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Lily & Val Presents: Pretty Ordinary Friday #81

Pretty Ordinary gives you a sneak peek into Lily & Val behind the scenes! On Lily & Val Living!

For this week’s Pretty Ordinary Friday #81, we’re documenting snapshots of our week. While our pictures may not be the prettiest or the most interesting, we enjoyed each instance and want to remember them! These are the behind-the-scenes, in-between moments – the small peeks that would otherwise be forgotten. Join us as we use this series to scrapbook the unedited, memorable happenings at Lily & Val and what is inspiring our team!

The team says:

Lily & Val Presents: Pretty Ordinary Friday #81 with word of the year for 2018, hand-lettered holiday envelopes and hot chocolate in Hershey, PA

1. “I broke out my Copic Markers to draw my word for 2018! Can you guess what it is?” – Valerie

2. “I love lettering envelopes- especially around the holidays! Is so fun to come up with new ways to make them special.” – Valerie

3“Mak and I went to Hershey Park’s Christmas Candylane! They have the BEST hot chocolate (naturally).” – Valerie 

Lily & Val Presents: Pretty Ordinary Friday #81 with a Kit-Kat in Hershey Park, souvenirs from the Trans-Siberian Orchestra concert and beautifully wrapped Christmas gifts

4“When you’re in Hershey, PA… haha!” – Valerie

5. “I caught a pick at the Trans-Siberian Orchestra concert! This concert always puts me in the mood for Christmas!!!” – Valerie

6. “It was so pretty that I didn’t want to open and ruin it! But it was totally worth ruining. I am so blessed to be a part of this team!” – Nicole

 

Russian Tea Cookie Recipe Crafted In The Keepsake Kitchen Diary

Russian Tea Cookies are also something you will find on every wedding cookie table, and if you are from the Pittsburgh Area or Ohio Valley you know how fantastic these cookie tables can be! Cookie tables at weddings are one of my favorite traditions because, like at the Holidays, you get sample all kinds of amazing home made treats from all of your friends and family. The cookies we make during these special times of year are never just made on a random Tuesday and that makes them seem even more special.

Russian Tea Cookie Recipe In The Keepsake Kitchen Diary - a family cookbook and memory keeper

I love this recipe because, even though the result is so pretty and wintery, these cookies could not be easier to make. Most likely you have all of these inexpensive ingredients in your house already.  So check out the recipe here.

Russian Tea Cookie Recipe In The Keepsake Kitchen Diary Russian Tea Cookie Recipe In The Keepsake Kitchen Diary - a family cookbook and memory keeper

Even though my family has always made Russian Tea Cookies/Cakes for Christmas, I wanted my Keepsake Kitchen Diary entry to be a little festive but also just a beautiful everyday spread…because maybe I will make them some other time of year! I also prefer to have all my interior pages coordinate in some way to the style of Keepsake Kitchen Diary that I am using.

Russian Tea Cookie Recipe In The Keepsake Kitchen Diary - a family cookbook and memory keeper

My favorite colors are mustard yellow and chartreuse…so naturally the interior of the Lemon Kitchen Diary cover is my favorite part. I try to tie these colors into every spread so that my book looks beautiful no matter where I open it.

Tip: I think highlighting the “Memories” lines in different colors is a nice way to separate each story (because sometimes 1 memory takes up more that one line.)

Russian Tea Cookie Recipe In The Keepsake Kitchen Diary - a family cookbook and memory keeper

My mom has all of her mother’s handwritten recipe cards. I love them so much, and I love how holding them and seeing her writing makes me feel like I know her a little better. It’s nice to have a place to put those special recipes so that I can take  her instructions with me and leave the memories in those recipe cards for safe keeping at my childhood home.
Russian Tea Cookie Recipe In The Keepsake Kitchen Diary - a family cookbook and memory keeper

Russian Tea Cookie Recipe In The Keepsake Kitchen Diary - a family cookbook and memory keeper

It’s great to include the more practical things in the Keepsake Kitchen Diary entry as well. I especially like to make note of wether or not certain cookies freeze well and the best way to do that. These cookies freeze perfectly and are so easy to bake quickly for last minute guests or impromptu parties.

Russian Tea Cookie Recipe In The Keepsake Kitchen Diary - a family cookbook and memory keeper Russian Tea Cookie Recipe In The Keepsake Kitchen Diary - a family cookbook and memory keeper Russian Tea Cookie Recipe In The Keepsake Kitchen Diary - a family cookbook and memory keeper

I hope you give this recipe a try! When you create your next Kitchen Diary spread…challenge yourself by trying to incorporate an unusual color, you may find you have a new favorite palette! Enjoy!

Russian Tea Cookie Recipe In The Keepsake Kitchen Diary - a family cookbook and memory keeper
In The Kitchen: How To Make Russian Tea Cookies

Hello fellow “last minute holiday preppers still pulling off the hap-hap-happiest Christmas”!

The countdown is on and the holidays are in full swing! It’s time to finish making those cookies and wrapping those presents…and I have a super simple and traditional Christmas cookie recipe to share with you.

Growing up, these little “snowy” treats were not my favorite. They were the cookies I would reach for once all the peanut butter blossoms and sugar cookies were gone. But as an older, wiser, more mature being, I love it when my mom makes her Russian Tea Cookies! (Also called Russian tea cakes…)

Russian Tea Cookies are also something you will find on every wedding cookie table, and if you are from the Pittsburgh Area or Ohio Valley you know how fantastic these cookie tables can be! Cookie tables at weddings are one of my favorite traditions because, like at the Holidays, you get sample all kinds of amazing homemade treats from all of your friends and family.

How To Make Russian Tea Cookies

This shortbread like treat is made up of  ingredients you probably already have in your pantry and are so very simple to make.

Butter, Confectioner Sugar, Vanilla, Flour, Salt, Pecans.  That’s it!!!

How To Make Russian Tea Cookies

This time of year, who has time to clear food processors or grinders. So for the pecans, I just bought a bag of  “pecan pieces” and gave them some extra smashing with a rolling pin. If you would prefer  a smoother texture to your cookies, feel free to grind the pecans a bit more (just remember you may need to adjust your measurements a bit).

How To Make Russian Tea Cookies How To Make Russian Tea Cookies

First, cream the butter and sugar in a stand mixer (had mixers will work too…but this will get tough as you finish the dough).

Turn the mixer on low and add in your remaining ingredients. Mix on low until blended.

How To Make Russian Tea Cookies

Your dough should stick together but still be a bit crumbly.

How To Make Russian Tea Cookies

Roll dough into 1″ balls and place on a parchement lined cookie sheet.

How To Make Russian Tea Cookies

Leave a little space between the cookies for even cooking. They will not flatten out in cooking, so you don’t need a ton of space.

How To Make Russian Tea Cookies How To Make Russian Tea Cookies

Bake in a 350°F oven for 11 minutes TOPS! The only trick to these cookies is to NOT over bake. They will be dry and crumbly if they are left in too long, so watch your time and temperature carefully.

How To Make Russian Tea Cookies

When the cookies are just cool enough to touch, but still warm, place them into a bag with addtional confectioner sugar. Roll them around gently to coat in sugar and remove with a fork.

How To Make Russian Tea Cookies

I like to tap the fork on the side of a bowl to remove excess clumps of sugar. This makes the cookies a little less messy to handle and eat.

How To Make Russian Tea Cookies How To Make Russian Tea Cookies

I love the rustic look of these little snowballs. They are so beautiful…so unfussy…so delicious!

How To Make Russian Tea Cookies

Recipe: 

1cup butter softened

1/2 cup confectioner/ powdered sugar

1/4 tsp salt

1 1/2 tsp. vanilla

2 1/4 cup flour (can also be made with GF flour)

1 cup chopped pecans

(1 cup confectioner/powdered sugar for dusting)

Instructions:

  • Preheat oven to 350°F
  • Cream butter and sugar together in a stand mixer
  • Turn mixer on low and add remaining ingredients
  • Roll dough into 1″balls
  • Place on parchementn lined baking sheet
  • Bake for 11 minutes (Do Not Over-bake!)
  • Remove from over and roll in confectioner sugar while warm
  • Shake off excess dust using a fork.
  • Share them with friends and family…freeze double bagged once completely cooled…or hoard them for yourself in your closet!
How To Make Russian Tea Cookies

I  hope you give these super simple nostalgic treats a try. I will be adding this holiday recipe to my Keepsake Kitchen Diary. If you’re not familiar with The Diary, it’s the perfect way to preserve your favorite family recipes and the memories that go with them. This is certainly the perfect time of year to begin yours as many cherished recipes are sure to be shared!

Comment to let us know if you have a version of these treats that are made in your family! Merry Christmas and Happy Baking everyone!

If you're not familiar with The Diary, it's the perfect way to preserve your favorite family recipes and the memories that go with them. This is certainly the perfect time of year to begin yours as many cherished recipes are sure to be shared!
Cookies & Milk for Santa Digital Download Sign

We are exactly one week away from Christmas! Although the deadline for Christmas shipping has passed on lilyandval.com, we have a last-minute, cute idea for you to bring a touch of playful whimsy to your holiday…a Cookies & Milk for Santa Digital Download Sign!

A Cute & Fun Tradition:

Greet the Big Guy with what he loves most—some yummy treats and a nice glass of milk to wash them down with! Santa Claus will know exactly where to find his cookies and milk with this adorable download that you can print yourself and use year after year.

Find this download for only$5 on lilyandval.com! The “Pass the milk”glass is part of our Lily & Val for Anthropologie collaboration!

Merry Christmas, everyone!

Lily & Val Presents: Pretty Ordinary Friday #80

Pretty Ordinary gives you a sneak peek into Lily & Val behind the scenes! On Lily & Val Living!

For this week’s Pretty Ordinary Friday #80, we’re documenting snapshots of our week. While our pictures may not be the prettiest or the most interesting, we enjoyed each instance and want to remember them! These are the behind-the-scenes, in-between moments – the small peeks that would otherwise be forgotten. Join us as we use this series to scrapbook the unedited, memorable happenings at Lily & Val and what is inspiring our team!

The team says:

Lily & Val Presents: Pretty Ordinary Friday #80 with hand-drawn signs, Gluten-free and dairy-free thumbprint cookies and Home Goods wrapping paper

1. “We held a late night shopping event in the Flagship Store this week! I had fun drawing these signs.” – Valerie

2. “‘I made these thumbprint cookies from my friend Kelly of the Spunky Coconut’s new mini cookbook! They were allergen free and delicious!” – Valerie

3“This year’s wrapping paper selections from Home Goods!” – Valerie 

Lily & Val Presents: Pretty Ordinary Friday #80 with 2017 team holiday dinner and L&V surprise boxes

4“The 2017 Lily & Val Holiday dinner! I’m so grateful for everyone sitting around this table.” – Valerie

5. “Surprise boxes getting packaged up and sent out this week!!” – Valerie

Lily & Val Presents: Pretty Ordinary Friday #80 with cookies and milk for Santa, shrimp tacos from Mindful Brewing and a champagne toast with friends

6. “It was a tough week to be gluten and dairy free in the office, but our milk and cookies shoot ended up so cute! The glass is from the Lily & Val collaboration with Anthropologie!” – Valerie

7. “We celebrated my mom’s birthday at Mindful Brewing. Of course, I had to order the shrimp tacos. They were so delicious and SUPER spicy!” – Nicole

8. “All you need are good friends and champagne!” – Nicole

Lily & Val Gift Guide: The Artsy One

Creatives come in all shapes, sizes, and specialties. Help inspire them with some beautiful and useful items! Whether its a beautiful bit of inspiration to surround themselves with like the Van Gogh Quote Print or a beautiful handmade leather utensil roll to make being creative a bit neater, every artsy person will appreciate these well-designed selections. You may even inspire a new hobby or even a new business venture!

Lily & Val Gift Guide: The Artsy One

The Chalk Lettering Bundle  |  Van Gogh Art Print  |  Brass Push Pins Carpenter Pencils  |  Handmade leather roll  |  Spiral Sketchbook In The Company of Women by Grace Bonney  |  This World Is But a Canvas Zippered Pouch  |  Create Mug  |  Washed Linen Apron

Lily & Val Gift Guide: Mama Bear

Moms deserve the world! These selections are great for new moms, experienced moms, your mom, or a mom you love. Get her something to make her smile like this funny award ribbon or the “Cool Mom” tote bag. Pamper her with some cute new accessories or these amazing natural bath salts. Bundle a couple items in a cute pouch like the one here and she will be extra impressed with your gifting skills!

Lily & Val Gift Guide: Mama Bear

You are My Sunshine Tea Towel I’m not a Regular Mom Tote  |  Teething Necklace  |  Hello Lovely Pouch  |  Home Sweet Home Kraft Paper Print  |  Maroon Button Earrings  |  I love that you’re my Mom Note Card  |  Target Award Ribbon  |  Gold Foil Weekly Desk Pad  |  Be Better Massage Candle  |  Test Tue Bath Salts

December Happy Mail Idea – Countdown to Christmas Deskpad

12.25 Christmas note card by Lily & Val

Once we hit December 1st, doesn’t it seem like the weeks just FLY?! Before we know it, 12.25 will be here.

Since the countdown to Christmas is ever-present this time of year, we thought a Happy mail embracing the countdown would be a fun idea!

Our cute gold foil weekly planner pad would make a great gift for a friend or coworker

The weeks leading up to Christmas are filled with so many to-dos, parties, engagements, and year-end deadlines.  For the friend that could use a little holiday encouragement during this time of busyness, this Lily & Val gold foil weekly desk pad is pretty and functional. (P.S. We hope you’ve been able to embrace some slow, intentional, and calm time in the midst of the hustle and bustle! That’s what our 2017 Holiday Collection was all about.)

Pair that with our 12.25 note card to mark the special date and you’ve got an adorable surprise gift! So simple!

Our cute gold foil weekly planner pad would make a great gift for a friend or coworkerOur cute gold foil weekly planner pad would make a great gift for a friend or coworkerOur cute gold foil weekly planner pad would make a great gift for a friend or coworker

We love the idea of surprising someone with a little gift just because and what better time than during the season of giving! Sending happy mail doesn’t need to be on a big budget or a large scale. If you create a bit of happy mail inspired by ours, we would love to see! Use #LVhappymail on Instagram!

We’ll be sending this gold foil pad and note card to one lucky winner!  Check out our Happy Mail Instagram post to enter!

Our cute gold foil weekly planner pad would make a great gift for a friend or coworker
Lily & Val Gift Guide: Co-Worker

Co-worker, teachers, that lady who does your nails…everyone needs a little something! Whether it’s for a secret Santa in the office or just because you’re so very nice, these items range from personal to just plain cute and useful. Show off your gift selecting skills with this unique LIVING air plant necklace or Send a heartwarming message with the teacher’s box sign. Any of these options are great to put together in a little gift set too! Pro-gifting status will be achieved this year!

Lily & Val Gift Guide: Co-Worker

All Natural Roll-On Perfume  |  Waxed Canvas Lunch Bag  |  The Complete Book of Chalk Lettering Living Air Plant Necklace  |  Hotel California Keychain Merry Christmas To You Print  |  The Original Autocorrect Eraser Odds & Ends Trinket Tray   |  Desk Cube  |  Rise & Shine Magnetic Pad  |  Chalk Lettering Tool Kit 

Lily & Val Gift Guide: The Hostess With The Mostess

For that person who loves to host and entertain guests. These gifts are great hostess gifts but can also be a great choice to put together a little gift bundle for those who just like to throw a party. This list has a mix of decor and cooking items, which make hosting fun and easy! Trust me. They will thank you for thanking them!

Lily & Val Gift Guide: Hostess With The Mostess

Keepsake Kitchen Diary Classic  |  Fancy Matches  |  Winter Wonderland Candle  |  Brunch Lady Tray  |  What’s a Hostess To Do Book  |  Let It Snow Plate  |  Pyrex Recipe Card Pack   |  Hibiscus Rose Cocktail Mixer  |  Eucalyptus Kitchen Towel Taper Holder  |  Party Party Party Napkins  |  Artichoke Lemon Pesto