Colleen Houck


“Chapped rats and bats' wings, brandied worms and adders' stings, Goat's wool and owl's hoot, fish's tongue and dog's foot. Into the potion, all you go, add clockwork hearts, positioned so…" The Lantern's Ember

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  • Kelsey’s Favorite Places to Visit and Foods to Eat!

    June 15, 2014


    If Kelsey could share some of her favorite things with you she would want to take you back to the village of Silvanae, home of the tree nymphs and fairies. In the second novel, Tiger’s Quest, Kelsey and Kishan journey to a place where time doesn’t exist, a place of healing, a place all together magical. This strange world surrounded them in a lush green forest, vibrant skies, fragrant blossoms, birds and tame beasts. Then, guided by a tree nymph named Faunus, Kishan and Kelsey discovered a place she considers her own garden of Eden, the enchanting village of Silvanae.

    Faunus

    Faunus

     

    tree nymphs

    man fairy

    Tree Nymph

    silvanae

    Village of Silvanae

    mystical forestforest city

    World Tree

    World Tree

    magical mushroom

    Fairy Pool

    Fairy Pool

    Kelsey would love to share some of her favorite things about the fairies as well as recipes for the foods she and Kishan feasted on!

    Below are some pictures of clothes the fairies might wear,

    fairy frock1

     

    fairy frock2

     

     

     

    fairy dress 2

     

    kelseys shoes

    elf boots

    fairy shoes

     

    Kelsey's dress

    Kelsey’s dress

    The fairies’ dresses were made from the flowers that grew in the village and matched the soft glow that came from their wings. Their wings were like beautiful butterfly wings ranging from pink, silver, turquoise, orange, yellow and violet. The fairies were beautiful beyond description and smelled so sweet. What Kelsey probably loved most of all was their tinkling giggles that filled the forest skies with music.

    Another of Kelsey’s sweetest memories of this place is the banquet fit for a princess, no, a fairy princess. The food was displayed on a long table decorated with flowers, pine cone glasses, leaf napkins rolled in ivy, plates carved from white stone and bowls of large pink rose petals. Under foot was lush green grass and above head hung ropy vines with lanterns that draped down from the largest trees. The vision of this place surpasses all description. For fun, why not try setting a table that brings the essence of this enchanting village into your own home or garden. See picture below for some ideas,

    table setting for feast in Village of Silvanae

     

    fairy party

     

    fairy party table

    fairy table party

    fairy decor

    Cute idea for "mushrooms" at your own fairy party

    Cute idea for “mushrooms” at your own fairy party

    Some of the recipes I’d like to share with you are from the banquet Kelsey and Kishan shared with the silver haired tree nymphs and fairies. They include; delicate lace cookies, honey cakes, lemon meringue tarts, stewed fruits in sugary syrups, baby quiches, cinnamon crepes, blueberry scones, pumpkin cups with cream cheese filling, honeyed flower nectar, watermelon spritzes, and much much more. Last year I featured Kelsey’s magical visit to the village of Silvanae and with it a recipe for the delicious Orange Blossom Honey Cake with Fresh Blueberries (I’ve included the recipe at the end). For this blog, I’d like to share a fabulous Blueberry Scone recipe along with a refreshing Watermelon Spritzer (both perfect for the summer time and currently these fruits are in season). So. . . put on your aprons and lets make some tasty goodness!

    Blueberry Scones with Lemon Glaze

    Blueberry Scones:
     
    Adapted recipe by For the Love of Cooking.net
    Original recipe by Tyler Florence
     
    • 2 cups of flour
    • 1 tbsp baking powder
    • 1/2 tsp salt
    • 2 tbsp sugar
    • 5 tbsp unsalted butter, cold, cut into chunks
    • 1 cup heavy cream, plus more for brushing on top of scones
    • 1 1/2 cups of fresh blueberries

    Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Sift together the dry ingredients into a bowl. Using 2 forks, cut in the butter to coat the pieces with the flour. The mixture should look like coarse crumbs. Make a well in the center and pour in the heavy cream. Fold everything together until just mixed; do not over work the dough. Fold the blueberries into the dough, taking care not to mash the berries.

    Press the dough onto a lightly floured surface and form into a rectangle. Cut the rectangle in half then cut the pieces into half again, giving you 4 squares. Cut the squares in half on a diagonal to give you a triangle shape.

    Place the scones on a baking sheet lined with a silpat mat then brush the top with a bit of heavy cream. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown. Let the scones cool a bit before you apply the lemon glaze.

    Lemon Glaze:

    • 1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
    • 2 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
    • 1 lemon, zest finely grated
    • 1 tbsp unsalted butter

    Place all the ingredients in a microwave safe bowl. Place in the microwave and cook for 30 seconds. Whisk the glaze to smooth out any lumps then drizzle on top of each scone. Serve immediately. Enjoy!

    Watermelon Spritzer

    watermelon spritzer

    Ingredients:

    ingredients

    • watermelon

    • lemons

    • honey

    • seltzer water

    • fresh mint or lemon balm

    First, juice the lemons.

    lemons

    Next, cut up the watermelon into chunks.

    watermelon

    Place the watermelon chunks, lemon juice, and honey into a food processor and blend together until smooth. Strain the mixture into a large bowl using a strainer and press out juice from remaining seeds and pulp.

    watermelon processed

    Place juice in a container and keep refrigerated until chilled and ready to serve.

    watermelon juice

    Serve with a splash of seltzer water and mint or lemon balm. Enjoy!

    watermelon spritzer cup

    Orange Blossom Honey Cake with Fresh Blueberries

    orange blossom honey cake with blueberries
    1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened

    1/4 cup granulated sugar

    1 cup orange blossom honey or any you happen to have on hand. Just remember that it is the star of this dessert so pick one that really shines.

    4 large eggs, lightly beaten

    2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

    1 teaspoon lemon zest

    3 cups all-purpose flour

    2 teaspoons baking powder

    1/2 teaspoon ground mace (I used nutmeg instead, forgot to replenish my mace. It was still wonderful!)

    1/2 teaspoon salt

    2 cups blueberries (Try to use the tiny wild blueberries if you can find them, which I could not.)

    Preheat your oven to 350° and prepare a Bundt Pan with butter and flour.

    Cream together the butter, sugar and honey on medium high speed until light in color and texture.

    orange blossom honey cake 1 Slowly add the eggs, lemon juice and zest. Mix until smooth. The mixture will be very wet at this point.

    Add the flour, baking powder, mace and salt with the machine on low.

    Mix until it is all well combined, but no more.

    orange blossom honey cake 2

    Remove from machine and fold the blueberries into the batter with a spatula.
    orange blossom honey cake 3

    Spread the batter into the prepared bundt pan. Smooth out the top.

    orange blossom honey cake 4Bake for about 55 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean. Cool the cake on a rack for 15 minutes and then unmold.

    Finally, brush the entire cake with lavender simple syrup OR melt 1/2 cup of honey and 1 tablespoon of lemon to brush over the cake (I thought the addition of lavender would be wonderful).

    orange blossom honey cake 5Serve at room temperature. If you refrigerate the cake make sure you bring it back to room temperature before serving.

     

    Lavender Simple Syrup

    lavender_t**The following recipe can be made with rosemary, lemon thyme, star anise,  cinnamon sticks, organic edible rose petals or any other aromatic that you want to flavor your syrup with. I love to have these flavored syrups around to sweeten tea, use as a drizzle over sponge cake, sorbets and lemonade.

    1 cup granulated sugar

    1 cup water

    3 tablespoons dried or fresh lavender flowers

    In a sauce pot bring the water, sugar and lavender to a simmer. Allow to simmer until the sugar is completely dissolved. Turn off heat and let sit until cool. Use or store in the refrigerator for up to a month. The longer you let the lavender steep in the simple syrup the stronger the flavor will be. I store it in the refrigerator with the flowers still in the syrup and strain it when I need it in a recipe.

    **I hope you enjoy these recipes shared from Kelsey’s favorite things! If you want to revisit this part of Colleen Houck’s story, read chapter 18, Good Things, in her second novel Tiger’s Quest!

    ***I’d LOVE to hear your thoughts of your own impressions of Kelsey and Kishan’s visit to Silvanae and/or if you’d like to share your own recipes that would nicely accompany the buffet Kishan and Kelsey had with the fairies.

    ~Till next time!

    Linda Louise Lotti

     

    This entry was posted in Kelsey's Favorite Things, Recipes, Tiger's Quest.

    2 Responses to Kelsey’s Favorite Places to Visit and Foods to Eat!


    1. Natalie says:

      Colleen I live in Oregon too and love going to the restaurant mentioned in Tigers Curse “Whites Restaurant” you should talk about what she likes to get when she goes there.

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    Linda
    Linda

    I’m Linda Louise, one of the bloggers on this website and Colleen’s little sister. I’m just a girl in her mid-thirties who feels thirteen when I play outside with my boys, fifteen when I sing my heart out listening to tunes while driving by myself, and sixty five when I go out past ten at night. I have a thing for junior mints, Mt. Dew, shrimp and kale (though not all at once) and I have a crush on Superman. I still get girlish butterflies when I read Twilight, cry when I read These is My Words, and smile from ear to ear when I read Anne of Green Gables. I have nightmares about aliens on a regular basis and I have a bad habit of midnight snacking. I love everything sports, except golf (although can that honestly be considered a sport??), and I hate anything that slithers, hisses, or stings. I have a problem with giggling at inappropriate moments and I sometimes wish life was a musical. I love science, hate math, love Dr. Seuss, and hate olives. My family is my world and my joys come from their happiness. I’ve learned I don’t know much about anything and I live for a good adventure, naps, cuddles, stories, exceptional food and The Shire.