Wednesday, May 25, 2011

English Tea Party: Pumpkin Honey Butter

Mary and I never settle for the bare minimum. We knew that butter was necessary for a tea party but did we just grab a tub of I Can't Believe it's Not Butter out of the fridge? No! Did we soften a stick of unsalted and put it on a plate? No! We MADE not one...but TWO different types of butter for this blog. You're welcome.

Pumpkin Honey Butter
1/2 cup softened butter
1/4 cup honey
3 tablespoons canned pure pumpkin
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1. Place the butter in a mixing bowl, and whip on high speed with an electric mixer until fluffy, about 1 minute.
2. In another bowl, stir together the honey, pumpkin, and pumpkin pie spice until well mixed. Add the honey mixture to the butter, and whip on high with the electric mixer until the mixture is fluffy and smooth, about 1 more minute. Chill the pumpkin butter for several hours or overnight to blend the flavors.
If you want, you can look at these Nutrition Facts.

Mary's KitchenAid mixer proved to be our best friend through this process. I would highly recommend one (and if anyone wants to just buy me one...that'd be cool)

We made the butters and the clotted cream the night before. Really late the night before, if I remember correctly. Here's the mixture:

Pretty color, huh? Remember how I said Mary and I never settle for the bare minimum? Yeah. We decided to make little pats of butter instead of just a amoeba-esque, ugly blob. Here's the artist hard at work!

Warning!! This recipe makes a LOT of little pats. We had PLENTY of butter and our pats were big enough for two slices of English Muffin because it's light and airy. Have a lot of people over for this tea party when you do it for yourself =)

English Tea Party: Clotted Cream

Alright, friends. Here's the story. Clotted Cream is delicious. It sounds weird, it looks weird, and it's made in a weird way. All of that aside, it's amazing. I wish I could explain it better than that, but I can't. So, here's what Wikipedia described it as:

"Clotted cream has been described as having a "nutty, cooked milk" flavour,[1] and a "rich sweet flavour" with a texture that is grainy sometimes with oily globules on the crusted surface.[2][3] It is a thick cream, with a very high fat content (a minimum 55% but has an average of 64%) meaning that in America it would be classed as butter.[4] Despite its popularity, virtually none is exported, due to difficulty with its shelf life.[4]"

It's a basic essential for English tea time! Mary made it in a previous post and I had it when I was in England once. So without further adieu, here is the recipe!

Clotted Cream

(Source: Yahoo Answers)
2 parts whole milk
1 part heavy whipping cream

Combine ingredients and heat on the stove at the very lowest setting for 2 hours or until skin forms. Then leave it undisturbed on the stove overnight. In the morning, skim off the skin and its underclots.
For nutrition facts, click here.

Yeah...underclots. For some reason, that just sounds super disgusting. When Mary and I made it, we were skeptical as to if it was edible. We tried it, we liked it! I even put a good amount of it on my English Muffin and I wish we had more of it =(

The last picture is one of our homemade English Muffins with clotted cream and raspberry butter on one side and pumpkin butter on the other side. I hope you're looking forward to future posts! Don't let the strangeness of clotted cream deter you. Try it out! It's really great!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

English Tea Party: Peppermint Tea

"O' peppermint tea -
two delights per sip
as steamy hot as passion
cool as a wintry lake dip
~Astrid Alauda"

You may have guessed it, but maybe not. Mary and I made all the fixins' for a tea party. This post is pretty simple because 1. There's no real recipe for our tea besides teabags and water and 2. There are so many mentions of tea in English literature that I'm not even going to bother putting quotes up.
Now, for most people, "tea time" equals English Breakfast or Earl Grey. For others, "tea" means black tea or green tea. However, Mary and I follow the Word of Wisdom and it discourages against tea that is not considered herbal tea. We chose Peppermint tea and what a good choice it was! Peppermint tea has been my favorite of the herbal teas for years. I would drink it when I was sick from the time I was little until now. It has saved my throat many times during performances and peppermint is just clean and delicious.

In case you aren't sure about making tea, the first thing you'll want is hot/boiling water and the next thing you'll want are tea bags. Mary and I used the peppermint tea from my favorite brand Celestial Seasonings. The longer the tea bags "steep", (To soak in liquid in order to cleanse, soften, or extract a given property from) the stronger the tea. I personally like strong tea so I let my tea bags steep for 3-5 minutes. Usually people add milk, sugar or cream to their tea. Two spoonfuls or "lumps" usually does the trick in mine. You can also add a twist of lemon to bring out the flavor more.

The next bunch of posts will be all about this tea party we had. So let me recommend the following post if you ever plan on having a tea party (and it's SOOOO fun!). It's especially entertaining if you read it out loud in a British accent, adding strange inflection (like anger or sadness).

Enjoy!! We had fun using really old and beautiful china but you can use whatever you like!

Monday, May 2, 2011

Be Prepared

Hello, blog world! It's been a while. I could bore you with my excuses (mission call and preparation, student teaching, directing a high school production, moving back to Wisconsin, my little sister's wedding...) but...oh wait...
Anyway! It's been a while and I deeply apologize. This post is basically a warning. A good warning. A good warning of good things to come. I am currently in California sitting in Mary's living room. We have been baking and preparing all day for our wonderful blog.
Should I tell you what it is? ...Naaaaah. But be prepared to be amazed with multiple posts about multiple amazing dishes and our experience making them.
Have a great daaaaaaay! =)