Monday, November 29, 2010

Let the Celebrations Begin!

The tea room is decorated for Christmas with twinkling lights and tabletop trees in place. Our first holiday tea for the season was featured on Friday, the day after Thanksgiving.

The Menu:
Apple Cranberry Salad

Artichoke & Swiss Cheese Puff Pastry
Cucumber and Dill Sandwiches
Brie and Raspberry Rounds
Toasted Red Pepper & Cheese Stars
Tuna Salad with Mixed Sprouts on White Bread
Orange and Cranberry Mini Muffin

Traditional English Cream Scones
Cinnamon Chip Scones
Mock Clotted Cream, Lemon Curd, Jelly
Orange Slices and Pineapple Cubes

Miniature Black Forest Cake
Pumpkin Mousse in Phyllo Cups
Earl Grey Christmas Tree Cookies

May you enjoy the holiday season with many opportunities to take tea!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Herbs in the Cookie Jar

Years ago, 1995 to be exact, my mother Bertha Reppert, herbalist extraordinaire, and I (Nancy) compiled an article for The Herb Companion. Mom wrote the verbiage and I provided the assorted herbal recipes which the editor subsequently titled "Herbs in the Cookie Jar". Dear friend, Valerie, recently alerted me to the on-line presence of this article. You can find recipes for Nancy's Mint Cookies, Sweet Remembrances Enchantmint Brownies, Saffron Cookies, Rosemary Shortbread and many more if you visit The Herb Companion . What fun to see a reprise of this long ago combined mother/daughter effort!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Holiday Magic by Marj

Our most recent special event at The Rosemary House welcomed sister Marj who shared tips on decorating, gift giving and entertaining for the holidays. This fast paced evening was a load of fun as Marj demonstrated one clever idea after another. Then as each idea was shown, she drew an attendees name out of the bag and everyone left with a treasure. These pine cones had their tips dipped in glue and then glitter was added. Package in an old mason jar with some batting and you have a charming snowy centerpiece.
Old recycled Christmas lights in an apothecary jar tucked in the corner of the bookcase, is both instant decor and quietly elicits fond memories of Christmas past. A simple hearth basket laden with greens from the garden, pine cones and a few white roses that are in water picks and you have a stunning entryway arrangement for winter or New Years.

Included in the workshop was a quick lesson on bow making and a few holiday treats including this unique and flavorful combination of Brie cheese and gingersnaps (try it!) The faux silver platter was a dollar store find and the silvery decoration was recycled from a helium balloon display. She easily had 30 other hints, tips, shortcuts and fun ideas making this class a holiday favorite.

Monday, November 15, 2010

A New Book for the collection

It's always fun when your mailbox offers a package. This week we received our copy of By The Hearth. It is a compilation of the first five years of the fall /winter articles from The Essential Herbal magazine. Written by contributors to the magazine this books features a pleasant assortment of all things herbal. The chapters include: In the kitchen, Herbal First Aide (including pets), gifts and crafts from The Stillroom, Traditions and close up view of Single Herbs. The Rosemary House is represented in the book with articles on Cranberry, Kelp, Saffron and our family Christmas featuring our recipe for Byron's Potato Filling. With over 230 pages of solid information it is a joy to see that the book is very well indexed so that you can search by writer, topic, herbs, or recipe. Congrats to editor Tina Sams for this fine book. It is going to give me many fine evenings of inspiration!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Japanese and Russian Gardens at Hillwood

Shown here are additional views of the modified Russian country home with its interesting architectural elements and picturesque views of the winding and tranquil Japanese garden. Both were favorite features of ours at the Hillwood Estate Museum and Gardens during our September Traveling Herb Seminar. Our 2011 Traveling Herb Seminars have not been announced yet (check out our events calendar in the early spring) but we are in anticipating a trip to various NYC herb gardens.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Hillwood Estate and Gardens

This montage of photos from our Traveling Herb Seminar this past September highlights the Hillwood Estate Museum and Gardens, the home of cereal heiress Marjorie Merriweather Post. She designed this home and garden to remain a museum and their aptly named slogan is "Where fabulous lives". The outside gardens have many "rooms" including a Japanese garden, a Russian area, a putting green, cutting gardens, quiet areas to sit and relax or visit and so much more. The inside of the home features an amazing collection of Imperialistic Russian Art and 18th C French Art and furnishings. This museum is well worth the visit if you are in Washington DC.
Many thanks to our friend JP for taking these photos and sharing them with us!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Miniature Pumpkin Cheesecakes

Pumpkin Cheesecake
1 c. crushed gingersnap cookies (approx. 20)
3 Tbsp. butter, melted
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 c. pure pumpkin
1/2 c. sugar
1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
1 tsp. vanilla
2 eggs
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line 32 miniature muffin cups with paper cups.
Combine cookie crumbs and butter in small bowl. Press small amount onto bottom of each paper cup. Bake 3 minutes.
Beat cream cheese, pumpkin, sugar, spice, and vanilla in mixing bowl until blended. Add eggs; beat well. Carefully spoon into paper cups. Bake 20 minutes until set. Cool on wire rack. Remove tarts from pan; refrigerate.
If desired, garnish with a small dollop of whipped cream and a dusting of zested chocolate or finely chopped pecans.

Friday, November 5, 2010

The Fall Tea Tray!

You can tell the seasons have changed... the tea tray takes on a spicier look! Shown here, a recent afternoon tea service for SereniTea Wednesday. We started with a homemade Butternut Squash Apple Soup. Yummy! Local and organic butternut squash produced a warm and comforting cup of soup. The tiered tray was presented next, and it featured:
Sweet & Savory Cheddar Sandwiches
Mixed Pepper Squares
Crescent Chicken Salad Triangles
Tuna & Egg Salad with Lettuce
Sweet Radish on French Style Cheese Spread
Traditional English Cream Scones
Walnut & Raisin Scones
Mock Cream, Jelly, Fresh Fruit
Pumpkin Nut Roll
Almond Candy Bars
Millionaire's Shortbread
all accompanied with endless pots of piping hot tea. Enjoy!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Preparing for winter

For as long as we can remember Mechanicsburg has had quite a few albino squirrels, catching the attention of anyone that is lucky enough to spot one scampering around the area.A special thank you to Zachery who snapped this photo out the van window one afternoon last week. The squirrel appears quite busy gathering acorns and creating his winter stash.