Cheese Round

So my friend is getting married!

Last year she threw me a “Jane Austen Tea Party Bridal Shower

This year, she wanted a “Spring Tea Bridal Shower”. She asked me to make a Cheese Round for the party. The original title of the recipe is Christmas Cheese Round from my sister blog, MysteriousEats.wordpress.com. I’ve made it before for our cheese and fruit/movie parties we always have. We love cheese.

Ingredients:

  • 1 Cup of Shredded Cheddar Cheese
  • 1 Cup of finely chopped Pecans (I used my blender to take care of it)
  • 8 0z Cream Cheese Brick
  • 1/2 Cup of Chopped Green Onions

Directions:

  1. Combine all ingredients. Pack into a round or ball.
  2. Chill for two hours to overnight.
  3. Serve with crackers or bread

The crackers I chose were Milton’s Everything Crackers (the best!), Organic Triscuit Cracked Pepper and Olive Oil, and the Mary’s Gone Crackers Gluten-Free Crackers. All were from the Grocery Outlet, so they are all $1.99.

YUM!

This is the best cheese round/ball or whatever you want to call it that I have ever had. I could eat the whole thing myself.

I recommend it for your next party or tea party.

For more recipes, go to Scottish Oatcakes

For more recipes from Mysterious Eats, go to Carrot Oatmeal Muffins

For more Bridal Showers, go to Jane Austen Bridal Shower

For more Tea Parties, go to My Niece Wanted a Tea Party

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My Niece Wanted a Tea Party

So when we think tea party, we think:

But my niece had a different idea

My niece planned it and wanted goldfish, mother’s animal cookies, banana bread, shortbread cookies, popcorn, and waffles.

Oh, well

I love my niece, so we did it her way.

For more tea posts, go to Tea and Biscuits

Got Tea?

So I went to make a cup of tea as I love to drink it even in the heat:

As I went to make it I saw:

My tea is almost gone!!!!!

What am I going to do???

I used to go to Teavana, but it closed.

I tried another place, but I didn’t like their loose-leaf tea. I know I could get the bagged type, but loose leaf is so much better. There is a whole ritual to it that is really enjoyable.

I don’t know where I will go to get more but I for sure won’t be giving up my tea time.

For more tea posts, go to Cats, Books, & Tea

For more tea recipes, go to London Fog Fauxccino

Baked Potato Soup

Who likes to eat?

Me too. I don’t really post recipes on her, leaving that to my sister blog Mysterious Eats.

Weeeeeeeeeeelll…with one exception. If it has to do with Jane Austen or a tea party, I review and post it.

Last year I helped put on a tea, and fashioned it after a teahouse I used to go to when I lived near Santa Rosa. They would always serve scones (I did the Cheddar-Thyme Scones and the Harvest Pumpkin Scones) and tea sandwiches. You could also add on tarts, little turnovers, salad, or soup.

This soup may not be a real “tea soup”, but I thought it was tasty, easy to make, and fancy looking.

Ingredients:

  • 3 Tablespoons of Onion, finely chopped
  • 5 Tablespoons of Butter
  • 5 Tablespoons of Flour
  • 1 14-oz can of Chicken Broth
  • 1/3 Cup of Cheddar Cheese, grated
  • 1 Baked Potato (6-7 inch baker), cold, cut into bite-sized pieces.
  • 2 Cups of Half-and-Half
  • 1 Cup of Milk
  • 1/2 Teaspoon of Salt
  • 1/8 Teaspoon of Black Pepper
  • 6 Slices of Bacon, cooked, broken into bits (Or use Bacon Bits)
  • Cheddar Cheese, to go on top

Directions:

  1. Sauté the onions in butter.
  2. While stirring, slowly add the flour and then the chicken broth.
  3. Cook until it thickens.
  4. Add the cheddar cheese, stirring until it melts.
  5. Then add the potato, leaving the skin on the pieces.
  6. Finally stir in the half-and-half and the milk.
  7. Season with salt and pepper.
  8. Top each serving with crumbled bacon and cheddar cheese.

It is a fantastic tasting soup, and having cooked the potatoes it takes like no time at all.

Yay!

The only thing is that you have to be careful when adding the milk or half-and-half. The lactose sugar in them can burn and ruin the dish, so you have to keep stirring. The more you stir the less likely it will burn.

One time I had my niece hep me and I felt like that scene in Goodfellas when Henry Hill keeps telling his brother to watch the sauce. Just like Michael she didn’t enjoy the stirring.

No more stirring.

But it was easy, delicious, and will be a great addition to any future tea parties or dinners.

For more recipes, go to Triple Berry Salad

You Know You Really Love Tea When…

So some people love tea and others love tea.

I’m in the second category.

1. Yep, you know you love tea when five minutes feels like forever!:

2. When cup sizes never please you:

3. Life just doesn’t feel right if you don’t have a cup in hand:

4. When tea pops up in your everyday conversations:

5. When you use it to calm down:

6. Or from saying things you shouldn’t:

This could get ugly, better stir my tea.

7. You aren’t even British, but because of your love of tea people assume you are:

8. Your idea of “going out drinking” is going to a coffee shop and drinking hot tea:

9. You drink tea no matter the time of day or temperature:

10. When it is your tea time you wait for no one and will not be interrupted:

11. You are always offering people tea to drink:

12. You have a huge collection of tea spoons, tea cups, tea tins, loose leaf tea, bagged tea, etc.

13. When you go out to Coffee shops or Starbucks, you are the only one not drinking coffee.

Yep, the Tea Life is the Life for Me

For more tea posts, go to Perfectea, A Perfect Cup of Tea or Tea for Two

For more C.S. Lewis quotes, go to Book Club Picks: Sandcastle Kings

For more Wilkie Collins quotes, go to I Made My Own Teabags

For more Jane Austen Quotes, go to Triple Berry Salad

Triple Berry Salad

Thoughts Before Cooking:

So in yesterday’s post, I talked about how I was looking for things to make for my tea party/book club meeting that are Regency-ish but cool for summer.

I was thinking about Emma’s picnic and the strawberries they eat:

I started looking through recipes for a strawberry dish when I remembered a fantastic one that my sister blog Mysterious Eats made.

Ingredients:

  • 6-8 Ounces of Strawberries
  • 6 Ounces of Blueberries
  • 6 Ounces of Raspberries
  • 1/4 Cup of Sugar
  • 1/4 Cup of Water
  • 1/2 Teaspoon of Vanilla Extract

Directions:

  1. Place sugar and water in a small saucepan over medium heat.
  2. Bring mixture to a simmer (there will be small bubbles), and stir until the sugar is dissolved.
  3. Remove from heat and cool for 5 mins.
  4. Stir in vanilla extract.
  5. Chill completely in fridge.
  6. Rinse the berries.
  7. Hull the strawberries and slice into 2-3 pieces.
  8. Place all the berries in one bowl.
  9. Just before serving, drizzle the berries with the vanilla sugar syrup.
  10. Toss gently.
  11. Serve

Thoughts After Cooking:

What did I think?

It was just the perfect blend of everything and absolutely delicious.

For more recipes, go to Aunt Neal’s Old-Fashioned Tea Cakes

For more Jane Austen quotes, go to Hot Humid Days are Reading Days

Book Club Picks: The Darcy Monologues

So every month  a different member in my book club chooses a book for us to read and discuss the following month; and it has worked out really well.

We only have four members in our club, so we have circled around them all and now it was my turn to pick a book again. I decided on:

The Darcy Monologues by various and edited by Christina Boyd

The Darcy Monologues is a collection of 15 short stories that retell the story of Pride and Prejudice but telling it from Mr. Darcy’s point of view. Half the collection is set in the Regency period: taking place during the novel, tweaking a bit of the novel, or taking place where Jane Austen left off.

Hmm…

The second half of the collection tells the story, but isn’t restricted by having to be in Regency times. One story is set in the Wild West, another during WWII, the 1960s, and of course present times.

Hmm…

So we all know how I feel about Jane Austen:

And we all know that I spend a lot of time reading Jane Austen, watching Jane Austen, and reading and watching variations of Jane Austen. Pretty much my life is:

But the other members are not exactly at the same level as I am. One member, Jessica, has seen the 1940, 1995, and 2005 film versions of Pride & Prejudice and read the actual book, but isn’t a fangirl. She likes Jane Austen, but is not a fangirl.

Don’t know why she isn’t.

Another member, Stella, loves Jane Austen but has never read the books. She only watches the films, and has seen both the 1995 and 2005 versions of Pride and Prejudice.

And our other member, Marissa, she has never read anything or watched anything Jane Austen.

So at first when we agreed to do this book I was excited:

But then I grew worried:

What if they didn’t get it, not being fangirls of the book? What if they didn’t like it? Maybe I should have had us read Pride & Prejudice first?

But I decided that we would just have to wait and see.

Hmmm….

So the day to meet came along and I decided to make the refreshments a regency-ish tea time. (Sadly I forgot to take pictures). I made some iced tea:

I had bough some chicken salad sandwiches and scones (I wanted to bake homemade ones but it has been too hot to turn on an oven) and then I made a berry salad, borriwing the recipe from my sister blog: Mysterious EatsIt is super tasty and perfect for a day of reading books or a tea time treat. I’ll post the recipe tomorrow, but you can also check it out here.

So everyone arrived and right away we had a problem. Stella didn’t get the right book. When she typed in The Darcy Monologues, the site sent her to a different book and she ended up buying The Darcy Connection. 

I’m going to lend my copy to her to read and then I will update this post with what she thought of it.

So first of all I just want to say that I have already posted what thought of the book (which if you want to read go to The Darcy Monologues: Part I, The Regency or The Darcy Monologues: Part II, Other Erasand I loved it!

So I am just going to focus on what Marissa and Jessica thought of it.

Part I: The Regency

Both ladies were able to follow the stories and the thoughts of the authors, even Marissa who knew very little about what the story was based on. They also liked how it was from Darcy’s point of view and enjoyed the way the authors portrayed him, feeling as if they all captured the character. Jessica thought they did well in what Jane Austen wanted, and Marissa enjoyed being introduced to an introspective look of the character.

What Didn’t They Like?

Both ladies felt they would have enjoyed the book better if there had more variations of the story: such as when Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy where older, stories with their children, or sights into areas not shown by the original novel-such as what Darcy does when he leaves Netherfield before he meets up with Elizabeth in Pemberley-things like that.

hmm…

They both did not care for the story Death of a Bachelor by Caitlin Williams and they also did not like The Beast of Pemberley by Melanie Stanford as they thought it was too much Beauty and the Beast.

I KNOW?! How could they not like that one? I guess they just do not undestand how is Austenites find the works so similar. I mean:

To read more, follow this link.

Sorry for the tangent, moving forward.

What Did They Like?

Both loved From the Ashes by J. Marie Croft  as they found her portrayal of Darcy to not only be relatable but hilarious. In this story, Darcy has proposed to Elizabeth and been refused by her. He then goes home to write the letter against her objections to him, releasing his anger and frustrations out, until he has composed the best one to send her. We all thought she captured that the emotions of rejection and heartbreak perfectly.

They also enjoyed Clandestiny by KaraLynne Mackrory, espehially how she describes Darcy’s perfect order and way of life being completly thrown off kilter when Elizabeth enters his life. Both felt Mackrory was able to not only perfectly capture the character but describe what it is like when you aren’t expecting it, but meet the person who ends up changing your life.

In Terms of Perfect Composure by Susan Adriani, was another favorite of the two. Marissa enjoyed the recap as it gave her a stronger foundation into the story of Pride and Prejudice and what happened in the original novel. Jessica liked how this was something different from the other stories as it was a part that isn’t from Austen’s story, it is a part unseen of Mr. Darcy and shows his growth in character.

The Favorite?

Without Affection by Jan Hahn

Yes out of all the Regency stories, this one was both of the women’s favorite story. This story takes place when Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth are much older, with Darcy having a flashback to when Elizabeth gave birth to their first child and almost died in the process. Darcy becomes afraid of losing her and reacts with a rule of no more sex for them, something Elizabeth does not agree with.

Both women liked how it showed Darcy and Elizabeth still in love years later, and just how they have had a great life together. They also loved how it captured the uncertainty of childbirth and Darcy as a father not knowing exactly what to do. One of them found it to be relatable to something they had gone through in their own life with their spouse. And we all agreed it was the perfect end to the first compilation.

Part II: Other Eras

Both women were intrigued with this part as they had never read any modern adaptions of classic literature before, let alone ones that took the material and placed it in other eras.

What Didn’t They Like?

Marissa would have liked more variety in the time periods, she was hoping they wouldn’t be as concentrated on present time.

Both did not care for the story Hot for Teacher by Sara Angelini. This one takes place in present times with Mr. Darcy as a principal, George Wickham as the literature teacher, and Elizabeth as the new art teacher. We all did not like how Angelini made the character of Darcy as he was too mean, temperamental, and dorky/awkward.

The Ride Home by Ruth Phillips Oakland was another one they did not like. In this Elizabeth is drunk after a disastrous date, so Darcy goes to give her a ride, the two talking during the drive home. Both ladies did not like how Oakland made Elizabeth drunk and they way she talked to Mr. Darcy. And we all agreed: How was she able to make him breakfast the next day? She should have had a massive hangover.

What Did They Like?

They enjoyed You Don’t Know Me by Beau North, which took place in the 1960s. In this Darcy is sent to Buffalo, New York to take control over the company’s new radio station. He and the top D.J Eliza Bennet clash in the beginning as neither understands the other.

They enjoyed how this story was not only talking about the novel Pride & Prejudice, but actually infused more of a social prejudice introducing a conflict of playing African American music on the radio, life as a Jewish American, and even the trials of having gone through the concentration camps (Eliza’s father). We all enjoyed how North coupled those threads of pride and prejudice with the original types of pride and prejudice in Austen’s work.

They also loved I, Darcy by Karen M. Cox. In this story, Darcy hates that his mother named him “Will” Darcy as everyone mentions Austen’s book. He meets two women who challenges his ideas on the book, surprisingly running into them later when he is starting up his farm to food restaurant.

We all loved how Cox had Elizabeth school him in the literature, causing him to be interested in rereading the book and falling in love with it. We all agreed that incorporating the novel in that way was really cute.

The Favorite?

Darcy Strikes Out by Sophia Rose

From beginning to end this story was just loved. Every part, every character, every single piece of the storytelling was beloved by us. Dandy Darcy? We all wanted him. Turning this into a full novel? We were all down for it. If this was sold separately from the others? All willing to pay.

For all of us Rose really knocked it out of the park!

Couldn’t resist

So what did they think of the whole thing?

They loved it!

Yay!

Yes, they may not have liked every story or every interpretation of Darcy, but that is why they and I loved it. Each author tried to capture the spirit of the character and succeeded in creating their own versions of Darcy that have everything we love about him, yet at the same time not making any exactly the same. By doing this you have many different Darcys to choose from, insuring that you will find the one best suited for you.

We all thought they did a fantastic job in presenting “their” Darcy and highly recommend you read this book.

For more on The Darcy Monologues, go to The Darcy Monologues: Part II, Other Eras

For more on these authors and Christina Boyd, go to I Have Been Remiss, My Deepest Apologies to The Darcy Monologues

For more on my book club, go to Book Club Picks: The Undoing of Saint Silvanus

For more on The Darcy Monologuesgo to The Darcy Monologues: Part I, The Regency

For more on Pride & Prejudice, go to Read Jane Austen, Wear Jane Austen

For more Pride & Prejudice variations, go to Pride and Prejudice Paper Dolls

For more books based on Jane Austen, go to The Austen Series: Reason and Romance

And I just want to thank Christina Boyd for sending us these cute charms, we all loved them. I put mine on my bracelet right away and have been telling people about the book whenever they ask me about the charm.