Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Roast Chicken, Homemade Brown Bread, Asparagus

Unfortunately, Sunday was rainy. Instead of cooking our roasting chicken outside on the grill rotisserie, we roasted it in the oven. For something a bit different, we made the Roast Lemon Chicken that we frequently make, but we substituted orange for lemon. This is not a Lemon Roast Chicken stuffed with lemon and covered with salt and lemon, which we also frequently make. This recipe involved slicing the chicken and squishing it down them pouring in chicken broth and freshly squeezed lemon (orange) juice.

First, use kitchen shears to cut through the bones on either side of the backbone and use the heel of your hand to flatten the breastbone.

Next, make a zest mixture of 3 T grated zest (lemon or orange), 1 tsp sugar, and 1 tsp salt. Rub 2 T of the zest mixture under the skin of the chicken. Season chicken with salt and pepper and place in roasting pan. We used a glass casserole dish.

Whisk together 2 cups low sodium chicken broth, 1 cup water, 1/3 cup lemon (or orange ) juice, and remaining zest mixture. Pour into roasting pan. If the liquid doesn't reach the skin of the thighs, add enough water to reach the skin of the thighs.SP handled all the raw chicken cutting and smushing and seasoning!

Roast until golden brown, about 40-45 minutes (or until thigh meat registers 170-175 degrees).Transfer chicken to a cutting board and let it rest. Time for 'gravy!'

Pour the liquid from the roasting pan into a saucepan. Skim off the fat and then cook over medium high heat until reduced to about a cup. Whisk 1 tsp cornstarch with 1 T water and then whisk into saucepan. Simmer until slightly thickened. Remove from heat and whisk in 3 T unsalted butter and 1 T finely chopped fresh parsley (we used dried).Carve and serve chicken with sauce.Orange instead of lemon was tasty and I'd do it again for something different, but I think I like the lemon a bit better.

SP got out the bread machine and made us a tasty brown bread with parmesan and basil. Mmmm yum! He found the recipe online, but I'm not sure where. The bread has a nice crisp crust and the crust has a very nice parmesan taste from the cheese browning in the crust. I didn't really taste the basil, maybe because we used dried and not fresh, but that doesn't matter - the bread itself is quite tasty.We roasted asparagus for our vegetable. The usual seasoning: salt, pepper, olive oil, grated parmesan.A delicious Sunday meal with leftovers!

Bread:
1 and 1/8 cups water
1.5 T olive oil
1/3 cup grated parmesan
1/3 tsp salt
1 T sugar
1 tsp basil
1.5 cups whole wheat flour
1.5 cups white flour
1.5 tsp yeast

Monday, March 29, 2010

Houlihan's

Saturday was again one of those 'blur of errands' days! SP took care of some car business - oil change and then a car wash. No more snow/salt residue! He also got his hair cut, stopped by South Hills Village, picked up lunch meat & cheese at Portman's, went to Shop 'N Save & Costco, and got gas. Whew!!! He left around 9:30 am and got home around 3:30 pm -- but there were still more errands!

He unloaded and put away the groceries and then we went to Robinson Mall. It's Bonus Gift time for Clinique. I also browsed through the shoes and clothes and we looked at ties for the wedding. SP is not wearing a tuxedo. He's wearing his new black suit. But, we needed a tie. We found one we liked and we think it'll look OK with a black suit/white shirt, but we'll be consulting the mother of the bride when she arrives this evening!!! She has final approval!!!

We also got him some new jeans and polo shirts. By then, we were hungry, and SP's glucose monitor was beeping the beeps that mean "EAT SOMETHING!" We weren't in the mood for Mall Food Court food, so we decided to try Houlihan's. Spicy & Blue had a decent dining experience there a few weeks ago and we had a coupon.

It was probably a bit after 6 when we walked in. We were seated right away - this surprised us both a bit. We expected the usual dinner time in Robinson crowds. I still like the old Houlihan's decor better than this newer, sleeker, modern type decor, but it's not bad.

We both ordered iced teas and SP got a Blue Moon beer.

Our coupon was for 2 free Small Plates up to $14. We decided to try a trio of sliders, choosing one each Pulled Pork, Pot Roast, and Shrimp Po'Boy, and we decided to try the Goat Cheese & Artichoke Poppers.

I should point out that we assumed the Small Plates were similar to Appetizers. They are listed separately on the menu, but both on the first page of the food menu. I guess I thought they were smaller portion appetizers? Slightly larger portion appetizers? The point is, we would never think to make a meal of Goat Cheese & Artichoke Poppers and/or Frites, so... we figured the Small Plates would be served before our meals. Wrong.

Our meals arrived first. We were surprised and asked the server where our Small Plates were. He informed us that the Small Plates are served when they are ready, not necessarily before the meal. Turns out our Small Plates were ready at about the same time so we got them right after our meals arrived, which wasn't something horrible, especially not at a chain restaurant in a mall, but we would have preferred to have our Small Plates first.

Back to the Small Plates. Here's the Goat Cheese & Artichoke Poppers:Yummy. Then again, how can you really mess up something with goat cheese? Or something fried? They weren't too greasy and the balsamic on the plate was a nice addition. I'd get these again. Mmmmm melted goat cheese:The sliders, from left to right Shrimp Po'Boy, Pulled Pork, Pot Roast:These could have been a meal for me! We split each slider, but even so, probably because of the buns, they were fairly filling for me. The Shrimp Po'Boy was the best. The Pulled Pork one was tasty but I would have liked a bit more BBQ sauce wetness. The tiny pickle fries on top of the pulled pork were yummy. The Pot Roast was good, too - even SP tried it and he doesn't eat beef! Again, I would have liked a bit more gravy wetness.

For meals, we each chose a sandwich. SP chose the Farmhouse Club: brown sugar and honey cured ham, mesquite smoked turkey breast, thick sliced bacon, basil pesto aioli and buttery gouda on whole-grain bread, topped with spring mix and juicy tomatoes.It was huge and came with fries. He said it was very good; it must have been since he ate the whole sandwich!

I chose the Brentwood Chicken Sandwich: grilled chicken breast with fresh chopped rosemary, topped with smoked bacon, gouda cheese and Dijon-spiked mayo on a toasted bun, served with baby greens, vine ripe tomato and onion. This, too, was huge and quite tasty. I brought half of it home for lunch on Sunday.

The last time we ate at Houlihan's, we shard a dessert of donuts and they were pretty good. So we knew going in that we were going to order the donuts for dessert. Unfortunately, they weren't as tasty as we remembered. These ones tasted like they had been left in the fryer a bit too long because the outer coating was bit too thick and hard. They also tasted much more cinnamon-sugary to me then last time, and while I love cinnamon, I've never been a fan of cinnamon-sugar dusted donuts.

The donuts come with 2 dipping sauces. One was dark chocolate and the other I think was white chocolate, but it didn't seem to really have a taste. I stuck with the dark chocolate sauce. We ate all the donuts, but at the end I was peeling off the outer crust and just eating the insides of the donuts!

It was a decent meal and I would go back if we were at the mall and it was lunch or dinner time. I certainly enjoyed the food more than I do at Bahama Breeze or Olive Garden or other chains. The restaurant did get a bit noisy and it was hard to hear SP and the server.

My only other complaint: our server put our check on the table before asking if we wanted dessert. When we said we wanted the donuts, he apologized and mumbled something about how he assumed we weren't having dessert since I didn't finish my whole meal. That does make sense, in the sense of when you're a little kid you don't get dessert if you don't eat all your dinner, but I deliberately only ate half the sandwich so I could have dessert. I almost always eat only about half my meal and take the rest home and then order dessert. Does that make me odd? Do other people do that? I always assumed so. Meals can be huge and if you eat all of a meal, you might not have room for dessert, and for someone like me, dessert is important!! Even if we weren't going to eat dessert in the restaurant, maybe we wanted something to take home for later, which we also frequently do.

After stuffing ourselves, we ventured back into the mall. We finally left around 8 pm and we just wanted to go home and relax, so we skipped the other errands on the list. There's always next weekend!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Salad, Shrimp, and Pudding

This week we are eating salad. This is noteworthy because we have not had salad at home in a very long time. SP bought a large container of mixed greens, Campari tomatoes, a cucumber, and a red pepper when he did the grocery shopping. We had carrots in the veggie bin and huge jars of Kalamata olives and green olives plus his Chipotle olives from Dahlonega, GA:We also had slivered almonds to add to the salad.

For dressing, we made a balsamic dressing. The recipe is on the side of our salad dressing bottle. It's canola oil, olive oil, Dijon mustard, balsamic vinegar, and basil. Yum!

Along with our salad, we cooked some frozen, breaded shrimp that we bought at Costco. These are actually just a super huge box of the Sea-Pak frozen, breaded shrimp that grocery stores sell. They're pretty tasty. And quick: bake at 425 for 12-14 minutes.
We always have a container of whole milk in the refrigerator. It's for me to use when I make my lattes. I don't like skim/low fat milk. Sometimes I don't use all the milk before the expiration date. I can't drink milk anymore - it bothers my stomach - so the whole milk is only used for coffees/lattes and in desserts.

Instant pudding is a great way to use up soon-to-expire milk. Monday evening, SP whisked together a package of instant chocolate pudding and the end of my expiring whole milk. That was dessert after the salad & shrimp - chocolate pudding topped with a generous dollop of Redi-Whip. A lovely, quick, tasty dessert.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Sauteed Chicken with Shallot/White Wine Sauce

The Pittsburgh Weather forecasters... well, what can I say. They all said rain on Sunday. Rain in the afternoon. Maybe not until evening. But rain. So on Sunday we abandoned our hopes of grilling for the first time this year.

It turns out we never saw any rain at our house on Sunday (well, maybe after we went to bed). So we could have grilled. At least we were able to open up the sunroom and hang out in there for the first time since last October. That was very nice & relaxing.

Sunday dinner was quick and something new. We received a cookbook in the mail a few weeks ago. We had not ordered it. Had not asked for it. It was one of those 'try it, return if you don't like, keep if you do and pay us this amount and we'll keep sending you cookbooks' deals. We REALLY dislike such deals (tactics).

But we flipped through the cookbook anyway. I copied down a recipe before we mailed the cookbook back. Is that wrong of me? Maybe. But we did have to make the effort to return the cookbook we never asked for, so I think I deserve one recipe from the book.I didn't copy down the official 'name' of the recipe, but I think it's 'Sauteed Chicken with Shallot and White Wine Sauce.' This is a very easy recipe. Cook the chicken (the recipe says to dredge in flour and saute in a pan; we did not dredge and saute; we baked our chicken). Saute a chopped shallot in vegetable oil. Add white wine and chicken broth; simmer until thickened. We added a bit of flour to the wine/broth mixture to help thicken it since we didn't dredge the chicken in flour and then saute it in the pan. Remove from heat and stir in butter, whole grain mustard, and fresh dill (we used dried and sprinkled in until it looked good).OK, maybe we added a wee bit much dill, but we love dill, and it didn't taste too dill-y when we ate it. We cut our baked chicken into cubes and added the cubes to the sauce.Eat & enjoy!

We really liked this recipe, probably because we love dill. And wine! Plus it's really easy and quick to make. The addition of white wine really enhances the sauce - makes it more exciting than simply chicken broth with dill. We used real wine, not bottled cooking wine, since we had a bottle of sauvignon blanc that had been chilling in the refrigerator for a few weeks and after the not-so-great first half of the weekend we figured we deserved to unwind with some tasty wine! Plus, Pitt lost to Xavier so I needed consoling.

For side dishes, we made both white (for me) and brown (for SP) rices plus steamed broccoli.

It felt soooo nice to have a healthy meal after the horrible meals we ate at the end of last week and on Saturday!!!
Recipe:
1/2 cup flour
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (1.5 lbs)
2 T vegetable oil
1 shallot
3/4 cup chicken broth
1/2 cup white wine
3 T unsalted butter
2 T chopped fresh dill
1 T whole grain mustard

Dredge chicken in flour. Heat 1 T oil in skillet. Add chicken and cook until golden brown. Transfer to plate and tent with foil. Add the other 1 T oil to the skillet. Add shallot and cook shallot until soft, about 1 minute. Stir in broth & wine. Simmer until slightly thickened, about 8 minutes. Remove from heat and whisk in butter, dill, and mustard. Season with salt & pepper. Spoon sauce over chicken. Serve.

Sunny Weekend

pomegranate rosehip tea
After the flurry of food tidbits to post about last week, I find myself with a food void! This past weekend was definitely a non-food filled weekend. It actually was a bit of an annoying & disappointing weekend. Here's how it went:

Friday night dinner: completely random and not very healthy. We finished the frozen TGIFriday's mozzarella sticks & Costco spanakopita in the freezer along with some veggies lurking in the veggie bin.

Friday night fun: Watched The Princess & the Frog. We enjoyed this movie! Light-hearted Disney fun - and with frogs (I like frogs).

Saturday morning: The usual morning routine of yogurt, tea, and reading the newspaper plus a weekend treat - SP made me scrambled eggs with ham and Swiss on an English muffin. Yum! I didn't take any photos.

A bit after lunchtime, we headed off to Munhall for the 2 year old nephew's birthday party. Beautiful, sunny, warm spring day in Pittsburgh. The perfect day to be stuck in traffic for over an hour trying to get from Robinson to Munhall. The Parkway West was backed up to Carnegie so we got off at Green Tree and tried West End/ Carson Street but that really wasn't much better. Grrrr. We were late. Very late.

The party was inside. No one seemed to want to be outside on the patio enjoying the awesome weather and I got a wee bit annoyed that we were stuck inside a stuffy social room instead of outside enjoying the most awesome day since last fall.

There were kids with icky sticky hands and who were coughing and sniffling and trying to play with me and all I could think was THE GERMS!! HELP I'M GOING TO GET SICK. I washed my hands very vigorously and with a lot of soap when we left.

Sadly, the birthday boy fell asleep right after we sang 'Happy Birthday' and cut the cake so he didn't open his gifts. Isn't that the best part of a little kid's party - watching him open his gifts? Nope, not this one. The other kids and his parents opened his gifts while he slept for 2 hours. What a disappointment.

Then it was 5 pm and the party was over. Time to leave. We haven't seen a movie since early January and there are several we want to see so we made the short drive over to AMC Loews Waterfront. We decided to see the 5:45 pm showing of Green Zone and we were thinking we'd be in time to catch the last matinee (it was before 6 pm) - yay cheaper movie price. But no. Apparently, that theater has some crazy pricing scheme that I just don't have the brainpower to try to understand right now (I was googling their site to confirm my memory of Saturday's pricing discoveries) but the point here is that a 5:45 pm movie on a Saturday afternoon at AMC Loews Waterfront is full adult price.

That's disappointing because the brand new Cinemark Robinson Theater that is 2 minutes from our house is $8.75 for a Saturday evening movie (after 6 pm) and $6 for a movie before 6 pm any day of the week plus the first showing of each movie any day of the week is only $5. I think from now on we'll stick with our theater.

So we paid $10 each plus $5 for a soda. We really enjoyed the movie, so that was good. We left the theater a little before 8 pm. When I grabbed my phone to turn the ringer volume back up, I saw I had just missed a call from my dad. I gave him a quick call back and discovered that both Villanova and Kansas had lost. AARRGGHH. That kills my (and SP's) basketball bracket selections. So much for winning this year. Go Kansas State.

We were near Squirrel Hill so of course we went to Te Cafe, figuring we needed to do something to improve the day and relax a bit plus we were still out of Blue Lady and Orange Spice tea. And we had brought a bunch of magazines from our growing stack of reading material. As we approached, we noticed a sign that said 30% off teas and we got excited about a tea sale, not realizing until we got inside and overheard some employees talking that everything is on sale because THEY'RE CLOSING.

Terrible, terrible news for us. We LOVE the teas at tea cafe, we prefer hanging out there to hanging out in a coffee shop (or a bar), and the news that they are closing was sad. The owners are closing for personal reasons, not financial, and there's hope that someone might buy it and keep it open, but nothing close to happening yet so as of the end of this month, they're closing.

We stayed almost until closing, enjoying some Panettone Tea (black; for me) and House of Orange (green; for SP), and catching up on our reading. We also stocked up on Lemon Spice, White Peony, House of Orange, and Pomegranate Rosehip. They were still out of Blue Lady and Orange Spice. Oh well...

Saturday was not really a great day! We spent a lot of time in traffic. We ate horribly (chips, cookies, birthday cake, soda). We didn't get to enjoy the afternoon warmth and sunshine. We thought we would save a bit of money (and avoid annoying teens/college kids) by seeing a matinee but that didn't work out (not even the avoiding obnoxious teens/college kids by seeing an early movie). Both of our basketball brackets are busted. We had our last trip to Te Cafe.

When we got home around 10:30, we spent some time going through the mail and putting our new teas away and then we went to bed, hoping that the rain would hold off on Sunday so that we could enjoy a nice day.

lemon spice tea

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Lobster Ravioli

This past week has been all about easy dinners! And I guess a pasta/seafood theme. In addition to the Crab & Artichoke Orzo Salad, we've been enjoying some Lobster Ravioli, purchased at Costco.These are just OK. Maybe our expectations were too high but we both said they didn't taste as good as we expected (hoped).We used jarred sauce. The sauce was sort of an impulse buy. There was a huge display of Muir Glen Organic Pasta Sauce next to the check out several weeks ago (at Market District) and the flavors sounded yummy. Plus, the sauce was on sale. So we decided to try it since we knew we were out of jarred sauce.

We like to keep jarred sauce on hand for those times when you suddenly realize there's nothing for dinner (not even eggs) so you figure you'll cook some pasta/pull some frozen ravioli out and heat some sauce but then discover there's no sauce so you have to eat your pasta dry or with butter. We try to avoid not having sauce!

Here's the interior of one of the ravioli (can't really see much, though):

Friday, March 19, 2010

Impulse Buying - Snacks

Impulse buying. It's tough to resist some of those store displays. Or seeing something you haven't enjoyed in quite some time. Especially in a store like Market District. Usually, SP does the grocery shopping without me, which cuts down on the impulse buying because if I am not there, he won't go 'off the list' because I'll give him a hard time when he gets home. But when we go together, we both are likely to let the other person impulse buy because we like to make each other happy.

It's no secret that I like treats. A lot. I try to avoid treats like chips. They're salty, fatty, and usually leave a yucky taste in my mouth (here's looking at you, Cool Ranch Doritos that taste so good yet leave me feeling so disgusting afterwards). I'm not always successful. Sometimes, SP brings home little bags of stuff like Sun Chips and before he can get them to his desk drawer at work (for afternoon snacks), I've pounced. Mmmm cheesy Sun Chips.

Sometimes, as hard as I try to not make eye contact with the treats in stores, it just happens. Like this past Saturday when we cut down the chip aisle to go find the pasta aisle and right in front of my face was a wall of Cheez-Its with huge "SALE' signs. I stopped and pointed and said 'Cheez-Its' in a way that made SP laugh and ask which kind I wanted. How could we possibly resist on sale Cheez-Its???I hadn't had Cheez-Its in years. They have been a nice afternoon snack this week while I worked my through some books and magazines in the 'To Read' pile.

Cookies. I love baking and for the most part we bake our cookie treats or buy bakery treats. Rarely do we buy packaged cookies and if we do, it's almost always Pepperidge Farm. SP found these in the cookie aisle and wanted to try them:I think these are just OK. Some Pepperidge Farm cookies (including these Mango-Peach Verona cookies) were on sale at WalMart and SP likes mango-peach flavored foods, so we bought a package. I prefer the Milanos.

I used to love the Keebler Elf cookies, especially those EL Fudge sandwich cookies - and especially the double stuffed ones! The Fudge Shoppe Cookies are good, too. And the Sandies. Keebler Elf cookies were great to take to work for a quick treat in the afternoon - either to fill a grumbly tummy or a quick way to cheer myself up!! We had a coupon for a new kind of Fudge Shoppe cookie:These are pretty good. I might not buy them again since I like the Grasshoppers better. But they're pretty good for a store bought packaged cookie.The cookies were sort of impulse buys - we always have a treat after dinner and we knew we weren't going to have time to bake so if we wanted cookies we had to buy them. They were on sale/we had a coupon. And, they're medically necessary!!! We have to have treats on hand for when SP's blood sugar goes low and he needs a quick something to bring it back up.

The Cheez-Its - well, those were absolutely an impulse! Next trip, we're avoiding the chip aisle. If I don't see them, I don't think about them, I don't want them. I never put chips on the grocery list. I am never at home and craving chips unless I know we have them in the pantry. But if I know they're in the pantry, or if I am in a store and make eye contact with Fritos... or Sun Chips... or Cheez-Its... or Swiss Cheese Crackers... it's usually a losing battle and I have to have them. And then I rip open the bag and snarf them up. And feel gross. And blame SP who just raises his eyebrows and laughs at me.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Healthy (?) Dessert

There's a reason it's better for SP to do the grocery without me. I get distracted by tasty treats, especially in a store like Market District, and especially when they offer samples of tasty treats.

When we first walked in and over to the deli ordering kiosk, we saw a station with samples of a dessert dipper. There were 3 flavors: chocolate, vanilla, and cinnamon. The cinnamon was really tasty so we decided to get some and have it with apple and/or pear slices for dessert this week. Yum!

The dessert dipper isn't cream cheese nor is it yogurt; according to the ingredient list, it's simply milk, dry milk, salt, vinegar, sugar, and cinnamon.I think the cinnamon is the best flavor and I like it better with the apples than the pears although it tastes good with pears, too. I feel a bit 'healthier' eating apples with this dessert dipper for dessert after last week's indulgence in Bethel Bakery goodies!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Irish Cheese and Crab & Artichoke Orzo Salad

Since it's St. Patrick's Day, I thought I'd write about the Irish cheese we bought at Market District last weekend.It was an impulse purchase. Well, sort of. We had received flyers in the mail and Facebook posts about Market District's featured March cheese, Kerrygold Cheddar. Yum. We love cheese. So we had already decided that we wanted to buy some of this cheese. When we went to Market District on Saturday, we discovered that they had a station of Kerrygold cheese samples: Cheddar flavored with Irish Whiskey, Cheddar flavored with Stout, Aged Cheddar. They all tasted wonderful but at $15.99/lb (around that) they were tasty and a bit pricey.

So we pawed through the wrapped chunks and found a smallish hunk of the Cheddar with Irish Whiskey. Sunday night, we enjoyed a few slices of this cheese with dinner. I'm happy to report that it is such a lovely, crumbly, rich cheese that we were not tempted to eat the entire block in one sitting, which I feared. We each had 1.5 slices.Sunday night dinner was Crab and Artichoke Orzo Salad. It's a recipe from Food & Wine May 2006. We've made this dish several times before and it is one of our favorite dishes. We had one can of lump crabmeat leftover from when we purchased it at a terrific price at Market District's grand opening last November plus we had our huge Costco jars of artichokes and sun-dried tomatoes so all we needed was the orzo, which took us quite a while to locate in the pasta aisle at Market District. Usually we buy orzo in a box but there was no boxed orzo; we finally found a bag of orzo tucked into a corner of a shelf.The dressing is a tangy blend of artichokes, white wine vinegar, olive oil, mustard, shallot, basil, and oregano.Mmm. This dish makes a lot so there's leftovers for the week - super easy leftovers since this dish doesn't need to be reheated! Just pull out the bowl and dig in!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Hyeholde Afternoon Tea

Last Friday, L and I finally celebrated my birthday! Yes, it's about 4 months late, but shortly after my birthday we both got busy with the winter holidays and then this past January-February was so darn snowy plus factor in that she has 2 small children who, like most kids, frequently get sick and then she gets sick, and it took until March 12 for us to finally get together for our usual birthday afternoon tea!So Friday at 4 pm we arrived at Hyeholde Restaurant for afternoon tea. We were seated at our usual table, right in front of a fireplace. There was not a fire when we arrived but not long after an employee built a fire.Our server brought a tea chest filled with tea choices. I still feel as if a restaurant like Hyeholde should offer loose teas, but the tea bags are good quality teas (not just Lipton) and there are many from which to choose: Mint Green, Chocolate Mint, Darjeeling, Earl Grey, English Breakfast, Moroccan Mint, Tropical Green, just to name a few. I chose English Breakfast and L chose Green Jasmine.The first course is 4 small savory treats. Every time we go, the savory treats are different, which is nice.There was a small cup of Rutabaga Bisque. It was a creamy soup, garnished with 2 microgreens. It was a creamy soup and very, very tasty.A small grilled mushroom salad with chestnut puree is made from local wild mushrooms. It was very good - there was a very slight smokey flavor.A chunk of creamy cheese studded with walnuts, placed between 2 thin crackers and garnished with a raspberry and locally made honey was also excellent. I cannot usually eat honey by itself, but I scooped up all the honey drizzle because it was so good!Last was a thin baguette slice with microgreens and tiny tomato slices under a spoonful of shrimp salad. That was my favorite of the 4 savory treats and I was happy to also eat L's shrimp salad since she doesn't like shrimp.

The second course is the sweets.First to arrive was a Meyer Lemon Cake parfait treat - I think there was a bit of almond sponge cake with lemony curd and lemon cream.

Next the scones and a glass pedestal with 2 treats arrived. The treats on the glass pedestal were a mini pecan tart and a chocolate layer treat.The pecan tart was yummy and the chocolate layer treat was deliciously chocolaty.The scones were strawberry scones served with cream and a jelly. It was a red berry jelly but I don't remember what flavor it was! The scones were also yummy.

As usual, we sat and talked and sipped tea and enjoyed treats for nearly 3 hours. A wonderfully leisurely afternoon tea/belated birthday celebration.

L's birthday is in April. I suspect we won't have her birthday afternoon tea until July, but of course I am already looking forward to it and wondering what the small treats will be next time.