Saturday, January 20, 2018

Nellie's Trip to Dublin, Plus Irish Beef Stew and Guinness Chocolate Cake

Stew and cake starring one of the most beloved brands in Ireland.

This is yet another post that I've been sitting on for a long time, partially because I couldn't think of a good hook to really get it off the ground. Back in the fall, I was suddenly struck by wanting to make some Irish inspired recipes, and dug out an old recipe I had saved forever ago for a Guinness beef stew and a chocolate cake made with Guinness as well. I invited two friends over for dinner, snapped pictures, and then promptly lost any inspiration to write about it as a blog post. I tried a couple times, hemming and hawing over what to say, but figured it would be best not to force it and let it sit and wait for inspiration to strike. 

Good thing I did, because unknown to me, my parents were also having thoughts of Ireland! And surprised us all with...

Sunday, December 24, 2017

Grace's Last Minute Christmas Baking: Santa's Trash Cookies and Holiday Shortbread

Some tasty, last minute additions to any holiday gathering!

In the four years I’ve been doing this blog, there are only two holidays I’ve done a post for every year: VE Day, and Christmas. Sort of a weird pair, right? 

Considering how infrequently I’ve been able to post this past two years, I knew I didn’t want to break my streak, but I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do this year. The first few years I’ve had this blog, I tried to feature historical recipes for each character, and I’ve shared some of my family’s Christmas traditions in the past as well. I knew I wasn’t going to have time to do the former, and a lot of the latter had already been taken care of by my family members, so I was feeling a little stuck. 

Fortunately, the internet provided some awesome last minute suggestions that I was happy to break out. One didn’t turn out as well as I had hoped, but the other might just become a fan favorite. I know I sure liked them! 

Read on to find out how some simple additions can make any cookie nice and festive.

Saturday, December 2, 2017

A Peek into the Pantry Saves Thanksgiving!

Swooping in to go where few people want to tread!

Well, helped save Thanksgiving anyway. I don’t want to take all the credit! 

The semester is rapidly cycloning to a close (which is why this post is over a week delayed…), and amidst all our final projects and fretting about our research seminars, my cohort and I got to celebrate Thanksgiving. I’m lucky enough to live close enough to home to get to visit family for the holiday, so I packed everything up, threw Nanea in my backpack just in case there were any good photo opportunities for Instagram, and headed home anticipating a nice, unfortunately blog post free weekend. 

Little did I suspect that I was going to end up providing something a little bigger than the cookies I wanted to bake.

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Melody Makes Lazy Jane's Weekend Casserole

A no fuss alternative to a French classic!

Colder weather has officially set in, which means it’s time to break out all those comforting, stick to your ribs dishes. (I say as if I haven’t made this dish in the summer time before…) 

Lazy Jane’s Weekend Casserole is a family favorite perfected by my grandmother, and it’s something I always eat way too much of when she makes it for me. When I asked for the recipe and what the history behind the dish was, she told me something that I really wasn’t expecting: it actually has a loose connection to one of the most famous trends in cooking in the 1960’s! Got any ideas what it might be?

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

An All American Tea Party at Colonial Williamsburg

Not quite the old Felicity Tea event, but close enough for me!

As you guys know – or as new readers might expect – I love Colonial Williamsburg. Living history is a really interesting, entertaining educational tool, and every time I visit, I come away learning something new and with a lot of fun memories. 

So imagine how excited I was when I heard that Williamsburg was going to be hosting an event this summer that was right up my alley: An All American Tea Party, where kids of all ages could bring a doll along with them, enjoy a tasty tea, make a craft, and enjoy a scavenger hunt with an exclusive prize at the end! Although it's not technically a Felicity themed event because it wasn't officially licensed with Mattel or American Girl themselves, it's pretty clear from the marketing who and what inspired the event.

There was just one problem: I live a good two and a half hours away from Williamsburg, and don’t have a car. 

Fortunately, I’m extremely lucky to have a good buddy who is always up for an adventure, whether it’s a trip to the mall or getting trapped on the Marine Corps base in Quantico, Virginia for three hours because our train home got delayed. Jenna and I got spots at the last seating of the tea, which was September 16. We hopped in the car with Felicity and Elizabeth in tow and set off to see if the All American Tea Party lived up to my childhood experience at the official Felicity themed events.

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Jane's Jamestown Tea

Bringing you a taste of history in your teacup!

Last year I picked up a neat little treat from Mount Vernon, and then promptly never got around to writing a blog post about it until over a year later. I guess that’s just my life now. Aren’t you guys going to be glad to hear the end of my complaining about never having enough time to post as frequently as I used to? 

Eastern Shore Tea Co. is a Maryland based company that produces a variety of unique tea blends, several of which are inspired by history. I’ve seen blends drawing their inspiration from the American Revolution and even Edgar Allen Poe! I was excited to see their 1607 Herbal Tea because it’s so unusual to see anything relating to Jamestown food history, especially prepackaged stuff. Read on to find out whether or not this truly would have been something enjoyed in the first permanent English colony in North America!

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

The National Museum of American History's 3rd Annual Food History Festival!

Many Flavors, One Nation!

Hey, Happy Halloween! 

Whew, it has been a semester! Sorry for falling off the face of the earth again. I think at this point I just need to make peace with the fact that this is going to end up taking the back burner until after grad school. All my free time and writing energy has been going towards my big research project, which I'll tell you guys about once I have time to do it justice. 

I'm catching up with comments and emails right now. Sorry for taking so long to get back to you all. I've also got a couple posts on the back burner which will probably start seeing the light of day sometime around December... if I'm lucky! (Including a super cool trip to Williamsburg!) 

Until then, here's a short update about an event I got to attend with some friends last weekend: the Smithsonian Food History Festival! Read on to hear about our experience this year with Many Flavors, One Nation at the National Museum of American History.