Christmas, 2015

Was your Christmas holiday merry and bright? I certainly hope so! Here in New York's Hudson Valley, Christmas eve of 2015 was unusual weather-wise, as temperatures soared to a record-breaking high of 71°F. It was not a day to stay indoors! Read more »

Orange Cognac Cookies

Wowzers! That's not a real word, but it seems the best description for these holiday treats. They're light, buttery, and perfectly perfumed with Grand Marnier. Santa loves 'em, as do his overworked-and-underpaid elves. I think you'll love 'em, too. They are incredibly easy to make. Read more »

Caramel-Chocolate Mousse (GF)

Yes, I know that Christmas is around the corner. But here in New York's Hudson Valley, we're enjoying April-like weather. To celebrate, I made a batch of Caramel-Chocolate Mousse, and devoured it on my sun-flooded front porch. Read more »

Christmas Glögg!

Monday was my birthday, and boy, did I live it up! I mopped the kitchen floor. I folded some laundry. And then, just for the heck of it, I made some beautiful-beautiful Glögg. Read on, and I'll give you a few fun facts about this Swedish Christmas beverage, along with my step-by-step recipe: Read more »

Old House Living: Redecorating the Library

In my latest bit of old-house news, we're redecorating the library. This upstairs room -- it was previously a bedroom -- had become a catch-all for newspapers, magazines, CDs, antiquated VHS tapes, and too many books for our existing bookcases. Read more »

My Case Against Open Floor Plans

Any house-hunters out there? Mind telling me what kind of home you're looking for? If your goal is a new(ish) house with an open floor plan, you're not alone. According to HGTV's "Property Virgins," everyone wants what you want! Still, I hope you won't overlook the benefits of owning an old, "traditional" house. There's something to be said about walls, rooms, and doors. Read more »

Christmas: How to Decorate A Mantel

WHAT'S MY FAVORITE DECEMBER CHORE? Decorating the fireplaces in this 19th century house. For a Victorian look, I deck the mantels with evergreen boughs and lots of fresh, colorful fruit. The procedure, which could also work for a dining table or a bookcase, goes something like this: Read more »