Wednesday, 22 February 2012

Private Tea Party atCatharines....

I had a phone call from a very good friend of mine and she was organising a hen do and she was frantically trying to find someone who can host a private tea party. Ahhh tea party....There are so many lovely things to say about tea parties. A picture forms in my head as to what a perfect tea party looks like. Tiers and tiers of different morsels but it has to have 2 elements, scones and finger sandwiches. It isn't a tea party otherwise. Well that is only in my humble opinion. Snapped back into reality, I heard myself say 'Yes why not'...then the fun begins. I was a little nervous as I am not a baker or a patisserie chef but I sure am excited about it. One little problem though, I do not have any pretty tea pots or tea cups and saucers. Thankfully they are not fussed about the crockery. Instead I went to the haberdashery to get suitable fabric and my ever so multi talented husband sew it into runners for me! Instead of having white linen and pretty floral teapots I have pretty floral tablecloth and clean crisp cups. We did however manage to borrow some pretty tea cups at the very last minute. Some pink cut roses in dainty candle holders complete the look.

I did some research on tea party food and I found some of the menus offered are very ordinary indeed so I decided to spice it up and add a little zing to the traditional fare. I love the pretty crockery but in reality, the food is the priority for me. This is a girl who prefers to play with guns rather than barbies so you see..practical!!

This is our nearly perfect private tea party

Apple and lime non alcoholic mojito
Homemade scones, homemade strawberry jam, clotted cream
Vienesse swirls
Millionaire shortbread
Lemon curd tart, vanilla cream
Minky Kitten scrumptious chocolate cake, handmade roses
Thoughtful beetroot  bread sandwiches with homemade mackerel pate, peashoots
Cat's special minted cider marinated cucumber sandwiches
Homemade quail Scotch eggs
Kranskaka (Norwegian giant almond wedding cake)

The hen party brought their own prosecco, bunting, balloons and carefully thought out goodie bags and a bundle of laughs. That my friend is a perfect tea party......

If you want to host a private tea party and don't want to do it at your own home, contact us as we love to host one for you.

Tuesday, 7 February 2012

Valentine's Gifts

Valentine's day is looming and you are either looking forward to it or dreading it. I think it affects the male and female differently. Women spend the entire day expecting something, be it a bunch of flowers, card or being taken out to dinner or all of the three mentioned. Guys who are in a new relationship are keen to impress by being especially romantic and guys who are in a long term relationship or married thinks 'I can't be bothered but I have to' or else their life is not worth living.

To be honest I don't care much for Valentine's Day myself. I like the idea of a day celebrated by lovers but I cannot stand the whole marketing of it. Restaurants are filled with couples who hardly speak to each other, roses are 3 - 4 times the normal price and cards and teddy bears are in abundance!

We made a vow not to go out to a restaurant and no flowers and certainly no bloody teddy bears! I can just about do cards. However, it is tradition in our house that Andrew (my long suffering husband) cook a meal for me. It has been done for the past 10 years. This is a perfect excuse for him to show off his culinary skills and also to let me know he is a much better cook! ;-) I find it very sweet as this is his way to show appreciation for me and for our relationship. I truly believe that some gifts are better made than bought. Therefore, if you want to put some effort into making a gift for your loved one, follow the recipe below. 

Love Hearts Melting Moments

Makes about 60 cookies
You can half the recipe or you can always give these away as gifts. Doesn't have to be only for Valentine's Day. These cookies are very versatile, you can make them into different shapes by using other cutters. 

600g flour
250g icing sugar
2 teaspoon baking powder
1/3 teaspoon soda bicarbonate
2 teaspoon salt
250g (your choice if nuts, my favourite are cashews), chopped
350ml sunflower oil

Heart shaped cutters
Baking trays - oiled

1) Sieve flour and icing sugar into a mixing bowl
2) Add baking powder, soda bicarbonate, salt and nuts
3) Mix well and gradually add the oil
4) The dough should be wet enough to stick together but not too wet that it sticks to your fingers
5) Don't worry if the dough seems a bit crumbly, it creates the melting sensation when cook
6) Flour the surface. Roll out the dough into 1 cm, use a heart shaped cutter to cut out the cookies. Arrange the hearts on a baking tray.
7) Repeat until all the dough is used up

Tips: Package your hearts into lovely boxes. Wrap them up with tissue paper and handmade ribbons.
Paperchase sells some lovely boxes and The Makery sells lovely ribbons. My favourite one is a ribbon that says 'Made with Love' (in picture)

Happy Valentines Day x