Creativity One Cup at a Time



Recipe~ Raspberry Mousse

~Raspberry Mousse~

Fresh raspberries make this a wonderfully light, richly flavored, and luscious dessert. 

~Raspberry Mousse~
6 servings

2 pints raspberries, washed
2 envelopes unflavored gelatin
3 tablespoons sugar
4 teaspoons lemon juice
6 egg whites, (I use pasteurized eggs)
1/3 cup of sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 cups whipping cream
(Optional: 2 tablespoons Chambord for additional flavor)

Reserve 6 raspberries for garnish. Place the rest of the raspberries in a blender or food processor; puree on medium.
Strain puree through a fine sieve to remove seeds.

In a medium saucepan:
Add 1/3 raspberry puree
Mix in: gelatin and sugar
Stir mixture together and cook over low heat until gelatin is dissolved (takes a 2-3 minutes).
Remove from heat and add the rest of the raspberry puree, (Chambord), and lemon juice.
Pour puree into a medium bowl and place in the freezer for about 10 minutes.
You want to chill the mixture, until you can remove mounded spoonfuls, do not allow the mixture fully gel.
If this happens, place in the microwave for 30 seconds to soften the mixture. Stirring halfway so there’s no hot spots.
Once the puree has chilled sufficiently, remove from the freezer and keep at room temperature, while you prepare the whipped cream and egg whites.

In a large bowl, with  your mixer on high speed: beat egg whites until soft peaks form.
Gradually add 1/3 cup of sugar (2 tablespoons at a time) until stiff, glossy peaks form.
Next, using the same beaters, on medium speed, beat chilled raspberry mixture until light about two minutes.
In another large bowl, whip the cream until it forms stiff peaks.

Gently fold the raspberry mixture, and whipped cream into the whipped egg whites, until it’s well mixed.
Spoon raspberry mousse into 6-8 ounce ramekins and refrigerate until fully set, a minimum of 2 hours.
Garnish with a fresh raspberry and mint sprig.
For an additional garnish, make chocolate curls using a vegetable peeler, shave the sides of a chocolate bar.


Poem~ Morning Unveiled

Morning Unveiled

As I looked at you,
Through half closed eyes.
In the dappled light of morn.

Awakened so gently,
From dark mists of night.
By murmurs of mourning doves.

As if I have long walked,
Paths of deep shadows.
From far off distant lands.

Beckoned to your side,
By unspoken words.
Through the passages of time.

Unveiling our hearts,
The goodness of love,
Imprints on each others soul.

For one’s heart must yield,
When desire transcends.
As nightfall captures the day.

Your words now whispers,
Cascade from above.
Mingled with bliss and delight.

There is a fondness,
Surpassed by mere words.
With each tender caress.

Searching and longing,
With each ardent kiss.
Amid a torrent of joy.

As we acquiesce,
Allured through splendor,
Of corporeal pleasures.

For this nights sojourn,
In each others arms,
Brings such serene contentment.

The morning unfurls,
In a chorus of birds.
When nights hold evaporates.

Day breaks gleaming flame,
Burnishes the dawn.
In cascades of amber light.

Beams of light glimmer,
Dance across your face.
With every delicate breeze.

For the path I walk,
Always at your side.
Awaits the dawn of morning.

Mariann Hayes

© Mariann Hayes 2011. All Rights Reserved

Poem~ Love


Love means to learn to look at yourself
The way one looks at distant things
For you are the only thing among many.
And whoever sees that way heals his heart,
Without knowing it, from various ills-
A bird and a tree say to him: Friend.

Then he wants to use himself and things.
So that they stand in the glow of  ripeness.
It doesn’t matter whether he knows what he serves:
Who serves best doesn’t always understand.

~Czeslaw Milosz~

Annie’s Best Danish Puff

~Annie’s Best Danish Puff~

A wonderfully, rich dessert made from wholesome ingredients. Perfect to serve with tea, particularly, Earl Grey! Enjoy!



½ cup butter, softened
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons water


½ cup butter
1 cup water
1 teaspoon almond extract
1 cup all-purpose flour
3 eggs

Powdered Glaze (recipe below)

How to toast almonds: Place sliced or chopped almonds onto an ungreased cookie sheet. Toast in oven for 4 minutes at 350 degrees or until golden brown and fragrant. Keep an eye on the almonds, they can burn easily.

To Make the Crust:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Cut ½ cup butter into 1 cup flour until particles are the size of peas.
Sprinkle 2 tablespoons water over flour mixture; mix with fork.

Gather pastry into a ball; divide into 2 halves. Pat each half circle, about 8 to 10 inches in diameter. Place circles, 2 – 3 inches apart, onto an ungreased cookie sheet, lined with parchment paper.

To Make Topping:

Heat ½ cup butter and 1 cup water to a boil; remove from heat.

(Note: be extremely careful when water reaches a boil, so water/butter mixture does not come into contact with flame or heat source. This can cause a fire.)

Quickly stir in almond extract and 1 cup flour. Stir vigorously over low heat until mixture forms a ball, about 1 minute, remove from heat. Add eggs; beat vigorously until smooth and glossy.

Spread half of the topping over each circle. Bake until topping is crisp and brown, about 1 hour. Remove from oven and cool. Topping will shrink and fall, forming the custard-like top.

Spread or drizzle with powdered Sugar Glaze and sprinkle with toasted almonds.

Powdered Sugar Glaze

1/2 cup sliced almonds, toasted
1½ cups powdered sugar
2 tablespoons butter, softened
1½ teaspoons vanilla
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
2 tablespoons of milk

Mix all ingredients into a medium bowl and stir in milk, adding on tablespoon at a time until smooth and drizzling consistency.

Willow Cottage

I’ve been playing with rose petals in my kitchen, along with scented herbs & plants. This is a wonderful rose scented, simple syrup to use in baking, iced teas andother beverages.

Photographs by Mariann Hayes

~Rose Petal Simple Syrup~

In a small, glass, heat-proof bowl  or saucepan:
1 cup of very warm simple syrup
1/2 cup packed rose petals, unsprayed

Gently stir syrup and petals so petals are coated or submerged in the syrup. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and steep overnight or at least 10 hours.

Strain the syrup into a glass jar and store in the refrigerator.

Will keep for 10 days in the refrigerator. Use in iced teas, lemonades, alcoholic beverages and baking. Enjoy!

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A Tea Story~ Blue Calico, A Very Special Anniversary China


A Tea Story~ Blue Calico Transferware

When I was first married, I discovered my favorite color… cobalt blue,  and incorporated into my decorating throughout the house. After we moved back to Minnesota, I was going to school and taking care of my parents. Life was very hectic, and then our daughter came along. For us, going for rides in the Minnesota or Wisconsin countryside was our way of escaping the confines of the city and busy schedules. We would pack a lunch, get in the car and go for a drive. One day, on a day trip to Red Wing, Minnesota we discovered a wonderful china shop, and that’s when I spied it…cobalt blue and white dinnerware. The English pattern was ‘Blue Calico’ and I fell in love with it. There was one drawback, it was more than what we could afford on our budget, and I dreamed of having a lovely set to serve company during dinners and special occasions.

Years passed by, and we were approaching our 30th anniversary.  I can say that after 30 years of buying gifts, we were both at a loss what to get each other. Our custom was to go out for a lovely dinner, or I made a special meal for us to enjoy at home. After dinner, we exchanged cards and gifts.

The weekend before our anniversary, we were shopping at Marshall’s where we each went our separate ways. John headed over to the shoe department and I went to look for sheets and towels. A few minutes later, I spied John in the housewares section of the store and rather curious, began making my way over in his direction. Just as I turned into the aisle, he spun around with a large dinner plate in his hand, along with a huge grin on his face. In his hands was a plate, not just any ordinary plate, but a plate I had always wished for….Blue Calico! My face must have registered surprise, delight, and awe…he began laughing. “Where did you find it?”, I signed in huge sweeping gestures. John stepped aside and I could see he had filled the cart with all manner of dishes and the sale price was incredible, compared to the retail price. That’s when he asked me, “How many sets do you want…8, 10, 12? We’ll have to see if we can find more pieces at other stores.”

For rest of that Saturday, we drove around the Twin Cities buying every piece of Blue Calico we could find. I recall being concerned we might get into an accident and all of the lovely dishes packed into our car would be smashed. When we reached the Roseville store,  we were close to completing a service for eight. Imagine our relief when we discovered the store had a huge inventory of Blue Calico. We filled up our cart to complete a service for eight, along with additional serving pieces. I made my way to the checkout, and John lagged behind. The girl at the register remarked how pretty the dishes were, and I told her how many years I had been waiting to buy the set. She  double wrapped each dish in paper, and carefully stacked them in my cart. Heading out to the car I noted…not only did I have my dream china, we could easily afford a service for eight!!

The backseat was overflowing with bags of Blue Calico, and as I stood next to the car contemplating where to put more dishes, John appeared from around the front of the car…pushing another cart!
“Surprise! I got you another set for eight! Happy Anniversary!”

The next weekend was our 30th anniversary and I made a very special dinner for us. The table was resplendent with blue and white calico dishes, lovely roses, antique linens, glassware and candles. In fact, candles were burning throughout the entire house that evening, bathing the rooms in a soft, romantic glow. The highlight of the evening was dessert. Every year I make my favorite wedding cake recipe~ a white cake covered with white, butter-cream frosting. In candlelight, it looked more beautiful than ever before, served on plates with deep cobalt blue and white…my anniversary china.

Refreshing Rhubarb & Ginger Spritzer

~Rhubarb & Ginger Spritzer~


Rhubarb & Ginger Syrup


8 cups, washed, trimmed and unpeeled, diced rhubarb
1 1/2 cups peeled, finely sliced fresh ginger
8 cups water
6 cups sugar

In a large, heavy saucepan over medium heat, add water and sugar. Stir until sugar completely dissolves and add rhubarb and ginger. When the mixture reaches a simmer, stir mixture and continue simmering for 30 to 40 minutes, or until rhubarb is completely softened and fallen apart into strands. Remove from heat, and cool for 1/2 hour. Strain mixture through a fine sieve and push down the pulp with a ladle to press out all of the syrup. Pour into a large canning jar, or covered glass container  and store in the refrigerator. Allow the rhubarb ginger syrup to settle, for a day or two. You’ll notice the syrup will separate with a clear, pink syrup on top, and  a denser pink syrup on the bottom. You can decant the clearer syrup into another canning jar, or stir the mixture before using. Rhubarb & Ginger Syrup will keep for up to 7-10 days in the refrigerator.

~Rhubarb Ginger Spritzer

In a tall glass, or canning jar~ add 3 to 5 tablespoons of Rhubarb & Ginger Syrup (depending on your taste and size of glass).
Add cold, sparkling water

Add ice, stir and serve with a sprig of mint. Enjoy!