Sunday, February 24, 2013

Spinach Salad with Hot Bacon Dressing






Patty's Spinach Salad with Hot Bacon Dressing at our latest Leadership Valentines Tea was AMAZING!  She made the recipe up by using:

  • Fresh Baby Spinach Leaves
  • Coarsely Chopped Mushrooms,
  • Chopped Crisp Bacon,
  • Chopped Hard Boiled Eggs
  • Chopped Red, Yellow and Orange Minis Sweet Peppers
  • Sliced purple onions, if you wish
  • Girard's Spinach Bacon Dressing

All ingredients were combined and artfully placed atop the spinach leaves.  The dressing was heated and added on top of the salad.  Patty always heats the dressing before adding it to the salad.

She says if you can't find the dressing at the market you can buy it online at their website.

Have a delightful day!

Debbie

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Hot Pink Polka-Dot Tea Table

Here you see the last of our three Valentines Tea tables.  I so loved these flowers that were purchased at Costco.  They complimented the hot pink polka-dot table square and bows on each corner of the table.  It says "expect fun here!"

I have found that you can make any table have the look you desire by simply locating and sewing a square of a desired fabric and adding other embellishments.  One thing we do that breaks from a traditional tea is give our guests a selection of teas from tea bags.  We simply boil the hot water in large coffee pots and serve hot water with the assortment of tea bags.  The water is kept warm through the use of tea warms with lit candles.


This is a favorite luncheon plate, cup & saucer.  I love the way the beautiful roses are set on the plate, cup and saucer.  The vintage floral print napkins were folded to resemble roses and placed within the teacups. This becomes a real space saver when you need more room for so many tea items.





The tea ware is accompanied by antique cranberry glasses.  Diminutive floral cream and sugar containers host the essentials need for a great tea.  I always add a rainbow of sugar crystals to the white sugar.  It doesn't discolor the tea and adds a touch of delight.


The floral napkin was folded to resemble a rose and placed withing the teacup to make room for other tea accoutrements.  The golden tea warmer kept the water hot for tea.


 Spinach salad and scones started the Tea off well.


While shopping at World Market I came across this sweet heart-shaped pasta.  The chicken noodle soup was fashioned for the use of these noodles. The noodles were prepared ahead of time and added right before we served the soup.  If you have ever tried to use decorative noodles, you will find the fall apart easily! 






Displayed above is the main course of our Tea. The shrimp salad, Apricot Basil Chicken Salad Sandwiches, and tomatoes filled with bacon, basil, and a Chipotle sauce recipes were found on Pinterest.  I would not make the shrimp salad recipe again.  This one, with olives, lemon and horseradish, was bitter.  The chicken salad was fabulous, as was the tomato bites, marinated fruit and olive and cream cheese sandwiches.



Our dessert dish hosted lots of delectable treats! I found all the recipes on Pinterest. The visually pleasing Jell-O brought on the oohs and aahs.  The lemon-lavender cookies were very tasty as were the raspberry meringue and chocolate mint bar.  It was a wonderful grande finale. 

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Light Pink Polka-Dot Tea Table


Presented here is one of my favorite Tea tables...Pink Polka Dots!



Accompanying the flowers and polka-dot table cloths is antique glassware and a variety of collected tea ware.


The flowers were purchased at Costco very reasonably.  I found purchasing a large white floral arrangement and adding pink roses made for a beautiful arrangement.  Many people thought they had been professionally designed! ;-)


A wider look at the table shows the tulle bows adorned with  artificial flowers.  Larger ones were placed at each corner and smaller ones were placed at the middle of each section of the table.  Tea pots are placed atop tea warmers with lit candles to keep the tea as warm as possible.
 
Antique "Miss America" bowls and charger plates hosted the luncheon plates and crochet doilies. The name tags were purchased many years ago from Bombay Company and I have enjoyed using them for years at many varied parties.


Each year Janice makes the scones for our Valentines Tea. We always demand that she makes the Chocolate Chocolate Chip Scones!  (Recipe can be found on another blog post, simply place those words in the search box and it will appear).  This year, back by popular demand, she also made Apricot & Pecan White Chocolate scones.  She always heats them right before we serve them.  There are NONE better! (Recipe also available on this blog)The scones are served with seedless raspberry jam.  .



The napkins and tablecloths were sewn from a pretty pink polka-dot fabric.  The napkins were then folded to appear as roses placed within each teacup.  This was the first year I folded the napkins this way and it saved a great deal of room on the table.  That way, I was able to place the hand-made floral fans that were given to each lady as a party favor.  Instructions for those are given on a previous blog post

  

The Tea table is all decked out for spinach salad and scones with raspberry jam and clotted mock cream
 


These olive and cream cheese sandwiches are presented in a rectangular cut and tied with bows and artificial roses for a very feminine touch.   It was originally one of those unexpected but very delightful touches designed to surprise our guests. 

 

I have a Pinterest account with a board called "Tea Party Ideas".  Perhaps you could find even more inspiring ideas from my collections of mine and other people's ideas.  You can locate my boards on Pinterest by clicking on the "Follow Me on Pinterest" link at the right side of my blog.  

If you don't have a Pinterest account, no worries, you can sign up to start your own scrapbooks, or view those of others at Pinterest.com.  All you do is add the email address you wish to receive your updates from and you have opened an account.  It's FREE!  However, be warned, it can be quite addicting. 

Make it a delightful day for you and those you love! XOXOX 
Debbie

Monday, February 18, 2013

Tea Table in Purples, Polka-Dots & Lavender

Tea is delightful in any combination of colors, but purple,polka-dots, and lavender florals bring a lot of cheer to this Valentines Tea.  You can see the red and pink floral fans that were given us party favors. I have treasured a collection of Tea plates and antique glass for many years.  I love sharing all of these with my dear friends. I love the look of a crocheted lace doily beneath the floral plate and atop the Depression Era Candlewick glass charger.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Make an Elegant "Tea Trash Tin" for Under $5.00


 
Above is my new invention...a "Tea Trash Tin"!  I designed it to hide all the Tea debris that naturally comes with the ceremony of Tea, ie., Tea bag papers, used tea bags, Sweet and Low packets and the like.  My Tea for 28 people would inform me as to whether this invention was a success, or not.  The tins were crafted for a little over $4.00.  The tins were purchased from Michael's for $1.99 and the knobs were purchased at Home Depot for $1.99 each.  Additional shorter screws and silver washers had to be purchased to secure the knob to the tins.   
 
My husband carefully drilled holes in the center and attached the knobs.  I glued on some sequin strands from a collection I had in my craft room, affectionately called "The Jungle".
 
 
 
You can see the tin prominently placed atop the Tea Table.  I needed to know if this invention was a success or a nuisance.  My friend Patty assured me that they worked out well.  I placed them at the corners of each large table and across the table from the round table, (Above)  I liked them and not seeing all the debris that comes with having a Tea.  Do you think they would work well for you?
 
I'd love to hear of inventions you have created for making dining easier or more delightful.  I always LOVE to read you comments.  Have a delightful day!  
 
Debbie





     










Monday, February 11, 2013

Living Within A French Painting-Bathroom Mural



My husband and I love to travel throughout Europe, but especially France. Everything about France intrigues me, especially the old buildings and architecture, the castles, museums, the Eiffel Tower, the Seine River, the countryside, the flowers, the food--including the pastries, the chocolate, the chicken at Le Grande Colbert, all of the cities, and the people!

For the longest time I have desired to have a mural painted in my downstairs bathroom that reminded me of France. I wanted it to feel like you were inside of a painting of a French landscape.  This mural has fulfilled my dreams.  Above is the picture you see reflected in the mirror as you enter the bathroom and also the wall that you face when you are taking care of business. ;-)


This scene is painted above the shower.


Sunday, February 10, 2013

Easy To Make Romantic Valentines Fans

These fans were crafted out of excess wallpaper, craft sticks, craft pearls, glue, heart frame inserts, and ribbons.  The backs also are covered with the paper and glued to a card stock heart insert from a picture frame (used for the Romantic Valentines Invitations on a previous blog post.)

I don't know about you, but I am often in need of a fan these days!  My good friend Dorothy always carries one in her purse.  It is collapsible!  This one will be hard to put in one's purse without damaging it.  I'm sure I will be using mine often in the future.  

These were given as party favors at our Valentines Tea.  It added such a colorful visual impact to the Tea table.  We briefly discussed how we could follow the apostle Paul's encouragement in 2 Timothy 1:6 to "fan into flame the gift of God that is in us".  Dorothy was my inspiration for this gift.

We were also given a little fork memento to remind us that "the best is yet to come", because when you are at a dinner and your hostess says "keep your fork" dessert soon follows!  We were asked to share what we are looking forward to when we get to heaven.  

May you always use the gifts God has given you to encourage and help the people God places in your life, no matter what it is like providing a fan, an encouraging word or sharing a talent.  Surely the BEST is yet to come.

 Have a DELIGHTFUL Valentines Celebration.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Romantic Valentines Tea Invitations


Designing and constructing these romantic Valentines invitations for my Annual Valentines Tea was a great deal of fun.  I must say when I handed them out I heard a lot of compliments.  That always makes one feel so delighted after much work and anticipation has been invested for others.  

Each wooden frame purchased for $1.00 from Michael's was planned to look identical and feature as much of the flower design on the frame as possible.

I had some leftover Ralph Lauren wallpaper from a project many years ago. I scanned a portion that I thought would be perfect into my computer and printed out 30 copies.  Then a template was fashioned to wrap around the frame.  I used Modge Podge on some and adhesive glue spray on others.  The spray was much easier to work with, but didn't stick quite as well around the center heart as the Modge Podge did.

Hearts were traced from the inner backing piece and then I was careful to make them 1/4 inch smaller so that I could snip and affix the paper in such a way that it would adhere to the center heart-shaped frame piece. 

After that, I cut red card stock paper into 6" by 8" pieces, traced the original heart backing that came with the frame and cut each heart out, starting at the center top of the heart. I trimmed the corners with a corner punch.  Left-over hearts will be used for a Valentines bunting.  A hole was measured and punched on the red paper where a small stick was placed to hold the frame up. 

Once these pieces of paper were adhered to the frame, I then glued strands of pearls around the entire frame and then within the heart.  They turned out better than I expected!  After the Tea my guests will have a pretty frame they can place any picture, scripture, or saying the love within.

They don't know it yet, but they will be receiving a party favor that will compliment their frames and serve as a wonderful and useful gift.  I'm looking forward to blessing them and can't wait for next Saturday.  I will post pictures of the party favor after the Tea, as many of my guests read my blog!

Do you have any special Valentines plans this year?  I'd love to hear about them!  I hope you have a delightful Valentines celebration.  Hugs, Debbie



Below is how the frames were wrapped before presenting them to my friends.