In the middle of December, in the middle of the night, we got a call from Iran. My husband's father had passed away. My husband was heartbroken. He had been hoping to see his father over the semester break, after his teaching duties were fulfilled, but Daddyjon passed away a few days before the semester ended.
He was a good father, in that he never stopped caring for his kids, being concerned for them, thinking they deserved every honor, and wishing them every worldly success.
Because we only saw him periodically, when he would come to the US for a two or three-month visit, our children and their cousins, so my father-in-law's grandchildren, did not really have the opportunity to develop a deep relationship with him. He would hug the kids and fuss over them when he was here, especially over my oldest daughter, as she was the first-born of his first-born, my husband, and Daddyjon himself was the first-born of his generation.
He treated me, his daughter-in-law, with respect and mild affection. I think he would have liked my husband to marry a beautiful Persian girl with a background of infinite intellectual and business success, but instead there was me. A country girl from Oklahoma, with short legs, thick glasses, and an introverted manner, and a little on the heavy side.
As the years went by, I think he began to respect me because I loved his son and tried to be a good wife and mother. I could cook some Persian foods with success. And then he had a soft spot for my children, the oldest because she was the first-born, and the youngest because she was a little blue-eyed blond-haired cherub when she was little, and of course, because she was the baby out of all of the cousins.
As a tribute to him, I have started working on a watercolor portrait of my father-in-law, to eventually be given to his current wife and second son (half-brother to my husband). When I work on a portrait, I work from a photograph blown up on my laptop screen. The normal looking portrait becomes a mottled map of splotches and shadows when you blow it up on the screen, but somehow, as I paint what I am seeing, a human face emerges, little by little.
I have done a few portraits before, and I try to start with the eyes of the subject. I think if I get the eyes right, the rest of it doesn't matter so much, as clothes, hair, and skin texture changes through the years. But the eyes stay the same, and so with Daddyjon's portrait, it has been strange and yet it also has felt right, that as I paint his portrait, I feel his eyes on me.
This man, who I only knew well through the stories told in the family about him, because in person it was only courteous exchanges between us . . . I feel I have looked into his eyes more this past few weeks of painting him than I did in the 25 years my husband and I have been married. I see something there now that I missed before.
Always before, I felt when he looked at me, that I didn't measure up to the standard of Persian perfection, and so I would end the polite conversations as soon as I could, to go help in the kitchen or be with the children. I always felt judged before, but now, looking into his eyes in this portrait, I feel he is saying, "Thank you for taking good care of my son and my granddaughters. I see you now for who you are, not for who you aren't."
I hope that he can still see all of us, from wherever he is in his spiritual state. After I finish the portrait, I will have a good scan and print made, to be framed and then hung on the wall, right beside the portrait I painted of the best man I have ever known, my husband.
(I will post a picture of the finished portrait when I have completed it.)
About six months ago, I answered an open call for blog writers from Oklahoma City Moms Blog, and I was delighted to be selected as one of the new contributors. Although I had been blogging here since prior to 2013, I did not post often, being one of those people who is much more productive and does better generally when I have a deadline (imposed by someone else!). On this post, I am linking to my OKCMBlog posts to show a little about my side hustle. I am also working on a blog for sharing diabetic recipes (TheDiabeticKitchenandCook.com).
Here is a link to my latest from OKCMBlog, and I will link to my earlier posts over there as soon as life slows down a little. Enjoy!
Everyone needs a little creativity in her or his life. Creativity satisfies something within us, in a process that is both expressive of our inner vision and at the same time, nourishing to our most authentic self.
Creativity is also good for our health, helping us to relax by shifting our focus away from our problems for just a little while. Creative pursuits help to lower your blood pressure, help you feel more content, and can add confidence and enthusiasm to your outlook on life!
Whatever your chosen outlet for creativity, I have a simple system that breaks the creative process into five easy steps. We all lead busy lives, and it can feel like you can't possibly fit in the extra time for creative pursuits. But it IS possible, with a plan in hand!
An outline of my SPACE plan follows - with a brief description of each phase of the creative process. And keep in mind that it is a process - that is what keeps it from taking over your life! One deterrent to people starting a new hobby or creative project is the idea that it will clutter up their house or garage, and end up being a source or stress or just another unfinished project.
By starting off with the mindset that this is a process that is broken down into smaller segments, you are less likely to go full-blown obsessive with enthusiasm over your project. You are more likely to put thoughtful time into planning, instead of just randomly plunging in and not feeling a clear direction. And you are more likely to finish your project, and to experience the deep satisfaction that comes with completing something creative!
I will be talking about this process more in future posts, and showing real-life examples of the SPACE plan in action. For now, here is an overview of my SPACE plan for creative projects:
S - SHOP - this means finding and obtaining all the raw materials, even if they are free or thrifted
P - PREPARATION - these are the preliminary steps that have to be taken before the actual creating begins, including organization, opening packages, washing/drying/ironing material, etc.
A - ASSEMBLE - this is the actual act of creating, sewing, knitting, painting, cutting/gluing, assembling components like quilt blocks, etc.
C - COMPLETE - this is the final act of assembling the main final product, there may be multiple stages of this as in a quilt, or when glue/paint has to dry.
E - ENHANCE - this is when the small final details are added, such as polishing, cutting threads, packaging jewelry on cards and in bags, etc.
One of the nicest things about being a mom to older children is how their tastes for food have matured since they were little kids. There was a time when "just plain food" dominated our meals. Nothing too spicy, with too many ingredients, or with "canned mushroom soup" sauces worked for us. We ate a lot of plain chicken, ham, turkey, and a few dishes made with hamburger or beef stew meat. My husband and I could always add condiments to liven up our own plates.
As my children grew up, their palates did too! Eventually a variety of great international cuisines became some of our favorites. These three recipes from around the world take basic food leftovers and turn them into something a little more adventurous than an everyday salad. I love that they use up leftovers to create something totally new and delicious!
Olovieh, Persian Potato Salad - using leftover rotisserie chicken, boiled/baked potatoes, green peas
1/2 leftover rotisserie chicken, or about 1 1/2 c. chicken meat, removed from bones, chopped into 1/2-in. pieces
3 leftover baked potatoes, peeled, chopped into 1/2-in. cubes
1 c. leftover frozen or canned peas
1/2 c. chopped dill pickles
2 hard-boiled eggs, chopped
1/2 c. mayonaisse
1/4 c. Italian vinaigrette salad dressing
Salt & pepper to taste
Sliced green olives and pimento pieces for decoration
Mix all the ingredients together. Line a medium-sized bowl with plastic wrap and pack the salad into it. To serve, upend the bowl onto a plate, remove the bowl and the plastic wrap, and decorate the mound of Olovieh with the olives and pimento pieces. Persian cuisine serves this salad with toasted flat bread. Serves 6-8.
Nordic Salmon Salad - using leftover baked boneless salmon fillets
2 leftover baked boneless salmon fillets, 4-6 oz. each, skin removed
1 TBS. minced white onion
1/2 c. chopped celery
1/2 tsp. celery seed
1 TBS. fresh dill, chopped, or 1 tsp. dried dill
1/4 c. pickled banana peppers, roughly chopped
1/2 c. mayonaisse
1/4 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. pepper
Chopped hearts of romaine lettuce or your favorite mix of fresh greens
2 ripe tomatoes, cut in wedges
In a medium mixing bowl, use a fork to break up the salmon fillets. Add all but the lettuce/greens and tomatoes, and mix well. Refrigerate salmon mixture for 1 hour. Put a serving of lettuce/greens on the plate, spoon about 1/2. c. of the salmon mixture in the middle, and place tomato wedges around the edges. Serves 4.
Tex-Mex Nacho Taco Salad - using leftover meatloaf, white rice
2-3 slices leftover meatloaf, each about 1-in. thick, crumbled into 1/2-in. pieces
1/2 c. - 1 c. leftover white rice
2 TBS vegetable oil
1/2 c. chopped onion
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1 TBS. chili powder
1/2 tsp. dried oregano
1/4 c. water
Salt & pepper to taste
Lettuce and tomatoes for salad
Toppings such as grated cheese, sour cream, guacamole, salsa and chopped green onions
In a skillet, heat the oil over med-high heat. Add the onions and cook for two minutes. Add the garlic powder, chili powder, and oregano. Stir and cook for 1 minute. Add the meat loaf, white rice, and water. Stir and cook for 5 minutes until heated through and then add salt & pepper to taste. To serve, put a layer of tortilla chips on the plate, and spoon 3/4 c. of the meat/rice mixture over the top. Top with lettuce, tomatoes, cheese and other desired toppings. Serves 4.
Are your children adventurous eaters? What foods have they not only tolerated, but LOVED, that surprised you?
(content previously published on old Filigreen blog in 2016)
One beloved and well-used item lost in the tornado was my 33-year-old Kenmore sewing machine. Given to me by my Grandpa Wynn for my 16th birthday, it was my creative partner through four decades of fabulous fashions. I made some emerald green satin pants in 1979, some corduroy baggy jeans in the 80's, sundresses for my first daughter in the 90's, Halloween and Medieval Fair costumes for both children in the 00's, and what seemed like a whole forest of burlap tree costumes for The Wizard of Oz musical in the spring of 2013.
Although my sewing machine did not blow away, it was rained on at our house site for three days after the tornado, and the carrying case had several inches of water in it by the time we were allowed back to the wreckage of our home. I drained the water, set it out to dry in our rental home's garage all the hot summer long, unable to dispose of it as there were so many memories of my hands guiding one vividly remembered fabric or another through the machine. When it was time to move into the new home, I finally put the ruined machine out with the other tornado debris that I had been reluctant to actually throw away. Yes, we had good insurance and I had been reimbursed for the value of a sewing maching, but the thought of a new machine just left me unimpressed, as I had loved my old one so much.
As time passed, I searched for a metal-bodied sewing machine like my old Kenmore, but found only plastic-bodied models. After hemming and hawing, and complaining so much out of proportion to the issue to my patient husband, I went ahead and bought a plastic-bodied Singer. Of course, it sews just fine. And I have started a new parade of fabric swatch memories as I have sewn cream/blue toile curtains for the new house's kitchen bay window, cream lace frilly cowgirl skirts for the flower girls in my nephew's upcoming wedding, and started a quilt for my oldest daughter in red/white/black scrap fabrics.
Red and Black were the school colors of her elementary school, Plaza Towers, that was so horrifically demolished by the tornado. I found a black-and-white gingham fabric shirt at the thrift store, with colorful flowers embroidered all over it, so I have been cutting little squares of the embroidered sections, to put at the intersections of the strips connecting my nine-patch blocks. I also am appliqueing seven little raspberry-red pinwale corduroy hearts randomly on the quilt-top, for the Plaza Towers students whose short lives ended that day in May 2013.
For many years, especially as a young person, I was embarrassed of being so domestic. Cooking, gardening, and sewing are my great passions, and I always felt so dorky when asked what my hobbies were. Sometimes, it seemed as if I were born 100 years too late, but as I have grown older, I truly treasure my knowledge and skills in the humble domestic pursuit of sewing. Knowing how to mend, tailor, innovate, and alter garments, costumes, and home furnishings has given a richness to my life that I wouldn't want to do without. Nowadays, when someone asks what I do for leisure, I am proud to say, "I like to sew."
(content previously published on old Filigreen blog in 2016)
I haven't made any blog entries since my announcement that we lost our home in the May 20 tornado. Recovery took precedence over creativity, and truly, I just didn't have it in me to continue at that time. So here we are months later . . . Several nudges this past couple of days have inspired me to take up my blog again and the first day of the new year seems like a perfectly appropriate time to start.
I am sitting at the kitchen bay window that looks out over our backyard, at the "new" house. We have been here now nearly three months, and for me, it has begun to feel like home. My children are taking longer to feel a connection, but they are usually gone all day at school, and the other house had been their only home. My feelings of being connected to a homeplace are more grounded in functionality - where do I cook? where do we return to sleep? where do we feel a haven from the world? Both kids made more of a connection to the rental house we stayed in while we were house-hunting, while my husband and I were too freaked out by the bustling insect kingdom that was part & parcel of the neighborhood full of old and established maples.
My hope is that downtime spent just hanging around the house during the school break will foster a little more of the home feeling for my children. Now that the usual round of holiday gatherings are over, there are more free evenings to tuck in with blankets on the couch with a book or movie marathon, more meals at home with both Mama and Daddy here together, and a whole new year ahead of us to look towards as we plan and dream.
New Year's Day usually involves some incarnation of black-eyed peas, to ensure prosperity (perhaps through frugal living) for the coming year. My family is not really that fond of the humble black-eyed pea, and I really only have two ways to serve them. One is to open a couple cans of them, and simmer them on the stove for an hour with a little chopped bacon, some shaved onion, a bay leaf, generous salt & pepper, and a half-tablespoon of vinegar added at the end of cooking. They DO NOT reach the full glory of baked beans, but they are not half bad, either. The second way we eat them is as part of "Texas Caviar" - mixed in with the basic Pico de Gallo recipe: a can of black-eyed peas opened and drained, 3-4 good tomatoes chopped, green onion and white onion minced, 1 raw jalapeno seeded and minced, a couple tablespoons of fresh lime juice, small bunch of fresh cilantro chopped, and salt & pepper. Mixed and refrigerated for a couple of hours, it's good with tortilla chips or alongside meat as a savory condiment.
Black-eyed peas always remind me of a story told by my Grandpa Wynn. Growing up poor as a sharecropper's son in East Texas, he ate plenty of beans growing up, cheap and filling and easily grown in his mother's well-tended kitchen garden. After church one day, he overheard another lady say to his mother, "Well, we better get home, I need to check on my beans. Lord, I am so tired of eating beans! Don't you ever get tired of eating beans day after day, Rosie?" Grandpa's mama replied, "Why, no I don't! We don't just eat beans, we have black-eyed peas, green peas, pinto beans, butter beans, pole beans, lima beans, and more! We eat something different every day!"
(content previously published on old Filigreen blog in 2013/2015)
Living in the Tornado Capital of the World, I have come to regard Spring with one eye on the daffodils and irises, and the other on the thunderheads building in the west. What is for other parts of the country, a gradual awakening of Mother Earth, can be for us a season of nail-biting and being afraid to go to sleep in case a storm strikes in the night. While my husband and kids go on to bed, I spend the late hours of the night with the "other men" in my life - my local news station meteorologists.
I trust these guys with my life, as I have seen over and over their dedication in staying on air for 12-14 hours while storms wheel across the state. The feeling I have towards them is somewhat like my feelings for the OB doctor who delivered my two babies - they really have protected the lives of people here with their devotion to getting it right on these critical days. In the 19 years we have lived here, we have had 4 tornados hit in the vicinity and so a spring thunderstorm can make for a sleepless night. Once I get the all-clear from "my weather guys", I am off to bed to dream of the quieter days of midsummer.
Added as a postscript -- On Monday, May 20, 2013, the unthinkable happened. Once more, an EF5 tornado ground its way through Moore, Oklahoma, and our home of 19 years was destroyed in 60 seconds. That day left some enormous wounds in our hearts, lives, and our community. We are all moving forward as best we can, trusting God with our futures, knowing He is always with us and working from within us.
(content previously published on old Filigreen blog in 2013)
Thriftstores . . . aaahhh, the seductive lure of saving money on necessities, finding abundant fodder for my creative machine, discovering a lost treasure amongst the castoff cake pans and plaster plaques, and vintage clothing to make my inner 80's teen very, very happy. But there is a dark side, too . . . I make myself watch a couple of episodes of "Hoarders" every week so that I remember to keep myself in check. The thriftstore can be a goldmine in savings for people on a budget or for a high school drama department that is rich in talent but poor in money. At a sewing day yesterday for my oldest daughter's upcoming musical, some of the other ladies and I were sharing our attraction to the fabrics, colors, textures, the POSSIBILITIES!! . . . to be found in the clothing racks at the thriftstore. We are opportunists walking a sheer cliff, discovering, snatching up, and showing off our unique and fabulous finds, but we have to use both foresight AND restraint, because you can only fit so much of this stuff into your closet or costume room.
From the time I got my driver's license, I could roam around our four-state corner looking for great thriftstores. I still visit my first and favorite thrift - the Friendship House in Miami, Oklahoma, when I go home for a visit. Great memories of shopping thrifts with sisters and friends - once a friend (Hi to Judy D**a!) and I went to a small town in Kansas in 1982, where an old decrepit department store building was being emptied. We found heels, dresses, sweaters, and jewelry from the 50's, and then we went out to lunch and had Monte Cristo sandwiches (the way they are SUPPOSED to be made, deep-fried and sprinkled with powdered sugar).
When my first daughter was born, I wanted everything new, pristine, and clean. No used clothing for my children, please! It only took a short while to understand that 100% cotton stains, not everything can be bleached, and that $24 onesie looks like a hand-me-down after one wearing and an encounter with baby carrots. As the holidays and seasons went by, the realization sunk in that the $50 holiday dress and faux fur baby coat, worn for one Christmas party in 1998, might not even FIT the next baby at the right season, and thrifting began to look very smart. Over the years, I've bought clothes, boots and shoes, toys, decor, furniture, and costumes at various resale sites - whether consignment, antique malls, garage sales, or straight-forward thrift stores. A favorite photo of my husband and first daughter at age two shows her wearing red baby cowboy boots I bought at a thrift store on my lunch break at work. I loved those boots and so did she; when she outgrew them, I donated them to charity and kissed them good-bye.
One of the great treasures found at thrifts is the handknitted or crocheted afghan. I'm thinking they were handmade as gifts, then people took such good care of them that they were never used, and they have ended up in new condition on a hanger in a thrift store. Naturally, you have to inspect everything carefully and be sure items can somehow be cleaned before using. In the case of afghans, they are almost always made from acrylic yarn and machine-washable. I recently ran across a Hudson's Bay wool blanket for $5, but it had several moth-eaten spots. For someone who was willing to dry clean it, and then cut it up and use the good parts creatively, it would have been a steal, but it wasn't worth it to me that day.
I am fortunate to live in a large metro area where there are several thrift stores - and they all have their version of a sale, whether it's Wacky Wednesday, brown bag day, or buy-it-by-the-pound day. I do try to go on these days, so if I buy something and have second thoughts later, I haven't invested too much money. Lately I am fascinated with ladies' brooches, something our mothers, grand-, and great-grandmothers would have worn. I may not ever wear them, but they don't take up much room in my jewelry box, and I get a lot of pleasure from looking at them. Some day my daughters may raid my costume jewelry looking for just the right accessory and find them there . . . waiting to be treasured again.
(content previously published on old Filigreen blog in 2013)
One Christmas tradition that people have strong views on is fruitcake. People either love it or hate it. It makes the ambitious baker wonder if it is even worth it to take on this challenge. Holiday fruitcake is a baked item that becomes rather an event - as it requires two days to make, and then some weeks to mature.
I was exposed early in life to wonderful fruitcake, courtesy of my dear Grandma Wynn, who would every year order a cake for my family from the famous Collin Street Bakery in Texas. Heavy on the pecans, with only a moderate amount of dried fruit, they had just enough sweet batter to hold it all together.
She also loved these cakes and would order one for herself and Grandpa. She would laugh and tell me how, at night after he had gone to bed, she would sneak over in her robe and walker, lean on the counter, and cut off little slices to eat standing up. For a lady in her 90's who had had two hip replacements, this says something about the fruitcake's great taste as a motivator!
The making of fruitcake is quite an undertaking, from shopping for ingredients to chopping the dried fruits, stirring the heavy batter, baking a long time in a slow oven, then cooling, decorating, and wrapping in brandy-soaked cheesecloth for storage. THEN you must wait at least a couple of weeks to let the cakes mature before even taking a little taste . . . or kindly presenting them to family & friends in time for Christmas giving.
However, I have a recipe that makes it all worth it. I can't even remember where I found it, but I could tell from reading that it would be very similar to the Collin Street fruitcakes. I made a test version, and was convinced that I would never want another fruitcake recipe. With four cups of pecans, and more butter & sugar than flour, more raisins than cherries, and a candy-like texture after the maturing process (not to mention a heady zing from the soaked-in brandy!), this is a fruitcake that might make you famous in your circle.
I usually make my fruitcake the weekend right after Thanksgiving, so that the cakes have a good three weeks to mature before distributing around Christmastime. Traditionally, fruitcakes or Christmas puddings are started on the last Sunday before the beginning of Advent, when the Anglican Book of Common Prayer has a prayer worded: 'Stir up, we beseech thee, O Lord, the wills of thy faithful people; that they, plenteously bringing forth the fruit of good works may of Thee be plenteously rewarded...' The timing of this prayer is a fortuitous reminder to "stir up" the fruitcake early enough that it is well-matured by Christmas.
It is worthwhile to shop early for the ingredients, as if you wait until close to Thanksgiving to buy them, the best brands will be gone and maybe not restocked for some time. Usually in October, the stores start stocking the dried fruits, so I get a couple of ingredients at a time, to not unbalance my weekly food budget. If you can find good pecans from Texas, Oklahoma, or Arkansas, those are the best ones, and can be frozen to preserve the flavor; by shopping early, you may even find them on sale.
1 Bundt pan plus 2 standard loaves plus 3 mini-loaves or 1.5-2 doz. mini-muffins
OR six loaves made in 8"x3.75" disposable aluminum pans
1 1/2 c. candied pineapple chunks
1 c. black raisins or chopped dates
2 c. golden raisins
1 1/2 c. candied cherries
1 c. dried cranberries
2 oz. candied orange peel**
2 oz. candied lemon peel**
1 c. plus extra brandy for soaking (I like Paul Masson Grande Amber U.S.)
2 c. butter
4 c. confectioners sugar
8 eggs, separated
4 c. pecans, chopped
3 c. sifted all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1 TBS. vanilla extract
(Extra candied fruit and pecan halves for decorating)
**if you can't find these, it is fairly easy to make your own:
1. The day before baking: Chop pineapple, raisins/dates, cherries, cranberries, orange and lemon peel; soak in brandy overnight in refrigerator.
2. Preheat oven to 275 deg F. Place a small pan of water on the lower rack of oven. Line loaf pans with buttered parchment. Bundt pan - butter it well. Mini-muffins - use foil liner cups sprayed with release spray.
3. NOTE: The final amount of batter is quite large, and requires something like a large roasting pan in which to mix it (see pictures below).
In a large mixing bowl, cream butter and confectioner's sugar. Stir in beaten egg yolks. Transfer to a large mixing vessel, such as a roasting pan. Stir in fruit, soaking brandy, pecans, and vanilla.
4. In a separate bowl, lightly stir salt into sifted flour; add to batter in large pan.
5. In a separate large mixing bowl, beat the egg whites to soft peaks. Fold into the rest of the batter. Fill pans up to about 2/3 full.
6. Bake according to times below, until golden brown and toothpick inserted comes out clean. Smaller items will cook faster and therefore be removed from the oven earlier than larger items.
Bundt pan - 2-2.5 hrs.
Standard loaves - 2 hrs.
Mini-loaves - 1.5 hrs.
Mini-muffins - 1 hr.
7. Glaze (optional): Glaze to attach decorative fruit, such as red/green halved candied cherries, candied pineapple, or pecan halves. Boil together 1/2 c. water and 1/2 c. white sugar for about 15 min, until it is like thick syrup when a bit is cooled on a plate. Brush over the top of the cakes while they are hot, place fruit as decoration, then brush with glaze again. Let the glaze set for 1 hr. before wrapping in next step.
8. Store for at least 2 weeks (2-4 weeks is best), wrapped in a cheesecloth soaked in brandy, then a layer of plastic wrap, and a final layer of foil (see picture below). Add a little more brandy every few days (open the foil and plastic wrap, then just spoon over the cheesecloth in small trickles). I have always kept mine in the refrigerator for the maturing process, because we live in the South and it can be warm, even in November.
I find the best way to serve this fruitcake is to cut the cold fruitcake into 1/4"-1/2" thick slices. It can have a quite heady alcohol content, if you have a generous hand with the brandy, so teetotalers are forewarned! It will still be delicious even if you use a smaller amount of brandy. It is not recommended to eliminate the brandy entirely, as the alcohol not only adds flavor and improves texture, but it also extends the shelf life of the cake and keeps it from going bad during the long maturing process.
Happy Christmas and may you always be blessed with fruitcake!
(Content previously published on my old Filigreen blog in Jan. 2013)
I saved a scone recipe some time ago and decided to make them recently as a sweet way to wrap up the blessed extra time with my children during their break from school. Naturally, I didn't have the two key flavor ingredients so I had to substitute . . . and they turned out SO GOOD! Maybe next time I will try with the original ingredients, but these were so delicious as they were, that I may just keep them that way.
Cherry and White Chocolate Scones
1 1/2 c. + 2 TBS. all-purpose flour
5 TBS. sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
1/8 tsp. salt
3/4 c. dried cherries, chopped
1/3 c. white almond bark bar, roughly chopped
1 c. heavy cream
1-2 TBS. butter, melted
Additional sugar for sprinkling (I used decorative white sugar crystals)
Directions: Preheat oven to 375 deg. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl; stir well. Stir in the dried cherries and almond bark. Add the heavy cream to the flour mixture, stirring until just incorporated. Using well-floured hands and counter, turn the mixture out of the bowl and pat out to 1/2" depth. Use a floured 1 1/2" circle cutter to cut out rounds; transfer to cookie sheet, placing 1 1/2" apart. Gently bring scraps together and reroll to cut the rest. Brush the tops with melted butter and sprinkle with the decorative sugar. Bake for 16-18 minutes, turning pan halfway through the baking time. Makes 25 - 1 1/2" scones. Cool for a few minutes before enjoying with lemon curd and creme fraiche!
(Original recipe called for freeze-dried strawberries & white chocolate chips. Here's a link to original: http://dinahs-dishes.com/2012/01/20/strawberry-and-cream-scones/)
Faux Creme Fraiche
1 c. Cool Whip, regular
2 TBS. sour cream
Mix thoroughly and lavish on warm scones.
As the mother of two dear daughters, having a tea party is for us the height of ladylike elegance. Whether we go out to a favorite tea shop, meet with their vivacious aunts in someone's home, or just have a little party for us in our own kitchen, we think this is the best way to celebrate a special occasion or to make an ordinary day into one!
I am Kelly - a wife, mother, cook, gardener, sewist, and much more. Creativity is the gift that I have been blessed with, and it has been a river of blessings to me. A creative outlet is good for you, body and soul. This blog is about helping you find ways to fit more creativity into your life, to enrich your own life and that of others.