I love my followers! Join us, and I will follow back! Making new friends is so much fun!

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Fit for a Queen Tea Cozy and Chocolate Biscuit Cake

This year, Queen Elizabeth celebrates 60 years as Monarch.  The central week for the Diamond Jubilee celebration is Saturday, June 2 through Tuesday, June 5, 2012.
Our good friends are here from London, so they will miss the festivities....perhaps they wanted to miss the crowds in London!  They come over twice a year, and stay a couple of months at a time.  Their son is a builder, and has just finished building a new home for them to live in while they are in Texas.  They have spent the last few weeks moving in.  We wanted to give them something unique for a housewarming gift, so I asked my sweet littlecousin (aka Gwen) to make a tea cozy for them.  We selected a beautiful pattern that was especially created for the Diamond Jubilee, and I think it is lovely!
The Royal crown is in the center, with the English Rose beneath.  There are thistles representing Scotland, shamrocks for Northern Ireland, and daffodils for Wales.

I also plan to prepare the Queen's favorite tea cake, Chocolate Biscuit Cake, for our English friends.  The Queen's former chef, Darren McGrady, used to prepare it for the Queen. He says it was "without a double her favorite tea cake."

My friend Kitty of Kitty's Kozy Kitchen has posted a lovely strawberry ice cream to go with this cake for the Diamond Jubilee.  Do you think the Queen will join us for tea?

1/2 tsp. butter, for greasing pan
8 oz. McVities rich tea biscuits
1/2 stick unsalted butter, softened
1/2 C granulated sugar
4 oz. semi sweet dark chocolate*
1 egg, beaten
8 oz semi sweet dark chocolate, for icing*
1 oz sweetened white chocolate, for decoration
*Darren does not specify what kind of chocolate, other than "dark chocolate", but I don't think unsweetened dark chocolate would fit the bill.  The cake and icing would be too bitter, I think.  I am going to use semi sweet dark chocolate when I make it, or perhaps Ghiradelli bittersweet chocolate.

Grease 6" x 2 1/2" cake ring with butter, and place on a parchment lined tray.  Break biscuits into almond sized pieces by hand, and set aside.  Cream butter and sugar in a bowl until mixture is a light lemon color.

Melt 4 oz. of the chocolate in a double boiler.  Add butter and sugar mixture into the chocolate, stirring constantly.  Add egg and continue stirring.  Fold in the biscuit pieces until they are coated with chocolate mixture.

Spoon the chocolate/biscuit mixture into prepared cake ring.  Try to fill all gaps on the bottom, because this will be the top when it is unmolded.  Chill cake in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours.

Remove cake from fridge, and let it stand while you melt 8 oz. of chocolate for the icing.  Slide the ring off the cake, and turn upside down on a cooling rack.  Pour the chocolate over the cake, and smooth the top and sides with a butter knife or offset spatula.  Allow chocolate icing to set at room temperature.  Carefully run a knife around bottom of cake where it has stuck to cooling rack, and transfer cake to a pretty serving plate.  Melt the white chocolate, and drizzle on top of cake in a decorative pattern.

Congratulations on your Diamond Jubilee, Your Majesty.

Mix it up Monday
On the Menu Monday

Tea Time Tuesday at Rose Chintz Cottage

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Antipasto Pasta Salad

I just subscribed to "Celebrate" magazine, was looking through the Spring issue, and saw this salad.  It looked so good that I decided to make it this weekend.  I adapted it to my taste, and was very happy with the result...so was my hubby!  It has a great flavor, plus it makes a large amount, so it is good for big families or for a crowd. As there are just the two of us, we planned to share it with our neighbors, but ate it all ourselves over the weekend.  I changed quite a few things from the original recipe.  I used Calamata olives instead of black olives, because they have more flavor, and omitted the cup of garbanzo beans...because I don't like them. ;)  I used the farfalle the recipe called for, but any heavy pasta could be used.

1 box farfalle, cooked al dente
1 TBS olive oil
1 C Genoa Salami, cut in bite sized cubed pieces
1 C Provolone cheese, cut in bite sized cubed pieces
1 roasted red bell pepper, cut in bite sized cubed pieces
1 roasted yellow bell pepper, cut in bite sized cubed pieces
2 C grape tomatoes, halved
2/3 C Calamata olives, halved
2 jars marinated artichoke hearts, drained and halved
1/2 C fresh basil, cut in thin strips
1/2 C Vidalia onion, cut in bite sized cubed pieces
1/2 C Good Seasons Italian dressing, prepared per package instructions
1/4 C red wine vinegar
1 large clove garlic, squeezed through garlic press
Salt and pepper to taste

Cook pasta per instructions on box for al dente; drain, then mix with 1 TBS olive oil to coat pasta well.  Roast peppers under broiler, and remove peeling.  When pasta and peppers have cooled, combine pasta, Salami, cheese, peppers, tomatoes, artichoke hearts, tomatoes, olives, basil and onions in a large bowl.  Prepare dressing per package directions, add garlic and mix well.  Salt and pepper to taste; pour dressing and red wine vinegar over salad; mix well, tossing to coat.

Sharing this with these great blogs!
Mix it up Monday
On the Menu Monday

Friday, May 25, 2012

The Incredible, Edible Egg..Salad Sandwich.. Southern Style

Egg salad sandwiches...simple, easy, and very tasty.  These days cooks want to fancy them up a bit, but I make mine the old fashioned Southern way, just like my Grandmother did.  When Bobby and I were dating in the late 50's, I used to make them for him...to his delight!  He had invited me out for lunch today, after his morning golf round.  He came home expecting me to be gussied up, and ready to go out.  Instead, I surprised him with egg salad sandwiches and sweet iced tea for lunch.  Needless to say, he was very happy.  This recipe is almost to simple to post, but I am going to do it anyway. ;) I hope all my lovely blogging friends have a great Memorial Day!

4 hard boiled eggs
(For perfect boiled eggs, put eggs in cold water, bring to a full boil, and cook for 5 minutes.  Turn the burner off, and let eggs sit in hot water for 10 minutes.  When cool, crack at the large end, and peel)
2 TBS sweet pickle relish
2 TBS mayonnaise
Salt to taste (I never use black pepper in my egg salad)
Soft white bread

Chop boiled and peeled eggs, add relish, mayo and salt;  mix well.  Spread a little mayo on each side of bread, add egg salad and serve.
Mix it up Monday
On the Menu Monday

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Beef Tips with Egg Noodles

Okay, I know you all of you are saying. "beef tips with egg noodles; big deal"...but I am saying right here and now that this is a good dish.  YEARS ago I used to make a roast with dry onion soup mix, and canned mushroom soup.  (I heard that "so what, been there done that".)  I'm still saying this is a good dish...especially on a busy day.  Our ironing service didn't work out, so after doing the Monday wash day thing yesterday...there was a lot of ironing to be done today.  Did I mention I HATE to iron.  My sweet, wonderful hubby has been doing the ironing, but there was a LOT today, so instead of our usual Tuesday "date day" lunch out, I made lunch at home, and the two of us had an ironing party on our screened porch!  It was beautiful day, and it made ironing seem less punitive doing it there.  Well, to make a long story even longer, I had planned to make beef stew for dinner, and let it simmer most of the day, but I didn't have any carrots.  Being quick witted...for an old chick..I thought of making this instead.  It made a delicious dinner.  I served it with a simple salad of lettuce. fresh tomatoes, Vidalia onion, and plain old French dressing..yes, the orange stuff.  Sweet iced tea with lemon and mint from my herb garden topped it off.  Good little supper, if I do say so myself. :)

2# marbled stew meat, cubed
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 envelope of dried onion soup ( I use about 2/3 of it because it tends to overpower the dish)
20 oz. beef stock
2 TBS cooking oil
Black pepper
Egg noodles, prepared according to package directions and drained

Put oil in pot; when hot. add beef, season with black pepper, and brown lightly.  I do not add salt, and the onion soup mix tends to be salty.  Add soups and stock, and stir to make smooth gravy.  Turn burner to low, and simmer for several hours, or cook in Crockpot.  I simmered mine 4-5 hours, and it was melt in your mouth tender.  Serve over noodles, or rice.
Mix it up Monday
On the Menu Monday

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Royal Mother's Day Tea Party

Today, my dear friend and blogging buddy, Kitty, of Kitty's Kozy Kitchen attended a cooking class and "Royal Mother's Day Tea Party" conducted by Chef Darren McGrady, The Royal Chef  He was chef to Queen Elizabeth II, and private chef to Princess Diana.  His bio on his website, Darren McGrady, The Royal Chef, gives the following information about him:  Darren was personal chef to Queen Elizabeth II, Diana, Princess of Wales and Princes’ William and Harry for fifteen years and has cooked for Presidents’ Ford, Reagan, Bush, Clinton and Bush. He is now a chef, author, culinary consultant, event planner and public speaker living in Dallas, Texas. His first cookbook titled ‘Eating Royally; recipes and remembrances from a palace kitchen’ is now in sixth print with all of his advance and royalties donated to the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric Aids Foundation.

He prepared a high tea with: English Cheddar and Branston Pickle Sandwiches; English Cucumber and Mint Cream Cheese Sandwiches; Parma Ham, Rocket and Mozzarella Sandwiches; Curried Shrimp Deviled Eggs; Smoked Salmon and Dill Quiche; Rose Macaroons; Lavender Shortbread with Honey; Chocolate Torte; and Orange and Green Tea Loaf Cake with Clotted Cream Frosting.  This was accompanied by tea, of course, and three champagnes.  The food was delicious, the chef was charming, and he shared stories about the Royals, and his recipes as well.

I haven't eaten curry very often, so I am always a bit leery of dishes that have it as ingredient, fearing that it will be too strong or spicy.  All of the food today was wonderful, but oddly enough, the Curried Shrimp Deviled Eggs were my absolute favorite.  Kitty and I spoke with the chef after the tea, and bought a copy of his cookbook "Eating Royally".  He gave his permission for us to share his recipes on our blogs, so here is the recipe for the eggs.  Give them a try!

If Chef McGrady has an event near you, I highly recommend you attend.  He does an excellent job!

 Curried Shrimp Deviled Eggs
6 hard boiled eggs-cut in half, remove yolks
8oz. raw shrimp, chopped into small chunks
1/2 TBS Madras curry powder
1 TBS olive oil
2 TBS chopped fresh chives
5 TBS mayo
5 TBS (he said to use less for deviled eggs)
1TBS mango chutney
1/2 tsp. salt
2 TBS water

In a small non-stick saute' pan, add olive oil on medium-high heat; add curry powder; stir.  As soon as it sizzles, add the chopped shrimp and salt; saute for a few minutes until shrimp turns pink.  Remove from heat, and let cool.  Combine the mayo and sour cream; Remove 3 TBS of the mixture to a separate bowl and add almost 3TBS water.  It should be pourable, the consistency of cream.  Mash up all but three of the yolks and add to shrimp.  Add mayo mixture, chives and mango chutney, stir thoroughly to combine.  Taste to adjust seasonings.  Chill in refrigerator until ready to use.  To finish preparation, divide filling among the egg whites, topping to the brim.  Drizzle thinned mayo mixture over the eggs.  Place the three remaining egg yolks in a strainer; push yolks through strainer with your fingers to make a "dust".  Sprinkle over plated eggs and serve.

Mix it up Monday
On the Menu Monday

Monday, May 7, 2012

Pig Pickin' Cake

I made this cake Saturday, because our niece Hilary came to visit.  That girl does love to come to Auntie Pattycakes and Uncle Bobby's house...and eat the goodies made especially for her. ;)  I love recipes like this that are quick and easy to make, but are delicious as well.  Hilary did enjoy this cake, and took some for the road. I have seen many versions, and names, for this cake.  I have always called it Pig Pickin' Cake, and this is how I make it.  It really is tasty!

1 box yellow cake mix (18.25 oz.)
3 large eggs
1/2 C vegetable oil
1 11oz. can Mandarin oranges, with juice
Mix all ingredients until well blended and smooth.  Pour into 9x13 pan that has been prepared with oil/flour baking spray, like Pam.  Bake at 350F for 35-45 minutes.  Let cake cool before frosting.

1 8oz. carton Cool Whip, thawed
1 20oz. can crushed pineapple, juice reserved
1  3 1/2 oz. box instant vanilla pudding
Mix all ingredients until well blended, if frosting is too thick, add a little of the reserved pineapple juice.  Spread over cooled cake, and refrigerate until ready to serve.  This cake is even tastier the second day...if you have any left!

Mix it up Monday
On the Menu Monday

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Running for the Roses - Derby Time Pie

Hubby and I used to go to the Kentucky Derby every year.  What a special and fun event it is!  I always looked forward to seeing beautiful Churchill Downs, and the magnificent horses!  I loved buying dresses and HATS to wear to the events!  We used to stay at the Seelbach Hotel downtown, an old Louisville hotel that has been renovated.  Derby Pie was served everywhere you went.  This recipe is from the Junior League of Owensboro, Kentucky cookbook.  Enjoy Derby Day, and good luck if you have picked a favorite horse to win the special event!

1 unbaked 9" pie shell
6 TBS sugar
2 TBS brown sugar
1/2 TBS flour
1/2 C butter
2 eggs
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/2 C dark Karo syrup
1/2 C chocolate chips
1/2 C Pecans

Mix sugars and flour.  In another bowl, mix eggs, vanilla and syrup; add to sugar mixture.  Add chocolate chips and pecans.  Pour into unbaked pie shell and bake  at 350F until almost firm, about 45 minutes.
Mix it up Monday
On the Menu Monday

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

A Southern Summer Treat!

I have not been posting for almost a month, because of family issues.  My sweet hubby and I both are very tired, stressed, and  have been spending a lot of quiet time by ourselves until we can fully recover.  Hopefully, we have found a resolution, and one that is good for us and our entire family, especially son Michael.

I have missed blogging, and my blog friends.  I decided today to start out with something simple...a real Southern treat that I have loved all of my life.  It is not a recipe, but just me sharing one of my favorite things!

Our very first tomato of the season was ripe when I went out this morning...so I picked it, and made my myself...and hubby, a "mater sammich"....better known as a tomato sandwich.  Here's what you need:

2 slices of soft, white "store bread"
Duke's mayonnaise
Salt (I am a purist, and do not use pepper. but I give you permission to do so ;) )
1 red, ripe, juicy, delicious, homegrown tomato, sliced.

Just slather the mayo on the bread, add the tomato slices, and add your salt...and pepper, if you insist.  Enjoy

I will post more later.  I am glad to be back.