Planning A Tea Party Without Losing Your Mind

Planning a little girl’s Tea Party doesn’t have to cost you an arm and a leg along with your sanity! Here at the Pirate Nation we are planning a simple, pink tea party for a young lady.

No, I’m not spending hours in the kitchen. These are all simple to do. I even found a picture on Pinterest breaking down the Naked Cakes, as I call them, Get yourself a Sara Lee Pound Cake and slice it into 3 equal lengths and then just choose a round or as they did in the picture, a decorated cookie cutter and pop some out. Squeeze a bit of icing and plop on a flower.

What could be easier than Rice Krispie Treats? Just dunk them in some melted candy dots in pink. Same with the pretzels. Easy, as well as eatable! Kids don’t care about fancy, they like simple things and you’ll only work yourself up into a snit paying $4/cupcake when they only eat the icing. And a simple heart-shaped Strawberry Jam tea sandwich will be a hit.

As for decor, Boas are cheap at the party store and tutus are easy to make and you can customize your colors.

I like the pink tea tins and I have a few…or maybe more, but we like using a Red Rooibos Tea as it gets pink. Nothing is as cute as tiny baby food jars, painted and topped with tiny crowns and full of jelly beans. Great favors. And the paper straws are a must. I snap them up any time I see them. I have been known to design a tea around a straw. Think Flamingo!

My little miss Charli Ava loves those straws so much I have taken to hiding them!

Have yourself a little tea party with your favorite girls! I promise they will love it!

xx Patricia

A Fun Saturday With The Kids!

Well that Dessert Fairy wasn’t needed today! Charli Ava and Corbin weren’t putting up with that type of unreliable behavior. We took matters into our own hands!

This had all of the makings of a huge mess but it went great! Corbin was in awe that “that lady just sent you that recipe on the computer!” And yes that lady did. For the pumpkin bars with cream cheese frosting. The key to cooking with kids is organization and responsibility.

While I called out the ingredients, Charli placed them on the counter as Corbin yelled, Check! While they were having a blast they also learned to measure and fractions and reading.  They were very proud of themselves!  The recipe is on our Tea and Tales 1  Facebook Page. Or HERE

We colored and cut and pasted snowmen, trees, angels and used a lot of scotch tape! We all talked to Momma still in the hospital and when their Dad called to say he was on the way they made signs for the front door and locked it. They just needed 300 more minutes to finish up the little gifts they made for their Dad. And another note that said, This isn’t your house so we don’t have to unlock the door.

Corbin decided that shortbread is even better dipped in Sugar Cookie Tea and then in the Sugar bowl! And then he ate the bars and thought they were the best thing he ever, ever had in his mouth! And he was correct. These are delicious!

So, while it was freezing cold outside, we were warm and listening to Christmas music and creating things. It was the best day ever!

xx Patricia

Tasting Hygge..Joyful Recipes For Cozy Days and Nights by Leela Cyd

Hygge (pronounced hoo-gah) is a Danish term with no exact translation into English.

The most delicious approach to hygge—50 recipes to satisfy and savor, from Almond Custard Pancakes to Greens with Parmesan and Nutmeg

Good food makes everyone feel warm and cared for, which is the very essence of hygge. This Danish way of life has been embraced by Americans who want that same sense of cozy. In Tasting Hygge, acclaimed food photographer and cookbook author Leela Cyd shares the recipes that make her happy, for cultivating moments of connection in the dining room, at the coffee table, or over a little bedside tray. Keeping in mind the idea of slowing down and enjoying the moment, Cyd shares more than 50 recipes that elevate everyday meals into very special moments. She organizes the book into five sensory experiences (Calm, Bright, Warm, Spiced, and Smooth) with recipes.

This charming little book is full of wonderful, warm, and really good recipes! From mixing your own teas to Swedish Semlor with Almonds and Cream, my personal favorite. I could exist on these alone.

The Almond Sourdough pancakes are heavenly and the Pistachio milk is different for me. But it looks divine! Give it a look and find out about Hygge!

And now I’m off to read the new Sara Blaedel book The Undertaker’s Daughter. A Danish author of really great books!

xx Patricia    Make yourself a priority. Be as kind to yourself as your are to the people around you.

It’s Finally Here! Christmas With Southern Living 2017!

Christmas with Southern Living 2017: Inspired Ideas for Holiday Cooking and Decorating by [The Editors of Southern Living]

Brought to you by the lovely folks at Southern Living it’s the annual Christmas With Southern Living. Inspired ideas for holiday cooking and decorating.

It’s always a pleasure to get the annual book of all things Southern and Christmas. With ideas on decorating, themes, full menus with recipes and lovely things to make to adorn your home with that special holiday magic.

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They always have the most gorgeous decoration ideas and the food is exquisite! In our family it wouldn’t be Christmas without the annual book. They even have a place in the back with a place for lists of things you did that year, what the menu was and who got what. And heaven knows I love organization like that! Wouldn’t want a repeat of two Christmases ago now would we? ( Sarcasm there)

Our local libraries have all of them if you would like to check it out before you buy.

Enjoy your Saturday. It’s warm and sunny here today and I am pretty sure they are either having war games on the Air Force Base as we have had ordinance of some type going off all morning.

xx Patricia

The Cozy CookBook: Recipes and Stories from your favorite Cozy Authors!

The Cozy Cookbook

I am in love with this book! The best of cozy mysteries, in my own humble opinion are the ones that not only describe the yummy food but also give you the recipes in the end!

Well now all of our favorite cozy authors are here in one big fat book of not only recipes, but excerpts from their book as well. In the back are listed all of the authors, the series they write as well as their Bios.

My all time fave is the Wild Rice and Pumpkin Pilaf from Town in a Pumpkin Bash by B.B.Haywood.

Some of the authors you will meet: Laura Childs, Avery Aames/Daryl Wood Gerber, Ellery Adams, Connie Archer, Leslie Budewitz, Celo Coyle, Victoria Hamilton, B.B. Haywood, Julie Hyzy, Jenn McKinlay and Paige Shelton.

If you would like to check it out first, I did a search and most libraries have it in stock. If not just ask your librarian to order it. Most will.

Not only have I found some excellent new recipes, but I’ve also found some new authors! It’s a win-win!

Hope you are having a peaceful Wednesday. It’s gray and rainy here today so a perfect day for reading!

xx Patricia

CELEBRATE EVERY DAY BY JAIME RICHARDSON

Celebrate Every Day: Recipes For Making The Most Of Special Moments With Your Family by [Richardson, Jaime]

Recipes for making the most of special moments with your family.  You may know Jaime from sophistimom.com. I love her and I love this book. This is a woman who was chosen by the editors at Martha Stewart’s official blog network to be a part of their small circle.

Yet she has a family and this book shows that. Everything in here is simple to make, takes simple wholesome ingredients and turns them into an experience.

My absolute favorite recipe is the Fresh Peach French Toast Bread Pudding. Oh my heavenly days it is good!  Want to make some jam? Blueberry jam that is easy as pie!

It’s a go to book if you have children or not. Beautifully done and worth every penny!

celebrateeveryday Yummy!!!  With some Harney & Sons Peach Tea….wow!

Teatime Parties: Afternoon Tea to Commemorate the Milestones of Life from Tea Time Magazine

What better way to celebrate special life events than with afternoon tea? Table settings for birthdays, christenings, engagements, weddings, graduations, retirements, and other milestones are presented with beautiful color photography. An expert tea-pairing guide, along with a tea-steeping primer, make it simple to choose and prepare the perfect pot of tea to accompany the 80+ recipes in this gorgeous hardcover book.

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Tea Time Magazines newest book of gorgeous teas and menus to celebrate those milestones in life. As always the photographs are beautiful and the recipes very easy to prepare.

This is a great gift for those of us who love the magazine!

 

Give it a look and see what you think!5ef7878b0fbf3afdf2e4b161bcf6652e

Afternoon tea at home by Will Torrent

Recipes and inspiration for how to host the ultimate tea party with instruction from master patissier Will Torrent.

Arranged by season, with extra chapters on a Classic afternoon tea as well as a Showstopper afternoon tea, Will showcases his no-nonsense approach to the key techniques involved in patisserie, baking, chocolate work, and serving savory dishes in 80 beautifully illustrated recipes. An invaluable source of inspiration, there are also six guest recipes from top restaurants and hotels, including The Ritz, The Dorchester, The Gramercy Tavern, The Berkeley, Les Manoir aux Quat’Saisons, and Harrods.

Starting with a brief history of afternoon tea and how it came to be such a British institution, Will then offers up store cupboard recipes for basic jams, spreads, butters, and curds – everything you might need to serve alongside a carefully planned afternoon tea. Recipes include classics such as Smoked salmon and whipped cream cheese sandwiches, Cherry and almond bakewell tarts, Vanilla shortbread, and Fruited scones; classics with a clever twist such as Malted milk egg custard tarts, Cucumber sandwiches with yuzu and chive butter, and Crab mayonnaise eclairs; as well as more adventurous offerings of Prosecco, lime and mint jellies, Roasted walnut and miso shortbread, Lemon and lime matcha tea friands, and a very decadent Apricot and lavender almondine from Raymond Blanc at Les Manoir aux Quat’Saisons.

A real feast for the senses, this book will make you want to pull out all the stops and create your own gorgeous themed tea parties at home.

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Full of scrumptious tea time foods, it is as drool worthy as they come! This was a gift and I am very happy to have it! If you get a chance, grab it! It is definitely a Forever book!

About the author:

WILL TORRENT’s love of food began with a week spent with Heston Blumenthal (owner of three-Michelin- starred restaurant The Fat Duck) at the age of 16. Since 2007, following a First Class Honours degree at the University of West London, he won the first Medallion of Excellence for a British pastry chef at WorldSkills Japan, won the Royal Academy of Culinary Arts Award of Excellence, Craft Guild of Chefs Young Chef of the Year, an Acorn award and a WorldSkills UK Outstanding Achievement Award. He has worked with top chefs including Jamie Oliver as well as at Claridges, The Dorchester and The Lanesborough. In addition, his TV appearances include BBC’s The Apprentice, Sweet Baby James and Ready Steady Cook, Channel 4’s Sunday Brunch, Food Fight Club and ITV’s This Morning.

He is a consultant pastry chef to Waitrose, Ambassador for Cacao Barry and WorldSkills UK,
a member of the Craft Guild of Chefs, Academy of Chocolate, Guild of Food Writers and a regular tutor at The Bertinet Cookery School in Bath. He is a Patron to the world-renowned London School of Hospitality, Tourism and Leisure and an Ambassador for the Christian charity Tearfund. Pâtisserie at Home his bestselling first book aimed to take the fear factor out of desserts, he demystified the dark art of chocolate making in his second, Chocolate at Home, and now helps you bring the elegance of afternoon tea to your table at home.

Royal Teas: Seasonal Recipes from Buckingham Palace by Mark Flanagan

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What could be more quintessentially British than a spot of afternoon tea? It’s a hallowed tradition that’s taken particularly seriously at Buckingham Palace, where for more than a decade Royal Chef Mark Flanagan and his team have prepared an afternoon tea that reflects the best of this venerable tradition across the seasons, from springtime picnics to sophisticated summer garden parties and festive Christmas teas.

Royal Teas, the follow-up to A Royal Cookbook, shares Flanagan’s recipes for a variety of tantalizing tea-time treats, including sweet and savory pastries, cookies, and show-stopping cakes. Each recipe is reproduced with clear instructions and a table to convert measurements to the ones you are most familiar with and is accompanied by beautiful photographs of the tableware, floral arrangements, and other decorative items that adorn the royal table throughout the year. Organized by season, the book is also a testament to the Royal Kitchens’ commitment to sourcing fresh, local ingredients, from the mulberry trees in the Palace Gardens, whose berries are harvested and made into deliciously syrupy jam, to the beehives that provide the year-round honey used in honey sponge cake.

The first official tea-time cookbook from the Royal Collection, Royal Tea invites readers to take a break in the day to indulge in a Royal Family–tested sweet treat—well-behaved corgis welcome!
I am a big fan of Mark’s books. First they are absolutely beautiful and second the recipes are original and quite tasty. This is the newest book out and it has a nice new home now.

xxPatricia   Enjoy your Sunday and leave room for Tea!

NOT TODAY, ANXIETY, NOT TODAY!

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Gratitude never goes out of style! Every morning I am grateful there is tea in the kitchen and a kettle to boil the water! Yesterday I was grateful to celebrate our nation’s birthday.

Last night I was grateful I didn’t freak out when the fireworks began shooting into the sky with a loud boom!

This morning we are slurping some Tazo Awake English Breakfast Tea. But yesterday was a quiet and instrospective day for me.

    So I treated myself to some soothing Paris tea from Harney and Sons. This stuff could be perfume it smells so amazing and the Lavender-Lemon Macarons were perfect with the tea.

Since we have no filter what so ever here, I’ll tell you that I discovered a small lump on my back. Anxiety was right there with Oh My God, It’s a Tumor! Yep I can always depend on her to go to the worst case scenario. But it isn’t. It’s just a nasty bite from a bug and I’m taking care of it. But I can still feel her on the edge of my mind. Goading…doing the What if thing she loves to do.

Normally this would bring my week to a complete standstill, but I keep reminding myself that it is what it is. No more, No less. And really, what is it compared to a new cornea?

So today I win. Anxiety loses.   Good for me!

xx Patricia