Thursday, April 28, 2011

Royal Wedding Tea Party

"Let us have a sip of tea. Let us dream of evanescence, and linger in the beautiful foolishness of things." 
Okakura Kakuzo, Book of Tea

 Oh how I wish I could be in London right now!  It would be a fairytale dream come true to have the opportunity to live in England for a year. To roam the country side, play in the cities, and explore the culture... Oh, and of course, all the afternoon tea a girl could ever dream of!  Nothing is more exciting than the hustle and bustle going on in London right now during the Royal Wedding Festivities.  Since I can't be there, I decided to do a little tribute to the Royal event and do a small tea party with our Royal Albert china.

For those of you who don't know what Royal Albert China is, it is one of the world's most popular tableware.  This tableware was inspired by an English country garden and is the epitome of the English floral style.  The Royal Albert Old Country Rose set is the china set that I grew up with and have displayed today.

In honor of the Royal Wedding I just had to have a celebration Tea, I wanted to display a traditional style tea and make a British scone smothered in Devonshire Cream (American Style for lack of proper cream) and beautifully topped with lemon curd.  I added English tea sandwiches which are reminiscent of those I have had in England with their wonderful English Cheddar, incorporated in a creation of my own.  Since you simply can’t have a traditional English tea without the sweet, I decided to go to a local bakery Dippidee where I picked up a white chocolate caramel mini cake, as our Royal Cake in honor of the Wedding, lemon and shortbread cookies for the traditional afternoon tea.

"Tea's proper use is to amuse the idle, and relax the studious, and dilute the full meals of those who cannot use excercise, and will not use abstinence."
Samuel Johnson (1709-84) Afternoon tea by: Jane Pettigrew

- 2 Cups all-purpose flour
- 1 t. cream of tartar
- 1/2 t. baking soda
- 1 pinch salt
- 1/4 c. margarine
- 1/8 cup white sugar
- 1/2 cup milk
- 2 T. Milk

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Sift the flour, cream of tartar, baking soda and salt into a bowl.
  3. Rub in the butter until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Stir in the sugar and enough milk to mix to a soft dough.
  4. Turn onto a floured surface, knead lightly and roll out to a 3/4-inch thickness. Cut into 2-inch rounds and place on the prepared baking sheet. Brush with milk to glaze.
  5. Bake at 425 degrees F (220 degrees C) for 10 minutes then cool on a wire rack. Serve with butter or clotted cream and jam

Devonshire Cream

(This is just how my family makes it, because we can't get Devonshire Cream in the states this is the best 
we can do!)

- 2 C. Heavy Whipping Cream
- 2 T. Sugar
- 1 t. Vanilla
- 1/2 package of Cream Cheese at room temperature.

In your kitchen aid put the 2 cups of cream on high until it becomes soft peaks.  Next, add cream cheese in chunks slowly at a time letting it incorporate into the cream mixture.  Mix until the cream is thick almost a buttery consistency.  Next add sugar and vanilla on low speed for a minute and then serve!

English Cheddar Tea Sandwich


- 2 slices of English Cheddar cheese
- 4 slices of cucumber
- 1 t. Fig and Ginger Jam (or Plum or Cherry)
- 2 slices of white bread
(Per sandwich)

To start cut off all the crust to make an even square (you can also use a cookie cutter.) Next spread some Fig and Ginger jam on one side, then cover with cheese and cucumber.  Cut diagonally and serve!

I hope you enjoyed my little tribute to the Royal Wedding this week, stayed tuned for my next blog post from when I was in California and had High Tea at Paris in a Cup!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Hula Salad

What you need:
(This recipe is for 4)
1 bag of fresh salad spring mix (or one large handful for person)
2 Ripe Mangos
1 Red Onion
1 Red Pepper
1 Cup of Macadamia Nuts
2-3 Boneless skinless chicken breast
Salt and Pepper to season chicken
Wonton Wrappers
2 Cup Vegetable Oil
And Mango Passion Vinaigrette Dressing

First, rinse lettuce and lay in a towel rolled up and placed in the fridge so the lettuce can get crisp.  On a cutting board, open up won ton shells and cut across into strips.  They typically come stacked on top of each other, so i just cut across them all and then separate them.  While doing this place oil in a pan and let it get hot.  I know you should always check temperatures of oil, but sadly I never do.  I just place one won ton shell in the oil and if it frys up your good to go, just dont let it get too hot and burn them.  Fry up all the won ton shells, flipping them over in the oil to make sure you get both sides golden brown, and only do a few at a time.  Place on paper towels to soak up the oil and let rest.

In a hot skillet, place a tablespoon of cooking oil and spread around the pan, then place the Chicken breasts on the pan.  Season with salt and pepper and let them cook on medium heat until done.  Make sure there not pink in the middle.  Set aside and let rest about ten minute.  While chicken is cooking or after, dice up mango, red peper, and red onion so they look about the size of confetti.  

So here is a little trick of the trade secret.  Most restaurants are more than happy to sell your there salad dressings.  So most weeks, my Mother will stop by a restaurant and gets one of our favorite dressings in a soup container for us to use throughout the week on different salads.  So i'll confess we never made the salad dressing.  We just went to Rumbi's Island Grill and picked up the Mango Passion Vinaigrette dressing.  But this salad is actually made with a honey-balsamic vinaigrette, I just dont like it as much as the mango one. So you can pick, I have put a Mango Vinaigrette dressing below, but you can also use your favorite Balsamic dressing. If you do, I would add strawberries to the salad as well.

Mango Vinaigrette Dressing

 In a blender container or food processor bowl, combine the 1-1/2 cups peeled mango pieces, 1/4 cup orange juice, 3 tablespoons rice vinegar or white wine vinegar, 2 teaspoons honey, and 1 teaspoon Dijon-style mustard. Cover and blend or process until smooth. Cover and chill until serving time. Makes about 1-1/4 cups.

The recipe can be found here.

So to assemble the salad.  Place a large handful of lettuce in a bowl.  Add a couple tablespoons of dressing and mix the the salad so the vinaigrette is throughout the lettuce then place on a plate. I did not do this on the photo so that you can see the actual dressing, but I always like a light covering of salad dressing. Next sprinkle a few tablespoons of all the ingredients on top of the salad, top with won ton shells and your done!  This salad is typically served with a flat bread.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Spring has Sprung

Nothing makes me happier then watching the snow finally melt away and seeing the spring flowers come out in full bloom.  Even though we have had a ton of rain and hardly any sunny days, on the rare weeks that we have had sun, I happened to just have my camera on me.  I took a few quick shots of Spring in Utah, and added a few flowers in California when I was there for my Birthday. So some have been tweaked a little on photoshop, but for the most part its just what I took.

Easter Sunday

Every Easter Sunday, my family always has a big gathering where we get together and eat a nice meal, and then go out and hunt for Easter eggs.

Now, that we are all older you would think none of us would have the desire to hunt for eggs full of candy anymore, but you're sadly mistaken.  My Mother new that once we got older, she would have a hard time getting us to participate in this childhood adventure, so she upped the game a little and brought in the Bentley Egg.  Starting when I was in High School, each year after dinner, we would gather around the family room while my Mother read us the story of the Bentley Egg.  After which, we were given a hint about where we might find it, lined up at the door with our flimsy Easter baskets, and off we went...the hunt was officially on!  Now the Bentley Egg is a special Egg that is hidden very well, and you can typically only find it with hints.  Once found, you are the sole owner of the contents inside it which is typically anywhere from $20-$50 dollars, along with European Chocolates.  So needless to say, now that were all older, we still search for the egg AND its caught on to a few of our friends and extended relatives who also show up for our annual "hunt."  (However, I just realized that I did not take a picture of it, sorry!)

 For this years theme, my Mother and I, decided to incorporate these wonderful European Chocolate foiled eggs, and wheat grass as our main theme.  We added fake foiled eggs hung from the chandelier with playful spring ribbon.

Wheat grass was placed around the base of the beautiful spring flowers with hidden foiled eggs in the grass, and each plate had there own individual foiled egg as well.  We brought out pastel blues and greens out for the tablescape for a nice spring look that was soft and elegant and let the eggs really pop on the table.  Each place setting also had there own individual cupcake, made to look like an Easter egg.

For dinner we had a homemade version of Rumbis Island Grill Hula Salad, Hawaiian Haystacks, and of course the traditional hot cross buns that we picked up from Shirleys Bakery!

Check out tomorrow for a recipe on the Hula Chicken Salad!

Friday, April 22, 2011

Vintage French Garden Wedding

Most girls from the time they were little have dreamed about there wedding, from the dress, to the color scheme, to the rings, and most of the time picturing the groom to always be that perfect dream boy.  Well for me, I could never make up my mind on which theme I would choose in the end.  (Which in my case, I still havn't had to make that final decision!)  Every few months I thought up a new theme, color scheme, favorite flowers, and destination to have the wedding. It was really hard for me to choose between, Winter, Summer, Fall, and Spring.  I had designed amazing weddings in my head for each season and I was completely torn!  So when I hit eighteen, and graduated High School, all the sudden I realized I needed to figure out what I wanted to do with my life, and then it dawned on me, that I never even thought that far in life!  So I brain stormed for a few weeks and thought to myself,  well might as well take my passions and help them excel.

So I learned everything I could about Event Planning from the catering to the designs, and everything in between.  At some point I decided that I dont just want to do weddings, I want to do all kinds of creative events and put my talents to work.  So I felt that getting an Interior Design degree would further my knowledge with design, and help me in my field.  So i took a break, discovered all different ways to design, (which mind you in my head created even more weddings! Sigh*) and met some of the most amazing individuals that I had the opportunity to go through design school with, who not only shared my passion for event planning, but we worked well together as a team!

So when my little sister got engaged, I had the wonderful opportunity to plan her wedding, along with my Mother and two of my great friends Joeli and Carly (from school).  As my Mother and I sat down with my sister and her soon to be husband, we discussed what theme they wanted.  At the time, my sister was very into the vintage theme, and wanted her colors to be Tiffany Blue, Cream, Black, and Raspberry.  So I threw in a plum purple because we were lacking flower choices, and started to create.

Since everyone was doing a Vintage theme at the time, we wanted to put a new twist to it, so we got inspired by one of my classic favorites, French Country toile.  We stuck with the french theme and created a Patisserie for the food, with all the classic French desserts and baguettes. The bridesmaid dresses were a french toile and so were the linens.  But for the rest of the wedding we added a nice blend of vintage and modern with an emphasis on a country French garden in my Parents back yard.

We repurposed the Vintage door and put a shakespeare sonnet with picture of the couple engagement, along with the signing book.
Entrance to the wedding, before they walked through the rose arbors with hanging lanterns, flower balls, and fairy lights.

This is where the bridal party and the gift table were located.  With hanging jam jars with tea lights and flowers in the trees to give it a romantic feeling.

Vintage lanterns were hung all over the gardens, but sadly pictures didn't get taken of it!
Pictures of the Bride and Groom throughout the dating life hung on vintage handkerchiefs.

All the floral arrangements and bouquets were design by Joeli Lerdall, with Carly and I as her assistants.

Toille cake to keep with the "French" theme, we had the layers Neapolitan inside. So it was Chocolate and Strawberry cake with Vanilla bean frosting, amazing!

The Candy Shop, Let Them Eat Cake, was on the window since the black and white donuts are the grooms cake, representing the bride, in a white on white donut and the groom in chocolate on chocolate.

We wrapped them up with twine so that they were easy to take home.

As the sun set all the lanterns and fairy lights really started to glowing, making it the perfect time for the Bride and Groom to have there first dance...

The couples first dance under the old fashion lights strung from the balcony above...

There are a lot of people I need to put a shout out to for helping us with the wedding.  So many people helped with photography, serving, clean up, along with helping us create our visions.  Thank you so much for all the help everyone and the love and support. We love you all!

Temple and bouquet pictures were taken by Nicole Hill Gerulat.
You can visit her website HERE!