Cooking, Travel and just Other Stuff

You have to understand. I come from a line of very crafty people. My sister paints, one niece can knit anything out of a ball of yarn...oh and she paints and wood carves and makes jewelery. The other niece designs things and then sews them and then my great niece...well we will just call her insanely crafty. They all have blogs where they show all of their wonderful things they do. So, that brings me here. I decided I wanted a blog too, but what to write about. I'm not insanely crafty, can't paint, don't wood carve, tried knitting-didn't work....hummm, what do I do? Well, I like to cook and travel and eat, so I thought maybe we can start there. My blog will be about recipes I've made, places I go and restaurants I eat at with a few other things thrown in along the way. I've also heard that writing is good for you brain, so I figure-as I'm getting older now-this could be a good thing. So anyway, if you find my rantings worth commenting over, I'd love to hear from you. If I post a recipe you like, please let me know, other wise you can keep your opinions to yourself. This, after all, is my blog to make myself feel better, to try and compete with my family, because I don't do anything crafty.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

The Tea Party......with recipes.

Paula, Doris & Melody

Okay, so I have had several request to blog my Tea Party I had last week. My friend from church helped me give it and it was a wonderful time with some wonderful ladies. I felt like it was a tea party fit for the queen, unfortunately she didn't show up. She missed out. I did some research online to find out what to serve at a traditional tea. The following was our menu:

Spinach Salad with blackberries, feta and raspberry dressing

Tomato/Cucumber & Cream Cheese Tea Sandwiches
Tuna Salad Sandwiches
Egg Salad Sandwiches
Pimento Cheese Sandwiches

Blueberry Scones & Mandarin Orange Scones
with Lemon Curd and Devonshire Creme

Lavender Pound Cake
Mini Rum Pecan Tea Cakes
Chocolate Snaps

We had teas that I order from a company called Octavia Teas. I love their teas and they come packaged in little tins. We had a Red Tea- Hibiscus Peach, a Herbal Tea- Berry Cocktail, a White Tea- Raspberry Champagne, a Green Tea- Tropical Green and a Black Tea- Grand Earl Grey. These are all wonderful teas, but the favorites were the Raspberry Champagne and the Berry Cocktail. We had asked those that came to wear wonderful tea party hats with the best hat winning a prize.
Deenise helped me give the party

My sister , Norma and niece, Sherie
CeCe Byrd

Sara, Lisa & Mona
Deenise and I

The winning hat was made by my sister. We have dared her to wear it for Easter. We'll see. She won a heart bowl gift basket filled with tea, a tea mug, Godiva chocolates, candles and a heart dish towel. It was really a lot of fun. I am already thinking about the next Tea Party.
And the winner is....

I always thought scones were hard to make, so I had never made them until this party. They are actually quite easy and so yummy. Here are the two recipes I used for the scones.

Blueberry Scones
2 3/4 cups flour
2/3 cup sugar
1 Tbslp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
3/4 tsp. salt
6 Tblsps. cold unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
1 Tblsp. white vinegar plus enough milk to make 1 cup
1 cup fresh blueberries
1 tsp. orange peel
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 egg white & 2 Tblsps. sugar
  1. Heat oven to 400. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt in large bowl. Add butter; mix with pastry blender until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Gently stir vinegar-milk mixture into dough along with blueberries, orange peel and egg, just until combined.
  3. Using a standard ice cream scoop (about 1/2 cup), drop heaping scoopfuls of dough onto prepared sheet, about 2 inches apart. Brush with egg white and sprinkle with sugar.
  4. Bake for 12-15 minutes or until golden brown. Remove to wire rack to cool. Serve warm or at room temperature. (Note: these kept for about 6 days in the frig.)

Mandarin Orange Scones
3 cups self-rising flour
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 stick of unsalted butter
zest of one orange
1/2 cup mandarin oranges sliced very small (I used fresh mandarins cause their in season here)
1/4 cup orange juice
1/2 to 3/4 cup buttermilk
Mix together flour and sugar. Use pastry cutter to cut in butter. Mixture should resemble coarse cornmeal. Add zest and oranges. Fold in orange juice gently. Add enough buttermilk to make the mixture come together. If mixture is too dry add more buttermilk until it holds together. Turn out on a floured board. Pat out to 1 inch thick and cut with small biscuit cutter. Bake in 400 degree oven for 12-20 minutes until golden brown. (Note: Because I'm lazy, I didn't want to do the whole board-cookie cutter thing. So I used a medium cookie scoop and did them drop style. Worked for me.)

I served the above scones with the following recipes.

Devonshire Cream
1 8oz. pkg softened cream cheese
2 cups powdered sugar
1/2 freshly squeezed lemon
2 tsp. vanilla
1 cup sour cream
In a small bowl with an electric mixer, beat cream cheese, lemon juice and vanilla. Gradually beat in powdered sugar. Fold in sour cream. (Note: Will keep in frig and week.)

Lemon Curd
1/2 cup butter
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup lemon juice
1 1/2 tsp. grated lemon zest
3 eggs
Melt butter in microwave for 1 minute. Beat eggs in a glass bowl with electric mixer until frothy. Mix in butter, sugar, lemon juice and zest. Microwave on high for 3 minutes. Beat again until smooth. Microwave on high for another 3 minutes. Beat mixture again until smooth. Refrigerate until set/cool. Lemon curd will keep up to 2 weeks in frig, if it lasts that long.

Enjoy these and if you saw another recipe from the menu you would like me to share, let me know and I will add it.I think it is now time for me to go have a cup of tea.


  1. Looks like a blast. I love everyone's hats! The food sounds great!

  2. Looks like fun, Rhonda! Good job! And aren't scones fun to make? I love them!

  3. Great post Rhonda and you included the recipes! I will be trying those, they were yummy! You and Deenise did a wonderful job with the tea. Very professional. And, I'm loving the fun 'prize'. Thank you.

  4. looks like everyone had fun! I LOVE scones!

  5. How fun! I love tea parties and this one looked to be a really good one! ;-)
    I just knew Norma would win the prize. Saw her hat on her blog and just knew! ;-)