Here Today … But What About Tomorrow?

Even by Kansas standards, our recent weather has been unusually variable. It has been gorgeous and sunny the past few days with high temperatures in the mid-80’s. (In case you don’t remember, we had snow last week.)  The warm weather has stimulated plants to put on a lot of growth and it is really starting to look like Spring; and yet cold weather is supposed to roll back in tomorrow with the chance of snow Thursday and Friday. That would be snow in May – not very good for the garden, even if it doesn’t stick around. So, I decided that I’d better enjoy the flowers while they last and get some photos of them today. I’m so glad that I did. Photographing flowers makes one stop and really look at them. What a nice thing!

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Lake House Cookies & Photos From the Lake

When I woke up this morning, I was craving these cookies, so after breakfast I made a batch. One good thing about running a bed and breakfast … having guests is always a great excuse to make cookies! After the recipe, I have included a photo of the cookies and pictures from my recent trip to the Adirondacks. Tomorrow, back to Kansas themes!

Lake House Cookies*

Makes about 28

Soft white chocolate chip cookies flavored with rum and studded with cranberries, coconut and walnuts. 

1 c. all-purpose flour (substitute white rice flour for gluten-free cookies or if you prefer crisper cookies)

3/4 t. baking powder

1/4 t. baking soda

1/4 t. salt

1/2 c. unsalted butter, softened

3/4 c. granulated white sugar

1 lg. egg

3/4 t. rum extract

5 oz. real white chocolate, chopped or 1 c. white chocolate chips

1/2 c. sweetened dried cranberries

1/2 c. sweetened flaked coconut

1/2 c. finely chopped walnuts

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line 3 baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
  3. In large bowl, beat together butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in egg and rum extract. On lowest mixer speed, beat in dry ingredients and then white chocolate, cranberries, coconut and walnuts.
  4. Scoop rounded tablespoonfuls of dough onto baking sheets leaving about 3” between cookies. Bake for about 12 to 14 minutes or until lightly browned on the bottoms and just barely set.  Place baking sheets wire racks and allow cookies to cool.

Lake House Cookies

Stop and Smell the Lilacs

One of my favorite lilacs is Charles Jolie. The one that we have is currently blooming and smells so delightful from the front porch. It has quite a history too. I originally planted it at our old house in 1997. Then when we moved here in 2000, I dug it up and brought it with us. About five years later, it developed lilac borers and we cut it down to the ground leaving only sucker shoots. It took a few years, but the shrub rejuvenated and has been replete with blossoms the last few Aprils. Oh, yes, and you really should smell it.