Monday, November 27, 2023

Instant Pot Potato and Leek Soup

Potato and Leek Soup
I had some potatoes and leeks,and I decided to try this soup. I have been wanting to make it for awhile now. It is simple and filling, perfect for the cold weather.  I served it with a grilled cheese sandwich.

Ingredients:
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 leeks, sliced white and some green parts only
4 cups chicken broth
2 potatoes, peeled and cut into 2-inch cubes
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper 
1/2 cup heavy cream
croutons (optional) 

Instructions:
Select sautee on the Instant Pot and heat the oil. Add the leeks and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the stock. potatoes, and 1 teaspoon salt and stir in. Press the cancel button to rest the program. 
Lock the lid in place and turn the valve to Sealing. Press the Pressure Cook button and set the cook time for 10 minutes at high pressure. 
Let the steam release naturally, or for at least 15 minutes before turning the valve to Venting, then quick release any remaining steam. Carefully remove the lid. Stir in the cream. Taste to adjust seasoning. Serve hot with croutons on top.  
Serves 4-6

Potato and Leek Soup
In Victory,
Sherry

Monday, November 20, 2023

Thanksgiving Tea

 Thanskgiving Tea
This is the little tea I sat up for Thanksgiving. It seemed perfect in front of the fireplace-nice and cozy.

Thanksgiving Tea
The fare is mini chocolate lava cakes, snickerdoodle scones, and turkey and provolone sandwiches with cranberry sauce. 

Thanskgiving Tea
This holiday is all about feasting, which has me baking and cooking for two weeks. It is special to us also because there is a lot to be thankful for.

Thanksgiving Tea
I noticed all my dishes were transferware. All the patterns are different, but they still mix well with their autumn colors. 

Thanksgiving Tea
A beautiful teapot in white works well with the table. 

Thanksgiving Tea
Give thanks and enjoy the little things everyday. Pray without ceasing. Be thankful in all circumstances.

In Victory!
Sherry

Friday, November 17, 2023

Slow Cooker Salted Caramel Pear Apple Butter

 Salted Caramel Pear Apple Butter

Nothing makes it fall more than apple butter. This year, I took it further with my attempt at making it and tried this pear and apple butter.
Slow Cooker Salted Caramel Pear Apple Butter
Ingredients:
3.5 pounds apples 
3.5 pounds of pears 
1/4 cup water
6 tablespoons lemon juice
2 cups dark brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste or extract
1 teaspoon sea salt
 
Insructions:
Place all ingredients into a slow cooker (6-8 quarts). Turn the slow cooker on low and cover for 12 hours. Mine cooked 14-16 hours. 
Use an immersion blender or I used my countertop blender and purred the fruit until smooth.
Then I put back into the crock pot and kept warm (low setting) for six hours. The butter cooks for around 22-24 hours in total. Adjust the seasonings to your liking and store in the refrigerator for 2-4 weeks or water bath process. Ladel the butter into hot sanitized jars (1/2 pints), leaving 1/4 inch headspace. Process in boiling water bath for 10 minutes.
 *I added 3/4 teaspoon cinnamon and 3/4 cup of white sugar to this and then canned.
Recipe adapted from: Epicurious

Salted Caramel Pear Apple Butter

Salted Caramel Pear Apple Butter
 November is all about hunting. The perfect time to pull out this plate!

Enjoy!
In Victory,
Sherry

Monday, November 13, 2023

Autumn Garden Tea

 Autumn Garden Tea

I have not had enough tea in the garden this year. I wanted to have tea in the autumn, which is my favorite time of the year. The leaves peaked about a week ago, but it is still really nice outside today. 

Autumn Garden Tea
Enjoying the crunch of the leaves, someone in the distance has a fire burning. It smells like hickory wood.  

Autumn Garden Tea
The composition book is my garden journal for next year. I always use composition books for garden journals. 

Autumn Garden Tea
The garden is put to bed for the winter, but I have been mulling over in my mind some ideas for next year. I was looking at my favorite garden book while sipping tea. This book is Betty Crocker's Kitchen Gardens, with illustrations by Tasha Tudor. This page I have opened is a garden plan drawn by Tudor.

Autumn Garden Tea
The blackberry leaves are really colorful. Most of the leaves on the trees have already fallen.

Autumn Garden Tea
My vintage English teapot keeps the tea warm while I enjoy the garden.

Autumn Garden Cat
One of our kitties has gotten his winter coat. I have never seen him so fluffy; he looks like a miniature lion.

Autumn Garden Tea
I am also wearing boots to explore the garden; the rubber garden shoes are put away until spring, when much work begins again.

In Victory,
Sherry

Friday, November 10, 2023

Apple Cider Mini Bundt Cakes & Cupcakes

 Apple Cider Mini Bundt Cakes

I have been in the mood to create mini treats for teatime. I just loved the look of these little cakes, and the season has been perfect for some baking. Now if your thinking, I wonder if she has gotten a mini bundt maker appliance. You would be right.

Mini Bundt Cake Maker
I have gotten several of these "mini" appliances, and I haven't used them all yet. This was the first time I had tried this one. It took only a well-rounded teaspoon of batter to fill each bundt cake indentation.

Mini Bundt Maker
When I got the first one out and turned it over, I was most pleased with how cute they were! The extra batter just spills over and bakes outside on the bundt cake mold; it peels right off and leaves a perfect little cake.

Apple Cider Mini Bundt Cakes
Here are the little bundt cakes cooling just as you would cool a full-sized cake. Right away, I see the potential for using these as appetizers or for any tea party. It would be most adorable for a child's tea party.

Apple Cider Mini Bundt Cakes
I am using a cream cheese icing glaze here to decorate them.

Apple Cider Mini Bundt Cakes
For the finishing touch, I am sprinkling them with finely chopped walnuts.

Apple Cider Mini Bundt Cakes
So the recipe made twenty mini bundt cakes and eight regular-sized cupcakes. If you don't have apple cider, you can subsititute apple juice, which is what I used here. I need to make more mini creations! These were just too fun.

Apple Cider Cupcakes 

Ingredients:
1 package (15 oz.) of spice cake mix (or if you don't have that, the internet will have a DIY spice cake mix)
1/4 cup apple cider or apple juice
3 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 teaspoon apple pie spice (this also can be found on the internet to make your own, that's what I did)
1/4 cup finely diced walnuts, for garnish

Instructions:
Preheat oven to 350°F.
Use the batter to fill the mini bundt maker for 20 mini cakes and fill a regular sized cupcake pan with 8 paper cupcake liners.
Beat the cake mix, apple cider, eggs, oil, and apple pie spice on low with an electric mixer until blended. Beat at medium speed for two minutes. Evenly fill the bundt cake maker with a rounded over teaspoon of batter and close the lid following manufacturers directions. They should bake for around 2-5 minutes. Check them to see if they are getting golden brown. Use a heat proof non-scratching spatuala to lift the mini cakes out of the bundt cake maker and cool the mini cakes on a wire rack.
For the cupcakes: Evenly pour the batter in the eight cupcake liners and bake for 18-20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Remove the cupcakes from pan and cool on a wire rack.
Top with frosting and chopped nuts.
Recipe adapted from: Loving Living Lancaster

Cream Cheese Glaze
Ingredients:

4 ounces cream cheese, softened to room temperature
1/2 cup confectioners sugar (powdered suagr)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3-4 tablespoons milk
 Beat the cream cheese with handheld mixer until very smooth. Mix in the confectioners sugar. Stir in the vanilla and milk until you have then desired consistency to drizzle.

Enjoy!
In Victory!
Sherry

Monday, November 6, 2023

Cottage Tea

 Cottage Tea

I took my little tea tray to my cottage corner and wanted to photograph this setting. I served apple cider mini bundt cakes and cupcakes and had hibicus tea. I will share the recipe later this week.

Cottage Tea
There is nothing more cozy than a steaming cup of tea. 

Cottage Tea

Cottage Tea

Cottage Tea
And now the light is fading as I have been cooking and setting up my tea. The sun is setting earlier and casting shadows where there were none an hour ago. 

In Victory,
Sherry