Monday, January 31, 2011


About 6 years ago we had a dooooooozier of a BLIZZARD.  Many of you may not know the difference between a blizzard and a bad snow storm - but there is a difference!  In a blizzard - the wind blows the snow in many directions- even straight up if it so desires!Once in a blizzard, the snow blew straight up into our attic.

About 5-6 years so we had a BAD BLIZZARD - we stayed at work all day as my store is close to the mountains in a "milder" part of a city with micro climates. As we started home on this particular night on the interstate, many cars were stuck on the sides of the road - even a police car!  At one point nothing moved while we sat on a bridge in a whiteout.  People got out of their cars and chatted as if we were in a parking lot. Tina from Colorado T's (t-shirt shop a few doors down) had given us a basket of homemade goodies  earlier in the day for a Christmas treat and we had the basket in the car going home.  We reached for the basket and ATE EVERYTHING in it!  This recipe was received from her later after I requested it - these are so delicious! 

 Did you put some cranberries in the freezer at Christmas time - I suggested that remember?  While they are available you should always freeze some!

TINA'S WALNUT BERRY BLIZZARD BITES: I added the blizzard part of course!

You will need to preheat the oven to 350 degrees:  get out a 15 x 10 x 1 inch jelly roll pan which you will  spray with no stick cooking spray.

Ingredients for the base:  2 1/2 cups sifted flour, 1 cup margarine (NOT butter) which is cut into pieces, 1/2 cup confectioners sugar and 1/2 tsp salt

In a large bowl, beat the flour, margarine, confectioners sugar and salt at medium speed until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Press this firmly and evely into the pan.  It will be up high.  Bake 20 minutes or until golden brown.

Now the filling ingredients: 1 1/3 cups light corn syrup, 1 cup sugar, 4 eggs, 3 Tb. butter (not margarine), 2 cups fresh chopped or frozen, thawed and chopped cranberries, 1 cup chopped walnut and 1 1/4 cups white chocolate chips

In a large bowl, beat the corn syrup, sugar, eggs and butter until well blended.  Stirin the cranberries and walnuts and spread evenly over the hot crust. Sprinkle the chocolate chips on top and bake 25 minutes until set.  COOL COMPLETELY NOW before serving....will make 4 dozen bars!  I hope you love this recipe because I had to completely type it TWICE as the saving draft button didn't work and I lost it the first time.  I am so dedicated to this blog!

Since we - probably like you - are in the middle of a terrible cold weather pattern - this post will be my choice also for Tea Time Tuesday.  Visit Sandi at Rose Chintz Cottage

Sunday, January 30, 2011


II Chronicles 20:22 And when they began to SING and to PRAISE, the Lord set ambushments against the children of Ammon, Moab, and mount Seir which were come against Judah; and they were smitten.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011


Last week I googled some meyer lemon marmalade recipes and read them over and over.  I was an avid canner back in the 70's and 80's so water bath canning is in my background.   As you may know, it really is relatively easy!  I have seen meyer lemons at our local grocery store for several months.  After reading a number of recipes, I settled on using 8 lemons to 4 cups of sugar and 4 cups of how hard can that be?  The lemons I found were medium sized  so I would have used only 6 if they had been larger!

This recipe will make enough marmalade to fill  6 - 8 0z jelly jars.....

Ingredients: 8 medium meyer lemons which are sweeter than regular lemons, 4 cups water and 4 cups sugar
You will need a small water bath canner, 6 - 8 oz jelly jars, lids and screw bans and a candy thermometer

Another thing that I loved about this recipe is that if you work like I do - you can make this in 2 nights and spread the job out because the lemons soak in water 24 hours!  Wash the lemons and cut them into thin slices removing the seeds.  I found different uses for the seeds (many recipes call for putting them in cheesecloth to soak in the pot) but I just threw them away. The KIS method! I went ahead and chopped each lemon slice up here.  Using a good 5 quart non-reactive pot with a lid - soak the chopped lemons for 24 hours in the 4 cups of water. I sat mine on the stove - but no heat please!

Last night after work I brought the lemons in the water to a boil and simmered them for 45 minutes. Then I began to add the 4 cups of sugar to the pot over medium heat for another 30 minutes stirring often.  I turned the temperature up at the end and tested it with a candy thermometer to make sure it reached 220 degrees SO THAT IT WOULD THICKEN properly.  You don't want a runny marmalade!

Once it was nicely thickened, I poured it into my PREWASHED hot, dry jars using a funnel so as not to make a MESS!  Wiping the jars clean - putting on the lids and screw bands tight! Place in the canning pot with a metal holder and make sure all jars are covered with water at least 1".  YOU WILL BOIL THE JARS FOR 5 minutes!  Remove WITH   jar tongs carefully to cool! Place on a kitchen towel on the counter.

Like many of you, I find great pleasure in the POP - POP - POP as jars cool on a towel and the lids seal!  That occasional one that doesn't seal often can be pushed down with the finger later.

Now don't these look wonderful!  IF YOU HAVE A TEA ROOM and a commercial kitchen - you could sell these easily for $6.95 - 8.95 or you could sell them at the farmers market when made in your own kitchen!  Generally, prices are less at a farmers market than a retail shop.  The cost to make them was minimal- especially if you buy jelly jars on sale!  CANNING IS SO MUCH FUN - I LOVE IT!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011


Last night I decided to make a simple recipe I had seen on the yahoo group brunch_scones_tea shared by Jennie Shutt....

Her BERRY TEA CAKE was quick and easy to make:

Ingredients were: For the topping:1 can of blackberries in light syrup, 2 Tbs Sugar (I increased that to 3 Tb), 1 Tb cornstarch,

2 1/4 cups flour, 3/4 cup brown sugar, 3/4 cup butter, 1 tsp baking powder, 1/2 tsp baking soda, 1 egg and 3/4 cup buttermilk (milk with a splash of lemon juice in it)  I also added to the batter 1/2 cup of gooseberry jam - because I have some and wanted to see what this would be like.  It made the cake very moist with no significant change in taste.

For the filling begin by combining sugar, berries and cornstarch in a saucepan.  Bring to a boil until thick and set aside to cool.

In a mixing bowl, combine flour, brown sugar and butter with a pastry blender.  Remove1/2 cup of this mix to save at the end for a crumble topping.  Add to the remaining flour mixture, the baking powder, soda.  Combine the egg, buttermilk and in my case the gooseberry jam and mix together adding this to the dry mix.  Stir until moistened.

Now spread 1/2 of the batter into a greased and floured 11 x 7 pan.  Pour berry mixture over batter,  Spread remaining batter over berries and sprinkle reserved 1/2 cup crumb topping on top.
Bake 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes.

Today is Tuesday which means it is Tea Time Tuesday with Sandi at Rose Chinz Cottage - visit her too!

Sunday, January 23, 2011


PROVERBS 11:14  Where no counsel is, the people fall:  but in the multitude of counsellors there is safety.

Saturday, January 22, 2011


I am going to tempt you with my CHOCOLATE FUDGE CAKE OOH LA LA.....I have posted this before but due to time limitations from a busy it is again!

Chocolate Fudge Cake OH –LA-LA:

A really moist cake sure to please! (High Altitude adjusted)

5 Squares unsweetened chocolate
2 1/3 cups sifted cake flour (2 ¼ on lower alt)
1 ½ tsp baking soda (2 tsp low alt)
½ tsp salt
½ cup (1 stick) butter
2 cups firmly packed light brown sugar (2 ¼ low alt)
3 eggs
1 ½ tsp vanilla
1 cup dairy sour cream
1 cup plus 4 Tb water – boiling ( 1 cup low alt)

1. Grease and flour 2 size 9 x 1 ½” layer cake pans, tap out excess flour.
2. Sift flour, baking soda and salt into bowl.
3. Melt chocolate in a small bowl with the butter.
4. In a large bowl beat brown sugar and eggs; beat with mixer at
High speed until light and fluffy, 5 minutes. Beat in vanilla and chocolate.
5. Stir in dry ingredients alternately with sour cream until batter is smooth.
Do not boil water too soon as it evaporates fast – Stir in boiling water – batter will
Now become thin. Pour into cake pans.
6. Bake in oven at 350 degrees for 30 minutes – check with toothpick
7. Let cool 10 minutes, cut around edge of cake with knife and turn onto cake platter
I like to put a layer of cherry pie filling or Rothchild’s Cherry Almond Sauce between my cake layers!

Fudge icing: 4 squares unsweetened chocolate, 1 stick of butter, 1 lb. of confect. Sugar, ½ cup milk, 2 tsps vanilla

Melt chocolate in small saucepan with butter…remove from heat
Combine other ingredients in bowl and then add chocolate
mix…….beat till ready to ice cake
If the icing is too thick- add more milk
After the cake is iced I like to cover the center top with maraschino cherries!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011


Recently, we watched some Charles Dickens classics: Oliver Twist and then Little Dorrit - wow, was that ever complex!  Rigaud scared me silly!  I had to watch Little Dorrit twice with a list of the characters to understand it. I think it is the most complex story I have ever "seen".  I have a NEW APPRECIATION for food, warm clothes and our daily freedoms?  HAVE YOU SEEN IT? There are 4 DVD'S in the set- so we watched it over the course of a few days!
Over 10 hours long......

Tuesday, January 18, 2011


If you have been waiting for a special occasion to have a tea party with friends....Valentines Day is the perfect time!  Winter can be a long time "indoors" and this is something to look forward to - to break up this season with a tea party is a joy.  Maybe just doing some tea decorating would be fun - setting up a display of tea things in your dining room or kitchen....

I love fun decorations and have a habit of mixing antiques with whimsical things.....

The teapot below is bone china ....

I love the little "faux" sweets....

You can mix and match - if you look in your cupboard - pink things and red things may be found.  You may prefer bright red to darker burgundy.....

Today is Tea Time Tuesday with Sandi where you may visit others who participate in this day! 

Monday, January 17, 2011


From 365 Things Every Tea Lover Should Know:

"Pewter teapots were used in Colonial times by those who could not afford silver ones.  Now pewter teapots are used to brew stronger teas."

Saturday, January 15, 2011


If you love to cook and bake and  you haven't been to the blog "Mennonite Girls  Can Book"  HERE , you are missing a great source for recipes and ideas!  I found this recipe there a few years ago with Betty who is part of the group!  You can find her recipe HERE

These scones were heavenly to bake - I mean they smelled heavenly and are really good!  I just happened to have some of my own rhubarb jam to put  on them.  I think I liked the English Clotted Cream on them the best though!

Betty called for toasting the coconut but I just used it straight from the bag and it was SO GOOD!

a close up below:

I find that most scone recipes make about 16 good sized scones and this recipe did just that!

Today I am cooperating with Seasonal Saturday at la bella vita

Thursday, January 13, 2011


This is what it looks like when squirrels dance in the snow:

These squirrels are VERY spoiled as I feed them peanuts every day - they wait at the back door every morning!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011


I have been enjoying baking some of the recipes from a wonderful tea book that came out in 2009:  "TEA AND CRUMPETS" by Margaret M. Johnson. I totally recommend you buy this book!  Today is also Tea Time Tuesday with Sandi at Rose Chintz Cottage & Inspirations so I decided to make the Scottish recipe for Spicy Marmalade Loaf from the Tea Room of Ballindalloch
Castle in Banffshire, Scotland.

This recipe book has recipes from all over the United Kingdom and if you look back at my posts last week you will find much information about it!  The recipe called for lining the pan with waxed paper and I found that worked well.  The loaf has 1/2 cup of marmalade in it and is very moist and delicious!

My step-father was from a Scottish family - the Buchanan's who settled near Nashua, New Hampshire.  My step-grandmother Buchanan and her daughter Norma were wonderful cooks.  I remember when I was around 11 years old I had Welsh Rarebit for lunch in their home.  It was a very old home with a barn attached. I also remember them drinking hot tea which we never had in our home in Virginia (just iced tea).

As I shared in an earlier post - Margaret gives the history of marmalade in "Tea and Crumpets" and tells how "James Keiller bought a cargo of bitter oranges and apples that were threatening to spoil after a Spanish ship sought shelter in the harbor during a storm. The thrifty Scotsman's wife turned the fruit into delicious pots of jams, the first batch of Keiller's original Dundee orange marmalade."

As you can see below: nice and moist!