Monday, September 30, 2013

Tudor Place, Washington, DC

 We recently had another of our Rosemary House Traveling Herb Seminars were we went to Washington DC and visited Tudor Place.  Tudor Place, a National Historic Landmark, is interesting both for its architectural features and also because members of the same family lived in it for six generations.  It was Martha Custis, grand daughter of Martha Washington who resided here.  Not permitted to take photos inside, this house has many original features and a long history of hosting illustrious figures in American history.

Wandering the gardens and the estate we loved the many little nooks and crannies to sit and pause a moment.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Fresh Fig Upside Down Cake


We have a healthy and happy fig tree (follow that link for Susanna's post a few years back) in our backyard gardens and the fig harvest has been abundant this year.  We've served them as a part of the morning snack on a Traveling Herb Seminar bus trip.  We've served them alongside orange slices and fresh scones during Afternoon Tea in the tea room.  And last night, we prepared an upside down cake using fresh figs and pine nuts.  What a buttery dessert this was... a pure and sinful dessert... all in one! 
Fresh Fig Upside Down Cake
1/3 c. butter, melted
1/3 c. brown sugar
10 - 12 ripe figs, cut into 1/2 inch slices
1/3 c. toasted pine nuts, divided
1-1/3 c. flour
1 c. sugar
2 tsps. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 c. butter, room temperature
2/3 c. milk
1 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. freshly zested lemon peel
1 egg

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Pour melted butter into bottom of an 8" square baking pan.  Sprinkle brown sugar evenly over bottom of pan.  Arrange fig slices in single layer over bottom of pan.  Tuck pine nuts (2 Tbsp.) into spaces around figs, pressing into brown sugar.  Set aside.

Sift dry ingredients (flour, sugar, baking powder and salt) into large mixing bowl.  Add softened butter, milk, vanilla, lemon zest, and egg.  Beat on medium speed about 2 minutes, scraping sides of bowl.  Stir in remaining pine nuts.  Pour over figs in prepared baking pan.

Bake for about 40 minutes, or until cake tests done.  Cool in pan about 5 minutes.  Loose cake around edges of pan.  Place serving platter over cake and turn over.  Shake gently, then remove pan.  Serve warm.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Tomato Basil Sandwich


Here's a pretty Afternoon Tea Sandwich to enjoy:
Tomato Basil Sandwich
1/2 lb. (2 sticks) butter, softened
2 Tbsp. tomato paste
1 cup fresh basil, finely cut, plus additional basil for top of sandwich
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 c. Romano cheese, plus additional cheese for sprinkling on top
Pumpernickel bread
Fresh plum tomatoes, thinly sliced (spread out on paper towel to drain)

Combine butter, tomato paste, basil, salt, garlic, and Romano cheese until well blended.  Using a 2" round cookie cutter, cut Pumpernickel bread.  Spread filling on bread.  Top with tomato slice.  Sprinkle with cheese and basil.  Serve proudly!

 

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Fairy Sprinkled Oreo Pops

Looking for a fun treat for a special event?  These Oreo pops might just be the perfect fit for a fairly quick and easy treat to make.  Depending upon the sprinkle decorations you use, they can be made to fit any season, any event.  We offered them at our Fairy Festival recently, so these have been fairy dusted! 






Using the double stuff Oreo cookies, gently poke a lollipop stick into the center of the cream filling. 

Melt white chocolate coating (either in the top of a double boiler, or with the microwave).  Three pounds of chocolate was enough to dip 2 - 15 oz. packages of cookies.  Dip the Oreo cookie into the melted chocolate being sure to thoroughly cover the back, front, and sides.  Allow excess chocolate coating to drip off, then place on a wax paper lined tray.  Sprinkle each cookie with edible decorations before the chocolate firms.  I usually dip about five pops, and then sprinkle those five before dipping the next five cookies. Place tray in fridge until chocolate is totally firm.

Package in a clear baggie, with colorful coordinating ribbons.  Perfect for a birthday party favor or an in-school birthday celebration.  Fun!



 

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Marzipan


Marzipan is a very typical sweet in Spain, originating in  Toledo, while some claim marzipan originated in China and from there it was passed to the Middle East which introduced it to Spain.  The story in Toledo is attributed to the nuns of the convent of San Clement who following one of the famines that often affected the population, created a dough with the only products that they had in their food stores: almonds and sugar. 

Marzipan is understood to be the paste, cooked or raw, obtained from the mixture of raw peeled almonds and sugar.  But you could also find marzipan crème to use as liquor flavoring.

Most traditional are the "Saint's Bones" on the left but other Marzipan candies are made all year round, with more designs at Christmas time.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Tea Time - La Tienda del Te

Another tea related excursion this summer included a visit to Tea Time, La Tienda del Te in Madrid, Spain.  What a fun little discovery this tea shop was!  Tucked in a pedestrian walkway area, nestled between buildings, was Tea Time.  This small shop packs a lot into each little corner and according to their business card has the best selection of teas from the whole world, La mejor seleccion de tes de todo el mundo.


Susanna selected two different Chai teas from the wide assortment of black canisters filled with tea.  She purchased a Green Tea Chai, and also a Rooibos Chai.  We've sampled both of them, and enjoyed the spicy warmth of each one. 


We also sniffed the Black tea with Cannabis, but were afraid to try and bring that back into the US.  We were so surprised by the opportunity to openly purchase this tea, we didn't even take a picture of it!











This is the collection of tea goodies displayed in the front window directly behind Susanna in the previous picture. 








And these three adorable cherubs waited patiently for us while we admired La Tienda del Te.  There was a little feeling of being home while standing in this shop, with merchandise tucked here and there, floor to ceiling, tins full of tea and tisanes, it just felt a little reminiscent of The Rosemary House. 

Monday, September 16, 2013

A Tea Affair, Lititz, PA

A few weeks ago Susanna and Nancy had the pleasure of savoring Afternoon Tea at A Tea Affair in Lititz, PA.  Lititz, located in Lancaster County, is a fun community with a great variety of gift shops, art galleries, and Wilbur's Chocolate factory.  It all combines to make a great place to stroll, shop, and enjoy the day.  Top that with a visit to a tea room, and you have a memorable day.

The interior of the tea room is pristine white with bold splashes of color, bright red and green are accented on the walls, tables, and repeated with the tea pots.

The High Tea, their specialty, featured a salad, a variety of tea sandwiches, fresh scones with jam and curd, and a delicious variety of desserts featuring a French flair.












Warm scones followed by a delicious strawberry salad with sweetly crusted pecans served by an attentive young French lad with a beautiful accent eager to return to his final year of study at Dickenson College in Carlisle, PA.
















The tiered tray included a nice variety of sweets and savories. And an additional tray of desserts was presented on the side with Crème Brulee.


Be sure to visit the gift shop afterwards where you will be enticed to purchase a package of tea or perhaps a special tea accoutrement.  They have a large selection of specialty tea items and tins of loose leaf tea line the back wall where you can decide which new flavor to add to your tea cupboard.
 



Thursday, September 12, 2013

Chocolate Zucchini Bundt Cake


3 c. flour
1-1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
4 eggs
3 cups sugar
3 oz. unsweetened baking chocolate, melted
1-1/2 c. oil
3 c. zucchini, grated
1 c. miniature chocolate chips (or nuts if you prefer)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease and flour a Bundt pan, set aside. Mix dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, soda, and salt) and set aside.  In a mixing bowl, beat eggs and add sugar, 1/4 cup at a time.  Add melted chocolate, then add the oil.  Add the reserved flour mixture and blend well.  Fold in zucchini and chocolate chips.  Mix well and pour into prepared Bundt pan.  Bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes.  Cool 15 minutes before removing from cake.  Liberally dust with confectioner's sugar, or make a confectioner's sugar and milk glaze to pour over the cake as shown in the picture.  Enjoy!
 

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Fairy Festival 2013

 A few quick snaps of the event... from early Sunday morning, before the afternoon crowds arrived.  We had a beautiful two day weekend event, lovely weather and a great turnout.  Guests traveled from NJ, MD, WV, NC, NY, DC, and PA. 

And we love the feedback we receive, notes in our Guestbook included: FZ penned We had a wonderful time.  Brownie Troop 10537 wrote Memories forever, amazing time.



We were pleased to received this message in our inbox the day after the event:
Thank you so much for the lovely day!  My granddaughter loved it.  The snack sacks were marvelous!  Thank you for all the hard work that you all do to make the festival a wonderful, magickal event for the children! 


Khaya said I couldn't belive my eyes! while Laylah printed I had a wonderful time with my friend.

This private Facebook message touched our hearts. 
This was a perfect day for my daughter and I, we created a lifetime memory and a new mother/daughter tradition. Can't wait for next year! We drove from DC and it was completely worth the trip. Your very special team clearly does this for the children. I can't even imagine how the festival could have possibly made a profit. The experience I shared with my daughter was worth much more than the few dollars we spent. The fairy festival is a wonderful event for little fairies, and grown ones too! This was the best afternoon I've ever spent with my three yr old daughter, a very special day put on by very special people. Thank you for all your hard work and heart that was evident in the every moment of our visit.

Friday, September 6, 2013

It's Fairy Festival time!


Fairy Festival fun.... Saturday September 7th and Sunday September 8th from 10 am to 4 pm in the gardens of The Rosemary House and Sweet Remembrances.  Hope to see you there!
Find us on Facebook, too!

Thursday, September 5, 2013

High Heeled Cupcake Shoes

The Internet provided the inspiration for these cupcake shoes.  Having spotted several variations on the theme earlier in the year, I knew these would become the dessert for our shoe themed event.  The high heeled shoes are crafted with a cupcake as the base and a Milano Cookie as the top of the shoe along with a Pirouette cookie as the high heel.  Baking the cupcakes was the easy part!  Construction of the actual shoe took a bit more work and patience.
With a variety of colored icing, and assorted sugar sprinkles, the crafting of each pair of shoes began.  Frost the top of the cupcake, and then push one end of the Milano cookie into the top edge of the cupcake.  Attach the Pirouette cookie to the Milano cookie using a small portion of melted chocolate.  Allow that to firm.  Frost the top of the Milano cookie to coordinate with the cupcake.  Decorate the pairs of shoes as desired with icing bows or fancy squiggles.









The day of our event, a large tray holding the pairs of decorated shoes was paraded around the tea room so the guests could see the matching pairs all together.  This dessert has to be the most photographed dessert ever!  It took awhile to get all the way around the room so that these little shoes could be photographed. 




To serve, an individual shoe was placed on a doily lined plate and presented to each guest.  Many of the shoes were taken home to be savored and shared with family members.


 

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Flip Flop Sandwiches

These festive sandwiches were pretty easy to create, and added to the shoe themed event recently held in the tea room.  Using a sturdy piece of paper, cut out a pattern for the flip flop shoe base.  Then, with the pattern as your guide, cut thin white bread into the shape of the flip flop, and also cut an equal number of pieces of thin ham.  You can precut the bread and the ham the night before you plan on serving the sandwich, but assemble the sandwich the morning of your party.  Spread a thin layer of your favorite filling on the bread, top with the ham slice.  Place two pieces of garlic chives or spring onion greens to form the top of the flip flop.  Attach the greens with a piping of the filling.  Our French Styled Cheese Spread was the filling that I used to create the sandwich.  Chill until ready to serve.  These are such a fun summertime sandwich!

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

For the Love of Shoes - Afternoon Tea

The Afternoon Tea menu for our specialty themed event started with an Almond, Raspberry, & Feta Cheese Salad with Mixed Salad Greens topped with a Ruby Red Raspberry Slippers Dressing.









The sandwich course included Carrot & Olive Rounds, There's No Place Like Home Egg Salad Sandwich, Almond Chicken Salad, Tomato Basil Sandwich on Rye Bread with Romano Cheese, and Ham and Chives Flip Flop Sandwiches.

 
 















Fresh Fruit and assorted toppings accompanied Traditional English Cream Scones and Blueberry Scones.






Each guest received their own high heeled cupcake shoe for dessert. (More about these on Thursday!).













And a colorful variety of high heeled dancing shoes using DreaMint candy molds (available at The Rosemary House) were served to each table. 

Monday, September 2, 2013

Mom's Dancing Shoes


For our recent shoe program, I rummaged in the closet to find some of our mother's shoes.  While they fit me, I find it difficult to walk in these lovely heels.  Mom always referred to the gold pair as her "dancing shoes".

This lovely velveteen burgundy pair with the fabric interior was from Mary Sach's Department store. Mary Sach's was opened by a savvy woman in 1918.  A Russian Immigrant, Mary Sachs' believed firmly in quality merchandise, honest business practices, and full customer service.  When her women's clothing store first opened in 1918 each client was seated in a private booth and presented with garments to try on.  Later, after a fire forced her to redesign, she opened a department store in  1932 featuring 21 departments (and 12 consulting rooms).  She traveled to Europe and New York City to insure the top of fashion.  By the 1950's she was able to add a doorman and valet parking to the business.   It was 'the' place to shop in the Harrisburg, PA area.   Our mom rode the bus to Mary Sachs and could only ever afford to shop there at their famous "Twice a Twelve Month Sale".   I kept these shoes because they were my "dress up" shoes when I was little.   Pleased now to have not only my mother's shoes but a little piece of Mary Sach's history as well.
Honoring and celebrating women in the workforce today... Happy Labor Day!