Wednesday, March 17, 2010


A few weeks ago my Mother and Cousins went out for High-Tea at our favorite place to have High-Tea; Stonehenge Inn & Spa in Tyngsboro, MA. A beautiful place to be pampered and treated like a queen/king for a day.

The day we went for tea it was bitter cold outside and all we wanted was a nice pot of hot tea to warm us up. As it turned out we sat in the Lounge right next to the fireplace and we knew we were going to have a fantastic day together. It was such a good day I had to share it with all my readers. I waited till now to share this because Stonehenge Inn is one of the restaurants participating in Restaurant Week Boston which has come up upon us again. It does not say it on this link but on the Stonehenge Inn page it gives you information about "restaurant week tea."

Tea is something one must remember that it is NOT to be rushed, and should take a couple of hours to drink, eat and enjoy those with you.

This is what we ordered*:

Finest Earl Grey, Black Tea
Ginger Lemon Herbal Tea
Crimson Berry Herbal Tea
Sencha (Japanese) Green Tea

Tea Sandwiches (choice of three):
Maine Lobster BLT on Brioche
Grilled Asparagus w/ Boursin & Prosciutto on White Bread
Fresh Mozzarella, Basil Pesto & Plum Tomato on Focaccia
Cucumber & Herb Cheese on Multi grain Bread
Smoked Salmon on Rye Bread w/ Herb Creme Fraice

Currant-Raisin Scones w/ Devonshire Cream & Fruit Preserves

Petite Pastries & Tea Cookies

* There are other Teas & Sandwiches to choose from on the menu, these are the ones we chose.

We ate and drank all this and it took about 2 and half hours, and was only $23.00
(Restaurant week $20.10)

It is such a nice "girly" thing to do, with your mother, daughter, sister or best friend ... I definitely have to say this is a must do for those who love to drink tea.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Apple Cinnamon Strudel

I know this is a crazy time of year to be making apple pie, strudel, or anything apple but I seem to be doing a lot of it lately. The apple is such a versatile fruit which seems to be one everyone loves and eats. It is sweet and tart and cooks up very well. And with all the varieties of apples out there why not try them all in baking.

I am not one to follow a recipe to the tee, for I need to tweak everything I make to make it more mine than the one who came up with it. I say all this because I am a huge fan of the magazine Everyday-Food. Not only is it small and easy to keep in a kitchen cabinet for reference, but it has super easy recipes that anyone can make. It becomes a starting point for me and much of what I make. It is also very good at keeping up with the seasons and what you can get seasonally.

With that in mind a couple of years ago in September I fund this recipe and made it for a get together with friends. It comes out so beautiful, and looks like you slaved for hours in the kitchen when it really does not take too much time at all.

This is what I did ...

Apple Cinnamon Strudel
flour for rolling
1 sheet puff pastry
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
6 apples, peeled, cored and sliced
1/2 cup sugar, and more for dusting
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1 egg for wash

Preheat oven 400 degrees

Unfold pastry roll out to 12 x 14 and put on a cookie sheet and chill in fridge

In a large skillet melt butter, add apples, 1/2 cup sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and cook until liquid has evaporated. about 15 minutes and let cool.

Add filling to center of dough. Fold dough over the filling. "Glue" edges with egg wash. Turn over so the seam is on the bottom. Egg wash & sprinkle with sugar. With a paring knife cut out steam vents.

Bake until golden brown 35-40 minutes.


I have made this so many times the only thing that makes this dessert better is a scoop of homemade vanilla ice cream. We perfect to go to Sully's Ice Cream, since it is walking distance from our house. But if you cannot get homemade ice cream and Ben & Jerry's vanilla will be just as good.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Apple Cranberry Popover Puff Pie

The past week had been a bit crazy here at my house for our family is in town for a BIG wedding!!! A very long anticipated wedding, that is one the entire family is looking for. Family is flying in from all over the world staying where ever there is an open place to sleep. With all these people come lots of meals to make and lots of time we are spending together.

Last night we had a family dinner and I was responsible for the dessert. But the BIG question last night was what was I going to make. I knew all I wanted to make was a pie, but what kind to make. Then it came to me ... A Popover Crusted Apple Pie. The recipe is from a Pampered Chef $1 cookbook. (Which is usually what I buy at those parties ... not really a fan of those "house" parties, too much pressure to buy something ... so I usually buy the cookbook and it stays on the bookshelf till years later.)

The one thing I would like to get out in the open while I am on this topic is those cookbooks sponsored or written but companies that sell either food or kitchen tools are NOT my type of cookbook. When someone tells me what tool I need to use to do the job or what processed food I need to cook with ... that takes all the fun out of the kitchen and more on commercialism.

Now that I got all that out of the way let's talk about this Pampered Chef Pie ...

Apple Cranberry Popover Puff Pie
Popover Puff Crust
3 tablespoons of butter
1 cup milk
6 eggs
1 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon salt

Apple Cranberry Filling
1 orange
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1 package of vanilla pudding (not instant)
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground clove
4 firm apples (2 Granny smith apples and 2 Macintosh apples)
1/4 cup sliced almonds, toasted
powdered sugar for dusting

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

Melt the butter, brush the bottom of a deep dish baking dish with one tablespoon of butter.

Whip the milk, egg and remaining butter with a wire whisk. In another bowl mix the dry ingredients; flour and salt. Add to the egg mix and whisk till smooth. Pour batter in baking dish and bake in oven 20 minutes, then reduce temperature to 350 degrees and cook another 10-15 minutes, till puffed and golden brown.

While crust is baking make the filling. Zest the orange, and squeeze the orange, add water to make 1 cup of juice. In a large bowl mix zest, juice, cranberries, pudding mix, and seasonings. Peel, core and slice apples, add to the pudding mix. Microwave on high for 4 minutes. stir gently and microwave again on high for 4 minutes until glaze is thickened. Apples should be evenly covered.

When crust is cooled, pour the filling in the crust. Sprinkle the edges with the almonds and shake powdered sugar over pie.

This is a nice alternative since the crust is more of an egg base than a butter flour mix.