Homemade Spirits.

I’m only speaking for myself here, but my holiday budget is tighter this year than it’s been in some time. I’m talking pre-career. The nice thing about that is that it’s made me think about the gifts I’m giving even more than I normally would. Starting today I’ll be sharing some ideas for handcrafted gifts to make and give.

Sure, I could buy a friend a bottle of their favorite alcohol at the liquor store, but something homemade might be even better. And cost a little less. And be a little cooler, just think of all the bottling possibilities!


Coffee Liqueur

Cranberry Liqueur


4th Amendment Wear.

4th Amendment Wear is a great project aimed at getting people to think a little more about their Constitutional rights. After the latest wave of TSA measures were put into place, Tim Geoghegan and Matthew Ryan began a silent protest of their own. They found metallic type that could, in theory, show up on TSA scanners that would display the 4th amendment, then inked t-shirts and underwear. A thought-provoking way to fuel the debate about safety vs. civil liberties. {via Josh Spear}


Holiday Cards: Part 1.

After seeing holiday decorations lined upon store shelves as early as mid-October, I made a promise to myself that I wouldn’t so much as mention Christmas until after Thanksgiving. Well, that day is finally here. Over the next few weeks I’ll share my favorite cards, a few recipes, some homemade/handmade ideas, and a lot of great things that could be given as gifts should you so choose.

(In most cases, the card shown is only a sampling of what the shop has to offer.)


A. Favorite Design

ash & anchor

Jack & Ella Paper Press

Kate’s Paperie

Pop Ink


Rifle Paper Co.

Starshaped Press

Two Brunettes


Happy {Thanksgiving} Weekend.

{Annie Schlechter}

Wishing all of you in the States full bellies, lots of leftovers, many a nap, and a very Happy Thanksgiving. I’ll be taking the rest of the week off for some much needed downtime spent with family and a plethora of desserts.

+ Now you can make your own Pumpkin Pie Spice, because that stuff is ‘spensive.

+ The most adorable fireplace.

+ A Pumpkin Caipirinha, yes please!

Happy Weekend!

Happy Thanksgiving!


Framed Friday: Cool Whip Cookies.

Hi there, this is Kate from Framed Cooks.  Framed Cooks started as a two week photography project, and two years later here I am, still trying to cook with teenagers and dogs constantly underfoot, still taking pictures of my supper, and still writing about my kitchen escapades for anyone who wants to listen to me!  My basic rule of thumb is this: everything I cook needs to be easy enough to make when you only have about 30 minutes to get dinner on the table… AND it needs to be something you haven’t made a million times before, because suppertime is so much happier when the food is interesting.

So those of you who have been following this blog for a little while know that I have this, um, obsession with cooking. Which sometimes works out okay if I am making soup or other things that can be stowed in the fridge and eaten for leftovers later on in the week.

Where I tend to get into trouble is with the whole baking thing. As in cookies. Because I live in a house where the Southern husband is perfectly capable of eating one cookie and leaving the rest in peace in the cookie jar, so unless the teenager is home with her usual horde of friends, the rest of the cookies sit there on the kitchen counter calling out to me. (And by the way, WHO eats just one cookie? I ask you.)

So over time I have learned that the solution to this particular situation is to pile those extra cookies onto a paper plate and bring them into the office, where I lay them out on the kitchen counter and send out a cookie alert on my Facebook page, and a few hours later when I stroll past the office kitchen the plate is empty. Sometimes a person or two will say “nice cookies!’ to me, but in general the empty plate is the way I know they were a success.

Until I made the Lemon Cool Whip Cookies.

Now to be totally honest, the only reason I made these was because I had a container of Cool Whip that I had bought for something else and never used. So I Googled “Cool Whip Recipes” and in addition to those scary Cool Whip Jello salads that you inevitably run into, I found this cookie recipe that called for a container of Cool Whip, a box of cake mix, two eggs and some confectioner’s sugar. That’s it. And while I am not usually a big cake-mix-user, since I was already down the road with the Cool Whip, I figured what the heck, and I made them, using a box of Duncan Hines Lemon Supreme cake mix.

My first hint was the Southern husband. When I make cookies and ask how many I should leave at home when I pack them up for the office, he usually says “Two.” (Two!!  I mean, really!). This time he said “Ten.”


Then I brought the rest in and put them in the office kitchen as usual.

I got phone calls.

I got emails.

I got messages on my Facebook wall.

I got an actual little handwritten thank you note that someone left on the empty plate.

Who knew that Cool Whip and cake mix were all I needed to spread such joy and happiness throughout the land? Now, a couple of notes about this recipe. You can make it with whatever flavor of cake mix you want – chocolate, vanilla, lemon, strawberry, Funfetti – your choice. And for that matter, you can make it with whatever flavor of Cool Whip you want as well. I have heard rumors that there is chocolate Cool Whip out there somewhere.  I haven’t actually SEEN it, but I’ve heard.

Second, when you mix up the ingredients the dough is going to be VERY sticky. Popping it in the fridge for about 30 minutes will make it a little easier to work with, but it’s still not a dough that you will want to use your hands for. My best advice is to scoop out about a tablespoonful with a spoon, drop it in the plate of powdered sugar, and then use a second spoon to help roll it around until it is nice and coated. Scoop it up and plop it on your cookie sheet and you are all set.

So there you go. Life is better with Cool Whip.

Lemon Cool Whip Cookies

from Allrecipes

• 1 (8 ounce) container frozen whipped topping, thawed
• 2 eggs
• 1 (18.25 ounce) package lemon cake mix
• 1/3 cup confectioners’ sugar for decoration
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease baking sheets.
2. Beat together the whipped topping and eggs together. Add the lemon cake mix and continue to mix. Dough will be sticky.  Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
3. Drop by teaspoonfuls into a bowl of confectioners’ sugar and roll to coat. Place cookies on the prepared baking sheets. Bake  for 11 minutes. Cool on racks.