“Retreat” to Cabin Life and Recipe for Honey Bun Cake

During the cold months of January and February we love to snuggle into our winter nests, warm and cozy in spite of  “the wind and the weather.”  After a 2 week vacation in the Ozark Mountains our love for all things “cabin” was reaffirmed.  Cottage and cabin decor appeals to our sense of comfort by using lots of warm woods, layers of rugs and blankets, and mellow lighting.  Whether or not your style is “cabin” you can decorate a nook, cranny, or a wall in your own home that exudes the coddled feeling of the cabin.

Our welcome to the Ozark Mountains, just as the day was slipping into nightfall.Big Cedar LodgeI love using cabin and lodge decor in our cottage.  According to the dictionary, another synonym for cabin is cottage.

cab·in ˈkabən/noun a small shelter or house, made of wood and situated in a wild or remote area.

synonyms: cottage, log cabin, shack, chantey, hut;

One of my favorite books on “cabin living” is by Bill Holm, “The Cabins of Minnesota” with beautiful pictures and photography by Doug Ohman.Cabin book“Cabins are of many kinds …”
Cabins are of many kinds ...“There’s always the possibility of magic …”Magic“Everybody feels at home right away.  A cabin’s furnishings are simple, often treasured family hand-me-downs.  Its sleeping lofts, tucked under the eaves, evoke memories of childhood.  Its fireplace or wood stove provides physical and emotional warmth.”cabin final A peek inside our own cottage/cabin walls.  Tartan plaid walls topped with crests and a trio of Loon Duck plates “nest” on the walls of our home on the lake.  Lots of wood, books and collections exude that cabin-y feeling.crests.jpgThe mirrored cubby in our German “schrank” which loosely translated means cabinet, holds another collection of “treasured family hand-me-downs” from the years we lived in Germany … a German music box, crystal decanters and mugs, pottery, a stein from Oktoberfest, hand painted glasses, a wooden “Smoker” and a special gift from our landlord and friend; a decorative piece that says “Stammtisch” which denotes a table reserved for the regulars.mirrored schrank“In a cabin retreat, pleasure overcomes duty for a little while.” ~ Bill HolmdownstairsA rustic blend of frames imbibes that “cabin” feeling … “Home Sweet Home”Home Sweet Home grayIn this bedroom the Adirondack decor, warm colors, and the quilted bedding adds cabin charm.  A little tree “glows a welcome” and stays up all year decorated cabin-style … wooden bobbers, lures, hand-carved canoes, fish stringers, and twinkle lights adorn it’s boughs.lodge bedroom.jpgCabin decor … Boat Rentals 1/2 MileBoat rentals.jpgA desk with lots of cubby’s and glimpses of “the outdoors” is tucked away in a little nook, perfect for writing or musing.open deskA sweet reminder of our own little fisherman.<3fishing boy.jpgWarm woods and shelves always add cottage and cabin charm.upstairs afternoonA little twilight and cottage glow …upstaris twilightThen, what better way is there to add a bit of cabin coziness to a home than to have a Honey Bun Cake baking in the oven; the smells alone conjure up cabin luxury at it’s best!  This recipe is an old standby adapted from a favorite Betty Crocker recipe.  Our rainy, cool, foggy day in February seemed the perfect time to get out my mixing bowl.  Just as the last of our day was slipping away, the fog lifted and the rain stopped in time for a beautiful sunset!

Ingredients needed:

  • 1 pkg yellow cake mix
  • 3/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup sour cream or 1 cup buttermilk (*or 1 scant cup milk w/1 Tablespoon lemon juice or white vinegar added)
  • 1 cup chopped pecans (optional)
  • 1 cup heaping brown sugar  “… good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over …” (;  Luke 6:38
  •  3 teaspoons ground cinnamon

For Glaze:

  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 4 Tablespoons milk (more if needed)



  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Grease 13 x 9 pan with butter or shortening and dust with flour or spray with Baking Pam
  3. Mix cake mix, vegetable oil, eggs and sour cream or *buttermilk
  4. Add chopped pecans (optional)
  5. Stir together, about 50 strokes, and spoon 1/2 the batter into the 13 x 9 greased pan
  6. In a separate bowl, mix brown sugar and cinnamon and spread over batter in pan
  7. Spoon and spread the remaining batter over the sugar and cinnamon mixture in the pan
  8. Use a knife to make swirls in the cake mixture
  9. Bake in 350 degree oven 25 – 30 minutes or until edges began to pull away from pan
  10. Remove cake from oven and cool
  11. Prepare glaze using 2 cups powdered sugar, 2 teaspoon vanilla, and 4 or more Tablespoons of milk
  12. Poke holes in cake using the end of a wooden spoon
  13. Pour glaze over warm cake and serve when cool enough to cut.

After the flavors have a chance to meld, Honey Bun Cake tastes even better the 2nd day!  To serve warm, heat in microwave or oven.

Microwave directions … place sliced cake on a microwave safe plate and moisten a paper towel.  Squeeze out the water so the towel is slightly damp.  Cover the cake slice with the moist paper towel.  Heat the Honey bun Cake for about 8 seconds, or “just “til warm.”  Do not overheat … bread products can become tough in the microwave.

Oven directions:  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Place the number of cake slices desired on a cookie sheet or baking pan.  Warm, uncovered for about 5 minutes.  Serve warm cake, immediately.

Batter 2.jpg

 With the spicy goodness of this Honey Bun cake filling the house, we couldn’t wait and had a piece as soon as it had cooled enough to cut!  However, the cake actually tasted even better the 2nd and 3rd day!

cake.jpgHope your last days of February are warm and cozy in your own “version of the ten-foot thatched hut.”(:   Last blog on “all things winter!”  In 2 days, it will be MARCH and the season for all things SPRING … sunshine and shamrocks … bunny’s and The Lamb! scripture.jpg

From my cottage to yours ~  Trenda

cropped-cropped-img_0452-e1510254818805.pngThank you for reading my blog!   To have all my posts delivered to your email address, just click FOLLOW in my post above … or click on my site: cottagegreenonthelake.com



I’m joining Chloe Crabtree with Celebrate & Decorate 

Lisa from Feathering My Empty Nest 


Elegant Rustic Woodland Tablescape … DIY Centerpiece & Rustic Napkin Rings

I enjoyed doing some tabletop decorating last week and I combined two different decorating styles in my table setting.  I love the look of fragile crystal and goldware mixed with chunky pottery, natural grapevine napkin rings and woven baskets.  “Elegance meets Rustic” and “opposites, do indeed attract” (; … as this duo is lovely together and the contrast of styles makes a cozy woodland tablescape.Elegant Rustic Woodland TablescapeTo make the woodland centerpiece I took the plastic covering off of 2 blocks of floral foam and hot glued them into the bottom of a woven basket I had.  Then I began filling the basket with a collection of grasses, cattails, pine cone floral stems, pheasant feathers and birch twigs I had “amassed” over the years.  The tallest part of any arrangement should be in the center, so after anchoring my tallest pieces I began “fanning down” both sides from the center of the arrangement, inserting my filler into the florist foam.  The last addition and focal point I added to the arrangement was a metal art piece … a copper stag among metal fir trees. woodland cpiece.jpgFor my place settings I used pieces of vintage Hull and Pfaltzgraff pottery, a treasure that Richard found and bought for me at an auction he went to with his brother, Bob.  The dishes are a sweet remembrance for both of us since Bob passed away this past October. ❤  The pattern on this stoneware is known as “Brown Drip” pattern, a favorite of both the Hull and Pfaltzgraff Stoneware Companies during the 1930’s.tilt place settingThese simple, rustic napkin rings are made using mini-grapevine wreaths.  I downloaded my free woodland tags from Decorator’s Notebook by Bethan John.  After printing and cutting out my tags, I punched a hole in each tag using a standard hole punch.  Then I inserted a moss-green satin ribbon into the hole of each tag and tied the ribbon into a bow to the grapevine, making sure the tag was facing out as I pulled my knot of the bow, tight.trio napkin ringsI love these darling little  bean pots and keep collecting them whenever I see them at antique stores.  side view leftThey look charming holding BBQ beans for autumn wiener roasts … filled with  Chili con Carne on cold winter evenings … brimming with Stuffed Pepper Soup  on breezy Spring picnics … or in the summer, filled with colorful Cajun Beans (recipe coming at a later date!) alongside grilled steaks!bean pot.jpg Crystal glasses and little goblets from Germany are etched with grapevines and are rimmed in gold and have golden bases.  I love the look of the fragile crystal contrasting with the heavy pottery and the comparison makes the crystal seem even more delicate.  crystal And this hand painted canoe makes a darling caddy for sweeteners!cattails and fishA mixture of metals … the copper stag and the goldware add gleam to all the forest browns, moss greens and the deep brown dishes.  For a final touch of coziness, I added this little lamp that looks like it was made for my woodland tablescape!  The golden lampshade matches the carved canoe and also highlights the goldware and golden goblets while the dark silhouettes of the spruce trees and moose on the lamp shade adds more “depth” to my rustic theme.canoelampYou know how I love using every day objects in unusual ways?!  I pulled Richard’s cashmere muffler from the closet and thought it made the perfect table runner for my woodland tablescape!  The softness of the muffler contrasted with the rough basket centerpiece and it’s color … the same browns and moss-green colors found in the forest!juxtaposed crystalJuxtaposition/definition by Merriam-Webster:  the act or an instance of placing two or more things side by side often to compare or contrast or to create an interesting effect.  Hmmm … crystal next to pottery, textured, woven centerpiece sitting atop soft, luxurious cashmere, and rustic grapevines mixed with elegant goldware???  I love juxtaposition decorating! (:Elegant Rustic Woodland TablescapeP.S. We saw 2 Bald Eagles, yesterday!!!  Neither Richard or I had ever seen one except in books or film!  Then, we saw 2 in one day!  The first eagle we saw around noon just nonchalantly sitting in a tree and the second one we saw in a totally different area, near sunset, also perched in the top of a huge Sycamore Tree. Bald Eagles After our second Bald Eagle flew off, our “Blue, Super Moon” was just begin to rise and it was gorgeous!  I couldn’t help but think of the scripture I had just read that morning …“Praise the Lord, O my soul. O Lord my God, you are very great; you are clothed with splendor and majesty. He wraps himself in light as with a garment; he stretches out the heavens like a tent and lays the beams of his upper chambers on their waters. He makes the clouds his chariot and rides on the wings of the wind.” Psalms 104:1-3scripture

From my cottage to yours ~ Trendacropped-cropped-img_0452-e1510254818805.pngThank you for reading my blog!  To have all my posts delivered to your email address, just click FOLLOW in my post above .. or click on my site: cottagegreenonthelake.com




I’m joining Chloe Crabtree with Celebrate & Decorate

Carol from The Red Painted Wagon

Winter Wonderland Tablescape …

I had fun creating a whimsical tablescape befitting our first wintry weather, complete with snow flocked trees, a frozen pond, and miniature skaters.  Little twinkle lights glow in faux white branches covered in glitter while the “real” tree branches loom beyond the window, stark and dark against the twilight sky.


A navy tablecloth covered with white lace is the snowy backdrop for crystal mugs and cherished blue stemware … reflecting sweet “yesteryear.”  Memories of our  own dear little boy and girl carefully choosing each jewel colored stem and buying them for me with their combined allowances … Momma’s beloved Christmas present! ❤ ww place setting.jpg

Christmas Naif dishes by Villeroy and Boch, painted by the French artist Gérard Laplau depict a picturesque village scene with children playing near a snowman … “with a corncob pipe and a button nose and two eyes made out of coal” and a horse-drawn sleigh … are perfect for my Winter Wonderland!

place setting.jpg

“Come to the church in the wildwood” with windows glowing, amongst the twinkling trees and spruce.


  Winter evening beckoning in the deepening twilight, within and beyond …

ice pond.jpgThese little skaters, with their magnet pedestals actually pirouette around the iced pond when the music box is wound up and playing. 

closeup skaters.jpgAfter dinner coffee and Dutch Almonette cookies are waiting to be served.  Crystal mugs, biscuit barrel, and sugar creamer set match the “icicle” look of the frozen pond and snow flocked trees.

duo windows.jpg

“Coffee?”  “Yes, please!” (:

mugs.jpgWhite crocheted-edged napkins are tucked inside navy blue napkins and are tied with a simple gold cord which nonchalantly holds the salad and dinner fork.  Individual little tealights glow in white holders covered in “snowballs” and personalize each place setting.


Hope you’re staying warm and enjoying this special season with moments … snuggled under cozy blankets … holding steamy mugs that warm your hands … gazing at the beauty of winter through frosted window panes … with family and friends taking “the bite” out of the frost! (:

last shot

From my cottage to yours ~  Trenda 

snow and scattered frost.png

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Chloe Crabtree with Celebrate & Decorate

EASY RECIPE for Tuscan Tomato Soup … and Winter Weather

When I was a little girl I remember coming in from the cold with cheeks stinging and hands frozen (inside inadequate mittens) and seeing bowls of steamy tomato soup that our mother had made.  I loved the flavor of the soup, but I always liked to add a little “flotsam and jetsam” to the broth! (:  I would get a slice of American cheese, fold it into smaller pieces and drop them into my soup.

I can remember how scratchy this little wool hat was and couldn’t stand to have it tied under my chin!  See the gum in my mouth?!? (:

playing in the snow.jpg

Just a little detour before I share my recipe.  Here are some interesting FUN FACTS I discovered when I was looking up Campbell’s Tomato Soup that I thought you’d be interested in, also.  Campbell’s Condensed Tomato Soup  is still the top 10 grocery items that American buy … it has been in the market since 1895 (123 years!) … 85 million cans of Campbell’s Tomato Soup are still sold each year …Campbell’s sent the Tomato Soup to the Paris Exposition of 1900 where it won the Gold Medallion of Excellence which is still displayed proudly on every can of Tomato Soup … out of 100+ varieties of Campbell’s Soup available today, Tomato Soup is still one their 3 top sellers along with Cream of Mushroom Soup and Chicken Noodle Soup! (:Campbell KidsMy mind still links Tomato Soup and cold winter days together and we had a “snow day” this week which made me want to make “Tuscan Tomato Soup.” (first pictured on my blog “Al Fresco Dining in Autumn”) This soup is just a combination of ingredients I keep on hand … a can of Tomato Soup and a bag of frozen Beef Ravioli (which provides the “flotsam and jetsam” I still love adding to my Tomato Soup!) It’s so easy to make … in 20 minutes or less, you’ll have a delicious soup Mama Mia herself would be happy to serve to her own family! (;Tuscan Tomato Soup header .jpg

Tuscan Tomato Soup


  • 4 cups frozen beef ravioli (or if you prefer, cheese tortellini) from a family sized bag, cooked and drained according to directions (mine cooked in only 6 minutes) 
  • 1 Tablespoon butter
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped onion
  • 3 cups chicken stock or 3 cups of water with 3 cubes or 3 teaspoons of chicken bouillon granules or reduced sodium chicken bouillon added
  • 1 Family size can (23.2 oz) Campbell’s Condensed Tomato Soup
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped fresh spinach or kale (I used and loved Trader Joe’s Triple Washed Organic Baby Spinach!  Even after a week in the refrigerator, all spinach leaves are still so fresh)
  • grated Parmesan cheese
  • black pepper


  1. Cook frozen ravioli (or cheese tortellini) according to directions, and drain
  2. Meanwhile, melt butter in another large saucepan or Dutch oven
  3. Add onion to melted butter and saute until translucent
  4. Add chicken stock or water with chicken bouillon added and turn heat to medium/medium-high 
  5. Pour in condensed Tomato Soup and stir with whisk, continuing to warm 
  6. Add chopped spinach or kale 
  7. Add cooked ravioli and warm all ingredients in saucepan until thoroughly warmed, without bringing to a boil
  8. Dish into bowls and top with grated Parmesan cheese sprinkled with black pepper

Woodland free printable tags decorate sweet napkins rings made of miniature grapevine wreaths and are tied on with a satin ribbon …
Tuscan Tomato Soup.jpgWinter weather managed to push past the borders of Texas earlier this week, and obliged us with a deposit of sleet and snow!  We were excited when the weather forecasters predicted the possibility of us getting a wintry mix and began to look expectantly for our guests’ arrival.  At 10:00 pm Monday evening the sleet arrived, right on time and entertained us for 2 hours before tiny snowflakes began falling!  Snow is always a thrilling sight in our area of TEXAS and Richard and I watched the enchanting display from our opened door until shivering, we reluctantly left our vigil to warm up, before checking again.  We finally went to bed around 2:00 am; the flakes were still swirling and our driveway and deck were covered.  The weather forecasters deserve a gold star … not only did they get their predictions correct, our winter guests were punctual and came exactly when expected! (;

Front Deck …snow covered benchSide yard and cobbled pathway …sideyard font.jpgWaiting for Spring …robin with bannerBackyard and lake …snowy backyardView from our bathroom the next, sunny but cold day!south side.pngHope you have a wonderful weekend with moments enjoyed padding around in warm fuzzy socks, mugs of coffee in hand, snuggled under comforters, comfy within and without!snow scripture

From my cottage to yours ~  Trenda


Thank you for reading my blog!  To have all my posts delivered to your email address, just click FOLLOW in my post above … or click on my site: cottagegreenonthelake.com



This week I’m joining: Lynn from The Vintage Nest

Chloe Crabtree from Celebrate & Decorate

Sandra with Sweet Sensations

Christmas at Cottage Green

What a special season Christmas truly is.  It’s not just one day, but a culmination of days.  Days of … cookie making, shopping and wrapping, decorating the house, watching Hallmark movies, drinking hot cocoa, setting up the manger, being with family and friends, caroling, and worship . Then, hanging up stockings, putting out cookies for Santa, sprinkling reindeer food on the lawn, and finally (there’s a sermon in here!) “joy, comes in the morning.”  It’s a season of busyness, frenzy, stress, wonder, love, sadness of “memories of happy years gone by” gratitude, reflection, and marvel.  Here’s a last tribute to our Christmas season and moments at Cottage Green.  There’s lots to re-cap and lots of pictures, so get yourself a “cup of cheer” and make yourself comfy!

Silent night, holy night.  All is calm, all is bright …

mantle twilight

“Not a creature was stirring, not even a …” porcupine! Christmas porcupine

… or a hedgehog! (:

hedgehog and porcupine

“Away in a manger, no crib for a bed.  The little Lord Jesus lay down His sweet head.”

manger 1

“The stars in the sky look down where He lay  The little Lord Jesus asleep on the hay.”


“Angels we have heard on high, sweetly caroling o’er the plains.”


“Oh, there’s no place like home for the holidays”


“O Christmas Tree, o Christmas tree how lovely are thy branches …”

Christmas tree

“Rockin’ around the Christmas tree …”


“Santa Claus is coming to town …”


“It’s a marshmallow world in the winter …”

ff cannisters.jpg“I’ll have a blue Christmas without you …”



“The holly bears a prickle, as sharp as any thorn, and Mary bore sweet Jesus Christ, on Christmas Day in the morn”

kitchen bar.jpg“Here we come a-wassailing …”


“Chestnuts roasting on an open fire …”


Then … family photos with little and big kids! ❤

“When it’s Christmas time in Texas …”


“It might just look like a summer day  There may not be snow in San Antonio  But it’s a Texas Christmas to me.”


“Thank God for Kids”

“Thank God for kids there’s magic for a while …

(grand son <3)


A special kind of sunshine in a smile …

(grand daughter <3)

gdaughter pkin

Do you ever stop to think or wonder why?  The nearest thing to Heaven is a child.”
KIDDOS“Daddy, how does this thing fly?”



Father Son.jpg“And a hundred other where’s and whys …”

(dear daughter-in-law DDIL <3)DDIL2



You really don’t know but you try, thank God for kids …”

(grand daughter and daughter <3) 

MOMMYBABYGIRL “When you look down in those trusting eyes that look to you, you realize …”


It’s a love that you can’t buy thank God for kids.”

present hunt.jpg

Thank God for kids, there’s magic for a while …


A special kind of sunshine in a smile …

laketime fineDo you ever stop to think or wonder why?  The nearest thing to Heaven is a child


When you get down on your knees tonight  To thank the Lord for his guiding light  And pray they turn out right, thank God for kids  Thank God for Kids”  ~ songwriters:  Edward Futch/Edward G. Futch

(our kids <3)

son daughter   Oh, I hope you enjoyed seeing our Christmas at Cottage Green and I hope you had a wonderful, blessed Christmas filled with moments that will warm your heart throughout the year.  Our grand daughter told me, “Grandma, I’m sad Christmas is over” … I’m sad Christmas is over, too, but I promised God I am keeping Christmas in my heart, all year long! ❤

His Prescence

From my cottage to yours  ~  Trenda


Thank you for reading my blog!  To have all my posts delivered to your email address, just click FOLLOW in my post above … or click on my site: cottagegreenonthelake.com



This week I’m joining:

Chloe Crabtree with Celebrate & Decorate

Barbara from 21 Rosemary Lane




Christmas Tablescape “Up on the Housetop Reindeer Pause …”

The table is set and ready for a Christmas Brunch with Fitz and Floyd “Florentine Christmas White Stag Reindeer” dressed and ready for their important flight on Christmas Eve! Saddles are trimmed with holly and tassels and lie cushioned on the reindeer’s back atop cheery red and green blankets (that look like they were made by Santa’s elves!)  Encircling their necks are pine branch harnesses festooned with pine cones, holly leaves and bows.


Antique snack sets are stacked and ready to be filled with finger foods.  Christmas punch or Percolator Spiced Tea will fill the matching cups that set in special compartments on the glass trays.

s&amp;p snack sets

A gauzy runner with beaded edges weaves around a pine garland with tiny twinkle lights that add a touch of Christmas magic.


 Shimmering gold is repeated in the brass stand holding a carafe … a shiny picture frame, … and a line of dessert spoons.  The colors in the picture “Noel” are a perfect match to the colors of the reindeer and serving pieces, so it became a bit of “whimsy” and a part of the tablescape, propped on a golden easel.  Nearby, a sweet little creamer and sugar bowl are nestled close and adorned with Christmas bows.

.    NOEL … From Church Latin in reference to the birthday of Christ, from natus, past participle of nasci “be born.” 


Gold forks and linen napkins edged in lace are lined up for easy buffet-style serving.


This Fitz and Floyd “Florentine Christmas” Canape Plate will hold Peanut Cluster Blitz-ens!  (; topped with Christmas sprinkles!

dessert plate

Fitz and Floyd “Snowy Woods” stacked serving platter is waiting to be loaded with Cheesy Bacon Pinwheels  shortly after the Christmas guests, arrive.

duo dessert tray.jpg

Fitz and Floyd “Jolly St Nick” platter awaits Delicious Yuletide Appetizer – Chicken Enchilada Dip

serving platter

Everything is set and ready …

“Ho-Ho-Ho who wouldn’t go …” ??? (:

Santa bowing.png

From my cottage to yours ~  Trenda




Thank you for reading my blog!  To have all my posts delivered to your email address, just click FOLLOW in my post above … or click on my site: cottagegreenonthelake.com



I’m joining Chloe Crabtree with Celebrate & Decorate



A Woodland Christmas with … White Chocolate and Cranberry Dessert Dip

The buffet is set and ready for Christmas with a woodland scene starring a Santa or two from my collection of Old World Santa’s. This dapper Santa looks like a well-dressed woodsman with his fur rimmed hat, flocked buttoned vest, coat with brocade sleeves and draping chains, and a pack filled with surprises flung over his shoulder.  Snow flocked and copper colored bottle brush trees and gilded holly with berries create a magical Christmas backdrop.

Woodland Santa.jpg

A birdhouse frosted with snow is tucked among “the holly and the ivy” and a little winter nest is filled with glittered acorns and glass copper pine cones.


A pedestal cake plate with birdies perched on either side holds woodland treasures cushioned on a bed of moss … a wee lantern with a flickering light looks like it came straight from the set of Amahl and the Night Visitors and a tiny glass jewel box with a bird perched on it’s lid.

R buffet

Nestled under the cake plate is a little mercury glassed birdie near clusters of purple grapes tumbling out of an antique sugar bowl.

underneath plate

Another Woodland Santa wears a wooly coat and carries a wooden staff encircled with twigs.  Pine cones and berries wreath his furry cap and white doves perch on a brim-filled pack and on his coat.

scandinavian Santa.jpg

A grove of bottle brush trees, a miniature bird bath filled with millet, mercury glass mushrooms and copper pine cones resting on their sides add storybook whimsy to the woodland setting.

birdbath with millet.jpg

Another Santa perches on the tea cart waiting for some Christmas refreshment!

tea cart Santa

An ornate silver bowl with brass interior holds a moss-lined nest and little brass bird and is decked “with boughs of holly.”silver bowl.jpg

Click on the following link from the “Cottage Chronicles” to see …

  A Woodland-Christmas Tablescape


And a Christmas snack fitting for a woodland setting on the buffet … a delicious White Chocolate and Cranberry Dessert Dip formed in the shape of a hedgehog surrounded by a layer of Triple Ginger Cookie Thins and Butter Waffle Cookies from Trader Joe’s.

dessert dip buffet

I made this dessert dip for our Church Life Group Christmas Party this weekend.  The amount I had remaining in the refrigerator was just enough for one baby hedgehog! (:


White Chocolate & Cranberry Dessert Dip


  • 1 (8oz) package softened cream cheese
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 (3.4 oz) package Cheesecake Instant pudding mix
  • 3/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/2 cup Nestle’s white chocolate morsels
  • whole almonds or slivered almonds to cover dip


  1. Beat the softened cream cheese and butter together in a mixer on medium-high speed until well blended. 
  2. Add the pudding mix and powdered sugar.  Beat on low to medium speed until the dry ingredients are incorporated.
  3. Add 2 tablespoons of milk and beat on high until filling is mixed.
  4. Stir in dried cranberries and white chocolate morsels; mix well.
  5. Scrape the dessert dip into plastic wrap and gently mold into the shape desired for the hedgehog.
  6. Unwrap, place hedgehog shaped dessert dip on a serving platter.  Begin inserting almonds (at an angle and in staggered rows) into the dip to resemble the “body” of a hedgehog.  
  7. Place a chocolate morsel on the “face” (the dip that is not covered with almonds) of the hedgehog  to resemble the nose and use two mini-morsels for the eyes, or chop regular sized morsels into smaller pieces for the eyes.
  8. Refrigerate to “set” almonds in place, until ready to serve.  (NOTE: for traditional shaped dessert dip, after mixing, wrap dessert into plastic wrap and form into ball.  Refrigerate until ready to serve, then unwrap, place on serving plate and cover surface with slivered almonds.)
  9. Serve with gingersnaps, butter waffle cookies, vanilla wafers, graham crackers, animal crackers …

Baby hedgehog

Here’s a sweet little woodland poem about small gifts gathered from the heart; I think it’s the perfect way to end today’s Woodland themed blog!

Small Gifts

He gathers gifts for his dear friends
Searching among the forest trees
And only from his heart he spends. 

For Squirrel, an acorn split he mends
And with a quiet joyful ease
He gathers gifts for his dear friends. 

To Bear, a blueberry he sends
With tender care that it won’t freeze
And only from his heart he spends. 

For Deer, green leaves he subtly rends
Although found sparse in wintry breeze
He gathers gifts for his dear friends. 

To Bird, he gives a branch that bends
A perch to rest her tired knees
And only from his heart he spends. 

For all the creatures at Earth’s ends
As Christmas joy in time he sees
He gathers gifts for his dear friends
And only from his heart he spends. 

~  by Benjamin Oldham

Wishing you joy during this blessed season and that … only from the heart you’ll spend!

manger .jpg

From my cottage to yours  ~  Trenda

Thank you for reading my blog!  To have all my posts delivered to your email address, just click FOLLOW in my post above … or click on my site:  cottagegreenonthelake.com