Monday, August 31, 2009

"Without bread all is misery."
William Cobbett, British journalist (1763-1835)

Ye Olde Tavern's Brown Bread
3/4 cup honey
3/4 cup molasses
3 1/2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons ginger
2 teaspoons cinnamon
2 teaspoons allspice
dash of salt
2 cups milk
2 tablespoons orange marmalade
(optional-1 cup raisins)

Preheat oven to 350. Butter large loaf pan (or large baking dish). Beat together honey and molasses. Stir in remaining ingredients. Bake for 1 hour, or until done.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Wild Mushroom Pate
1/2 pound unsalted butter
1/2 yellow onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 pounds fresh mushrooms, gently rinsed and chopped
1 tablespoon fresh parsley
1 tablespoon fresh thyme
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/8 cup sherry
salt and pepper to taste

Melt butter, add onion and garlic, and cook gently for a minute. Add mushrooms, parsley and thyme, and cook over moderate heat until mushrooms give off their juices. Stir in the wine and sherry. Cook, stirring occasionally, until liquid is reduced and thickened slightly. Cool briefly, then puree in food processor until smooth. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Pour into individual ramekins and chill until set. I like to garnish with minced red onion and serve with toast.

Gorgeous mushrooms purchased from:
114 West State Street
Kennett Square, PA 19348

Fresh Mushrooms - You can purchase a wide variety of mushrooms including white, portabella, baby bella, as well as the exotic shitake, maitake and oyster. Other exotic varieties may be ordered.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Hey, that's swell!

Easy Virtue

The twenties have roared…the thirties are starting to swing. John Whittaker, a young Englishman, falls madly in love with Larita, a sexy and glamorous American woman, and they marry impetuously. However when the couple returns to the family home, his mother Mrs. Whittaker has an instant allergic reaction to her new daughter-in-law. Larita tries her best to fit in but fails to tiptoe through the minefield laid by her mother-in-law. Larita quickly realizes Mrs. Whittaker’s game and sees that she must fight back if she’s not going to lose John. A battle of wits ensues and sparks soon fly. Mrs. Whittaker manipulates every situation to undermine her, while Larita remains frustratingly calm and engineers sassy counter attacks. Before long, Mrs. Whittaker’s manipulation starts to work on John and Larita feels their love is in danger of slipping away. In a grand finale, where the secrets from Larita’s past are revealed, she finally makes a break for freedom from the suffocating house…..

In the original 1934 book "100 Famous Cocktails by Oscar of the Waldorf" the thing you first notice is that the main ingredients are distinct and somewhat limited, but the combinations are endless and the cocktails are small, not 10 oz horse tranquilizers.

Basics ingredients: French Vermouth, Italian Vermouth, gin, brandy, bitters, Bacardi Rum (white), absinthe, lime juice, sloe gin, rye, bourbon, scotch, egg white, cream, lemons.

According to Oscar, some of the most popular cocktails were the Manhattan, Daquiri, Whiskey Sour, Rob Roy, Side Car, Martini, Old Fashioned, Bronx, Dubonnet, and Tom Collins.

The Alexander was made with gin, not brandy.

A few obscure ones are: Goat's Delight, Charlie Chaplin, Salome, Gloom Lifter, Roosevelt Punch, and Come Up Some Time. The recipes for most of these are clear evidence of their waning popularity.

There was no vodka, little fruit juice, no sodas, little ice, and some surprisingly revolting combinations.

Have fun and don't forget the maraschinos!

Ye Olde Tavern's Easy Virtue Theatre Cocktails

The Old Army Cocktail
2 parts gin
1 part Italian vermouth
Thin peel of 2 lemons and 1 orange
Cracked ice
Pickled onions
Put in the shaker and shake baby. Pour into glasses of cracked ice and garnish with pickled onion.

Clover Club
3 parts gin
1 part French vermouth
1 part grenadine syrup
White of 1 egg
Cracked ice
Shake well and serve.

Old-Fashioned Cocktail
1/2 cube sugar
2 dashes angostura bitters
2 tablespoons water
1 jigger bourbon
1 large lump ice
Muddle well and add bourbon and ice. Stir very well. Decorate with slice of orange, twist of lemon peel and a cherry.

Side Car
1 part lemon juice
1 part Cointreau
2 parts brandy
Shake well with ice. Pour into cocktail glasses and serve.

Cocktail recipes from Cleora's Kitchen by Cleora Butler

Don't squat with your spurs on.

Vintage Photo, Wild West armed cowgirl
Iced Cowgirl Coffee
6 t. instant coffee
5 cups milk
1 whole nutmeg, finely grated
1 oz. milk chocolate
6 teaspoons brown sugar
6 tablespoons brandy

In medium saucepan, whisk together coffee, milk, nutmeg, chocolate and sugar until heated through. When the chocolate has melted, add the brandy and mix thoroughly. Serve over ice.

"It's the way you ride the trail that counts."
Dale Evans

Friday, August 28, 2009

Lucky for me I have a great friend, Cecilia. She had a wonderful antique show today at her home in Pennsylvania. She has a beautiful cottage garden that is one of my favorite places to visit. Even though the weather has proved unfortunate today, lots of rain along with thunder and lightning, people came, shopped and went home happy.

Cecilia's charming cottage garden.

Her stately and comical rooster, Mr. Miller.

I have this chair in my home office.
They are made with old chair legs. Each one is different and there are many
antique fabrics to choose from.

I could not resist this sign on old barn wood.
Below is a great smelling soy candle in an antique crock.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Ice cream is exquisite. What a pity it isn't illegal.
Coffee Cream Parfaits
1 qt. vanilla ice cream, slightly thawed
1 cup coffee liqueur
1/2 cup cream
1 1/2 teaspoon sugar
1 1/2 teaspoon instant espresso

In tall ice cream or parfait glasses, layer the ice cream and liqueur. Chill in the freezer for a half an hour or more. When ready to serve, whip together cream, sugar and espresso until soft peaks form; top parfaits. Serves 4.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009


While attending university in London I regularly made this soup. I was a waitress at a small bistro and the chef let us take home leftovers (lots of potatoes). A tried and true recipe for not only a starving student but anyone who needs a bowl of warmth and goodness. Cheers!

My London Flat Baked Potato & Leek Soup

with Cheddar & Bacon

Yields about 6 cups.

2 medium potatoes (about 1/2 lb. each)

1/4 cup unsalted butter

2-1/2 cups sliced leeks (about 2 medium leeks; white and light green parts)

2 medium cloves garlic, minced

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

4 cups homemade or low-salt canned chicken broth

1/2 cup milk or cream

1/2 cup sour cream

4 thick slices bacon, cut into 1/2-inch dice

1 cup grated sharp Cheddar (about 1/4 lb.)

2 Tbs. thinly sliced scallion greens or chives

Heat the oven to 375ºF. Scrub the potatoes in water, pat dry, and pierce in several places with a fork. Set them directly on an oven rack and bake until very tender, about 1 hour. Let cool completely on a wire rack.

Melt the butter in a soup pot over medium-low heat. Add the leeks and garlic, season with salt and pepper, and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 10 minutes. Add the broth. Bring to a simmer over medium heat and cook until the leeks are very tender, about 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, put the bacon in a skillet and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until browned and crisp, 8 to 10 minutes. Transfer the bacon bits with a slotted spoon to a saucer lined with paper towels to drain and cool.

When the potatoes are cool, cut one of them in half lengthwise. Use a large spoon to scoop the flesh in one piece from each half. Cut the flesh into 1/2-inch cubes and set aside. Coarsely chop the potato skin and the entire remaining potato and add to the pot with the leeks. Purée the contents of the pot in a blender until very smooth (you'll need to work in two batches). Return the puréed soup to a clean soup pot and reheat over medium low. Whisk together the milk and sour cream until smooth and then whisk this into the soup, along with 1/2 cup of the Cheddar. Stir in the diced potato. The soup should be fairly thick, but if it seems too thick, thin it with a little water. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve garnished with the remaining Cheddar, the bacon bits, and the scallions or chives.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Raspberry Lemonade Drink
4 cups fresh raspberries
2 cups chilled lemonade
Puree the raspberries in a blender until smooth. Press the puree through a sieve into a bowl to extract all juice; discard seeds. In a pitcher combine the raspberry juice with the lemonade; chill. Pour the drink over ice cubes in tall glasses and garnish with a lemon twist.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

For our young dinner guests...


Pineapple Bubble Water
1 cup natural pineapple juice
1 cup sparkling water
Mix and serve over ice. Dunk a fresh cherry or slice of apple in it.

One-Two Punch
1 qt. chilled sparkling apple juice
2 qts. chilled natural cherry cider
Mix and gulp.

Penguin Punch
2 scoops ice cream
1 cup cold soymilk
1 cup cold natural tangerine or orange soda
Divide the milk and soda between two tall glasses.
Mix 'em up and add a scoop of ice cream to each.

"No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted."
"The Lion and the Mouse"
by Aesop

Recipes from Once Upon a Recipe by Karen Greene.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Ye Olde Tavern's Seafood Dip

1/2 pound cooked, peeled and deveined shrimp, chopped
1/2 pound cooked scallops, chopped
2 cups cooked lump crabmeat
1 can (6 ounces) artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
1 large cucumber, peeled, seeded and chopped
1 to 2 cups sour cream (for desired consistency)
Up to 1 tablespoon mayonnaise
1 tablespoon pepper
1 teaspoon celery seed

Combine all the ingredients in a large bowl and refrigerate until serving time. Serve in appetizer pastry shells or with crackers or bread.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Al mio amore

La ricchezza del mio cuore è infinita come il mare, così profondo il mio amore... più te ne do, più ne ho, perché entrambi sono infiniti.

Marie Skrotzki

1 oz Campari® bitters
3/4 oz
1 dash
Angostura® bitters
1 twist
lemon peel

Shake well over ice in a shaker, and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Add a twist of lemon peel, and serve.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Sparkling Pineapple Sangria

serves eight

1/4 cup lemon juice, freshly squeezed
1/4 cup orange juice, freshly squeezed
2 tablespoons sugar
2 cups pineapple juice
2 cups dry white wine
1 1/2 cups sparkling water or tonic

1 lemon, thinly sliced
1 small orange, thinly sliced
4 medium strawberries, hulled and sliced, mint sprigs and ice

In a pitcher combine lemon juice, orange juice and sugar. Stir to dissolve sugar. Add pineapple juice, wine and sparkling water; stir. Garnish with lemon slices, orange slices, strawberries and mint. Serve over ice. Delicioso!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Christie Week 2009 : 13th - 20th September

Agatha Christie

Agatha Christie is the best-selling author of all time. She has sold over two billion books worldwide and has been translated into over 45 languages. In a writing career that spanned more than half a century, Agatha Christie wrote eighty novels and short story collections. She also wrote over a dozen plays, including The Mousetrap, which is now the longest running play in theatrical history.
To celebrate Agatha Christie week I am going to read:
Poirot Investigates HCPB

Short Story

At a lavish Brighton resort hotel, the wealthy Opalsens seem to be the victims of a theft of pearls. But their French maid had been in the room all evening, leaving only for two thirty-second intervals when the chambermaid came in to turn the beds down. How could anyone have stolen the pearls in such a short interval? Can Poirot help? The Jewel Robbery at the Grand Metropolitan appeared in Poirot Investigates and was adapted for television with David Suchet as Poirot.

So how will you be celebrating Christie Week?

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Vintage image sent in by Lynne Porter

makes twelve cocktails
1 12-ounce can frozen lemonade concentrate
1 1/2 cups water
1 1/2 cups fresh mint leaves
club soda

For Bootleg Mix: combine lemonade, water and mint leaves in blender. Blend on high speed 15 to 30 seconds, until frothy. Spoon off froth and discard. Strain mixture through a fine sieve.

Combine 2 ounces Bootleg Mix with 4 ounces vodka and 4 ounces club soda. Serve over ice.

(You can use rum, gin or bourbon as well.)

Friday, August 14, 2009

Here's tae ye!

Ted Saucier's
Bottoms Up
Copyright, 1951

This book is fantastic. So campy old-fashioned, I love it!
It even has a Tippling Tips chapter (how to achieve perfect results
in mixing drinks). There are great drink names like Atomic Bomb, By the Sea, Cholly Knickerbocker and Lucius Beebe's Russian Restorer. If you see this in a used book store pick it up, you will be entertained and add some memorable drinks to your bar repertoire.

Gogi's Larue Special
Courtesy, Gogi, LaRue's Restaurant, New York City
1 split chilled champagne
1 jigger Grand Marnier
Curlicue cucumber peel
Cracked ice
Serve in silver or pewter mug.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Ladies who lunch...

Ye Olde Tavern Ladies Luncheon Menu
Fresh Tomato Bruschetta
White Gazpacho
Turkey and Watercress Sandwiches
Spinach Salad with Apple Cider Vinaigrette
Espresso Chip Cookies
Sparkling Pineapple Sangria

Apple Cider Vinaigrette
1/3 cup cider vinegar
1 teaspoon dry mustard
1 tablespoon honey
1/3 cup apple cider
1/4 cup safflower oil
1 tablespoon minced shallots
2 tablespoons parsley
2 cloves minced garlic
salt and pepper to taste

Process vinegar and mustard in food processor until smooth. Add remaining ingredients and blend well. Chill before serving.
Makes 1 cup.

Ye Olde Tavern's
Cocktail Almonds

2 cups whole almonds
1/4 cup honey
2 tablespoons butter
1 cup raw sugar

Toast almonds in oven at 350 for 10-12 minutes. Boil honey and butter, stir in nuts. Spread on cookie sheet (I use Silpat on my cookie sheet). Cool. Mix nuts with raw sugar.

Dessert Rapide

Ye Olde Tavern's French Almond Torte
1 cup butter
3/4 cup sugar
4 oz. almond paste
1 egg yolk (reserve egg white)
1 teaspoon almond extract
2 cups flour
1/2 cup sliced almonds

Cream butter and sugar. Crumble in almond paste. Add yolk, almond extract and flour, mix. Press into buttered 8" spring form pan. Brush top with egg white and 1/2 cup sliced almonds.
Bake at 350 for 30 minutes. Serve with raspberries and dollop of whipped cream. La fin.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Woman's Best Friends

"I think dogs are the most amazing creatures;
they give unconditional love. For me they are the role model for being alive."
~Gilda Radner

Our Border Collie - Cordy

Our Australian Cattle Dog - Ruby Tuesday

Cordy and Ruby's Biscuits
2 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1/2 cup powdered milk
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 egg, beaten
6 tablespoons oil
2 small jars strained beef or chicken baby food
6-10 tablespoons water

Combine all ingredients; mix well. Knead for 5 minutes (dough should be firm and pull away from bowl). Roll out to about
3/8-inch thick.

Preheat oven to 375. I use a Silpat on my cookie sheet. Cut dough with cookie cutter (I use small cookie cutters, Ruby is on a diet.) Prick top of each treat with a fork. Bake for 30 minutes. Cool, then seal and store in refrigerator or freezer. These treats will keep for about 10 days in refrigerator. "Bone" appetit!

C'est chaud...

Ye Olde Tavern Frangria
Grand Marnier, a spalsh
Fresh Fruit
Sprigs of Rosemary

Combine in pitcher. Leave in fridge overnight. Strain. Pour over ice.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

How does your garden grow?

Ye Olde Tavern's garden bounty.

"An apple is an excellent thing, until you have tried a peach."
George du Maurier (1834-1896)

Friday, August 7, 2009

Ah, summer, what power you have to make us suffer and like it. ~Russel Baker

Tea and Lemonade Cooler
8 tea bags
3 quarts boiling water
3/4 cup sugar
1 (32-ounce) bottle ginger ale, chilled
1 (12-ounce) can lemonade
Lemon slices

Place tea bags in boiling water and steep 10 minutes. Remove tea bags. Add sugar and stir until dissolved. Add lemonade. Chill. Just before serving, add ginger ale. Pour over ice or serve as punch. Garnish with lemon slice and sprigs of mint. Yield: 16 cups