Wednesday, January 30, 2013


We are celebrating the 200th
anniversary of the author
Jane Austen!
January 28, 1813

I baked a special cake
 just for our tea time:

English Regency Lemon-Raspberry Cake

This recipe came from the February 1995 issue of Victoria Magazine.  Changes:  instead of the raspberry filling, I used Stonewall's Seedless Raspberry Jam and instead of making lemon curd, I used Irish Chivers Lemon Curd. (I also changed the name for the sake of Jane Austen)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Cake:  You will need 3 cups sifted cake flour, 4 Tsp baking powder, 3/4 Tsp salt, 3 eggs, 1 cup milk, 2 Tsp vanilla,  3/4 Cup unsalted soft butter, 1 2/3 cups granulated sugar

Lemon Cream Frosting:  1 cup unsalted soft butter, 4 cups confectioners sugar and 3 Tbs lemon juice (I only used cups cups confectioners sugar but if I made this again - I would use a cream cheese based frosting as this is very sweet)

To make the cake:  Butter and flour 3 round cake pans and also line bottoms with waxed paper and also butter and flour the wax paper.  

Sift together flour, baking powder and salt - set aside.  In a medium bowl, whisk together 3 eggs, milk and vanilla.  Set aside.
In a larger bowl, beat 3/4 cup butter til light and creamy.  Gradually beat in 1 2/3 cups sugar, beating til light  Add flour mix alternately with milk mixture beating until smooth for 1 minute.  Divide batter between 3 pans.

Bake 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes....
check with toothpick and cool 10 minutes.

Peel wax paper off 1st layer and place on cake platter - spread lemon curd on top.  Next layer: place raspberry jam on top and then  3rd layer on top and then ice entire cake with Lemon Cream Frosting reserving 1 cup of icing for decorative effects using a pastry tube.  This cake needs to be refrigerated.

"The garden is quite a love....I live in (the) room downstairs, it is particularly pleasant, from opening upon the garden.  I go & refresh myself every now & then, and come back to Solitary Coolness. " Letter to Cassandra, 23 August 1814

There are many wonderful books available with ideas for a 
Jane Austen tea party or dinner. 
 This would be perfect for Valentines Day.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013


Here in Florence we always
eat at the Aspen Leaf Cafe!
There are numerous antique
shops and smaller malls on
this street.

On the way out of town toward Canon City there is a larger antique shop and also
 a sweet lady has a shop.

The next town is Canon City:

Many locals work at the prisons in Canon City.  There are 13 prisons and the Supermax Prison houses many infamous prisoners...the Unibomber, the Shoe Bomber along with many others scarey sorts.  Enough about that! 

  Here you can ride the train which follows the Arkansas River to the bottom of the Royal Gorge or you can drive to the Royal Gorge.  We have ridden the train several times and it is delightful.

Saturday, January 26, 2013


Last night, on our way home,  the usual discussion ensued about "what shall we have for dinner?"  We settled on something simple..... A nice bowl of tomato basil soup and Cheddar Bay Biscuits.  We sat at the table and gobbled them  up for dinner!

Cheddar Bay Biscuits:

You will need:   1 cup flour, 2 Tsp baking powder, 1/4 Tsp cream of tartar, 1/4 Tsp sugar, 1/4 Tsp salt, 1/3 cup milk, 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) cold butter, cubed, 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese and 1/4 Tsp garlic powder
Preheat oven to 450 degrees

Mix dry ingredients together, cut in butter and add cheese,  Pour in milk a little at a time,  After you pat out the dough cut with a biscuit cutter - I cut 15 2" size which were smaller than Red Lobster's.

Brush this topping on biscuits before putting in oven:
1 Tbs melted butter, 1/4 Tsp dried parsley, 1/4 Tsp Italian seasoning, 1/2 Tsp garlic powder, pinch of salt and pinch of OLD BAY SEASONING

Bake at 450 degrees for 10 minutes

Credits:  originally seen here:

Friday, January 25, 2013


While out antiquing last weekend, I had to slap my hands - it was terrible - yes I saw some lovely cake plates at great prices!  I resisted !

I love my glass vintage and antique cake plates and will even buy one with a chip if I feel it is really unique or a great price
 and/or special.

Not counting seasonal cake plates, 
I have 11 glass ones that I just 
use constantly.

Cake plates can be found at yard sales, antique malls, flea markets, etc.  I was enamored years ago when I saw how Martha Stewart stacked them up for her parties!  How about you, do you have any?

Wednesday, January 23, 2013


Good morning tea loving friends and welcome to my blog where I have set up a little Valentine Whimsy on the kitchen buffet that I will share today:

I highly recommend this Harney
tea called "Paris".  It is delicious.

We are in for the long haul of winter here in Colorado but are having very mild temperatures.  It is sunny for the most part. We get lots of sunshine but we are terribly in need of moisture.

 Now that Christmas is past it is fun to turn to other decorations and celebrations to enjoy!

Valentines Day is a friendly time
Where hearts are shared
And tea is kind
Let us focus on love to share
And friendships born with tea time wares.

In the winter we spend more of our our time inside so one of my projects has been to work on my recipes at the kitchen table. I decided it was time to pull authentic "English" recipes away from others and create their own category in my 3 drawer recipe file cabinet.  This has been fun. I found some great recipes here: 
Besides many other recipes, there are about 49 recipes on the site under "afternoon tea".

What sort of things have you been doing "inside" while it is cold out?

I need to say that this teaset was later sold
on my Etsy site!

Friday, January 18, 2013


 Now that winter is here and a "slow down" of activities has occurred we find ourselves like many of you:  turning to soups and breads and loving the smell of our cup of hot tea. We have a wood burning stove and love firing it up so we can be cozy and warm. 

Pastry puffs are SO EASY to bake and keep on hand in the freezer.  These are great additions for your morning coffee or tea.

PUFF PASTRY FILLED WITH JAM AND CREAM CHEESE:  There are 2 folded sheets in each Pepperidge Farm Box.  This morning I took one out to thaw for 40 minutes.  Each sheet will make 9 puffs by cutting each of the
3 sections into 3 squares.  Put a heaping teaspoon full of jam  in the center of each square with a teaspoon of cream cheese.  Fold the square over to form a triangle and crimp with a fork.

BAKE IN A PREHEATED OVEN 400 degrees for 15 minutes.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013


I seem to be off to a start this year....breaking a saucer or I should say...chipping one.  It pays to have the "leaf" on the table secure. 

If you use your tea sets - you will break something sometime.  This is a fact of life.  I wear a lot of vintage jewelry.  Why keep it in the drawer when you can enjoy wearing it!  You will loose or break some if you wear it  - I have!

Let's talk about my tea table.  I purchased the lovely "fun" rose doily recently while antiquing in Denver.  I love this work of art made by some talented lady from time past.

In my future I see myself asking my husband to paint many of our pieces shabby chic white...such as this tea cart.

I did not bake this cheesecake but got it at the market.  Winter can be long and I am notorious for getting bored in the winter.  I think it seems like a great time to have a tea party and have some friends over.  

The name of this picture above on the wall
is "End of The Dinner Party":

Monday, January 7, 2013


Recently, while out antiquing in Denver...we drove by the home of the former "Unsinkable Molly Brown" which is now a museum
and a tea room.

You can also have tea here on special occasions - so here is their website if you want to check it out!  The historic Brown Palace (hotel and restaurant) is also not far away!  Molly Brown often dined there.  You can also have Afternoon Tea at the Brown Palace.  We have been there several times.

Friday, January 4, 2013


Now that winter is here, we have time to slow down and for me that means pulling out old books and magazines to glean some inspiration.

  I have gone through all the old January Victoria Magazines. I am looking 24/7 for garden tips and ideas and new recipes.  I found a book in my own library on English Gardens produced in l990 by Victoria's Secret (yes, who can believe it???)  The pictures are incredible - like a dream really.

The pictures in this book are dreamy!

I also have a recipe to share for "FIRESIDE COFFEE" from the 1987 addition of Southern Living Recipes:

2 Cups of non dairy coffee creamer, 1 1/2 cups of hot cocoa mix, 1 1/2 cups instant coffee granules, 1 1/2 cups sugar, 1 tsp ground cinnamon, 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg.  Combine all and mix well.  Store in  airtight container - makes 6 1/2 cups     Spoon 2 Tbs and 1 Tsp in a mug - add 1 cup boiling water

Much inspiration can be gleaned from the books about the late gardener, Tasha Tudor
and yes I want foxgloves like this but I have
no goat to make the manure tea she is pouring
on these.

My favorite photo of Tasha is in the book above from 1994.  Tovah Martin wrote the text and said: "The secret garden will one day be dominated by the roses, no doubt.  But for now the foxgloves reign supreme, with a little help from frequent and generous applications of manure tea."

Happy dreaming!