Tagged: In the Kitchen

Always the star of the table at our Garden Cafe, fresh-baked bread pots make a big impression at the beginning of any meal. To celebrate St. Patrick's Day, we're filling classic, terracotta flower pots with traditional soda bread courtesy of Styer's Pastry Chef Kara Wisely. Kara shared her family recipe for a delicious bread dotted with currants that we're feeling lucky to enjoy from breakfast to dinner. 

Irish Soda Bread
(makes 1 bread pot)

7 oz. all-purpose flour
2.5 oz. oats
1 oz. whole wheat flour
1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon milk powder
1/2 teaspoon sugar
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup currrants
9.25 oz. buttermilk 
Food safe terracotta pot (approx. 4"H, 4" diameter)

Heat the oven to 475°F. Throughout preparation, mix by hand for best results. Place all the dry ingredients in a mixing bowl and whisk until combined. Add currants and mix until combined. Slowly add buttermilk and stir until incorporated; dough will be moist. Sprinkle some flour onto the dough, then turn onto a floured surface and work with hands until the dough is no longer sticky. Spray a food safe terracotta pot heavily with baking spray. Roll the dough into a circle, then fit gently into the pot. Place the pot on a baking tray and bake at 475°F for 15 minutes. Lower the oven temperature to 450°F, then bake for an additional 15 minutes. Enjoy with fresh butter!

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While we love bunnies and blooms, undoubtedly the best part of Easter is a basket overflowing with candy. This year, we're welcoming a bigger confection collection than ever, filled with elegant eggs, playful critters, and delicate spring pastels. Some of our most exciting arrivals are from a local maker-- Delaware's Lock and Key Confectionery; we're beautifying our baskets with their indulgent, gold-topped chocolates and a cheerful crop of veggies. Recently, Lock and Key's Samantha Betley stopped by our office to make a batch of her spectacular sweets and chat about all things candy. 

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Bringing a hint of spring to the table as we await its arrival outdoors, our botanical napkin rings are a simple and impactful accent for seasonal gatherings. We started with linens in pale pastels and crisp neutrals, then plucked a few of our favorite sprigs-- dried cotton, roses, eucalyptus, and margarita flowers are pictured above. If it's warm where you are, garden fresh cuts would also make for lovely toppers. Simply tie your specimen atop the napkin with a length of delicate ribbon, then finish the look with a sweet Easter embellishment like a tiny, speckled egg.

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A Breakfast in Bed Parfait

Whether served for a special occasion or just a lazy weekend wake-up, breakfast in bed is a simple indulgence that makes any morning brighter. We asked Styer's Garden Café chef Jared Frazer to share a recipe for breakfast in bed with two criteria: it had to be neat enough to eat near our favorite quilts and pillows, and easy enough to make before our first cup of coffee. Jared offered the simple yet satisfying parfait above, topped with a homemade granola of oats, quinoa, and dried fruit. We love the bright colors of this breakfast bowl, as well as its delicious and healthy balance of toasty granola, fresh fruit, and tart yogurt. For a hint of natural sweetness, we stirred maple syrup into the yogurt before serving. Read on for the granola recipe, and surprise someone with a great morning this weekend!

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Sugared Blooms

February 10, 2015

Tags:
In the Kitchen
, How-To

Ideal for topping springtime treats, we think the sugared blooms above will be our favorite accent for desserts and drinks all season long. A sprinkling of sugar lends just a touch of sparkle to edible flowers-- we love dried violas or rose petals-- while keeping their natural colors in sight. While making the flowers above, we added a squeeze of fresh lemon juice to our wash, pairing a hint of bright, citrusy flavor with the sugar coating. Atop baked goods, fresh fruit, or a favorite cocktail, these natural beauties make sweets even more special.

What You'll Need:
Edible dried flowers (we used violas)
1 egg white
1 teaspoon fresh squeezed lemon juice
Superfine sugar
Parchment paper
Small, soft-bristle paintbrush
Clean tweezers

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper before beginning. Whisk egg white and lemon juice in a small bowl-- since the egg whites won't be cooked, please be sure to use fresh eggs from a trusted source. Gently hold a single flower with clean tweezers and brush all surfaces with the egg and lemon wash. Sprinkle with superfine sugar, then transfer to the baking sheet. Once all your flowers are sugared, let them sit at room temperature overnight. Use as a sweet garnish for cakes, cupcakes, cocktails, fruit, and more!

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Artist at Work: Three Wheel Studio

In spite of the snow, spring feels close at hand on our tabletop thanks to a gorgeous new collection of Wildflower Series platters. Pressed with an array of real, picked-by-hand blooms, each platter offers a unique, natural pattern created with a meticulous, double-firing process and hand-painted glazes. These fresh-from-the-meadow ceramics are sure to top our table for seasons to come, so we caught up with their creator, Dwo Wen "Luke" Chen, to learn more about his craft and his workspace-- Three Wheel Studio in Providence, RI. 
 
Luke told us, "I was born in a farming village in southern Taiwan, and I'm very fortunate that my family encouraged my artistic endeavors! As a child, I dreamed of becoming a bohemian painter who worked on the streets of Paris." He added that he didn't expect to become a potter with a shop in New England, but changed his mind while attending the Rhode Island School of Design. "I was discouraged from any further fantasy of becoming a painter, but my RISD education introduced me to the wonderful world of pottery. Clay is a very forgiving medium, which suits an undisciplined artist like me perfectly!"
 
When asked what drew him to pottery, Luke said, "I can translate almost anything in my imagination using my hands and clay. Sometimes it's a great success, sometimes there are amusing results! Since I'm not a classically-trained potter, there aren't any do's or don'ts in my creative process. I enjoy making a perfect rosette as much as throwing an oversized watering can."
 
To sum up his artistic inspiration, Luke shared a quote from a fellow painter and sculptor. "To paraphrase [Marcel] Duchamp, 'I have forced myself to contradict myself in order to avoid conforming to my own taste.' I truly do see beauty everywhere, and I think that's evident in the variety of my work. Recently, I've become more comfortable calling myself a studio potter. One day, I opened up my kiln and found an almost-perfect little tea bowl with just the right glaze. To a potter, that's the perfect day."
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A Winter Citrus Salad

In spite of the winter weather, we're feeling bright in the kitchen thanks to an abundance of the season's fresh citrus fruits. During the colder months, citrus is at its sweetest and juiciest; in fact, dropping temperatures in citrus-growing regions prompt the green, ripening fruits to take on their vibrant colors. Recently, we asked Chef Jared Frazer at our Garden Café to share his recipe for a lively salad featuring winter citrus. Jared says, "For this salad, we started with a variety of the fresh citrus that's looking its best this time of year. You can choose any greens you like, but I think arugula works well here because it adds a hint of peppery flavor." With five types of citrus lending a burst of flavor and color, this salad is sure to be a zesty favorite on our table throughout the colder months. 

Five Citrus Salad
1 blood orange
1 navel orange
1 lemon
1 grapefruit
2 limes
1 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons honey
Salt & pepper 
Arugula
Shaved fennel
Red onion

Zest and segment all citrus, setting aside segments as desired to top the salad. For the dressing, juice the remaining segments. In a mixing bowl, whisk zest, juice, olive oil, mustard, salt and pepper to taste, and honey until well-incorporated. Dress the arugula and top with citrus segments, shaved fennel, and red onion.

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