Thursday, January 31, 2013
Wednesday, January 30, 2013
Tuesday, January 29, 2013
Monday, January 28, 2013
Linda at Friendship Tea says she is offering a giveaway containing a "grab bag" of tea items, run! Do not pass go, do not collect $200, get yourself over there and leave a comment, because I hit the jackpot and won such a giveaway last week. Now here's what I was expecting.
Saturday, January 26, 2013
here if you'd like to learn more about the present tea room and restaurant.
1 cup butter (no substitutions)
3/4 cup sugar
1 egg yolk
1 teaspoon vanilla
2-1/3 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup finely chopped almonds
6 ounces chocolate chips
3 tablepoons butter
1 tablespoon hot water
1 cup finely chopped almonds
Cream butter, then add sugar, egg yolk and vanilla. Stir in flour, salt and almonds. Use hands if necessary to combine. Dough will be very stiff. Divide dough in half and shape into logs. (Mine were 10 inches long.) Wrap in plastic wrap and chill. With sharp knife, cut into slices 3/8-inch thick (the recipe said 1/2-inch, but I wanted mine thinner). Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes on greased cookie sheets, or line sheets with parchment paper. Let cool completely.
Make dip by melting chocolate chips, butter and hot water in microwave or over a double boiler. Dip half of each cookie in chocolate and then the almonds. Let set on parchment or wax paper. Yields 6 dozen cookies according to the book, but 4 dozen cookies the way I made them, and my cookies were about 1-3/4 inches wide. Thanks to the ease of slicing up the dough rather than spooning it, these baked up super fast and I had them all dipped in no time!
Friday, January 25, 2013
this dress I saw at Anthropologie over Christmas!
• In 1518, a rich Roman banker wanted to impress his guests by insuring that no plates were used twice during a banquet, so he had servants toss all the plates used during a course into the Tiber River. Afterwards, the pieces were retrieved from a net that had secretly been lowered into the river beforehand!
• The difference between a "plate" and a "dish"? A plate is 1/2 inch deep. A dish is up to 1-1/2 inches deep. ("Even so," says Riegler, "the words are often used interchangeably.")
• "The white china plate is the little black dress of the dining table," he says.
• What Riegler calls "the smeary effect" on flow blue is a result of cobalt pigment running during a piece's firing. One legend claims that many years ago, this mistake was considered to be ruinous to a batch of plates in an English factory, but the owner said "Oh, they will do for the American market." (Humph. I'd be insulted if I weren't so pleased such gorgeous "mistakes" were preserved—and now highly collectible!)
• Portmeirion Potteries in England was founded in 1960 and "launched its first Botanic Garden pieces in 1972 after founder Susan Williams-Ellis bought Thomas Green's 1817 book The Universal Herbal and decided to apply the illustrations to tableware." I didn't know that!
Oh, and my five patterns from yesterday? They're among those pictured in the back of the book, part of a list of the 100 most popular patterns ever as named by Replacements, Ltd. in North Carolina. If you're like me, you'll enjoy checking to see if any of your patterns are on this list!
Thursday, January 24, 2013
Wednesday, January 23, 2013
here to see if camellia sinensis was actually listed as an ingredient, and it is not, so I guess it's either part of the fragrance or part of the "natural inspiration" for this product. Still, I was impressed that the website does tell you what each of those ingredients is for!
Tuesday, January 22, 2013
Monday, January 21, 2013
a teacup-themed puzzle I thought would be fun to put together over the holidays. Now, all I want to say is, friends, why didn't somebody stop me? What I *thought* would be a fun little two- or three-hour activity ended up taking me about a month to complete, consuming far more of my time, craft room and brainpower than I wanted. No more puzzles for this girl!
Saturday, January 19, 2013
Shan's Chicken and Artichoke Salad
1 box Rice-a-Roni, chicken flavored
1 jar marinated artichoke hearts, drained and chopped (reserve marinade)
1/2 cup sliced black olives, drained
1/2 small green pepper, finely chopped
1 cup chopped celery
1/4 cup chopped onion
1-1/2 cups cooked, coarsely chopped chicken or turkey
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/8 teaspoon curry powder
Cook rice according to package directions, reducing water by 1/2 cup. Let cool. Add artichoke hearts, olives, green pepper, celery, onions and meat. Mix reserved marinade with mayonnaise and curry powder, then add to other ingredients and blend well. Refrigerate until serving. Serves 4-5. This recipe was labeled a "Tea Room Favorite," and I can certainly taste why!
Friday, January 18, 2013
The book includes a section on tea history, where I learned that "Queen Victoria enthusiastically endorsed this new ritual of afternoon tea with a passion and often baked the sweets herself for her Prince Consort." Don't think I've ever heard that before! There were some fun accounts of memorable teas Dolores herself has enjoyed (with Greer Garson, for heaven's sake!), and she also gives a brief listing of some teatime customs around the world—including a list of places very helpful for adding to one's teatime Bucket List.
She does a nice, thorough job of covering all the teatime basics, which makes this a terrific book for a tea newbie, though there's also plenty to entertain those of us who've been to this rodeo before. The 120+ recipes in the book are divided by theme, such as Garden Party, Queen Victoria's Birthday, Corporate Tea, Picnic in the Vineyard, Valentine Tea for Lovers and, appropriately enough for a Texan, a Queen's Tea Southwest Style (Smoked Texas Turkey Triangles, Cinnamon Basil Scones). Among the recipes I'd most like to try are the Queen Mother's Favourite Tea Cake, Dilled Scones with Smoked Salmon and the Queen of Sheba Chocolate Cake. This book was great fun to read, and because of the quality of the information and recipes I know I'll be turning to it again and again!