Wednesday, February 4, 2009

A sweet tea to warm your heart...............

Happy Valentines Day! I know it's a week away but I let hearts be the theme of my day today. And here is what I enjoyed this afternoon.........a much needed break from a busy day!!

I decided to have a cup of Twinings Irish Breakfast Tea because I never ate breakfast this morning. I added a twist to it by putting two teaspoons of Nestle Hazelnut Creamora in the tea. I love Hazlenut flavored coffee so thought it would taste good in my tea. It was very tasty and I will try this more often. I had been rather busy today so my first delight with my tea was one of my favorite biscuits. I used those heart shaped cookie cutters and after they were baked, I scooped out the center heart so I could fill it with butter and jam. You already know it tasted really good!! Yum! Then I topped it off with a cookie, two actually. I didn't like the ones with the frosting. I am not crazy about frosting unless it's real chocolate fudge frosting. Everything tastes better with chocolate so I popped a kiss and finished off my tea and headed to the computer to share it all with you. I placed a couple of my favorite Valentine items on my old sewing machine. The little cross stitch piece is one of three that I did in the 80's. My cross stitch period was very short. My daughter picked it up though and so I have passed on most of my supplies and books to her. I have this thing about being "number-challenged" so any hobby with counting in it, is not one that I will excell at. The little bear is holding a tiny valentine that I did in my years of making miniatures. I need to share some pics of my mini scenes and will do that before Valentines Day.
Hope you enjoyed this stop for "Tea Time". I'll be back the first Wednesday in March! See you then.....

And just one more thing........the cookie recipe that follows originated in this little gem of a cookbook and as you will read in the recipe, I combined it with one in the Rumford Common Sense Cookbook. Actually, "common sense" should have told me that it might not be wise to mix two without doing a trial run first. Anway, read on and enjoy my "Cookie Recipe" post. :-)

Cookie recipe

In January, my little goodie for "Tea Time" was a plate full of Coconut Snowball mini cupcakes. My recipe was not a recipe as I followed the ingredients on the Pillsbury box. So, I thought this month, I would bring you something made from "scratch". This proved to be interesting........Here we go........

In the picture you can see an old cookbook. It's one of several that I bought at Wit's End Antique Shop last summer. Rumford was a company that made baking powder. There is no date on the cookbook and no copyright. It's just a little book that was probably a promotion to get the ladies to buy Rumford for their baked goods. I found a cookie recipe that sounded good. I also found one in the Sprye cookbook pictured above. I decided I would sort of "combine them" to make a really good cookie. I experiment all the time and usually the results are tasty. I expected the same ........

The recipe is as follows........

1/2 cup butter (or butter flavor shortening)
3/4 cup sugar
2 large eggs, well beaten
1 tsp. vanilla
2 1/4 cups flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
Cream butter and sugar, then add beaten egg. Mix in vanilla. Set aside. Mix dry ingredients. Add half dry ingredients to butter/sugar mixture. Then add remaining dry ingredients and blend thoroughly. Drop by teaspoonful on cookie sheet or roll dough balls in sugar and bake. You may flatten dough with glass for a flatter cookie. Bake at 375 degrees for 8 minutes. Cool, frost and decorate if desired.

That's the recipe I came up with so I began to mix. I creamed the butter and sugar.

Then I added the beaten egg ....................

...........and the vanilla and mixed well.

I set the liquid mix aside and prepared the dry ingredients. Blended them well, then added half the dry ingredients to the butter/egg mixture. Then I added the remaining dry ingredients and blended the dough thorouhly.

The dough was stiff and a bit sticky .........................
..........but I rolled it into balls by "flouring" my hands so I would not have more dough on my fingers than in the cookie balls.

I placed the cookie balls on the ungreased cookie sheet. And here, I must apologize for when I saw the close-up photo of my cookie sheet my first thought was.........gee, they're going to think they'll have to take up a collection and send me new cookie sheets! Guess these have been around awhile. I will make them look like new for next cookie bake. :-)

So, with the cookies ready to bake, I popped them into the oven (yes, I preheated it and it was ready to go) and they looked like this when they finished baking............

Hmmmmmmmmmm........I thought they would flatten a bit when they were baked. Not at all what I was expecting. I had plans to imprint a heart on each flattened cookie (the little one in the lower left of the photo) and fill the heart with red sugar sprinkles. It didn't work. Instead, I just sprinkled red sugar all over the top of the whole tray of cookies. I ate one and it was interesting. Very vanilly flavored and.........
So, I tried another tray of cookies. This time, I flattened the cookies with a glass. I remembered that one of the two recipes I was using had done this. And here's what they looked like this time...............
The cookies were flatter but still not as flat as I thought they might be. I pressed the hearts, tried my red sprinkles idea and stopped at one done.
The rest of the cookies got frosting stars. Much easier although not as bright as the red hearts would have been.

The cookies baked up nice and even, round ones and flat ones and they reminded me of something...............they were kind of dry - maybe too much flour? - and strangely they were crisp - actually "hard as a rock" on the outside but kinda crumbly on the inside. So when I made my tea today, I knew exactly what I would do........ I would dunk those little puppies in my tea. That's just what I did and they were really tasty. And that's when I realized that I hadn't made cookies after all..........I made Biscotti and didn't even know it!! :-)
Now just so you know.......I am a really good "cookie, cake and sweet things maker" but every once in a while my concoctions don't work out quite like I think they will. Someday, I'll tell you about the pizza-flavored chocolate cake I made for my quilt retreat friends. :-)
Hope you enjoyed your visit and a good cup of tea.

A "Time for Tea" Stitchery!

Well, it's about time you're thinking. Right? Where has she been. She said tea was at 4:00 and here it is an hour later. Some things came up. I didn't get to my tea until 4:30 and then I had pictures to take, then load and finally here I am. I'll get to the actual tea and goodies in a minute but want you to know that I have a new project for you. Last month I shared my Snowman couple design with you. Here's how far I am on my stitching..............

I was hoping I would get it finished by today but now I will be happy if I finish it by Valentines Day!!

Now since this little blog chapter is all about "Tea and Stitches", I thought it would be fun to stitch up a little piece that would be a reminder to show up here the first Wednesday evening of each month. That's right, you might as well stop by in the evening because then it will be posted on time. :-) Yesterday, this little design popped into my head so I quickly sketched it up and finalized it earlier today.
I am going to trace the design on muslin, then color it with colored pencils, iron it (to set the colors) and add outline embroidery stitches and embellishments. Then I will put it in a frame and you will see it finished - promise - in the tea picture in March. :-)
So, now I have to load the photos for my tea for February. Back in a jif.......

A little stitching poem.........

This little poem was written for one of my beginning quilting students - only 8 years old but her stitches were those of a natural seamstress!

For Bailey Anne . . . .
When this you see, think of me.
Sit down and have a cup of tea.
Then place your quilt upon your lap,
begin to stitch . . . no time to nap!
Stitch patiently and you will see . . .

how fine a quilter you can be!

©1999-2008 Sandra E. Andersen