Blushing Kiss Martini

Morning Star Weddings

I’ve been thinking about ideas for Valentine’s Day and I came across a cocktail recipe from Bakers Royale that I thought would be really nice for the occasion – or  for a bridal shower! The combination of flavors in this is slightly tart, slightly florally, and quite refreshing and pleasant.


Blushing Kiss Martini

2 parts Gin

1 part St. Germain Elderflower Liqueur

1 part fresh Grapefruit Juice (preferably ruby red or pink grapefruit)

Place ingredients in a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake well and then strain into a martini glass. Garnish with a slice of ruby red or pink grapefruit. Enjoy!

(The Baker’s Royale version calls for the drink to be stirred with, and then garnished with a sprig of thyme; but I am not a huge fan of herbs in my drinks, so I omitted that. Their version also called for the drink to be poured through a…

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Daily Prompt: Books

Each month, I write a newsletter called The Morning Star Update. A semi-regular feature is book recommendations from our guests at the B&B. So I was pretty pleased with the theme for today’s prompt.

The History of Love by Nicole Krauss is a novel that I plan to read over the weekend. It was recommended to me by a delightful guest who has stayed with us a number of times; and I have enjoyed the other books that she suggested to me over the years. (Read a review of it from the NY Times.)

Wishing you a lovely weekend and a good book to read!


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Daily Prompt: Predictions/Future

During winter months, my flowering houseplants remind me that spring shall soon return and I will once again be out working in my beloved garden.

Orchid buds, showing promise for the future …



Beautiful orchids in bloom …Image


Photos are from this morning. Have a lovely day!

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Roses from Bridal Show

Morning Star Weddings

For The Morning Star’s booth at yesterday’s Manhattan Bridal Show, I bought four dozen pink, white, and pink-and-white roses, plus white, peach and pink alstroemeria, and branches of lemon leaves to make into arrangements for our booth. Connie, Anne and I enjoyed visiting with people who stopped by and we received lots of compliments on the flowers.







Thank you to Connie and Anne for their help and thank you to everyone who stopped by!

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Banana Brownies

This is a brownie recipe that I love because the brownies are super moist and let me make use of extra bananas, and an added bonus is that they freeze well. I just made a batch to put out for guests!Image

Banana Brownies

Not overly sweet or overly chocolatey, these have the added flavor and moistness of banana.

3/4 c. + 2 T. all-purpose flour

2 T. Dutch-process cocoa

1/4 t. salt

4 oz. semisweet chocolate, chopped or just over 3/4 c. semisweet chocolate chips

1/2 c. unsalted butter

1-2 lg. eggs (use 1 for denser brownies, 2 for cakier brownies)

1/2 c. dark brown sugar, firmly packed

1/2 c. granulated white sugar

1 c. mashed overripe banana (about 2 lg.)

1 t. vanilla extract

3.75 oz. chopped milk chocolate or 3/4 c. milk chocolate chips

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.  Butter and flour a 9” square baking pan or spray pan with baking spray.
  2. In  small bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa and salt. Set aside.
  3. Melt chocolate and butter together, stirring frequently. Set aside.
  4. In a large bowl, beat egg(s) and sugars together until light and fluffy. Beat in banana and then chocolate mixture. On lowest speed, beat in dry ingredients just until they are incorporated. Pour batter into prepared baking pan. Spread evenly.
  5. Bake for approximately 40 to 45 minutes or until firm on top and starting to pull away from edges of pan. (Do not rely on a cake tester.) Place baking pan on a wire rack to cool.

Tip: Freeze overripe bananas so that you have them available whenever needed for baking. Thaw and then peel before using.

Serving suggestion: Sift with confectioner’s sugar before serving or tuck into banana splits.



One of  my projects for today is to pack away our Christmas tree ornaments until next year.  Many of our ornaments are special pieces that have been made or chosen for us family and friends, and so as I put each away I think about these dear people and smile. Some ornaments, though, really make me grin. This feathered mercury glass Boston Terrier, for example, given to us by my sister-in-law Helen, is always one of the last that I box away because it makes me so happy to look at it. I hope that this brings a smile to your face as well!