The perfect recipe for Sand Tarts.

Sand Tarts Recipe

Today I’m sharing a tried and true recipe for Sand Tarts. They are one of my favorite cookies to make during the holidays, not too sweet and melt-in-your-mouth good.

Getting out the vintage flour sifter takes me back to age of six, standing on a chair, helping my mom make cookies.  My favorite part was measuring the ingredients, then I lost interest until the cookies came out of the oven.

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Celebrating With St. Patrick’s Day Recipes

Thank you for dropping by Thistle Key Lane for my 100th post. Wow, it’s been a little over a year  since the folly fun began with the launch of my blog.

 

Celebrate

 

This calls for a toast with some fantastic cocktails. St. Patrick’s Day is almost here, which is perfect timing to celebrate and share a few recipes. It’s never too early to start planning a St. Patty’s bash, or preparing your taste buds for a special treat, before strolling into your favorite pub.

 

Chalkboard Sign Thistle Key Lane Pub

 

Pick your poison from the board, and don’t worry, this is mixology at a beginner level.

Lucky Lady,  Ginger Martini,  Irish Mule or Nutty Irish Pirate

 

Bar Ingredients

 

Today’s specials were created with Jameson Irish Whiskey, Captain Morgan Rum, Frangelico Liqueur and Baileys Irish Cream.

 

Lucky Lady with green sugar

 

Lucky Lady

  • 1 oz. Baileys Irish Cream
  • 1/2 oz. Irish Whiskey
  • Green  sugar to rim the glass

The Lucky Lady should be served in a shot glass, as displayed on the Baileys Irish Cream site, but I think my tall stem glasses do nicely in-a-pinch.

 

Lucky Lady


 

Ginger Martini

  • 3 oz. Irish Whiskey
  • Juice from 1 lemon
  • 1 oz. Simple Syrup
  • Crystalized Ginger

Combine whiskey, lemon juice and simple syrup in a shaker with ice.

Shake for 10 seconds and strain into a martini glass. Garnish with a slice of crystalized ginger. I suggest Meyer lemons, if you can find them. They really are the best.

 

Ginger Martini with smoked salmon

 

Ginger Martini with crystalized ginger garnish

 

 


 

Irish Mule

  • 1 ½ oz. Irish Whiskey
  • 3 oz. Ginger Beer
  • 3-4 Dashes of Orange Bitters

Serve over ice with a stir. Garnish with an orange slice or a shamrock cut from a cucumber. Just use your imagination, and work with me…alright 😉

 

Irish Mule

 

Irish Mule with a shamrock cucumber

 

Irish Mule with appetizers


 

Nutty Irish Pirate

  • 1 oz. Frangelico Liquor
  • 1 oz. Baileys Irish Cream
  • 1 oz. Spiced Rum
  • Splash of Half-n-Half
  • Sprinkle of Nutmeg

Combine Frangelico, Baileys Irish Cream and spiced rum in a shaker with ice.

Shake for 10 seconds and strain over ice. Top with a splash of half-n-half and a sprinkle of nutmeg.

 

Nutty Irish Pirate

 

Nutty Irish Pirate with nutmeg

 

The first time I ordered a Nutty Irish Pirate, was at Brennen’s in New Orleans.  It’s very similar to a Nutty Irishman, but has rum instead of whiskey.

 

Come as you are

 

Don’t forget the appetizers or you’ll be seeing things…

Cheers!

 

SaveSave

SaveSave

Be My Valentine

A simple old-fashioned wish, “Be my Valentine” and a Valentine wreath with a twist.

 

Be My Valentine Chalkboard

 

On the front door is a heart wreath with an argyle look. With the fun seafaring colors, it can stay up long past Valentine’s Day.

 

Front Door

 

 

 

I love argyle patterns almost as must as I love plaid, and that’s saying something. The last few years, I’ve made several different versions of this wreath with fall leaves, hearts and diamond shapes. The color combinations and holiday themes could be endless.

Supplies for this project:

  • Styrofoam wreath
  • Indigo blue yarn
  • Natural cotton string
  • Baby pink and royal blue felt
  • Scissors
  • Glue dots or low-temp glue gun

This project comes together so quick.  First wrap the wreath with yarn making sure the strands are tight and close together.

 

Wrapping yarn around the wreath

 

Next make a pattern for the hearts and trace around the pattern with a marker on the felt.

 

Heart shapes

 

After cutting out the heart shapes, arrange them on the wreath. Once the desired pattern is set, secure the felt hearts with a few glue dots, which hold instantly.  I’m very  impressed with glue dots and didn’t even know they existed until recently. Obviously, I need to get out more.

 

Argyle pattern

 

Lastly, wrap the cotton string across the hearts to form the argyle pattern.

 

Hearts and white cotton string

 

Valentine Wreath on Shelf

 

I took a few photos with the wreath propped on a shelf for a side view of the hearts.

 

Valentine Wreath Side View

 

Wreath with a bow

 

The bow is optional.  I prefer the masculine look but you may fancy a wide delicate bow. Either way just have fun with it.

 

Pretty bow and wreath

 

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Cheers!

 

St. Valentine’s Day

I have been saving these vintage Valentine stickers and Valentine card for a while.  I found them while cleaning out my dad’s things a few years ago.  It was a daunting task going through boxes of papers, letters and photos. Some of the memorabilia dated back three generations, which was a remarkable adventure. I really thought I would  find some hidden secret or a rare postage stamp worth a million dollars. No such luck. As it turned out, the treasures I found were all sentimental.

 

Envelope Stickers

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Say Cheese

Cheese trays are such a delight to create.  Deciding on the cheese to serve is only half the fun.   I love exploring new varieties but always leave room for one or two of my revered favorites. I almost consider cheese to be its very own food group. What could be better than a great bottle of wine, a baguette and cheese!

Party Ready

When surveying the cheese counter, I think about varying the flavors and textures.  Then I imagine how each cheese will pair and mingle with other accompaniments, such as fruit, nuts, bread or crackers.

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Pumpkin Bread Pudding

This year we had a not-so-traditional Thanksgiving feast, but at least we did have something made from pumpkin.  At the top of my list to make again was Pumpkin Bread Pudding, adapted from a Southern Living recipe, Caramel-Pecan-Pumpkin Bread Pudding.

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Scotland Memories

The B&B Moyness House in Inverness was perfectly charming with Victorian accents, interesting nooks, beautiful moulding, a coal-burning fireplace and large windows. We found the sitting room to be very comfy. It was a perfect spot for writing in our journals since we wanted to capture every detail of our trip. The Highland breakfast was amazing as promised. After three mornings of the best fresh eggs, bacon and vegetables imaginable, it was time to pack the car and head to Edinburgh.

Moines House B&B

Moyness House B&B

Did I forget to mention, the one thing I absolutely didn’t want to do was rent a car?! Turns out, even though the train ride from Edinburgh to Inverness would have been fascinating, the car thing (driving on the wrong side) wasn’t so bad.  I’m pretty sure I scared my daughter way more than any other drivers in Scotland and ultimately she took over that responsibility!  Score one for Miss Daisy!

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Happy 4th of July

Happy 4th of July everyone! The air was very steamy this morning when my wheaten, Sandy and I set out for our walk. Before long I felt like my tongue was hanging out too, but we were quickly dazzled by many of our neighbor’s doors decorated for the 4th with flags waving.

Front porch on the 4th of July

Front porch on the 4th of July

I’m finally sharing how the stars and stripes letter, (I previously posted about in May) looks on my front door.  Continue reading