Saturday, January 2, 2016


Well as we have been saying since Chaucer's time.....all good things must come to an end. But, darn it, why not keep Downton Abbey going???  I recently heard an interview with Maggie Smith (Lady Violet) and she said something that made very good sense....the years have gone on but everyone has stayed the same paraphrase her "Lady Violet must be at least 100 by now."  So tomorrow night is the start of season 6 and the 4th and last Downton Abby party with our little group of dedicated viewers.

The invitations were sent out last week, the RSVP's received.
 The menu is set so now all I have to do is a little shopping, setting the table, setting the dessert table (of course pulling out my best Downton Abbey prop my red English phone booth), a little baking, etc. and I will be ready.
 Okay, truth in not confuse this table with ours tomorrow night....well we will have white cloths, china and crystal but the big difference....our party may be veddy, veddy but our dress is decidedly NOT...dress code here is jammies, pearls and tiaras optional!  Two of our members still work so we decided the first year that since it will become a late night for those who work, we would wear our jammies - comfort at it's best.

Here is a link to an earlier post where I also served individual beef Wellingtons: Link

The recipe shown in the link is Pepperidge Farms recipe and I make my version of this recipe.  The classic beef Wellington will often times have blue cheese or pate and I do not add either of these.  It will also have a duxelles of mushrooms which I do add.  As I have said before this is so easy and has a big wow factor.

Duxelles Recipe

1/2 Pound mushrooms, any kind, I am going to use a mix and will be adding some of the reconstituted Morels we dried last year.
 2 T butter divided
3 T finely chopped shallots
Salt & Pepper to taste
1 1/2 T fresh thyme (or 1/2 tsp dried)
1/4 cup white wine (sherry or vermouth OK)


1. Finely chop mushrooms in a food processor.

2. Scrape mushrooms out into a clean, cotton towel. (Note: Do not use terry cloth, and choose an old towel as you will stain it.)
3. Twist towel around mushrooms and wring out as much liquid as you can over the sink.
4. Heat a large (10-inch) non-stick skillet over a burner set between medium and medium-high.
5. Add 1 tablespoon butter and swirl to melt and avoid burning.
6. Add mushrooms, shallots, a pinch of salt, a pinch of black pepper, and thyme.
7. Cook, stirring frequently, until mushrooms appear dry and are beginning to brown; about 5 minutes.
8. Stir in remaining tablespoon of butter, and, when melted, the sherry or wine.
9. Cook, stirring frequently, until the vermouth has evaporated.
10. Remove from heat and cool.

For the dessert/tea tray keeping it simple by using the premade Pepperidge Farm puff pastry (again) cups - filling one with lemon curd (will top with a little whipped cream when serving) and filling the other with a cream cheese filling and topping with a raspberry (that way raspberries on hand to put into the champagne glass, or in our case the sparkling cider glass) and then these yummy brown sugar pecan buttons cookies.

Brown Sugar Pecan Button Cookies Recipe - Yield 1 1/2 dozen

Preheat oven to 325°

1 cup butter, softened
1/3 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
3 T granulated sugar
2 1/4 cups AP flour
1/3 cup finely chopped, toasted pecans
1 cup powdered sugar
2 T milk

Use Silpat mat or line the cookie sheet with parchment paper

Beat butter and sugars at medium speed with a mixer until fluffy.  Gradually add flour and pecans, stirring well (dough will be a little crumbly). Pat or roll dough to 1/2" thickness on a floured surface, cut with 1 1/2" round or fluted cutter. Place on baking sheet.

Bake at 325° for 23 minutes or until the bottoms are lightly browned.  Cool 5 minutes, transfer cookies to a wire rack and cool completely - about 20 minutes.

Stir together milk and powdered sugar and drizzle glaze over cookies.


Individual beef Wellingtons recipe, Pepperidge Farms, Link 
Cream cheese filled cups recipe, Pepperidge Farms
Brown Sugar-Pecan Buttons recipe, Southern Living 

One last word about Downton Abby....tomorrow night may be the beginning of the end but this is season #6 so in reality we can start over....and binge watch whenever we feel the need!

Thank you for stopping by.


  1. Been and gone now but Downton Abbey went out with it's head held high, no shocking accidents, no bad news just a splendid finale. I loved every bit it and will miss it. Have a wonderful 2016. Mary

  2. Mary thank you so much for stopping by. We had a fun evening & DA did not disappoint! So looking forward to see how Julian ends our time with these wonderful people. Have to ask since you have already seen the entire series, are you in the UK.


  4. It was a great episode last night - great way to start the season. Thank you for stopping by.