Saturday, June 29, 2019

Emeralds and Envy

There's a new cozy mystery nestled on my bookshelf tucked among the many cookbooks and tea themed books I collect. This new tome, Emeralds and Envy, happens to have been authored by fellow tea enthusiast and Tea With Friends blogger Angela McRae. Angela has a descriptive, easy-to-read, casual writing style with bits of humor popping up throughout the book. The story opens with a murder in the small town community of Roseland, GA. Multiple characters are introduced, friendships are formed, town gossip is shared all the while leading the reader to wonder who committed this deed. There is a strong community of small businesses within the story line that makes you want to visit the cute shops and cafes! The main character, Emma Madison creates jewelry and is always on the lookout for garage sale finds that can be redesigned into her clever designs. Emma is mostly a coffee drinker, but there is an afternoon tea interlude that was enjoyable to read, plus a recipe for the Egg-Olive Sandwich Spread that was served can be found in the back of the book along with Emma's Blueberry Tea Bread recipe. In the end, Emma is glad to finally have the murder solved (no spoilers here), and peace and quiet will reign over Roseland again. Since this is Book 1 in the Junkin' Jewelry Mystery series, I suspect there might be another situation that requires more sleuthing in the future.

In the acknowledgements, Angela shares that this book is dedicated to her first born niece, Madison Horton, and that the last name of the main character (Emma Madison) also honors her. This special bond between aunt and niece is particularly sweet. 

Friday, June 28, 2019

National Cream Tea Day

England celebrates National Cream Tea Day today - Friday, June 28th, 2019. We're happy to join in the celebration, and propose to make it International Cream Tea Day!

         What is a Cream Tea? Very simply, scones, cream (lots of it!), jelly and tea.
 The scone is considered merely a carrier for the cream and jelly 
that is slathered upon the scone.
And then the controvery, cream first? or jelly first? 
As you can tell by the photos, we prefer the cream first. 
Then jelly. Either way, it's delicious.
                                                Can you really ever have too many scones?
                                               We enjoy our scones warm from the oven.
                                                        Happy National Cream Tea Day!

Monday, June 24, 2019

Getting her hands dirty!

The other day, Angelica was tasked with planting and decorating the kids vintage wagon. This little red wagon was painted and updated by dear old dad for the bicentennial celebrations in 1976! With the names of his two grandchildren, Jessie and Jake painted on the side of the wagon, he proudly pulled them around town during the festivities. The wagon has been repurposed, and now holds a fairy garden full of succulents complete with a dry creek bed. Mushrooms, fairy chairs, and creativity abound. Have you spotted it in the garden yet?

Monday, June 17, 2019

Lovely Lavender Tea

Sweet Remembrances hosted a Lovely Lavender Tea to coincide with a local lavender festival. Attendees were encouraged to stroll the lavender festival in Dillsburg, PA in the morning, and then head to nearby Mechanicsburg, PA to savor a host of lavender delights. A refreshing Lavender Mint Punch was offered in addition to our regular tea menu. Various hot teas featuring lavender were included in the tea list from Lavender Earl Grey, to Lavender Black Tea, to Fig and Lavender.

The tea began with a Salad of Mixed Greens and Summer Berries, topped with Parmesan cheese and dressed with a Lavender Balsamic Vinaigrette.

  • The sandwiches and savories featured a fun variety of lavender infused options. Starting at the top, the plate included:
  • Miniature Lavender Meatball, 
  • Lemon Glazed Lavender Blossom Muffin, 
  • Miniature Leek Quiche with Thyme & Lavender, 
  • Pork Tenderloin with Lavender & Mint on a crostini, and 
  • Herbs de Provence Chicken Tender

A triangular Lavender Cream Scone was served alongside a slice of  Blueberry Lemon Lavender Tea Bread with sweet cream and lavender lemon curd. Fresh Summer Strawberries were glazed with a Lavender Chamomile Honey Syrup.

The sweet perfumed nature of lavender flowers blend perfectly with desserts. Our trio of sweet lavender treats included a Lavender Mint Cookie, Chocolate Lavender Brownie, and a honey frosted Lavender Honey Cupcake.                                                                                                                                                                                                                      
Many of the recipes were seleted from the Lavender Cookbook by Sharon Shipley. A few of the recipes were obtained at the Pennsylvania Lavender Festival that was held at the Willow Pond Farm in Fairfield, PA near Gettysburg. Alas, this festival is no longer held, but many of their recipes graced our table at this event. In addition, a file folder full of lavender recipes gathered over the years, clipped from magazine and newspaper articles rounded out the selection today. 

Saturday, June 15, 2019

Rhubarb Pecan Tea Bread

This yummy springtime tea bread provides the perfect answer to what to make with the fresh rhubarb harvest. Sweet and pretty with the pieces of rhubarb in the bread, it's a delicious addition to the tea table.

Rhubarb Pecan Tea Bread
1-1/2 c. light brown sugar, firmly packed
2/3 c. vegetable oil
1 egg
1 c. buttermilk
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. vanilla
2-1/2 c. flour
1-1/2 c, raw rhubarb, diced
1/2 c, pecans, chopped
1/3 c. sugar
1/3 c. lemon balm, fresh, snipped fine
1 tsp. fresh lemon zest
1 T. butter, melted

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Grease and flour 2 - 8" x 4" x 3" loaf pans. In large mixing bowl, combine brown sugar, oil and egg. In a large measuring cup, combine buttermilk, baking soda, salt and vanilla. Add the milk mixture to the sugar mixture alternately with the flour, beating well after each addition. Fold in the rhubarb and pecans. Turn the batter into the prepared pans. Combine topping ingredients and sprinkle over the batter. Bake for 60 minutes, or until loaf tests done. Cool on wire rack.

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Garden Veggie & Herb Terrine

This yummy appetizer was the hit of the recent garden party we hosted for a group of herbal enthusiasts traveling from Ohio. This savory baked cheesecake served with crackers is fairly easy to make, serves a crowd, and provides a beautiful addition to any party. Garnished with edible flowers on top and edged with freshly snipped parsley, it is a feast for the eyes!

Garden Veggie & Herb Terrine
2 - 8 oz. packages cream cheese, softened
1/2 c. Parmesan cheese (feta works well also)
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 tsp. ground red pepper
1/2 c. sour cream
2 eggs
2 tsp. fresh lemon zest
1/2 c. fresh garden herbs
 (parsley, rosemary, savory, chives, thyme, basil, any assortment)
1/4 c. snipped spring onion
1/2 c. pimiento, chopped
1/3 c. black olives, chopped
additional parsley to coat sides

Line bottom of an 8" x 4" x 2" glass loaf pan with foil. Grease sides; set aside. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. In a medium bowl, beat cream cheese till smooth. Add Parmesan cheese, garlic powder, and ground red pepper. Beat well. Add sour cream, eggs, and lemon zest. Beat just until blended. Do not over beat. Mix in spring onion, pimiento, and olives. Pour into prepared pan; spread evenly. Place loaf pan into a larger baking pan. Pour boiling water into the larger pan to a depth of 1 inch. Bake for 50 minutes, or until center appears firm when shaken. Carefully transfer loaf pan to a cooling rack. Cool completely. Cover and chill. Overnight is best so the flavors blend. Just before serving, slide a knife around the edges of the pan to loosen, then invert onto a serving platter. Remove foil. Gently press parsley onto the sides of the terrine. Garnish with edible flowers. Serve with assorted crackers.

Monday, June 10, 2019

The Queen's Tea

Celebrations over the weekend featured an afternoon tea in honour of Queen Elizabeth on the occasion of her 93rd birthday. The menu began with a recipe from Eating Royally (Recipes and Remembrances from a Palace Kitchen) by Darren McGrady, a Pear and Pecan Salad with an assortment of toppings including fresh pear, parmesan cheese, fresh basil in a balsamic dressing. Lots of good flavor.

The sandwich assortment included an Apple, Carrot & Cheese Sandwich on Raisin Bread, Petite Red Radish Sandwich, 1953 Coronation Chicken Salad, Roast Beef & Tomato with Onion and Chive Spread on Puff Pastry rounds, and a Tomato Basil Pesto Cheese Crostini.

For the scone course, we served Rhubarb Pecan Bread (local, organic and seasonal rhubarb), and a Cream Scone (made from a recipe from the Claridge Hotel in London) with a variety of fresh fruit.

Dessert included a petite icing rose atop a Pineapple Pecan Cupcake, Coconut Lime Shortbread, and White Chocolate Raspberry Cookie. There was also a Raspberry Shrub and Chardonnay Spritzer to toast the Queen.                           Long Live the Queen! Long May She Reign!

Saturday, June 8, 2019

Rosemary Pineapple Punch

We welcomed a group of herbal enthusiasts from Ohio this week, and provided a few tasty treats to enjoy under the pavilion on a warm spring (almost summer like) evening. We  served a true Rosemary House original and an all around favorite, Rosemary Pineapple Punch. This is a refreshing drink to quench the thirst on a warm summer's eve. The unique flavor of rosemary offers a delightful balance to the pineapple juice. Jillian, our youngest tea room hostess, cheerfully offered punch to the out-of-state visitors. We're happy to share the recipe here.
Rosemary Pineapple Punch
1/3 c. dried rosemary
2 c. water
1 - 46 oz. can pineapple juice
2 liters lemon-lime soda
1 liter ginger ale
Boil the water, remove from heat, add rosemary and steep for 30 minutes.
Strain. Chill. Add chilled rosemary tea to pineapple juice and let flavors blend overnight. Just before serving, add chilled lemon-lime soda and ginger ale. Pour into large pitcher or punch bowl. 
Yield: 5 quarts

Thursday, June 6, 2019

Rose Petal Witch Hazel Astringent

Rose Petal Witch Hazel Astringent --
It is so easy to make a lovely facial toner/astringent. Simply fill a jar 1/3rd full with dried organic rose petals or 1/2 full with fragrant fresh organic rose petals. We like to use the old fashioned rosa rugosa roses. Pour your favorite Witch Hazel astringent over the petals and allow the petals to steep for about a week. The Rose Petals will be mostly white by then.  Strain them out and they get added to the compost bin. Label your lovely witch hazel and use as a skin toner/astringent.   We make small batches and use it up. It is very fragrant.   Calendula petals are very healing for the skin. Aloe Vera is lovely.  Rose feels very cooling to us and we like to wipe our faces with a cosmetic pad dipped in Rose/Witch Hazel Astringent on hot summer days.

Sunday, June 2, 2019

An Explosion!

The water iris in our backyard pond have simply exploded in all their glorious color! It is a real burst of color and sparks a smile and a pause to admire them every time someone walks past the pond. 
Flowers whisper "Beauty!" to the world, even as they fade, wilt, fall. ~Dr. SunWolf