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Guest Post- Three Little Halves Meyer Lemon, Cornmeal And Olive Oil Cake With Rosemary Glaze

I am honored to know and call Aleksandra a friend, she is the author of the gorgeous blog Three Little Halves. I met her several years ago on Food52 and was immediately mesmerized by her delicious recipes and then I saw her blog and was literally blown away with the beauty and artistry of her photographs and illustrations, her writing is lyrical and engaging and speaks of family and history and travel and her recipes are delicious and creative and literally make you want to make them immediately. Read a little about her accomplishments, she is a James Beard Foundation nominee, her blog was a finalist for Savueur Magazines Blog awards, her blog is named as one of the top 100 for 2015  by Inspired. She has also won many contests on Food52 and has numerous Wildcard Wins and Community Picks. Oh, yes, I also should add that she is a brilliant Scientist by avocation. This uber talented and accomplished woman is one of the nicest people you will ever meet, and before I introduce Aleksandra, Queen Sashy, I  want to thank her for being so kind and I am humbled and grateful for her friendship and support. I also want to thank her for making this cake, a nod to my recipe, which she made her own and took to another level with her wonderful additions and photographs.

Everyone meet Aleksandra…



It gives me a great pleasure to contribute this post to Suzanne’s blog…

Four years ago, I stumbled upon a gorgeous photo of plum and mozzarella salad on Pinterest, or maybe it was on Facebook, I do not quite remember anymore. It took me to a place called Food52 – an awesome little corner of the Internet where home cooks got together to exchange recipes, chit-chat, ask questions, debate and learn. And compete — that’s the part they all liked a lot! I joined and Food52 became my virtual playground, a kitchen family so to speak. As it happens most of the time in the world of the World Wide Web, one does not get to see one’s cyberspace buddies, just their avatars — oftentimes their pets or plants they like to grow — and one gets to know them by their semi-real names (meet emilyC and drbabs), the causes they champion (hello healthierkitchen and Greenstuff), their favorite foods (nice to meet you Brussels Sprouts for Breakfast, sexyLAMBCHOPx and gingeroot), or what they excel at (yup, that’s boulangere). I often catch myself trying to imagine how my kitchen comrades look, wondering who they are in real life, what they do, or what kind of person they might be. Sometimes, their comments and answers on the hotline add a trickle of information. Some folks are chatty, some are serious and to the point. There are the funny ones, the polite ones and the fact checkers. Those who like to brag a little, and those who know what they are talking about. The opinionated, the passionate, the informed… And the ones with a big heart. That’s about the first thing that comes to mind when you meet sdebrango on Food52. The ones with a really, really, really BIG heart. That’s about the first thing that comes to mind when you meet Suzanne in real life.

Suzanne does not brag and it might take a thing or two — a glimpse at her profile, a walk through her recipes, a tour of her blog — to realize what an extraordinary cook she is. She is the kind of cook you trust, the kind of cook you would like to have cooking for you every single day. Suzanne’s recipes are about honoring good food and good ingredients, and about feeling good. I had the privilege to cook for Suzanne when she organized Food52 potlucks in her Brooklyn home — it’s a privilege and responsibility, because you know you are cooking for a mighty good cook. Writing a guest post for Suzanne’s blog kind of makes you feel the same, and when she asked me to contribute, I caught myself wondering. What to cook? Which recipe to share? One of my favorite Food52 recipes is Suzanne’s citrus and semolina olive oil cake; it’s a poor man’s dessert one might find somewhere on the Mediterranean coast, a simple thing, yet a slice of it feels like a piece of sunshine on the plate. I made the cake many times, citruses and olive oil are a combination I love, so perhaps, I thought, a tiny tribute to it, an homage so to say, would be a way to give back and honor a great recipe, a magnificent cook, and most of all, a wonderful person.



Meyer Lemon, Cornmeal and Olive Oil Cake with Rosemary Glaze

This cake will really benefit from a good olive oil and Meyer lemons. Needles to say, when Meyers are not in season, you can always use plain good old lemons. I also like to play with different combinations of citruses and herbs, such as grapefruit and mint, lime and lemon thyme, and orange and lemon verbena.

for the cake

* 1 1/4 cup all purpose flour
* 1/2 cup stone ground cornmeal flour (I used Bob Red Mills)
* 1 tsp baking powder
* 1/2 tsp baking soda
* 1 tsp kosher salt

* 3 large eggs
* 1 cup full fat Greek yogurt
* 3/4 cup fruity extra virgin olive oil
* 3/4 cup granulated sugar
* zest of two Meyer lemons
* 3/4 cup lemon juice (juice of two Meyer lemons)

* a little bit of butter and extra flour for greasing and flouring the pan

for the glaze

* 1 cup granulated sugar
* 1 cup water
* 3-4 sprigs of rosemary


* 9 x 5 inch loaf pan

Heat the oven to 325F convection (350F regular).

In a bowl mix together all purpose flour, cornmeal, baking powder, baking soda and salt.

In a small bowl, whisk the eggs gently.

In a large bowl mix yogurt, olive oil, sugar, lemon zest and lemon juice. Add the eggs to the yogurt mixture and stir until combined. Add the dry ingredients into the mixture, and stir gently, until fully combined. Be careful not to overwork the batter.

Grease and flour the pan. Pour the batter into the pan and bake for about 50 minutes, until cake is golden and toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Leave the cake in the pan for about 15 minutes, and then take it out and place on a serving plate.

While the cake is in the oven, make the glaze. Combine water, sugar and rosemary in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally, and boil until sugar is completely dissolved. Remove the saucepan from the heat, and let it stand, covered, for about 30 minutes to an hour.

While the cake is still warm, pour the glaze all over it. Wait for a while until the cake absorbs the syrup and repeat once more. (You will have some extra syrup left.) Serve the cake warm, at room temperature or cold, with the remaining syrup on the side.

meyer lemon cornmeal and rosemary cake-3


Lamb Pot Pie With Saffron Pastry


Pot pies are such wonderful comfort food, chicken or beef or vegetables, they are all good. A savory pie with flaky pastry and a thick rich filling is a mealtime favorite. For a little creative touch I infused the water for the pastry with a generous pinch of saffron; The lamb stew is full of tender chunks of lamb, onion, carrot, parsnip, sweet potato and peas and the flaky saffron infused pastry is delicious when combined with the stew. This recipe made 4 small but deep pot pies. I used 2 small ramekins and 2 small coquettes.

The pies are delicious, baking them you can smell the fragrant saffron and lamb stew, it’s wonderful and the saffron in the pastry is subtle but you know it’s there. I am bringing these little gems to a party, I pretty much start my weekend on Thursday because I must go to Throwback Thursday, it’s so much fun, then I high tail it to Fiesta Friday. The life of a party girl.

Pie Crust

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour

1/2 cup cake flour

1 tsp salt

6 oz cold unsalted butter cut into tbs size pieces

4 tbs cold leaf lard or vegetable shortening

1/2 cup ice cold saffron infused water

See the saffron

See the saffron

Put a generous pinch of saffron in 1/2 cup warm water. Let infuse for at least an hour in the refrigerator, it will be a vibrant yellow.

Whisk the flour and salt. Add the butter and lard or shortening and cut into the flour with a pastry cutter or your hands until it resembles crumbs, there will be small pea size chunks of butter. Thats a good thing. Add the saffron water and mix to combine, Divide into 2 disks and wrap in plastic. Refrigerate at least an hour or overnight,

Lamb Stew

1 1/2 lbs lamb stew meat

1 onion chopped

2 small or 1 large carrot cut into bite size pieces

2 sprigs fresh thyme

A handful of Italian flat leaf parsley chopped

1 clove garlic smashed

1 small parsnip peeled cut into bite size pieces

1 cup halved cherry tomatoes

1 tbs tomato paste

1 small sweet potato or yam peeled and cut into small pieces

1 cup red wine

approximately 2-3 cups stock or water

1 cup frozen peas

salt and pepper to taste

In heavy bottom pan or dutch oven saute the onion, carrot and parsnip in a little olive oil. Remove from the pan and sear the lamb, add the onions back into the pan and add the tomato paste and garlic clove, cook the tomato paste with the meat and vegetables until it caramelizes approximately 2 minutes. De glaze with the red wine and add enough water or stock to just barely cover the meat, add the thyme and parsley and bring to a boil, cover and reduce temperature to medium and cook until sauce is thickened about 1 1/2 hours. Add the sweet potato and cook until tender, approximately 30 minutes, at the end add the peas and cook for another 15 minutes. The stew should be thick with very little liquid. Let come to room temperature and refrigerate overnight. Before spooning into the pies remove the thyme and garlic clove.

Ready to bake

Ready to bake some egg wash and flaky sea salt on the pastry

Making the pot pies.

Roll out your pastry and place bottom crust in your bowl or pie plate, I like to make individual pies. Add the cold stew and cover with top crust, cut a vent in the center, brush with egg wash and sprinkle with a little sea salt. Bake at 375 degree’s until nicely browned and bubbly. Serve immediately.

pot pies just out of the oven

pot pies just out of the oven


Rustic Italian Rolls For Fiesta Friday #105


This is not exactly conducive to dieting, I have been baking bread, a lot of bread lately. the good news is I give away some and freeze some. One recipe of The Solitary Cooks rustic Italian bread makes 3 medium size loaves, boules or batards. With this batch I made 2 boule and 8 sandwich size rolls. Just a hint, once I make the dough and it proves at room temp I put it in the refrigerator for 48-72 hours, believe me,  this is a good thing, the bread develops incredible character and flavor. I also stagger the making of the bread. I made the 2 boule yesterday and the rolls today. I have never gone more than 72 hours in the refrigerator but I can’t imagine it would be bad to even give it an extra day. Building character is a good thing.

2 Boule

2 Boule

The rolls are perfect sandwich size, or would be a generous dinner roll. Because they are portable and delicious and who doesn’t like bread I thought I would bring them with me to Fiesta Friday #105. This week Angie’s co hosts are Lily @ Little Sweet Baker andJulianna @ Foodie On Board. Hope to see some (or all) of you there and bring a dish, it will be fun. Guaranteed!!

I am giving the link to the recipe which I have done many times, Cynthia, The Solitary Cook gives amazing, explicit instructions on how to make this bread also including a link to her instructions on making the preferement or biga and I want you to go to her site and read it. She is amazing.

gorgeous rolls

gorgeous rolls


Whole Grain Waffles

Handsome waffle maker

Handsome Breville waffle maker photo from Williams Sonoma website

I procrastinate, a lot. I have been wanting to get a new waffle maker for about a year or more but thought I would wait for old one to die, it didn’t but was producing some pretty sorry waffles. I threw caution to the wind and took the plunge. I bought the Breville Smart Waffle maker, and I am really glad I did. It’s wonderful and I have been making waffles for a couple of days now and having a lot of fun experimenting with different recipes. I love how nice and thick the waffles are, uniformly cooked and crisp on the outside, very tender on the inside. This is not a sponsored post by the way, I bought and paid for it this is entirely my opinion and I was not coeerced.

Today I made some whole grain waffles using spelt, oat and almond flour primarily. The waffles are really good, very light and flavorful and I feel pretty good about eating one. A little fresh fruit and drizzle of honey or maple syrup, some butter and you have a nutritious start to the day. I adapted the recipe for Classic Waffles that came in the instruction book.


Whole Grain Waffles

Made 9 waffles

1 cup spelt flour

1/2 cup oat flour

1/2 cup all purpose flour

1/3 cup almond flour

1 tbs baking powder

1 tsp kosher salt

1/4 cup organic sugar (can adjust more or less or use honey or coconut sugar)

1 3/4 cup milk (almond milk would be nice also)

3 large eggs

5 oz butter melted

1 tsp vanilla

Add the flours, baking powder, salt and sugar to medium size mixing bowl. Whisk to combine and make a well in the center. In another bowl beat the eggs with a whisk, add the milk, melted butter and vanilla. Pour the wet ingredients into the center, whisking while p0uring. Don’t over mix, there may be a few small lumps, thats ok. Let the batter rest while your waffle maker heats. Follow manufacturers cooking instructions. Enjoy!!

IMG_0266 IMG_0318

A Trio Of Bruschetta


I participate in a cooks collective headed up by Sonal from simplyvegetarian777, you all know Sonal. She will ask those that participate in this Facebook event to come up with a recipe and link it to the Facebook page. This time, since the Superbowl is around the corner she asked us to prepare super bowl appetizers or snacks. This was right up my alley since lately I have wanted food that is simple to make, takes very little time to cook, is snack size and delicious. I have made multiple loaves of this Rustic Italian Bread, I wrap it and freeze it and it is just as good as the day I bake it after some time in the oven to crisp and thaw.

There is really no recipe here, I am sure you have all had bruschetta, so simple to make and you can have an endless variety of toppings.. I made three different types all taking almost no time at all to prepare. They are wonderful as a starter or even a meal. You can make the tomatoes and squash and pesto ahead of time and refrigerate, I like to do that because putting these together will be quick and simple. There is really no recipe for this you can make them as you like and to suite your taste. The Super Bowl challenge must be vegetarian or vegan, this is a meat free zone. I love the idea of bruschetta with varied ingredients and flavors.

The Bruschetta

Ricotta, roasted tomato and basil

Parsley,basil,garlic and pine nut pesto with tomato, shaved parmigiana drizzled with balsamic vinegar

Oven roasted butternut sqush with sage and ricotta drizzled with honey..

You will need the following:

Start with a loaf of good rustic, peasant bread

Garlic 2 cloves – 1 for the pesto and the other to rub on the bread

olive oil

sea salt and pepper

Tomatoes – enough for oven roasted and sliced on top of the pesto

herbs, I like basil and parsley and dried sage for the squash


Cheese, romano and parmigiana

butternut squash cut into bite size pieces.


pine nuts-toasted

Pre heat oven to 375. Toss the butternut squash with olive oil, sprinkle with dried sage and season with salt and pepper. Roast in the oven for 30 minutes. You can roast the tomatoes at the same time. Cut in half and drizzle with olive oil, season with salt and pepper takes approximately 30 minutes in the oven.

Make your pesto: In the food processor add a handful of Italian flat leaf parsley a couple of basil leaves, a clove of garlic, toasted pine nuts and grated cheese. Process until it’s chopped and then add 1/4 cup olive oil while the processor is running.

rustic italian bread

rustic italian bread

Slice your bread in approximately 1/2 inch thick slices diagonally.  For the ricotta and roasted tomato and pesto bruschetta rub the bread lightly with a clove of garlic, brush with olive oil, sprinkle with the tinest amount of salt and place in the broiler just until it starts to toast, don’t let it get dark. Spoon some ricotta on a slice, arrange some roasted tomato, sprinkle some grated cheese and return to the broiler for a minute or so, just to heat it, it will get a little browned on top. Before serving drizzle with olive oil and place some basil leaves on to garnish.

Spread the pesto on the bread, add some sliced tomato and shaved parmigiana, drizzle with olive oil and balsamic vinegar.

For the Butternut Squash bruschetta, spread some ricotta on a slice of bread, place some of the roasted squash on top and place in the oven on broil for about a minute just to heat it and get slightly browned. To serve drizzle with some honey and sprinkle a few flakes of sea salt and some ground pepper.

More Bruschetta ideas

More Bruschetta ideas





Chicken And Vegetable Roast For Fiesta Friday #104

Chicken and vegetables

Chicken and vegetables

This was a quick meal I made for yesterday’s dinner using what I had on hand, this really isn’t a recipe, you know how it is when you don’t really know what exactly to make and start putting things together.  I used boneless skinless chicken breasts, red micro potatoes, shallot, baby orange, red and yellow peppers, cherry tomatoes and garlic and before serving finished it with a parsley/garlic/lemon gremolata of sorts. Because I used boneless skinless breasts I made everything separately rather than roasting the vegetables in with the meat the entire time. You have to be careful how long you cook those breasts as they can dry out rather quickly and I wanted the vegetables to brown and caramelize. You can change the vegetables to suit your taste, add some spice if you like, harissa would be delicious, use chicken with skin and bones if you like. The whole meal took me about an hour and a half from start to finish and because I did most of it in the oven I didn’t have to babysit a pan on the stovetop.

For a change I thought I would bring a main course rather than dessert to Fiesta Friday. Join in, bring a dish and remember to link to Fiesta Friday, Angie’s old blog The Novice Gardener is no more it’s all in one place now. Angie and her lovely co hosts this week are  Mila @ milkandbun and Hilda @ Along The Grapevine

See you at the party!!!

Chicken and vegetable roast

Serves 3 or 4

3 boneless skinless chicken breasts

1 lemon

3 small cloves garlic smashed

12 micro potatoes cleaned and cut in half

6 baby peppers of assorted colors halved, seeds and membranes removed

12 cherry tomatoes cleaned and cut in half

1 shallot cut in half

1 cup chopped parsley

Pre heat the oven to 375 degree’s. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper and place the tomatoes, peppers and shallot, drizzle with olive oil, season with salt and pepper and roast in the oven for 30 minutes. Remove and set aside. Place another sheet of parchement and add the potatoes, drizzle with olive oil, season with salt and pepper and roast for 30 minutes. Set aside.

Heat oven to 425 degree’s. Rub the chicken with olive oil, season with salt and pepper and thyme. Heat cast iron skillet or heavy pan on stove top, get it good and hot. Add some olive oil and the chicken breasts, sear until lightly browned. Remove from heat source. Add the garlic cloves, squeeze half a lemon onto the chicken, cut the lemon half in two and throw in the pan. Roast the chicken for 15 minutes remove from the oven, and take the lemon quarters and garlic out of the pan, set the garlic aside and discard the lemon, (NOTE: If there is a lot of liquid or oil in the pan remove all but a few tablespoons before adding the vegetables) add the potatoes and other vegetables and arrange arround the chicken breasts. Return to the oven and roast for another 15 minutes, the internal temperature of the chicken breast should be 165 degree’s. While the chicken and vegetables are in the oven chop the parsley, cut the soft garlic and add, squeeze the juice of the remaining half lemon on and season with salt and pepper.

When ready to serve, garnish with the parsley mixture.

Guest Post-Curried Eggplant Steaks With Chickpeas From Simply Vegetarian777

A picture is worth a thousand words…. it really is and all you have to do is look at the pictures for these incredible recipes and words become insignificant. My very dear friend and fellow blogger Sonal from Simply Vegetarian777 graciously agreed to do a guest post and I was thrilled that she said yes. I admire her so much, her skill in cooking, writing and photographing and her kindness. I have mentioned before how she has sent me spices. I follow her on FacebookPinterest  Twitter @simplyveg777 and on Instagram ( simplyvegetarian777). I am constantly amazed at her talent. I also have to note that she does a series of posts with Diabetes friendly meals every Thursday, I have sent some to my Mom and it inspired her to change her diet. Sonal you are amazing thank you so much and take it away my dear….

Curried Eggplant Steaks with Chickpeas


It’s a great honor for me to do a guest post for Suzanne. She is such a great support system to me and to many others who are connected to her via blog. Her approach and enthusiasm towards food is unmatchable.

I think I first met her through fiesta Friday, over an year ago, and since then I have been spoiled by her through her ever encouraging comments and constant presence. Thank you Suzanne for being there. I really appreciate it :).


I was very confused as to what to bring for a guest post for her blog. I wanted to create a dish which was Indian origin but at the same time, something which has an international appeal and an easy to implement recipe.

Curried Eggplant Steaks with Chickpeas

Curried Eggplants


Kitchen Equipments Required

A non stick or hard anodized pan, chopping board, knife, flat spatula, small bowl


Eggplant – 1 large
Oil – 1 tbsp
Turmeric – 2 fat pinches
Red chili powder – 2 fat pinches
Cumin powder – 2 fat pinches
Dry mint – 2 fat pinches (optional)
Salt – 2 fat pinches


1. Mix turmeric, red chili powder and salt together in a small bowl.
2. Wash and cut the eggplant in 4-5 thick and long slices.
3. Sprinkle and rub the spice mixture on both sides of the eggplant slices.
4. Heat oil in the pan. Place the slices in the hot oil. Reduce the flame to medium. Cook from both the sides for approximately 2&1/2 to 3 minutes each till tender and slightly crispy.
5. The Curried Eggplant Steaks are ready.


Serve these with the Quick and Easy Chickpeas Curry.

Chickpeas Curry


Kitchen Equipments Required
A sauce pan with lid, stirring spoon, chopping board, knife, blender.


Chickpeas, boiled – 1&1/2 cups. I used 1 can.
Onion – 2 tbsp, chopped
Tomato – 2 medium
Ginger – 1 small piece
Garlic – 1 big pod
Oil – 1 tsp
Coriander powder – 1/2 tbsp
Turmeric powder – 1/4 tsp
Red chili powder – 1/8 tsp
Cumin powder – 1/2 tsp
Garam Masala – 1/2 tsp
Salt to taste
Cilantro leaves for garnish
Water – 1 cup


1. Add tomato, onion, ginger and garlic to the blender. Purée it fine.
2. Heat oil in the pan. Add the purée and all the spices to the pan. Reduce the flame to the medium low.
3. Cover with lid and let the purée cook till all the water is evaporated and it thickens.
4. Add the boiled chickpeas to the sauce along with 1 cup of water. Mix them well. Cover with lid again and cook till it thickens again.
5. Garnish with cilantro leaves.

Serving Suggestion

1. Curried Eggplant Steaks can be served as is and taste great as snack.
2. The chickpeas curry can be served with rice or naan.
3. The eggplant steaks and chickpeas curry can be served as a complete meal along with some warm basmati rice.

I hope you had a good time reading the recipe. I had a great time creating it for all of you :).


Chocolate Orange Cream Tart



The lastest contest at Food52 is all about tarts, Your Best Tart to be exact, I have to say that making pies and tarts is something I love doing,  I put my thinking cap on because I wanted to come up with a recipe that was a little different and creative.  Buttery pastry with an assortment of fillings whether sweet or savory is comfort food at it’s best IMHO. I was already in the cream or curd mode after making the scones so I whipped up another batch just using oranges and tangerines, it has substance from the addition of cream cheese which give a little tang also, the crust is adapted from Martha Stewarts recipe for Pate Sucré.  The combination of chocolate and orange has always been one of my all time favorite flavor combinations so I covered the orange cream with a ganache gently flavored with orange thanks to the addition of Grand Marnier. A simple whipped cream garnish and some candied orange zest make this a lovely dessert.

I know I posted this already but I decided to bring my little tarts to the party, Fiesta Friday #103 the big event Angie is hosting and her lovely co hosts this week are two of my all time favorites  Your co-hosts this week are Sonal @ simplyvegetarian777 and Petra @ Food Eat Love. YAY!!!

Makes 9 inch tart or 6 tartlets
Pate Sucré
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup sugar
8 ounces cold unsalted butter cut into pieces
3 egg yolks from large eggs
3 tablespoons heavy cream
Orange Cream
6 egg yolks from large eggs
1 1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup freshly squeezed orange or tangerine juice
4 teaspoons orange zest divided
1/2 cup unsalted butter
4 tablespoons cream cheese softened
4 ounces dark chocolate
4 ounces milk chocolate
1 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon Grand Marnier or orange liquor
Tart Crust-Put the flour, salt and sugar in the food processor, pulse to combine, add the butter and pulse until it resembles fine crumbs. Add the egg yolk and cream and pulse until the dough comes together, it will be shaggy but thats ok, test it by pinching a piece and if it holds together it’s fine. Divide in two, press into disks and refrigerate for an hour. Pre heat the oven to 375, line tart pan or tartlet pans, prick with fork and place in freezer for 30 minutes. Place a piece of parchment in the tart pan or pans and pour in pie weights or beans. Bake 20 minutes remove the parchment and weights and place back in the oven for another 10-15 minutes until golden brown. Cool on rack.
Orange Cream-Zest the fruit and juice and set aside. In mixing bowl add the egg yolks, sugar and a pinch of salt. Beat with hand held mixer until creamy and light. Whisk in the juice and 2 tsp of zest and pour into sauce pan. Cook at medium low heat stirring constantly until the sugar has melted and it’s hot to the touch. Now add the butter one piece at a time stirring constantly until the butter is melted. Place thermometer in and continue cooking until it reaches a temperature of 175 degrees. Remove from heat. Pour through a sieve into a bowl or large measuring cup, add 1 tsp of orange zest stir to combine and cover with plastic that sits directly on top of the curd, allow to come to room temperature then refrigerate overnight. Pour the chilled curd in the blender with the cream cheese and the rest of the orange zest and blend until thick and creamy. Spoon into container and refrigerate until ready to use.
Ganache-Heat the cream to scalding, chop the chocolate and place in mixing bowl, pour the hot cream over the chocolate and let sit for 5 minutes. Stir until smooth, add the liquor and stir. Let the ganache come to room temperature stirring frequently. Place in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes to thicken a bit you want the ganache to be thick but still pourable.

Assembling and serving:
tart shell or shells
orange cream
whipped cream and orange zest to garnish
Spoon the chilled orange cream into the tart shell filling the shell halfway. Pour the ganache on top of the orange cream and return to the refrigerator where it needs to chill for at least 4 hours or overnight. Serve with a dollop of whipped cream and some candied orange zest.


Cranberry Orange Scones


For years I was challenged when it came to making biscuits or scones then I found this recipe on Food52. These scones are absolutely delicious, no one and I mean no one makes scones like my friend Liz Larkin, the Scone Lady of Pound Ridge. I adapted her brilliant recipe for Royal Wedding Scones, using cranberry and orange rather than blueberries. These scone are light, fluffy, moist and delicious and were perfect with some homemade devon cream (because I can’t find it anywhere I made it) and some of the mixed citrus curd.   Some of these scones  are for my British (Welsh) friend David Prosser/Barsetshire Diaries, who never fails to entertain and amuse with his lovely blog posts every week. I hope you like scones David because I made some for you.

As long as I was making scones, for the Tea Room and for David, I thought it would be nice to bring some to Fiesta Friday as well. Angie is hosting party number 102 and her co hosts this week are Elaine @ foodbod and Julie @ Hostess at Heart, this will be a great party, join in, bring a dish and have fun!!

Cranberry Orange Scones

Adapted from a recipe by Liz Larkin, aka Mrs Larkin, aka the Scone Lady

1 1/2 cups frozen cranberries

1/3 cup packed brown sugar

2 1/2 cups all purpose flour

1 tbs baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

6 tbs cold unsalted butter cut into tbs size pieces

1 large egg

1 cup cold heavy cream

zest of one small orange or tangerine

1 tsp vanilla extract

Add the cranberries and brown sugar to the food processer and pulse until some of the berries are broken up and mixed with the sugar. Remove and set aside, clean and dry the bowl of the processor.

Add the flour, salt and baking powder and pulse 2 or 3 times to combine. Add the butter and pulse until it resembles crumbs. Pour into a mixing bowl. In measuring cup add the cream, beat in the egg, vanilla and orange zest. Pour into the mixing bowl and stir to combine with a fork, the dough will be shaggy, don’t over mix it, it’s ok if it’s not cohesive.

Prepare your work surface by scattering some flour and dump the dough onto it. Bring it together gently with your hands lightly patting it into a circle. Cut into 6-8 slices depending on how large you like your scones. Line a sheet pan with parchment and put the scones on about an inch apart. Place in the freezer and keep them there at least an hour you want the scones to be completely frozen. When they are frozen,  you can either bake all or some. Store in ziplock bags separated by parchment until ready to bake.


To Bake: 

Pre heat oven to 425 Degree’s. Remove the scones from the freezer and place on parchment lined baking sheet. Brush with cream and sprinkle sugar on them. Bake for 20-25 minutes until golden brown. Enjoy with butter, cream, jam or curd and a nice cup of tea.

To make the Devon Cream I simply combined, cream cheese, sour cream or creme fraiche and heavy cream until it’s soft and spreadable.

So good!!

So good!!




Guest Post And 4 Year Blogging Anniversary

Four years ago today I hit the publish button and posted my first blog post. It was scary and exciting and honestly I had no idea what would come of it.  I am so thrilled to still be blogging and very happy to have met all of you amazing and wonderful people and I want to thank you for reading my posts, offering your kindness and support and inspiring me. This post on the anniversary of hitting that publish button is a slight departure from my usual food posts, oh. there is still food involved but I  wanted to do something a little different, a bit daring and fun.

I am honored that Teagan Riordan Geneviene has agreed to do a guest post today.  I also want to thank my friend at Hocuspocus13 for agreeing to help me with this post, she created a recipe for a very special tea  (I made it and its delicious, I read about the flowers/herbs and they are incredibly good for you as well)  I think it’s the perfect addition to our meal in the tea room. Thank you, and now I am handing it over to Teagan….

Hello everyone.  I’m happy to meet you!

From my first visit to A Pug in the Kitchen, it has ranked at the top of my list of favorite blogs.  Interesting commentary, photos, easy to follow instructions, and delicious food — I was hooked.  So when Suzanne asked me to do a guest post there was no way I was saying no.  Even better, it became more of a collaboration than a guest spot.atonement-video-cover-copy

After my regular, real world job, I’m an author of fantasy fiction.  My blog is called Teagan’s Books.  My current novel in progress is actually book-2 in an urban fantasy series that began with “Atonement, Tennessee.”  The title is the name of my fictional town where supernaturals secretly live among the residents of this seemingly quaint town.  (Book-2 will be called Atonement in Bloom.) I told Suzanne about a few different settings in the series that would involve food.  She picked a locale that was new for book-2, Adelle’s Attic Tearoom.

What I’m sharing with you is more of a snippet than a story.  It’s a scene with two minor characters in the novel.  I think it’s fun to get to know the characters who only play a small role.  I hope you enjoy it.

Adelle’s Teapot — Features from Atonement TN

Copyright © 2015 by Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene

1924 Good housekeeping 2 girls tea

The inventory notes Annie recorded were part of an ancient list, passed down through the Metatron clan.  For the most part, the older theitem, the more power it held.  The kind of power varied widely.

The Mirror of Truth and Justice Most Poetic could show one’s true self.  The mirror could be playful, cryptic, devilishly mischievous, or brutally honest.  It almost seemed to have a mind of its own.  In age and in power, that mirror ranked about mid-way on the inventory list.  Annie shuddered to think of the havoc she had known the mirror to wreak.

She kept many of the items hidden in plain sight in her antique shop.  It had been easy enough to steer Ralda Lawton away from a special quilt.  Ralda, the new owner of the Sunhold estate, did not need that star design quilt, but someone else would.  However, the brass Bed of Dreams was meant for her.  The bed wasn’t strong in power, but it was effective.

ad 5 Oclock TeaAnnie looked down at the ancient list.  Something glowed through several layers of paper.  She knew the glow came from the script identifying a very old item.  The glowing writing meant an item awakened.  Her hands shook as she leafed through the pages to the very beginning of the catalogued inventory.

The teapot.  Annie took a shuddering breath.  It was simple and unassuming looking, but the teapot was the oldest item listed in Annie’s inventory notes.  It was also arguably the most powerful.  Because of its unique properties the teapot had always been kept separate from the other items.  Adelle, Annie’s sister was the teapot’s custodian.  It was safely tucked away in the attic of the Victorian house that was Adelle’s tearoom and home.

A brew had not been made from that teapot in living memory.  But what else could awaken the pot but the alchemy of water, heat, and the right combination of herbs, flowers, and leaves?

“No Adelle,” Annie muttered as she put away the ancient ledger.1937 Look Shirley Temple Santa tea

Annie ran out of her shop, the door banging shut behind her.  Her platinum hair shone in the moonlight.  She skidded around the corner and ran down the town square.  Annie stumbled to a stop.  She gazed at the night sky in open mouthed astonishment.

Above Adelle’s tearoom the sky shimmered in a golden aura.  When Annie looked farther up into the sky, she saw an even more astonishing sight.  The entire town of Atonement rested unaware beneath five columns of light pillars.  The columns of light pulsed through the clouds.

“Adelle,” Annie gasped.  “What have you done?”

With a hand to her chest, Annie continued toward her sister’s home.  She fell going up the front porch stairs.  As she righted herself, Annie saw that the front door stood open.  Then she realized that every door and window in the Victorian house was wide open.

“My God, Annie!  Are you all right?” Adelle exclaimed as she helped her sister to her feet and guided her inside.

Annie allowed her sister to guide her, gasping for breath and shaking with fright, to the kitchen table.  There Adelle poured a cup of tea.  Annie turned horrified eyes from the teacup to her sister.

1940s Home Notes Girl tea party“Oh don’t be silly,” Adelle chastised.  “It’s not from that teapot.”

Annie took a sip of the tea her sister pressed upon her.  She took a bite of cake or scone or some baked treat that would ordinarily have been delicious.  However it might as well have been cardboard in her mouth.  Without even realizing what she was doing Annie crumbled the rest between her fingers never looking at it.  She stared blindly out the kitchen window into the darkness, too stunned to process the thousand thoughts in her mind.

“Why in heaven’s name would you let the teapot awaken?” Annie finally asked.

“It couldn’t be helped.  I needed to talk to our grandfather,” Adelle replied.

“That wouldn’t be difficult for you,” Annie said.  “Why would you use the teapot for that?”

Her sister’s mouth curved to that self-satisfied, cat-with-a-bowl-of-cream smile that Annie knew all too well.

“Which grandfather,” Annie asked, closing her eyes and bracing herself for the answer she already knew was coming.

Adelle pursed her lips then made a reluctant, sardonic grimace.  “The one quite a few times removed.  Maybe a few hundred times.”1905 Sunday Mag Tea Woman steam kiss

Annie groaned and dropped her head to the kitchen table, her pale hair falling to cover her face.  Forehead against the polished wood, she rocked her head side to side.  Finally she looked up at her raven haired sister.

“Tell me this is not happening,” Annie pleaded hoarsely.

“It really couldn’t be helped, Annie.  I had to consult Enoch,” Adelle said apologetically.

“What could possibly be that important?” Annie demanded.

The sardonic twist left Adelle’s mouth.  She looked into her sister’s eyes, coldly serious.

“Cailleach Bheur,” Adelle said.  “Beira the Crone.”


As you can see, my odd little imaginary town has its quirks.  I hope you enjoyed this little visit to Atonement, Tennessee.




Dazzle Tea

Dazzle Tea

DAZZLE TEA- Recipe by Hocuspocus13
2 parts red clover blossoms
2 parts rose hips
1 part chamomile flowers
1 part peppermint leaves

tea by these leaves
herbs and water it weaves
a brew so warm
it would awake a storm
teapot time to be reborn

tea time

tea time in Atonement at Adelle’s Attic Tea Room



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