Thursday, December 30, 2010

Tea Carts

I love tea carts! 
I have two vintage tea carts. 
The one in the top photo is a traditional drop-leaf style. 

My  vintage tea cart above has "pull-out" serving extensions.

This tea cart is a family heirloom and belongs to a neighbor. 
Yes, I snap photos of tea carts wherever I happen to be with my camera!

Monday, December 27, 2010

Christmas Gift: A Vintage Sadler Teapot

The #2 daughter, Laurel, and family gave me this pretty vintage Sadler teapot for Christmas. 
Thus far, I haven't found the name of the floral pattern.  Any ideas?

Above: SIL, KJ, and Laurel

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Merry Christmas from Kentucky

Merry Christmas! 
I hope you have a safe and happy holiday. 

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Christmas Tea Village

I began collecting Christmas Village Tea Shops about 15 years ago.
I continue to look for tea shops and accessories.  This year GJ set it up for me in our "tea room."
Won't you come in from the cold and join me for a nice cup of tea?

Monday, December 20, 2010

Making New Family Christmas Food Traditions

 Every Christmas season, my mother made Cranberry-Orange Bread (above). 
The recipe is on the Ocean Spray Cranberry package.
She also made thumbprint cookies with jam in the center.  Yum! 

Aunt Mary made Kentucky Jam Cake and a fruitcake-style cookie. 
During her last years, she also made a cold-oven traditional pound cake.
I always made a variety of cookies, Mexican Wedding Cookies, Chocolate Crinkles, Snickerdoodles, decorated Sugar Cookies and more. 
The #2 daughter, Laurel, has taken over the family Christmas Cookie baking with her daughter, KJ.

A few years ago, after the passing of my mom and aunts, I decided to begin a new Christmas food tradition, rather than trying to duplicate their recipes.

At Christmas,  I make a traditional pound cake and serve it with peppermint ice cream. 

I'm not yet allowed to lift more than one pound with my right arm, so, this weekend when the #1 daughter, Melissa, and her family visited for our an early Christmas celebration.  She made the delicious pound cake in the photo above.  It is delicious, and the family enjoyed peppermint ice cream served with it.  

The recipe below is different from pound cakes I have made.   This recipe was given to Melissa  a few years  by her friend, Brandi, from Alabama. 

You will need a heavy-duty stand mixer with a 4 quart bowl and paddle attachment for this recipe.

Classic Southern Two Step Pound Cake

4 cups all-purpose flour
3 cups sugar
2 cups butter, softened (we used unsalted butter)
3/4 cup milk (we used whole milk)
6 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1.  Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  Place flour, sugar, butter, milk, eggs, and vanilla (in that order) in a 4-qt. bowl of a heavy-duty electric stand mixer.  Beat at low speed 1 minute, stopping to scrape down sides.  Beat at medium speed 2 minutes. 
2.  Pour into a greased and floured 10-inch (16-cup) tube pan.  Smooth top with a spatula.  Bake at 325 degrees for one hour and 30 minutes or until a long wooden pick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Cool in pan on a wire rack 10 minutes.  remove from pan to wire rack, and cool completely (about one hour). 

Note:  For you recipe book collectors, I found Melissa's recipe in the Southern Living 2010 Annual Recipes book  on page 96.


Saturday, December 18, 2010

Snack Mix for the Holidays

Yesterday AJ helped me make our first batch of "Party Mix" for the holiday season.  We are awaiting the arrival of daughter # 1 and her family today.  And, this snack mix is a must! 
I make a tweaked version of the recipe my mother made every Christmas for many years.  I include Corn Chex, Rice Chex, Wheat Chex, Cheerios, Pretzels, Mixed Nuts, Butter, Worcestershire Sauce, Garlic Salt, Onion Salt and Celery Salt.  Bake this at 250 degrees for one hour.  Stir every 15 minutes to coat the cereal mixture with the butter mixture.  Let it cool and watch it quickly disappear! 

My daughter, Melissa, posted the recipe on Stockpiling Moms.  I taught SIL, Tim, how to make it when they visited over the weekend.
Do you have a family tradition of making a favorite holiday snack?  Please share.

Monday, December 13, 2010

It's A Snow Day!

No school today because of snow!
We had 4 to 5 inches of snow with drifts up to 2 feet. 
Tonight's low is predicted to be 8 degrees. 
That's very unusual for Kentucky weather before Christmas, compared to recent years.
Schools are closed all across Kentucky.  AJ and I are enjoying a day inside.   

Friday, December 10, 2010

Tea Time Tree 2010

Thanks to GJ and AJ, my Tea Time Christmas tree is up.  
I have been collecting these tea-themed ornaments for nearly 20 years. 
We set it up on the tea cart in our little tea room this year.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Rosina Yuletide Teacup Trio

This teacup trio is one of several Rosina China trios in the Yuletide pattern I collected over time on ebay and other sources.  
I am joining Miss Spenser's Blog today for Teacup Thursday.    
Take a look at the other teacups being featured today.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

More Tea With Santa

I received this fun reindeer teapot in a Christmas gift exchange a few years ago. 
It sits on our kitchen table ready for tea time with two jolly Santas.   
Harney and Sons Hot Cinnamon Spice Tea is a favorite at this time of the year.  

Monday, December 6, 2010

Santa Is Ready for a Cup of Christmas Tea at Our Home

We decorate our house at Christmas in traditional red and green. 
What are your favorite holiday colors?

The stockings (and KJ) are awaiting Santa's arrival. 

Thanks to AJ and GJ, the family Christmas tree is up and decorated. 

Sunday, December 5, 2010

A Little Snow and A Lot of Fun!

AJ and KJ had a blast in the little bit of snow that fell this weekend in Kentucky. 
It was unseasonably cold, but that didn't keep these two inside. 
They were ready for a nice cup of hot tea when they came in. 

Friday, December 3, 2010

A Magazine to Keep

The January/February issue of Tea Time Magazine arrived in my mailbox yesterday.  

Among the nice articles and lovely photos, is a feature about a valentine tea with step-by-step instructions on how to create some of the food items, including how to make the strawberry baby cakes on the front cover. 

Although I haven't always agreed with the "technical tea information" in every issue, the publication has improved in that area over the years. 

I have subscribed to Tea Time since the beginning and I keep every issue handy for tea party and menu ideas and inspiration. 

If you are a tea lover, I suggest you pick up and copy and enjoy!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

A Cup of Christmas Tea

It is time to start thinking about enjoying "A Cup of Christmas Tea." 

I am counting down the days (2 more weeks) until I can take this constricting shoulder/arm sling off, due to rotator cuff/shoulder surgery, and drink a nice cuppa with my right hand. 

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