Tea Time at Eloquii

I can’t recall how I got introduced to Eloquii, though I have thick, solid colored sweater dresses for cooler months, wide fashionable belts and comfortable skirts made of printed fabric in my closet more than five years old, or what my first order off the on-line plus-size store was, all I know that I’m a loyal and happy customer.

I want to believe I was a size 10, ok let me not lie I was more of size 12 when I came to the country twelve years ago.  And three to four years ago when I was a size 22, Eloquii never failed to boost my confidence, still to this day, at a size 16 they continue to have me dressed in trendy clothing that compliment my full bust and wider hip body type.  With the love I have for their clothing and accessories, they have the same or more love for their customers.  So much love that earlier this year, on one of Spring’s nicer days the social media team took to the streets for a day of Eloquii’s Customer Appreciation TLC.  A day of four sessions (breakfast, lunch, afternoon coffee and evening ice cream) that customers can attend to show off their best Eloquii purchase and for all to say thank you.  For afternoon coffee at Bryant Park, signaled buy a large inflated pink balloon shaped as an E, my bestie Sarah and I met up with a small group of women to talk shop and to say thanks for keeping us fly in these ever-changing stylish NYC streets.

We had such an awesome time on that day as the intimate conversation round two city park tables amongst six women of all sizes and walks of life spoke of their style and gave feedback on Eloquii’s clothing.  We also got a small New York City history lesson and tips of the best Jewish bakeries in the city from one fellow plus-sized customer 🙂

So, when Alexandra, Eloquii’s Social Media Manager gave an open invitation to come to their office – oh hell yeah I took up the offer!!

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Pom Pom Wrap Skirt.  I bought this skirt on one of Eloquii’s many sales to wear to work and was able to make it look more casual by wearing with a white t-shirt, sandals and hat for my visit to Eloquii’s office.

My look would not be complete without my basket of sweet and savory snacks I baked.

As my Uber driver drove passed large buildings and stopped at Eloquii’s office–another huge building in Long Island City, I thought to myself how happy I am to be bringing afternoon snacks for the office because I’m sure there’s nothing to eat around here.Yip, I was right!  The office was so grateful for afternoon snacks of Dried Figs & Candied Ginger Scones and savory Cheese Puffs to go with their tea and coffee that wasn’t peeled out or opened from a colorful packet and was made fresh and brought to them.  With love.

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Eloquii’s staff enjoying afternoon snacks as we talk fashion and I got a tour of new and next season’s collection!!  I offered my entire paycheck in advance for the beauties yet to come.  Conversations were lovely with the gals, some even got an intro to what single life cooking means to me, best Caribbean food spots in the city and things I can’t live without in my kitchen: good butter, basic veggies  (garlic, onions and tomatoes) and any type of tea.

Dried Fig and Candied Ginger Scones
The combination of dried figs and candied ginger is my favorite.  I always have them in stock which makes these scones my go-to baked good to bring to the office.  The below makes 8 large scones.

Notes: I like to use a combination of all purpose and wheat flour.

Ingredients

2 cups AP Flour

4 tsp Baking Powder

1/4 tsp Salt

1/2 cup Sugar

6 Tbsp. cold Butter

1 cup Heavy Cream

1 Tbsp. of Vanilla Extract

Handful Candied Ginger and dried Figs, small chop

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Directions

Heat oven to 375 degrees.

In a large mixing bowl, combine sifted flour, baking powder, salt, sugar, chopped figs and ginger.  Mix well before cutting in the cold butter.  

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In the same measuring cup used to measure out the 1 cup of heavy cream mix in the Tbsp. of vanilla extract and add to dry ingredients.   Mix with a paddle till dough comes together.  Turn dough out onto a floured surface.

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Roll dough into a disk and allow to chill for no less than ½ hour before rolling out and cutting into desired shapes.  Bake for 20-30 minutes or until brown.

Optional: once cool, drizzle with glaze made from 1 cup of powdered sugar and enough cold milk to create a thick paste.

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Cheese Puffs

My late Auntie Jackie made these cheese puffs for EVERY church bake sale and would sell out even before the church service was over!  Cheese is not baked into the eggy pastry (pate choux) but piped into it once baked and cooled.  The below recipe is not my Auntie’s, and I infused the butter liquid with fresh thyme.

Notes: This recipe makes about 40 – 50 puffs, and can be halved for smaller crowds.  Bread Flour is ideal but All Purpose will do the trick.

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Ingredients

16 oz. of Water

½ lbs. of unsalted Butter

¼ tsp of Salt

12 oz. of All Purpose flour

8 Eggs

3 Tbsp. of fresh Thyme

Directions

Bring water, butter and thyme to a rolling boil.  Remove from the heat before adding sifted flour and salt, stir vigorously to combine.  Return the pan to a medium heat and cook, stirring constantly until the mixture pulls away from the sides of the pot.  3-5 minutes.


Transfer to a mixing bowl and beat briefly before adding two eggs at a time, beating until smooth after each addition.

Transfer the mixture to a plastic food storage bag and cut half an inch off one corner to create a pastry bag. On a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or silicon mat, squeeze the mixture into small rounds and bake until golden brown and puffed, about 25 minutes.

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Cool before piping with cheddar cheese paste, made with finely grated white cheddar cheese mayo, mustard and 1 clove of finely grated garlic.

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