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!