Ahhhhh - Summer

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So here is to some fun summer tea ideas…

First off - it is summer, and I have found that most people don’t actually drink a lot of hot tea now.  But our glorious little tea cups are so a part of all teas!

So how about still having our tea cups, but with something OTHER than tea?



Or just something incredibly easy….



Now on to TEA…. But I’d think probably something iced.  And maybe ‘adult’. 


Adult Earl Grey


For 6 servings

2 cups gin

2 tablespoons earl grey tea

1/2 cup lemon juice

2 tablespoons simple syrup

4 cups ginger ale



To infuse the gin, simply combine the gin and earl grey in a jar, and steep for about a week.  The longer you leave it, the stronger the tea flavor will be.

Strain the gin when you’re ready to use it.  Combine the gin, lemon juice, and simple syrup in a pitcher.  Stir, then add plenty of ice, followed by the ginger ale.  Serve immediately and watch out, you’ll drink it super fast!



Tennessee Honey

Diced Fresh peaches

1 oz peach syrup

2 oz Jack Daniels Tennessee Honey

2 oz ginger ale


Put small amount of peaches and peach syrup in bottom of glass.  Muddle together.  Fill glass with ice and then Jack and ginger ale.

[for a mason jar, double the recipe - or if you are making it for me]

And yes…. I did have a LOT more recipes but thought I should move on to…



Why have boring ice?!?  It is so easy to jazz it up with a few lovely (hopefully edible and pesticide free) flowers!

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 And for you iced coffee lovers think about freezing some of that coffee in ice trays so you dont water down your drink !


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I couldn’t resist a couple of recipes … They just sounded like a lot of fun, and not that difficult.


parmesan-chive gougères

[piped!  That is just too adorable]


  • ½ cup water
  • ½ cup whole milk
  • ½ cup butter
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh chives
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • Garnish: additional finely grated Parmesan cheese



Preheat oven to 400°.

Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Set aside.

In a medium saucepan, combine water, milk, butter, and salt; bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to low. Add flour, stirring with a wooden spoon until a smooth dough forms, approximately 2 minutes.

Turn dough out into a large bowl. Let cool for 1 minute.

Add eggs to dough, one at a time, beating at medium speed with an electric mixer until thoroughly incorporated. Add cheese, chives, and pepper, beating just until incorporated.

Transfer dough to a pastry bag fitted with a large open-star tip (Wilton #1M). Pipe 1¼-inch rosettes 2 inches apart onto prepared baking sheets. Garnish with additional cheese, if desired.

Bake until puffed and golden brown, 20 to 22 minutes.


• Parmesan Gougères can be baked 1 week in advance and frozen in an airtight container. To serve, place on a rimmed baking sheet, and heat in a 350° oven until warm, 3 to 5 minutes.



Apricot-Almond Tarts

[These are SO cute!]


1.   1 (14.1-ounce) package refrigerated pie dough (2 sheets)

2.   ⅔ cup plus ½ cup toasted slivered almonds, divided

3.   ⅓ cup sugar

4.   1 tablespoon firmly packed light brown sugar

5.   6 tablespoons salted butter

6.   1 large egg

7.   ½ teaspoon vanilla extract

8.   1½ tablespoons all-purpose flour

9.   1 (30-ounce) can unpeeled apricot halves in heavy syrup, drained

10.                 ½ cup apricot jam



1.   Preheat oven to 375°.

2.   Unroll pie dough on a lightly floured surface. Using a 4½-inch round cutter, cut 8 circles from pie dough. Press dough circles into 8 (4-inch) tart pans (1-inch deep) with removable bottoms. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.

3.   In the work bowl of a food processor, combine ²⁄3 cup toasted almonds and sugars. Process until almonds are ground and mixture resembles coarse sand. Add butter, egg, vanilla extract, and flour, and process until ingredients are incorporated and mixture is smooth.

4.   Divide almond mixture among prepared tart pans, spreading to smooth. Evenly top with remaining ½ cup toasted almonds.

5.   Bake tarts until mixture is set and slightly puffed, 13 to 14 minutes. Let cool completely on wire racks, approximately 1 hour. (Tarts will fall as they cool).

6.   Blot apricots dry on paper towels. Using a small, sharp knife, cut apricots vertically into ½-inch slices. Set aside.

7.   When tarts are completely cool, remove from pans. Arrange apricot slices decoratively in a swirled floral design on top of each tart.

8.   In a small saucepan, melt apricot jam over low heat, stirring until smooth. Using a pastry brush, coat apricots with jam. Serve immediately, or keep at room temperature until ready to serve.


 • For best taste and texture, tarts should be made the same day they will be eaten. If they are refrigerated or made a day ahead, they will become gummy and soggy.

Lemon Buttercream Cakes

[yup… cake mix - but totally darling]


1.   1 (18.25-ounce) lemon cake mix, such as Duncan Hines Lemon Supreme

2.   3 large eggs

3.   1 cup water

4.   ¼ cup vegetable oil

5.   ⅓ cup sour cream

6.   1 recipe Lemon Buttercream

7.   Garnish: fresh primroses



1.   Preheat oven to 350°.

2.   Line a 17-x-11-inch rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Spray with nonstick cooking spray. Set aside.

3.   In a large bowl, combine cake mix, eggs, water, oil, and sour cream. Beat at low speed with an electric mixer until moistened, approximately 30 seconds. Increase speed to medium, and beat for 2 minutes, scraping sides of bowl as necessary. Pour batter into prepared pan, and level with a spatula. Rap pan on the countertop sharply several times to reduce air bubbles.

4.   Bake until cake is golden brown and a wooden pick inserted in the center comes out clean, 18 to 20 minutes. Let cake cool completely in pan.

5.   When cake has cooled, cut 24 rounds from cake, using a 2¼-inch round cutter.

6.   Place Lemon Buttercream in a piping bag fitted with a large open-star tip (Wilton #1M). Pipe a circle of buttercream onto 12 cake rounds. Top each with another round of cake, pressing lightly to adhere. Pipe a decorative rosette of buttercream onto top of each cake round.

7.   Garnish each cake with a fresh primrose.


 Cake may be baked in advance, cut into rounds, and frozen in an airtight container, with layers separated by waxed paper, for up to a week. Let come to room temperature before frosting. Store, covered, in the refrigerator until ready to serve.



Toffee-Walnut Cookies

[anything with English toffee please]

Yield: 60



1.   1 cup salted butter, softened

2.   1 cup granulated sugar

3.   1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar

4.   1½ teaspoons vanilla extract

5.   3 large eggs

6.   3½ cups all-purpose flour

7.   2 teaspoons baking soda

8.   2 teaspoons cream of tartar

9.   ½ teaspoon salt

10.                 ¼ teaspoon baking powder

11.                 1 (8-ounce) package English toffee bits

12.                 ½ cup finely chopped toasted walnuts



1.   Preheat oven to 350°.

2.   Line several rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper.

3.   In a large mixing bowl, combine butter and sugars. Beat at high speed with a mixer until light and fluffy, approximately 5 minutes. Add vanilla extract, beating
to blend. Add eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition.

4.   In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking soda, cream of tartar, salt, and baking powder, whisking well. Gradually add flour mixture to butter mixture, beating to incorporate.

5.   Add toffee bits and walnuts, stirring to blend.

6.   Using a levered 2-teaspoon scoop, drop cookie dough 2 inches apart onto prepared baking sheets.

7.   Bake until cookies are light golden brown, 8 to 10 minutes. Transfer to wire racks, and let cool completely.


Make-Ahead Tip: Toffee-Walnut Cookies can be baked in advance and stored in an airtight container at room temperature for a few days or in the freezer for up to 2 weeks. Let thaw before serving.


Egg Custard Tartlets

[ready made dough!]

Yield: 12



1.   1½ (14.1-ounce) packages refrigerated pie dough (3 sheets)

2.   1 large egg

3.   3 large egg yolks

4.   2 tablespoons castor sugar

5.   1 tablespoon honey

6.   ½ teaspoon vanilla extract

7.   ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg

8.   ⅛ teaspoon salt

9.   1⅓ cups heavy whipping cream

10.                 Garnish: sliced strawberries



1.   Preheat oven to 450°.

2.   On a lightly floured surface, unroll pie dough. Using a 4½-inch round cutter, cut 12 rounds from pie dough (4 from each sheet). Press into 12 (3¾-inch) tartlet pans, trimming edges as necessary. Prick bottoms with a fork, and place pre- pared tartlet pans on a rimmed baking sheet. Freeze for 15 minutes.

3.   Bake until light golden brown, approximately 7 minutes. Let cool completely.

4.   Reduce oven temperature to 350°.

5.   In a medium bowl, combine egg, egg yolks, sugar, honey, vanilla extract, nutmeg, and salt, whisking to blend.

6.   In a small saucepan, scald cream until very hot but not boiling. Gradually add hot cream to egg mixture, whisking to incorporate. Strain mixture through a fine-mesh sieve into a liquid-measuring cup. Divide custard mixture among cooled tartlet shells.

7.   Bake until custard is set, 10 to 11 minutes. Let cool completely before removing from tartlet pans.

8.   Garnish each tartlet with a strawberry slice, if desired.

9.   Serve cold or at room temperature.


 Make-Ahead Tip: Tartlet shells can be baked a day in advance and stored at room temperature in an airtight container. Custard mixture can be made a day in advance, placed in a covered container, and refrigerated until needed.




And remember… tea’s don’t have to be hard or complicated

                                                                     © Michelle Young 2012