Wednesday, May 30, 2012

TEA IN THE GARDEN







Good morning and Happy Tea In The Garden.....I hope you are having a wonderful day! This is actually my second time to do this post and download all these photos as I accidently put the post on the wrong blog the first time.  When people tell me they can't figure things out to blog I know "one thing is for sure".  IF I CAN DO THIS - anyone can!












You remember I shared these little Japanese dishes a while back that I found on an antiquing venture.  My idea of a wonderful day is getting lost in a large antique mall somewhere!




If you live in a condo or an apartment with a porch or patio - you can create your own little garden there too!  Those wooden barrels can be filled with dirt and you can turn your own little area into a personal paradise!  What a nice place you will have to escape from the pressures of life with a cup of tea and a nice book to read!





















My hubby helped me cut off some of the lower limbs of the Colorado Blue Spruce so that more light can come in now.








I am inviting anyone who blogs about TEA IN THE GARDEN (or porch, sun room, patio or deck) to join in below and link up - but PLEASE have a link back to me as well!




I hope you will join me every Wednesday as we move through the summer with TEA IN THE GARDEN!



Since this will also be the 5th Thursday of the month I am linking to Kathy's Home and Garden Thursday and hope you can visit her as well!



Saturday, May 26, 2012

37th Territory Days in Old Colorado City




Before Colorado was a state - Old Colorado City was the capitol of the TERRITORY.  Territory Days is a celebration each each year and a time to reflect back to days of the wild adventurous west!  THIS IS A 3 DAY EVENT Saturday through Monday.


Friday, May 25, 2012

APRICOT BLUEBERRY TEA CAKE



I love the scene from "Father of the Bride" where the father (Steve Martin) tries to criticize the wedding planner's cake ingredients in hopes of pressuring him to bring the price down on the wedding cake.  Remember when he says - "how much can eggs, sugar and flour possibly cost?"  Really, he has point!  A cake is basically staples you have on hand plus a few more ingredients. This cake is a tea cake or coffee cake if you like.  I used apricots and blueberries but other fruits would work well too!




This simple tea cake is perfect with a nice hot pot of tea or coffee.  Here is what you will need:

Ingredients: granulated sugar to sprinkle in the bottom of the pan, 1 1/2 cups of flour, 2 tsp baking powder (reduce slightly in high altitude) 1/2 tsp salt,  - 6 Tb melted butter, 3/4 cup brown sugar , 1/2 cup cold milk, 2 large eggs, 6 ripe apricots peeled and sliced and 1 cup of blueberries and lastly for topping 2Tb light brown sugar and 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon  Now also: 2 Tb butter which you will use cut up to dot the top after the crumble!





Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.  Butter a 9-10" spring form pan and dust the bottom with the granulated sugar.  Mix together the flour, baking powder and salt in a bowl. Melt the butter, 3/4 cup brown sugar, and mix in the milk and eggs.  Add the two together.

Spread the batter into the pan and press in the fruits evenly.  The topping will be the last 2Tb brown sugar and the cinnamon. Mix them together and sprinkle on top of the cake batter - now dot the butter on top.  Bake for 55 minutes - test the cake with a toothpick.  I like using those wooden skewers for testing as I don't drop them as easily.



Interested in my "Friendship Teapot" -go to a former link below!

http://bernideensteatimeblog.blogspot.com/2009/01/my-friendship-teapot.html

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

TEA ON THE BENCH FOR "TEA IN THE GARDEN"



Welcome to Tea in The Garden and welcome to my 
Beatrix Potter Tea Garden:




I have made you nice pot of Earl Grey Tea so plan
to stay and relax at while!













It is so wonderful to experience all the things God created!  I marvel and His creativity!  I love the quote: "Who plants a seed beneath the sod and waits to see - believes in God".











This is my fourth summer to have this garden and perhaps that is why it is finally developing into a special place to "escape" and "enjoy". 











Today is the graduation for the Air Force Academy and just getting to work will be a challenge as the President's motorcade (he is the speaker) will be setting traffic back.  I wish I could linger in the garden all day!



I like unusual photos at odd angles such as this one below:












If you are a blogger yourself - I invite you join me by posting a tea in your garden, porch, sunroom or patio and link below. Please post a link here and I invite you to copy the special thumbnail photo (to the right) on your blog as well!




Monday, May 21, 2012

LEMONADE LAYER CAKE FOR YOUR SUMMERTIME TEA


This weekend I decided to make a lovely cake I had seen on a favorite blog: Tea at Primrose Hill where Sheri shares her favorite recipes.  If you are planning some backyard gatherings this summer - this lovely Lemonade Layer Cake is perfect.  Just don't leave it out in the hot sun.  This is her recipe below and also a view of the robin's nest on the arbor near my front porch:






This cake has a neufchatel icing (like softer cream cheese)  so it needs to be refrigerated.










Lemonade Layer Cake from:  http://cuppatea4sheri.blogspot.com/2011/08/lemonade-layer-cake.html 

Ingredients:  6 tablespoons butter, softened,  1-1/3 cups sugar,  3 tablespoons thawed lemonade concentrate,   2 tablespoons grated lemon peel,  2 teaspoons vanilla extract, 2 eggs, 2 egg whites,   2 cups all-purpose flour,   1 teaspoon baking powder,  1/2 teaspoon baking soda,   1/4 teaspoon salt,   1-1/4 cups buttermilk

FROSTING:  1 package (8 ounces) PHILADELPHIA Neufchatel Cheese
2 tablespoons butter, softened, 2 tablespoons grated lemon peel
2 teaspoons thawed lemonade concentrate,  1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3-1/2 cups confectioners' sugar

Directions:
In a large bowl, beat butter and sugar until crumbly, about 2 minutes. Add the lemonade concentrate, lemon peel and vanilla; mix well. Add eggs and egg whites, one at a time, beating well after each addition.

Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add to the butter mixture alternately with buttermilk, beating well after each addition.

Coat two 9-in. round baking pans coated with cooking spray and dusted with flour. Pour batter to prepared pans.

Bake at 350° for 18-22 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pans to a wire rack to cool completely.

For frosting, in a small bowl, combine cream cheese and butter until smooth. Add the lemon peel, lemonade concentrate and vanilla; mix well. Gradually beat in confectioners' sugar until smooth. Spread frosting between layers and over top and sides of cake.

Refrigerate for at least 1 hour before serving. Refrigerate leftovers. 







A nice pot of black hot tea is perfect with this 
sweetness of this cake!












My clematis are just beginning to bloom:




I am linking this blog to Kathy at A Delightsome Life and also Sandi at Rose Chintz Cottage and you would enjoy visiting them both!


Please come back Wednesday and join me for Tea in the Garden!


I am also sharing this link with Rattlebridge Farm and their Foodie Friday Celebration!

Friday, May 18, 2012

CHOWNING'S TAVERN BRUNSWICK STEW



For some time I have been wanting to make a recipe I copied off one of my favorite food blogs FROM A WRITERS KITCHEN


I grew up on the lower peninsula which used to be called Tidewater,  Virginia and graduated from York High School at Yorktown in 1966.  Trips to Williamsburg and Jamestown were yearly and back in the "old days" we had a free pass to all the locations in historic Williamsburg.  My husband and I also lived in Newport News in the late 70's - early 80's and ate a Chowning's Tavern.  Some good old colonial cooking!  After making this last night, I was able to freeze a good portion for future comfort food!        









HERE IS THE RECIPE FROM BONNIE:       http://fromawriterskitchen.blogspot.com/2010_06_10_archive.html





Thursday, May 17, 2012

CRACKER BARREL'S HASH BROWN CASSEROLE



Oh yum - now that I have a new oven that does what it's supposed too - I'm cooking and baking up a storm.  And what fun it is!  I had googled lots of knock off recipes recently of things I love from chain restaurants and one of them was that wonderful casserole from Cracker Barrel for Hash Brown Casserole.  I found lots of recipes on line but chose this one to actually make:




This was so easy to make and the recipe came from Jess at Hungry Harps Website. She has a great cooking website! You just need a bag of hash browns, colby cheese,  an onion, butter, garlic powder, milk, salt, beef broth, and black pepper.  You probably have most in not all of this in the kitchen now.

http://www.hungryharps.com/2011/05/cracker-barrel-hash-brown-casserole.html






Wednesday, May 16, 2012

TEA IN THE GARDEN





Welcome to Tea in the Garden and Mr. Jeremy Fisher was going to give you a WELCOME shout out - but he's busy smelling his columbines!





Mr. Peter Rabbit does welcome you as well!




I pushed the patio tea cart out in the garden this morning and set up a little tea.









My early morning lighting isn't to great so I think I need a better camera to overcome some of these problems.












We are finally having some beautiful Spring weather so I was out in the garden early this morning before going to work.  I so look forward to being "retired" and having the time for the things I love!  I am often out till almost dark trying to do my garden work.













Because many of you have commented and asked:  the foxgloves are recent entries from Home Depot!  Foxgloves are biennials and usually are already in their second year when they are blooming in the pot!  I might get one or two to return in the garden but rarely. They are my first love - I got that from Tasha Tudor!  I do find that delphiniums are great at coming back!  In that sense they are probably a better investment.  I DON'T BUY ANNUALS.



I have a new book to share today - "London's Afternoon Teas" by Susan Cohen....you would enjoy reading about all the great tearooms in London.  I was surprised that most serve a very  contemporary looking style tea. What a treat to visit them.  I was especially charmed by the High Tea of Highgate Tea Room and would love to go there!









If you have posted tea (ON YOUR BLOG) in your GARDEN, PORCH, SUNPORCH, DECK OR PATIO - please join me by linking below!