History of High Tea and Tea Etiquette

I found this on an abandoned/ deleted blog. It had been a site for a tea shop and restaurant in Australia. I like the information, so I have saved it.

History of High Tea

Lady Fredericks, the 7th Duchess of Bedford is widely credited as the first to establish the ritual of afternoon tea in the 17th Century to entertain her female guests while the gentlemen attended to the issues of politics and business.

The Duchess recorded details of hosting delightful tea parties to allow women an elegant social opportunity to meet and discuss issues that were usually unsuitable to discuss in the company of gentlemen.

Since this time, the practice of afternoon tea, or high tea as it came to be know in Britain, become a well loved tradition.

For the ladies of the English ‘leisure class’ high tea served a practical purpose of allowing ladies the pleasure of enjoying a delicate meal before attending the theatre or a club.

Today the practice of high tea continues with the modern ‘Lady of  Leisure’ enjoying high tea at bridal and baby showers, gathering with best friends to celebrate hens and birthday parties and sampling delicious cakes, pastries and gourmet sandwiches wash down with finest teas at an elegant surrounding.

Tea Etiquette

Pick up your cup and saucer together – holding the saucer in one hand and cup in the other. The best way to hold a tea cup is to slip your index finger through the handle, up to almost the first knuckle, then balance and secure the cup by placing your thumb on the top of the handle and allowing the bottom of the handle to rest on your middle finger. Hold the cup lightly, by the handle – your pinky doesn’t have to be extended (Contrary to popular belief, the ring and pinkie fingers should not be extended, but should rest by curving gently back toward your wrist). Hold the saucer under your cup while you sip your tea (lest you should spill or dribble).

When stirring your tea, don’t make noises by clinking the sides of the cup while stirring. Gently swish the tea back and forth being careful no to touch the sides of your cup if possible. Never leave your spoon in the cup and be sure not to sip your tea from the spoon either. After stirring, place your spoon quietly on the saucer, behind the cup, on the right hand side under the handle.

Milk is served with tea, not cream. Cream is too heavy and masks the taste of the tea. Although some pour their milk in the cup first, it is probably better to pour the milk in the tea after it is in the cup in order to get the correct amount.

When serving lemon with tea, use lemon slices, not wedges. Either provide a small fork or lemon fork for your guests, or have the tea server neatly place a slice in the tea cup after the tea has been poured. Be sure never to add lemon with milk since the lemon’s citric acid will cause the proteins in the milk to curdle.

The Best-Ever Pancake Recipe: Lofty Buttermilk Pancakes | The Kitchn

Lofty Buttermilk Pancakes

Makes 18 to 20 3-inch pancakes. Serves 4 to 6

2 1/2 cups flour

2 tablespoons sugar

1 1/2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

2 large eggs, separated

2 cups buttermilk

1/2 cup milk

10 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled

Canola or peanut oil for frying

Heat the oven to 225°F and prepare a large baking sheet by setting a cooling rack inside. Place both in the oven.

Whisk the flour, sugar, salt, baking powder, and baking soda together in a large bowl. In a separate smaller bowl, whisk the egg yolks, buttermilk, and milk. Add the melted, cooled butter and whisk until well combined.

Pour the yolk and milk mixture into the flour mixture and stir with a wooden spoon until barely combined. Add the egg whites and stir just until a thick batter is formed. Set aside for 5 minutes.

Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. When hot, film with 1/2 teaspoon of neutral oil such as canola or peanut oil. After about 30 seconds, when the oil shimmers but is not smoking, lower the heat to medium-low and use a soup spoon to drop in heaping spoonfuls of pancake batter.

The batter will spread into a pancake about 3 inches wide. Cook for about 2 1/2 minutes. (If the pancake scorches or the oil smokes, lower the heat.) When the bubbles that form on the edges of the pancakes look dry and airy, use a thin spatula to gently lift one side and peek underneath. If the pancake is golden brown, flip and cook on the other side for 2 to 2 1/2 minutes, or until the bottom of the pancake is golden brown.

Remove from the skillet to the baking sheet in the oven. Scrape any stray crumbs or scraps out of the skillet, add a little more oil, and continue to cook the remaining batter.

Serve as soon as possible, with butter and warm maple syrup.

Recipe Note:

If you don’t have buttermilk on hand, you can use plain yogurt instead. Just use about 2/3 cup and thin it with some milk until it reaches the 1 cup mark. You can also quickly make a buttermilk substitute by mixing 2 tablespoons of lemon juice or white vinegar with 2 cups of milk.

via The Best-Ever Pancake Recipe: Lofty Buttermilk Pancakes | The Kitchn.

Canadian Patriotic Butter Tarts

Found this recipe online but the link was broken to the source site. Tracked it down with the Wayback Machine.Patriotic-Pies

These picnic-ready, personalized pies are a fun food take-away for your guests (now say that 10 times quickly).

You’ll Need

2/3 cup brown sugar

2 eggs

1/4¼ cup butter

1 tsp vanilla

3/4 cup raisins or pecans

1 pie crust, rolled to ½” thickness

8 – 125ml jam jars, washed and buttered

Prep and Cook

Preheat the oven to 400°F.

Combine the butter and sugar and place in a medium saucepan set over medium heat. Add the vanilla and raisins or pecans, and cook until the butter has melted. (This is the filling.)

Beat the eggs and whisk into the sugar mixture, cooking over medium heat for 5-6 minutes or until the mixtures thickens and can coat the back of a spoon. Be very careful not to overcook the filling.

Roll out the piecrust and cut circles of dough with the mouth of the jam jar—2 per jar. Press one into the bottom of the buttered jar, top with filling and cover with the second piece of dough.

Cut a steam vent (small slit) into the top piece of dough, and place all of the pies on a large baking sheet.

Bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until the crust is golden brown.

Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely before placing the lid on the jar.

Decorate with the O Canada Patriotic Pie label and baker’s twine or ribbon.

via Patriotic Pies – SavvyMom.ca.

Making Banana Bread

I’ve got two bananas getting over ripe. I bought them for Zack being out here but he didn’t stay as long as I had planned. I’m not feeling inspired to make anything in the kitchen, but those bananas are only going to get sadder looking by tomorrow.

I found this recipe:

Banana Bread Recipe
Prep time: 5 minutesCook time: 1 hour
Add to shopping list
3 or 4 ripe bananas, smashed
1/3 cup melted butter
1 cup sugar (can easily reduce to 3/4 cup)
1 egg, beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon baking soda
Pinch of salt
1 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour
No need for a mixer for this recipe. Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C). With a wooden spoon, mix butter into the mashed bananas in a large mixing bowl. Mix in the sugar, egg, and vanilla. Sprinkle the baking soda and salt over the mixture and mix in. Add the flour last, mix. Pour mixture into a buttered 4×8 inch loaf pan. Bake for 1 hour. Cool on a rack. Remove from pan and slice to serve.

I’m Making a Candycane Vanilla Sort of Cheesecake Tonight

Simply Recipes has The Perfect Cheesecake and Chatelaine has a Classic Cheesecake recipe. I’ve used these – but mostly just to make sure I didn’t forget anything, like the sugar (I only did it once!).

The Perfect Cheesecake was a bit interesting because they have iced it. I might do the same. I have candycane Kiss chocolates to put on top. The icing might be just the right thing to hold them in place and look prettier too.

Perfect Cheesecake Recipe
Cook time: 3 hours

2 cups (475 ml) of Graham cracker crumbs (from a little less than 2 packages Graham crackers
2 Tbsp sugar
Pinch salt
5 Tbsp (70 g) unsalted butter (if using salted butter, omit the pinch of salt), melted

2 pounds cream cheese (900 g), room temperature
1 1/3 cup granulated sugar (270 g)
Pinch of salt
2 teaspoons vanilla
4 large eggs
2/3 cup sour cream (160 ml)
2/3 cup heavy whipping cream (160 ml)

2 cups sour cream (475 ml)
1/3 cup powdered sugar (35 g)
1 teaspoon vanilla
12 ounces (340 g) fresh raspberries
1/2 cup granulated sugar (100 g)
1/2 cup water (120 ml)

Special equipment needed
9-inch, 2 3/4-inch high springform pan
Heavy-duty, 18-inch wide aluminum foil
A large, high-sided roasting pan

Prepare the crust

1 Prepare the springform pan so that no water leaks into it while cooking.* Place a large 18-inch by 18-inch square of aluminum foil on a flat surface. Place the springform pan in the middle of the foil. Gently fold up the sides of the foil around the pan. Make sure to do this gently so that you don’t create any holes in the foil. If there are any holes, water will get into the pan and ruin the crust. Press the foil around the edges of the pan. Place a second large square of foil underneath the pan, and repeat, gently folding up the sides of the foil around the pan and pressing the foil against the pan. Gently crimp the top of the foil sheets around the top edge of the pan.

2 Preheat oven to 350°F, with rack in lower third of oven. Pulse the graham crackers in a food processor or blender until finely ground. Put in a large bowl, and stir in the sugar and salt. Use your (clean) hands to stir in the melted butter.

3 Put all but 1/4 cup of the graham cracker crumbs in the bottom of the springform pan. (Save the remaining 1/4 cup for if you happen to have any holes that need to be filled in, either while you are making the crust, or after the cake has cooked and you’ve unmolded it.) Gently press down on the crumbs using your fingers, until the crumbs are a nice even layer at the bottom of the pan, with maybe just a slight rise along the inside edges of the pan. Be careful as you do this, as not to tear the aluminum foil. Place in the oven for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool. Reduce the oven temperature to 325°F.
Make the filling

4 Cut the cream cheese into chunks and place in the bowl of an electric mixer, with the paddle attachment. Mix on medium speed for 4 minutes until smooth, soft and creamy. Add the sugar, beat for 4 minutes more. Add the salt and vanilla, beating after each addition. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating for one minute after each addition. Add the sour cream, beat until incorporated. Add the heavy cream, beat until incorporated. Remember to scrape down the sides of the mixer bowl, and scrape up any thicker bits of cream cheese that have stuck to the bottom of the mixer that paddle attachment has failed to incorporate.
Cook the cheesecake

5 Place the foil-wrapped springform pan in a large, high-sided roasting pan. Prepare 2 quarts of boiling water. Pour the cream cheese filling into the springform pan, over the graham cracker bottom layer. Smooth the top with a rubber spatula. Place the roasting pan with the springform pan in it, in the oven, on the lower rack. Carefully pour the hot water into the roasting pan (without touching the hot oven), to create a water bath for the cheesecake, pouring until the water reaches halfway up the side of the springform pan, about 1 1/4 inches. (Alternatively you can add the water before putting the pan in the oven, whichever is easier for you.) Cook at 325°F for 1 1/2 hours.

6 Turn off the heat of the oven. Crack open the oven door 1-inch, and let the cake cool in the oven, as the oven cools, for another hour. This gentle cooling will help prevent the cheesecake surface from cracking.

7 Cover the top of the cheesecake with foil, so that it doesn’t actually touch the cheesecake. Chill in the refrigerator for a minimum of 4 hours, or overnight.
Prepare sour cream topping

8 Place sour cream in a medium sized bowl, stir in the powdered sugar and vanilla, until smooth. Chill until you are ready to serve the cake.
Note that this recipe produces enough sour cream topping for a thick topping and some extra to spoon over individual pieces of cheesecake, if desired. If you would like a thinner layer of topping and no extra, reduce the sour cream topping ingredients in half.

Prepare the raspberry sauce

9 Place raspberries, sugar, and water in a small saucepan. Use a potato masher to mash the raspberries. Heat on medium, whisking, about 5 minutes, until the sauce begins to thicken. Remove from heat. Let cool.
Prepare the cake to serve.

10 Remove the cake from the refrigerator. Remove the foil from the sides of the pan, and place the cake on your cake serving dish. Run the side of a blunt knife between the edge of the cake and the pan. Dorie recommends, and we’ve done with success, that you use a hair dryer to heat the sides of the pan to make it easier to remove. Open the springform latch and gently open the pan and lift up the sides. Spread the top with the sour cream mixture. Serve plain or drizzled with raspberry sauce.

Yield: Makes 16 servings.

Pancake Breakfast Cookie

All the deliciousness of a big breakfast baked into a cookie! This snack by Donna Fier is simply unforgettable.

For more information visit Recipe to Riches!

Preparation time:

Cooking time: 15 minutes

Yield: 30


1/2 cup unsalted butter

1 package bacon (500 g)

2/3 cup packed brown sugar

1/3 cup granulated sugar

3 tablespoons buttermilk

2 tablespoons maple syrup

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 unit egg

1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt


In small saucepan, melt butter over medium heat; cook, swirling pan often, until tan coloured and fragrant with a nutty aroma, about 2 to 5 minutes. Pour into large bowl and set aside to cool slightly.

Meanwhile, in batches cook bacon over medium heat until crisp, spooning off fat as necessary. Drain on paper towel-lined baking sheet. Chop bacon.

Using wooden spoon, stir sugars, buttermilk, maple syrup and vanilla into cooled butter. In small bowl, beat egg until frothy; beat into butter mixture. In another bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Fold into butter mixture along with bacon, just until combined. Cover and chill dough for 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 375F (190C). Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

Shape dough by forming heaping tablespoonfuls into balls; place 2 inches (5 cm) apart on prepared baking sheets. Bake one sheet at a time in centre of oven until puffed and set, about 10 minutes. Cool for 5 minutes on baking sheet; transfer to rack to cool completely.

via Pancake Breakfast Cookie.Pancake_Breakfast_Cookie_001

Canadian Pie-In-A-Jar

This perfectly packaged treat by Mijune Pak pulls in the best of all provinces! Find her foodie blog, Follow Me Foodie.

From Food Network Canada –  Recipe to Riches

Preparation time:

Cooking time: 70 minutes

Yield: 8



1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

1/3 cup marzipan (4 oz/120 g)

1/2 cup cold unsalted butter, cut in cubes

3 tablespoons slivered almonds

1 unit egg yolk

6 tablespoons ice water

Vanilla Custard

1 1/2 cups 35% whipping cream

2 tablespoons maple syrup

unit Seeds from 1 vanilla bean

5 unit egg yolks

3/4 cup granulated sugar


3 unit ripe but firm Bartlett pears

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

1/4 cup packed brown sugar

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon ground cardamom

2 tablespoons cornstarch


1/4 cup granulated sugar



Grease bottom of eight 1 cup (250 mL) wide mouth mason jars. In bowl and using fingertips, blend together flour and marzipan until fine consistency. Work in cold butter until mixture has coarse crumb consistency. Using fork, stir in almonds. Mix egg yolk and ice water; pour over flour mixture and toss with fork just until dough comes together. Gather into a ball. Flatten into a disc. Wrap in plastic. Chill for 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 375F (190C).

Divide pastry into eight equal portions; press one portion firmly into bottom of each prepared mason jar (not up sides). Pierce a few times with tines of fork. Place on baking sheet. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until golden brown. Set aside. Reduce oven temperature to 350F (180C).

Vanilla Custard

In saucepan, heat cream, maple syrup and vanilla bean seeds over medium-high heat until bubbles form around edge of pan and mixture is steaming; remove from heat. In bowl, whisk yolks with sugar until thickened and creamy. Gradually whisk in hot cream mixture. Return mixture to saucepan; cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until custard thickens and coats back of a spoon, about 2 to 4 minutes. Strain through fine-meshed sieve into a bowl. Place piece of plastic wrap on surface of custard. Set aside.


Peel and core pears. Cut into 3/4 inch (2 cm) cubes. In nonstick frying pan, melt butter over medium heat; cook pears until slightly softened, stirring gently, about 4 to 5 minutes. Stir in sugar, salt and cardamom until sugar dissolves. In small bowl, whisk cornstarch into 2 tbsp (25 mL) water; stir into pear mixture and cook until thickened, about 30 to 60 seconds. Divide evenly among mason jars. Pour cooled Vanilla Custard over warm pears, dividing evenly.

Place mason jars in a large shallow baking dish. Add hot water to half way up side of jars. Bake in centre of oven for 25 to 30 minutes or until custard is set but slightly jiggly at centre. Carefully remove from water bath; cool to room temperature. Refrigerate until cold and custard is set, at least 2 hours.


Preheat broiler. Sprinkle each pie with 1-1/2 tsp (7 mL) sugar. Carefully broil until sugar caramelizes. (Alternatively, use kitchen torch.) Serve immediately, or close jars and store in refrigerator. Best served at room temperature.

via Canadian Pie-In-A-Jar.

This one didn’t make it to the final two but the idea is so cute! I think the recipe is a bit complicated. I’d try adapting it to make it simpler and use less fancy ingrediants, like the marzipan and almonds (sometimes almonds give me an allergic reaction, not always though).

White Chocolate Cheesecake


8 oz. melted white chocolate

3 lb. cream cheese

1 1/4 c. sugar

1/2 c. flour

6 eggs

1 c. heavy cream

1 tbsp. vanilla

Grease a 10-inch springform pan. Preheat oven to 300 degrees.

Place cream cheese, sugar and flour in a mixing bowl and cream until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Scrape down bowl and add melted white chocolate. While mixer is running on very low speed, slowly add vanilla and heavy cream, blend well.

Pour mixture into springform pan. Bake for 50-60 minutes or until center of cheesecake is just firm. Cool at room temperature for 1 hour. Refrigerate until set before removing from pan.


1 c. heavy cream

2 c. white chocolate, finely chopped

2 oz. orange liqueur Triple Sec

Place heavy cream in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Pour over white chocolate and stir with a wooden spoon until melted. Add orange liqueur and continue stirring until well mixed. Pour warm over chilled cheesecake and serve.

via Cooks.com – Recipe – White Chocolate Cheesecake.

Russian Cake for Mother’s Day

I’m going to try making this Simple Cake with Sour Cream Frosting for Mother’s Day. I like it because I can still do my decorating idea on top, not using the crumbs as they do in the recipe but my own plan. Plus, it is an overnight cake, the kind that you put in the fridge overnight and it is even better for having the extra time to meld and merge ingredients.


3.5oz of butter. melted
2 eggs
14 oz of sweetened condensed milk (1 can)
0.5 cup of all purpose flour
1-1.5 tablespoons of cocoa powder
1 teaspoon of baking soda
White vinegar, about 1 tablespoon

20-25oz of original sour cream
0.3 cup of sugar

Add eggs to melted butter in a mixer bowl and beat together on slow speed with wire attachement, just until mixed, then slowly add melted butter cooled till room temperature.
Continue mixing until well incorporated.
Mix in sweetened condensed milk.
Turn mixer off. Put a teaspoon of baking sode into bigger tablespoon and sprinkle with white vinegar, then fast pour bubbled soda to the batter.
If there is still soda powder left in the spoon repeat sprinkling it with vinegar until it is all done.
Start mixer on slow speed and slowly mix in all flour, spoon by spoon. Continue mixing until batter is homogenous.
Preheat oven till 350F. Pour about half of batter to the springform greased with butter.
Put springform to oven and bake for 15-20 minutes (start checking it with a wooden toothpick at about 15th minute: pierce it till the bottom, if toothpick comes out clean then light cake layer is ready).
Take springform from the oven (but don’t turn heat off, you will need it again), let it cool a bit, then carefully get light cake layer put and put a side to cool down.
While springform is cooling down, mix about 1 table spoon of cocoa powder to the rest of batter in mixer bowl until well incorporated.
Clean springform with paper towel and grease it again with butter; pour there all of the batter and put springform to the oven.
Bake dark cake layer for 15-20 mins on 350F until ready (again try with wooden toothpick). Then remove springform from the oven and remove cake from the springform; set it aside and let it cool down till room temperature. Now you can turn heat in oven off.
Then cut both cakes in equal halves using a long knife.
Now it is time to prepare frosting. For this pour sour cream into deep bowl and add sugar.
Mix them together until sugar dissolves completely.
Arrange bottom part of dark cake in the middle of the cake stand or big flat plate.
Spread sour cream on the cake layer using frosting spatula.
Piece bottom part of light cake layer with a fork in several places from both sides.
Arrange it over the black layer on the cake stand.
Spread a layer of sour cream on top.
Pierce left part of black cake with a fork the same way you did before with white one.
Put it on top,
And again cover with a layer of sour cream.
Pierce last part of white cake with a fork from both sides and put it on top.
Cover with layer of sour cream again.
Using spatula spread sour cream on the sides of the cake. Remove redundant cream from the bottom of the stand with spoon, wipe stand with paper towel if needed.
Put cake to the fridge for several hours, 6-8 hours are good for layers to soak sour cream. After that is ready, slice it up and enjoy.