Books, Tea, and the Trinity: Twice Baked Potatoes

Back in 2020, some friends and I started a Tea Party/Bible Study/Book Club. We met every Wednesday and worked our way through the Chronicles of Narnia and are currently working through the Lorien Legacies. When we started I resolved to share all the recipes, we have made-but I haven’t gone through them as quickly as I hoped. 

When we completed The Magician’s Nephew,The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe; and A Horse and His Boy; we moved on to book four, Prince Caspian. This book is one of my favorites in the series as I love Prince Caspian (although the Disney film version is horrible). Like A Horse and His Boy, this book did not mention a lot of specific foods, so we planned whatever we wanted to make.

As I wasn’t in charge of this book, there will be no discussion questions, just recipes. 

The first week we had Apple Cinnamon Scones: Salmon Radish Cucumber Canapés, Cinnamon Bread-Honey-Cheese-Apple and Ham Sandwiches, Kellogg’s Cheese Potato Crisps, and Applesauce Cake; all paired with Caroline’s Coffee Roaster Princess Earl Grey (as we needed to have some royal-tea).

The next week we had lavender flowering tea, Irish Soda Bread, Tuna Salad, Twice Baked Potatoes, carrot soup, and Quaker Oatmeal Cookies with Chocolate Chips.

I originally wanted to make the Teatime Magazine twice baked mice potatoes in honor of Reepicheep entering the story; but when I went to the market they were all out of the small potatoes and I had to buy larger ones. I will attempt this recipe again, with small potatoes, and try to make them as nice

Ingredients:

  • 1 (24-ounce) bag small red potatoes
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1¾ teaspoons kosher salt, divided
  • ½ cup finely grated sharp Cheddar cheese
  • 6 tablespoons sour cream
  • 1 tablespoon whole milk
  • 24 (2½x⅛-inch) slices green onion, green parts only
  • 24 sliced almonds, lightly toasted
  • 2 black olives, finely chopped

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 425°. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a large bowl, toss potatoes with oil and 1 teaspoon salt. Place potatoes on prepared baking sheet.
  3. Bake until tender when pierced with a fork, approximately 18 minutes. Let cool on pan on a wire cooling rack.
  4. Reduce oven temperature to 375°.
  5. Using a sharp knife, cut 12 potatoes in half lengthwise. Peel and discard skins from remaining potatoes. Transfer peeled potatoes to a medium bowl.
  6. Using a ¼ teaspoon, scoop a small well from potato halves, adding pulp from wells to bowl with whole, peeled potatoes. Using a fork, slightly mash whole, peeled potatoes. Add cheese, sour cream, and remaining ¾ teaspoon salt. Beat with a mixer at medium speed until smooth. Add milk, beating until incorporated (mixture will be thick). Transfer mixture to a piping bag fitted with an open-star tip (Wilton #4B).
  7. Pipe potato mixture back and forth into potato shells. Return filled potato shells to baking sheet.
  8. Bake until warmed through, 15 to 20 minutes. Let potatoes cool to room temperature.
  9. In a medium bowl full of cold water, place 2½-inch-long green onion slices to curl for tails. Blot dry on paper towels just before using.
  10. To create whiskers, using a sharp knife, gently cut a slit at each end of ¾-inch-long green onion slices.
  11. On each potato, gently press into place 2 almond slices for ears. Using tweezers, place 2 olive bits for eyes, green onion whiskers, and a green onion tail. Serve within an hour.

Notes: Potatoes can be prepared and filled up to 3 days ahead, let cool completely, place in an airtight container, and refrigerate. Up to 2 hours before serving, warm filled potatoes in a 375° oven. Let cool before decorating as mice.

So I did try to turn my large potatoes into large mice, but it just didn’t work out. Instead I had to admit defeat and just make regular twice baked potatoes.

These were delicious and like I said above, I plan on making them again. And even though they were not boiled, I do think Mr. Collins would have enjoyed them too.

For more from our Books, Tea, and the Trinity tea times, go to Applesauce Cake

For more potato recipes, go to Cheese Potato Crisps

For more Teatime Magazine recipes, go to Brisket and Slaw Roulades

For more recipes, go to Rice Krispies Chocolate Chip Cookies

For more tea posts, go to Spill the Tea: There & Back Again Cafe

Non-Austen Reads for Austen Readers: Miss Abbott and the Doctor WEBTOON

Non-Austen Reads for Austen Readers is something I started a while back for fans of Jane Austen who after reading all her book are looking for something else to read.

There are Jane Austen’s works and numerous variations, but while those adapts are fun, sometimes you don’t always want to read the same story. You want Austen-like works, but something different. But what can you read instead?

That’s why I started this series. I will be reviewing books that have the things we love about the Austen novels, but are not another retelling.

Miss Abbott and the Doctor by Maripaz Villar

I started reading this comic in October of 2020 and always planned on writing a post on it but just never got around to it (that tends to happen a lot, unfortunately). Well no time better than the present, right?

From the beginning.

The WEBTOON Miss Abbot and the Doctor is a lined only (not filled in) WEBTOON that is set in a pseudo-Victorian Era. The comic actually begins in the middle as the author/cartoonist originally only planned a few episodes on Deviant Art before fleshing it out and moving over to WEBTOON. But don’t worry, any questions regarding the back stories or what lead them to that point in the story, are all filled in as the main characters get closer and talk more about their past and what lead them here.

The story follows the adventures of Miss Cati Abbott and Dr. Andreas Marino. Cati’s parents went off to the Amazon in search of a society that spurned the influence of technology. They, and most of their group, ended up passing away with Cati being taken in and raised by a tribe there.

One day, widow and anthropologist, Kira Aquila-Salazar, was on an expedition to find and learn more about the Shuar people, but ended up falling ill. Cati found her, helped her, and the two become very good friends. Kira becomes Cati’s mentor and brings her home with her to learn more about their society.

Dr. Andreas Marino was raised in the city and after he finished his studies and was beginning to practice medicine, his grandfather decided to retire and asked him to take over his practice. Dr. Marino moves to the small town and clashes with several characters, mostly Miss Abbott, as he has strict ideas about behavior, character, and how a gentleman and lady should be.

At first he only had one friend, Sebastian Nero, who is his opposite as he has a very open nature and immediately makes friends with anyone he meets.

At first Dr. Marino and Miss Abbott do not get along as they have such contrasting personalities, but over time both balance each other as Cati opens up Dr. Marino to more adventure and less constraint and Dr. Marino helps Cati reign in her imagination and be a bit more levelheaded.

So why do I recommend this for Jane Austen fans? First of all, Cati reminds me a lot of a mix of Anne Shirley from Anne of Green Gables, Elizabeth Bennet from Pride and Prejudice, Marianne Dashwood from Sense and Sensibility, and Catherine Morland from Northanger Abbey. Cati is smart, witty, and send off a great barb, strong, athletic and knows how to take care of herself and others. She is also a bit naive, can be judgmental, and has an overactive imagination that does tend to cause her to either get carried away or try and do something without thinking it through.

She learns from both her mentor Kira, friend Rebecca, and eventual love interest Dr. Marino; to not get rid of the things that make her special but to temper her imagination and to think things through more.

Dr. Marino reminds me of Mr. Darcy with a mix of Gilbert Blythe. When he first comes to the town he has some preconceived notions about the townspeople, having grown up in the city, and isn’t as warm or open to people as he could be.

Over time those walls are broken down, primarily with his relationship with Miss Abbott as she points out his faults, he tries to correct them, and he learns to let go and go along with some of her fun and eccentric ideas.

I believe that the author loves Jane Austen too, particularly after reading this little scene.

When I first read this series, almost all were free episodes until after the wedding (above image). However, now only the first 18 episodes are free with the rest being a daily pass; one free a day unless you would like to pay three coins an episode. It can be a little hard trying to wait every day to read the next episode, but if you are willing to wait it out I don’t think you will be disappointed.

Or another episode to be available through daily pass

You can read the series by going to the WEBTOON app or going to the WEBTOON website.

For more Non-Austen Reads for Austen Readers, go to Ella Enchanted

For more comics, go to Emma Manga

Books, Tea, and the Trinity: Applesauce Cake

Back in 2020, some friends and I started a Tea Party/Bible Study/Book Club. We met every Wednesday and worked our way through the Chronicles of Narnia and are currently working through the Lorien Legacies. When we started I resolved to share all the recipes, we have made-but I haven’t gone through them as quickly as I hoped.

When we completed The Magician’s Nephew, The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe; and A Horse and His Boy; we moved on to book 4 Prince Caspian. This book is one of my favorites in the series as I love Prince Caspian (although the Disney film version is horrible). Like A Horse and His Boy, this book did not mention a lot of specific foods, so we planned whatever we wanted to make.

As I wasn’t in charge of this book, there will be no discussion questions, just recipes.

The first week we had Apple Cinnamon Scones: Salmon Radish Cucumber Canapés, Cinnamon Bread-Honey-Cheese-Apple and Ham Sandwiches, Kellogg’s Cheese Potato Crisps, and Applesauce Cake; all paired with Caroline’s Coffee Roaster Princess Earl Grey (as we needed to have some royal-tea).

This recipe comes from my myrecipes.com.

Ingredients:

Cake

  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 large egg, at room temperature
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup thick applesauce
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
  • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg

Glaze:

• 6 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

•2 cups confectioners’ sugar

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Butter a 9-by-5-inch loaf pan, line bottom with parchment and butter paper.
  3. In one bowl beat butter and sugar with an electric mixer until light and fluffy.
  4. Add the egg to the butter and sugar mixture.
  5. In a separate bowl, stir baking soda into the applesauce.
  6. In a third bowl mix the remaining ingredients
  7. Add the second and third mixture to the first butter mixture in 3 additions; alternating between the two.
  8. Pour the batter into the pan and bake until the top springs back when pressed, about 50 minutes.
  9. Cool in pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes, then turn out onto rack.
  10. Make the glaze by mixing the lemon juice and confectioners’ sugar.
  11. Spoon the glaze over cake.

These are so delicious. You can’t go wrong with potatoes and cheese! This is also easy to make, and doesn’t take that long to bake. I definitely recommend!

For more from our Books, Tea, and the Trinity tea times, go to Cheese Potato Crisps

For more cake recipes, go to Lemon Gingerbread Cake

For more dessert, go to Marmalade Rolls

For more recipes, go to Rice Krispies Chocolate Chip Cookies

For more tea posts, go to Spill the Tea: There & Back Again Cafe

Jane Austen Children’s Stories: Emma

Emma (Jane Austen Children’s Stories #4) by Jane Austen, adapted by Gemma Barder

I did not originally plan to purchase both the Northanger Abbey and Emma adaptations in this series so close together. If I had I would have done a dual post like I did for the Babylit series. I was just going to purchase the Northanger Abbey one, but a couple weeks after my cousin’s birthday party I discovered that my friend moved her daughter’s birthday party up to the first weekend in June. I needed a present stat and I always buy her a book and toy for her birthday.

So when I was trying to find a book for a 7 year old, the first thing that popped in my head was to get another one book from the Jane Austen Children’s Stories.

As I mentioned in my previous review, any time I spot a children’s book that has to do with Jane Austen, I try and purchase it to gift to them and hopefully influence spark a love of Jane Austen in them.

The Jane Austen Children’s Stories series takes the text of Jane Austen and adapts it for children who are reading on their own and want something longer than a beginning reader, but not quite ready for thick chapter books. Each novel has easy to read text, illustrations, but at the same time still retains the plot of the original novels.

The recommended age for this series is 7-10 years old. The series has adapted Sense and Sensibility, Pride and Prejudice, Mansfield Park, Emma, Northanger Abbey, Persuasion, Love and Friendship. You can buy them individually at ~$7 a paperback (hardcover is ~$12 per book) or in a set of all seven in paperback form (plus a journal) for ~$27.

Emma is the story of a girl who has been mistress of her house and doted on by her father. After her governess marries (a match she believes she put together) she becomes bored and intends on trying her hand at matchmaking. She pygmalions her new acquaintance, Harriet Smith, and plans to set her up with the new minister. Things do not go according to plan as her matches do not take hold and her “creation” takes a life of her own.

While I enjoyed the Northanger Abbey review, I loved this adaption of Emma. It was done a little different with it starting off with a breakdown of the characters, a who’s who of everyone.

The book easily captures the attention of the reader as it leans in to the already comedic tones of Emma. The illustrations were also well done, no complaints of the men’s outfits here.

I really enjoyed it, and I think the 7 year old who I purchased it for will love it as well. If you are looking for Jane Austen books for elementary schooled children in your life, then I definitely recommend giving this series a read.

For more Jane Austen Children’s Stories, go to Northanger Abbey

For more Jane Austen children’s books, go to Jane Austen (Little People, BIG DREAMS)

For more on Emma book adaptations, go to Emma Manga

For more on Emma, go to Lean on Me: Austentatious (2015)

Books, Tea, and the Trinity: Cheese Potato Crisps

Back in 2020, some friends and I started a Tea Party/Bible Study/Book Club. We met every Wednesday and worked our way through the Chronicles of Narnia and are currently working through the Lorien Legacies. When we started I resolved to share all the recipes, we make-but I haven’t gone through them as quickly as I hoped.

When we completed The Magician’s Nephew and The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe; and A Horse and His Boy; we moved on to book 4 Prince Caspian. This book is one of my favorites in the series as I love Prince Caspian (although the Disney version is horrible). Like A Horse and His Boy, this book did not mention a lot of specific foods, so we planned whatever we wanted to make.

As I wasn’t in charge of this book, there will be no discussion questions, just recipes.

Party time!

The first week we had Apple Cinnamon Scones: Salmon Radish Cucumber Canapés, Cinnamon Bread-Honey-Cheese-Apple and Ham Sandwiches, Kellogg’s Cheese Potato Crisps, and Applesauce Cake; all paired with Caroline’s Coffee Roaster Princess Earl Grey (as we needed to have some royal-tea).

This recipe comes from my Kellogg’s Cookbook.

These are better than French fries! We guarantee that once you try them, you’ll make these cheesy potatoes a standard at your table. Using different cheeses such as Monterey Jack, American, Swiss, or grated Parmesan cheese, and a bit of chili powder easily adds variety and keeps the dish interesting.

Ingredients:

  • 2 Cups of Kellogg’s Corn Flakes
  • 3 Large Baking Potatoes, peeled and cut lengthwise into 1/4-inch thick slices
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 Cup of Shredded Cheddar Cheese
  • 1/2 Teaspoon of Paprika
  • 1/4 Cup of Sliced Scallions or Green Onions
  • Non-Stick Cooking Spray

Directions:

  1. Place the corn flakes in a reusable plastic bag.
  2. Seal the bag and, using a rolling pin, crush the flakes to a medium crumb.
  3. Open the bag and measure the crumbs, you should have 1 cup. Set aside.
  4. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
  5. Lightly coat a large baking sheet with Non-Stick Cooking Spray.
  6. Lay the potatoes on the prepared baking sheet in a single layer. Lightly coat with Non-Stick Cooking Spray.
  7. Sprinkle the potatoes with salt to taste.
  8. Sprinkle each potato with some of the cheese.
  9. Top with corn flake crumbs and a sprinkling of paprika.
  10. Bake in the preheated oven, without turning, for about 25 mins, or until potatoes are cooked through and golden brown.
  11. Remove from oven and transfer to a serving platter.
  12. Serve with scallions or green onions.

These are so delicious. You can’t go wrong with potatoes and cheese! This is also easy to make, and doesn’t take that long to bake. I definitely recommend!

They may not be boiled but they are most excellent indeed!

For more from our Books, Tea, and the Trinity tea times, go to Rice Krispies Chocolate Chip Cookies

For more potato recipes, go to What Excellent Boiled Potatoes

For more recipes, go to Hummus and Veggie Sandwiches

For more tea posts, go to Spill the Tea: There & Back Again Cafe