Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Blackberry Goodness!

 Blackberry Shortbread Squares

Leave it to Martha...
this recipe is a keeper. 

Martha Stewart's Blackberry Shortbread Squares were a hit at my house and
I'm sure they'll be a hit at your house,too. 

Here's a look at my batch...

 Almond Shortbread Crust

This is a quick press-in-the-pan recipe that yields tasty results.

The almond shortbread crust takes the most effort and is worth every step.  Besides the normal shortbread ingredients, this crust requires blanched almonds which you roast in the oven, cool and then finely ground in a food processor.  A bit of almond extract adds even more almond flavor for the most delicious shortbread crust I've ever had (outside of Scotland)!

 Farmers Market Berries

Fresh berries are then scattered over the shortbread crust. 

 Off to the oven!

One cup of reserved shortbread dough is crumbled over the berries and
then it's off to the oven to bake.   Then it's time to enjoy this berry goodness!

This is a great summer berry recipe just in time for the 4th of July.  You can even make it with other seasonal berries. For the 4th of July holiday, I think it would be quite "All American" made with blackberries, blueberries and red raspberries!

I think these delicious squares are a perfect summer tea treat
to enjoy with a good friend in the garden,
with your favorite "cuppa"!

Special Note:  I followed Martha's recipe version in her Martha Stewart's Dinner at Home cookbook.  Its measurements/ingredients are slightly different than the recipe available here online at MarthaStewart.com

(In the photos:  Emma Bridgewater Black Toast & Marmalade Crumbs plate)

Friday, June 24, 2011

Weekend Project!


Summer has arrived!

Every week my husband brings home beautiful berries from the farmers market. 

So, I've decided my weekend project this weekend is...
Blackberry Shortbread Squares.

I'll post the results and recipe next week on
Teatime Tuesday!

(In the photos:  Emma Bridgewater Black Toast French Bowl)

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Happy Summer!

L'ete Summer Tea

Happy first day of summer!

Wouldn't it be nice to begin celebrating summer
with some French summer tea?  And oui, of course, I have the perfect suggestion for you...
Fauchon's  L'ete Summer.

Fachuon's summer tea is an Oolong tea (also known as blue tea)
with flowery notes,
scented with grenadine and citrus fruit flavors. 

Tarte au Citron 

According to Fauchon...
" L'ete Summer tea is ideal in the afternoon with desserts". 

I think it would pair beautifully with a tarte au citron

Fauchon Paris
24-26 place de la Madeleine

L'ete Summer Tea is available at Fauchon in Paris.  I love to shop at the original Fauchon location
behind the Madeleine church which opened in 1886. 

If you live in the US, you can find some Fauchon tea blends online at a
 Taste of Paris

Happy summer!
I hope your summer includes
French tea
sweet treats! 

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Bienvenue Laduree!

21 rue Bonaparte

It's no secret...
Laduree is my favorite Paris Patisserie
French Tea Salon!

Laduree at Harrods

Did you know,
you don't have to travel to Paris to have the Laduree experience? Today Laduree has locations all over the world including three locations in London.  

On our recent holiday in London we had to "pop" into Harrods just to see the Laduree at Harrods.  Of course, we had to try some macarons to compare them to their Parisian counterparts.   

I was curious if the macarons for the London branch were made in London or shipped in daily from Paris.  I politely asked the Laduree clerk and found out that they are made locally in London.  They tasted the same but for some reason, my husband and I agreed...
macarons are just more magical in Paris!

Laduree is a smashing success in London and they will soon be opening even another branch in trendy Convent Garden.

Champs Elysess

Americans adore Laduree so wouldn't it be grand if Laduree would open
here in the States?

Well it's finally coming true..
Laduree is opening this July in New York City. 

Several years ago there was a rumor about a New York City branch opening, but it never happened.  This time it's really happening and America will soon have it's own Laduree branch at 864 Madison Avenue! 

I can only hope (and keep my fingers crossed) that Laduree will eventually expand to other fashionable cities in America, like San Francisco.  For now, New York City sounds a little closer than Paris for a macaron fix!

les Macarons

Bienvenue Laduree to the Etats-Unis!

(Welcome Laduree to the United States!)

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Taking Tea at Laduree

Tea at Laduree

I can finally check having tea at Laduree off my Paris list!

Finally on our 5th tip to Paris my dream of having tea at Laduree came true.

All I can say is...

it was worth the wait
"merci" to my wonderful husband for being my Laduree date. 

16 Rue Royal

There are a number of fashionable locations for dining at Laduree in Paris.  I selected the Laduree Tea Salon at 16 Rue Royal.  It's one of my favorite Laduree locations on the elegant Right Bank.  It's also the original Laduree location which Louis Ernest Laduree created in 1862 as a bakery. 

On our first day in Paris, our first stop was 16 Rue Royal to make reservations for lunch the following day. 

The Tea Salon

After a fabulous first day in Paris it was time to enjoy Laduree on day two. 

Stepping into the Laduree tea salon was like stepping into another era.

Being a decorator, I was in awe of its beautiful hand painted cherub fresco ceiling and wood panels throughout.  Laduree's soft pastel trademark colors are apparent everywhere you look..even on the china. 

 Saint- Honore

Our reservation at Laduree was for 1:00 PM. 

My husband and I shared a delicious crab sandwich from the lunch menu followed by luscious Laduree desserts and tea.

From the les The`s Laduree menu, I selected The Melange Special Laduree tea.  It is a delicate blend of citrus fruit, rose, vanilla and cinnamon.   It was served in a silver tea pot, of course! 

For our French treats we shared a Tarte Citron, Laduree's signature Rose Raspberry Saint-Honore and a few Macaroons

Laduree's Saint-Honore pastry was the most wonderful and beautiful dessert my husband and I have ever had!  Just imagine cream puffs, framboise (raspberry) and rose all executed in a breathtakingly beautiful pastry with a rose petal on top. 

 Table #16

Our Laduree experience was perfect in every way. 

We were seated by a friendly monsieur at table #16 with a wonderful view of the salon.  

I'm calling Table #16 now our special table at Laduree.

We were married on May 16, 2001 and honeymooned in Paris.  We were now in Paris 10 years later celebrating our 10th wedding anniversary and were seated at table #16 at 16 Rue Royale!

The next time we're in Paris...
I'll be asking for table #16 when I make our reservations!                 

les Macaroons

Laduree is truly a very special place in the world
I'm so happy my dream of having tea at Laduree came true!

Now I dream of going back to Laduree and...
 table #16.