Saturday, July 30, 2022

The Garden Tearoom - Conyngham, PA

Members of the Mid-Atlantic Tea Business Association gathered in The Garden Tearoom in Conyngham, PA for their summer seminar. A lovely vegan inspired welcoming reception greeted members as they arrived from all directions. Hostess and tea room owner Marnie D'Amato, along with her family, welcomed us and poured tea as we savored these scrumptious treats, from fresh fruit to raspberry muffin and an eggless 'quiche' and sweet bread, it was a delicious way to start the morning. 

Members of the association hail from eight different states. Today we had members from PA, NJ, MD, and WV represented. This charming tea room, in northern PA, was the perfect gathering place for our summer event. Following an informative program on the five elements of tea presented by Mark Reinhart of Three Pure Rivers, a studio for the arts, we were treated to A "Very Veggie Garden" Tea. The majority of the menu served included garden veggies and lent itself to a vegan afternoon tea rather nicely. 
The menu announced a hint of things to come. Marnie's attention to detail is evident from the very start of the tea. The veggie menu is printed on a backdrop with carrots. The placemat was full of photos of garden veggies, you can see a glimpse of it under the menu with the potatoes and snap peas.
The afternoon tea began with a 5-Element Salad dressed with white wine vinaigrette and served alongside a chilled carrot and orange soup. A very healthy and refreshing way to start the meal, and a subtle nod to the five elements of tea we had just discussed. Once everyone finished the first course, the tiered tray arrived.

The sandwiches included a Carrot Salad Canape, Mango Salsa in a phyllo cup, Garlic Hummus with Cucumber, and Mahammara (roasted red pepper dip). While the scones featured a Tomato Basil scone with red pepper jelly and a Zucchini Cheddar scone with chive butter. 

The dessert medley included a Chocolate Cupcake, Lavender Shortbread, and a Carrot Cake Truffle. Overall, the menu was notably vegan friendly with the exception of the Zucchini Cheddar Scone and the Lavender Shortbread.  

The tea room is quaint and cozy with lots of royal d├ęcor and teapots to be found everywhere. Special thanks to Marnie and Neil D'Amato for their gracious hospitality. The Garden Tearoom is open for special themed occasions scheduled throughout the year. At the start of our summer vacation last year, we were fortunate to enjoy an amazing Strawberry Themed tea while 'on the road'. which we posted here. It's another great example of how Marnie enthusiastically embraces a theme!

Saturday, July 16, 2022

Carrot Zucchini Salad - a recipe

This week we hosted our Tea & Trivia evening event. Angelica researched the trivia questions pertaining to music of the 2000s and more. There was even a section where you were asked to identify the song by hearing only 10 seconds of the music. There was laughter and competition among tables, in the end, it was all for fun. The theme for next year promises to be 'sitcoms'. Before the trivia event, there was an evening tea. The Carrot Zucchini Salad was popular, and with zucchini in abundance right now, many asked for the recipe.
Carrot Zucchini Salad
4 carrots, peeled and sliced
2 small zucchini, sliced
6 Tbsp. olive oil
2 Tbsp. white wine vinegar
2 tsp. fresh lemon juice
1/2 clove garlic, minced
2 Tbsp. green onions
1 Tbsp. chives
2 Tbsp. parsley, minced
1-1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. sugar
1/4 tsp. dry mustard
1/4 tsp. dried basil or 1 Tbsp. fresh basil
1/4 tsp. Tabasco sauce

Simmer carrots in a small amount of water until crisp tender, about 10 minutes. Drain, and reserve. When cool, mix with zucchini. In a small measuring cup, combine all dressing ingredients, whisking until well blended. Toss with carrots and zucchini. Chill. Serve over lettuce leaves.
And, sharing below a snapshot of the other courses for this casual evening tea. 

Friday, July 15, 2022

The Front Porch, Hellam, PA - Afternoon Tea

When opportunity strikes, we like to take time to enjoy Afternoon Tea at area tea rooms. A trip to Hellam, PA with a couple of girlfriends took us to The Front Porch. This tea room features a different menu each month, and we were there for the June menu which offered a nod to Father's Day, so the menu was 'beefed' up a bit. It included such 'manly' things as bacon, and whiskey, and beer.
The place settings are very pretty with gold chargers, assorted napkin rings, and a deep rich purple coordinating the napkins and tablecloths. The hostess brought a pot of their house blend tea for our group. When the pot was empty, we were able to select a new flavor to share among our group. We managed to try several different flavors among their tea offerings.

The first course included a fresh salad with assorted greens, cherry tomatoes, clementines, Feta cheese, craisins, candied walnuts, soy salad toppers and their famous poppy seed dressing. Lots of crunchy goodness in this colorful salad.

Scones were served next, they offer both a sweet scone and a savory scone. I thought we picked one, but we were served both. There was a Chunky Monkey scone with peanut butter, chocolate, banana, and marshmallow and there was a Bratwurst & Beer Scone. Accompaniments included Clotted Cream, Cherry Preserves, and Stone ground mustard. They were both unique and tasty.

Soup came after the scones, and there was a choice to be made here. You could select Ham and Fifteen Bean Soup or Chilled Blueberry Soup. I selected the blueberry soup which included blueberries, blackberries, and a splash of wine. It was refreshing on a summer day.

A plate of sandwiches was served next, and that included 
Cucumber with garlic cream cheese on rye, BLT pinwheel and Pizza Bomb. They were fun!

After the sandwiches, there was a difficult decision to be made. For dessert, although they offer four options, it is a large serving size, so you must select one. Such a tough choice!
Options included Frozen Peanut Butter Delight, Root Beer Float Pie, Lemon and Blueberry Mousse, and Whiskey Bacon Brownies. Which one would you choose?
Frozen Peanut Butter Delight

Lemon and Blueberry Mousse
Root beer Float Pie

Wednesday, July 13, 2022

If Teacups Could Talk ~ Afternoon Tea & Program

We welcomed Judy Larkin of the Larkin Tea Company of WV to present a program on tea cups and the assorted accoutrements that accompany afternoon tea, including traditions and history. But, before the presentation, we had Afternoon Tea that centered around tea cups as the theme. Upon arrival, guests were treated to a pink/white chocolate tea cup shaped favor. If you look closely at the menu page, a tea cup is also at the bottom of the menu.
The first course, served in a white milk glass tea cup, featured A Cup Full of Veggies and Herbed Spinach Dip.

My Cup Overfloweth... was the next course. That included a warm Blue Cheese and Asparagus Rollup, Roast Beef with Pepperhouse Gourmaise on a Puff Pastry Round, Sliced Turkey and Herbed Butter Triangles, Cucumber & Cheddar Cheese Finger Sandwich, Old English Herb Cheese in a petite tart shell, and Mandarin Orange and Pecan Rounds.

A nice cup of tea with your scones, perhaps? was the next course which included a Traditional English Cream Scone and a Summer Blueberry Scone with Sweet Cream and Lemon Curd. Orange Slices, pineapple pieces, and blueberries rounded out the plate. 

A cup of tea makes everything better! introduced the dessert course. A trio of desserts, served on a blue and white napkin with a medley of teacups as the pattern, included a Strawberry Cream Filled Cream Puff, Miniature Peanut Butter Pie, and Lemon Verbena Cake with Lemon Buttercream. A miniature white chocolate teacup adorned the top of the cake. Do you see it?


Sunday, July 10, 2022

Lovely Lavender Afternoon Tea

A bouquet of fresh lavender is not what you expect to see 'chilling' in the fridge, unless of course it's the day for the Lavender Afternoon Tea. This past June Sweet Remembrances hosted a lovely lavender tea, where all things lavender comprised the menu, including the table settings and the tea list.

A refreshing Southern Lavender Lemonade (a recipe from Tea Time Magazine) was offered to each guest in addition to their own personal pot of tea. The salad featured mixed salad greens topped with a medley of sweet summer berries, Feta cheese and a lavender balsamic vinaigrette.

The sandwich course included Sliced Turkey with lavender honey butter, Lavender Hummus and shredded carrot rounds, Pork Tenderloin with lavender blueberry conserve, Mint & Lavender Cucumber Sandwich, Lavender Artichoke Frittata, and a petite Lavender Meatball all garnished with a fresh sprig of lavender. 

This colorful plate held a Lavender Cream heart shaped scone with sweet cream and strawberry jelly, and a Lavender Blueberry Muffin, all served alongside some fresh berries 'n lavender syrup.

Dessert included a Lemon Lavender Shortbread sandwich cookie, a Lavender Truffle from Brittle Bark our local chocolatier, and a Lavender Orange Cake with Blackberry Cream.

Whether it's in the fridge, on the plate, or in the garden, we love lavender! The beautiful gray foliage and long purple spikes are a welcome attraction to the bumblebees, and the fragrant purple blossoms add a touch of whimsey to a garden bouquet. Whether used as a moth repellent, personal fragrance, or in culinary recipes, it is an herb with many purposes. 

Wednesday, July 6, 2022

Cranberry Tea Punch

We served this festive punch at the Red-White-and-Blue Tea in celebration of the Fourth of July. It is a sweet, colorful punch with lots of fruit flavors. Hope you have an opportunity to make it this summer! You won't regret it.

Cranberry Tea Punch

3 cups sugar

12 oz. frozen lemonade

1 quart apple juice

2 quarts cranberry juice

2 c. orange juice

2 c. strong black tea, brewed

Boil 4 quarts of water. Add 3 cups sugar, stirring until dissolved. Remove from heat and add remaining ingredients. Mix well. Chill. Yield: 2 gallons

Monday, July 4, 2022

Happy Fourth of July - Afternoon Tea!

The tea room celebrated a Red, White, and Blue Afternoon Tea on Sunday, July 3rd. Touches of red graced the table from red roses, to colorful red napkins, and old glory herself graced the centerpieces. Menus and tea lists carried out the red-white-and-blue theme, of course.
A refreshing Cranberry Tea Punch welcomed attendees as they gathered for this event. Once tea pots were poured, the tea service began. A Red, White, and Blue Berry Salad was the first course, complete with strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, and Feta cheese. A star shaped crouton topped the center of the salad, and an all American poppy seed dressing was drizzled over top.

The sandwich array included a Land of the Free Artichoke Chicken Salad Triangle. There was a Red, White and Blue Skewer that included blueberries, Monterey jack cheese, and a tomatoes. The in the USA! Spinach Basil Tomato Tart was served warm. There was a Home of the Brave Cucumber & Blueberry Round, a United we Stand Strawberry Honey Baguette, and The Stars and Stripes Fruit Sandwich. All decidedly red-white-and-blue.
The Independence Day English Cream Scone was served with Sweet Cream and Raspberry Preserves. The Happy Fourth of July! Blueberry Muffin and a 1776 Almond Cream filled Strawberry rounded out the plate.

To end the tea, we served Born in the USA! Almond Cookie, Give me Liberty White chocolate Berry Pie, and It's a Grand Old Flag Cherry topped White Cake.

 Wishing everyone a very Happy Fourth of July!