Egg Salad and Bacon on Seeded French Baguette

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It’s hard to believe Labor Day weekend is already here. Fall will be coming soon and thoughts of hosting a tea party are on my mind. I would really like to change up my standing menu by changing the tea sandwiches and lightening up my quiche. I thought different fillings on top of crostini would offer a nice change. Egg salad is one of my favorite sandwich fillings so I want to start with that. Instead of the plain mayonnaise I added a little Dijon mustard, fresh lemon juice, fresh chopped chives and salt and pepper. Because I’m a bacon lover I fried up some bacon to add a little something extra. The seeds on the baguette work nicely, adding flavor that works well with the egg and bacon. These little egg crostini turned out delicious and look elegant on the plate. Just what I was envisioning. I will be working on a tuna and chicken salad crostini next. I would also like to lighten up my quiche. My favorite quiche is loaded with three different cheeses. It is delicious but a bit on the heavy side. I’m going for a classic French quiche in which the filling has a delicate custard and crisp diced ham. I love that it’s a light bite and oh so delicious. I’m still struggling with the tart crust. I need to find the perfect dough. My dough turned out a bite gummy. However the filling taste just right. So please don’t judge my crust just yet! It’s a work in progress. I will post my final result soon. But here’s a sneak peak at my French quiche.

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DSCF5901Egg Salad crostini:

6 eggs

4 Tablespoons of mayonnaise

1 Tablespoon of Dijon mustard

3 Tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

1-2 Tablespoons fresh chopped chives, or green onion

Kosher salt, to taste

Freshly cracked pepper, to taste 

French baguette, seeded or plain, toasted

Boil the eggs and cook the bacon till it’s crispy. Prepare the mayonnaise dressing. In a small bowl add the mayonnaise, Dijon mustard, lemon juice, chives or green onion, and salt and pepper to taste and stir to mix well. Chop the eggs and add the mayonnaise dressing over the eggs and gently blend together. Reserve just a small amount of the mayonnaise dressing to spread on your crostini.Toast your baguette rounds in a 400 degree oven for 8-10 minutes till golden brown. Lightly spread the crostini with the mayonnaise dressing place a piece of the bacon on each crostini and top and put a dollop of the egg salad on top.

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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.

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Chicken Salad With Apricots

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These delicious tea sandwiches are the favorite at every tea party I have hosted to date. The chicken is baked with fresh herbs and chicken stock, which boosts the flavor and tenderness of the chicken. The red onion and celery are tradition flavors. The surprise ingredient of dried apricots gives a sweet note and makes this chicken salad unique. I learned the recipe by making it over and over again at the Mulberry Tea Room where I worked several years ago. I have many of the recipes stuck in my head. I enjoy using them for tea parties and special lunches. I never measure ingredients, I go by sight.  The chicken is topped with fresh chopped thyme, sage, kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper. Chicken stock is poured over, but not covering the chicken and then baked. I chop some red onion and a stalk or two of celery, then grab a handful of dried apricots from the bag and chop 4 or 5 of them. When the chicken is finished baking, it rests for a few minutes, then chopped and cut into a small dice. Then toss the onion, celery, and apricots with the chicken to see if the amounts look balanced. I generally add less onion then celery. I don’t want to overpower the other ingredients. I then add a tablespoon of the stock that the chicken was cooked in, and give it a toss. Add the mayonnaise now a few tablespoons at a time. You want it to be coated nicely but not too heavy. Adjust your seasoning of salt and pepper to taste. For the tea sandwiches you will want thin bread. I like using white and wheat. The bread should buttered with room temperature butter, then heap a big spoonful of the chicken salad in the middle of the buttered bread and smooth it out. I like to cut the sandwiches into triangles; rectangles would be nice as well. They look so pretty on a serving platter. The crusts don’t usually go to waste; anyone helping with the cutting of the sandwiches gets to snacking and sharing with whoever’s hanging around. There always some left over salad hanging out between the crusts.

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Chicken Salad with Apricots

4 skinless boneless chicken breasts

½ -3/4 cup chicken stock

Fresh sage and thyme, chopped, enough to sprinkle over the chicken

Kosher salt and Fresh cracked pepper to taste

1 small red onion, chopped finely

2 stalks of celery, chopped finely

4-5 dried apricots, chopped

3-4 tablespoons of mayonnaise

Place the chicken in a baking dish. Top with chopped herbs, kosher salt, fresh cracked pepper, and chicken stock. Bake the chicken at 350 degrees till the internal temperature is 160 degrees. Remove from the oven, cover with foil and rest 10 minutes. Chop the onion, celery, and apricots. When the chicken is cool enough to handle cut it into a small dice. In a medium bowl add the chicken, onion, celery, apricots, 1 tablespoon of the chicken stock, and mayonnaise. Toss to coat evenly; adjust the seasoning of the salt and pepper to your taste.

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Cream Scones with Currents

Cream scone with lemon curd and whipped cream
Cream scone with lemon curd and whipped cream

Scones are such a pleasure to make. I love that you can change up the liquid to get the taste and richness you would like. I have used whole milk, heavy cream, and butter milk depending on the scone I am making. The different flavors you can add are endless. Who wouldn’t love a moist and delicious  scone? I serve scones at all my tea parties not just because it traditional, but because I love them. At my recent fall tea party I made cream scones with currents and flavored them with vanilla. They were served with homemade lemon curd, strawberry jam, and freshly whipped cream. My favorite topping is the lemon curd with just a dollop of whipped cream on top. It’s so delicious. I always start with ice cold butter and I am careful not to handle the dough to much so I don’t make them tough. Scones need to be moist and tender. I add and egg wash and a sprinkling of sugar to dress them up.

I first assemble all my ingredients.
I first assemble all my ingredients.
I put the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl.
I put the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl.
I used a whisk to sift the dry ingredients together.
I used a whisk to sift the dry ingredients together.
I add the butter to the flour mixture.
I add the butter to the flour mixture.
Using a pastry blender I cut the butter into the flour mixture.
Using a pastry blender I cut the butter into the flour mixture.
I then add the currents
I then add the currents.
Toss them in the flour and butter mixture with my clean hands.
Toss them in the flour and butter mixture with my clean hands.
I add the cream and vanilla and gently stir till combine.
I add the cream and vanilla and gently stir till combine.
The dough will come together.
The dough will come together.
Turn the dough out onto floured board.Knead gently for just a few times.
Turn the dough out onto floured board.Knead gently for just a few times.
Form dough into a disk.
Form dough into a disk.
Roll out into a rectangle.
Roll out into a rectangle.
Turn the dough and fold over.
Turn the dough and fold over.
Roll the dough again into a rectangle.
Roll the dough again into a rectangle.
Cut scones with a biscuit cutter.
Cut scones with a biscuit cutter.
Bake at 400 degrees. Cool and serve.
Bake at 400 degrees. Cool and serve.
Scone topped with lemon curd and whipped cream.
Scone topped with lemon curd and whipped cream.
Enjoy!
Enjoy!

Cream Scones with Currents

2 Cups unbleached all-purpose flour

¼ Cup granulated sugar

2 ½ Teaspoons baking powder

¼ Teaspoon fine sea salt

¾ Cup (12 tablespoons) ice cold unsalted butter, diced

¾ up to 1 Cup very cold heavy cream

1 Teaspoon pure vanilla extract

½ Cup currents

1 Egg for egg wash

1 Tablespoon of granulated sugar, to sprinkle on tops of scones

In a large bowl add the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Use a wire whisk to sift the ingredients together. Add the ice cold butter chunks to the flour mixture and using a pastry knife cut the butter into the flour mixture till it looks like little peas. Add the currents; toss them into the flour mixture with your clean hands. Add the milk and vanilla extract. Stir with a wooden spoon just till combine. Turn dough out on a flour board. Knead just a few times to make a disk. Flour your rolling pin and roll the dough into a 12 inch rectangle shape. Then fold the dough turn it and roll it again you’re looking for a thickness of a ¼   inch thickness. Use a biscuit cutter to cut the scones. Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Egg wash and sprinkle with sugar. Bake at 400 degrees for 17-20 minutes.

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Fall Tea Party

Invitation to tea
Invitation to tea

I have always enjoyed a good hot cup of tea. My Mom and my Grandmother were Scottish and I believe it was in their blood! My Grandmother came to live with our rather large family when I was about 5 years old. We were a family of seven children Mom and Dad, and Grandma made ten. Our home was very tiny even though it was three stories all the rooms were very small and there was one bathroom to share. Mom and Grandmother always drank hot cups of tea sitting at our kitchen table and talking. I loved the idea of that even at five years old. Mom served us kid’s hot tea in the morning with our breakfast and again in the evening. My love of tea has lasted through the years and I have enjoyed Sitting at my own kitchen table talking to girlfriends over steamy cups of tea and yummy little tea treats. In the year 2000 I had just recently returned to the United States with my own little family from living in England for eighteen months. I met lots of my Scottish relatives. Some live in England and some in Scotland. It was such a wonderful experience that I will treasure forever. After I had settled in to my new home I decided that I wanted to have tea parties for each of the seasons. I started with Christmas it has always been my favorite holiday. I invited my Mom, Sisters, Sister-In-Laws, Aunts, and good Friends. The parties started out with seven that could attend that year. We had the best time preparing the little tea sandwiches, sausage rolls, quiche, and of course lots of little desserts. As the years passed we added tea parties at each of the seasons. By 2013 our little group that started at seven ladies grew to 30. At this point we decided to call the Christmas Tea a Christmas party. My Mom and my Aunt have both passed away and we miss their presence at our teas as well as every day. I have been longing for one of those small teas again so this past weekend I had a Fall Tea Party. I invited my sisters, and sister-in-laws, and my two dearest friends. My sisters Beverly and Carol jean, and my sister-in-law June decided to come the night before for a big girl’s slumber party. We had the best time preparing the food for our tea party. Carol jean brought her favorite Royal Albert china and made a beautiful flower arrangement for the table. Bev, June, and I prepared the food, scones, and desserts. We watched Hallmark movies had a glass of wine and just enjoyed each other’s company. By 2:00 pm the next day the rest of the guest arrived and we had the best tea time ever.

This is  a quilt that June made.
Bev on the left June on the right holding the quilt that June made

Favors I made for the girls
Favors I made for the girls
Carol jean
Carol jean
Carol jean's flowers
Carol jean’s flowers
Our beautiful tea table
Our beautiful tea table
Tea table
Tea table

 

Tea and treats
Tea and treats
Tea and treat time with my girls
Tea and treat time with my girls

Tea Party Menu:

Good quality loose black tea

Freshly baked scones with

Homemade lemon curd

Freshly whipped cream

Strawberry Jam

Mini quiche

Sausage rolls

Spinach balls

Chicken salad tea sandwiches

Cucumber tea sandwiches

Turkey, sharp cheddar, cranberry sauce, with spring mix tea sandwiches

Fall leaf sugar cookies

Millionaire shortbread

Tiny lemon and cherry pies topped with fresh whipped cream

Mini cupcakes in assorted flavors

Chocolate truffles

Wine

I will share these recipes over time with you.

Thanks for stopping by!