This past week, I was sent a box of gifts from my friend, Marsha, from The Better Baker! How exciting to open a box and find all these wonderful things inside! Of course, I LOVE cookbooks and read them like novels, and this Taste of Home Annual Recipes 2013, will provide all kinds of wonderful inspiration. Aren't the tea-towels so pretty and vintage-like and perfect for summer?? The microfiber cloth is one of Marsha's all-time favorite things and now I have one. I have been shining my kozy kitchen up like crazy!!! Streaks are my enemy and now I have something to wipe them away. She even sent me some soothing teabags because she knows me so well.
Thank you, Marsha, for blessing me with these thoughtful gifts!
Awhile back, I won the Ramsign giveaway at my friend Debbie's blog at mountainbreaths.blogspot.com/. I was able to choose this wonderful "Welcome" sign instead of a numbered sign, which was shipped all the way from Denmark! My sweet hubby helped me put it on my seasonal basket. Doesn't it look beautiful on there? You can check out other designs at ramsign.com/.
Thank you so much, Debbie! I love my special sign. Please visit Debbie and tell her I said "hi"!
Please join me for some apricot tea and apricot cream cheese scones in the garden! I'm using my hand painted plate and matching tea cup from my late Aunt Kitty.
I filled my lantern with some matching flowers and used my Royal Doulton figurine that my dear Dad bought my Mom, and Mom gifted to me.
I just can't seem to get enough scones to try...so many choices! I noticed this recipe on King ArthurFlour awhile back and tried it. Oh my, are they ever good! One of our sons said, "That's the best scone I've ever had!" One tip for making scones that King Arthur gives, is to put the unbaked scones in the freezer for 30 minutes, which gives a higher rise to the baked scones. You also can fully freeze the unbaked scones, put them in freezer-proof bags, and then take out what is needed, when needed, and bake. The scones will require an additional 5 minutes of baking time from the frozen state. Here's the recipe:
3 1/4 cups Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 (8 ounce) package cream or Neufchatel cheese
1/2 cup (1 stick) cold unsalted butter
1 cup diced dried apricots
1 large egg
2 teaspoons vanilla extract (I think 1 t. of vanilla and 1 t. of almond would be good)
1/4 cup milk, plus 1 to 2 tablespoons more, if needed
For my Chicken Pot Pie table, I've used my crocheted topper along with pretty red polka dot placemats. I made the black and white gingham napkins.
The polka dot hen is from Hobby Lobby, which is nesting in a basket. The candle came from Wimberley, TX and I added a polka dot bow to carry on the theme.
The cheery polka dot ramekins are from Ross and I've used my red Cambridge flatware.
I am on a roll with Puff Pastry lately and wanted to make a comfort dish and decided on chicken pot pie. I had never tried puff pastry on top, but after making it and my hubby declaring it "the best chicken pot pie ever", you'd better believe that I'll be making it this way from now on!!
3 Tablespoons butter
1/2 cup chopped celery
1 cup sliced mushrooms
2 Tablespoons chopped onion
3 Tablespoons flour
1 1/2 cups chicken stock
1/4 teaspoon poultry seasoning
some fresh thyme, taken off the stems or some dried thyme
3 cups cubed cooked chicken
1 sheet of puff pastry
1 egg beaten with 1 T. water
Melt the butter in a large skillet. Add the celery, onion, and mushrooms and cook about 5 minutes. Stir in the flour and cook for about 1 minute. Add the chicken stock, poultry seasoning, and fresh thyme. Stir and cook until thickened. Add the chicken and heat through.
Cut the puff pastry into fourths.
Divide the chicken mixture into four 8-ounce ramekins. Wet the rims of the ramekins with some water. Top each ramekin with the puff pastry square, press down around the rim. It's okay to have an overhang of pastry. Cut a slit in the top to vent. Brush with the egg wash. Bake at 375 for about 25 minutes or until golden brown. YUM!
NOTE: You could but this in a square baking dish and just top with the sheet of puff pastry.
This delicious, dainty treat is perfect for breakfast or with tea and today I'm having green tea. This recipe is easy to prepare and would be perfect for kids to help with. In fact I haven't made these in years, but after making them, one of our sons said that "these are amazing", and my hubby said, "these are so good"! You know, I can make something completely from scratch and the simplest things get the raves!! Here's the recipe:
1/4 cup brown sugar
2T. butter, softened
1 t. cinnamon
1 (8-oz) can crescent rolls
3/4 cup powdered sugar
1 T. butter
1-2 T. hot water
In a small bowl, combine first 3 ingredients.
Separate crescent rolls into 4 rectangles, firmly press perforations to seal.
Spread rectangles with sugar mixture. Top with remaining 2 rectangles. Cut each rectangles into 8 strips. Twist each strip several times and flatten on a greased cookie sheet, or onto parchment paper.
Bake at 350 degrees for 10-15 minutes, until golden brown. Remove immediately onto wax paper.
Mix together ingredients for the glaze. Glaze while twists are warm.
Makes 16 twists.
Here's my little gnome garden. I wanted a fairy garden, but haven't found a tiny fairy yet. In it are some blue pebbles from the $ Tree spilling out of a little blue bowl that my Mom sent me. The birdhouse is perched in the back with an iron bench on the right with a bird bath with the frog. I keep it outside on my patio, but the day was windy and chilly, so tea was inside!
For our Cinco de Mayo celebration, I've used some bright orange fabric as a table runner and my straw placemats to go with the sombrero. I'm serving guacamole in a margarita plastic "glass" from Walgreens.
I lined the sombrero with plastic wrap and filled it with chips.
I made the chile pepper napkins with the easiest mitered corner, following the directions, found here. These turned out great! The only difference from the tutorial is that I lined mine, so that they are two-sided.
My taste in guacamole is very simple. All that's needed are the avocados and a few other ingredients. If you want more, add some chopped onion and tomatoes. Here's how I make it:
3-4 ripe avocados
fresh lemon or lime juice ( I prefer lime)
garlic salt to taste, but I'm now adding the McCormick's Chile/Garlic salt (LOVE that stuff!)
Peel the avocado, take out the pit and mash, leaving some chunks for texture, unless you like it smooth. Squeeze in some lemon or lime juice and add the garlic salt to taste. Enjoy!
For tea today, I've used the cupcake teapot that my dear sister gifted me, and used it with my polka dot plate and cup and a polka dot napkin from fabric a had in my stash. I've used some grocery store daisies inside a pretty basket.
This Cream Cheese Danish is a family favorite that I've been making for years. You can double this recipe and use a 9 x 13" baking dish for a larger crowd. The only thing is, if you double it, there's no need to use 2 eggs. The recipe goes by many other names, but whatever it's called, it's quick, easy and delicious!
Here's the small version:
1 tube crescent rolls
1/2 t. vanilla
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg yolk
1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened (I always use "light")
1 egg white
1/4 cup sugar 1/2 t. cinnamon
1/4 cup chopped nuts (pecans or almonds are good)
Lay 1/2 of the crescent rolls flat into an 8 x 8" pan. Mix the vanilla, sugar and egg yolk into the cream cheese. Spoon this mixture over dough. Lay remaining 1/2 of the crescent rolls on top.
Whisk egg white; brush over dough. Mix the sugar and cinnamon and sprinkle on top of the egg white. Sprinkle on the chopped nuts.
Bake at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes. Makes 8 slices.