Thursday, October 30, 2008

Welcome to my tearoom!

Welcome! I thought I'd start things off by inviting you today to my little tearoom here at home. To me, it's such a treat to spend time in it, whether I'm having a tea party with a few girlfriends or whether I'm by myself.

In fact, I have tea parties for one all the time. I simply bring in a cup of tea, maybe a couple of cookies and a good book, then I put on some soft music (usually piano or harp) and relax for a few minutes. Sometimes, I just go there for a quick 15-minute break while I'm busy doing housework, while some other times, I'll linger around for an hour if I have more time. Either way, I get this comforting feeling of tranquility and I'd say it's a sweet blessing indeed!

Here, come on in...

Above, this is the china cabinet that's on the opposite wall from where the little couch is.

I stash a lot of my tea party goodies in there. The cabinet drawers hold things like teaspoons, tablecloths and napkins while behind those two bottom doors, I store various cake stands, platters, bowls, and more small plates. I can't fit them all in the top part of the cabinet!

A little side table next to the cabinet. If I give out favors after a tea party, I usually "hide" them in there until it's time to give them out. It's a great hiding spot for Easter chocolates too!

I stacked up these three hat boxes in the corner so I had a place to store all my hats... just kidding! They're empty, but I thought they added a little something feminine to that corner.

This is one of the other side tables. In the front is a gift I received from a friend a year or two ago. She was the guest of honor at the party, and yet she surprised *me* with this beautiful gift.

I hope you can see it a little better in this photo. It has so many cute details!

You know the saying "one man's junk is another man's treasure"? Take for instance this old window frame that hangs on the wall. Someone with more talent than me (easy to find) painted it pink, and added cute little curtains, so it came home with me! Add in a $10 mirror from the craft store to put in the middle and I called it done.

I think I've shown you everything there was to see, but I can't possibly invite you to my tearoom and let you leave without sharing a cup with me! So, let me head over to the kitchen and I'll be right back...

The tea is ready, so let's get comfy. Now, you get to choose. Pink or blue, which one will it be?

I hope you'll come back soon, there's always a pot of tea waiting to be enjoyed! :)

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Calling all Paula Deen fans!

I know there are many of us who love comfort food and enjoy Paula Deen's cooking. We all know her food is pretty fattening for the most part but once in a while it's a nice treat. There are several recipes of hers that I make, but today I thought I'd share one of my favorites. It's for mini cherry cheesecakes, and they are always such a hit! Below is a picture of them when I served them to some of my girlfriends at a tea party I had at home. Click on the picture to see them up close. Hope you enjoy them!

Mini cherry cheesecakes

2 packages (8 oz each) regular cream cheese, at room temperature
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 eggs
12 vanilla wafers (Nilla or other brand)
1 (21 oz) can cherry pie filling, or blueberry filling (you won't need the whole can)

Preheat oven to 350 F.

Place a paper muffin liner in each cup of a regular-size muffin pan. Lay a vanilla wafer, flat side down, in each of the muffin cups (this acts as the crust).

Beat the room-temperature cream cheese with a hand-held electrical mixer until fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add the sugar and vanilla extract, beating well.

Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Spoon the cream cheese mixture over the vanilla wafers and fill each muffin cup.

Bake for 20 minutes, then let them cool in the pan (on the counter) for 20 minutes. As the cheesecakes cool, they will "deflate" a bit on the top, creating room for the pie filling.

Refrigerate until cool, at least one hour (I leave them in the pan and put the pan in the fridge). Then remove each cheesecake from the pan, spoon the pie filling in the center and either serve right away or keep refrigerated in a tupperware container until ready to serve but do not freeze.

Many sweet blessings!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Count it all joy

"My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials,
knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience.
But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be
perfect and complete, lacking nothing.

If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives
to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him.

But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts
is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind."

James 1:2-6

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Coconut and chocolate bars

I made these the other day for a Bible study group we were having over. They're very simple to make and were a big hit. One tip to keep in mind: they're actually better the next day, otherwise they tend to be too gooey for my taste. But be my guest!

22 Honey Graham crackers, crushed (about 3 cups crumbs)
1 stick butter, melted
1 12-oz package butterscotch morsels
1 12-oz package milk chocolate chips
2 1/2 cups flaked coconut
1 14-oz can sweetened condensed milk

Start by preheating your oven to 350 F. Line a 13 x 9 baking pan with foil, leaving 3 inches of foil extending over the short sides of the pan. Grease the foil lining (bottom and sides) by buttering it up like you mean business.

Mix crushed Grahams and melted butter in a large bowl, then press evenly into the bottom of the pan. If you'd like a thicker crust, simply increase the amount of Graham cracker crumbs and melted butter. Sprinkle butterscotch morsels over the top, then sprinkle the whole bag of chocolate chips. Yum...

Sprinkle all that sweet coconut over the top and finish by adding the can of sweetened condensed milk to the party. Pour it over the whole thing.

Put the pan in the oven for about 25-30 minutes, or until the coconut is slightly browned. Cool in the pan for at least a couple of hours. Then, lift this sweet concoction out of the pan by using the foil handles. It makes about 24 bars, depending on how big you decide to cut them.

Many sweet blessings!


To me, the beauty of nature is as welcoming as a mug of hot chocolate on a cold night and a tall glass of lemonade on a hot summer day.

As for the actual word "welcome", well, in fact it's just one simple word but it means much more. It's really saying "Hi there! I'm glad you're here, come on in!".

And today, I'd like to welcome you here. Welcome to all women, whether married or not, fellow moms or hope-to-be moms, working outside and/or inside the home, sisters in Christ as well as still-searching-for-truth sisters.

So, go get yourself a nice cup of something delicious to drink, pull up a comfy chair and enjoy your visit!

Many sweet blessings!