We are experiencing spring like temperatures and I believe our gardens are confused. All of my daffodils have withered and the tulips have sprouted but not bloomed. While I adore the sunny days, it's not so lovely to experience this in the midst of a drought. We need more rain!
While we are on the subject of gardens, I have been fixated on my camellia bush. It bloomed profusely every December for the first three years we moved here. Last December we didn't have a single bloom. As you can see in the photo above, we have only one flower that bloomed last week.
Gardeners, any ideas what is causing the lack of flowers? The bush itself is healthy with new glossy green leaves. Camellias are such a treat to enjoy in winter as they are my only cut flower.
Well, since I can't have camellias in vases I will enjoy them on a teacup.
Come join me for tea and a piece of chocolate pudding cake.
Today's featured teacup is one that caught my eye on ebay. It is a signed Paragon called Reine des Beautes from the 'Camelia Series.'
The large flowers have many details and I adore designs in the inner cup. After Shelley, Paragon is a favorite English bone china pottery of mine.
Paragon produced bone china teaware from 1919 to 1960 in Longton, Stoke-on-Trent. It was previously known as the Star China Company and was granted royal warrants by the British Royal Family.
On a side note, Paragon was commissioned to produce the nursery china set for Princess Elizabeth now known as Queen Elizabeth ll. This pattern is called Two for Joy and features magpies. Legend states magpies were seen at the christening of Princess Elizabeth.
Our tea wouldn't be complete with something sweet.
This weekend I made this cake for the first time and enjoyed its moistness. Reminded me of a molten lava cake. I found the recipe in last month's issue of Southern Living magazine. It's from a new Cooking Light cookbook titled Incredibly Decadent Desserts.
Chocolate Pudding Cake
4.5 oz (about 1 cup) all purpose flour
3/4 cup granulated sugar, divided
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa, divided
2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 cup 2% reduced fat milk
2 Tbsp. unsalted butter, melted
1 tsp. vanilla extract
Baking spray with flour
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 1/4 cup of strong hot coffee
Cool Whip thawed
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2.Weigh or lightly spoon flour into a dry measuring cup; level with a knife.
3. Combine flour, 1/2 cup sugar, 2 Tbsp cocoa, baking powder and salt in a bowl, stirring with a whisk. Add milk, butter and vanilla, stir until just combined. Scrape batter into a 9x9 metal baking pan coated with cooking spray.
4. Combine 1/4 cup sugar, 2 Tbsp cocoa and brown sugar, sprinkle mixture over top of batter. Carefully pour coffee over top. Do not stir in.
5. Bake for 28 to 30 minutes or until just set. (Do not overbake.) Let stand 10 minutes, top with whipped topping.
**I don't have a 9x9 metal baking pan. A ceramic one of about the size worked just fine.
Whether you are experiencing spring or winter weather, enjoy your tea times!
All the best,
Bring your favorite teacup to the following parties: