Apricot Scones 

I headed out to run a few errands this morning and couldn’t believe how chilly it was. Just yesterday I was out in a sweater. I found myself longing to be home baking these scones I’ve been dreaming about and sipping a cup of my favorite loose tea. I love dried apricots and have enjoyed them in a moist cake I bake called Swedish cream cake, in my chicken salad, and just popping them in my mouth. I could just picture The apricots peeking out of the buttery dough. Beautiful for serving in the spring at tea time. I’ve baked many scones over the years and never tire of the experience. Looking forward to sharing these.

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Little Quiche Tarts

DSCF6454 I was heading out of work last Saturday when I stopped to say hello to my friend Danny. She was sampling a special cheese with little toasts. Upon stopping she graciously offered me a sample. The cheese was called Grand Cru Surchoix. Danny could say it perfectly and I loved hearing it. It sounded so elegant. It was an Alpine-style cheese with a lovely complex flavor. I decided I had to buy some and putting it into a little quiche tart would be just perfect. I had some Apple wood smoked bacon in my refrigerator and fresh herbs to give it some color.  I used three large eggs, one cup of heavy cream, and fresh cracked pepper for the custard. No salt was added the cheese and the bacon have just the right amount.  I prepared my favorite pastry crust while the bacon was cooking. The little quiche tarts were served on top of spring mix with  a drizzle of balsamic dressing on the leaves. What a delicious  dinner tonight for my daughter and I. During dinner my daughter Stefanie just had to tease me in her fake English accent saying “your such a gourmet”. We laughed and enjoyed our lovely little tarts. I also saved a couple of tarts for my friend. I hope she will enjoy them as much as I did. DSCF6427 DSCF6429 DSCF6430 DSCF6433 DSCF6435 DSCF6438 DSCF6446 DSCF6448 Thanks for stopping by!!

Carrot soup

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Carrot soup was always on the menu at The Mulberry Tearooms where I had worked for a short time. It is creamy and delicious. The grated carrot added after the soup is pureed compliments with a little texture. This soup was a favorite with all the customers and me! It was served with a warm baguette and butter. I loved to dip it into the soup. I penned down as much of the recipe as I could while at work on part of a menu. I took my penned notes and what I remembered when making the soup and came up with this recipe. Always use the freshest ingredients. I know you will love this comforting soup as much as I do. Enjoy!

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Carrot Soup

2 Tablespoons of butter

1 Tablespoon olive oil

1 ¼ lbs. fresh organic carrots, peeled and cut into 2inch pieces

4 oz. finely grated organic carrots

1 large onion, sliced

1 large clove garlic, minced

¾ teaspoon of kosher salt, or to your taste

¼ teaspoon fresh cracked pepper, or to your taste

31/2 cups good vegetable stock or chicken stock

¼ cup heavy cream

Good pinch of freshly grated nutmeg

Crème fraiche or sour cream

Melt butter in a heavy bottomed pot. Add the sliced onion cook for about 5minutes just to sweat the onion. Add the garlic cook for 1-2 minutes then add the cut carrots, and salt and pepper. Cook for 1-2 minutes. Add the stock, bring to a boil then reduce heat to a simmer and cook until the carrots are fork tender. Puree soup in a food processor or emersion blender. If using food processor put the soup back in the pot. Add the grated carrot, fresh nutmeg. Cook 10 minutes more till soup is heated through. Serve with a dollop of crème fraiche or sour cream. Serve with French baguette or sour dough bread.

Note: If you don’t want the extra calories of the heavy cream you can omit it. You may need to add just a little extra stock after you puree.

Thanks for stopping by!!!

Lemon Puffs

 

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These little beauties are lemon puffs. I’ve already shared with you in my last post how to prepare the lemon curd which fills the flaky layers of baked puff pastry. The baked sugary puff pastry has a flaky crunch as you bite down and then you taste the smooth but tart lemon curd. The whipped cream is the cherry on top. It is a very refreshing bite or two, it won’t take you long to eat and you’ll wish you could start over. The lemon puffs are so pretty; anyone would think they had taken hours to prepare. They look just beautiful on a dessert tray line with a white paper doily. These lemon puffs will make your next tea party or any occasion extra special. I hope you will enjoy as much as I do.

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Gather your ingredients.

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Roll your puff pastry just slightly and trim the ends to make the pastry even. Then measure 2″x 4″ pieces.

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Place them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.

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Egg wash and sprinkle one pan with sugar one pan plain. Bake in a pre-heated 4oo degree oven 10-12 minutes. Till golden brown.

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Remove to a wire rack and cool completely. Assemble by putting a layer of lemon curd on a plain baked puff pastry. Top with a baked sugared puff pastry. Dust with powdered sugar , top with a dollop of freshly whipped cream. Sprinkle on a little freshly grated lemon zest.

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Lemon Puffs

2 sheets of puff pastry, I use Pepperidge Farm

1 egg beaten with a few drops of water for egg wash

Lemon curd

Freshly whipped whip cream

Lemon zest to sprinkle over whipped cream

To prepare the puff pasrty

Sprinkle a little flour on a work surface and rolling pin. Roll the puff pastry even. With a ruler cut the pastry 2”wide by 4” long place pieces on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Using a pastry brush apply egg wash to the tops of the pastry. Then sprinkle half with sugar and leave half plain. The plain will be the bottoms and sugared will be the tops. Makes 15 lemon puffs

Lemon Curd

8 oz. unsalted butter

1 pound granulated sugar

5 lemons, grated zest and juice from all of the lemons

6 eggs, plus 2 egg yolks, beaten

Cook over double boiler water should just be simmering. Melt the butter then add the sugar, juice and zest from the lemons. Slowly add the eggs stirring constantly about 20 minutes. The mix will become thick and get thicker as it cools.

Fresh Whipped Cream

8 oz. heavy whipping cream

2 tablespoon confectioner’s sugar

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

To Assemble

Place the plain piece of baked puff pastry on a plate top with lemon curd. Place the sugared piece of baked puff pastry on the top. Sift on a small dusting of confectioner’s sugar. Add a dollop of the fresh whip cream to the top and a sprinkle of fresh lemon zest.

Bakers note: If you want less puff pastry you can cut one piece in half and fill with the lemon curd and top with the cream.

Thanks for stopping by!!!

Mini Quiche

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These mini quiches make the perfect little savory bite. I love serving them at my tea parties. The crust is flaky and the custard light and delicious. The cheddar cheese adds a sharp note and the red pepper adds a hint of sweetness. They just melt in your mouth.

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 Quiche Custard

3 large eggs

¾ cup heavy cream

¼ cup milk

1 cup sharp cheddar cheese, grated

½ cup diced red pepper

½ teaspoon kosher salt

¼ teaspoon fresh cracked pepper

Dash cayenne pepper

Whisk eggs, heavy cream, milk, salt, pepper, cayenne pepper to blend.

Method:

Use store bought or homemade pastry crust. Using a biscuit cutter cut circles from the dough. Gently push the dough circles into the spaces of a greased mini muffin pan. Put a small amount of the cheese and a couple of pieces of the diced red pepper into each space. Carefully fill the spaces with the custard do not overfill. Bake in a preheated 375 degree oven for 25 minutes. Cool on a wire rack. When you can safely remove them arrange on a serving platter. Serve hot or cold. Recipe yields 48 or more mini quiche.

Note:

You can make this recipe ahead. The quiches freeze well. Just refrigerate to thaw the night before ready to use. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Bake for 10-12 minutes.

Thanks for stopping by!!!

 

Rice Pudding

Rice Pudding
Rice Pudding

I am new to rice pudding. I remember my Mom and Dad loving it. They ordered it at one of their favorite diner a lot. Last year I was at a local diner with my daughter, and she asked me if I’d like to share rice pudding with her. I had always been a tapioca pudding fan up to that point. The pudding came to us in a beautiful glass dish topped with a good sprinkle of cinnamon and a dollop of freshly whipped cream. It was so creamy and the cinnamon seemed to have become one with the layer of pudding it was clinging to. The whipped cream added lightness to the rice which was so tender. I was immediately pleased with this pudding and ate more than my share.  My daughter had discovered rice pudding long before. She was laughing at how much I enjoyed it. I will always love tapioca. But now I have two loves! This recipe was given to me by my good friend Joyce. I was telling her about my new love of rice pudding. A friend of hers had given her this recipe. It was easy to prepare, creamy and delicious, a recipe anyone would love.

Ingredients.Ingredients

DSCF5017Boil the milk and stir the rice in. Return to a boil. then simmer 50-60 minutes until the rice is tender.

DSCF5061Add the milk, sugar, egg yolks, vanilla, and salt. Stirring constantly.

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Rice Pudding

6 cups whole milk

¾ cup long grain rice

1 cup heavy cream

¾ cup sugar

3 egg yolks beaten

2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

¼ teaspoon salt

Rinse a sauce pan with cold water (do not dry it). Pour the whole milk in the pan and bring it to a boil over medium heat. Stir in the rice and return to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer uncovered until the rice is tender, about 50-60 minutes. Stir the mixture occasionally. In a small bowl, combine the heavy cream, sugar, egg yolks, vanilla, and salt; set aside when the rice is tender stir in the cream mixture (slowly) stirring until completely combined. Return to a boil. Remove from heat and pour into a serving dish. Sprinkle the top with ground cinnamon. Chill 4 hours before serving or overnight. Serve with freshly whipped cream.

Thanks for stopping by!