Saturday, November 14, 2015

Kathy's Kitchen and Whipped Shortbread Cookies

Good Saturday morning to you all. I thought I'd give you a peek into my kitchen.  I love it when our family all come home and pull up a stool, talk, drink coffee, grandkids come for sleep overs and fill the kitchen with a whole lot of chatter and fun, a few spills and sticky marks. It's also here that we love to visit with friends around the table.

We've lived in our home for about 12 years, and the only updates we've made to the kitchen are the appliances. I have a Samsung double door bottom freezer refrigerator, an Electrolux slide in style range with a lower oven that I use more for warming than baking, and a Kenmore stainless steel tub dishwasher. I'm happy with them all. My microwave is an old Panasonic that still works like a charm.

About coffee. It's a big deal around here and we have a routine. Every evening I pull out our favourite mugs and in the morning we take turns making the morning coffee. It's a good way to start almost every day together. 

I'm happy to share my kitchen with our grand daughter Summer...and even with the 4 little guys who like to stir and pour, and taste test. 

My favourite cleaning cloths are from Norwex. They clean, disinfect, polish and shine. 
Some of my other favourites are hand knit cotton dish cloths, scrubbies that really don't scratch and 100% cotton tea towels. I purchase these at Winks Home Garden and Gifts in Chilliwack. 

 I love table cloths. I have a closet where I hang my table cloths, table runners and my aprons. Not pictured in that same closet is a vertical shoe rack that works well to hold all my linen and paper napkins. The table cloth that I treasure most, but rarely use was hand crocheted by my grandma Regehr. It was a gift for our wedding 38 years ago. Still white and starched.

Winks is a great place to shop for table linens and beautiful seasonal napkins.

 This fall I found this simply beautiful light grey table cloth with an soft embossed feather pattern.
 Here is a peek inside Winks. Always beautiful and inviting.
 Wendy, the owner of Winks is one of our sponsors, and has supported Mennonite Girls Can Cook right from our early beginnings. She hosted book signings at Winks when each of our cookbooks were published and has continued to sell them. If you are looking for one of our books for a Christmas gift, she's got them both in stock now.

 I love dishes.  For our wedding we were gifted the entire set of Royal Albert, Old Country Rose. I still pull it out at Christmas. Many years ago I purchased a 12 piece place setting and some serving dishes from Mikasa called Belle Terre, and I still use it often. My most recent dishes Portmeirion's Sophie Conran come from Winks. Most of my collection have been gifted to me and some I've purchased. Having a set of white dishes allows me to play with my table scape, and mix and match with my other dinnerware.
Yesterday the sounds, smells and signs of Christmas filled my kitchen. My personal tradition on the first day of Christmas baking is to turn on Handles Messiah, and bake Shortbread Cookies. (not the recipe shown above)
Do you have a cookie press? The only time I pull mine out is when I'm baking Whipped Shortbread(pictured above, recipe below)
Have you started thinking about Christmas baking? I'm starting to prepare for Christmas early this year as we have some early celebrations planned this year and I want to be prepared so that I can spend as much time with everyone as possible. The garland and mini lights will get placed above the kitchen cabinets this coming week, and the Christmas music will begin to play more regularly.

Whipped Shortbread Cookies
(makes 64 small cookies using a cookie press)
  • 1 pound salted butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup cornstarch
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 3 cups all purpose flour
  1. Whip room temperature butter well.
  2. Sift together remaining ingredients.
  3. Add dry ingredients to whipped butter and beat together well.
  4. Place dough in cookie press and press onto baking sheets. You can also just roll small balls of dough in hands and press down with a fork if you don't have a press. This dough is not for rolling out. (for a rolled out style shortbread cookie follow link above)
  5. If adding sprinkles or candied fruit to decorate do now before baking.
  6. Bake in 325º oven for 18-20 minutes. The edges will be faintly turning golden when done. Remove to cooling rack immediately after taking out of oven. Store in an airtight container once cooled. These cookies freeze well in a tightly sealed container. 


  1. Oh what a fun peek into your kitchen Kathy! Love that you hang your tablecloths and linens instead of folding them and stuffing them into a drawer like I do! I can see your MGCC aprons hanging in there too. I too have the Royal Albert Old Country Roses dinnerware set along with my collection of green depression glass. Your white Portmeirion set is stunning! I too have a love for dishes. I inherited this love from my Mom. So nice to see Summer baking with you - precious times. Yes, it's time to get started with the Christmas decor and baking - eek!

  2. I loved the peek into the kitchen that we've enjoyed so many wonderful meals. Your home is so beautifully decorated and so welcoming. I can almost taste that shortbread and feel the texture melting in my mouth. Yum!

  3. Love your kitchen...especially the Pantry!! Royal Albert Old Country Roses is my FAV...and I have an entire set, with serving dishes too.

    Jan ♥

  4. Your kitchen looks like a wonderful place to send time in.

  5. it's a beautiful kitchen but the best thing I took away is the hanging of the tablecloths...brilliant!

  6. What a wonderful family kitchen. I'm so glad your post today included a recipe for a cookie press. I just bought, one to use when my grandchildren come for the Thanksgiving Celebration. I thought the press would be a fun baking lesson for the grandchildren.

  7. You have a beautiful kitchen, Kathy! I love shortbread cookies and make them every Christmas. I hope to include my two year old granddaughter in the process this year!

  8. I think I might have to buy
    one of these and try it out withe the girlies at Thanksgiving!

  9. I have had horrible luck with cookie presses. Do you have a recommendation for one that actually works?

    1. MIne is a really old one. I would suggest going to a kitchen store and paying a little more. Mine has a little crack in it and I soon will need to replace it and that is what I plan to do. All the best in finding one you like to work with.

  10. That grey tablecloth is just what I have been looking for....would you share the brand so I can search in my area. Wish I lived near the fabulous Winks! Susan

    1. I purchased this cloth at Simmons. A new department store in the Vancouver area. It was one of those great finds.

  11. OpheliaRose: I still have the old fashioned type of cookie press although have used others in the past. One thing I have learned though, is that you can't use it with parchment paper or non-stick cookie sheets. They just don't work right. Mine works fine with plain cookie sheets like we used 40 years ago. But, with non-stick or parchment the cookie doesn't stay on the pan and pull away from the press when you lift the press. Don't know if this is your problem or not, but thought I would mention it since it drove me crazy until I figured it out. I might have just blamed the press, but since it is the kind I used 40 years ago I fought the problem through. Good luck, Alice

    1. You are right...this is a great tip to pass on. I find too that you can't use a non stick pan or parchment. I appreciate you mentioning this.

  12. Wow Kath! Your kitchen looks wonderful & inviting! I love your tablecloth storage idea! Your cookies look so yummy too and I wish I could sit with you right now for a wonderful delicious cup of coffee (yes coffee is a big deal to me too!!) and have a few of your wonderful shortbread cookies! Very inspirational post for sure! Christmas is coming! Rhoda

  13. Hi Kathy, Will the sprinkles melt if I put them on before baking?

    1. Hi Judy, no the sprinkles do not melt. They are meant to go on before baking so they stick to the cookie top. I hope you have success:)