Re-post: Summer issue of Celebrate Home Magazine

17 06 2020

Summer has begun and there’s no better time than now to revisit the summer 2013 issue of Celebrate Home Magazine.

Here’s what you’ll find in this issue:

Up a Creek with Lots of Memories—The Havermann family finds a place to play in a vacation 
home on St. Leonard’s Creek in southern Maryland.

Light and Lively Summer Fare—Chef Emily Doermann whips up a tasty summer meal.

Not-a-Burger—Everyone loves a burger on the grill during summer. If you’re not a meat-eater, here is an alternative that can’t be beat!

Six Summer Sips—Mixologist Karen Covey shares sizzling summer drinks to beat the heat.

Space Cake—Put down that Moon Pie and try this heirloom cake without-of-the-world taste.

Inspired by the Garden: Garden Muse Tea Reception—Barbara Kelley caters a photography exhibit reception to remember.

Summer Tablescapes—Usher in summer with cool summer-inspired tablescapes.

Shoe-la-la, Ooh-la-la!—A popular children’s book is the inspiration for a mural in 
a shoe-loving little girl’s room.

That 80s House—A bathroom gets a new lease on life.

Rest for the Weary—Create a welcoming guestroom for your visitors.

Ode to a Chicken—Becka Davis pays homage to a beloved feathered friend.

Suburban Agriculture: Confessions of a Brown Thumb—Maria Hufnagel shares her experience as a first-time gardener.

Fashioning a Fairy Garden—Kristin Clem connects with her inner child and creates 
a miniature fairy paradise.

Photographing Your Garden Through the Seasons—Photographer Cindy Dyer shares her tips for creating captivating images in the garden.

Rampant Biblioholism—Marisa Sarto interviews CHM’s art director/photographer, Cindy Dyer, 
and discovers how a love of books has shaped her collection.

So Charming—Ginger Garneau shares her lifelong passion for charm bracelets.

Fit to Tied (and Dyed): Fun and Easy Wearables Made with T-shirts—Achieve amazing results with inexpensive t-shirts, colorful dyes, simple 
knotting and a pair of scissors!

Living Spontaneously, Finding Roots by Martha Bizzell
Celebrating Life at the Table by Gina Waterfield
The Home of My Dreams by Stephanie Simpson
Home is… by Bo Mackison
Saying Goodbye by William Lee
Respect for Home by Birgitte Tarding
Always Growing by Lisa Westfall

View the issue as reader spreads (my favorite!):

CHM Summer 2013 Spreads

View the issue as single pages (suitable for printing):

CHM Summer 2013 Single Pages

Splurge and purchase a beautiful print copy on (no markup; at cost + shipping):

CHM Summer 2013 Cover Blog

How not to bake

12 12 2011

Many of you may have read slept through my recent posting titled Wannabe Kitchenista. Apparently I haven’t yet given up the yearning to master all things kitchen since yesterday morning found me in the kitchen at the way-too-early-on-a-Sunday-morning time of 8:47 a.m, setting up shop to bake seven dozen (yikes!) oatmeal cookies for a cookie exchange the same day. I had at least four hours to accomplish this task, so piece of cake cookie, right?

I had the foresight to mix the batter the night before (industrious, aren’t I?), so all I had left to do was prepare teaspoon-size balls and start baking. Our stove runs cooler than the temperature I had to set, so after carefully bringing Batch #1 to completion, I determined that I would need exactly 12 minutes of baking time to get soft and chewy cookies.

Everything went fine for Batch #1-5. [Yay, me!] Just two more to go. And Nancy, the host of this soiree, said one batch was actually for me to take home, so I figured if I screwed up Batch #7, it was no great loss, right? I put Batch #6 into the oven and decided 12 minutes was plenty of time for me to check my e-mail really quickly.

Mistake #1. A minute of e-mail time turns into several minutes of blogging and then I remember the cookies. In my little cooking-challenged brain, I thought, “The timer will have gone off; the cookies might cook awhile longer in the residual heat, but the oven isn’t still actually on, right?”

Misguided Notion #1. It dawns on me at this point that the timer doesn’t actually turn the stove off; it’s simply an indicator to take your creation out of the oven. Duh. Yes, I’m sure that deep down I knew this fact. Fortunately, no smoke detector had gone off and the kitchen wasn’t overcome by noxious fumes yet, either (although I did see a tad bit of heat rising from the top of the oven).

I opened the door and saw the blackest cookies I have ever seen. Rock hard and black as coal. Culinary weapons, they were, like throwing stars straight out of a Bond flick. So, what was I, a guest at the “7 dozen, please” cookie exchange party, to do? I had to make another two batches from scratch. Lesson learned, I stayed put for the next 24 minutes, monitoring them diligently.

I toted my 84 cookies to the exchange, made some new friends, and let my host’s husband have my batch of oatmeal cookies. I don’t want to see oatmeal cookies ever again. What did I learn from this little experience?

Baking + e-mailing = throwing stars.

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.

Below: my new not-cooking-challenged friends

Sour cream ghost busting a move…

1 12 2011

I take credit for this (unintentionally humorous) garnishing on Michael’s latest soup creation. Don’t you think the dollop of sour cream looks like a ghost doing the Saturday Night Fever dance? Trust me, it wasn’t planned—I envisioned swirls of the white stuff but my garnishing skills obviously leave a bit to be desired.

Michael made this butternut and acorn squash soup as a starter for our Thanksgiving dinner with our friend Karen down at her  lakehouse. He found the recipe on Because the butternut squash he used was so large, he opted to add nearly a teaspoon of cinnamon (the recipe isn’t specific about how much) as well as a little extra onion. The recipe reviews had a common thread; many who tried it said it was way too sweet, which is why Michael opted to not add the brown sugar to his version. It was enough soup to completely fill a crock pot—and it was delicious!

And, are you sitting down? I did some cooking, too. I made my friend Barbara Kelley’s Baked Cranberry–Orange Sauce (check out her posting, the recipe, and my photography on her blog here). I do not profess to be an expert in the kitchen (by a country mile), but when I mixed the cranberries with 2 cups of sugar (really? no liquid to add?), I thought, “hmm…I’m no expert, but that just doesn’t look right without any liquid.” I cut out some of the sugar but followed the other directions that Barbara gave me. It’s obvious (to anyone but me) that the cranberries supply the liquid during the baking process. Clearly, I missed that Good Eats episode with Alton Brown. (Note to self: do not think you will ever be a contender for Chopped). I cut the sugar in half in my version because I knew I would be adding orange marmalade (which is already sickly sweet). It’s still a sweet dish and my dinner companions actually ate a good helping of it (out of pity, perhaps?) My other contribution to the day was crafting the tablescape (truly my favorite thing to do in the kitchen!).

Butternut and Acorn Squash Soup


  • 1 butternut squash, halved and seeded
  • 1 acorn squash, halved and seeded
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1/4 cup chopped sweet onion
  • 1 quart chicken broth
  • 1/3 cup packed brown sugar (Michael opted out on this ingredient due to the reviews)
  • 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • ground cinnamon to taste (optional)
  • fresh parsley, for garnish
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Place the squash halves cut side down in a baking dish. Bake 45 minutes, or until tender. Remove from heat, and cool slightly. Scoop the pulp from the skins. Discard skins.
  2. Melt the butter in a skillet over medium heat, and saute the onion until tender.
  3. In a blender or food processor, blend the squash pulp, onion, broth, brown sugar, cream cheese, pepper, and cinnamon until smooth. This may be done in several batches.
  4. Transfer the soup to a pot over medium heat, and cook, stirring occasionally, until heated through. Garnish with parsley (we had home-grown chives in lieu of parsley), and serve warm.