Painted Pinecones

I’ve seen these painted pine cones everywhere. On Pinterest and on Facebook. A very crafty young lady I know had them on her Facebook page which is where I first saw them. Thanks Stephanie!  So I decided to make some of these wanna be zinnias for myself.  When I was in the Upper Peninsula for a music festival I picked up a small bag full of the squat pine cones for painting.


I bought inexpensive paints and brushes, covered a work area and started painting.  I have to admit it was tedious. Very tedious. Some of the paint colors did not cover well like the golds and lavenders and they required multiple coats. I was wishing I had a friend to paint these with while drinking adult beverages but I persevered and finished the pine cones I had.

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The paint I chose was flat or matte, whatever the correct term is for dull.  So I got a can of gloss  clear coat, placed the cones on an egg carton and sprayed them. I did three coats total. I liked them much better.

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I first arranged them in a wooden bowl. But a friend’s daughter suggested a cylindrical glass container and I had just the thing.


I like them a lot in my candle holder. Thanks Stacey. It could use a few more cones but I’m over the painting mess. I may just spray some natural cones and mix them in.

Tomato and Cheese Tart


I have taken a bit of a hiatus from blogging. Not from cooking and baking. But from blogging. My father was visiting for a couple of weeks and I made a lot of very basic meals that he really likes. Potatoes in various forms, pork chops, baked ring bologna, fish, spaghetti and meatballs. And I didn’t blog those dishes. I also spent quite a bit of time recently in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula with my dad and cooking in his kitchen is quite challenging. No good chefs knives, an electric stove, and odds and ends of cookware…never exactly what you’re looking for.  You need to be cautious of expiration dates and the spice cabinet has salt, pepper, garlic, Lawrys, cinnamon sticks that should only be used for art projects, and a huge jar of mustard seed. Actually I SHOULD blog from his house because cooking there is more of a challenge but there is also no internet.   Now I’m back home and back to experimenting with recipes as well as blogging old favorites.   In a recent issue of one of my many cooking magazines I found a recipe for a Tomato, Bacon, and Gruyere Tart. I first made this as a savory breakfast dish for guests and later made it as a dinner dish with the help of a friend. Both times I modified the recipe. More modifications the second time. But both times it was absolutely yummy.   Both times I doubled the recipe and made two tarts.  The ingredients listed are for two tarts.


2 thawed Puff Pastry sheets

1/2 pound bacon cooked crisp, drained and crumbled

2 cups shredded gruyere cheese

1 cup shredded asiago cheese

3 thin sliced heirloom tomatoes

1/2-1/4 cup diced onion

1/2 cup chopped baby portabella mushrooms

1/2 cup thin sliced fresh basil

salt and pepper to taste

1 egg beaten with 1 tsp of water for brushing the pastry

(The second time I made it I added the onions and mushrooms.)


Preheat your oven to 400.

Roll out the pastry sheets on a lightly floured surface into approximately a 10″x14″ rectangle and transfer to a backing sheet lined with parchment paper.


Shred the cheeses.


Leaving a couple inch border on each side sprinkle each sheet with half of the cheeses.   Top with the crumbled bacon, onion, and mushrooms.


Using a sharp knife or mandolin slice the tomatoes thinly. If you are using heirlooms alternate colors.


Fold the long sides over and cut small vents. Fold the short ends a little and pinch them together.   Brush with the egg wash.


Bake for 30 minutes until golden brown.   Enjoy every bite. We did!!


When I served this for breakfast we has toasted cinnamon bread and fresh fruit.

This recipe is only limited by your imagination. You can change up the cheeses and add other veggies like thin sliced summer squash, artichokes, spinach or kale. I think I’m going to make it with gruyere and blue cheese next time.