There was little tea consumed at our Easter Tea. My daughter set up a Bellini bar, and it was a big hit.
I had intended to recreate this for a dinner party recently but was pressed for time. So I just purchased an assortment of Kern's Nectar and poured it into our pretty glass containers (oil and vinegar cruets from Cost Plus - World Market, $3.50 per pair).
My friend, Jennifer, and I hosted a Dinner for 8 at her house. You've heard me mention these fun, food and fellowship times with friends from church before. We had a fantastic, potluck meal, and Jen set a beautiful table.
I wanted to share her process for selecting a tablecloth because I don't think it would have occured to me. She's fortunate to have china, silver, and crystal that used to belong to her grandmothers.
The china has a multi-color, floral pattern wth gold trim that would have frightened me into using a white table cloth. Jen, however, wrapped up a bread plate, took it to the store, and tried it out with different colors.
The green she chose gave the table an up-to-date look that tied together the dishes, and the yellow in her chairs.
My friend and I hosted dinner for 14 tonight. It was a fun evening; everyone brought something, so it wasn't too much work for anyone. We had a great salad and a baked potato bar (with all kinds of toppings: chili, cheese, bacon bits, sour cream, chives, BBQ chicken!) My contribution was dessert and Sangria.
I said to someone tonight, as we were filling our glasses, I have a PhD in Sangria. OK, it might be more accurate to say that I did 4 years of "research in the field" while we were in Spain. The most unusual Sangria I had during that time was prepared by a Spanish bullfighter; he used gin where some people use brandy and included sliced bananas in the fruit medley.
It's such a refreshing drink, and it offers such flexibility! Almost any combination of fruit can be used. It can be made with white or red wine. I like both, however, I think the red stands up to all of the other flavors better. Many folks add brandy for extra flavor and umph! I don't; I like that fact that this recipe isn't quite so strong.
3 bottles cheap red wine (I used Two Buck Chuck, assorted varietals.)
1 1/2 c. Triple Sec
2 oranges, sliced
2 lemons, sliced
1 lime, sliced
1 c. strawberries, sliced
1 liter Sprite
1 liter club soda
Combine wine, triple sec, and fruit in punch bowl. Allow flavors to blend for at least 2 hours, but less than 6 hours (the citrus pith can impart a bitter taste if it sits too long). Add Sprite and club soda just before serving. Serve over ice.
PS - to my food blogging friends, I wish I had noticed the glare on the punch bowl while I was photographing, but I did want to point out that I saved (kept out) an orange slice and a strawberry when adding the fruit to the punchbowl. The two, clean piece of fruit were placed on top of the glass in the photo as recommended by Adam Pearson at a recent food blog seminar. That way, the fruit was very visible and looked perfect, not stained by the wine or smashed (no pun intended) in any way.
Up for grabs, ladies and gentlemen, a beautiful Emile Henry Lasagna Dish in Azur Blue!
The dish measures 15 x 10.1 inches and holds 3.8 quarts. Emile Henry products are made in the province of Burgundy, France, where the local clay is ideally suited for bakeware. It evenly and slowly diffuses heat so food cooks more evenly. This dish can go directly from the freezer to the oven; it's also microwave and broiler safe up to 500 degrees.
This giveaway comes to us from the good folks at cookware.com, just one of over 200 CSN online stores. They offer everything imaginable online, including home bars, bar stools, kitchen goodies and more!!
You have up to five chances to win this versatile baking dish. Please leave a separate comment on this post for each of the items listed below. You could have 5 separate comments below, each comment will count as one entry.
1. REQUIRED: Visit cookware.com and tell me what, beside this lasagna dish, you would love to own.
For additional entries:
2. Follow my blog and leave a comment that you are now a follower or that you already were.
3. Post a link to this giveaway on facebook or twitter and leave a comment to let me know.
4. Mention this giveaway on your blog (with a link) and let me know.
5. Tell me what you would make in this dish. I know you foodies will have more ideas than just lasagna.
This giveaway is open to U.S. and Canadian residents. Cookware.com only ships to U.S. and Canadian addresses. Entries will be accepted until 12:00 midnight MST the evening of April 30, 2010. Please be sure to include your email, so I can contact you if you're the winner.
I'm baking two cakes tonight for our April birthday lunch at work tomorrow, this beautiful banana cake and le succes with raspberry ganache. We're combining our birthday celebration with a post-Easter appreciation luncheon the personnel committee is hosting for the church staff. Our hostess, is on a gluten-free diet, so le success is perfect for this occasion. I'm typing fast, while the ganache is cooling, to get this posted before midnight, while it's still Monday.
I didn't plan ahead enough to have two very ripe bananas. My bananas were still bright yellow and pretty, so I added 1/4 t. of banana extract to bump up the flavor a bit.
Like many others, I didn't want to use and wash the mixer and the food processor. Unlike others, I just mixed all of the wet ingredients in my food processor, and then whisked the wet into the dry. In the end, it didn't save me much washing up; between the two cakes and frostings, the processor bowl and I have been spending a lot of time in soapy water. : )
I'd love to describe the texture and flavor of the banana cake for you, but sadly at this point all I've done is lick the spatula. That was delish!
Unlike my other blog posts, as part of the Heavenly Cake Bakers, I don't post recipes from this book on the internet. One of the reasons for this baking group is to encourage readers to purchase the cookbook. That strategy worked on me! After follow the group's baking adventures for a couple of months, I ordered a copy from Amazon. You can too.
Massive quantities of lemon curd were produced in our kitchen earlier this year when friends were harvesting citrus. Taking advantage of this, I added lemon tarts to our Easter Tea menu, even though it did mean diminishing the lemon shrine in the freezer. I took inspiration from my lemon trifle recipe mixing the curd with whipped cream. The combination of the two creates a mixture that's almost addictive.
Double pie crust, homemade or packaged (or substitute sugar cookie dough)
1 c. heavy cream
2 T. sugar
1 t. vanilla
1 1/2 c. lemon curd, (plus or minus)
berries, for garnish
Roll out pie crust; cut 3 inch circles. Press the circles into mini-muffin pans, poke the bottoms with a fork, and bake at 425 until golden brown. Cool.
Whip cream, gradually adding sugar and vanilla, until stiff. Fold in lemon curd. Using a pastry bag, or quart-size food storage bag with the corner snipped off, pipe the lemon cream into the baked shells. Garnish with berry. Chill until serving.
When I accepted Tall Mom's 1,000+++ Challenge at the beginning of the year, I promised to update you at the end of the first quarter. That makes you, gentle reader, my accountability partner. As of today, I'm at 253 miles walked in 2010. I'm a week behind schedule, but it's still very doable, which almost surprises me!
I originally started making Scotch Eggs years ago to use up the dozens of Easter Eggs our daughters would decorate every year. Their striking appearance really adds our annual Easter Tea. Everyone in my family loves them, and they're puzzled by the construction - curious about how I made them.
Often served whole with a beer, Scotch Eggs are pub food. Slice them in half to reveal the contrast of colors; garnish with parsley, and you have substantial fare for tea.
Source: The Pleasures of Afternoon Tea by Angela Hynes
2 t. flour
salt & pepper
4 hard boiled eggs, shelled
1 t. Worcestershire
1/2 lb bulk pork sausage
1 egg, beaten
1 c. fine dry bread crumbs
vegetable oil for deep frying
Combine flour with salt and pepper in a bowl; dust lightly over the eggs.
Add Worcestershire sauce to sausage and mix well. (If using extra large eggs, I find that I need a little extra sausage.) Divide sausage into 4 equal portions. Pat each portion into a round with your hand. Place 1 hard boiled egg in the center of each round. Mold meat evenly around egg, covering completely; make sure there are no cracks or gaps in the meat.
With a pastry brush, coat the meat with the beaten egg; roll in bread crumbs. In a deep fryer, heat about 4 inches of oil to 350. Carefully add eggs and cook 7 to 8 minutes or until outside is crisp and golden. Drain well and cool before serving.
To serve, cut each egg in half lengthwise and decorate cut side with a sprig of parsley.
Sausage rolls have been a favorite of mine ever since an extended stay in England more than thirty years ago. Tuesday was market day in the nearby town. I'd hop on the bus with the other ladies from my village. After shopping, we'd gather for a coffee and pastry before catching the return bus. I tried a sausage roll on the first trip and I was hooked; it became my weekly order.
A snack for all occasions. Sausage rolls are perfect for brunch, cocktail parties, and of course tea.
Source: The Pleasures of Afternoon Tea by Angela Hynes
1 sheet 14" x 11", thawed but still cold
1/2 pound bulk pork sausage, (I like to use Jimmy Dean Hot)
1 egg, beaten
Preheat oven to 450. Set the pastry on a lightly floured surface. Cut pastry lengthwise in to 2 (14" x 5") strips. Discard excess. Divide sausage into 2 equal portions. Roll each portion with your hands to create a 14 inch long rope of sausage. Place 1 sausage rope on each pastry strip and fold pastry over to encase meat. Moisten edges with water; press to seal. Cut each roll crosswise into 7 (2 inch) rolls. Cut two small diagonal slits on top of each. Place rolls seam side down on greased baking sheet. Brush rolls with egg. Bake about 30 minutes or until pastry is crisp and golden and meat is cooked. Transfer to a wire rack to cool. Serve warm or at room temperature.
The room was buzzing as the food blogger seminar broke up last weekend in Los Angeles - the World Fare Bus was going to be outside! Apparently, gourmet food trucks are all the rage in LA, a trend that hasn't made it to Arizona yet. Well known chefs are sending their offerings out to the city in the the sort of chow wagon normally found on outside factories or at construction sites.
The folks at World Fare decided to kick it up a notch by adding a mobile dining room. They have reconditioned an open-air, double decker bus; it has a kitchen down stairs and a patio umbrella covered dining room upstairs. I did chat with them as they were setting up, but I was on my way to the airport, so I didn't hang around to sample the food. The menu was reminiscent of an upscale, Scottsdale bistro - fancy little sandwiches, mac and cheese with truffle oil, etc.
If you're picturing yourself touring the city while noshing on fine food, I'll have to disappoint you. They only have customers on board while they're parked, and the only way to know where to find them is to subscribe to their Twitter feed. It's a creative idea; I wish them much success.