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Sunday, August 28, 2011


There is still time to bake a batch of these alluring cookies before Labor Day!

Simple patterns and food coloring transform my blackberry-flavored cookies into bright "fishing lures."  A plain sack and float makes a captivating carrier for the colorful treats if you wish to present these as a gift.

What a creative way to say "I'm hooked on you!"


1 cup butter or margarine, softened
1/3 cup butter-flavored shortening
1/3 cup vegetable oil
2 cups sugar
2 eggs
1 teas[ppm vanilla xtract
1 cup blackberry jam
6 1/2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 cups water
       Red, green, yellow, purple, orange, blue, and black paste food coloring.

     Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  In a large bowl, cream first four ingredients until fluffy.  Add eggs and vanilla; beat until smooth.  Stir in jam.  In another large bowl, sift together flour and salt.  Add dry ingredients to creamed mixture; knead until a soft dough forms..

     Copy and paste fishing lure patterns (follows.)   On a lightly floured surface, use a floured rolling pin to roll out dough to 1/4 inch thickness.  Place patterns on dough and use a sharp knife to cut out cookies.  Transfer to a greased baking sheet.  Bake 10 to 12 minutes or until golden brown.  Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. 

     Pour 1/2 cup water in each of 6 small bowls.  Add a small amount of red food coloring to 1 bowl; stir until dissolved.  Repeat for all colors except black.  To decorate cookies, use a small round paintbrush to lightly brush diluted food coloring onto cookies to resmble fishing lures.  Referring to the photo, use a small round paintbrush and undiluted black food coloring to paint eyes on cookies.  Allow to dry.  Store in an airtight container. 

Yield:  about 6 dozen cookies.



After the last blog, I got to thinking.    The majority of Minnesotans refer to their lake homes as "Cabins."  Most Iowans refer to their lake homes as "Cottages."  Well, being so close to Minnesota, I reasoned that some "Cabins" have built in the Iowa Great Lakes area, too.  So I went searching for "Cabins."  I am happy to show you some of the best and some that are just quintessential "Cabins."

I'll start with those first.  They really are close to the state line, being built in Spirit Lake.  These first two, however, are on East Lake Okoboji.

I asked several people "What is the difference between a cottage and a cabin?"  One responded "Indoor plumbing!" 

As I pondered this question, I decided to me, a cabin is a home that uses lots of brown wood on the exterior, preferably logs.  Or it may have lots of river/field rock incorporated in the exterior.  I actually don't know what the difference is, other than most cabins to me have a dark heavy look.  Probably to keep out the freezing winters in Minnesota!

This cabin is in the Monarch Cove.  It is for sale and really intrigues me.  I took my husband to see it last night and his response was an emphatic "NO!"  Perhaps cabins are hidden in this one and the next.

It seems to me that a lot of cabins are dark colors.

This one across the road from West Lake Okoboji has done a nice job of incorporating the field rock.

This one is across from the Inn.  I think it looks "cabiny" because of the color and the rock.

This home is kind of a mix....cottage and cabin.  It is in Arnold's Park.

I couldn't show you cabins at the lakes without this "real" cabin.  The Abbie Gardner cabin, owned by the state of Iowa.

This home reminds me of the cabins in the Appalachian Mountains.

Of course, Terrace Park has several cabins, both old and new.....

Over on the south end of West Lake Okoboji there are some hybrid homes.  Cabins?  Cottages?  Perhaps Cab-ages?

There are even several lovely log homes.

  The one above has the prerequisite pine tree!

This log home on the west side of West Lake Okoboji is magnificent!

 The two photos below show how well it looks with the "north woods" landscaping.  Plenty of birch and pine trees.

Another log beauty....

And one more.....   Do you suppose these owners of these log homes are from Minnesota?  Or perhaps grew up on the Iowa prairie and yearned for a secluded home in the woods?

A friend just stopped by and I asked him his thoughts on the differences in cottages and cabins.  (He owns a cabin in northern Minnesota.)  He thought cottages were daintier and cabins were sturdier.  Perhaps that is why I consider log homes and homes with brown wood exteriors and stone, cabins!

 I just have to add one more photo.  It isn't a cabin.  It is a cottage.  What a lucky little girl (or girls) who gets to play "house" in this!  (It is in Arnold's Park.)

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