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It's National Cupcake Day

A week ago we celebrated National Brownie Day and today it is National Cupcake Day .  I bet you are happy I told you that, aren't you?  You were looking for a reason to eat a cupcake weren't you?  Let's be honest, none of us need a reason to eat a cupcake.  After all, they are just small, single portion cakes, right?  No harm there.  Not if we eat just one.  In honor of National Cupcake Day I am sharing links to three of my favorite cupcake recipes from 2011.  Any of these would be a perfect choice for today's cupcake celebration.  These are not in order of preference because if truth be told, I love them all.  Each one has its own reason to shine.  Read on and decide which will suit your fancy today. Lemon-Lime Cupcakes Lemon-Lime Cupcakes If you are a lover of all things citrus, like me, you will adore this recipe.  These Lemon-Lime  Cupcakes are moist and flavorful, with a burst of lemon-lime flavor. Please make sure to add the citrus to your frosting

Beach Art

I walk along the beach at least a couple of times a week all year long.  It doesn't matter to me whether it is spring, summer, fall or winter.  I actually prefer the off-seasons when there are fewer people around.  The beach at those times is the perfect place to go to be alone with one's thoughts. Even though I usually walk the same stretch of beach it seems that the view is never the same.  The ocean seems to have an ever changing personality.  Some days it is bright and cheerful and other days it rages.  The beach, as well, changes daily.  One day it will looks smooth and pristine while the next day it will be covered in ruts and mounds of rock. Occasionally I find that some creative person has left his or her mark with a delightful beach sculpture.  I always stop to admire the work and wonder what the artist was thinking. Was it kids whiling away their day? Or, was the artist rejoicing in the rocks and driftwood offered by the tides? Whatever the reas

Five Ways to Kill Your Blog

Soon I will celebrate my one year anniversary of blogging.  Yes, it's hard to believe, but the end of December will mark a blogging milestone for me.  In anticipation of reaching this milestone I wanted to share five blogging "don'ts" gathered from reading and observing a multitude of blogs over this past twelve month period.  Am I a blogging expert after twelve months?  Not at all.  These "don'ts" are based on my experience and preferences as a blog writer and perhaps more importantly, a blog reader.  I've encountered these "don'ts" over and over again as I have blog-hopped the blogoshpere.  They reflect experiences with blogs I have only visited once because I have found those blogs to be unwelcoming or difficult to read. Five Ways to Kill Your Blog #1.   Don't make your blog readable Use a black background with colored fonts that make your readers strain their eyes Make your font too small (less than 12 points) and write

A Little Bit of Christmas

December is... Our Christmas tree... Remembering the first homemade ornaments from our first Christmas... A poinsettia plant here, a poinsettia plant there... Candles in the window... A welcoming pot of greenery at the door... A little bit of Christmas... Enjoy!

Hiking Dr. John Champlain Glacier Park

Map for Hiking Dr. John Champlain Glacier Park When December brings a weekend afternoon with temperatures in the 50s it is a great day to get out for a little exercise.  Hiking in the late fall and early winter can offer views of the terrain that may be obstructed when foliage is in full bloom. The Dr. John Champlin Glacier Park in Westerly, Rhode Island, offers a glimpse into terrain sculpted by the advance of Glaciers into southern New England.  A hike along the well-marked trails will give you an opportunity to see the ridges and valleys left by the receding glacier as well as breathtaking views of Block Island Sound, Block Island, and Long Island. If you have a smartphone, it is a good idea to take a picture of the trail map you'll find at the entrance points to the trails.  The two entrances I am aware of are either off Shore Road or Tom Harvey Road.  Parking is available in both locations.  You'll want the map because at various points in your hike you'll find

Celebrate National Chocolate Brownie Day

Did you know that tomorrow is National Chocolate Brownie Day?  Yes, it must be true because it says so right here .  It seems that just about every day of the the year it is national this or that day.  There's always a food to celebrate!  You won't get any quibbling from me about National Brownie Day.  Brownies are one of my favorite desserts.  They are easy to make and quickly satisfy that craving we all get every once in a while for fudgy, chocolate deliciousness.  So, in honor of National Chocolate Brownie Day tomorrow, let's make some brownies today.  The Intense Chocolate Brownie For a lovely, chocolaty, dense brownie that will make you want more try the Intense Chocolate Brownie.  It is a recipe from Joanne Chang of the Flour Bakery + Cafe in Boston, Massachusetts that includes unsweetened chocolate and bittersweet chocolate among its ingredients. Click the link for the printable Intense Chocolate Brownie recipe .  A Shiny, Crunchy Crust If you prefe

Cocktail Time-An Old Fashioned

Donna's Old Fashioned When the weather turns colder my preferences in cocktails change.  Right now I'm favoring a delightful mix of lemon, orange, bitters and Maker's Mark bourbon, that is my version of a cocktail from the age of great cocktails.  The Old Fashioned is purported to have its beginnings in the 1880s.  It was first offered as a bourbon cocktail at a gentleman's club in Louisville, Kentucky and was a favorite cocktail of presidents Harry S. Truman and Franklin D. Roosevelt. The original version of this drink muddles sugar with bitters, bourbon and a twist of citrus.  My version is made with the muddled rind and juices of lemon and orange, sugar, and a generous dose of bitters.  The cocktail is then strained into a short, round glass with 2 ounces of bourbon and topped with seltzer.  We're not done until the cocktail is adorned with two or three maraschino cherries.  Cheers! Donna's Old Fashioned Donna's Old Fashioned Ingredients 1/