Posted on 28 August 2008 by fruittart
For Tartlet 2′s tea party last week, she was to bring a tea setting and a napkin ring. Since we didn’t have any napkin rings on hand, I went to my sewing/crafting stash and we were able to produce this, a ‘found art’ project. The actual ring is the cardboard center of a ribbon spool (top and bottom paper pieces removed). Then, using my hot melt glue gun, I covered it with a piece of silky fabric (a leftover from a Civil War era dress my mom made *9* years ago!), tucking the edges of the fabric over the cardboard and into the inside of the spool and gluing it in place. Around the top and bottom I glued a piece of lace edging and covered the straight edge with ribbon. Then I used the same ribbon to make a bow and glued it to the center of the spool, using the ribbon rose to hold it in place. Finally, we added extra roses to the ends of the ribbons. Tartlet 2 didn’t use the glue gun much, but helped direct the project. She thought it looked nice with a napkin with a Battenburg lace corner. The placemat you see in the photos was a handwoven gift from my Mom’s friend about 16 yrs ago.
Filed under: Kids, Party, Table Decoration | Leave a Comment »
Posted on 26 August 2008 by fruittart
As promised, I’m back to tell you about the other scone I made for Tartlet 2′s Tea Party. I hesitate to call this a scone as it does not have a traditional texture at all. It is soft and tender, almost like a snack cake rather than a scone. This recipe was modified from the same one I used for the lime currant scones but you can see how a small difference in sugar and cream and the use of fresh fruit in place of dried makes a large difference in final texture. That’s why I think it’s important to understand the role each ingredient plays in final product — for example, sugar provides moisture as well as sweetens so if you want to reduce sugar, make sure you add some moisture or your reduced sugar product will be dry and dissatisfying, conversely adding extra sugar changes the texture too, etc.
Tartlet 2 and the younger set much preferred these softer, moister scones to the lime currant scones. The leftovers were disappearing throughout the afternoon and I was not the only one nibbling!
Lemon Blueberry Scones
1 3/4 c. flour
1/4 c. sugar
2 1/2 t. baking powder
1/4 t. salt
6 Tbsp. cold butter
3/4 c. fresh blueberries, washed and dried
1 Tbsp. lemon zest
1 egg, beaten
6-7 Tbsp. heavy cream
Heat oven to 400 F.
Mix flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in medium bowl. Cut in butter until mixture resembles fine crumbs. Toss blueberries in dry mixture to dredge. Whisk together egg and 6 Tbsp. cream and stir into mixture until dough leaves the sides of the bowl, adding more cream if necessary.
Turn dough onto lightly floured surface; knead lightly 6-8 times. Divide dough in half and roll out to 1-inch thick circles. Cut into wedges. Place on parchment lined baking sheet leaving space for them to spread; brush tops with milk. Bake 10-12 minutes or until golden brown.
Filed under: Breakfast, Kids, Muffins and Quickbreads, Party | Leave a Comment »
Posted on 25 August 2008 by fruittart
Today Tartlet 4 is 4 years old. (It’s also Grandma’s birthday, but we generally don’t announce her age, even when she’s halfway around the world.) For the girl who is all princess, we had a little princess party, complete with a cake from the Grocery bakery. One of THE highlight of a grocery trip is getting to look at the cakes and, oh, what a treat when your birthday finally arrives and you get to pick one out for yourself! It’s so much more special than having Mom make one; we can have that any day. And, although I’m sure it’s more expensive, it bothers me less when the kids just eat a little bit of the frosting and toss out the rest of the cake when I purchased it than when I’ve slaved over it for hours myself. Win, win! It was a pretty small group, but it was just perfect because all they really want to do is play together, which works out better when it’s not a madding crowd. Our tradition is that on your birthday, you get to pick the restaurant for dinner out. Tartlet 4 chose McDonald’s. Dad was thrilled — at least, I think that gagging sound was him trying to contain his joy . . .
Filed under: Cake, Kids | Leave a Comment »
Posted on 22 August 2008 by fruittart
Tartlet 2 has joined an American history club for girls aged 6-9. This semester they are studying the Victorian era and launched their first meeting with games, a craft, and a ‘tea’ party. (Tartlet 2 informed me that it was literally a ‘lemonade party’ and a distinction should be made!) Each girl was asked to bring a tray of refreshment to share, so I wanted to make something that fit the style but updated to suit smaller taste buds. Because our girls like the orange scones at Panera, especially the frosting, I made a lime currant scone with lime frosting and I made them small so the girls could have a taste but not be overwhelmed given a dozen options to put on their plates.
These have a biscuity texture and the lime flavor comes through very nicely. Lemon curd was overkill for these scones, and they were better without it. The other scones on the platter are a lemon blueberry version I made. I adjusted this recipe slightly and it made a much softer, almost cake-like scone that was more popular with Tartlet 2. I’ll write about it later.
Lime Currant Scones
1 3/4 c. flour
3 Tbsp. sugar
2 t. baking powder
1/4 t. salt
6 Tbsp. cold butter
1/2 c. currants
2 tsp. lime zest
1 egg, beaten
generous 1/4 c. heavy cream
Heat oven to 400 F.
Mix flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in medium bowl. Cut in butter until mixture resembles fine crumbs. Stir in currants and lime zest. Whisk together egg and cream and stir into mixture until dough leaves the sides of the bowl, adding more cream if necessary.
Turn dough onto lightly floured surface; knead lightly 6-8 times. Either roll out dough about 1-inch thick and cut or shape into 1 1/2-inch circles. Place on parchment lined baking sheet. Bake 8-10 minutes or until golden brown.
Makes 20 mini scones.
1 Tbsp. oil
1 c. powdered sugar
lime zest, if desired
Mix together all frosting ingredients until smooth and desired consistency is reached. Spread on scones.
Filed under: Kids, Muffins and Quickbreads, Party | 2 Comments »
Posted on 15 August 2008 by fruittart
We were planning to visit our 5 acre lot to water our baby trees and burn some yard waste, and I didn’t have the ingredients on hand for the mandatory assemblage of S’mores that is associated with our bonfires. Tragedy!
But I had lots of mini M&M’s and mini marshmallows leftover from banana split/ice cream sundae making last week, so I was sure I could come up with something that would at least contain the two most important ingredients of S’mores — chocolate and marshmallows. The cracker is there just to keep your hands from becoming *too* gooey!
In the Tase of Home Baking Book, a gift from my mom, there was just the thing — Fun Marshmallow Bars. The only modifications I made were to use mini M&M’s and I used almonds instead of peanuts. The kids love the rich marshmallow top. I think I could come up with a better brownie recipe for the base, but this works. Calorie for calorie, I think I’d prefer to have a bowl of ice cream, but if you want a kid pleaser and something that’s simple from the pantry, this is a decent dessert.
Fun Marshmallow Bars (from The Taste of Home Baking Book)
1 pkg devil’s food cake mix
1/4 c. butter, melted
1/4 c. water
3 c. miniature marshmallows
1 c. M&M’s
1/2 c. chopped nuts
In a large mixing bowl, combine the dry cake mix, butter, water and egg; mix well. Press into a greased 9×13 pan. Bake at 375 F for 20 minutes.
Sprinkle with marshmallows, M&M’s, and nuts. Bake 2-3 minutes longer or until the marshmallows begin to melt. Cool on a wire rack. Cut into bars.
Filed under: Brownies & Bars, Chocolate, Cookbooks, Dessert, Kids, Quick and Easy | 2 Comments »