Monday, March 28, 2011


Savories - finger sandwiches and other small tasty nibbles - are my favorite tea party course.  Here are three that I made for a tea gathering earlier this month.  Also, alert for those who thrive on last minute deadlines!  You have a couple of days left to enter your original finger sandwich recipe into the contest on 

Roasted potatoes medallions with walnuts and blue cheese
Elmwood Inn recipe

Olive cheese balls
Elmwood Inn recipe
Rosemary (from the garden) and butter - for cucumber sandwiches
My favorite sandwich, so simple!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

I had the joy recently to attend a special tea event at McCormick & Schmick's, sponsored by the Tao of Tea.  These two organizations partnered to produce a FABULOUS tea menu, where tea was used in each course.  Oh, fun fun fun!  Yum, yum, yum!

Moroccan Mint Mojito

Jade Cloud Noodles

Chicken smoked over tea leaves and red rice cooked in oolong

Lapsang Souchong cream sauce

Chai Ice Cream

Compliments to the chef!

Monday, March 21, 2011

38 Brave Things I Did This Year

Bday cake by the DH
(Camellia Japonica blossom on top and apple blossoms in background)

38 Brave Things I Did This Year
  1. Took a new job
  2. Said goodbye
  3. Moved far away
  4. Sold the car
  5. Had my hair cut short
  6. And then shorter
  7. Learned to use public transportation
  8. Rode my bike to work
  9. Rode my bike 50 miles in the rain
  10. Ran 2 hours by myself
  11. Went to the doctor
  12. Tried new sewing patterns
  13. Met new friends and stayed in touch with others
  14. Learned a new dance
  15. Began learning wuwo
  16. Said no
  17. Planned a trip to China
  18. Reviewed my priorities
  19. Did one thing
  20. Did no thing
  21. Read widely
  22. Wrote down my heart break
  23. Wrote down my joys
  24. Looked at myself naked
  25. Made yeast bread
  26. Broke bread with strangers
  27. Took a nap
  28. Tried again
  29. Went out without an umbrella
  30. Asked for advice
  31. Accepted that I could fail
  32. Admitted I was afraid
  33. Listened deeply
  34. Told the truth
  35. Asked myself what I really wanted
  36. Dreamed without editing
  37. Took myself seriously
  38. Didn't take myself so seriously

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Hints of Green

Happy St. Patrick's Day!  I love this cup and saucer, because they hint at green.  The rim, the foot of the teacup, and inside the cup.  

Around here, green is the background!  White fruit trees are in bloom, the azaleas are starting to pop, daffodils and crocus have been ablaze for a few weeks, pink camellias are fully dressed.  Green is not subtle here and colors are becoming giddy.

But this teacup reminds me that even in deep winter, when green is not so exists.
"Beneath the pavement, earth remembers."  Somebody smart said that.

Hope you're celebrating in green today! 

Monday, March 14, 2011

Guinness Soda Bread Scones

In honor of St. Patty's, the DH and I worked up this recipe for Guinness Soda Bread scones. I think these work really well with whole wheat flour. In fact, I can't see that white flour would stand up very well against the Guinness. The least amount of whole wheat I'd do is half.

Guinness Soda Bread Scones
Makes 8 large wedges

2 cups whole wheat flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup golden raisins

1 Tbsp honey
4 Tbsp cold butter in small pieces
1/4 cup buttermilk
Up to 1/2 cup Guinness

Preheat oven to 400.  I baked these on a stone.

Combine dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt).  Cut in butter until coarse.  Add raisins.

Add honey, buttermilk and 1/4 cup of Guinness.  Mix until a soft dough forms, adding more Guinness as needed.

Pat into a circle, about 1/2 " thick.  Cut into 8 wedges (you might need to very lightly dust the top surface to do this, if your dough is on the wet side.)  Bake ~15-20 minutes, depending on how wet the dough is.  Mine was pretty wet (more Guinness) I went for 20 until the center of the circle was springy to the touch and not wet. 

Next time I will also soak the raisins in a bit of Guinness!  I loved the flavor, which is amazing because I am not a beer fan, especially of Guinness!

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Spring Around the House

These pussy willows were glorious in their bud form, silvery and downy.  And now that they've popped, I can't help but shoot them against the dark pink wall.

The soft focus is nice, tho an accident.  I was trying to shoot in a medium-light condition, hand held on 400 ISO.  Blurry.  But I like the result.

Found these daffodils in the small field next to us.  Did someone throw out a pot of them?
The symbology here is that I'm planning a tea trip to Asia!

Two types of plum branches.  I love the pink, burgundy, white and green contrasts.

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Microwave Lemon Curd

Alternate title:  The microwave redeems itself

The microwave and I have not been companions for awhile.  We lived without one for the past 6 years (it's a long story, put it down to my paranoia).  But when we moved into this place, it came with a microwave.  I use it, occasionally and cautiously.  I have, however, found one use that causes the microwave to go up a step in its usefulness:  lemon curd!

I had this lovely, tho odd shaped, Meyer lemon and I wanted to try out this recipe.  Nancy runs a tearoom, and so I knew it had to be good.  Wow - was it!  And so simple, too.

Harrod's recipe for golden raisin scones and homemade Meyer lemon curd

 I'd like to try making other fruit curds in the microwave.  Please let me know if any of you have experience with that. 

And here's a cool connection!  Today is March 9, and Nancy originally posted this recipe on March 9 two years ago.  Serendipity!

Friday, March 04, 2011

KaTEA bags

More info here

A little Friday fun!  Thanks to Katrina for pointing this out.  ;-)

*Image from news website

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

A Layover Tea Party

My friend and our layover tea

I had a long airport layover recently, and it happened to be in the same city as my dear friend above.  When I mentioned this, she said, "I'll bring a tea party!"  How fun!  The weather was warm and we were able to enjoy the sunshine.  

She brought a linen table cloth and napkins, real china, wonderful coconut green tea, and scones with cream.  This tea party gave me permission to relax and rest in the midst of a busy time.  Thank you!