Wednesday, June 29, 2011

School House Rock Cupcake "I'm Just a Bill"

I grew up in the 80's. There was a lot to love about the 80's but I must say that I have fond memories of coming home
from school and watching the ABC "After School Specials"

Remember those....aaahhh they taught me a lot about life.
One of my ALL TIME FAVORITE "After School
Special" shows was 

As your body grows bigger
Your mind grows flowered
It's great to learn
'Cause knowledge is power!
It's Schoolhouse Rocky
That chip off the block
of your favorite schoolhouse
Schoolhouse Rock!

Remember learning how a Bill became a Law?? this BLAST from the PAST.. 

Well, this 4th of July I was thinking of something 
fun and different to do and during one of my reminiscent delusions of grandeur while sleep deprived watching old School House Rock shows on You Tube with Sophia I came up with this...

"I'm Just a Bill...Living on Capital Hill"
Say what you will about "government", may you be RIGHT or LEFT, SQUARE or ROUND, 
I think we can all agree that
our COUNTRY is pretty darn awesome.


This was super EASY..I just wrapped up a rectangle piece of white fondant as a scroll for "Bill" and then used Edible Food Writers on White Fondant for the saying, "I am Just a Bill".  The tassel on Bill is twizzler adhered with a little corn syrup!! The frosting is red buttercream ( recipe of course...) and piped with a Wilton 1M!!
See you all SATURDAY for a fun and EASY
Star Spangled Fruit Tart!!
I am eating cupcakes with...

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Tea Party Tuesday ~ Maids of Honour Cakes

What an amazing time I had with  
Queen Anne Boleyn 
on Saturday for our Mad Tea Party!!! 
If you want to experience that slice of whimsy again and enter the giveaway for the LOVELY tea for one 
then you must click HERE!!!!

Happy Tea Party Tuesday!!!
Oh how I LOVE Tea on Tuesday with my dear friends from blogland!
Today, as promised, I am going to provide some information about Queen Anne's favorite tea time treat....the "Maids of Honour".

As told by Queen Anne herself during tea on SATURDAY
the cakes are not only decadent in taste but also tale.
These words below taken from the cafe in England called "The Original Maids of Honour Company" that actually still holds, under lock and key, the ORIGINAL recipe for these treasured cakes.....

It all started with the dainty Maid of Honour cakes after which we are named. It is believed that Henry VIII, King of England from 1509-1547, came across Anne Boleyn and her Maids of Honour (the young ladies who attended the Queen), eating the cakes from a silver dish. 

Tasting one for himself, the King was so delighted by its ‘melt-in-the-mouth’ sensation that he confiscated the recipe and demanded it be kept secret in a locked iron box at Richmond Palace.

One account goes even further and states that, in order to protect the secret recipe, the unfortunate Maid who invented the cake was imprisoned within the Palace grounds and ordered to produce the delectable tarts solely for King Henry and his royal household!  

We don’t know, but one thing’s for sure – the cakes which are deliciously sweet and yet slightly savoury, light and crisp yet unctuously soft in the middle, required a careful balance of the finest ingredients and the lightest hand to make – and they still do.

The continued popularity of the Maids

The years passed and the Tudor Dynasty gave way to the House of Stuart. Certainly by the early 18th century the recipe had been disclosed to a bakery in Richmond and the tasty little cakes became one of the features of fashionable Richmond through that century and beyond.
The first Original Maids of Honour shop was on the corner of Hill Street in Richmond under the ownership of Mr John Billet and can be traced back to the early 18th century. Here a young lad called Robert Newens served an apprenticeship and went on to open his own premises, first in King Street and later at No 3 George Street, and so the 
tradition of making and selling Maids of Honour in Richmond continued.

A secret passed on

Robert Newens’ family helped build the business and in 1887, his son Alfred Nashbar Newens opened a brand new establishment on the Kew Road – exactly where we are today. Of course, the father passed the now secret family recipe on to his son and the Maids of Honour were served warm and delicious to the people of Kew – 
with a whole range of other baked goods on offer as well.

Alfred Newens died in 1927 leaving his business to be carried on by his son John and daughter Kathleen. But during World War II (1939-1945), the elegant early Victorian building that housed the bakery, shop and dining room suffered severe bomb damage and the future looked bleak.

Beyond the Blitz…

A surveyor’s report from 1947 describes the site of the bakery as “little more than a pile of rubble, the baker’s oven a charred and blackened hulk at its centre”.

But the Dunkirk spirit was alive and well (a phrase used to describe the tendency of the British to pull together and overcome times of adversity) and the Original Maids of Honour had its own “miracle of deliverance” when John Newens’ son Peter left the army and with his family, set work to get the business back on its feet.

The bake house was rebuilt with new gas ovens installed, and the shop front was remodelled. Though the fashionable 1940s building lacked some of the lofty elegance of its Victorian predecessor, the new premises had a welcoming and homely appeal with its distinctive Mock Tudor mix of painted pebbledash, red clay roof tiles, heavy timbering and casement windows – and few would disagree, is a far more fitting home for a cake and an odyssey of Tudor origin!

…and into the Future

Visitors today to the Original Maids of Honour are greeted by this very same shop front, and since the 1940s the business has gone from strength to strength. And though its no longer run by the Newens family, little else has changed. The Maids of Honour are still served warm from our ovens every day and the bakery provides a mouth-watering experience for any visitor in its huge variety of high quality homemade iced and 
plain cakes, meat pies, cream teas and traditional English luncheons.


Knowing it true that I could not rely upon the Newens Family to hand over this treasure, I went upon a fabulous internet journey to find a 
suitable recipe for the Queen
Actually I happened upon SEVERAL versions....
which is why I ended up making two types of "Maids".

The first recipe I tried was this lovely bite.....

It was incredibly easy and may I say TASTY...seriously they were DEVOURED so fast that I had to make a second batch for Queen Anne
Maids of Honour ~ Version 1
1/2 c. butter
3/4 c. sugar
2 eggs
2 c. all purpose flour
1/4 tsp. salt
2 tsp. baking powder
1 1/2 c. raspberry jam
1/2 c. chopped nuts (I use pecans)

Cream butter and sugar. Add eggs and beat until light. Add sifted flour, salt and baking powder. 

Form small balls between hands and put into small cupcake pans. Make a deep hole in center by pushing up around edges. 

Mix jam and nuts together; fill tarts. Cover with small piece of dough. 

Bake at 375 degrees for about 9-12 minutes, until lightly browned. Top with dusting of confectioner's sugar and/or whipped cream when serving. Yields 15-18

Having found a second MUCH different version of the Maids, I realized that I must make both, so off I went again to the kitchen which produced these lovely cakes....

And everything is better with a little powdered sugar....
 Maids of Honour ~~ Version 2 ~

Refrigerated Pie Crust
Raspberry Jam
Chopped Nuts of your choice
Yellow Cake Mix

Roll out pie crust and cut using scalloped cutter to fit into tart or regular cupcake pan. Make sure to grease pan for easy removal. Line pan with cut pie crust.
Mix up cake mix according to box instructions.
In separate bowl, mix together raspberry jam and nuts
Place about 1/2 T of jam/nuts mixture into bottom of crust lined cavities
Pour cake mix over raspberry mixture careful not to fill to high (do not fill above level of pie crust)

Bake at 375 for 12-18 minutes...baking times vary. You are looking for cake to spring back and lightly golden.

All recipes used here at Sweetology can be found 
on my fabulous RECIPES page by clicking HERE....

For a direct link to the printable recipe for BOTH these 
delights go ahead and traipse over HERE.

Don't you just LOVE this black rose teacup?  
So fitting for Queen Anne, in my humble opinion.

I happened on this treasure recently..having visited the antique shop in my town countless times, I often believe that I know where each and every tea cup is perched in this lovely shop...but recently 
this one surprised me as new.

Of COURSE you are coming home with me! I have nothing at all like you with your regal black color and proud red rose. 

Little tea cup so bold, you will be well placed 
in my formal living room with it's 
 bold red walls BLACK accents and Parisian salon motif.

Happy Tea Party Tuesday, dear friends...I can't wait to see what you are bringing to Tea today....remember it does NOT have to be a recipe! 

I am having TEA with these blogs:

Sassy Sites!
Between Naps on the Porch ~ Tablescape Thursday
Add a Pinch ~ Mingle Monday ~ I Made That!
Sumo's Sweet Stuff

The Girl Creative ~ Just Something I Whipped Up
Fireflies and Jelly Beans Blog ~ Show your Stuff!
My Romantic Home ~ Show and Tell Friday
Delicate Construction
Lily Rose Cottage: L.A.C.E
Foodie Friday ~ At Designs by Gollum

Tempt my Tummy Tuesday at Blessed with Grace
Savory Sundays
My Sweet and Savory ~ Let's Do Brunch Wednesdays
Wow us Wednesday!
Made by You Monday ~ Skip to my Lou
Recipes I Can't Wait to Try ~ Wednesday
Sweet Treats Thursday at Something Swanky
Feathered Nest Friday's at French Country Cottage
Let's Do Brunch ~ Wednesdays
Home Sweet Home Friday's at The Charm of Home
Tidy Mom ~ I'm Lovin It!
Tablescape Thursday 
Muffin and Cupcake Monday 
Now it is YOUR turn....

Friday, June 24, 2011



FIRST but CERTAINLY not last, I MUST thank our MAD Tea Party HOSTESS EXTRAORDINAIRE...Vanessa VALENCIA from A Fanciful Twist.

HERE are some ROSES and DIAMONDS for YOU..Darling!!!

Inspired by the "MAD" theme I was drawn to a person in history 

who I ADORE but find to be a bit "MAD" himself...I think you would agree...

King Henry VIII

I loved the Showtime series The Tudors...LOVED IT. 

Having read Antonia Fraser's book, The Six Wives of Henry VIII, my FAVORITE

WIFE by far has to be ANNE BOLEYN.

If I could go back in time and pick someone to have TEA with today to celebrate 

the MAD Tea Party it would DEFINITELY be QUEEN Anne!

Look QUEEN ANNE..I made these cupcakes for you...


A Red ROSE...Your favorite flower.

A gold TEAPOT delicately painted with the TUDOR Rose.

They are ALL for you, my QUEEN!

I also made your FAVORITE tea time treat...the Maids of Honour.

QUEEN Anne...let us relax at the tea table,

sip our tea...

...and tell me the story that made these treats so infamous.

My dear, on one afternoon sunny and bright as my ladies and I enjoyed our afternoon tea and conversation accompanied by a tart like treat made with delicate sweet hands, we were drawn upon for a moment by His Grace, The King, who delighted in our frolic and took one cake into his mouth and forever became smitten.
His Grace was convinced this dainty sweet luxury, as it made everyone so very happy to eat them, had powers beyond that of sustenance and so thereafter he imprisoned the humble maid who so carefully constructed this sweet confection for her Queen, within the Palace grounds and ordered her, on pain of death, to only make the "melt in the mouth" tarts solely for his pleasure with the recipe kept for His Grace 
in a locked iron box at Richmond Palace. 

MY QUEEN what a decadent TALE! I must also say THANK YOU for the 

lovely TEA TOWEL you brought for me today! I LOVE it so and will TREASURE 

it forever. Your signature and TUDOR rose are just FANTASTIC!!!!

And I have something for YOU, Mad TEA Party a TOKEN of my  

Gratitude for joining QUEEN ANNE and I for TEA, please leave a
COMMENT below and you will be entered to win this LOVELY ROSE Tea-for-One 


~ US/Canada Residents ~

If you share this GIVEAWAY and Leave another comment, 
you are ENTERED for a SECOND TIME!!!!

Of COURSE, MUST be a follower of SWEETOLOGY

Now..grab YOUR cup of TEA, sit back and ENJOY some more PICTURES from the 

FABULOUS time Queen Anne and I shared while ENJOYING 
our Mad TEA Party!!

If YOU have posted your OWN Mad TEA Party Post...
PLEASE leave your blog post URL 
in a comment so I can come visit YOU for TEA.

Please visit me for TEA PARTY TUESDAY on June 28th for RECIPE information on this Tea Time Treat that is nearly 500 years OLD along with a wonderful LINKY PARTY!!!!  
Now, that is MAD!!!!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

It's Coming....A Mad Tea Party...Saturday!!

You are don't be late...for this very important date!

Slip on your finest dress...

Strap on your sassiest shoes...

Slap on some lipstick...

Grab your nicest purse...

And join me Saturday for a MAD TEA PARTY!!

Hosted by A Fanciful Twist

I am so excited to join A Fanciful Twist for this fun event! 

Come back on Saturday to see what kind of Tea Party I am having....I invited a special guest to join me....

Recognize her...with her head?

Won't you join us??? Tell your friends!!

(I knew these random old pictures I had would come in handy ~ sorry about the photo quality!!)

Having TEA with...

I'm Lovin It ~ Tidy Mom 

Monday, June 20, 2011

Tea Party Tuesday ~ Happy Birthday to MY MOM!!!


I know I am one day early for Tea Tuesday but guess what...I don't care! I am starting early in honor of my Mom's Birthday which is TODAY!!!! 

I follow a wonderful and inspiring blog, called "A Delightsome Life" and reflecting on the best of summer, I immediately think of of my Mom and celebrating her birthday during the best season ever! So fitting it is with the bright flowers, colors and warm comforting rays of the sun. My mom has been the sunshine in my life for sure!


I know I have said a lot about my Mom in pasts posts...that is because there is a lot to say.  She has taught me everything I know about about darn near everything important.  

Like....never take yourself too serious...

A little over a year ago I asked her, "Mom, if you could go anywhere on a trip..where would go?"  After little thought and nearly no hesitation, she said, "The south...Charleston and Savannah".  

I replied, "Mom, are you sure you don't want to go somewhere in Paris??"

~Sugar Cookie with Fondant Cut Out and Edible Food Writer to make the Eiffel Tower ~

"No," she said. "For years I have read about many wonderful places to visit in Charleston and Savannah...this is where I would want to go."

Three months later we were there. 

Here is a story about my Mom with a few pictures from our trip.

Mom... I love you...

My Mom has taught me many things...we share the same soul, I believe.

My mom has always faced the tangles of life head on...she taught me never to be afraid. When I was diagnosed with brain cancer...she never wavered.

She is my angel..

Because of her strength and love, I have had the courage to take a road less traveled...

And climb to wonderful heights...

 My Mom has instilled into me the importance of reflecting upon my treasures and being grateful for what I have.

She has also taught me the importance of giving our gifts to others..

Without expectation of what is in return.

Though my faith has often been Mom continues to remind me that with God, anything is possible.

I am so grateful for every moment I have with my Mom.

Time on this earth is so precious.

Take time to reflect on our relationships with bridges, not walls.

Mom...when you are ready....Paris is waiting for us!!

Happy Birthday MOM!!

I can't wait to see what you are sharing for Tea Party Tuesday in celebration of my Mom's Birthday!!!

I am linking up....

Between Naps on the Porch ~ Tablescape Thursday
Lily Rose Cottage: L.A.C.E

Home Sweet Home Friday's at The Charm of Home

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