Since July is extra long, we get to do a Secret Garden bonus post! Garden-themed menus leave so many great options for dessert, so I decided to make a companion dessert to go with our Lavender Lemon Eclairs. I’ve been DYING to make candied flowers for this menu, so sugar cookies with lemon icing and candied violets sounded ideal. Like most of our bonus recipes, I’m keeping this one simple, so we’ll mostly just cover how to make the candied flowers (in the ingredients list, I’ve included links to the cookie and icing recipes I used). You can make your own cookies and icing, but if time is of the essence you can totally go with store bought. That’s what I love about this recipe—it can be as involved or as easy as you want!
P.S. The recipe I use for candied flowers was originally published on Food.com.
As you can probably tell, things are looking awfully monochromatic around here. Up until today, I was using a Mojo Marketplace blog theme called Writer. The theme creator sent out an update today that changed the whole theme to something much more “minimalistic”…and much less customizable. It got rid of header menus, backgrounds, pretty much everything. As you can imagine, I was not a happy camper. So I disabled it, and we’re currently sporting a free WordPress.org theme until I find a replacement (still pretty minimalistic, but at lease this one shows menus! Yay!).
Hopefully, I’ll have something strikingly gorgeous ready for you by tomorrow. For now, I’m settling in for a long night of unexpected theme browsing. Three cheers for the caffeine that’s going to get me through it all!
For our Secret Garden menu, I wanted to make a truly elegant dessert. Eclairs (one of my greatest weaknesses) immediately sprang to mind. Of course, they needed to fit the theme of the story, and what better way to tie in the garden than adding a little floral touch? Thus, these lavender lemon eclairs were born! I’m not normally into flower-flavored things, but I found these to be light, sweet, and fragrant in all the right ways. The lavender-infused pastry cream perfectly complements the lemon glaze. I used a pate a choux (that’s pastry dough) recipe from Flavor the Moments and made a variation on a pastry cream recipe from Ricón Cocina. Enjoy!
The Mister and I differ greatly on what makes the perfect ice cream. He’s a plain vanilla purist, while I usually view ice cream as an excuse to combine 12 kinds of candy and cookies together (I’m slowly learning to pace myself). But when I found out that today is National Ice Cream Day, this Raspberry Cordial Ice Cream I posted last July immediately came to mind as a crowd pleaser.
So there’s this book blog called Paper Fury that I follow religiously. The author (Cait) is hilarious, quirky, clever, and original…and she blogs about books, which automatically makes her awesome in my world. Anyway, she recently published a post entitled Why Books Should Always (Copiously) Mention Food, and I love it because she basically sums up my reasons for book-and-food blogging. She has this to say about the book/food relationship:
Have you ever had one of those days: a day when you’re convinced that every power on earth has conspired to make everything go wrong? I had one of those days on Monday when I made these buns for our Secret Garden menu. My plan was to get up early to allow for the dough’s two long rising periods, so I started the day off right…by sleeping through my alarm. I also planned to make authentic British hot cross buns with golden syrup and flour paste crosses. Instead, the sugar for my syrup absolutely refused to caramelize (I tried 3 different ways), and the flour paste crosses spread into nothingness when baked. Long story short, I used an Americanized recipe instead. Add in the fact that I managed to lock myself out of my apartment halfway through taking pictures, and it’s really no surprise that 3 pm found me drinking a giant glass of wine.
Still, I have to admit, these guys are pretty darn delicious. 😉
In The Secret Garden, the cook at Misselthwaite Manor creates some darn tasty dishes, but she admits to pulling out all the stops when she makes this young fowl with bread sauce. We recreated the dish here by pairing thyme-seasoned roasted chicken with traditional English bread sauce (adapted from this recipe). An entree fit for a true English manor!
There are lots of culinary staples when it comes to the 4th of July (hot dogs, burgers, corn on the cob, etc.). But the whole point of the day is to celebrate freedom, right? So why not shake things up a little bit and make whatever you want? Make an elegant dessert that shines or awesome steaks instead of burgers. Go wild! We’ve got some recipes below to help you make whatever tickles your fancy this 4th. It’s Independence Day—let your foodie flag fly!
This time last year, we were just starting our Anne of Green Gables menu. In a way, we’ve come full circle. We’re greeting July with a the story of a displaced young orphan girl who breathes vibrancy and life into her new home: The Secret Garden! But this time the home (Misselthwaite Manor) is breathing life into the heroine too. While Anne Shirley was flighty and dreamy, Mary Lennox is serious and grim.
Howdy, folks! I just got back from ringing in July in the best way possible: 5 days of cabin camping with old college buddies! It’s a summer tradition that started 5 years ago. Now that we’re scattered across 3 different states, it’s the most important way we keep in touch. Despite the mosquitoes and lack of cell reception, it’s the highlight of my summer. There’s just something magical about age old inside jokes, ice cream cone s’mores, and late-night discussions about how The Lego Movie is basically The Matrix.
On our way to get groceries for the cabin, we stopped at a Mickey D’s for wi-fi so I could post our final Tom Sawyer recipe: Tom’s Whitewashed Jelly Doughnuts. I brought the leftover doughnuts with me to share at the cabin, and my oh my were they popular, especially with blackberry jam (possibly more so than the original raspberry jam I used). If you’re looking for a drink to go along with your own jelly doughnuts, we just released our Tom Sawyer tea from Adagio: Becky’s Peach Tea! Click here or the image below to visit our tea gallery!
But you’re REALLY here for your Book of the Month photo hint, right? No worries, I’ve got it right here: