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Irish Tea Cake

annaepp.com-Irish-tea-cake-web-1Irish Tea Cake anyone? I do love a good tea party. Ever since I was young and my Mom would allow a tea party it was always a lot of fun and a real treat. Visiting my Scottish grandmother meant that we had tea often and it always seemed to turn into a bit of a party.

Fast forward to having a daughter to share my love of tea parties with and here we are. Since she was quite young she would host tea parties. In her room, outside, on the floor in the family room…wherever and whenever she could she would host a tea party. Even if it was just her and I.
annaepp.com-Irish-tea-cake-web-7We have the Fairmont Chateau Laurier in Ottawa and they hold a High Tea. One of our daughters friends was going for a birthday party so I got all the questions. And then realized that I had never taken her! What have I been thinking? Since we can’t go yet, I figured I would make some tea treats to enjoy with a nice cup of Earl Grey. First up was the Irish Tea Cake.
annaepp.com-Irish-tea-cake-web-9Not too sweet, not too dense, not too dry, just right. The perfect accompaniment to a cup of tea or coffee. At first our daughter was wondering where the icing was, but once she tasted it with the sprinkled sugar she understood. It would have been too much to put icing on it. Although, when fresh strawberries and raspberries are out, we will be sure to make this again and enjoy with a bit of each.
annaepp.com-Irish-tea-cake-web-11Want to try it for yourself? A simple, quick and easy recipe that you can whip up in no time for guests to enjoy, or just for a random Friday.

I followed this recipe from Let’s Dish Recipe’s that I found on Pinterest. I had made one in the past, but couldn’t find that recipe and this one was as close as I could get. Enjoy!

Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • Powdered sugar for dusting
  • Fresh berries and whipped cream, for topping (optional)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a 9-inch round pan.
  2. In a medium bowl, cream together the butter and sugar with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, mixing until fully incorporated. Stir in the vanilla.
  3. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and salt. Stir into the batter alternately with the milk, starting and ending with the flour mixture.
  4. Spread the batter evenly into the prepared pan. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  5. Cool in the pan on a wire rack for about 15 minutess, then turn out onto a serving plate.
  6. Just before serving, dust with powdered sugar. If desired, top slices with fresh berries and/or whipped cream.

 

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Categories: Recipes

Farmhouse Strawberry Jam

When June finally arrives, there is nothing like farm fresh strawberries that we turn into our Farmhouse Strawberry Jam. The warmer the weather, the sweeter the strawberry. Last June we did an experiment, a batch of early Farmhouse Strawberry Jam and a batch of late Farmhouse Strawberry Jam. The early one was lighter in colour and a lot softer in flavor and sweetness. The later batch was darker red and had a full bodied strawberry flavor and was so naturally sweet.

While both are delicious, it depends on how you like your jam. For us, both are welcome, for some they like consistency of one flavor so they only do early or only do late strawberries.

Fresh Ontario Strawberries in a bowl

Strawberries in a bowl

Biscuits are a family favorite here and it takes just a few minutes to whip up a quick batch to taste test our jam. I use my grandmother’s stir and roll biscuit dough recipe from the 60’s and I think of her every time I make some.

Strawberry Jamon biscuits on a blue plate

Farmhouse Strawberry Jam on fresh biscuits

Never turn down a bowl of fresh strawberries!

Strawberries in a blue bowl

Bowl of Farm Fresh Strawberries

Recipe:

60 min prep

longer to sit

makes 8-10 half-pint jars

Ingredients:

2 quarts      fresh hulled strawberries

1 1-3/4oz    package powdered pectin

1/2 tsp        margarine or butter

7 cups        white sugar

Instructions:

  1. Crush berries a cup at a time in a large pot. Stir in pectin and margarine (or butter). Heat on high, stirring constantly, until mixture comes to a full rolling boil. Add sugar all at once. Return to boil for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat; skim off foam.
  2. Ladle at once into hot, sterilized half-pint jars, leaving a 1/4 inch headspace. Wipe jar rims, place lids. Process in a boiling water canning bath for 5 minutes. Remove jars: cool

*You will know they are sealing when you hear pops as the jars cool.

Server on biscuits, toast, ice cream… your options are endless, we even just eat it with a spoon!

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Categories: Farmhouse, Recipes, Uncategorized

Farmhouse Kitchen

farmhouse kitchen after

Our farmhouse kitchen

Welcome to our farmhouse kitchen, where all of the magic happens. This is where we cook, hang out as a family, hosts guests, celebrate pretty much everything, the farmhouse kitchen. It is always said, that everyone ends up in the kitchen. We decided that when we renovated we would include a couch and tv in the farmhouse kitchen, so that we could all hang out no matter what.

farmhouse kitchen before renovating

Our farmhouse kitchen before the renos.

farmhouse kitchen before renos

Our farmhouse kitchen pre-renos.

 

 

 

 

 

 

There is nothing else to say, except that our original (to us) farmhouse kitchen was not very pretty. We are sure that when it was first done and full of family and furnishings, it likely didn’t look that bad. However, if I can’t imagine cooking in it for a family of four, then I really can’t imagine cooking for a family of 6!! The cabinets were built to last anything and the sink/cooking area was extremely tiny. We knew we needed to just tear that all out and fit whatever we could back into the space. It took some wrangling of pieces, but we managed to do it.

farmhouse kitchen after

Our farmhouse kitchen after renos

We didn’t want to move the electrical and plumbing, so we managed to find counter depth fridge and stove (not our smartest move with a family of four, but we make do), a farmhouse sink and great cabinets. The cabinets, sink, stove, microwave, hidden dishwasher and countertops are all IKEA!! Seriously, Ikea should be making their next commercial in our house! We fit the cabinets with mere millimetres to spare, but we did it. The corner where the coffee maker is, is a blind corner at the bottom, there was just no way to make a useful cabinet in that corner. The cabinet under the lower window is a sink cabinet, we (and I use that term liberally, as I suggested it and hubby did it) managed to cut down the cabinet and made it fit beautifully as though it was meant to be. We did all the installation ourselves and had rather awesome praise from the counter installers as they said it was the most flush cabinets they had ever seen! So proud of hubby and all his hard work to make sure they were all level.

Hubby’s great suggestion was to add the glass doors to the row of cabinets between the windows. I am not a fan of the glass doors as everything needs to be matchy matchy and tidy in there, but we managed to put the white dishes and glassware in those cabinets so I don’t twitch when I look at them and the glass reflects light and makes the wall look like a bank of windows instead of just two.

We went with a farmhouse style table, again from Ikea, that opens up to seat a large amount of people. I think the most we have had around the table was 16. We are a family that eats dinner at the table every night. It is our tradition and we have kept it up for over 20 years now, so having a great table to share our day is important to us.

farmhouse kitchen after

Our completed Farmhouse kitchen

And last of all the couch corner.  All four of us can actually sit here together if we want to and watch a game, we have since installed another tv where we have more room or can use both rooms at the same time if there are lots of people watching together. This is the family room and the kitchen all in one. We love it, we use it every day, and we wouldn’t change it for anything.

farmhouse kitchen after

Seating area in the farmhouse kitchen

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Categories: Farmhouse