Your cart

KATB Blog

a fall palette with studio bicyclette

A harvest inspired tablescape of rich textures, warm hues of brassy golds, deep yellows and mature, dusty pinks, a hint of darkness, and some shadow play, resulting in a moodiness appropriate for the seasonal shift to autumn.  

Continue reading

spooky sugar skulls & a halloween tea party

Autumnal weather, costumes, candy, and all things spooky...it is practically impossible to resist feeling festive for Halloween!  But how to make this neon-orange-and-black holiday tea party appropriate?  Now there is the real magic! 

Continue reading

mini tea sammies, 3 ways!

 

There are a few things that transform just any old party into a tea party.  Tea cups are an absolute must (bonus points for vintage, mismatched and pastel!), tiered trays and lots of fresh florals certainly set the mood, and scones and jam must be present for tradition’s sake.  But, a tea party isn’t really a tea party without those tiny, little white bread sandwiches we all know and love!  The most classic choices are cucumber and butter, smoked salmon, chicken, and egg salad, but for us, the more beautiful, tiny, colourful, and intricate the better!  So, as a little supplement to our Pastel Garden Brunch we styled with Alyssa of Random Acts of Pastel (full photo set coming next week!), we wanted to share our spin on the classic tea sandwich, done KATB-style 3 different ways to add a little flair to your tea party table!

Tea Sandwiches 3 Ways

Ingredients:

Loaf of classic white Wonder Bread
1 fresh cucumber
1 pint of fresh strawberries
1-3 jars of KATB jam, preferably in a variety of colours
Lavender oil (we used this one from A L’Olivier)
Butter, at room temperature
Cream Cheese, at room temperature
Culinary-grade lavender blossoms
Fresh sprigs of mint
2.25” round cookie cutter

The tiniest heart-shaped cookie cutter you can find (we found ours at Bulk Barn!)

Cucumber & Lavender

  1. Using a sharp knife or mandolin, slice your cucumber as thin as possible crosswise.
  2. Spread a thin coat of butter on your slices of white bread, and delicately place your cucumber slices in one layer to create a mosaic effect, overlapping the crusts.
  3. Then, using a sharp knife, cut through the cucumber and bread into your desired shape.  We chose squares for our cucumber sammies, and got 1 sammie out of each piece of bread.  Tip: if you find that your cucumber slices are slipping as you try to cut through them, place the whole palm of your (clean) hand on top of your sammie to hold everything in place as you cut.  Don’t be nervous to press down a little bit - the Wonder Bread will bounce right back!
  4. Set aside…

Strawberry & Mint

  1. Spread a thin layer of butter on a couple slices of Wonder Bread, then cut off the crusts and into 3 long rectangles.
  2. Using a sharp knife, hull the greenery from the top of your berries.  Sit them on their “heads,” slice them thin, and, keeping them in their original order, use your fingers to carefully fan the slices and place them on each rectangle of bread.
  3. Set aside…

Stained Glass Jam Sammies

  1. For these little gems, you will get one sammie per every two pieces of bread.  So, for three sammies, arrange 6 slices of bread on your cutting board in a 2x3 grid.
  2. Using the circle cutter, cut rounds out of all of the pieces of bread - 3 for the bases of your sammies, 3 for the tops.  Then, cut hearts out of only 3 (half) of the rounds.
  3. Spread your cream cheese on each of the bases, then add a dollop of jam and give it a slight spread with the back of your spoon.  Be careful not to spread the jam too close to the edges, or you will have a messy tea sandwich.  Also, using a variety of different types of preserves will add visual beauty and colour to your display!
  4. Place the heart-cut-out tops on top of each base, and press gently to “seal” the sammie and push the cheese and jam to the outer edges.

And now, for the grand finale!

When you are ready to serve your tea sandwiches…

  1. Drizzle a small amount of lavender oil over your cucumber mosaics, and a little sprinkle of lavender blossoms,
  2. Pluck the tiniest leaves and any flowers from the tips of your mint sprigs, and place prettily on your strawberries…
  3. Load all of your tea sammies onto your tiered tray, serve, and enjoy! Pinkies up!

Continue reading

marmalade glazed bbq chicken & sweet gin tea

Last weekend, Kitten and the Bear had the pleasure of being the guest chef at our friends Food & Liquor’s weekly summer BBQ series!  It was such a blast, and allowed us to do something new and different from our normal routine.  A big thank you to everyone who came out and joined us for the end of summer fun!  

While preparing our little jam & tea themed BBQ menu, we realized that this would be a great chance to share some different ways to use jam to spice up your standard BBQ offerings.  Of course, in typical KATB style, we also couldn’t resist the opportunity to style a rustic backyard BBQ, perfect for this beautiful time of year when summer begins to give way to the first hints of autumn.  Pops of bright yellows and rich golds, fresh fruit and greenery transform a simple picnic table to a BBQ fit for a jam and tea queen!

Sweet Orange Marmalade Glazed Chicken

Ingredients:

6 humanely-raised chicken legs, skin-on
3 tbsp KATB Sweet Orange & Honeyed Whisky marmalade
1 tbsp dry white wine
1 tbsp olive oil
2 cloves of garlic, chopped fine
Sprigs of fresh rosemary and thyme, about 1 tsp chopped finely
Sea salt

Method:

  1. Sprinkle your chicken legs generously with salt, set aside.
  2. To make your marmalade glaze, combine marmalade, white wine, olive oil, fresh herbs, garlic and an additional sprinkle of salt (about ½ tsp) in a small jar or bowl.  Shake (or whisk) vigorously to thoroughly combine.
  3. Oil the grill with a heat-proof grill brush to ensure your chicken legs won’t stick. Then heat up your BBQ to about medium-high heat.
  4. Begin to sear off your chicken, starting with skin-side down - this will be your “presentation” side, so allow the chicken to cook until the chicken lifts easily off the grill and you have nice, neat grill lines, about 5-8 minutes with the grill top closed.  Then, open, flip the legs, and sear on the bottom side for about 5 minutes, closed.
  5. Lower the heat to medium-low, and transfer all of the chicken legs to the top rack of your grill so they are off the direct heat.  Paint on your glaze, making sure to get some slices of orange, herbs and garlic chunks on there.  Close the grill, and cook for about 15 minutes, basting with more and more glaze about every 5 minutes.
  6. Your chicken will start to look more and more golden brown and delicious as the sugar in the jam and wine caramelize.  We recommend checking your chicken with a meat thermometer to ensure its doneness -  chicken is fully cooked at 165 F degrees.  At this point, remove from the grill, and allow to rest about 3-5 minutes.
  7. We served our marmalade glazed chicken alongside classic potato salad, fennel slaw, and a KATB mini scone, but any and all of your favourite BBQ sides will pair perfectly! Enjoy!
KATB Sweet Gin Tea

recipe created by Nigel French of Food & Liquor, yields about 4-6 drinks

Ingredients:

4 tbsp strong black tea (such as Bold Breakfast from Sloane Fine Tea) steeped in 1 L of water
1/4 L gin (we used Beefeater)
1 1/2 oz Cointreau
small splash of Galliano

soda water
lots of ice
beverage dispenser or punch bowl

Method:

  1. Brew your tea leaves in 1 L of boiling water for about 10 minutes, or until you have a strong, aromatic infusion.  Allow to cool to room temperature.
  2. Combine all of the ingredients in a beverage dispenser or punch bowl, adding the Galliano last in small splashes to-taste.
  3. Pour over ice and top with soda water for a bit of bubbles, and enjoy!

Continue reading

we're spreading the love!

we're spreading the love!

Welcome to the colourful, lovely life of Kitten and the Bear!  

It's hard to believe that we are coming up on Kitten and the Bear's 5th birthday. It seems like just yesterday my husband Bobby and I started this adventure as a small side project to create something magical together, and over the years we’ve watched it grow into so much more. It makes me smile to think back on how far we’ve come from our tiny KATB online shop- we now have a beautiful storefront in our favourite bit of Toronto, we’ve met the most amazingly talented people from all over, and there’s something so special about knowing our jam is nestled in all of your pantries. In short, it’s absolutely surreal and oh so astounding.  

Here in our little world of fruit, sugar, and butter, we've enjoyed more yogurt parfaits, tea cocktails, cheese boards, and confiture-topped ice cream sundaes than you can dream of.  Within the pages of this blog you can look forward to endless delicious jam-centric recipe ideas, plus a glimpse into what goes on behind the scenes in our kitchen, the team that we like to call our “jamily”, and more. We’ll also be featuring guest posts from all of the friends we've met along the way - from farmers to bakers, tea sommeliers to style icons, chefs to bartenders- the list goes on and on!

Our sugary world is pretty sweet here at KATB, and we thought it was about time to spread the love!

Sophie

Continue reading