Sunday, 29 May 2011

A Spring Tea Party


I like tea.  And I like pretty dishes and pretty food.  And I like decorating. 

My friend and I decided to throw a tea party, just because.  We've spent the last month and a half planning it.  I made invitations and sent them out, and I made all the decorations, using mostly what I had on hand.  I think the only things I bought to decorate with were the roses and a 2-pack of crepe paper streamers.


Due to a power outage on Thursday, I had to cut back a little on the decorating.  I couldn't use my iron, glue gun, or computer for about four hours, so there were fewer garlands, and no place cards or food lables.  Oh well, next time.


Sherisse and I pooled our china and linen resources.  Most of the pretty teacups and tea pots are hers.


We asked everyone to bring a short quote or reading to share.  I loved them all.  One of our friends even wrote a poem for the event, which had most of us almost in tears.



To drink, we had four kinds of tea, along with Lavender Lemonade.  Seriously, this was the most delicious juice I've ever had. 



Sherisse made all the food, and it was all perfectly divine.  We had Cucumber Sandwiches (of course!), Lemon Curd Tarts, Lavender Shortbread (in the shape of little tea pots), Scones with butter and strawberry jam, Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Icing and Pansies (edible!), and Smoked Salmon Blinis with Nasturtium Butter).  Kevin said, "Don't you girls know flowers are for looking at, not eating?"  I said, "Try some Lavender Lemonade."



I finally got to use my 100+ year old napkin rings that my Nanny gave me!  She said they're from Papa's family.  Unfortunately, they didn't engrave anything.  But they're lovely.




We tried to invite a diverse group, and I'm so glad we did!


Sherisse and I spent a morning making feathery fascinators for our guests.  Some were a bit on the dramatic side, but we had fun with it!  I'm sure I'll be wearing mine again, and possibly making more.



My lovely co-host:









This is what my kitchen looked like for the party (and it still looks like this):

Wednesday, 11 May 2011

Grass

I want my grass to look like this:


Unfortunately, it looks like this (and in the back yard, it's lumpy too):

In a few weeks, it will turn green.  Most of it anyway.  Some Nutrilawn salesmen payed me a visit yesterday.  They just had to point out how patchy our lawn is.  And how weedy our neighbourhood is.  Repeatedly.  That's the way to win customers!  Kevin won't let me put up a "no solicitors" sign.

Despite the brown grass, my front garden is looking lovely!  I'll take pictures soon.  I cleaned up three of my five garden beds yesterday, with Juliana's help.  She actually was a very big help!  Much better than a couple of weeks ago when she wrapped her little hands around my daylily and said, "This is a big weed!"  Luckily, she didn't pull hard enough to damage it.

Monday, 9 May 2011

1950s Bedroom Chair


You may remember an old, worn brown chair I posted about a week or two ago.  Well, this is it!  It's much better now.  I took the upholstery off on Saturday, and painted the legs with two coats of Kilz primer (because it's supposed to cover rust...the metal leg ends were rusty).  On Sunday, I painted two coats of semi-gloss white paint on the legs, and when it was dry and the kids were in bed, I did the upholstery.  This morning, I just had to do the tufting and attach the back.  I still need to scotchguard it.


I decided to add tufting to the back, and when I took it apart, I discovered that it was originally tufted.  I wasn't sure whether to do the piping or not.  I wanted it to be easy.  I'm so glad I did!  It wouldn't have looked nearly as well done if I hadn't added the piping.  I had planned to use the flowered fabric for the whole thing, but I already had some piping that I made a while ago, and the green looked good, so I went with it!  By the way, using piping is so easy.


Then I couldn't resist using the green fabric on the back too.  The chair was given to me, and I used fabric, staples, tacks, and paint that I already had.  So this chair cost me $2.95 for the buttons.


The kids love it too.  Nick keeps climbing on it.  Juliana said this morning, before the chair was finished, "It looks good as new already!"  But then she said that right after I took off the old fabric too, with the old dusty batting showing.  Speaking of batting, I also added 2 layers of polyester quilt batting (the fluffy kind).




Now I just need to find a place for this chair.  It's too short to use it for what I wanted it for.  Juliana wants it in her room.  Maybe my mother-in-law will want it back now...

Wednesday, 4 May 2011

Tomato Appetizer - Parmato Blossom Bites


So I invented this recipe.  I was calling it Parmesan Bruschetta, but that may be a little misleading.  Can you think of a better name for it?

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.

Start with 1/4 of the Perfect Parmesan Pizza Dough, or any pizza dough of your choice (even frozen from the grocery store).  Roll it out and cut circles out.  Gently reroll your scraps and cut out more circles.  With enough dough for one 12-inch pizza, I got 16 little circles.  I used the top of a glass to cut, and my circles were about 2.5-inches across.

Place the dough circles on a cookie sheet (I also used parchment paper...the best baking invention ever!  No need to scrape up burned-on messes!).  Squirt a dime-sized amount of oil-based salad dressing on each circle and spread it out.  I used Kraft Sundried Tomato and Oregano because it's what I had.  Italian would also work, or Greek Feta and Oregano.  Or even a flavoured olive oil.

Cut small cherry tomatoes in half lengthwise and arrange on the circles.  Some of mine fell off during baking, so try to push them down a little.  If they do fall off, you can just put them back on once you take them out of the oven.  To prevent it all together, I guess you could prick each circle with a toothpick to eliminate any bubbles in the dough.  The tomatoes I used were quite small.  The bigger cherry tomatoes may be too big.  This time I used only four tomato halves on each, but next time I think I would use five to make the design more flower-like.


Take a block of cream cheese (or Feta, or any tasty cheese that doesn't get all melty when baked).  Cut small cubes (mine were about 3/8-inch), and place them in the middle.  Sprinkle parmesan cheese on top.  I would have also added chopped fresh basil if I'd had any (my basil plant is slowly dying.)


Bake for 15-20minutes, until the edges are golden brown and the cheese looks toasted.  Enjoy hot or cold!  If you think of any fun variations to try, let me know!


Edited to add a photo with five tomato halves:  I think maybe I'll call them "Parmato Blossom Bites."  Thanks for the name, Jenny!