Delicious Strawberry Lemonade Scones with Homemade Strawberry Curd

Fresh baked Strawberry Lemonade SconesIt’s strawberry time again! What better way to make use of these delightful berries than to host a Strawberry themed afternoon tea party complete with fresh Strawberry Lemonade Scones and Homemade Strawberry Curd. Here are a couple recipes we love to get you started – just add tea!

Strawberry Lemonade Scones

Bone China Strawberry Teacups

Bone China Strawberry Teacups

(photos & recipe courtesy of www.munchkinmunchies.com)

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 Tbsp. sugar
1 Tbsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter (chilled, not softened) cut into cubes
1 cup diced fresh strawberries
1/2 cup freeze-dried strawberries
1 Tbsp. lemon zest
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup heavy cream plus more for brushing on scones
Toppings (optional): sugar, sanding sugar, lemon curd

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In large bowl mix together flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. With pastry blender, cut in butter cubes until mixture has coarse crumbs. Gently add both kinds of strawberries and the lemon zest. Make a well in the center of the mixture and set aside.

2. In a medium bowl mix together eggs and cream. Add egg mixture to flour mixture. Gently stir until moistened.

3. Place dough onto a well floured surface. Gently knead the dough by folding and pressing it about  7 times, turning the dough a quarter turn after each fold. Move dough to a lightly floured parchment-lined baking sheet  (or stoneware baking sheet without parchment). Pat dough into a 3/4″ thick circle. Cut circle into wedges and separate each slightly.

4. Brush wedges with cream and sprinkle with sugar. Bake 16-20 minutes until gold brown. Drizzle scones with lemon curd and top with sanding sugar. Makes 8-12 scones.

This mouth-watering Strawberry Lemonade Scones recipe (along with more delicious recipes) was created by Sue and found on her inspiring blog: http://www.munchkinmunchies.com. It’s worth a visit!

Strawberry Lemonade Scones Strawberry Curd

4 cups sliced fresh strawberries
1/2 cup sugar
2 Tbsp. corn starch
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
3 large eggs
2 egg yolks
3 Tbsp. butter

1. Blend strawberries until smooth, stopping to scrap down sides as needed. Press through a large wire-mess strainer into a medium bowl, using back of a spoon to squeeze out juice; discard pulp and seeds.

2. Combine sugar and cornstarch in a 3-qt saucepan; gradually whisk in strawberry puree and lime juice. Add eggs and egg yolks. Bring mixture to a boil over medium heat, whisking constantly and cook for 1 minute. Remove from heat and whisk in butter.

3. Place plastic wrap directly on warm curd to prevent film from forming. Chill 8 hours. Serve on fresh baked scones, muffins, or biscuits or use to fill tart shells. Makes approximately 3 1/3 cups.

This delicious Strawberry Curd recipe was found in the April 2012 issue of Southern Living Magazine.

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May 1, 2012 in Uncategorized

Chocolate Painted Eclairs with French Vanilla Cream: A Recipe from The Titanic

An Elegant Christmas Buffet

An Elegant Christmas Buffet

While visiting family over the Thanksgiving holidays, I was intrigued to come across a unique book in my husband’s Aunt Kathy’s plentiful recipe collection. Simply titled “Last Dinner on the Titanic” this book written by Rick Archbold & Dana McCauley shares menus and recipes found from their research and interviews with Titanic survivors. I disappeared into a quiet corner of the house in the company of a cozy armchair and was taken back to an era of elegance and luxury as I flipped through the pages featuring menus and recipes from all “classes” on this great liner. One recipe which was immediately bookmarked and copied was the recipe for Chocolate Painted Eclairs with French Vanilla Cream. I’m assuming there is no need for explanation as to why it caught my attention!

Last Dinner on the Titanic

Last Dinner on the Titanic

The notes on this particular recipe read as follows:

Both the pastry and the filling (standard French pastry cream) date back to the Renaissance, when the Arab art of pastry making invaded Europe by way of Italy. Making perfect choux pastry is a skill acquired through practice. Don’t be alarmed if your first attempt tastes better than it looks.

As we search for ways to make friends and family feel extra special this Christmas season, may this unique recipe give you a bit of inspiration.

By the way, did you know that passengers on the Titanic were summoned to dinner by the sounding of a bugle? Add a special touch to a gift box of freshly made Chocolate Eclairs with a festive printed trumpet ribbon and or personalized bugle tag to encompass the rich traditions of the past. Enjoy and Merry Christmas!

And now may I present…..

Chocolate Painted Eclairs with French Vanilla Cream

Pastry Cream:
6 egg yolks
1/2 cup granulated sugar
5 tbsp all-purpose flour
2 cups milk
1 vanilla bean, halved lengthwise
1 tbsp butter
1/2 cup whipping cream

Choux Pastry:
1 cup water
1/2 cup butter
pinch of salt
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
5 eggs, room temperature
1 tbsp water
3 oz bittersweet chocolate
Icing sugar or edible gold flakes

PASTRY CREAM: In bowl, whisk together egg yolks and 1/4 cup of the sugar for 2 minutes or until pale yellow. Adding flour in 3 additions, stir until well mixed.

In saucepan, heat milk, remaining sugar, and vanilla bean over medium heat, stirring often, for 8 to 10 minutes or until sugar is dissolved and small bubbles are beginning to form around edges of pot. Stirring constantly, pour about one-third of the milk mixture into egg mixture and stir until thoroughly combined. Pour egg mixture into remaining milk and cook, stirring, for 3 to 4 minutes or until mixture begins to bubble. Continue to cook, stirring, for 2 to 3 minutes or until mixture begins to mound and hold its shape; remove from heat. Stir in butter and removed vanilla bean. Transfer to bowl, cover with plastic wrap touching surface of custard, and cool to room temperature.

Beat whipping cream until stiff; add a large dollop of cream to cooled pastry cream and fold in; add remaining whipped cream and fold in until almost combined. Transfer to pastry bag fitted with 1/2-inch star tube. Place in refrigerator until completely chilled.

CHOUX PASTRY: Meanwhile, in heavy-bottomed saucepan set over high heat, bring water, butter, and salt just to boil. Remove from heat and add flour all at once, stirring vigorously with wooden spoon until mixture comes away from sides of pan, making a smooth ball.

Reduce heat to medium-low and cook flour mixture, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes or until coating begins to form on bottom of pan. Turn into large bowl; stir for 30 seconds.

Make a well in middle of dough and, using electric mixer, beat in 4 of the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Continue beating until mixture is smooth and shiny and holds its shape when lifted.

Place dough into piping bag fitted with 3/4-inch wide tip. On parchment-lined baking sheets, pipe fingers of dough about 4 inches long and 1 inch wide. In bowl, beat together remaining egg and 1 tbsp water;brush each bun lightly, being careful not to drip down sides. Bake in 425 degree F oven for 12 minutes; reduce heat to 375 degrees F and bake for 5 minutes longer or until golden brown. With sharp knife, pierce side of each eclair twice. Turn oven off and let eclairs stand for 5 minutes, then remove and cool on rack.

Melt chocolate over barely simmering water. Brush top of each cooled eclair with enough chocolate to coat well. Cool in refrigerator for 5 minutes to harden chocolate.

Halve eclairs lengthwise. Pull out any sticky dough in center; discard. Pipe pastry cream into bottom of each eclair. Replace chocolate-covered tops. Dust with icing sugar or edible gold flakes just before serving. Makes 25 to 30 small eclairs.

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December 16, 2010 in Uncategorized

Recipes for the Perfect Fall Harvest Party

October is here, there is a chill in the air, families are taking children to their favorite pumpkin patch and Fall Harvest Parties are in full swing. Let us help you with your Harvest Party planning! These easy and delicious recipes embrace the beauty of Autumn’s arrival and truly celebrate the harvest season. Just add bales of straw, pumpkins, brightly flowering mums and bluegrass music and you’ll have a party guests will always remember!

Best- Ever Spinach Dip in a Pumpkin Bowl

1 – 10 oz package chopped frozen spinach
1 can water chestnuts
2 cups sour cream
3 tablespoons mayonnaise
1 package dry Knorr’s vegetable soup mix
3 green onions
dip-sized corn chips

Thaw and drain spinach. Drain water chestnuts and chop coarsley.
Mix all (except corn chips) ingredients and spoon into a medium-sized,
cleaned out pumpkin. Serve with corn chips. Set pumpkin bowl inside a
rustic twig wreath. Add colorful fall leaves around the base and you have the centerpiece too!

Toasted Pumpkin Seeds

2 cups pumpkin seeds
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon garlic

Rinse off pumpkin seeds and pat dry with paper towels. Toss seeds with oil and spread them out on a cookie sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes, tossing them every 5-7 minutes, until golden brown. Remove from oven and pour into paper grocery bag. Add salt to bag. Hold top tightly closed and shake to salt evenly. You might want to make a double batch of these for take-home party favors. Simply pour seeds in a food-safe favor bag and tie with a colorful ribbon to send with guests!

Ozark Mountain Cheese Soup
serves: 8

1/2 cup margarine
1/2 cup onions, finely minced
1/4 cup carrot, grated
1/4 cup celery, finely chopped
1/2 cup flour
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 quart clear chicken stock
1 quart milk
2 1/2 cups Velveeta cheese, shredded
pesticide free dandelions, for garnish

In a small skillet, saute onions, carrots, and celery in margarine. In a large saucepan, cream together flour and cornstarch. Pour in chicken stock and milk. Stir and cook until thickened. Add sauteed ingredients and cheese. Cover and simmer on low for 1 hour. Season with salt and pepper. Garnish with a dandelion just before serving.

Pumpkin Bread
Makes: 3 loaves

3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, sifted
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons cinnamon
2 teaspoons nutmeg
3 1/2 cups sugar
4 eggs, beaten
2/3 cup water
1 cup vegetable oil
2 cups (1-16 oz can) pumpkin puree
1 cup pecans, chopped
2/3 cups raisins

Combine flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and sugar in a large mixing bowl. Add eggs, water, oil, and pumpkin. Stir until blended. Add nuts and raisins. Mix well. Pour mixture into 3 buttered and floured loaf pans. Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour. Cool slightly. Turn out on wire rack to finish cooling. For best flavor, bake pumpkin bread at least a day before it is to be served. Store covered in refrigerator or freezer. Serve with softened cream cheese.

Wagon Wheel Cider
makes 1 gallon

1 gallon apple cider
1 cup light brown sugar
4 – 2 inch cinnamon sticks
1 teaspoon whole allspice
2 teaspoons whole cloves

Pour apple juice into a clean 30-cup electric, percolator-style coffeepot. Pour the cider in the urn and put the basket in place. Drop the cinnamon, sugar, and spices into the basket and let perk as usual. Serve hot, with a cinnamon stick in each mug.

These recipes are from a couple of our favorite entertaining books -  “My Front Porch” and “A Table of Grace” both written by Alda Ellis, published by Harvest House Publishers.

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October 27, 2010 in Uncategorized

The Proper Way to Serve Iced Tea

Have you ever wondered where the iced tea spoon goes after stirring your Iced Tea? What is proper Iced Tea etiquette? How should Iced Tea be served?

According to Dorothea Johnson, founder of The Protocol School of Washington, Iced Tea should be served in a tall glass placed on a saucer or small plate with the long iced teaspoon resting on the outer right of the flatware. After stirring the sugar cube in the tea the spoon should be placed on the edge of the iced tea saucer to protect linens. If a saucer is not provided the long iced teaspoon should remain in the glass and the index finger should be used to hold it in place while sipping.

It is appropriate to offer both sugar and lemon with iced tea. Sugar should be in the form of sugar cubes and lemons should be thinly sliced and placed on a small dish. Both should be placed near each other on the table for convenience of guests.

I personally have never been to an event where the iced tea glass is served on a small plate and am looking forward to introducing this bit of proper iced tea etiquette to my circle of friends. I know they will appreciate it – especially if it helps to protect beautiful table linens!

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August 30, 2010 in Uncategorized
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Taking A Moment for Tea

Earlier this week my assistant Jessica, my precious 20 month old daughter and I went to the beautiful Columbus Botanical Gardens for a Wedding Cake Stand photo shoot. I had brought along some toys to entertain my daughter and of course included her little tea set. After finishing the photo shoot we took a moment to “take tea”. I happened to snap this picture when she first sat down and am so glad I still had my camera handy. Since many of you are mothers and tea enthusiasts I thought you would appreciate this sweet picture.Toddler Tea Party

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August 27, 2010 in Uncategorized

Pumpkin Pecan Ooey Gooey Butter Cake

This incredibly delicious dessert is a Autumnal adaptation

Colorful Fall Inspired Mixing Bowls

Colorful Fall Inspired Mixing Bowls

of Paula Dean’s original recipe created by my friend Gary. He invented it for a fall bonfire we attended and I must say I was licking the spoon (Don’t tell anyone!)

He was kind enough to share it with me so I could pass it on to you. With the fall season just around the corner and the pumpkin harvest soon in full swing, you’ll definitely want to experience this wonderfully delicious Pumpkin Pecan Ooey Gooey Butter Cake. Enjoy!

Pumpkin Pecan Ooey Gooey Butter Cake

Ingredients:

1 Spice Cake Mix

2 sticks of butter, melted, separated

3 eggs

1 – 8 oz package cream cheese, softened

1 – 15 oz can pumpkin

1 – 1 lb box powdered sugar

1 1/2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice

3/4 cup chopped pecans

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon vanilla

Directions:

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Grease a 9″ x 13″ pan.

Pumpkin Candle Holders

Pumpkin Candle Holders

Mix spice cake mix, 1 stick of melted butter and 1 egg in a stand mixer until well blended. Press into bottom of pan.

Beat cream cheese until smooth. Add 2 eggs, pumpkin, pumpkin pie spice, cinnamon, vanilla, and remaining stick of melted butter. Blend well. Add powdered sugar a little at a time until well blended. Fold in pecans. Spread onto bottom layer in pan. Bake 55-60 minutes (Remember you want the top layer not to be too firm when cooked and cooled because this is the ooey gooey party). Cool and serve. Yields 10-12 servings.

Try these variations too…

Chocolate Ooey Gooey Butter Cake – Use a chocolate cake mix and to the top layer, add 4 TBL of cocoa.  Add chocolate chips on top of the bottom layer. Bake at 425 for 40-50 minutes.

Peach Cobbler Ooey Gooey Butter Cake – Use a vanilla cake mix, place sliced fresh peaches on the bottom layer before adding the top layer. Bake at 425 for 40-50 minutes. Serve with ice cream.

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August 20, 2010 in Uncategorized

An Inspiring Alice in Wonderland Tablescape

Just this morning I learned to make a video slideshow and am thrilled to present my first works to you. This video shows off the unique and whimsical features of the Alice in Wonderland Tea & Tabletop Collection.

Alice in Wonderland Teacups

Alice in Wonderland Teacups

Thank you to Susan at http://www.betweennapsontheporch.blogspot.com for sharing these beautiful photos with us. Be sure to visit her blog for inspiring ideas. Our favorite is “Tablescape Thursday” where she showcases a new tabletop and allows you to post your own creations. Last Thursday she created an Alice in Wonderland themed tablescape for an Unbirthday party! Simply gorgeous!

View the video for this charming collection by clicking the following link…

AIWcollection

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August 10, 2010 in Uncategorized

Delicous Chilled Tea Recipes for Summer Entertaining

Our delightful customers at The Twiggery have been gracious enough to share favorite recipes with us over the years and many of these recipes have quickly found themselves added to the pages of our personal cookbooks. Being tea enthusiasts, we love having a tempting chilled tea offering to serve guests during summer parties instead of regular sweet tea. Here are a couple favorites we hope you will enjoy adding to your summer menu.

Paris Beverage Server

Elegant Hand-Blown Glass Paris Beverage Servers for chilled beverages

Almond Tea Punch (compliments of Jan in TX)

1 cup sugar
2 cups water
simmer above ingredients in small sauce pan on stove top, stirring constantly until dissolved. Cool.
Then add the following ingredients to sugar water mixture:

5 tablespoons instant tea
4 cups water
1 tablespoon almond extract
1 tablespoon vanilla extract

Mix well, then add:

1 – 12 oz can frozen pink lemonade, thawed
2 quarts water

Mix and serve chilled.

Ginger Iced Tea

(compliments of Ms. Glover and the San Francisco Examiner – at least 20 years ago)
This tea is a beautiful amber color so I recommend serving it in a clear server and glasses.

16 tea bags
1 lemon- grate the rind
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1 nectarine, pitted and sliced
1 cup sugar

In a small bowl combine the sugar, ginger and lemon rind. Let sit at room temperature for one hour then refrigerate. At that time, add the teabags to 2 quarts of cold water and place in refrigerator with 2/3 cup of the ginger flavored sugar. Add the nectarine. Remove tea bags after 6 hours.(Do not leave tea bags in longer than 6 hours or tea will have a slightly bitter taste. Let tea “marinade” at least 12 hours to blend flavors. Serve chilled with lemon, orange or maraschino cherry garnish and extra sugar on the side.

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June 25, 2010 in Uncategorized

Gourmet Blackberry Lime Cheesecake

With blackberry season just around the corner, this timely recipe embraces the fresh flavors of summer with the welcoming taste of a classic favorite. Enjoy!

Serves: 6

For the crust:
2/3 cup graham cracker crumbs
(about 5 whole crackers)
3 tablespoons butter, melted
1 tablespoon brown sugar

For the cheesecake:
16 ounces fresh blackberries, divided
3/4 cup sugar, divided
16 ounces cream cheese (2 pkgs) room temperature
2 tablespoons flour
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the curd:
2 eggs
1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup lime juice
Finely grated zest from 2 limes
4 tablespoons butter, cut up
fresh blackberries and mint leaves to garnish

Heat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 6-inch spring form pan with baking spray.

In a small bowl, use a fork to combine the graham cracker crumbs, melted butter and brown sugar. Press the mixture into the bottom of the prepared pan. Bake for 8-10 minutes, or until golden around the edges. Set aside to cool. Leave the oven on. Reserve 2/3 cup of blackberries.

In a blender or food processor, combine the remaining blackberries with 1/4 cup of the sugar. Process or blend until pureed. Strain through a fine mesh strainer to remove the seeds. Set aside the puree.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the cream cheese, remaining 1/2 cup of sugar and flour. Mix on low until combined. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, then mix some more. Do not mix any faster than medium-low; you don’t want to incorporate air into the mixture.

Add 1 egg, mix thoroughly and scrape the bowl. Add the second egg, mix and scrape again.

Add the vanilla and mix one more time. Fold 1/2 cup of the blackberry puree and the reserved whole blackberries into the batter.

Transfer the batter to the crust. Bake for 10 minutes, then lower the temperature of the oven to 250 degrees F and bake for another 30 minutes. The top of the cheesecake should be slightly puffed and spongy-firm to the touch. It should just jiggle slightly in the center when the pan is tapped. Let cool at room temperature for 1 hour, then refrigerate until completely chilled.

While the cheesecake bakes, make the blackberry-lime curd. In a medium stainless steel bowl, combine the eggs and sugar with a whisk. Add the remaining blackberry puree, the lime juice and lime zest.

Set the bowl over a medium saucepan of simmering water. The bowl should rest on the top edge of the pan without touching the water. Whisk the mixture continuously until it reaches 170 degrees F.

Remove from heat and add the butter, one piece at a time, whisking to combine. Press plastic wrap directly onto the surface of the curd and refrigerate until cool.

When ready to assemble the dessert. remove the spring form pan sides. Run a spatula under the crust to remove the bottom of the pan.

Transfer to a plate. Spoon the blackberry lime curd over the top of the cheesecake. Garnish with fresh blackberries and mint leaves to serve.

The recipe for the curd makes more than what you need for the cheesecake. Use the curd for toast, waffles, scones in place of jam, or spooned over homemade vanilla ice cream.

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June 10, 2010 in Uncategorized

Old-Fashioned Strawberry Soup

I just came across this chilled soup recipe while browsing a past issue of Victoria. I have not tried it yet, but looking over the ingredient list, this soup cannot be anything but divine. Since we are sharing strawberry inspired recipes, I hope many of you, like me, are drawn to create this recipe for yourself. Perhaps a delicious idea to serve for a Mother’s Day Tea Party. Enjoy!

Old-fashioned Strawberry Soup*
makes 3 cups

3 cups hulled, sliced fresh strawberries
1/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
1/2 cup peach nectar
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 cup sour cream or plain yogurt

1. In the work bowl of a food processor, combine the strawberries, sugar, and mint. Pulse to roughly chop. With the food processor running, slowly pour in the peach nectar and vinegar. Refrigerate soup until chilled, about 1 hour.

2. Spoon chilled strawberry soup into bowls or teacups, and top each with a dollop of sour cream or plain yogurt. Garnish with a fresh mint leaf.

*Victoria Magazine, July/August 2009

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April 20, 2010 in Uncategorized