Happy Valentine’s Day!

Hopefully everyone had a fun day whether coupled up or single — I always liked Valentine’s Day because it encourages people to express love (something everyone should do everyday, but this is a good place to start) and it’s probably the best aesthetic holiday… ever? I spent most of my day baking (these amazing linzer cookies above!) and wrapping gifts, but I had time to make a few homemade Valentine’s cards for some neighbors, relatives, and friends.

Ok… maybe they’re more like anti-Valentines, but you get the picture. We’ve all got a good sense of humor around here 🙂 I use very simple, accessible supplies when crafting cards such as these. All you need is:

  • Card stock
  • Scissors and x-acto knife
  • Patterned paper
  • Mini doilies
  • Glue stick
  • Stamps & Ink Pad, if desired
  • Magazines (I love & always use vintage magazines — I tend to find them in antique stores or library magazine exchange racks)

 

Now for the cookies…. these Raspberry Linzer cookies are some of my favorite cookies of all time. I usually reserve them only for Christmas, but since Valentine’s Day calls for some special treats I dug out some heart-shaped cookie cutters and went to town. These are gooey in the center, tart and sweet, and so so pretty dusted with powdered sugar & glistening with jam! While they’re pretty easy to make, I don’t know why I don’t do it more often.

  • 3 sticks of butter at room temperature
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup seedless raspberry jam or good raspberry preserves

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°
  2. Cream the butter and sugar together in an electric mixer and add the vanilla
  3. Sift together flour and salt in a large bowl and add it to the butter/sugar mixture, mixing until a dough forms
  4. Dump the dough out onto a floured board and shape into a disk. Wrap in plastic and chill for 30 minutes
  5. Roll the dough out and begin cutting rounds or hearts (whichever shape you desire). For the bottoms, just press your cookie cutter into the dough as usual. For the tops, you may need to double up on cutters — using a smaller one in the center in order to form a hole for the jam.
  6. Place all of your cookies on a baking sheet and chill for 15 minutes
  7. Bake the cookies for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the edges turn golden
  8. Allow cookies to cool
  9. Spread your jam or preserves on the flat side of each bottom half
  10. Sift confectioner’s sugar over each top half, then press your cookies together to form a little jam-cookie sandwich

Voilà! A simple but delightful treat. You may use any kind of jam or preserves you prefer, but I always stick with raspberry because I think it really complements the simple, buttery flavor of the cookie dough. Enjoy!

Upon writing my pro-winter post, I wanted to share a personal love of mine that doubles as hobby, a channel for creativity, and a way to calm my usually-scattered brain.

It’s organizing music. Making carefully designed playlists and burning them off to CDs, ’cause who says you need Spotify to share tunes? I’m old fashioned that way. Upcoming holidays? I’ve got a mix for that. Long drive on the agenda? Same deal. Call me a control freak, I don’t mind. Having a carefully selected playlist prepared will always be of utmost importance to me.  In any case, here’s a mix I made last year to get through the winter blues.

One of my other favorite pastimes include collaging — and I love to collect vintage magazines from the 50s and beyond and use them in my work. Above is the cover I made to accompany this mix using an advertisement for sunscreen, a snowy winter scene from a nature photography book, and aluminum foil. The music I chose represents what winter is to me in sounds — a blend of atmospheric, shoegazey tracks met with crisp notes and light electronic beats, with a few old fashioned classics thrown in. Perfect for your snowy commute or relaxing indoors. Enjoy!

  1. Chelsea Wolfe – House of Metal
  2. The Phoenix Foundation – The Captain
  3. Cocteau Twins – How to Bring a Blush to the Snow
  4. Benny Goodman Orchestra & Peggy Lee – Winter Weather
  5. Giles Corey – Blackest Bile
  6. Grizzly Bear – Lullabye
  7. Blonde Redhead – My Plants Are Dead
  8. Brand New – Luca
  9. Okkervil River – In a Radio Song
  10. The Sound – Winter
  11. My Bloody Valentine – I Only Said
  12. Björk – Cocoon
  13. Molly Nilsson – More Certain Than Death
  14. New Order – Ceremony
  15. Nico – Winter Song
  16. Hiski Salomaa – Lännen Lokari