Sunday, January 31, 2016

A Valentine's Day Table-So Much More Than Romance

With Valentine's Day fast approaching, I began to formulate images of flowers, candlelight, soft music and romance in my mind and jumped right into creating my Valentine's Day tablescape.  This year I combined the vibrant color of red with my black and tan leopard print.  The leopard print ribbon on the vase was last year's purchase from a Christmas clearance and it seemed to fit in so well with the leopard runner and deco balls.  I had enough ribbon left to make a bow for my red rose door wreath too.  Don't you feel a little provocative and sassy when you see this tablescape?  What kind of feelings does it conjure up for you?

What would Valentine's Day be without a bit of something sweet?  I, of course, love chocolate and would have no problem dreaming up a rich, delectable chocolate dessert.  However, I need to make every attempt at keeping those ever mounting calories down.  So for a more healthier option, I decided to make a simple but extremely delicious dessert.  My vanilla mascarpone cheese and fruit stuffed waffle cones are tantalizing yet not overly sweet and rich.  When I used mascarpone cheese for the first time several years ago, I immediately fell in love.  I admit, I am hooked on the silky smooth texture and delicate taste of mascarpone cheese and enjoy finding recipes that use a variation of it.  The stuffed waffle cone dessert includes my own mascarpone cheese whipped filling and is the perfect texture for filling the cone with a pastry bag.  Since I can control the amount of sugar or sweetness that goes into making this filling, it can be a better way to enjoy a dessert. It adds just the right amount of sweetness to the fruit and the waffle cone adds a bit of a crunch.  This dessert can also be served with colorful sprinkles and a whole lot of love. 


Of course, this leads me to "the something more" which I alluded to in the caption of my post.  As I was cleaning out my saved files on my computer, I came across an interesting excerpt taken from a book and posted from a Facebook friend.  I saved it for later use in my file entitled, Serious Ponderings.  This thought-for-the-day is an excerpt from the book, The Supper of the Lamb, written and published in 1967 by Robert F. Capon, author, Episcopal priest, theologian, chef and food writer.  This piece entitled, The Richest Subjects in the World, started me thinking about what really comprises my Valentine's Day dinner.  As you read it, give some thought as to how it relates to your Valentine's Day gathering or even your every day family meal.  

As I read this excerpt and then yet again, I began to believe that food and the dining experience at home was more than just eating for physical sustenance and to satisfy hunger.  Certainly, I do not want to ignore or minimize the importance of food giving nourishment and life, especially for those who go hungry.  But, I do believe that it is for this very reason and importance that we should look at food as something special and treat it as such--a blessing, a gift and a chance to bring people together around our dinner table and share it.  By welcoming others and sharing our meal with those who are at our table, we give a piece of our heart by way of our cooking.  Our shared dining experience also gives the ability and opportunity to show how much we care for each of those seated around our table and provide a spirit of belonging.   For me, it sets the stage for what truly goes on in a much broader sense.  Our sense of humanity begins here, around the dinner table.  It is where we share, give thanks for the good food that we eat and express our experiences, thoughts or plans with family and friends.

So before this Valentine's Day, and before you begin planning and preparing your menu, remember just how much more goes into your meal than you originally might have thought.  For me, it truly signifies a love profoundly much greater----it is a love expressed through food that is so much more than just romance.  It helps formulate our sense of humanity.

Happy Valetnine's Day!

Sunday, January 17, 2016

The Child Inside Us All When It Snows......A Snowman Vignette

Who still gets excited when you see the snow falling outside your window?  Somewhere beneath all the concerns of shoveling, driving and getting to a destination safely when the snow is falling, there is also that bit of excitement and glee that bubbles to the surface and the inner child in us all dances with joy.  Perhaps all of the thrill comes from childhood days of having a snow day from school and having the opportunity to run outside after breakfast to build the biggest snowman in the neighborhood?  Wouldn't hours fly by before you realize your mittens no longer kept your fingers warm and your cheeks and nose were so cold that they no longer had any feeling?  Before returning home, could you stand back and admire the huge balls of snow that turned into smiling works of art?

The best that I can do to help us relive those wonderful memories is to share with you the snowman vignette that nostalgically warms my heart and brings back images of days gone by.  These adorable snowmen plates and covered hot cocoa mugs found by my sweet sister makes for a perfect snack time for children and adults alike.   So come on in from the cold and grab a mug of hot chocolate and some buttery snowball cookies.  This merry snowman snack set is guaranteed to melt away winter blues and renew the youthful spirit in all of us. 

Sunday, January 10, 2016

A Valentine's Heart

Last year when the scrumptious chocolates were gone from the lovely padded heart box, I "didn't have the heart" to throw it away.  I decided to save it and thought to myself that there must be something I could do with it that could spare it from going into the trash bin.  So until now, it sat on a shelf waiting for me to give it some further thought.  With Valentine's Day a little over a month away, I began to look over what I had left in my supplies and realized that the cute little heart box could be converted into an adorable and lightweight front door decoration. So I eagerly started my project of re-purposing my empty candy box.

First, holes were punched on both sides of the top of the heart so that the ribbon could be strung through it for hanging it as a front door decor piece.

I then cut out a small heart-shaped piece of cardboard as a pattern for the heart that I would cut from the red and white gingham fabric that I had on hand.  Later, the cardboard heart was used as a sturdy backing for the fabric heart.

To the outer edges of the fabric heart, I sewed both red and white lace and added the small little red and white gingham bow.  This was then hot-glued to the heart-shaped cardboard piece that I used as a pattern and glued to the front and center of the padded heart-shaped candy box. More white lace was glued to the edges of the back of the box and a large bow was hung on top of the door hanger to cover it.  One, two three........I had a new front door decor piece and the little candy box was saved and could be adored and admired once again.  (Of course, I still wish it was full of chocolates!)

Sending you many hugs and kisses for a splendid Valentine's Day.

Friday, January 8, 2016

Feeling Playful....The New Look of The Little Yellow Corner Store

It is a new year and I am feeling a little playful and creative at The Little Yellow Corner Store.  So much so that I now decided it was time for me to experiment with my blog and learn a whole bunch in the process.  After all, with the many capabilities at one's fingertips to play with the blog's design, it is so much more exciting to change it out and really learn some of the elements that go into blogging, like incorporating vector graphics from the huge assortment available, designing your own banner and learning about pixel sizing, etc.

So to begin with, I realized through the help of a wonderful friend and blogger, that the name of my blog didn't really harmonize with the previous banner which included a log cabin, an autumn setting and a Victorian filigree element. Therefore, I thought the blog's design should be as whimsical as the name and it ought to convey a more jolly and lighthearted feel.  However, I needed to keep a few factors in mind.

First and foremost, the purpose of my blog, along with meeting great friends and fellow bloggers, is to exercise and stretch my imagination and dreams in ways that I could not before.  I see my blog as a way to challenge myself and grow creatively.  As a result, my first factor in considering my new blog design, stemmed from a bit of a dream that I had when the name was first chosen.  The name, The Little Yellow Corner Store, is part of desire I had long ago to own a charming brick and mortar and/or online gift store and, at one time, was a store that my daughter and I had for a short time on E-bay.  So choosing this name again, in a way, was an opportunity for me to "live out" my fantasy even though the result was only that of a dream in my blog.   

So with the name and purpose (real and unreal) established, the creation of the blog's personality began.  Of course, the color of sunny yellow was used again, not just to coordinate with the name of the blog, but because it is also a happy, jovial color.  In addition, the background was changed to a more humorous pattern.  The banner, which I designed myself, includes the darling, cheery little yellow corner store.   I hope you will agree that the blog is by far much more bright, fun and frolicsome.  As I continue to research other tools in blog design, I will continue to add, subtract or change it all together so that I may perfect it to the look I had hoped to achieve. (The fun is all in the learning!)  So come along with me for the ride that will be imaginative as well as adventurous!

I welcome any of your comments or feedback and hope you will continue to enjoy visiting The Little Yellow Corner Store.

Vivaciously yours,


PS.  Please be assured that I will continue to post my articles at the same time the blog is being redeveloped.  So stay tune for more ideas.