Thursday, February 28, 2013

FIVE PASSIONATE BLOGGERS for "Open House"



 Today is "Open House" which means you are invited to link a post from your blog about anything to do with your home, garden, tea, collecting, DIY, cooking, etc.  Basically, anything you do to make your home special is welcomed! So I hope you will join in at the bottom of this post.

Today I am featuring some other bloggers who excel in bringing their passions to share with us regularly through  blogging.  I notice that most all the blogging parties feature participants from their week before.  I don't want to just do the same thing as everyone else but today I do want to do a feature on FIVE PASSIONATE BLOGGERS.

The first one is Sandi on Prince Edward Island at Rose Chintz Cottage Blog .  Sandi is a women who inspires us with her FAITH and challenges us with inspiration and scripture - not to mention tea, collecting teasets, her Home Blog Party, etc.
Visit Sandi at Rose Chintz Cottage HERE






Next, I have a chosen a "Tea Expert" since we certainly need one
of those!  Phyllis  at The Relevant Tea Leaf, is newer to blogging and certainly needed.  This blog is lovely as she shares her knowledge of tea and can be found HERE






Next, we have the "Queen of All Tea Reviews":  at Friendship Tea Blog we find Linda who also has a huge collection of tea sets!  I know she holds the record for visiting tea rooms and featuring them on her wonderful blog HERE!  If it weren't for Linda - I would be one who never gets to see these tea rooms!





Next we have someone who is a TERRIFIC cook! Actually I have a number of terrific cooks who have links on my blog but Martha at Lines From Linderhof can not be overlooked!  And her tea time vignettes are "over the top"!  Did I mention her knowledge of herbs and gardening?  Visit Martha HERE





The last one is Carolyn at Aiken House and Gardens whose passion for gardening is at the top of the list. The truth is that Carolyn does many things well - cooking, photography, decorating and this list could go on and on - but for today her GARDENING certainly gets an A+. Visit HERE


Please join below and add your link!


Tuesday, February 26, 2013

WILDFLOWER TEASET for "Friends Sharing Tea"



Welcome to Friends Sharing Tea.  Today is February 26th and the month is nearly over. We are all counting the days till spring.  March 20th is the first official first day but I know differently in Colorado as I have seen it snow here in May.  May 25th is our average last frost date. 






This is a restless time when we anticipate the warming of the earth which brings forth life in  the garden.  I have set out my wildflower tea set that I found in an antique mall in Denver last year to help draw spring into our tea time.  See this original purchase post





Last year, Johanna from Germany with her Silber-Rosen Blog sent me so much information on this tea set.  Wasn't that sweet?  She gave me a link to the history of this tea set.  





I hope you are enjoying hot tea this winter.  The aroma of a nice cup of tea is like therapy itself!  I particularly enjoy Seattle's Market Spice Cinnamon Orange on these cold snowy days!





Winter is here - and snow abounds
Tulips and daffodils -
Remain the the ground

Tea in the kitchen

Brings comfort and joy
Let's pour a cup - yes -
I'll have some more!

 How is your family -

 How is your life?
Tell me your passions -
 Your secrets delights!  
Bernideen





I will be linking this post to some other tea blogs:
Tea Cup Tueday and Tuesday Cuppa Tea and a Return to Loveliness
and Share Your Cup Thursday and Home Sweet Home
and The Rose Garden in Malevik

One last update:  It is snowing like crazy at lunchtime! I hope you will join me this week with a link from your blog - a post on anything to do with tea and please include a link back to this post as well.


Monday, February 25, 2013

SUMMER COLLAGES FOR REMEMBERING for Mosiac Monday





When we look back and remember - we have hope!


My last year's Beatrix Potter Cottage Garden



I am linking to: Mosaic Monday and A Delightsome Life

Saturday, February 23, 2013

HAVE YOU SEEN THESE VIDEOS? Planning A Cottage Garden



Last night, while searching the internet, I found a site that might interest many of you regarding PLANNING A COTTAGE GARDEN.

You might have already seen these videos:  Tasha Tudor showing her garden, Audrey Hepburn - Gardens of the World, Planning A Cottage Garden, 6 videos by English Gardener Carol Klein, etc.


The videos are at the bottom  of the site.  There are quite a lot of them to watch.  They are really wonderful.  Scroll all the way down to the bottom!  Enjoy!  Be sure and change it to FULL screen once you start the video.  At the end of each it takes you back to the screen selections.  If you don't want to finish one - just scroll it over to the right close to the end so that it will take you back to ALL the selections.

LATE NOTE:  you can spend hours here.  What this is really about are U Tube videos - dozens of them and this site just takes you there.

Wonderful:  Tasha Tudor's Garden, The Lost Gardens of Heligan Cornwall,  English Gardens in SE England and most importantly:  any of Carol Klein 6 videos that move you through the years - 2 months at a time.  She is the total expert and has a dynamic personality you will love!!

Friday, February 22, 2013

BROWNIES AND FLOWERS FOR THE WEEKEND



Do you need some yummy brownies this weekend?  Maybe some extra chocolate energy needs to come your way.  The truth of the matter is that many people buy those expensive box mixes and brownies are so easy - we are talking about flour, eggs, cocoa, sugar and butter.  You can do this!








I have the same lilies I have been keeping for 2 weeks.  I have realized that as long as you cut off the "overly ripe" ones - the unopened ones keep opening.  It seems to me, lilies are a better value when you are perusing the flower stall at the market.



And now on to the brownies: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and butter and flour a 9 x 12 pan

Brownie Ingredients: 2 sticks of butter, 6 Tb cocoa, 2 cups of sugar, 4 eggs, 1 1/2 cups flour, dash of salt, 2 Tb milk and 1 cup chopped walnuts.

Icing ingredients:  1/2 stick of butter, 4 Tb milk, 2 cups confectioners sugar, 3 Tb cocoa and 1/2 cup of walnuts to sprinkle on top at the end.  Cut when totally cool for best results.  We can never wait that long!




Melt the butter and the cocoa and mix with all other ingredients in a large bowl.  Spread evenly in pan and bake at 350 degrees for 25-35 minutes.  Let cool...make the icing by melting the butter and cocoa in a saucepan on the stove on medium, - add confectioners sugar and milk till creamy.  Spread on top and sprinkle nuts!

I will be linking to:  The Rose Garden in Malevik





Have a great weekend....I'm guessing you aren't like to 
Dowager who asked:
"What is a weekend?"

Thursday, February 21, 2013

SURVIVING WINTER for "Open House"



With 8 inches of fresh snow last night - I have a little confession.  I can be a pain the neck in the wintertime.  This isn't anything new - I have been this way all my life.  It's like a disease.  I get bored really quick.  Maybe you are  like me and like to be doing something all the time.  Let me clarify:  not deep cleaning my house which I should be doing.  I miss seeing the garden out the kitchen window and playing in it.  I want to do a flower arrangement with my own flowers. It will be nice to set up a tea in the Beatrix Potter Garden.  I live in a typical house in a typical subdivision - but I love my little garden....




In the winter, we have time to bake and cook more.  Thank goodness there are cookbooks to read and heat in the kitchen is welcomed!




The other night, as my husband watched the boom boom of "Pearl Harbor" (movie) I started reading a copy of Laura Child's new book "Sweet Tea Revenge" and in the first chapter there was already a murder.  This book is the type that is hard to get started and then hard to put down !  I feel honored to receive this unproofed copy of the newest tea murder mystery from  Laura so I have a responsibility to read it-so more about that later. 





Today I am sharing some Jalapeno Cornbread which I made last night:  2 cups self-rising corn meal, 3 eggs beaten, 1 can of cream style corn, 2/3 cup of cooking oil, 1 cup buttermilk, 1 cup grated cheddar cheese, 1 small can diced jalapenos.

Instead of the jalapenos, I used 1/2  jar of Trader Joe's Corn & Chile Salsa I was given for Christmas.  It has the perfect amount of "hot".

Mix the above ingredients and pour into a well greased pyrex dish or pan 8" x 12"....bake at 375 degrees 35-45 minutes or till brown.





This meatless rice dish might interest you too:  Curried Egg and Broccoli over rice:  1 can cream of mushroom soup, 1 can cream of chicken soup, 7-8 sliced hard boiled eggs, 2 cups milk, 1/2 stick of butter, 2 cups slightly cooked broccoli, 1 Tb curry powder, salt and pepper.  Combine all in large saucepan and heat - serve over cooked rice


What sort of things do you do in the winter to keep from being bored?   Today is Open House and if you are a blogger, I hope you will link below something about your home, castle, cabin, cottage or farm.  Perhaps you could tell us what you do to get through the winter months!

I am also linking this post to: HOME and Home and Garden and Thursday and Share Your Cup Thursday and Home Sweet Home and Show and Tell Friday

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

"......A PITY TO MISS SUCH A GOOD PUDDING" FOR "Friends Sharing Tea"



Strawberry Charlotte Russe


The Dowager Countess had it right when she said

 "It seems a pity to miss such a good pudding".  






You are visiting Bernideen's Tea Time Blog and this week for "Friends Sharing Tea", I decided to make some Strawberry Charlotte Russe.  I noticed several recipe variations online and decided to put mine in little glass sherbert dishes.  If you have been watching Downton Abbey - you know all about Charlotte Russe from season three.  Here is my version which is super simple!



I am also sharing a lovely old glass sawtooth cake stand that I found last weekend while doing the flea markets in Fort Collins.  I didn't have a small one like this - so that is my excuse for buying it!




Bernideen's Tea Time Blog



You might also enjoy looking at the "Best of Bliss" special edition by Victoria Magazine 2013 as they have a chapter of Elegant English Berry Puddings!





I also found the cup and saucer on the left to add to

 my collection of pink English ones to mix and match.


Here is what you will need to make 8 desserts:  4 cups of mashed fresh strawberries, *1/3 cup granulated sugar, 1 envelope unflavored gelatine, 2 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream and 2/3 cup confections sugar, and 2 packages of 12 ladyfingers
*If the strawberries are summertime sweet - you can skip the 1/3 cup of granulated sugar!




#1  Heat the 4 cups of strawberries in a saucepan, add 1/3 cup granulated sugar and 1 envelope of gelatine and bring to a boil,  stir well and remove to a large bowl to cool in the refrigerator

#2  In a deep medium bowl, whip 2 1/2 cups of whipping cream with 2/3 cup of confectioners sugar till stiff.  Save back 1/2 cup of this (after the whipping) for topping embellishment

Mix the cooled strawberry mixture together with the whipping cream

#3  Line each sherbert dish with 6 pcs of split lady fingers and spoon berry mixture in the middle.  Take the 1/2 cup reserved whipped cream and embellish tops - also embellish with pieces of strawberry





I will be linking to:  A Delightsome Life and Tea Cup Tuesday 

If you are a blogger and have something tea
 related to share:  please link here at the bottom so we can 
visit your blog and enjoy it!  Please include a link to this blog on your post!

Monday, February 18, 2013

THE THREE TIERED AFTERNOON TEA TRAY- WHAT GOES WHERE?







What tea foods go on which level of the Afternoon Tea Tray? (You might want to copy this post for quick reference!)

Back in 2010, I went through a big stack of my special tea books and I
was surprised how few of the authors addressed this and since I have seen photos doing it so many different ways I thought it would be good to come to some conclusions.  This is of course OPEN FOR DISAGREEMENT!  I tend to be from the school of do what you like.....

First of all, a 3 tiered tray can be used to serve 2 -3 people with plenty of food for each.....a very large tray (such as below) might serve 3 - 4 people.


I have recently changed my order, below after being enfluenced by the blog author of Downton Abbey Cooks.  I had read a number of tea books that reversed levels 2 and 3 from what she suggests..

So here is my newest preferred order of the 3 levels:  The smaller top level holds the scones.  Figure 2 scones per person unless they are huge!  The middle level which graduates in size should hold the savories such as savory tarts or finger sandwiches.  Allow about 4 - 5 savory finger size items per person.   It is nice to have variety - I like to make 3 different sweets and 3 different savories.  The largest level holds the sweets which also should have variety. Of course, some prefer to put the sweets on the bottom and the savories in the middle - thus - eating from the top to the bottom.

Another one:  Sandwiches on the bottom, scones in the middle and sweets on top!

LEFTOVERS?  I recommend giving guests paper kraft handled bags which you could decorate with stickers or art or a poem to take the leftovers home - place a couple sandwich bags inside.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

SUNDAY CELEBRATION




GIVE AWAY WINNER



The winner for my drawing is:
LA TEA DAH FROM the Gracious Hospitality Blog



Thanks to all who entered - I will get this out this week!

Saturday, February 16, 2013

CHOCOLATE LOVER'S PIE FOR THE WEEKEND



Every once in a while we crave a Chocolate  Pie.  I remember the one like the former Bishop's Cafeterias in the midwest offered many years ago.  That's our favorite type so last night I made one.  I have featured this in the past on this blog.











Either buy an premade graham cracker crust or make one yourself by smashing up 1 1/2 cups of graham crackers mixed with 1/2 stick of melted butter and pressed into a pie shell and baked at 375 degrees for 7-8 minute.  I like using the cinnamon crackers better but had the plain ones on hand.  Either work.  Cool completely.

Here is what you need for the pie:  1 quart of vanilla ice cream, 
1 1/2 cups milk ( I actually used heavy whipping cream from the carton - unwhipped) 2 - 3.9 oz pkgs of jello instant pudding and my tweak here was 1 square of unsweetened chocolate melted.  (For a darker chocolate - you could use 2 squares.)  Beat these together in a deep large bowl.

Also: Beat (until stiff) another 1 cup of whipping cream with 1/4 cup of confections sugar and set aside for the topping when the pie is done.   I didn't have a chocolate bar to shave pieces off for embellishing which would have looked lovely!




Friday, February 15, 2013

TEA IN THE BRITISH RAJ



A visual image of the opening scenes of the "Secret Garden" presents ideas of what I imagine India like back in 1896-1914 when the bubonic plague hit Bombay. In 1877 Queen Victoria was proclaimed Empress of India in Delhi. She never visited India.

This is a repost from 2009






When I lived in Spring, Texas I had the opportunity to purchase this British Colonial Period Parsi Table which came to the Port of Houston from Bombay....

The tiles are English and originally were carefully taken to India and implemented into this Indian table. It is most unusual and causes one to imagine who used it? If this table could talk it would be very interesting. I purchased it in the early 90's from Gail Wiggins who had the opportunity to go to India through her husband's work connections. Gail had a container of British Colonial furniture shipped back to Houston.



This table is certainly a part of the History of Tea.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

PIMENTO-CHEESE TWICE BAKED POTATOES for "Open House"





You know how it is when a new magazine arrives and a recipe just jumps out at you.  Such was the case this week when my Southern Lady Magazine arrived and a recipe for Twice-Baked Potatoes was pictured with the recipe served with steak!  A win-win for Valentines Day.  As I scanned the recipe - I knew I already had everything except the actual potatoes so I stopped at the market on the way home for those and to pick up a couple steaks to grill.  By the way, Southern Lady is produced by Hoffman Media who give us Tea Time, Victoria and many other wonderful magazines.







Recipe from Mar-Apr 2013 Southern Lady:
Here is what you need for 6 people:

6 large baking potatoes, washed and dried, 2 Tb olive oil, 1 Tb kosher coarse salt, 1/3 cup of soft butter, 3 oz of soft cream cheese, 1/2 cup sour cream, 2 1/2 cups of shredded cheddar cheese - divided, 1 4 oz jar of diced pimentos drained, 1/2 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp ground pepper 

Instructions:  Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line a baking sheet with foil.  Rub the potatoes with olive oil to coat skins, sprinkle with kosher salt. 





 Place on baking sheet in prepared oven for 55-65 minutes til they are fork tender.  Cool
Cut a thin slice off the top, being careful not to damage skins.  Using a melon scoop, take out potato pulp leaving a 1/4 " thick shell in tack.  In a medium bowl, mix potato pulp, butter and cream cheese
and then stir in  cream, 2 cups cheese, pimento, salt and pepper stirring well.  Return filled shells to prepared oven and bake 20-25 minutes until lightly browned and bubbly.  You can remove and add last 1/2 cup of cheese and then rebrown top if you like!  Serve...






Since I am a "working girl"  I made all 6 potatoes I plan to reheat 2 of them 
 later for lunch and then freeze 2 of them for another dinner later!





I will be linking this post to some other blog parties:  HOME and Home and Garden Thursday
and  Home Sweet Home and Show and Tell Friday



Today  is "Open House" which is all about our homes, crafting, sewing, gardening, baking, collecting, antiquing, scrap booking, etc.  If you are a blogger and would like to join in - please link something appropriate from your blog at the bottom and please include a link to this post on yours.....

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

VALENTINE SCONES FOR "Friends Sharing Tea"



Welcome to "Friends Sharing Tea" and thank you for visiting my blog!  I love to bake and I know that many of you do too.  I baked these nice flaky scones which have raspberry jam inside of them and there is a chair for you too!  I hope you have a few moments to enjoy a cup of tea and a scone.









You know, it worked out well yesterday that we had a "snow day". It snowed all night Sunday and lightly on Monday.   I made homemade soup and bread and there was plenty of time to bake scones - the same ones I had made last Friday I baked again for my hubby and I.....and half to give the neighbors.  Scones need to be consumed while they are fresh.





I have a Valentine Tea Set from 4-5 years ago called "Lucy's Love" which I'm using here. I'm not generally drawn to contemporary type tea sets but I thought this one was great fun and bone china is really nice. (I have 6 plates and 6 cups and saucers)  I've been leaving the little table by the window in our living room so I set up our tea there. 




This recipe will make about 20 medium scones or 14 larger ones.

Preheat your oven to 425 degrees and grease 2 baking sheets with butter.




You will need 4 cups of sifted flour, 1/4 cup of granulated sugar, 
1 Tb baking powder, 1/2 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp baking soda, 2/3 cup of butter, 1 1/2 cups of buttermilk, 6 Tb jam or preserves and red sugar crystals if desired to sprinkle on top.

In  large bowl combine the flour, 1/4 cup of sugar, baking powder, salt and baking soda.  With a pastry cutter, blend in the butter or cut it in with 2 knives until the mix is coarse and crumbly.

Add the buttermilk to the dry mix and stir into a soft dough.

Turn the dough out into a lightly floured surface and knead 5-6 times.  Roll it out to a 1/2" thickness and cut with a Valentine Heart Cookie Cutter.  Use a 2" cutter for smaller scones (more) and a 3" cutter for larger scones (less).  You will be putting a teaspoon of jam on top of one and then another dough heart on top of that.  You will take a fork and press the edges down all the way around to seal the scone layers together.  Sprinkle red sugar crystals on top.


Bake at 424 degrees for about 15-18 minutes









If you are a blogger who posts about tea - you are invited to join me by linking something from your blog below.  Please include a link to this post on yours as well.

I will be linking this post to several other wonderful blogs:
A Delightsome Life
and
Rose Chintz Cottage
and 
Antiques and Tea Cups
and
Tea Cup Tuesday With Terri
and
Tea Cup Tuesday With Martha
and
Share Your Cup Thursday