Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Truly Great Scones

 Tea & Scone, please!

  I've been searching for a truly great scone recipe...
like the scones I've had in England. 

British Style Scones

Whether at a fancy hotel tea or an adorable tea and cake shop...
scones always taste better in England. 

Some scones are dense and some are lighter. 
One thing is certain...
load them up with clotted cream and jam and
they're always delicious!

 Proper Scone Height

On my trip to England in May,
I had some of the best scones I've ever had. 
Ever since that trip,  I've been on a mission to find a truly great scone recipe
to make British-style scones at home. 

I'm happy to report that I've found a truly great scone recipe from, Delia Smith.  
Delia is the UK"s best-selling cookery author so I knew her scone recipe would be good. 

The best tip I learned from Delia is to roll the scone dough out to 1 inch thickness. 
 According to Delia "this is the secret of well-risen scones.  Measure it if you're not sure." 

So I followed Delia's recipe (to a tee), measured my dough and ended up
with truly great scones!

Truly Great Scones

I love Delia's recipe
taken from her book Delia's How to Cook,  Book Two (1999).
 Luckily for you, you can find it on her website Delia Online

I just call them Truly Great Scones! 

(In the photos:  Emma Bridgewater Union Jack tea pot, plate, mug and comport.  Sabre Toile spreader.)

Friday, September 23, 2011


Spices of Fall Tea

Happy First Day of Autumn!

I'm ready for spicy tea blends
Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Lattes.

How about you?

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Last Days of Summer!

 Tea in the Garden

It may be the final days of summer...
but I'm still enjoying afternoon tea in the garden.

Summer will actually linger on for many more weeks here in California
with our gorgeous Indian summer.  In the meantime, berry season is over
so the past few weeks,
I've been baking with the last of summer's fruits.

Lemon & Currant Muffins

I was so excited to finally find red currants in California this summer.   
I bought red currants to make authentic British summer puddings 
and ended up with a container left over. 
What to do...but make muffins and tea cakes. 

Knowing how well blueberries pair with lemon muffins, I decided to add fresh red currants
 to my favorite lemon muffin recipe.  I experimented with a batch in my mini-muffin tin
and the results were adorable little tea cakes.  I also made a batch of regular size muffins which I enjoyed with my husband on the weekend.

Fresh red currants are really tart. 
If you're going to make a batch of Lemon & Currant Muffins,
 make sure you ice your muffins with a sugar glaze. 
I modified a recipe from my favorite little muffin book, Muffins by Elizabeth Alston. 
You can find the recipe here
(I omitted the fresh ginger for my version.) 

Afternoon Earl Grey

Lemon and Currant tea cakes are lovely in the afternoon
paired with a good cup of Earl Grey. 

Since I was in England this year,
 my tea cupboard is replenished now with my favorite British teas.
 One of my favorite Earl Grey teas is, Whittard's Afternoon Earl Grey
(My box of tea is a bit rumpled from travelling home in my suitcase.)

This premium black tea flavoured with bergamot
is packaged in elegant round tea bags. 
 I like to drink mine "milky" with one lump or two!

I love what Whittard's has printed on the box:

"Few hours in life are more agreeable than the British ceremony known as afternoon tea.  Our Afternoon Earl Grey is distinguished by a lighter bergamot taste.  An elegant blend, it evokes an era of fine china and leisurely conversation, when the ceremony of teatime was an unhurried pleasure".

In the past, I've ordered teas online from Whittard in the UK and
they have excellent international service.

Luckily now, Whittard teas are available again in the US though on-line retailer
Annie's Tea Time .

Now there's really no excuse not to enjoy
 a really good "cuppa"  here in the States!

(In the photos:  Laura Ashley Summer Fruits Mug and Emma Bridgewater Polka Dots plate.)

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Mamma Mia!

Mama's Macaroni Salad

Need a little something to "spice up" your next picnic or barbecue?   

Mama DeDomenico's Barbecue Macaroni Salad
can do just that!

.  My Mamma Mia (my mother) has been making it for years.  The recipe dates back to my days growing up in San Leandro, California and the famous pasta company in our town
Golden Grain Macaroni Company.  
Yes, the same company that made Rice-A-Roni ...
"the San Francisco treat"!

Golden Grain was founded in the early 1900's by Italian immigrants,

Maria (Mama) DeDomenico loved to cook.  She had many old world recipes passed down to her and brought them to America.  In 1912, she persuaded her husband to open a macaroni business and she supplied all the recipes.  To this day, I still have her little Pasta brochure from the 1970's with her favorite recipes in it. 

Here's a favorite Mama DeDomenico recipe...

Barbecue Macaroni Salad 

16 oz Golden Grain Salad Macaroni
 *1 can (8oz) Golden Grain Marinara Sauce
1 1/2 cup chopped celery
1 cup sweet pickle relish
1 can (4oz) chopped black olives
1/2 tsp. chili powder
1 cup mayonnaise
1/3 cup minced onions

Cook macaroni as directed on package; rinse with cold water.  Combine macaroni, Marinara Sauce, celery,relish, olives, chili powder.  Chill.  Stir in mayonnaise and onions.  Salt and pepper to taste. 


*Golden Grain Marinara Sauce is now discontinued. 
It came in a can and was the best! 
I use Newman's Own Marinara as a substitute now. 

My Momma Mia likes to make her version a bit more saucey..
so feel free to use more marinara sauce, if you wish.  

I like to use 1 medium red onion and more olives. 
I add the onion at the same time as all the other ingredients.

Buon Appetito!

(In the photos:  Emma Bridgewater Polka Dot plates and Vintage British Hamper.)

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

More Summer Pudding, Please!

 Summer Pudding

Summer is winding down...

and I'm still savoring my Summer Pudding Tea
these last few weeks of summer.

I'm also enjoying time in my kitchen with the last of summer's
berry harvests.

Red Fruits

Not all Americans are familiar with Summer Pudding. 

Summer Pudding is a chilled British dessert made in a large pudding mould
or small individual moulds.  Its ingredients are simple...
stale white bread, luscious summer fruits and sugar.  

I've wanted to make Summer Pudding for years now. 

All my British recipes call for red currants which are very popular in England but very difficult to find here in sunny California.  I finally found red currants earlier this month at a grocer in the San Francisco Bay Area.  The red currants were grown and shipped in
from Hurst's Berry Farm in Oregon...
a climate closer to England for growing red currants.

Pudding Please!

So I finally got to make Summer Pudding!  I adore small desserts so I chose a recipe
for Individual Summer Puddings and I already had the moulds.

Years ago on a trip to London, I picked up small pudding moulds at the
neat cook shop Divertimenti.  Loved that store!

***The recipe is a keeper and my tip:
 be sure to use stale bread and red currants!

Happy end of summer...
and I hope your last few weeks of summer
include a little summer pudding!

(In the photos:  Emma Bridgewater Hearts 8.5" plate, Black Toast French Bowl and
Divertimenti Pudding Tins.)

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Summer Pudding

Summer Pudding

It's still summer in California.

A trip to the San Francisco Bay Area last weekend
yielded me some beautiful berries and fresh red currants
Delicious red summer fruits that are perfect for making summer puddings

A trip to London in May yielded me some unique tea blends,
including a summer favorite, 

Summer Pudding tea is from my favorite British tea purveyor,

 Summer Pudding Tea

Summer Pudding tea is as delicious as it sounds. 

Imagine the delicious kitchen smells of making summer puddings
or your favorite red fruit jams
and you've captured the essence of Summer Pudding tea.

This black tea is flavored with succulent summer
 fruits and a hint of spicy juniper.  I enjoy it both hot and iced with a little sugar
to sweeten up its fruity taste.

Whittard of Chelsea

I never visit England without a trip to Whittard of Chelsea
to stock up on unique flavored black teas with wonderful British names like:
Summer Pudding, English Rose and Sticky Toffee Pudding.

There are branches all over London and the UK. 
My favorite Whittard of Chelsea locations are at London's Covent Garden
  Bath and York England.

 Just look for the blue signs
and step into a Whittard of Chelsea branch
where you'll find 130 tempting tea blends including,
Summer Pudding...
a summer time favorite of mine.

(In the photos:  Emma Bridgewater Hearts 8.5" Plate and Hellebore Tea Cup & Saucer and Spode Tea Caddy Spoon.)