Monday, February 28, 2011


I have been thinking about how baking and cooking may have changed lately. Actually, I have recalled that in the 70's and 80's we made a lot of foods using ideas from Duncan Hines, Jello, Dream Whip, Campbell Soups and that type of item. Casseroles and large desserts were our delight!   I still make these things but I do think we would agree that there is a great emphasis now to learn to make your own sauces and to bake from stratch. What do you think?  This Lemon Pretzel Torte would be be a type of thing one would bring to a Potluck Dinner in the 1980's. 

During the 1980's I received this recipe from a lady who lived in Burlington, Iowa and inspired me in so many ways!  I also recall that I had received a set of antique luncheon plates from her during those years when she moved into a Senior Townhome.   These dishes became the beginning point for me to collect mix matched pieces and cups and saucers.

I learned so much from Frances who was a frugal woman!  She was very creative and knew how to stretch a dollar!  You can see my mix and match china below:

Here is the recipe for Frances Vollmer's Lemon Pretzel Torte:

You will need 1 1/2 cups crushed pretzels, 1/2 cup sugar, 1 stick of butter softened, 1 - 3 1/4 oz package of lemon pie filling mix (NOT instant), 2 3 oz packages of Dream Whip Topping Mix (yes they still have it at the grocery), 1 8oz package softened cream cheese and 1 cup of powdered sugar. There are 3 levels to this dessert, it is easy to do and will feed 12 to 14 people.  You will be using a 9 x 13 pyrex dish for the dessert.

For the bottom level of the dessert:  Crush pretzels into small bite size pieces like nuts.  Cream the butter and the sugar.  Add the pretzels pieces and mix together.  Using your hands to form a ball, press this mixture into the 9 x 13 pyrex pan.  Refrigerate until

Go ahead now and make the lemon pie filling as directed on the package and refrigerate in a separate bowl until cool but not yet firm.

The Second level of the dessert is this: prepare the 2 whipped topping envelopes  according to directions. Then beat this into the cream cheese and powdered sugar till well blended.  Spread this over the bottom crust in the pyrex dish and put back in refrigerator.

Now for the top level:  Spread the lemon pudding mix on the top and return again to refrigerator.  You can see the 3 layers below:

Just click the photo above to see others who participate in Tea Time Tuesday!

March 19th Later Note:  I had mailed Frances a copy of this post in a card and yesterday on March 18, 2001 it came back marked "deceased".  I am deeply saddened but happy to know that she is now with the Lord.

also see an older post on Frances:

Sunday, February 27, 2011


Proverbs 3: 9-10  Honour the Lord with thy substance, and with the first-fruits of all thine increase; So shall they barns be filled with plenty, and thy presses shall burst out with new wine.

Saturday, February 26, 2011


I am so excited to see that King Arthur Flour will be at the Embassy Suites Hotel at 7290 Commerce Center Drive here on Wednesday at 12:00 pm demonstrating perfect pies and tarts and at 7:00 pm demonstrating sweet yeast breads. This is free and no registration is required.  Each demonstration last 2 hours and includes tricks for high-altitude baking, recipes and door prizes!

Here is there baking blog:

Click here to see when they will be in your area:

Friday, February 25, 2011


I love all things tea:  that means, teapots, tea, tea accessories, tea linens, teasets, and the list goes on!

Thursday, February 24, 2011


Green tea has been attributed with health benefits to help the body fight cancer, headaches, rheumatoid arthritis, high cholestrol levels, cardiovascular disease, infection, and impaired immune function.
 From 365 Things Every Tea Lover Should Know

Friday, February 18, 2011


Nothing makes me happier than when my Tea Time Magazines arrive at my store!  This issue has an ad for a new Laura Child's Tea Murder Mystery - are you ready - the title is "SCONES AND BONES".  Now, how cute is that!

Tea Time never disappoints - new ideas for all your spring tea parties including St. Patrick's Day, Easter, Birthdays and Baby Shower Teas!

and a special article for all you gluten-free ladies: with recipes

This is my favorite all time tea magazine!  You must have a subscription!

Thursday, February 17, 2011


Last night after dinner I noticed I still had some buttermilk left from earlier baking projects. I knew just what to do with it as lately I have dreamed of Buttermilk Pie - a favorite from my homeland in Virginia.  Many years ago my friend, Ann Aiken and I had it at the Chickahominy House in Williamsburg, Virginia.  This isn't their recipe but is one that I have tweeked over the years and is so easy to make!

I started with a simple pie dough recipe but you could use a frozen pie shell if you like. 1 cup sifted flour, 1/2 tsp sale, 1/3 cup plus 
1 Tb shortening and 2 1/2 Tb ice water  Preheat the oven to 450 degrees and mix all above to make a nice dough.  Roll it out and place in a 9" pie pan or pie dish.  Bake for 5 minutes in the oven.  I don't put beans in mine to weight it but I do prick it all over with a fork.  Take out of the oven after 5 minutes.

For the pie: 3 eggs, 1 1/2 cups buttermilk and 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream, 2 sticks of butter melted, 1 tsp vanilla extract,
3 Tb  flour, 1 cup of sugar and a sprinkle of salt.  Get out a large bowl and beat the eggs well first and then add all the other items and blend well.  Pour into the pie crust and put back in the oven at 450 degrees for another 5 minutes - then reduce the oven to 325 degrees and continue baking for 35-45 minutes.  Watch carefully for too much browning.  The center should be firm.  If the crust begins to brown too much - take a piece of foil and go around the edges.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011


Let's face it - we can't help but dream of "green things".  My yard is totally brown right now so I am dreaming of summer - dreaming of spring - well - dreaming of flowers!  These photos take me back to those times!

Today it will be 60 degrees and windy in Colorado Springs - but don't let that fool you!  We usually get the most snow in APRIL when the rest of you show lilacs and pansys.  They call it "spring snows" which seems silly to is still snow....wet snow!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011


"Wouldn't it be dreadful to live in a country where they didn't have tea!"                                  Noel Coward
 (from 365 Things Every Tea Lover Should Know)

Today is Tea Time Tuesday with Sandi at Rose Chintz Cottage
Please visit all the ladies who participate!

Monday, February 14, 2011


I want to wish you all a very HAPPY VALENTINES DAY!

Saturday, February 12, 2011


This was a busy week for me as I got ready for A Valentine Friendship Tea Event....making enough food for 50 people.....whew!
I want to share this recipe that I made for some scones.  I had saved this recipe since the 1980's when it was in Country Living.  It was the first time I ever made these and I thought they were good!
Some of you will remember Lucy Wing often had fabulous recipes and this was an entire booklet just on scones.  I think scones are more popular now than in the 1980's.

This recipe made 16 medium size scones using the middle size heart cookie cutter.

You will need 4 cups of flour, 1/4 cup of granulated sugar, 1 Tb baking powder, 1/2 tsp salt, 2/3 cup butter, 1 1/2 cups of buttermilk, 6 Tb cherry jam or preserves or pie filling

Preheat the oven to 424 degrees and grease a large baking sheet (I always use 2 and have the next one ready to save time)

In a large bowl, combine the flour, 3 Tb of the granulated sugar, baking powder, salt and baking soda.  With a pastry cutter, blend in the butter or cut it in with 2 knives until the mixture is like coarse crumbs.  Add buttermilk to the dry mix and stir into a soft dough.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead 5-6 times.  Roll out to 1/2 inch thickness and cut with your heart cookie cutter. After you cut the firstgroup - roll the dough again and cut the rest. You will be putting a teaspoon or more of the cherry filling right in the center and putting another "top" on it stacking it and crimping all around the edges with a fork. Now sprinkle sugar on tops and bake around 15 minutes - watch till they are just turning golden.

I think you would like these if you decide to try them!  Friday I made several batches.  I have learned not to double or triple recipes but do separate batches. 

For my event I made 2 Scottish Marmalade Loaves, my Chocolate Fudge Cake Ooooh la la, Linzer Valentine Heart Cookies, Ham Biscuits with Hot Pepper Peach Preserves, 2 Cheeseballs, A Red Pepper Dip and Apple Cranberry Chutney Spinach Pinwheels. I am sorry to say - I forgot to take pictures.......???? Oh - I also made several batches of sugar cookies "just in case" there wasn't enough! 

I am participating in Seasonal Saturday at la bella vita which is always loads of fun!

Thursday, February 10, 2011


I will not be posting for a few days as I have a tea event to get ready for and lots of work to do!  Do you have any tea plans for Valentines Day?

Wednesday, February 9, 2011


When sipping tea at the table, you don't need to pick up your saucer with the cup.

From 365 Things Every Tea Lover Should Know

Friday, February 4, 2011


Today I find myself dreaming of summer days and longing to be in the garden - but alas, it is cold and snowy I will just dream, remember and wait!

I get lost in magazines like English Garden and Country Gardens and imagine possibilities.....

Wednesday, February 2, 2011


Last night I finally got around to making the Rooibos & Beet Cake that was featured in the Autumn Issue of  "TEA a Magazine".  I am sure many of you receive this magazine.  Now doesn't that sound unusual - a cake with beets in it!  It was fairly simple really and now that I have made it - I have some ideas.

My husband and I had a discussion on the matter and thought that walnuts would be a nice addition to the cake body.  I also wondered about little coconut.

For me, I would change the icing and do a cream cheese type icing also with walnuts and/or adding the coconut here also.  I wasn't really crazy about the recipe for lemon frosting.  The beets are lovely and caused me to remember the smell when I canned pickled beets back in the late 70's.

Beet juice is a wonderful color but remember also stains...your hands will no doubt be beet colored - but it washes out!