August 25, 2019

my favorite pumpkin spice cookies

The addition of pumpkin spices 
makes these spritz the perfect cookie for fall

The pumpkin shape and aromatic flavor of these
cookies will definitely get you in the mood for fall.

Celebrate the arrival of fall with these easy-to-make pumpkin spice butter cookies that will be sure to tingle your taste buds and put you in that perfect autumn mood. 

Traditionally known as spritz, these light butter cookies are usually made around Christmas, but now with the addition of cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and cloves, they’re perfect for fall. 

Warm all your senses on those cold autumn afternoons, with Pumpkin Spiced Spritz and a hot cup of coffee.

Did you ever make spritz cookies growing up? I have vivid memories of decorating spritz during the holidays when I was a little girl and being amazed at how beautiful the cookies were when they came out of the oven.  

Tingle your taste buds and put yourself in that perfect autumn mood with these delicious Pumpkin Spice Spritz.

These adorable holiday cookies are so easy to make with the help of one simple kitchen gadget, a cookie press, which comes with a variety of different disks.

Create your own little blend of glittery sprinkles by combining different colors of sparkling sugars.

My cookie press came with this adorable pumpkin shape, but leaves and circular forms can easily be dressed up for fall. Additional disk shapes for other holiday and themes can also be purchased and added to your collection.

A custom mix of sparkling sugars gave me the desired
shine I was going for on these little pumpkin cookies.

The recipe for these cookies is very straight forward and foolproof. I found that the cookies stick better to metal cookie sheets, as opposed to parchment paper or a silpat. 

The first cookie probably won’t turn out pretty, so just throw it back into the bowl of batter. It just takes a little bit of practice to figure out how much clicking is needed to get the perfect cookie on to the baking sheet.

For this batch of cookies, I created my own little blend of glittery sprinkles by combining orange, yellow, gold and white sparkling sugars. This custom mix gave me the desired festive look I was going for. 

In addition to the glittery colors, I used natural food color in the batter to give the perfect pumpkin hue.

Pumpkin Spice Spritz Cookies 

2 sticks butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
natural orange food color (optional)
Sprinkles for garnish

1.   Preheat oven to 350.

2.   Combine butter and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer and mix on medium-low until well combined and airy, about 4 to 5 minutes.

3.   Add the vanilla and the egg; mix to incorporate.

4.   If desired, add a few drops of natural food color and mix until combined.

5.   In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, salt and pumpkin pie spice.

6.   With the electric mixer on low, add flour mixture slowly to the butter mixture. Mix until just combined. Do not overmix.

7.   Fill the Cookie Press with cookie dough.

8.   Press the cookies onto ungreased baking sheets.

9.   Decorate cookies with seasonal sprinkles.

10.  Bake until firm and golden, about 8 to 10 minutes.

11.  Remove cookies from oven and let set for 2 minutes.

12.  Transfer cookies to a wire rack to cool completely.

Pumpkin Spritz Cookies will keep up to a week in an airtight container.
Makes about 4-5 dozen.

Feel free to add your own special touch to this recipe!

ciao! fabiana

This article originally appeared on Romantic Homes online.

August 24, 2019

a peek at tuesday's magazine shoot

Inspiration photo

I’m really looking forward to Tuesday. That’s the day we’ll be shooting the magazine layout of my friend Laura’s home, and today I’m sharing just a little tiny sneak peek of what’s in store...

We have the preliminary layout for the alfresco table using Laura’s lovely flower chintz plates and rustic placemats set on a casual ivory tablecloth.

We won’t be using the amethyst colored glasses seen here. 

We’re going with green, as it picks up colors from the garden and the outside of the house. 

Green goblets

Chances are we’ll be adding these vintage green goblets that also appeared in the December 2018 issue of Romantic Homes in this fanciful Christmas tablescape.

Inspiration photo

The center of the table will feature a eucalyptus garland, accented with flowers that play off the blossoms on the plates, and it might be fun to add some sort of candlelight...  

Inspiration photo

We’ll use smaller flowers and no lemons… 

Inspiration photo

Laura’s backyard is so perfect for entertaining, and the fire pit gathering spot in the distance will also be styled in a fun way!

Inside, Laura’s adorable cottage is styled perfectly and has a fun mid-century vibe to it. Together we arranged the vintage bar cart using colorful Italian glassware and a few dear mementos. 

I hope you’re having a wonderful weekend! I’ll share a little more of this photo shoot next week.

ciao! fabiana

Inspiration photos: pinterest

August 23, 2019

latest fall features for Country Sampler

Apple Walnut Brownies

The arrival of autumn ushers in the coziest season of all. The time of year when apples ripen and pumpkin spices are everywhere is absolutely my favorite season.

That’s why I’m so excited to share with you today a few of my recipes and projects that are currently featured in magazines.

The first is a recipe for the most decadent "Apple Walnut Brownies". This recipe was given to me by my good friend Sharon who’s happy to share it with Country Sampler.

I can’t give away the recipe just yet, so you’ll have to check out the latest issue of their Autumn Decorating magazine to get the details.

What I can tell you is that they’re sort of a “blondie” with freshly chopped apples, walnuts and chocolate chips! I’ve never had anything quite like these!

In this same issue, they’ll be sharing my Thanksgiving table setting from a few years back. The simplicity of the twin feathers and “Be Thankful” charms set on ivory Wedgwood has become a classic on pinterest.

This Country Sampler Autumn Decorating issue will be out the first week of September but you can take peek at it here.

French Potato Watercress Soup

A creamy and luscious Potato Watercress Soup is a staple in most Parisian bistros and this easy recipe is now featured in the newest issue of Country Sampler Farmhouse Style, now available.

As before, I can't divulge the recipe, but I can say it's one of the easiest soups I've ever made and only requires four ingredients, tree of which you may already have in your kitchen!

Also included in this issue is this easy DIY for a twig wreath adorned with apples. So cute at the front door or even in the kitchen, this project won’t take more than 30 minutes to complete!

I currently finished four projects that’ll be included in Country Sampler Farmhouse Style’s Spring issue. I’m not much of a crafty person any more, but I have to say I did make three amazing (and easy) projects for them, and it was a lot of fun!

Two of those d├ęcor crafts are for Easter, and I can’t wait for you to see them! The fourth collaboration was a rhubarb recipe. I’ll share lots of details with you in the new year!  

ciao! fabiana

(Tablecloth shown in soup and brownie photo is 

August 22, 2019

my summer into fall table

Here’s a different look for me... black and white and green all over is the name of the game with this summer into fall tablescape.

This little collection of thrifted glassware inspired the little bouquets of mums and chamomile.

On Tuesday I shared the preliminary look of this table, and now the last finishing touches have been added, and it’s ready for our Friday night dinner. 

This black and white table has been transformed with the addition of colorful thrifted glassware and sweet little flowers found at Trader Joe’s.

These chamomile flowers that look like petite daisies are one of the most underestimated flowers you can get at the grocery store, and so affordable too!

And of course, my favorite napkins are on full display!

The embroidered lettering is so perfect a totally matches the “Homemade Apple” font I use for this blog. ­čśĆ 

And of course these little pumpkin plates add just the right amount of fall fun to the table.

Isn’t it fun to thinking outside the box? I’m always striving to create new ways to style a table, and this was a fun departure from my beloved blue and white look.  

I love green for fall. It’s a great departure from the usual autumn tones we see.

I’ll be back tomorrow with a peek at our next photo shoot for Cottages & Bungalows.

ciao! fabiana

August 21, 2019

favorite fall tablescapes

Transitioning from summer to fall d├ęcor is a gradual process. I like to slowly start introducing autumn elements right about now but don’t go totally into “fall”  mode until September.  

Today I'm sharing some of my favorite fall tablescapes. It's always helpful to highlight favorite elements with my little list of go-to seasonal items:

├╝ Sunflowers
├╝ White pumpkins
├╝ Soft plaid throws
├╝ Raffia & burlap
├╝ Copper & gold accents
├╝ Earth tones and black & white
├╝ Wood elements
├╝  Whimsical details
├╝ Vintage accessories
├╝ Subtle hints of orange

Small, fringed plaid throws are one thing I love to hunt for during the year. I’ve found some great ones in thrift stores and at Home Goods, over the years. 

In fact, I found a really cute small one this year in Savannah that will be part of a new tablescape soon!

Once you place them on a table, especially an outdoor table, they instantly say “Hello fall!”  

Another thing to spy at thrift stores during the year, but especially now, are pumpkin plates of any kind. The ones that are pumpkin shaped are so cute at a place setting.

An ombre color palette in gold is very appropriate for fall and brings a bit of glamour to the table.

Soft colored pumpkins are my favorite!

Placemats are the best way to add the necessary texture you need for autumn. I love how they frame the dishes, as well.

Black and white is the most elegant backdrop 
for the month of October with 
Halloween finishing off the month with a bang!

Wooden chargers and silverware help create a lovely fall look at this table. A macrame runner adds texture and the vintage amber glasses add sparkle.

This is an unusual look for me, and it was dictated by this fringed throw and these amazing pumpkins from Roger’s Garden. 

Scatter a little fresh greenery and twigs to soften the look. These are just clippings from my olive tree.

I kind of love this table I styled for Serena & Lily.

This monochromatic look was accented with their pretty napkins embroidered in orange and fresh peach roses and cabernet-colored mums at the center of the table.

Mini baby boo pumpkins fill out this wooden trough and get accented with soft green moss, dusty miller and webby cheesecloth.

Simplicity is sometimes the best way to go! 

Here we have a more whimsical take on Halloween. Again we have a black and white palette with just a hint of orange.

This is probably the most intricately layered table I’ve ever set. The mood I was going for was elegant Halloween with a hint of Harry Potter for fun.

The table runner was actually made from pages of a worn copy of a "Goblet of Fire" paperback. I just layered and layered... open books, plants, pumpkins and a few little critters.

Behind the scenes, this was difficult to photograph. The floating candles were a must but a challenge to get just right on film.

In fact, to get just the right final "overhead" shot, I had to move the entire table, which didn't fit through the doorway upright, into my family room. My dining room has low ceilings, and I couldn't capture the whole table, so what did we do?

My husband and I slid the whole centerpiece of the table onto a board, moved the table, and then slid the whole layered look back onto the table. 

I've learned my lesson never to do that again!  

Next are two Thanksgiving tables that got their 
inspiration from a simple little Be thankfulCharm

Simply tied with raffia, these little charms speak volumes whether they’re adorning a little twig wreath or two elegant pheasant feathers. Simply placed on your best china, these are always a fan favorite!

It’s been four years since I found these, and I’ve used these lucky charms for every Thanksgiving so far!

Today I’m headed back to the Orange Circle and will hopefully stop by some of the great antique stores there! 

May the treasure hunting begin…

ciao! fabiana

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