A Chickadee and Pine Cone Cookies

IMG_6625It’s started snowing this morning, and we have that wonderful feeling of living inside a snow globe. Before the snow started, I was able to take a picture of a little chickadee, with the sun shining through his feathers.

IMG_6636This afternoon I made pine cone cookies with some molds I had purchased as a local Scandinavian import store. I love the way they turned out–very forest-y!

IMG_6638If there is no import store near you, the molds can be purchased on line at shopswedish.com, which is the online store for the American Swedish Institute in Minneapolis. Also, if you google “pine cone cookie molds,” you will find a number of other sources, including www.fantes.com, which is a cooking equipment store in Philadelphia. The set include nine nonstick molds, and should cost about nine dollars (plus tax and shipping).

IMG_6641The recipe that comes with the molds works perfectly, except–don’t fill up the entire mold. Only use about a teaspoon or so of dough, and with floured fingertips line the mold with the dough almost up to the edge. After baking, they will pop out perfectly.

IMG_6645After baking the cookies, I drove over to the Durant Peterson House Museum, which is in Leroy Oakes Forest Preserve, in St Charles. It was built in 1843, and today they were having their candlelit open house. I always love their Christmas tree, adorned with dried orange slices, cinnamon cookies, and straw ornaments.

IMG_6646The house is specially decorated for Christmas, and I love how simple and yet beautiful the decorations are. The tea lights in the hollowed-out oranges is a great idea.

IMG_6618Also, the other night (Dec. 6) I noticed an amazingly bright star in the sky, which turned out to be Venus. It was the brightest it would be all winter, and looked beautiful with the crescent moon.

IMG_6609With new suet cakes in, the downy woodpecker came to visit. Never noticed before that he seems to have a mustache!

Here are a few full-length photos of this beautiful bird. Namaste. Fran

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