April 22, 2008

Tuesday's Tea Time

Yes, this is posting late but they say, "Better late than never." The Sweet and Savory of Tea is this weeks theme and since tea begins with scones, I'll refer you to a previous post

I shared the recipe for the best scones ever! We enjoy them with mock Devonshire Cream and Homemade Strawberry Freezer Jam.

Next we have tea sandwiches, quiches or other savories. I really enjoyed a different cucumber sandwich at the last tea I was at and I'll refer you to Karla's blog for a recipe that sounds very similar - if not better. I also enjoy chicken salad made with rotisserie chicken and put in phyllo cups purchased in the frozen section at the grocers. These stuffed mushrooms would also be yummy ~ especially at a tea served in the cooler months.

Stuffed Mushrooms

6 T. butter

1 cup soft breadcrumbs

1 cup shredded cheddar

1/2 cup chopped walnuts

1/2 tsp. salt

1/4 tsp. pepper

Rinse mushrooms and pat dry. Remove stems, chop and set aside. In large skillet, melt butter. Brush mushroom caps with butter and place in lightly buttered shallow baking pan. To remaining butter in skillet, add chopped mushroom stems. Saute 2 minutes. Add crumbs, cheese, nuts, salt and pepper; stir lightly. Spoon into mushroom caps, piling high. Bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes (until stuffing shows lightly browned).

These Sweet Tropical Loaves are a #1 favorite with the volunteers at Bethesda North Hospital. So easy and they can be made in mini loaf or mini muffin size for your tea party. I've adapted the recipe from one found in Taste of Home.

Sweet Tropical Loaves

1 Yellow Cake Mix
1- 8 oz. can crushed pineapple, undrained
1 c. evaporated milk
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
Combine in a bowl, beating at low speed until moistened and then on high for 2 minutes. Pour into greased loaf pans or paper lined muffin tins. Bake at 325 degrees for 20 minutes for mini muffins, 35 minutes for mini loaf pans or 45-50 minutes for 8"x4"x2" pans OR until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Yield: 2 regular loaves.

I hope you enjoy these teatime recipes. Have a wonderful day!

April 21, 2008

Menu Plan Monday ~ April Week 4

This darling little Tea Cottage sits beside my utensil holder by the stove. I bought it many years ago at Great Day in Sparta, Michigan. It was part of a series of one of those promotions grocery stores will sometimes run.

This is the menu our family will enjoy for suppers this week:

Monday: Lasagna, rolls, salad
Tuesday: Sausage, blueberry pancakes, scrambled eggs, fruit juice
Wednesday: Chicken Tetrazzini, peas, rolls (we didn't end up having this last week)
Thursday: Baked macaroni and cheese, sliced and fried polish sausage, green beans
Friday: Fixing and serving supper at the Ronald McDonald House - not sure what's on the menu
Saturday: Taco Crescent Pie
Sunday: Ham Loaf, Cheesy rice, peas, apple cinnamon muffins

Have a wonderful week!

April 17, 2008

Thursday Thirteen ~ "F"

The life of Denise by the letter ~ "F":
1. Friends ~ fellowshipping with friends in the faith is a very favorite pasttime.
2. Flowers ~ I love flowers ~ fascinating four o'clocks, forsythia, I love them all for their beauty and fragrance.
3. Furniture ~ I have a deep appreciation for fine furniture after owning a furniture store for nine years.
4. Family ~ I LOVE MY Family! My mother's family, the Fair's, hail from Ireland. That's where I get all my freckles!
5. Fabric ~ she who dies with the most fabric wins they say! Smile! I've gotten rid of and used up alot so I probably won't "win!" I do love visiting fabric stores or the fabric department of department stores. Fancy brocades, french toiles, fine silks ~ they are all so fascinating!
6. Furlough ~ when we came home on furlough in 1981 after spending five years in Africa, we couldn't fathom all the changes that had taken place.
7. Fountains~ I love fountains. The way the water splashes and the sunlight dances through the droplets, the sounds of the water. Nothing quite like it!
8. Father ~ I've got THE best earthly and Heavenly fathers EVER! Hands down!
9. Fruit ~ favorite snack. Juicy tangelos, guava, bananas, strawberries, blackberries, mmmmm!
10. Feet ~ I'm very thankful for my two feet that take me all the places I need to go. When I broke my foot last year, I realized what a valuable possession they were.
11. Feminine ~ I love feminine things and being feminine. God's crowning creation was woman because He loves beauty. I delight in being feminine because it pleases my Creator when I continue to spread beauty in His lovely world.
12. Fish ~ probably my favorite meat ~ especially wall-eye... Culvers makes the best. Mmmm!
13. Florida ~ lived there for seven years. Four years on the Atlantic side and three on the Gulf. I like the Gulf side best.

April 15, 2008

Tuesday's Teatime ~ "Dressed to a Tea"

This week La-tea-dah asks us to share pictures of how we dress for tea. I love hats; but, can you believe, I don't own a hat for wearing in public ~ just an old straw one for working in my garden! So, on my list of things to get: a hat ~ just for tea!

This January a few of us got together for tea at a friends house. She had seen pictures of Jan Karon's tea and thought it looked so pretty with everyone dressed in white; so, she asked us to do the same. Some of us went with winter white; but, the overall effect was very pretty. See my profile picture for how I dressed for this special tea party.

Miss Sharon was the only one that had a suitable hat ~ I love this view from the back as she takes pictures. Isn't her hat darling?

Miss Miranda isn't the fou-fou type but she looks so pretty in her ivory cardigan and khaki skirt. Miss Karen ~ ever the lady~ looks so elegant in her white cotton blouse complete with a cameo brooch at the neck and white linen skirt. She even had a pretty handbag to match!

This is of my niece's bridal tea at a lovely tearoom in Stuart, Florida. The mother of the bride, my sister-in-law, is dressed in pink in the foreground. Other guests wore sundresses or cotton skirts and blouses for this lovely spring occasion.

The bride, seated next to the window with her sunglasses on top of her head wore a sundress. Her bridesmaids also wore pretty cotton sundresses for this special occasion.

To view other pictures of the tea I enjoyed with friends in January, visit this post http://denisetruesdale.blogspot.com/2008/01/blog-post_19.html .
For more pictures of the bridal tea, check back in a few posts when we tell of favorite tea venues.

Don't forget to visit La-tea-dah at: http://www.gracioushospitality.blogspot.com/ for more tea attire!

April 14, 2008

Menu Plan Monday ~ April Week 3

This week we'll be attending a convention in Dayton. It's become a family tradition and we all enjoy getting together with friends and enjoying the wonderful services and seminars. Sometimes we get to see people we haven't seen in years ~ which gets a little scarier every year! Smile! Everyone seems to be getting so old!
Kids I grew up with are becoming GRANDPARENTS!
Now how unbelievable is that? Smile! No, really, it's funny how swiftly life is going, isn't it?

I've been reading Steve Covey's book, "The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People." In it he brings up a very valid point: You never hear a person on their death bed lamenting the fact that they wish they'd gotten more accomplished or attained more things; but, that they wish they'd spent more time with their families. That's a big part of the reason we go to the IHC every year ~ our families are there and folks who've become like family over the years are usually there too.

That being said, here is the menu I put together for this week based on the schedule for IHC!

Monday: Fried Chicken, cheesey rice, green beans
Tuesday: Lasagna and rolls
Wednesday: Hashbrown casserole, peas, rolls
Thursday: Chicken Tetrazzini, Jello, rolls
Friday: Tacos
Saturday: Shake 'n' Bake chicken, Four Cheese Potatoes, corn
Sunday: Turkey and all the fixin's!

Have a splendiferous week!

April 10, 2008

Thursday Thirteen ~ "E"

Okay, this week I count thirteen blessings I enjoy or have enjoyed that start with the letter "E"!

1.Easter- my favorite holiday. When I rise early to rejoice with the earth the Difference that was made for eternity. Like the apostles on the road to Emmaus, He encourages me on our daily walk together!

2. Education - what I provide here at home for our children. It's not for the faint of heart as it requires a lot of energy, effort, and efficiency; however, it is an exceptional and efficient way to prepare our children for life and living!

3. Email - a wonderful modern invention allowing easy exchanges between friends.

4. English - a wonderful heritage. My great-great Grandmother, Elizabeth Smith lived during the Victorian era. I love to hear my grandmother talk about her ~ she was quite a lady. The godly Eldreds on my husbands side were also English.

5. Estate Sales - I LOVE Estate Sales! They're enchanting entertainment I enjoy very much!

6. Ellis Island - Been there once and climbed to the top of the crown of the Statue of Liberty when I was carrying DJ ~ nightmared about it the rest of the pregnancy! It was a very claustrophobic experience.

7. Elections - I was employed by the Board of Elections as Presiding Judge this year for the very first time. I have a new appreciation for poll workers ~ it's not as easy as you'd think and a TON of responsibility. Learned alot about the election process and the very important role of the Electoral College.

8. Evening - I love evenings- the close of the day when we enjoy the excellent example of modern inventions called electricity!

9. Erie - Lake Erie. I was born not far from this beautiful lake and have seen it many times.

10. Equator - crossed it twice!

11. Emily -one of my niece's names.

12.Eyelet - love it ~ so feminine and comfortable ~ kind of like espadrilles. Had a pair of white cotton eyelet espadrilles once ~ sooo comfy and pretty!

13.Embroidery - a relaxing pastime I don't get to do much of during this chapter of my life; but, I do appreciate a fine piece of pretty embroidered linen.

This was a more challenging letter but there you have it ~

thirteen things in my life beginning with the letter "E"!

April 7, 2008

Menu Plan Monday ~ April Week 2

Good Morning from my cottage tearoom's kitchen! What a lovely spring morning! I think the birds are trying to out-do each other singing praises to their Creator this lovely day. Don't you just love to hear the birds' song?

These are pictures of the tops of my cupboards. I thought I would share them for all the tea enthusiasts checking out my blog!

Now to the task at hand ~ This is the menu plan for our family this week:

Monday: Fried chicken, Four Cheese potatoes, green beans
Tuesday: Sausage, Blueberry pancakes, scrambled eggs and fruit smoothies
Wednesday: Chicken Crescent Ring , corn
Thursday:Baked macaroni and Cheese, fried Polish sausage, french style green beans
Friday: Tacos
Saturday: Shake 'n' Bake chicken, Julienned potatoes, peas
Sunday: Glazed Spiral Sliced Ham, Hashbrown Casserole, Jello, Rolls, Corn

Have a lovely week!

April 3, 2008

Thursday Thirteen ~ "D"

Today I present my life to you around the letter "D" ! Thirteen Things that start with this letter and are in my life. Hmmm!
1. Dan ~ My husband. I appreciate his tenacity as he deals with a cruel debilitating disease.
2. DJ ~ my oldest son (Dan II). He's the one that helps me with my blog and designed my new template! Isn't it pretty and cheery?
3. Daugher ~ I'm blessed to have the sweetest, dearest daughter on earth! She is my Sunshine!
4. Daddy ~ that's what I call my father ~ otherwise known to my family as "the most perfect man that ever lived!" Smile!
5. Dainty Daffodils ~ the first darling sign of my favorite season. I planted pink ones this year ~ a winning combination, don't you think? I also planted pink daylilies last fall ~ can't wait to see their pretty faces!
6.Daily Devotions~ the best part of my day when I spend time with the Divine Triune, He gives me direction that makes a difference and keeps me from getting discouraged and being disappointed with the details of a seemingly difficult life!
7. Dainty Dishes ~ Dining or Decorating, there's nothing that gives such a delightful domestic touch as a beautiful dish whether a large platter or a small bowl.
8. Diana ~ my first sister, dear friend and confidante. I love my sister, Diana!
9. Doctors ~ so VERY grateful to have some of the best doctors in the whole world to help me take care of my son and husband. They are few and far between and I'm so thankful God gave us such detail-oriented ones from the get-go. God Bless Dr. Sandrock, Dr. Crawford, Dr. Morman and Dr. Espay!
10.Delaware ~ pretty state we passed through the summer before last when we visited Plymouth Plantation, Martha's Vineyard, Nantucket, Boston and Sturbridge Village.
11. Delicious Devonshire Cream ~ with scones or in crepes and always with Strawberry Preserves. . . mmmmm! Excellent dessert!
12.Democracy ~ so downright thankful to enjoy a government of the people, by the people and for the people!
13. Decorating and Designing Interiors ~ something I thoroughly enjoy doing ~ probably in the top 5 things of favorite things to do.

So there you have it! Some more of the blessings God has blessed my life with! He Is GOOD!

April 1, 2008

Tuesday's Tea Time ~ Gracious Hospitality's Blog-A-Thon

This week La-tea-dah's theme for the Hospital-i-tea Blog-a-thon is Decor-a-Tea. Being the tea lover that I am, there's tea accoutrements all over my house! Here are a few places in the main areas that have been graced with the thought of "Tea":

This vignette is in the little bit of hallway off of the great room leading to the main bath and children's bedrooms. There isn't much space here so just a small touch is all that could be used. This darling cup and saucer was a gift from my Secret Sister a few years ago. The charming clock is a gift from my husband ~ it plays a different bird's song every hour on the hour.

This grouping is on top of the pie safe in my kitchen. The tea set is a prized possession my parents brought back from South Africa after I was newly wed. I remember taking tea in South Africa with a similar set during my childhood there. The teacup stand holds a few of my teacups and a small teapot. The green teacup is a keepsake from the week we spent at the Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island a few years ago. The little book standing beside the stand is by Susan Wheeler, " Tea with Victoria Rose." It kind of ties all my different themes together~roses, bunnies, pink and tea!

My favorite Bunnies by the Bay rabbit, a chocolate pot, tea for one, and tea cup in my favorite china pattern adorn the top of my refrigerator. Don't you love the fake cake and slice of cake made with ~ dried rose buds ~ of course!

A sweet card depicting two bunny girlfriends having tea~all decorated especially for my birthday by a dear friend. This sweet grouping is on the front of my refrigerator.

This is my trash can! Isn't it pretty with it's tea sachet hanging from the handle, teapot lamp from my dear daughter and another piece of the Tea Time lace under the pretties!
This is a close-up of the collection on top of my secretary ~ see the Tea pot on the lace hanging down from the top? Just love that lace!

This beautiful oak secretary with it's curved glass door houses the rest of my Blue Peony china and my cookbook collection. There are a few of my tea accoutrements mixed in with the china~ just to make it all look prettier!

This grouping is on the wall in my dining room. My youngest sister, Amy, gave me the charming picture for my birthday many years ago. D. Morgan painted this dear print of sisters having tea. Around the picture is this poem:

Memories of childhood may someday fade
But never the special games we played.
Though our tea party days have come to an end,
You're always my sister ~ always my friend.

This curio is in the living area of the great room ~ right next to the dining room. In it, I've displayed all my Old Country Roses china ~ including the regular teapot and a chintz teapot in the Old Country Rose pattern. Later this week, I will plan to post more pictures of my living area. I'm making a victorian style valance for the window and plan to re-arrange the furniture so I can add an ottoman I'm bringing up from the family room!

I hope you've enjoyed your little visit to My Cottage Tearoom!

Don't forget to visit La-tea-dah at gracioushospitality.blogspot.com for more posts on decorating with tea!