint tray
  • Plastic to cover pasting table
  • Sponge or damp cloth
  • Wallpaper brush or smoother
  • Seam roller
  • Bucket of water
  • Utility knife with fresh blades
  • Wide metal putty knife with handle
  • Scissors

STEP 3: PREPARE THE WALLS

  • Remove switch plates and outlet covers.
  • Remove old wallpaper.
  • Repair holes or dents with spackling; sand when dry.
  • Clean walls with mild soap and water.
  • Prime drywall with wallpaper primer. Use wallpaper sizing for plaster.

STEP 4: HANG THE WALLPAPER

  • Start in an inconspicuous corner, usually behind a door.
  • Take the time to get the first strip straight as every other strip is based on how it hangs. Using a level, draw a line with a straightedge, floor to ceiling, the width of the wallpaper.
  • Add four inches to room height and cut first strip of wallpaper.
  • Roll adhesive on back of strip to the middle. Loosely fold ends, glue on glue, to the middle. This step is known in wallpaper-ese as “booking.” Repeat with other half of paper. Wait three to five minutes for adhesive to activate.
  • Hang first strip with two extra inches at top, lining up edge with level line.
  • Gently smooth paper with hands, moving sideways and downward. At middle, unfold paper and affix bottom half.
  • Smooth with wallpaper brush. Wipe with damp sponge to remove any excess adhesive.
  • Hang second piece as above, making sure to allow for pattern match before the strip is cut. Seams should be butted, not overlapped.
  • Repeat steps around the room.
  • Trim excess paper at floor and ceiling but let the paper dry a little first because it can tear if too wet. Place wide putty blade against wallpaper and cut excess with sharp utility knife.

 

STEP 5: THE TRICKY STUFF

  • Before papering around outlets and switch plates, turn electrical power off. Lay paper over electrical opening and make an X-cut in center. Trim excess paper from the four flaps to edge of electrical box.
  • For doors and windows, lay paper over and make diagonal cut to frame. Smooth paper and trim excess.
  • For corners, cut strip so only ½ inch extends beyond corner. Glue and hang strip, then trim it again, leaving just ⅛ inch of paper beyond the corner. Align next strip to overlap the ⅛-inch extension.

More tips from Mireille

Mireille has wallpapered several rooms in her Atlanta-area home. She loves how wallpaper transforms a room while also bringing out features that might have been overlooked before. She shares these tips from her wallpapering experiences:

  • Be sure enough adhesive is applied to the back of the paper. I like to use a wider brush to apply adhesive so that the application is smooth.
  • Once the paper is on the walls, I do the first smoothing with my hands. It’s easier to detect bubbles and wrinkles.
  • Don’t get the wallpaper too damp when you sponge it. It’s a quick, light wiping.
  • Always match seams. It’s the slowest part of the process, but essential.
  • When you use the smoother, strike a balance between smoothing the paper and keeping enough adhesive on the back so it stays stuck to the walls.
  • When you come to an outlet, feel around it and cut to where the paper is flat. Keep in mind that damp wallpaper can tear, so keep your cuts conservative.
  • Hang in there and have fun! The process gets faster as you go. You’ll get a feel for the wallpaper and how to work with it, especially if there are patterns to match.

 

 

Much like you inspire us, we hope that we inspire you, too!

Katey McFarlan, who writes the blog Chronicles of Frivolity, found the inspiration for her daughter Maxi’s bathroom in our Farmhouse, where she discovered the illustrious pink bathroom. You heard that right: pink patterned tiles on the walls and a tub decorated in our Pink Honeymoon ceramic pattern.

Katey saw the bathroom on a trip to our campus in Aurora, New York, and knew it was perfect for her daughter’s bathroom at home. That space was a blank canvas with white walls, a black and white tiled floor, and a single-sink cabinet with a black countertop. “I knew that I wanted to add in those pink and white details to the walls, while incorporating the classic black and white check MC is so known for,” Katey said.

First, Katey added a shot of pink by hanging wallpaper featuring a pattern of diagonal pink ribbon with interlocking bows and knots. Next, our dimensional Courtly Check butterflies were hung on the walls. Katey loves their whimsy, as well as their extra meaning. “I love decor that tells a story. And to me the butterflies symbolize that even the mundane parts of parenting (baths, teeth brushing, etc.) lead to them learning to be independent and spreading their wings one day.” She also added our Poppy and Monarch Butterfly Shadow Boxes.

From there, Katey incorporated more of our classic Courtly Checks, adding a shower curtain and switching out the cabinet’s existing hardware with our ceramic knobs. The finishing touches were a few more pieces of Courtly Check enamelware on the counter, a Zig Zag Waste Bin, and our plush pink Hollyhock bath rug.

Katey is thrilled with the results (and so is her daughter). Yes, it looks great, but she also loves that it allows her to pass along her love of MacKenzie-Childs to her daughter, just as her mother did with her. Says Katey, “This space is for fun bubble baths and time we spend together, getting her ready in the morning.”

As we’ve spent more time at home in this past year, remodeling projects have become quite popular. But there are many ways to refresh a room that don’t require heavy lifting or a building permit. In fact, sometimes the smallest of changes can have the biggest impact.

Bathroom

It pays to pay attention to the bathroom, whether it’s the master bath or the powder room for guests. Adding a pop of color with a few fresh accessories can transform this small space without the commitment of painting or papering.

We suggest:

  • A fresh shower curtain that sets the tone for the entire space.
  • Coordinating towels, washcloths, and bath rugs.
  • Accessories—tissue cover, trays, and pump dispenser—that add a splash to the sink.
  • One of our unique enamel waste bins instead of the ordinary plastic trash can.

 

Bedroom

Can we talk pillows? These are the game changers in this space because they can transform even the most colorful bedding, like our bright and bold floral Kira’s Garden group. Change the pillows, adding in a variety of color, texture, and patterns, and you can change the mood in the room every time.

Any room

To update any room, switch out your switch plates for ones that have far more style and are little works of art. The same goes for knobs, which can make an ordinary desk or dresser look like a custom piece and will update kitchen cabinets much quicker than painting them. There are all sorts of other ways to use knobs that are only limited by your imagination. To get you started, check out this blog on how to get a handle on handles.

 

Everyone knows that a mirror reflects an image. But did you know that a well-placed mirror can also be a master of illusion?

That’s because mirrors reflect light, so they can make spaces seem larger and brighter. Plus, besides being practical, mirrors—especially if they are ours—can make a space feel prettier by adding color and charm. And one more thing about our mirrors. Many of them are included in our Aurora Artisanal collection. They feature frames that are hand-painted by our artisans in Aurora, New York, and each one is a unique piece of art.

That said, here are some ways to use mirrors to create more beautiful interiors.

  • Hallways tend to be the narrowest and dimmest area of the house and seldom have windows. To add light, place a mirror in a hallway or on a dark wall.
  • A mirror over a console table in the entry is handy for last-minute checks as you head out the door. Also, because it adds light, this mirror will make the entry more appealing to guests. Try the classic Thistle Mirror or Golden Hour Mirror.

  • In a room without windows, create the illusion of one by grouping identical mirrors to mimic a window. This will open up the space and eliminate that feeling of claustrophobia. You can also hang mirrors on either side of a doorway to create the illusion of sidelights or above a doorway to create a transom. Our Landmark Mirrors are perfect for these ideas. They mimic the detailing of leaded glass and can be hung horizontally or vertically.
  • Create a gallery wall of just mirrors with interesting shapes or add a few mirrors to a wall with a variety of objects. A good choice for this is our new Floradot Mirror, which adds three-dimensional floral motifs to our signature Courtly Check pattern.

  • Hang a tall mirror to draw the eye upward and make the room feel more spacious.
  • Hang a mirror off center or horizontally to create an element of surprise.
  • Layer objects, including artwork and vases, in front of a mirror to add dimension and interest.
  • Hang mirrors on a sloped ceiling to capture more light.

Walking into the McCue house on a cold and blustery Saturday in January, we know we’re about to be enveloped in warmth. The 200-year-old home, now passed down through five generations of McCues, updated and built upon every time, has fireplaces glowing in each room, and the booming voices and jovial greetings inside it warm your heart and put you immediately at ease. It’s just the atmosphere you would expect from the men and their twin boys who call it home.

Drs. Thomas McCue and Sean Bresnahan, also known on Instagram as @thecourtlycheckbears, are our first official MC Maestros, fans of our brand who have become so much more. We consider them to be our extended family, as we do all of you. Their presence in our brand family reminds us that we bring people great joy, and they pass that joy from generation to generation. You can see joy in their home, in their friendships, and in their children’s futures. They are, in the truest sense of the word, maestros, masters of their art.

Their house is crowded, but not in the way you may think. It’s crowded with boisterous laughter and heartfelt hugs. It’s crowded with love for family. It’s crowded with memories and moments, stories to recount, parties to host, and gourmet food to just “throw together” as Sean so aptly does. It’s crowded with the giggles of their sons, Thomas (the fifth TPM) and Grayson, and the barks of their three labradoodles while steam rises from the stove and champagne flutes are at the ready. It’s crowded in the best way possible and makes you want to pull up a chair, take one of those flutes Tommy is passing around, and stay for a spell.

As soon as you enter, you see the MacKenzie-Childs inspiration. It’s everywhere. From the fully stocked tableware in Courtly Check, Royal Check, Flower Market, and our new Floradot pattern to the drawer pulls, light switches, pillows, furniture, and coat hooks. It’s on the walls, the banisters, and even the backsplash behind the stove.

Tommy and Sean use MacKenzie-Childs every day, starting with the first cup of coffee in the morning poured into our ceramic mugs. Sean makes Tommy’s favorite goat cheese pizza and serves it on our enamelware platters. Special occasions are celebrated at a large table made from reclaimed barnwood that can seat 12 (and, yes, they have several sets of our dinnerware that can accommodate those numbers).

Tommy got the ball rolling years ago when he was introduced to the brand by his maternal grandmother, whom he called Nanny. She had a small MacKenzie-Childs glass that Tommy always admired. “I think she and my mom had made a trip down to Aurora at some point and she brought it back. When she knew she was soon to pass, she passed it on to me. I thought, well, I’ll just check this out.”

And check us out, Tommy and Sean certainly have!

Their now 1-year-old twin boys are already learning to love the brand from their dads. Their nursery is decked in MacKenzie-Childs from top to bottom, their stuffed animals are our Marsden Moose and Mack the Bear, and they’re learning to crawl on MC rugs in every room. They will grow up in a house already decked in our signature prints and products that one day they will live in and raise their own families.

And that, of course, begs a question that Tommy says has been asked many times since the boys came along. Can MacKenzie-Childs and toddlers co-exist?

Tommy and Sean say yes, although in the short term, they admit they’ll be serving more on enamelware than on ceramic when it comes to meals for the boys. Says Tommy, “In the five generations that have lived in this house, there have always been antiques and breakables. Is there going to be an accident? Absolutely, but we live and we learn that things should be appreciated and valued. I hope they appreciate it and love it as much as we do.”

You might think that anything Courtly Check is their favorite {ahem, hello, Instagram handle}, but it’s not (and yet it is). What they most appreciate is the feeling of love that every piece of MacKenzie-Childs expresses. They express this devotion almost in unison and frequently finish each other’s sentences.

Says Tommy, “For us, it’s not the pieces themselves, though we clearly love those, too; it’s the people who are part of this brand. It’s the amazing people who have become our friends, the artists who put their hearts and souls into their work, the painters and upholsterers, designers and people who work in the store. It’s the love that I know goes into every piece and the love with which we use them.”

When Sean plates on a Courtly Check fluted platter, that’s his heart on a dish. When Tommy pours drinks into his Blooming Champagne flutes, that’s his way of welcoming in friends and making strangers no longer strangers.

We could call their design, their decor, their fun-yet-functional home filled with three dogs, two babies, and more than enough love to go around a MacKenzie-Childs museum, but these pieces are lived in, loved on, and have seen a lot of laughter in their days. Just as they were designed to.

 

Spring ’21 continues to blossom as we unveil new furnishings for the season. You’ll find fun and functional furniture for indoors and out, many of which work equally well in both spaces. So, why not bring the outdoors in and a bit of the indoors out?

Have a seat, relax, and we’ll tell you all about it.

Let’s start with our upholstered Painted Garden furniture collection. Key pieces, like the Painted Garden Sofa and Accent Chair, feature generous silhouettes covered with a lush and earthy floral fabric that resembles a painted canvas. Meanwhile, complementary pillows are loaded with dimensional flowers that seem to be blooming right on the fabric.

There is an abundance of new benches and tables, too. Our Queen Bee Bench, for instance, is handmade in Aurora and is the latest addition to our Queen Bee collection. It’s upholstered in golden yellow and grey, which also happen to be Pantone’s 2021 colors of the year. The Ridiculous Peacock Bench, meanwhile, is inspired by our classic Ridiculous Bench, featuring shades of aqua and chartreuse, all trimmed with a spectacular fringed skirt.

A new seat perfect for The Entertaining Kitchen is the Flatiron Bar Stool. It has stylishly shaped metal legs wrapped in leather, trimmed with brass button detailing. On top is a comfy cushion upholstered in either navy or black chenille stripes. It’s the best seat in the house!

As for tables, check out the Ogee Accent and Console Tables, which complement the Painted Garden collection. They feature classic cell-shaped ogee patterns inlaid in colorful dyed bone on top of metal bases. There’s the Madras group that includes the versatile Madras Desk with Mirror, which has a flip-down front and drawers for storage. Perfect in a bedroom, entry or even the home office, pair it with additional Madras accents, including a table lamp and ginger jar. All Madras pieces have the same hues and stylized feather motif as the Peacock collection.

We’ve also taken one of our most unique tables and made it even more usable every day with the Diorama Cocktail Table. Like our iconic Diorama Dining Table, this table features layered scenes of our surroundings on Cayuga Lake that take more than 12 hours to hand paint, displayed under a glass top. Its hand-painted ceramic feet are also made in Aurora.

And, of course, what’s a spring collection without outdoor furniture? Our newest group, Boathouse, features navy-blue stripes and plaid in handwoven resin wicker wrapped on sturdy frames. The colors complement new Big Blue and Entertaining Royalty pieces that will help you set a beautiful table that can work outdoors or indoors, say, in a morning room as you enjoy that first cup of coffee. There are also Outdoor Accent Pillows and weather-resistant rugs for Boathouse.

Finally, if you need to sleep on all this, we (literally) have you covered with luxurious bedding.

We’re really excited about our Kira’s Garden bedding. It features a colorful floral print created by Kira Cole, our design manager, on comforters, duvets, and shams that were designed by Krisje Deal, a member of our in-house design staff. These pieces have a sateen finish and are made of 300 thread-count long-staple Portuguese cotton.

Kira wanted to create a mood that expressed colorful joy and brought the outdoors in. The inspiration for the print was her own flower garden, which includes roses, dahlias, zinnias, and irises.

Now, how’s that for creating the perfect setting for sweet dreams?

Let’s sweeten up Easter brunch with some recipes. First, for the adults, we have a Piccadilly Peep Martini that features a favorite Easter candy—Marshmallow PEEPS®. Then, for everyone’s sweet tooth, there’s a classic carrot cake that has an unusual frosting finish.

Enjoy, and Happy Easter to you and yours!

 

Piccadilly Peep Martini 

Lemon wedge

Colored sugar

1½ ounces cherry vodka

½ ounce triple sec

3 ounces strawberry milk

Dash of grenadine

1 Marshmallow Peep

 

Rim a martini glass with the lemon wedge and then dip in colored sugar. Set aside. To a shaker filled with ice, add cherry vodka, triple sec, strawberry milk, and grenadine. Shake until chilled. Strain into prepared glass. Garnish with a Marshmallow Peep. Serve immediately. Makes one drink.

 

Carrot Cake

2 cups all-purpose flour

2 cups sugar

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

3 cups finely shredded carrot

1 cup cooking oil

4 eggs

In a bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and cinnamon. Add carrot, oil, and eggs. Beat with an electric mixer till combined.

Pour into two greased and floured 9 × 1½-inch round baking pans. Bake in a 350-degree oven for 30 to 35 minutes or till a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool on wire racks for 10 minutes. Remove cakes from pans. Cool thoroughly on racks.

Variations:

  • Add one 8¼-ounce can undrained, crushed pineapple with the carrot. Bake about 40 minutes.
  • Add ½ cup golden raisins or currants and ½ cup chopped nuts to the batter.

 

Cream Cheese Frosting

2 3-ounce packages cream cheese

½ cup softened margarine or butter

2 teaspoons vanilla

4½ cups sifted powdered sugar

In a bowl, beat together cream cheese, margarine or butter, and vanilla till light and fluffy. Gradually add 2 cups powdered sugar, beating well. Gradually beat in enough remaining powdered sugar to make frosting of spreading consistency.

Frost tops and sides of cake. For our cake, we went light on the frosting for a more deconstructed look.

Cover cake, store in refrigerator.

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