Monday, January 5, 2015


Last night was not only the first episode of season #5 for Downton Abbey but our 3rd annual celebratory party and to watch the show with like-minded friends.

 After sending out the invitations the next thing to do is set the menu....

Setting up your tea service - I do not own a three tiered tea stand so I improvised using three different sizes of cake stands.

Cost-Plus World Market carries a line of Downton Abbey products. The tea was very good and I loved the towel with Violet's (Dowager Countess of Grantham) quote.
Both of the scone selections were from a mix.  The only thing that I did differently with either of them was to use cream in place of the required milk.  The vanilla scone was from the Cost-Plus Downton Abbey line and the cranberry-orange were from a Dässant vanilla scone mix and I added dried cranberries, orange oil and orange zest. I think the vanilla was the groups favorite.
 Faux clotted cream, strawberry jam and lemon curd.
Of course I had to use my English phone booth find from TJ Maxx last year an "as is" find.  The table is ready, time to pour the tea, have our snacks, sit back and enjoy episode one of season five.


Faux Clotted Cream

8 Servings

  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1/3 cup sour cream

  • 1 tablespoon confectioners' sugar

Using a whisk attachment on the mixer, whip heavy cream until stiff peaks form. Remove from mixer, and hand whisk in the sour cream and confectioners' sugar until just combined. Store in refrigerator
Cheese Sandwiches

Cream together 1 cup soft butter, 2 teaspoons brown sugar, and 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg.

1 1/4 cups Stilton cheese, finely grated
1/2 cup finely chopped walnuts
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons brandy
1/4 cup, more or less, heavy cream
20 slices bread, your choice

Combine all filling ingredients except the cream in a small bowl. Gradually add the cream to bring the mixture to spreading consistency.

Spread a thin layer of the butter-spread mixture to the edge of one side of each piece of bread. Top half the slices with the filling. Place the remaining bread slices on top, remove the crusts and cut each sandwich into 4 quarters or 3 fingers, as desired.

Makes 30 to 40 tea sandwiches, enough to feed 8 to 10 guests.

Cooks notes: As I have noted before unless it's baking I see a recipe as a suggestion.  The sandwiches I made (the favorite of the night) I omitted the brandy and used a combination of cream and mayonnaise (better binding) I had a couple of hard artisanal cheeses and a softer a Asiago on hand so I used these cheeses (omitting the Stilton) and the result was yum!

Nanaimo Bars (Na-Ni-Mo) - Canada's famous no-cook bars 


  • Bottom Layer:
  • 1/2 cup salted butter, diced into pieces
  • 1/3 cup packed light-brown sugar
  • 3 Tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 3/4 cup graham cracker crumbs
  • 1 cup sweetened shredded coconut
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped pecans or almonds (I used pecan cookie pieces)
  • Filling
  • 1/3 cup salted butter, softened
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 2 Tbsp custard powder or vanilla/white chocolate instant pudding mix
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • Top Layer
  • 4 oz. semi-sweet chocolate, chopped
  • 2 Tbsp salted butter


Yield: 16 Servings

  • Melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Remove from heat, add in brown sugar and cocoa powder and whisk until well combine. While whisking vigorously, slowly pour in beaten egg. Return mixture to heat and cook for 1 - 2 minutes until mixture has thickened. Remove from heat, stir in vanilla. Add in graham cracker crumbs, coconut, and pecans and toss until evenly coated. Press mixture into a buttered 8 by 8-inch or 9 by 9-inch baking dish. Cover with plastic wrap, place in freezer for 20 minutes or refrigerate for 40 minutes.
  • In a mixing bowl, using and electric hand mixer set on medium speed, whip together butter, heavy cream and custard powder until smooth and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Stir in powdered sugar and blend until mixture is smooth and creamy, about 1 minute (mixture may seem dry at first but should start to come together). Spread mixture into an even layer over chilled graham cracker base. Cover with plastic wrap and freeze for 15 minutes or refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  • Melt semi-sweet chocolate along with butter in a heat proof bowl, set over a pot of simmering water. Spread mixture into an even layer over filling layer, cover with plastic wrap and chill in refrigerator for 10 minutes until chocolate has set. Cut into squares, store in an airtight container.
  • Recipe Source: adapted lightly from Joy of Baking

Tea, vanilla scone mix and DA towel, Cost-Plus World Mkt.
 Plates, Franciscan porcelain, pattern Talisman
Tea service, cups, saucers, etc. Leeds Pottery UK, creamware
Cranberry-orange scone mix, Dässant
Custard Powder, Amazon, Cost-Plus, specialty stores 
Tea Tray, Emma Bridgewater, UK

Thank you for stopping by.



  2. Thank you dear Anonymous for your kind comment. It was a delightful evening with the folks at Downton Abbey!!!

  3. How fun~! You did a wonderful job. Everything looks perfect.


  4. You are so sweet, thank you so much for your nice comments. We had fun & those cheese sandwiches were delicious. We wore our PJ's with hats & Tierra's - thank u for stopping by.j.

  5. Hi Jojo,

    I stumbled across your blog site looking for comparisons of Annie Sloan clear wax and Americana Décor creme wax. I was surprised and happy to see you are in Eagle, Idaho as I am just down the highway in Mountain Home! It was neat come across a blogger that’s close to where I live. ☺
    I loved your Downton Abbey themed party! Isn’t that the best show ever? I’m very sad they are ending after this season. Anyway, you did a wonderful job on everything. It looked authentic and so charming!!


  6. Thank you so much for your kind comments about this great program. Thank you for stopping by❤️