Friday, December 29, 2017

Brussel Sprouts!

Isn't this just the most amazing plant? Love the unique way it looks on the stem and the sound it makes when you pop off each little sprout. Roasted, with Roastmary of course, it is a seasonal treat we got in our Spiral Path Veggie Box. Today is dear old dad's birthday, a day to remember the 'old boy' as our mother affectionately called him. Mom didn't like brussel sprouts. No reason given, she just didn't like them. After dad retired, he happily took to the kitchen as 'supper man', another of mom's monikers for her beloved. Preparing dinner each night, he took the challenge, harvesting herbs from the little back porch herb garden. There were some hits, and a few misses, but no complaints from anyone. Mom did put her foot down with the brussel sprouts though and told him he could only prepare them once a month. No problem. Dad delighted in preparing brussel sprouts on the 31st of the month and again on the 1st of the next month insisting that he was sticking with mom's request of 'once a month'. He chuckled when he told the story. Remembering them both today, on dad's birthday!

Monday, December 25, 2017

Merry Christmas!

                                                     Glad Tidings of Comfort and Joy!

Sunday, December 24, 2017

Forgotten Cookies

Yumm! A family favorite ever since our Jim Thorpe sister Marj made them during her high school years. They are a tradition in our household, always making an appearance during Christmas. They have become the favorite cookie of niece Jessica and nephew Jacob. These two pop in the house after a long distance car ride and one of the first questions they ask, 'did you make them?'. Ever since that year I forgot to make the Forgotten Cookies and disappointment that crossed their faces was unforgettable, we have made them without fail! The love of Forgotten Cookies has jumped to niece Angelica also, so last night we made forgotten cookies and all is good in the world. Santa will have a plate of Forgotten Cookies and a glass of milk waiting for his this Christmas Eve.
Forgotten Cookies
4 egg whites
pinch salt
1-1/2 c. sugar (or less)
2 tsp. vanilla
2 c. chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Beat egg whites and salt together until foamy and frothy. Gradually add sugar, beating until very white and stiff peaks form. Add vanilla. Gently fold chocolate chips into mixture. Drop by spoonfuls onto greased cookie sheet. They do not spread, so cookies may be placed close together. Place into preheated oven. Turn oven off. Forget cookies until the oven is cold. 

We always make these last, after all the other cookies are baked, put them in the oven, turn it off, and toddle off to bed.

Saturday, December 23, 2017

Our Wish For You~

 May you have the gladness of Christmas which is hope;
The spirit of Christmas which is peace;
The heart of Christmas which is love.
~Ada V. Hendricks

Friday, December 22, 2017

Anticipation! Excitement!

and Shenanigans! TIP of the day: Don't leave your cell phone unattended! You might be surprised at what to your wondering eyes did appear!

Monday, December 18, 2017

Busy Baking!

The team of culinary Santa figures grace the hallway during the holiday season. The collection seems to grow each year with new additions squeezing into place. This little grouping sits on the oak side by side offering treats and sweets to all who enter. Meanwhile, Santa's elf is busy in the kitchen whipping up delights to serve all month long.
Miniature Egg Nog Cheesecake Triangles, Chocolate Coconut Cream Bars with a festive holly leaf, and Peppermint Meltaway Cookies were served earlier this month.

Or perhaps a Miniature Chocolate Coconut Cake, Peppermint Mousse in Chocolate Cup, or Cranberry White Chocolate Shortbread is more to your liking. Many dessert courses end up little white 'to go' boxes for midnight snacks!
This past Saturday featured a Frosted White Cake with Cherry Topping, Pumpkin Nut Roll, and a Macadamia Nut Sugar Cookie dipped in White Chocolate

And on Sunday we served a slice of Chocolate Amaretto Cheesecake with a chocolate tree garnish, Peanut Butter Mousse in a phyllo cup, and a Chocolate Drizzled Sugar Cookie. Oh yes, the holidays are here! 
Hope your holiday season is sweet!

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Tabletop Teapot Tree

Each year, the tea room is decorated with two tabletop trees and my personal favor ite it the teapot tree in the fireplace room. This little cutie is bedecked with a wide variety of miniature tea pots, jewelry pieces, petite tea themed ornaments and any other little tea related token that fits the theme. 
Twinkling with tiny white lights, it adds a touch of sparkle to the room.

It's fun to look among the boughs to see what is tucked here and there. Hope your holiday season is merry and bright, and your tea cup overflows with joy.

Monday, December 4, 2017

Annual Holiday Workshop & Tea

A popular joyful tradition around here is the annual Holiday Workshop and Tea. This festive event combines two fun activities - creating a simple craft and then the elves rush into the "craft area" and transform it back into a tea room. Before the craft begins, we take tea orders from so we can brew the tea and have it ready once everyone has completed their handiwork. This year's craft was an adorable ribbon tree ornament with star anise topper. Under the guided tutelage of Susanna, everyone completes the task at hand. Then it's time to pour the tea.

For starters, a Romaine Salad with fresh apples, spiced pecans, Parmesan cheese, and craisins topped with a fresh Cranberry oil and vinegar dressing was served.

A festive plate full of yummy sandwiches was next. Check out the menu posted below.

The scone plate included Traditional English Cream Scones and White Chocolate Apricot Scones accompanied by Sweet Cream and Apricot Preserves and fresh fruit. A real treat, our scones are baked while the sandwiches are being consumed, and served fresh and hot from the oven.

The dessert medley was decorated for the holiday season with icing holly leaves on the Chocolate Coconut Bon Bons, flavorful peppermint pieces on the meltaway cookie, and chocolate shavings on the eggnog cheesecake. 'Tis the season!
(In order to read the menu, click on the photo to enlarge it.)

Monday, November 27, 2017

Holiday Open House, Manheim, PA

A quick jaunt to the Mount Hope Estate & Winery in Manheim, PA was on the agenda to visit their Holiday Open House. This free event included a variety of activities, an opportunity to explore the festively decorated Victorian mansion (built between 1800 - 1805), marvel at the ornate decorations, enjoy the Holiday Open House Carolers, and shop the merchant marketplace. We did a little bit of it all.
 The mansion is decorated with twelve opulent Christmas trees, some reaching the ceiling. Garlands of pearls, silk roses, feathered birds and more adorn the assorted festive trees. The elegance of the Victorian era is represented in the many rooms in the mansion from the ballroom to the morning parlor to the library.

The carolers presented a holiday program in the Chapel. They harmonized through a variety of Christmas carols, bantered jovially among each other, and played parlor games with the audience. It added an air of festivity to the day.  There is a Merchant Marketplace with a variety of hand crafted wares by local artisans. We found a few little treasures there. Father Christmas is available for photos also.

If you are in the area, the Holiday Open House is this weekend also, December 2 - 3.

Sunday, November 26, 2017

Holiday Tea Time!

Decorated in festive holiday reds along with the tea pot tree, the holiday season in the tea room is in full swing. Our annual post Thanksgiving Holiday Teas were held this weekend, marking the beginning of the yuletide celebrations.
The first course featured a fresh apple and cranberry salad topped with red and green apples, pecan pieces, Parmesan cheese, craisin and a homemade cranberry dressing.

The sandwich plate included an array of festive holiday delights. There was a chicken salad sandwich with pistachios and cranberries, a round cranberry and orange marmalade sandwich, a sweet apple sandwich with cinnamon honey butter on raisin bread, a warm spinach and artichoke square, a flavorful sun dried tomato basil pesto in a crispy phyllo cup, and a spinach wrap spiral laden with chopped red pepper, olives, and cheddar cheese.

Scones, served right out of the oven, were traditional English cream scones and a salted caramel chip scone with fresh fruit and toppings.

The dessert medley included a miniature peanut butter pie with chocolate ganache, a petite chocolate cup filled with peppermint fluff, and cranberry white chocolate shortbread cookies. The perfect way to end the tea. The rotund holly and red berry covered tea pot is a new acquisition, a pre-Christmas gift from sister Carrie. The pot is marked on the bottom 'Made in Portugal' and also stamped Bordallo Pinheiro * Caldas Da Rainha *. Caldas Da Rainha is a city in western central Portugal best known for its hot springs and ceramics. What a fun addition to the holiday teaware. Thank you, sister!

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Buttons, Bows & A Pretty Dress

Last week we had a special event in the tea room where the theme was Tea and Fashions. Our guest speaker was April Thomas of Fashions Revisited. April shared her collection of 18th - 20th century antique clothing and discussed the different fashions of that time period. Preceding the program was an afternoon tea. This little plate of yumminess features the desserts that complemented the program. The chocolate jasmine green tea truffle represents a button while the cupcake was adorned with a creamy white bow atop chocolate ganache and the flouncy cookie dress inspires the future in fashion.

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Curried Pumpkin and Ginger Scones

We featured this perfectly delicious fall scone at a special event in the tea room. The beautiful fall color coupled with a unique flavor combination of curry, turmeric, and crystallized ginger pieces makes this a perfect scone to serve in the fall.

Curried Pumpkin and Ginger Scones
1 c. buttermilk
1/2 c. canned pumpkin
3 c. flour
5 Tbsp. granulated sugar
1 Tbsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
3/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. curry powder
1/4 tsp. turmeric
1/2 c. cold butter, cut into small pieces
1/2 c. crystallized ginger, chopped into small pieces

Optional: 1 egg white, granulated sugar

In a small measuring cup, mix together buttermilk and canned pumpkin. Set aside. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and seasonings. Cut in the butter until coarse crumbs form. Add the crystallized ginger pieces. Combine the wet ingredients with the dry ingredients just until mixed. Do not over mix. Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead about 10 times. Divide the dough into 3 equal portions. Roll each portion into a small circle. Cut each circle into 6 equal pie-shaped pieces. Place pie shaped pieces on a parchment lined baking tray, with about an inch or so between each triangular scone. Optional: brush scones with egg white and sprinkle with granulated sugar before baking. Bake in preheated 425 degree oven for 13 - 15 minutes. Serve warm. Yield: 18 triangular scones.
We served these with sweet cream and lemon curd.

Monday, November 6, 2017

Roastmary Party Favors

We recently celebrated a bridal shower at the tea room and the hostess requested party favors. Susanna suggested Roastmary, our original, best selling seasoning tied with a little lacy bow and informational brochure with recipes. Placed at each place setting, this was a perfect solution for the hostess, and something useful that everyone would be able to enjoy and savor.

Roastmary is a perfectly proportioned flavorful blend of salt, pepper, rosemary, and garlic. It is especially delicious on pork roast, grilled chicken, venison, roasted potatoes and garlic bread. Once tried, it is guaranteed to become a staple in your kitchen. We have shipped Roastmary to all 50 states and 14 countries!

Monday, October 30, 2017

Halloween Tea - 2017

Every year we hold two Halloween Tea events in the tea room. These special events are frequently sold-out as soon as they are announced! Many guests make this an annual event, being sure they attend each year! After walking thru the haunted herb gardens, they come inside for our haunted tea.

We start with a salad, which was a Pear, Pecan, Cheddar Cheese and Red Onion Salad with a Maple Dressing. The contrast of sweet maple with tangy Dijon in the dressing provided a hauntingly delicious taste sensation!

The sandwich course could have been called 'here's looking at you' as there was an abundance of eyes this year! The sandwiches included a Ham & Cheese Coffin with a Peppery Mustard Mayonnaise. There was a Pimiento Cheese Pumpkin with a surprised look and a ghoulish Chicken Salad eyeball. A Googly eyed pineapple sandwich, a Herbed Spinach Ball, and a Witch's Cauldron with Brie and Orange Marmalade rounded out the plate.

The scone course included a Ghostly English Cream Scone with currant eyes and a triangular Pumpkin Pecan Scones. Small individual bowls of sweet cream and orange marmalade were at each place setting. Tart green apples were served with a sweet Caramel Cream Dip.

And for dessert, Roses and Bones mini Cake, a Mummy Chocolate Truffle, and Pumpkin Bread with whipped cream ghost. Yum!

Saturday, October 28, 2017

25th Annual Garlic Dinner - 2017

This past week was our Annual Garlic Dinner where we feature garlic in every form from the appetizers to a tasty tempting dessert and everything in between. Not only did we serve roasted garlic and minced garlic and mashed garlic there was also black garlic! Have you heard of it? Black garlic is new to us, but guest chef Linda Gauvry of Tastebuds introduced us all to black garlic. It is a fermented garlic where tangy garlic undertones mix with a molasses-like richness to create a unique flavor mesh billed as 'culinary gold'.
Once our guests placed their orders for hot pots of tea, we began serving the meal. A plate of individual appetizers included Roasted garlic stuffed dates drizzled with pecan honey butter,  Cucumber bites with whipped garlic feta dip, and Sun-dried tomato ricotta crostini. 

Following the appetizers, we served a beautiful plate of Pumpkin roasted garlic soup with an herbed pesto swirl topped with an edible nasturtium and accompanied with am oversize  buttery garlic Parmesan dinner roll.

The main entree consisted of Honey garlic chicken (a moist chicken breast topped with a honey garlic glaze) with chive and garlic infused hand mashed potatoes served alongside herb and garlic roasted rainbow carrots. The carrots added such a pretty complement of fall colors,

Dessert was a yummy Apple Spiced Cake topped with pecans and served with a Roasted Garlic and Honey Poached Black Garlic Sauce. Fresh figs harvested from the Rosemary House garden garnished the plate. A delicious ending to a very unique meal. 
Kudos to guest chef Linda Gauvry of TasteBuds Personal Chef Services for tonight's dinner presentation.

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Tea with the General & Mrs. Robert E. Lee

We recently welcomed Frank Orlando, a Civil War living historian representing General Robert E. Lee and his wife Bonnie who portrayed Mrs. Mary Anna Randolph Custis Lee for a presentation where they shared their fascinating story and brought history to life.

Before the presentation, we offered our guests a southern style red-white-and-blue Afternoon Tea. Each guest received a glass of Southern Sweet Mint Tea to accompany the salad which featured a Fresh Raspberry, Parmesan, Bacon & Pear Salad topped with Raspberry Cream Dressing.

The sandwich course included a Stacked Sandwich with Spinach and Pimento Cheese layers, fresh Georgia Peach & Brie Crostini, Star Studded Magnolia & Ivy Tea Sandwich, Curried Chicken Salad, and Sweet Potato Biscuit with sliced Baked Ham.

 The scone course included a Traditional English Cream Scone with sweet cream and jelly and a slice of Orange Glazed Poppyseed Tea Bread along with Fresh Fruit.

And dessert featured a slice of Robert E. Lee Cake which is a four layer lemon cake with lemon curd filling in between each layer frosted with a lemon and orange sweet icing. Yum! There was also a small triangular piece of Southern Praline Coconut Brownie.
Our guests enjoyed the presentation by the General and his wife (a descendant of George Washington). Duty and Honor were the theme of the presentation, two words that symbolize all that Robert E. Lee represents. Passionate about their story telling, the two presenters bounced their story off of each other, keeping the audience enthralled with their interpretation of this historical figure.