Category Archives: Recipes

Classic English Cookbooks. Bon Appétit!

Classic English Cookbooks. Bon Appétit!

Do you love cookbooks? What about ones that were written over 200 years ago? If classic French cuisine or Medieval feasts with venison or traditional English fare appeals, then I have just the cookbook(s) for you! The following are the biggies from the Georgian Era and before. In each instance, the books are in the… Continue Reading

Christmas Blogs, Recipes, & More!

Christmas Blogs, Recipes, & More!

Over the years I’ve written a wealth of blogs for the Christmas season. Rather than re-post any of them, I’m providing links so you can pick which ones are of interest. Here goes!   Christmas History~~ Dunder and Blixem? : Delving into the origins of ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas. Deck the Halls With Boughs… Continue Reading

Hot Chocolate Garnishes

Hot Chocolate Garnishes

Nothing wrong with a dollop of whipped cream or mini-marshmallows floating atop a steaming mug of hot chocolate. But for something a bit more exciting or unique, here are a few ideas to WOW your holiday guests and thrill your kiddies. When necessary, recipes are included or linked to, although in most cases the garnish… Continue Reading

Rainbows of Hot Chocolate

Rainbows of Hot Chocolate

The word “chocolate” automatically conjures the image of bars/chunks in ranging shades of brown. Then we remember there is white chocolate and food coloring. From there the possibilities are almost endless! With rainbow colors come a rainbow of flavors too.                         Continue Reading

Hot Chocolate with “Spice”

Hot Chocolate with “Spice”

Want your hot chocolate with a bit of kick to it? There are several ways to bring zing to an old standard. Variations for the over 21 crowd are myriad, essentially hot chocolate or hot cocoa cooked the desired way and then “spiked” with one’s preferred alcohol. Possibilities include: bourbon, Kahlua, rum, whiskey, brandy, vodka, Bailey’s Irish… Continue Reading

French Hot Chocolate

French Hot Chocolate

French Hot Chocolate – called le Chocolat Chaud – is distinguished from traditional hot chocolate in that it is much richer and thicker, and less sweet. True French hot chocolate is always made from brick chocolate, the higher the cacao percentage the better, and never from cocoa powder. The texture is velvety smooth, a true “death by… Continue Reading

Hot Chocolate: A History

Hot Chocolate: A History

We are entering the cold weather where cuddling up by the fire with a steaming mug of something warm, such as hot chocolate, is an evening favorite. So here is a short history of this delicious beverage. Between 3,000 and 4,000 years ago, cacao plants were first cultivated in Mesoamerica by the Olmec, living in… Continue Reading

Isabella Mary Beeton

Isabella Mary Beeton

Isabella Mary Mayson is best known by her married name: Mrs. Beeton. She was born in Cheapside, London on March 12, 1836. Her father, Benjamin Mayson, died when she was four, leaving her mother Elizabeth pregnant and with four young children. Three years later Elizabeth married Henry Dorling, a widower with four children of his own. The blended family, which… Continue Reading

Negus and Ratafia

Negus and Ratafia

Negus is the name of a drink made of wine, most commonly port, mixed with hot water, spiced and sugared. This mulled wine, created by Colonel Francis Negus (d.1732), was served at the balls in Jane Austen’s Mansfield Park and The Watsons, and noted in other classic literature such as Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights. Negus comes… Continue Reading

Celebrate Independence Day with Savory Delights

Celebrate Independence Day with Savory Delights

Red, White, and Blue Pasta Salad Ingredients: 16 oz rotini pasta Red and blue food coloring 16 oz mozzarella cheese, cubed 6 oz pepperoni slices, quartered 7.5 oz marinated artichoke hearts, chopped 3.5 oz sliced olives 15.5 oz garbonzo beans, rinsed and drained 1 medium red onion, diced 1 red bell pepper, diced Cheese & Garlic… Continue Reading

Celebrate Independence Day with Sweet Delights

Celebrate Independence Day with Sweet Delights

Coconut Water and Fresh Berry Popsicles Ingredients Fresh Berries (blueberries, raspberries, sliced strawberries, etc.) Coconut Water (best with pure coconut water such as Amy and Brian’s Coconut Juice) Instructions Drop berries into popsicle molds (smaller pieces will go to the bottom, others will have to be gently nudged into the mold using a butter knife… Continue Reading

Traditional Easter Food

Traditional Easter Food

Today is Shrove Tuesday — also known as “Mardi Gras” or “Fat Tuesday” — the day before Lent begins on Ash Wednesday. Traditionally viewed as a day of repentance, Shrove Tuesday has become a day of celebration and feasting before the period of fasting required during the Lenten season. The name Shrove is derived from the old… Continue Reading

Orgeat ~ What is that?

Orgeat ~ What is that?

ORGEAT – the drink with the odd pronunciation (I will explain in a moment), is never mentioned by Jane Austen, either in a letter or her novels, but surely would have been known to her. Mentions of Orgeat being served at Almacks and other Society gatherings are scattered throughout letters and commentaries dated during the… Continue Reading