You will have to forgive me…I just purchased a book called An Afternoon Tea and I have been perusing the pages at bedtime and as a result I have become obsessed with the beauty of the set tea table. So now to create my own!
Isn’t it beautiful? I’ve been sharing some of my favorite holiday drinks with you like the hot-chocolate mix last week but this week I really wanted to take some beautiful tea table pictures.
Of course if you are having tea you must make scones and as I had some pumpkins leftover from fall I decided to make pumpkin scones.
I found the recipe here. Do they not look absolutely delicious? Let me tell you, they were! Alaina, the author of the blog Fantastic Eats advises you to cut the scones into smaller pieces before cooking…I did not follow her advice but I should have! These scones were HUGE!
Tiered Vintage Serving Stand
The plates are vintage and were from one of my grandmothers. Don’t you love the tiered serving platter I created with them? Yes, I did steal that idea from the book!
Tea Favors–Canned Apple Butter
Of course if you are having a tea you must have favors for the guests! What better favor than some apple butter? I will share my recipe another time.
I love the look of these little half-pint jars with the labels on them. Here is the top of the jars.
I found a great store on Etsy that sells beautiful vintage inspired canning labels for all your jams and jellies! The shop is actually owned by a friend Sheri McCulley (no, she doesn’t know I’m posting this and it is not a sponsored post) but you simply have to check out Sheri McCulley Studio! I love all things vintage and Sheri does a brilliant job of producing stunning products that have a beautiful vintage vibe to them.
Since I made so much jam and jelly this year I decided to give these away for Christmas presents. Since Sheri is able to customize the labels it was a perfect way to add an extra touch to these delicious presents.
I’ve seen these labels used for wedding favors and of course they make great gifts so if you want to use them head over to Sheri McCulley Studio and check out these amazing labels!
Have you ever given a holiday tea? I actually never have but I just really wanted to take some beautiful pictures. Maybe I should have a holiday tea! Anyone up for it? Let me know if you end up making the scones as I’d love to hear what you thought of them?
This hot-chocolate mix is one of the very best that I have ever had! It comes from a wonderful lady whom I got to know while studying music for my undergraduate degree. She would opened her home every Friday night and offer homemade cinnamon rolls to all the college students who went to the college.
She would have a glass jar of this mix on her counter and if you asked really nicely 🙂 you could enjoy a cup of this delicious mix with your cinnamon roll. One day I asked really, really nicely and she gave me her recipe!
This hot-chocolate is rich, creamy and only takes about 5 minutes to make. Here are the ingredients:
25.6 oz. box of dry powdered skim milk
30 oz. carton of Nestles Quick Chocolate (1lb. & 14oz)
Two 16 oz. jars of Coffeemate creamer (if you can find glass jars you can use them to store the mix)
2 cups powdered sugar
Mix all ingreients and store in Tuperware of Coffeemate creamer jars. Fill cup 1/3 to 1/2 full of chocolate mix according to the size cup you have and fill it with hot water. Add some whipped cream on top for an extra treat.
If you would like a printable recipe card you can download a really cute one when you sign up for emails!
Have any of you been wondering what happened? I know, I know…I just dropped off the face of the earth! Well I’m back! What have I been up too? I’ve been moving oh, for the 100th time in my life, not really but it seriously feels that way! Actually it really is the 20th time that I’ve moved in my life and the 3rd time in one year that I have packed boxes, loaded boxes, unloaded boxes, and set up house. Unlike the last move I actually had to pack everything myself but had a wealth of knowledge that I learned from the packers during our last move. I might work up a top 10 moving tips soon. Now, after three weeks of being in our new place I have finally gotten to a point where I feel that I can sit down and actually write up a post. My topic? Food! The post has been in queue for several months now but here it is.
Do you remember the farmer’s market that I told you about several months ago? You know, the one where I got berries for like 50 cents a pint and a tray of tomatoes for a dollar?
Well here is what I made with all those tomatoes! This sauce is seriously the most amazing spaghetti sauce that you have ever tasted! My friend and I had so much fun making it–ok, so we got a little carried away with making the sauce.
So this is basically how it goes. Find a cheap source of tomatoes and decide on a whim “let’s make spaghetti sauce!” You will also need onions, garlic (about sixteen cloves per jar), basil, other herbs, sugar, salt, and citric acid.
You will also need to purchase suspicious amounts of quart jars. Seriously, every time we went to the store we got some interesting looks! Doesn’t anyone can food anymore or do you just use them for Pinterest projects?Oh, and you might want to check with your neighbors to see if they are OK with the ENTIRE neighborhood smelling like an Italian cookery (i.e. garlic)! Also stock up on spaghetti noodles and parmesan cheese because after each canning session you WILL want to eat spaghetti! Then you will also want cheesecake and coffee to finish off your meal.
Finally after approximately 320 pounds of tomatoes, three sundays, and 17 hours later we have over 36 quarts of it of homemade spaghetti sauce! Mmmmmmmm! Note this all happened before our move!
If you want to make your own homemade spaghetti sauce here is our recipe. Beware though it takes ALL day to make! However, if you would learn from us, by our third round of canning we had discovered some ways to eliminate some steps. You see at first we were browning the garlic and onion, chopping the tomatoes then boiling them, then adding herbs, adding seasonings, pureeing the mixture, then simmering for a half-hour before processing in the canner for 35 minutes. You can see why this process took all day!
Then we moved into the 21st century and discovered the pressure cooker! All we did was blanch the tomatoes to remove the skin. Brown the garlic and onion in olive oil and throw everything tomatoes and herbs in the pressure cooker for 10 minutes. In the meantime we sterilized our jars and added the citric acid in the bottom of each quart. By the time we had completed this the sauce was ready to season and be ladled into the quarts. So from start to finish the 21st century way only took a little over an hour!
Last year while we were living in Maryland I had a yard-full of mint. Yes, I’m serious, someone had the brilliant idea to plant mint right into the ground! For those of you who don’t know…you never, I mean NEVER, put mint in the ground without containing it somehow. Mint is a weed, a delicious weed mind you, but a weed none the less. With a yard full of mint I had to figure out a way to use some of it and browsed the internet for an easy recipe to use.
As my husband is from the south and he drinks copious amounts of sweet tea I thought of adding this variation to the standard fare.
I don’t remember the origins of this recipe and have since added my own variations but here is my version of Orange-Mint Tea served in some vintage glassware that I found at an antique store. There is a PDF at the end of the post for you to download if you wish. Thanks for reading and following my blog!
I love thrift-stores, antique stores, and flea markets…seriously! A couple weeks ago I discovered this AMAZING farmers market and have since been making weekly pilgrimages to purchase things like sixteen pounds of strawberries for $5, paying $.50 for a pint of cherries, and buying 60 pounds of tomatoes for $6 to make spaghetti sauce. Uh, yeah that’s right AMAZING! Don’t worry my recipe will be up next Friday along with some incredible pictures!
Anyways, I also picked up this lovely wooden vintage sewing caddy for only five dollars! I’ve been looking for one at antique stores for years and have not found one for a decent price.
Sewing caddies come in all sorts of shapes and sizes. These were meant to keep sewing notations handy for the sewer and range in size from tiny table caddies, or ones with stands that allow easy access when the seamstress is seated, to ones that contain several fold out trays. This is just a small one that would be handy on a side table in a living room. Right now I am working on a lace glove from A Handknit Romance.
Doesn’t that jam look AMAZING? If you would like to make your own here is the Triple Berry Jam recipe!
You smell it first– the earthy smell of quality chocolate, the fresh tart scent of raspberries, and the creamy smell of fresh whipped sweet cream all rolled into an incredible bite of a chocolate raspberry cake! If you have never tasted a homemade cake then you are truly missing out on one of the most amazing experiences in life.
Homemade cakes are ah-mazing! The crumb is superb and the taste is enough to make one . . . well you know. 😉 Seriously if you haven’t ever tasted a homemade cake, especially a chocolate one, you really need to give this raspberry chocolate cake a try!
Creating Traditions With Cake
Traditions are what can bind a family together. Creating a one of a kind cake every year has kind of been my tradition for my husband and I who share a birthday–age, day, and everything! Of course it is never the same and so I get to try a new recipe every year. I’ve made a lemon cake from the red plaid cookbook, a white and chocolate layered cake, and several other delicious cakes. For my son, who was born near St. Paddy’s day, it is expected that I make a green key-lime cake, emphasis on green, which he asks for every year! That’s the neat thing with traditions is that it is something to remember year after year.
Heavenly Chocolate Raspberry Pound Cake
I rarely make desserts even though I loooove them. The desserts I make burst with a plethora of flavor. Aka it will blow-up your tastebuds! Ok, I’ll admit it I’m a foodie and super taster! This chocolate raspberry cake recipe really will make you have one! 😉
You will not find this chocolate raspberry cake recipe anywhere else but on this blog. I tried to find a recipe on pinterest but failed so you are getting a one-of-a-kind cake here!
Sometimes pound cake can be a bit dry but you will not find that with this chocolate raspberry cake recipe. This one-of-a-kind chocolate raspberry cake will blow your socks off! The crumb is superb, it is deliciously moist, and all the flavors simply melt into one tastebud exploding bite. It is a chocolate raspberry cake that gives you the feeling that you ought to be wearing a tea-length vintage lace dress and pearls. Now down to the nitty-gritty.
Chocolate Raspberry Cake Recipe
A deliciously moist chocolate pound cake bursting with flavor and layered with raspberry filling and crème fraîche.
Chocolate Pound Cake
3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons cocoa
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
1/2 cup vegetable shortening
3 cups sugar
1 cup buttermilk*
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
Crème Fraîche Frosting
12 ounces of sour cream
2 cups of heavy whipping creme
1 1/2 cup of powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 pints of raspberries (reserve some for decoration)
1 tablespoon sugar
2 tablespoons corn starch
1/3 cup plus 1-2 tablespoons water
Chocolate Pound Cake
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Grease and flour three 8-9 inch cake pans.
Sift together flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and cocoa and then set aside.
Use an electric mixer to combine all ingredients. First, cream together butter, shortening, and sugar until fluffy. Add vanilla, then eggs one at a time and mix well after each addition. Add flour and buttermilk alternately to butter mixture, beginning and ending with flour.
Divid batter evenly into prepared pans and bake for 1 hour and 45 minutes, or until cake is done. Insert a toothpick into the cake to check for readiness–it should come out clean. Remember that these times are based on CST. After 1 hour of cooking time check the cake every 15 minutes to ensure that you don’t burn the cake. Remove from oven and allow cake to cool in pan for 10 minutes. Invert onto a towel until ready for use.
In a large mixing bowl combine all ingredients and beat with an electric mixer on medium speed until mixture thickens and holds soft peaks. This frosts three 8-or 9-inch cake layers with plenty of extra as you will be spreading it fairly thin between all the layers. Store frosting in refrigerator until ready for use.
Combine corn starch, sugar, and water in a saucepan. Heat on medium heat, stirring occasionally with a whisk, until mixture comes to a slight boil. Add raspberries, crush slightly, turn down heat and simmer 8-10 minutes stirring as needed. Remove from heat and cool in refrigerator until ready for use.
Assembling your Chocolate Raspberry Cake
First you are going to want to split each cake into two layers. You can do this nicely with quality dental floss as the dental floss will not squash the cake like a knife would. This is where dividing up the batter into three cake pans comes in handy!
Place one layer of the chocolate pound cake carefully on your cake stand and place a dollop of the crème fraîche frosting in the center of your chocolate cake and spread it around on the layer. The layers should be very thin and so you will want to make sure that they don’t crumble or break as you place them on top of one another.
Place a second layer of cake on top the first and spread raspberry filling over this next layer.
Repeat steps 2 & 3 until all layers have been used.
Spread crème fraîche frosting over top of the final layer and then decorate as you like with additional frosting and raspberries.
There will probably be enough frosting for you to cover the sides of the chocolate raspberry cake if you want but I really liked the rustic look of not frosting the sides so I chose to leave them bare. Also the blend of all the flavors is pretty perfect when you leave the sides unfrosted!
but these are just so pretty, super yummy, and the frosting is made with fresh strawberries!
My sister is turning nine tomorrow and we had fresh strawberries in the fridge soooo… a quick Google search turned up this strawberry frosting recipe. The recipe calls for butter but I do wonder what it would taste like with cream cheese instead…hmmm
The plate is one my mum has from her grandmother.
I’ve been enjoying my visit with my family so much. It has been so much fun visiting with my sister’s new babies I’m so glad that she loved the knitted hats I made! Tomorrow, I’m planning on digging through some old projects from childhood and maybe I will post a picture of the sewing machine where I created my first project. (It’s a bit of a surprise as you will see!)