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MAGNOLIA TABLE :: Lemon + Lavender Icebox Cookies

Tuesday, May 22

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If you've been following me on Instagram then you know I've been sampling recipes from the *Magnolia Table Cookbook and leaving reviews and feedback in my InstaStories. (you can access my archived stories to catch up if you've missed it).

I even took a poll on Instastories to see which recipe I should try next...the Lemon + Lavender Icebox Cookies or Jo Jo's Chocolate Chips cookies. Obviously from today's blog post, you can guess who the winner was.

So, here are my honest thoughts + feedback on the Magnolia Table Lemon + Lavender Icebox Cookies....

My kitchen was filled with the scents of fresh grated lemon zest and *lavender as I was preparing the cookie dough. I'm telling you it smelled soooo very good my friends and my tastebuds could not wait to taste the final baked cookies.

The cookies are pretty simple and plain and I was thinking there would be more pops of noticeable lavender but the buds actually get lost in the dough for the most part.

Aesthetically, the cookies aren't going to visually "wow" a crowd...and I don't believe they are meant to. The flavor is soft and subtle, matching the overall appearance. In my mind, these cookies were never created to be the "star" of the show but rather as a simple addition to some afternoon tea.

Also, because these are slice and bake cookies there are lines left behind on the top of the cookies due to *the lavender buds you come across while slicing. It really can't be avoided. (see images below)

At first, I found the lines to be off-putting and looked at them as if they were somehow "imperfections". (and then I also immediately made the connection that perhaps that's why the cookbook photographer decided to stack the cookies and avoided an overhead shot of them for the cookbook?). *wink*

My perspective has changed though. I find the lines left behind from the *edible lavender buds to be charming - the "signature look" of the inscription of sorts with the message to anyone nibbling on these simple cookies that "these are authentically and lovingly sliced + baked and imperfectly perfect homemade cookies".  And I like that.  Better yet, I love that. *wink*

Magnolia Table Cookbook - pg. 313

4 out of 5 stars

✓ Easy-to-follow recipe
✓ Soft + subtle flavor
✓ Baked as expected
✓ Family enjoyed them

In a nutshell, these are simple cookies to make with a soft and subtle flavor profile.
They do require refrigeration time prior to baking - hence the "icebox" part of their name.
I gave them 4 out of 5 stars only because I prefer a little more "umph" in my cookies - meaning I like chunks and chocolate over a simple sugar or plain cookie.

I baked one "log" after a couple of hours and another log after a full week of refrigeration - both were great. Next time I will try adding a few lavender buds to the center top of each cookie prior to baking - just to pretty them up a little more. I tried pushing in some lavender buds on top of the cookies right when they came out of the oven but they didn't stick very well. I did not rotate my pans 1/2 way through baking as suggested but I can see where that would come in handy for some ovens.Very curious to try the key lime version mentioned in the time. And I have even considered rolling the dough into balls next time just to see how they turn out vs. the slicing method.


If you have not purchased the *Magnolia Table Cookbook and you love down-home cooking and baking - I think you'll love it. You know I love Jo and Chip and I'm a big fan of pretty much everything they do.

This cookbook is no exception; The black binding, the lovely cover image, the font selection, the photography throughout of the fun recipes and of Joanna in the kitchen truly makes this beautiful cookbook a great gift idea!! You can *purchase the Magnolia Table Cookbook right here.

I have already made the "Three Cheese Quiche", "Baked Chicken", "Chicken Spaghetti", "Best-Ever Fluffy Pancakes" and Jay made the "Beef Stew" this weekend. I'll be back with some reviews on those recipes as well!!

Love you friends!!

I do have to warn you that if you are watching your waistline...well...this cookbook is probably not a good fit for that. Unless you plan to choose to eat salad every night while your family enjoys the fun meals you've cooked for them. Ha!!  Just saying!!

And by the way, I was sure everyone would have voted for the chocolate chip cookies but I was so wrong. Lemon + Lavender cookies won with 71% of the votes.

PS - Do you love the new look of the blog? *wink*

LiFE | The Beauty in Change :: Daddy Daughter Dance 2018

Monday, May 7

"Everything is held together with stories"...

I love that quote.
It couldn't be more true about life.
That's what this blog has always been about for me...storytelling.
And through storytelling I share bits + pieces of my life...things that may inspire you, recipes that make me happy, things that add sunshine to my soul, and maybe even things that add a little sunshine to your own life.

My story today is about the beauty we can find in change.

Our move almost a year ago has certainly presented us with some tough days.
• tearful afternoon carline pickups with Ella missing her old school.
• getting lost + turned around a time or two trying to find our way around a new town.
• tearful prayers for me as a mom, missing my two older daughters who chose to stay behind.
• loneliness and disconnect at times.
• tearful tuck-ins at night with Ella missing friends and "home".

All of that is normal.
Those of you who have moved away from home know what I'm talking about.
You just miss the heck out of everything you ever knew and loved - people, places + familiar faces.

There's also soooo much beauty in change.
Although we've had some hard days and sad moments having moved away,
we have also thoroughly enjoyed the new experiences we've been able to have in our new town.
In fact, it truly has been an adventure of sorts.
There have been so many new places to see, restaurants to try, friends to make + meet, a beautiful neighborhood to explore and ultimately a new house to make into a home.

And then there was the daddy daughter dance this year.
If you've been following along for some time you know Ella's been enjoying this annual tradition at her old school since she was in pre-school.

This year, of course, was a much different experience for her...for us...since it brought with it a number of significant changes.

First of all, she didn't get to attend with her best friend Elise, like she has done every other year. (2016, 2015, 2014)

Second, her new school didn't end up hosting one, (even though it was on the schedule at the beginning of the school year).  When I found out they had changed the "Sweetheart Social" to a "Dance Party" for the entire school, I originally thought we just wouldn't even be able to continue our annual tradition.

However, here's the "beauty" part of things.
Our neighborhood made a surprise announcement it would be hosting an inaugural Daddy Daughter Dance  - right in our own neighborhood at one of our own beautiful amenity centers. Yes!!

So although Ella was missing her bestie, (and I was missing all of the usual traditions of the evening photographing Elise + Ella and their daddies together), she still had a very special night with her dad.

And they literally walked to the dance together, hand-in-hand, down the sidewalk and across a pretty grassy field.

Our neighborhood spares no expense in creating fantastic, memorable events and this one was no different. It was a small scale Daddy Daughter Dance compared to what we're used to but it actually turned out to be quite a magical night since it was more of an intimate setting; filled with sweet treats, photo booths, hula hoop competitions, daddy's on their knees holding their daughter's hands while exchanging daddy daughter promises to one another and of course dancing the night away.

I wouldn't change a thing about how the night turned out.
And I wouldn't change a thing about us moving either.

It's not been easy at times but there have been more than enough wonderful things that have happened since our move that have opened my eyes to the true beauty that can be found in change.
And for that, I am so grateful to be able to add this experience to our story.


It also doesn't hurt that the area we have moved to right along the St. Johns River is so gorgeous.
The sunsets here are absolutely stunning.

PS - I kind-of-sort-of made Ella's wrist corsage this year.
J brought home a boutonnière from Publix instead of a corsage by accident so I deconstructed it a bit and turned it into something she could wear on her wrist. Ha!!
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