Friday, July 29, 2016

Strawberry Chicken Salad Tea Sandwiches from TeaTime Magazine


If you are looking for a fabulous summer tea sandwich, 
look no further! Today I'm sharing with you TeaTime 
They are just as pretty as they are delicious!!

My family loved these sandwiches! It's just the perfect blend
of ingredients!! So good and perfect for outside entertaining!!
The recipe is very simple and uses a rotisserie chicken, so
you don't have to worry about cooking!!

Just chop some rotisserie chicken (I just used the white meat)
strawberries, toasted pecans, mandarin oranges, celery and 
green onion. Then make a yummy Poppy Seed Dressing 
using Mayo, champagne or rice vinegar, poppy seeds, and 
a bit of sugar, salt & pepper.

Combine all of these beautiful ingredients and your ready
to make some tea sandwiches! Using your cookie cutters,
make some pretty flower shaped sandwiches or just trim
crusts and slice diagonally!


STRAWBERRY CHICKEN SALAD
TEA SANDWICHES
adapted from here

1 loaf Pepperidge Farm thin white bread
2 1/2 cups chopped cooked chicken (I used the white meat
from a rotisserie chicken)
1 cup chopped strawberries
1/2 cup chopped toasted pecans
1/3 cup chopped celery
1/4 cup chopped green onion
1 (11-ounce) can mandarin oranges, drained & chopped
1 recipe Poppy Seed Dressing (recipe follows)
Garnish:  sliced strawberries

Poppy Seed Dressing:
1/2 cup mayonnaise, such as Hellman's
1 tablespoon champagne or rice vinegar
2 teaspoons poppy seeds
2 teaspoons sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper

In a small bowl, combine all ingredients, cover
& refrigerate until needed. Dressing can be made
a day in advance.

Instructions:

Using a small flower shaped cookie cutter, cut shapes
in the middle of half of the bread slices. Cover with damp
paper towels, or store in a resealable plastic bag to keep
from drying out.

In a large bowl, combine chicken, strawberries, pecans, 
celery, green onion, mandarin oranges, and Poppy Seed
Dressing, stirring to blend. Refrigerate, covered, until cold.

Place approximately 3 tablespoons chicken salad on a slice
of bread without a cutout. Top with a slice of bread with
a cutout. Using a 2 3/4" flower shaped cookie cutter, cut
out a shape from the middle of the sandwich. Repeat 
with remaining bread and chicken salad.

Using the small flower cookie cutter, cut shapes out 
of outsider slices of strawberries. Place one shape on
top of each sandwich.

Sandwiches can be made earlier in the day, covered
with damp paper towels in an airtight container, and
refrigerated until serving time. Garnish sandwiches
just before serving.


Your guests are gonna love these tea sandwiches!!
Make sure you have the recipe to give out!!
Thanks so much for visiting!! xo!!



Monday, July 25, 2016

Baking Day: Double Coconut Biscotti


I have a delicious Biscotti recipe to share with you today!
It's crispy, it's crunchy, it's coconutty and perfect for 
dipping into a cup of hot tea or coffee!

Biscotti is so easy to make and there are so many options!
Once you find the recipe you love, you can just change out
the ingredients for different variations. Next time I make 
these coconut biscotti, I think I'll add some chopped
macadamia nuts! Yum!!

All you do is mix the dough, divide it into thirds, then 
pat it into logs on a floured work surface with floured
 hands. Bake for 30 minutes, let cool for 15 minutes, 
then slice into 1/4"-1/2" slices. Bake again for 20 
minutes, turning them over halfway through.

Once the biscotti have cooled, dip each cookie into melted
Candy Melts, then into shredded coconut. I like to use
shredded unsweetened coconut because it's so finely 
shredded and I just like that look!

Melting the Candy Melts in the microwave is easy, but at
that point it's pretty thick.  To thin it out, all you have to do
is add a bit of shortening, which makes dipping so
much easier.

If you prefer to use white chocolatehere is a step-by-step 
tutorial so that you don't do what I did and scorch a beautiful 
bag of white chocolate chips in the microwave!!


DOUBLE COCONUT BISCOTTI

2 cups all purpose flour
3/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups sweetened coconut (I used Baker's)
3 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract (or coconut extract)
1 bag of white Candy Melts
1-2 tablespoons shortening
1 1/2 cups finely shredded coconut (I use this)


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, 
whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder and 
salt. Stir in coconut.

In a small bowl, (or mixer) beat the eggs and vanilla,
then add (or mix using lowest speed on mixer) the
 flour mixture. 

Knead the dough on a lightly floured work surface
until smooth. Divide dough into thirds and shape 
into logs about 3" wide by 7" long.

Place logs on a parchment lined baking sheet, 3" 
apart and bake for 30 minutes.  Transfer to a
wire rack to cool - about 15 minutes.

Using a serrated knife, thinly slice the logs
crosswise, about 1/4" thick. Lay the slices on
parchment lined baking sheets. Bake until crisp
and lightly golden, rotating baking pan and turning
biscotti over halfway through. 20 minutes total.
Remove from oven and cool completely.

Place the Candy Melts into a microwavable safe
bowl, along with a tablespoon (or more) shortening
 and melt according to package directions. Dip
top/bottom/side of biscotti into mixture, then dip
immediately into shredded coconut. Place on a
parchment lined baking sheet to harden, or into
the refrigerator to speed up the process.
Makes approximately 5 dozen.



If you love biscotti but have never made it before, you
should give it a try! It's really very easy and so great 
for gifting!!

Monday, July 4, 2016

Fruit Tarts with Homemade Pastry Cream


Don't you just love all the pretty summer fruits & berries?!
I know I do!! Today's recipe uses some of those luscious
fruits on mini tarts filled with homemade pastry cream!!

Fruit tarts are perfect for Fourth of July parties, especially
the mini tarts that you can just pick up and go! These
are very easy to put together, and using the ready made
tart shells makes them look so professional!!

Pastry Cream is so delicious and takes just a few minutes
to make. Since it does need to chill before use, I usually
make it the day before I need it.

The recipe calls for 6 egg yolks, which will leave you with
6 egg whites. Instead of tossing them, I always make 
Meringues with mine! They're easy to make and after 
piping them, just sprinkle them with some patriotic 
colored sprinkles!

The best way I found to fill the tart shells is with a
piping bag. If you don't have one, you can always use
a sandwich bag. Just fill the bag with pastry cream, seal,
 then snip off a tiny bit at a corner and fill the shells. This 
goes so much quicker and with less mess!


I found some nice ripe cantaloupe and thought I'd like to 
use that in my fruit tarts as well. So I cut the melon in half, 
scooped out the seeds, cut slices about 3/4" deep then cut 
out shapes using my tiny flower shaped cookie cutter!
The color is so pretty!


I buy whatever fruit looks the best that day, wash and pat it
dry and arrange it by twos or threes depending on the size.
To give your tarts a professional look, brush fruit with 
some melted and strained apricot preserves or apple jelly.


FRUIT TARTS
WITH HOMEMADE PASTRY CREAM

2 boxes mini tart shells
berries/fruit of your choice
pastry cream
apricot preserves or apple jelly


PASTRY CREAM:
2 cups milk
1/2 cup white sugar DIVIDED
6 egg yolks
4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
pinch salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Place the milk and HALF the sugar in a
saucepan over medium heat. Combine the egg
yolks and remaining sugar in a bowl and whisk
until light in color. Add the flour and salt, mix to
combine.

When the milk just begins to boil, remove from heat.
Very slowly dribble the hot milk into the yolk mixture,
stirring all the time. When about half of the milk has
been added, place all of the yolk mixture into the 
saucepan over medium heat. Using a spatula or a
whisk, mix the pastry cream as it heats, making sure
to reach all of the corners of the pan while stirring. 
Bring the mixture to a boil. Let boil for about one
minute, stirring constantly. The mixture will be thick.
Remove from heat and add the butter. Strain if you
wish for a smoother cream. Place into a bowl and
cover directly with plastic wrap to stop a skin from
forming on the cream. Chill and use within a few days.
**Recipe can be halved.

Place shells on a baking sheet, fill with pastry cream,
arrange fruits on top, brush with jelly and chill until
needed. Makes 32 tarts.


These are a perfect treat for any Patriotic party!!
Happy Fourth to all my American followers!!



Monday, June 27, 2016

Tea Room Cherry Blue Chicken Salad

There used to be a Tea Room in Roswell, Georgia called Mittie's 
that was known for their Cherry Blue Chicken Salad. I only 
visited once, but have never forgotten this yummy take on
chicken salad! With the Fourth of July holiday approaching
I was thinking about a tea menu using the colors red, white
& blue and remembered this chicken salad!

This yummy chicken salad includes blue cheese dressing, 
dried cherries and walnuts. Even if this sounds a bit unusual
and you aren't crazy about Blue Cheese, you should give it a
 try! You might just find a new favorite chicken salad recipe!

I also wanted to share a favorite vintage tablecloth with you! I adore
this little tea cloth with it's cheery colors and cherries! It also came 
with 4 matching napkins! Since it had the colors I was looking for
and had a cherries theme, I thought it would be perfect for my tea!
Here's today's tea menu! The Toffee Crumble Scones are 
wonderful! The recipe can be found here! I'll share the
Fruit Tarts recipe on my next post! 

I seasoned the chicken tenderloins and using my grill pan, I grilled
them about 4 minutes each side. I always err on the side of caution
and would rather over cook a bit than undercook!

Next I cut the chicken into small pieces… mixed
all the ingredients together….
and scooped the chicken salad onto some pretty Red Bibb
lettuce. If you'd like a little more blue in your chicken salad,
just add some fresh blueberries!!

Served it with some yummy Strawberry Tea….

and used my vintage cherry napkins!


CHERRY BLUE CHICKEN SALAD
(my version)

1 pound chicken tenderloins
Montreal Chicken seasoning (or your own favorite)
1/2 cup blue cheese dressing (I used Ken's)
1/2 cup mayonnaise
3 tablespoons sour cherry jam
1 cup diced celery
1 cup dried cherries
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1 teaspoon Montreal Chicken seasoning

Lightly coat grill pan with oil and preheat. Season
chicken tenderloins with Montreal Chicken seasoning 
and grill until it's cooked through, about 4 minutes per
side. Cut chicken into bite sized pieces and chill.

In a mixing bowl, combine the blue cheese dressing,
mayonnaise, celery, dried cherries, walnuts and
seasoning. Gently stir in the chicken. Chill to blend
flavors. 

TO PLATE: scoop some chicken salad into a large 
cookie scoop and press it in with your fingers in 
order to have it keep it's shape after releasing. 
Release chicken salad onto a pretty piece of Red 
Bibb Lettuce. I then took another scoop and 
placed it on top of the first scoop for a large enough 
portion. To finish I placed some sliced fresh cherries 
on top and sprinkled with additional chopped 
walnuts. I also placed 2 fresh cherries on the side.
Makes approximately 9 servings.


CHERRY BLUE CHICKEN SALAD
Mittie's Version

1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breast
Spike seasoning blend or salt & pepper
1/2 cup blue cheese dressing (owner
recommends Marzetti's Organic or
Newman's Own)
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup blue cheese crumbles
1/2 cup diced celery
1/2 cup dried cherries
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1/2 teaspoon celery salt or 
1 teaspoon lemon pepper seasoning

Lightly coat the grill grate with cooking spray and
preheat grill. Season the chicken breast with Spike
seasoning blend (or salt & pepper) and grill until it's
cooked through, about 4 to 5 minutes per side. Cut
the chicken into bite-size pieces and chill.

In a mixing bowl, combine the blue cheese dressing,
mayonnaise, blue cheese crumbles, celery, dried cherries,
walnuts and seasonings. Gently stir in the chicken.
Chill to blend flavors.


Hope you enjoy the recipe and will stop back by for some
pretty fruit tarts on my next post!! 

Thanks for visiting!!
Today I'm joining Bernideen's Tea Time Blog Party! Pop
over for some great ideas!


Wednesday, June 22, 2016

STOP!! Don't Toss that Chickpea Liquid!! VEGAN Meringues!

Did you know that the liquid drained from a can of garbanzo beans
 (aka chickpeas) can be whipped into a beautiful vegan meringue?! 
When I came across Alton Brown's recipe for Magical Mystery 
Meringues, I was blown away!!

  Aqua is Latin for water and faba is Latin for bean.  Aquafaba is
liquid drained from a can of garbanzo beans, and this liquid can be
whipped and used as a replacement for egg whites!! No way, you
say? Oh yes!! I tried it and was absolutely amazed!! It really
works and behaves like egg whites and what I made with mine
was perfect vegan meringues!!

When you make these be sure to use the low salt or no salt 
Garbanzo beans. The first time I made these I only had a
can of salted Garbanzos, and being eager to try this recipe
I went ahead and used them but they were really too salty!
(but I ate them anyway!!!)

The directions for these meringues are just like making
them with egg whites. Beat together the ingredients in
the order listed and pipe or dollop onto a parchment 
lined baking sheet. The hardest part is waiting on them
to slowly bake!!


AQUAFABA MERINGUES
adapted from here

Liquid from 1 15oz can garbanzo beans (chickpeas) -
(low salt/no salt recommended)
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup sugar

Heat oven to 200 degrees F and line 4 half sheet pans
with parchment paper. 

In the bowl of a stand mixer using the whisk attachment
beat aquafaba liquid and 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar on
medium speed until foamy - about 2 minutes. Gradually
add in the sugar one tablespoon at a time followed by
the vanilla. Increase speed to high and beat to stiff peaks.
(this takes about 6 minutes.)

Place meringue mixture in a piping bag fitted with
your favorite tip - I used Ateco tip #849 - and 
pipe into quarter sized rounds. (mine were 
more like half dollar size) Bake for 1 1/2
hours. Remove from oven, let cool for 5 minutes
and place in an airtight container. The amount 
you get depends on the size you pipe - I got 
approximately 160 cookies.

If you'd like to know more about the science of Aquafaba, just



Saturday, June 18, 2016

Pimiento Cheese Tea Sandwiches

Are you one of those people who have never tried
homemade Pimiento Cheese? I was…then one day
I made some myself and was hooked!! Since then I've
made these tea sandwiches for lots of tea parties and
they always get rave reviews!!
All you need are 4 simple ingredients - sharp cheddar cheese,
mayo, green onion and a jar of pimientos!`Simply combine
ingredients and your ready to go!!

Spread on thinly sliced bread, trim crusts and slice into
triangles or use your favorite cookie cutter to make pretty
shapes! Either way the results will be delicious!!



Homemade Pimiento Cheese Tea Sandwiches

8 oz block of sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
1/3 cup-1/2 cup mayo
2 tbsp finely chopped green onions
3 tbsp chopped pimiento peppers (from jar)
(drained)
Combine all ingredients and spread on Pepperidge 
Farm thinly sliced white or wheat bread. Slice 
crusts off and cut diagonally into 4 small triangles,
or using cookie cutters of your choice, cut out
bread shapes as desired.



This Pimiento cheese is also excellent on crackers!!
So very yummy and a great addition to your summer 
entertaining!!



Saturday, June 11, 2016

Cream Tea Scones with Blackberry Whipped Cream


Today I want to show you how to turn a plain scone
into a really pretty treat that looks fancy but is so easy!
I used King Arthur Flour's recipe for Cream Tea Scones,
baked them in a mini bunt pan, and filled them with 
Blackberry Whipped Cream!

I have a passion for "pretty baking" and am always trying
to turn my baked goods into little works of art for the 
Tea Table! I was really happy with how these turned 
out!
The baking pan that I used can be found here or you can use
your muffin pan. You won't get the design at the top
but it will still be pretty! 

I rolled out my dough to 3/4" then using my large cookie
scoop (1 3/4" wide) as a cookie cutter I punched out 12 circles, 
re-rolled the dough and got 4 more, 16 total. (You can use a 
cookie cutter instead.) Then I pressed the circles into my lightly 
greased pan that had been sprinkled with some sparkling sugar. 
(The sugar is optional)
The filling is easy peasy and goes together in 1-2-3!  Carefully
slice scones in half and place on a baking sheet. Whip ingredients
together and spoon or pipe onto bottom halves, then replace top 
halves. Pipe or spoon a bit more of the filling onto the top
halves and decorate each with a blackberry!
These are the perfect scones for an early summer tea party
and look so pretty served on some lovely vintage plates!

BLACKBERRY CREAM TEA SCONES

For Scones:

3 cups unbleached all purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 to 1/3 cup granulated sugar, to taste
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/3 to 1 1/2 cups heavy or whipping cream
coarse white sparkling sugar

For Filling:

1 cup heavy whipping cream
1 tablespoon powdered sugar
1/4 cup seedless blackberry jam


Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. 
Lightly grease bundt/muffin pan and sprinkle each cavity
with coarse white sugar if desired.
Whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar.
Sprinkle the vanilla over the dry ingredients, then drizzle 
in the cream, tossing and stirring gently all the while and
adding just enough to make a cohesive dough. There 
shouldn't be any dry flour in the bottom of the bowl, but
the dough shouldn't be particularly sticky, either.
On a lightly floured work surface, roll out dough to
3/4" thickness.

Using a large cookie scoop like you would a cookie 
cutter, punch out circles of dough and place into 
prepared bundt pan. Press gently into each cup.
For best rising, place the pan of scones into the 
freezer for 15 minutes. Bake the chilled scones for
14-15 minutes until they are starting to brown.
Remove scones from oven and let cool in pan for
5 minutes, then remove to a cooling rack. Makes
16 scones.

While the scones are cooling prepare the filling:
Into a chilled bowl with chilled beaters place heavy
 cream and powdered sugar and beat until you get stiff 
peaks. On slowest setting, beat in blackberry jam just 
until combined. Place filling in a large piping bag fitted 
with a star tip.

Slice cooled scones in half, pipe desired amount of
filling on bottom half, replace top half, pipe a pretty
swirl of filling on top and garnish with a blackberry.

Place these on the tea table and prepare for 
ooooohs and aaaahs!
So yummy and delicious!! Enjoy!!
Today I'm linking with Bernideen's Tea in the Garden.