Friday, 17 October 2014

Will You Join Me for Afternoon Tea?

Today's post is radically different than my usual fiction-related posts. Good friend Holly Sinclair (you probably know her as Southpaw), has published a series of cookbooks. I jumped at the opportunity to take part in her Foodie Blog Tour when she announced it, and being British, chose her Afternoon Tea cookbook.

So, why not join me for afternoon tea? Perhaps I'll tempt you into trying some of Holly's delicious afternoon tea recipes? Also, one commenter on this post will win a free digital copy of this cookbook. To enter, just leave a comment. If you want to leave a comment but don’t want to enter, add “I hate food” to your comment. The winner will be announced October 31st on Holly's blog.

Before I share with you what I cooked, I'd like to say a little about using an eBook cookbook. I was really surprised at how much easier it was in comparison to a traditional cookbook. While I did have to do a fair amount of page swiping, I didn't have to weigh the pages down to keep them open like a traditional cookbook, and I didn't have to worry about getting any ingredients on the pages. A quick wipe with a cloth, and my Kindle was sparkling clean.

The Menu

Roast Beef Tea Sandwiches
Bacon Cheddar Eggs
Cornbread with Honey Butter
English Breakfast Tea

Roast Beef Tea Sandwiches

1/3 cup crumbled blue or Gorgonzola cheese
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/2 lb sliced deli roast beef, finely chopped
1/8 cup minced sliced red onion
Butter or margarine, softened
6 slices white bread
Salt and pepper to taste 
Red leaf lettuce

Combine cheese, mayonnaise, and lemon juice. Stir in roast beef and red onion.
Lightly butter one side of each slice of bread. Spread beef mixture on top of
butter-side half of bread. Season with salt and pepper, top with lettuce, then
the remaining bread slice butter-side down. Trim off crusts, then cut into
triangles or fingers.

Bacon Cheddar Eggs

4 large hard-boiled eggs
1/8 cup sour cream
2 slices bacon, cooked crisp and crumbled
2 tablespoons finely shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1 tablespoon chopped chives
1/2 teaspoon white wine vinegar 
1 slice bacon, cooked crisp and crumbled for garnish 

Peel eggs, then slice in half lengthwise. Remove egg yolks and place in a bowl.
Set whites aside. Combine yolks with remaining ingredients, except garnish.
Spoon into egg whites. Sprinkle with additional bacon. 

Cornbread with Honey Butter

1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup cornmeal 
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1-1/4 cups milk

2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1/3 cup vegetable oil
3 tablespoons butter or margarine, melted

Preheat oven to 350F. Grease an 8 inch square baking pan. Combine flour, sugar,
cornmeal, baking powder, and salt. Set aside. Whisk milk, eggs, oil, and
butter. Stir into the flour mixture until just blended. Pour into baking pan,
and bake for 35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out
clean. Cool on wire rack. For honey butter, stir honey into softened margarine
or butter at a ratio of 1:2. 


Afternoon Tea was packed full of delightfully sumptuous recipes for a perfect afternoon tea with friends or family. The cookbook comes with a menu suggestion for each month of the year, which you can follow or mix and match as I did. In addition, there are chapters on the notion of afternoon tea itself and how to prepare the perfect cup of tea. All-in-all, a little gem of a cookbook.

The roast beef tea sandwiches, bacon cheddar eggs, and cornbread with honey were easy to prepare and tasted like heaven!

Holly Sinclair on Tea

I asked Holly to share a tea memory. This is what she had to say:

My first memory of tea has nothing to do with drinking it. It's about making it. Something about making sun tea in the summer as a kid brought me joy. It's so simple too. Big glass jar, fresh water, a bunch of tea bags, and the hot summer sun. Maybe it was checking on it throughout the day, watching the gradually color change and guessing when it would be ready. The funny thing is I don't remember drinking it, not when I was little. Now I do, and there is something a little special about the flavor of sun tea.

Afternoon Tea 

Afternoon Tea is a wonderful way to catch up with your family or enjoy an intimate gathering of close friends. This book offers a different take on teatime with seasonal thematic flavors for each month highlighting a different tea. Recipes included are for tea sandwiches, light appetizers, scones, tea breads, cakes, and pastries.

Cost: $10.00 print | $2.00 ebook
If you buy the print version of the book from Amazon, you get the digital version free.

Where to get it:

About the Author

Holly Sinclair, who goes by Southpaw on the Interwebs, finds cooking cathartic. The recipes she's created and collected grew into cookbooks. Holly's trying her hand at fiction and food seems to creep into most of her books.

Join Holly on the rest of her Blog Tour, each stop features a different cookbook and a chance for a free ebook!

You can join in the fun by signing up for the End of Tour Foodie Blog Hop!
Talk about a fond food memory, describe your disasters in the kitchen, post your favorite recipe or pictures of food, or do anything food related. Sign up here. 

Thank you, Holly. It was an absolute pleasure. That's it for this week. Happy cooking, my friends.


  1. Funny she doesn't remember drinking it.
    The cornbread sounds tasty!

    1. I think as kids, in general, we remember experiences more than tastes.

  2. I don't remember drinking tea when I was little either. I can only drink it now if I make it at home, because around here most make it with one part tea, two parts sugar.

    1. Ah, the good ol' South. I do like Sweet Tea, but not all the time.

  3. Thanks for reviewing and hosting me Ellie. Whew, I'm so glad you liked it. Those Bacon Cheddar Eggs are one of my favorite devilied egg recipes.Well, bacon. :)

  4. I would certainly join your for tea. My daughter will so lecture me on purchasing another cookbook but I have to check this out.

  5. I enjoyed the tea and the food, Ellie. Will try out the Cornbread with Honey Butter. Congratulations Holly.

  6. We drank iced tea with lunch and dinner year round when I was growing up. I never drank hot tea until I was an adult.

    1. You know I don't think I had hot tea until was a grown up either.

  7. Mmmmm. Sun tea.

    I prefer tea to coffee or soda. Unless it's Red Bull. Then I prefer Red Bull.

    1. When you said Red Bull, did you see my eyes pop from the caffeine. :) I hear they have a tropical flavor now too.

  8. Okay, I shouldn't have come over. Pregnant woman out. (Off to the kitchen.) =)

    Crystal's Blog

  9. I'm not a tea person, but I love the idea of a little pick-me-up in the afternoon to make it through the rest of the day until supper. I'm a big fan of roast beef sandwiches, though. :)

  10. Hi Ellie and Holly - a good old English tea ... I do love a proper tea - these recipes sound like a High Tea - when you might have a snack later on. Delicious recipes though ... and adaptable for other things .. I like the ideas ...

    Interesting you remember making tea for the first time in the sun, in a glass tea jug ... and now just enjoy sipping it as the light goes down ...

    Cheers to you both .. Hilary

  11. I was brought up in England and tea making was a very serious ritual. Warm the pot, milk in first and the rhyme. Unless the kettle boiling be, then spoilt is the cup of tea. It was not until I travelled to America that I discovered iced tea and I now always ask for unsweetened iced tea when in the USA, but it is really hard to find in the UK. If you look hard you can find some truly awful pre-mixed and bottles stuff marketed here, but it is always sweetened and not a patch on real iced tea. I have never heard of ‘sun tea’, I will have to give that a go. .

    1. It's true it's almost impossible to get unsweetened ice tea in the US unless you make it yourself. Sun tea is lot so fun to make and so easy. It produces a milder, flavorful tea.

  12. I have to get Holly's book!!! Sounds Delectable!! We make sunshine tea all the time!!

  13. Of course I'll have afternoon tea with you! And especially if you make the glorious delectable things in the picture. No use giving me the recipes, I'm all thumbs. You'll just have to make them for me so I can try them. ;) Holly's book sounds great! I hope you both have a lovely weekend!

  14. I don't eat roast beef--or any beef... but hey, those scones look good!


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