Background

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Fou Fou Bridal Shower

First things first...We are truly blessed to have the means to set a pretty table and invite our friends to join us for good food and fellowship. As the harvest season approaches I am mindful that many are not so fortunate. My daughter has a passion for the work of the Food Bank. As a singer-songwriter, she has written and recorded a song that is the anthem for the world wide Crop Hunger Walk project. Her song, "Raise Your Voice" is featured in their video. I've included a link in the side margin of my blog. I hope that it will encourage you to support projects in your community that contribute to the effort to overcome hunger.


The painting has been completed in the dining room!  I finished loading the crystal back into the cabinets last night; only a few pieces of art and the large mirror need to be hung...and I've decided to take down the plantation shutters and install window treatments instead...that will take a while longer.   In the meantime, I'm sharing a wedding shower that I previously hosted with several friends. Although I'm relatively new to blogging, I have quite an archive of tablescapes to share...and they're all new for you.  Just don't be confused when my dining room keeps changing wall colors!

 I enjoy setting a pretty table for young brides.  I always hope that my efforts will inspire them to carry on the tradition of gracious entertaining in their own homes for years to come.  Today's shower took place on a Sunday afternoon from 2:00 - 4:00 PM.  Sunday afternoon is my favorite time to host a shower, and I really like to do 'pretty lady' showers.  I've done my share of couples' showers which usually include a dinner; but my preference is entertaining ladies.  I like to host bridal showers on Sunday afternoon because I find that there are fewer regrets...not so many conflicting obligations for guests.  In addition, this time slot proves to be pretty budget friendly...everyone has recently eaten lunch, and no one is ready for dinner.  I like to set an abundant table, none the less.  My formula usually includes:  a fruit dish, a cheese dish, tea sandwiches, and something chocolate plus other sweets.

There is a dear little lady in our city named Mrs. Beavers.  Mrs. Beavers has been making tea sandwiches for customers since the 1950's!  I have her name because she regularly made these lovely treats for my mother-in-love for many years.  I fear that this may have been the last party for which she supplied goodies.  I think that she retired after our event.  She was so reasonable.  She charged $40.00 for 100 tea sandwiches, and her's are the best that I've ever tasted.  The large oval Barker-Ellis galley tray worked well for Mrs. Beavers' sandwiches. Other items available for our guests included Melting Moments, Petit Fours, and Chocolate Cream Sherry Bars.

The bride-to-be was planning a 'black and white' wedding, so we chose to use the same colors in the tablescape.  I used a white antique Italian cutwork linen tablecloth that belonged to our sweet Nana, one of the many lovely table linens that we are blessed to shepherd until it's time to pass it on to the next generation of family.  The three black tole jardinieres were a fortunate estate sale find...$10.00 each.  I filled the containers with Oasis.  There is a full block of foam in each pot, turned lengthwise.  I built them simultaneously, which made it easier to make them all alike.  I wanted them to resemble topiaries.  As I do so often, I bought the flowers at Sam's.

  The long narrow galley tray is also a Barker-Ellis piece.  The silver chafing dish is another of Nana's wonderful serving pieces.  Just behind it, you can see the companion piece.  One of my favorite dishes to serve at parties is  Brie en Croute.  It's easy to prepare, and always popular with guests.  I encase a wheel of Brie in refrigerated pie crust dough.  With the left over dough, I cut out decorative shapes and apply them to the top.  It is baked according to the instructions for the pie crust.  I often spread a thin layer of preserves on the cheese just before I place it inside the crust...makes an unexpected little treat when the guests bite into it.  I usually serve it with sliced pears and apples...so good!  Midway down the table is an Italian Cream Cake, one of my favorites.

The tall black apothecary jars were a Hobby Lobby find on sale for half-price, and I used simple arrangements of two colors of lilies, also from Sam's.  Tip:  I arrange lilies several days in advance to give them an opportunity to open adequately.  If you've perused some of my older posts, you know that I enjoy creating the 'napkin tower' for bridal showers because it reminds me of a frilly wedding dress.  As a base, I used the inexpensive three-tiered Anchor-Hocking glass cake plates, often available at Bed Bath & Beyond.  I placed different sizes of silver trays on each layer to dress it up a bit.  The vintage napkins are another of Nana's bounty of treasures.

Each napkin holds a 'diamond ring' napkin ring.  Tip:  Three of us each bought a number of these rings, and we share them for large parties.  They are so much fun!  Think co-op with your tablescaping buddies.  The luncheon plates are Haviland "Ranson."  I collected them for a number of years, and they are one of my favorite patterns.  Tip:  I highly recommend luncheon plates if you like to entertain.  They give you new options for mixing and matching because they allow you to use most dinner plates as chargers.  Additionally, at events for ladies, they are quite appropriate because women traditionally consume smaller portions of food.

The guests are arriving, and everything is ready. When possible, I like to have everything on the table before the party begins.  I find that this strategy makes it easier for me to enjoy the party.  I'm excited to celebrate the bride's special day.  I would love for the day to come that you could celebrate with us, too!

I thought that you might enjoy having a few of the recipes that I used today.  They are all delicious!




MELTING MOMENTS
COOKIE:
2/3 C. Cornstarch
1C. Flour
1C. Butter
1/3 C. Powdered Sugar
FROSTING:
1/4/ C. Butter, softened
2 C. Powdered Sugar
2 T. Lemon Juice
Rind of 1 lemon, grated
Sift together cornstarch and flour.  Cream butter and sugar.  Add sifted dry ingredients.  Drop by teaspoon on ungreased cookie sheet and bake at 325º for 15 to 20 minutes.  Cool and frost.  To prepare frosting, cream butter and add sugar alternately with lemon juice and rind.
Note:  I like to make these tiny and bite size.  I use a 1/2 t. measuring spoon and mound the dough into the spoon.  They don’t increase in size a great deal while baking.  I end up with between 75 and 100 small cookies.  Also, a lemon will usually yield more than 2T. juice.  I often add an additional tablespoon to the frosting.  It makes it a bit easier and nicer to spread on the cookie.  These can easily be made several days in advance and kept in an air tight container.  Enjoy!  You can’t eat just one!      




CHOCOLATE CREAM SHERRY BARS
BASE:
4 oz. semi-sweet or unsweet baking chocolate                       
1 C. sifted flour
1 C. butter     4 eggs
2 C. sugar     1 t. vanilla
1/2 t. salt
Melt chocolate and butter.  Cool slightly.  Beat eggs until light.  Gradually add sugar.  Add remaining ingredients and beat 1 minute.  Pour into greased and floured 9 x 13 pan.  Bake at 350º for 25 minutes.  Cool.
FILLING:
1/4 C. sherry                                       1/2 C. butter
4 C. powdered sugar                            1/4 C. half & half
1 C. chopped pecans
Beat together butter and sugar.  Gradually add cream and sherry.  Mixture should be light and fluffy.  Spread over cooled base.  Chill
TOPPING:
1- 6 oz. pkg. Semi-sweet chocolate chips
3 T. water
4 T. butter
Melt chocolate with water and butter.  Mix well.  Drizzle over filling.  
Chill until firm.  Cut as desired.  Refrigerate.  Makes 5 dozen 1/2 inch bars.

ITALIAN DELIGHT CREAM CAKE
1/2 C. Shortening
1/2 C. Butter
2 C. Sugar
5 Eggs – separated
2 C. Flour
1 t. Baking Soda
1 C. Buttermilk
1 Can (7 oz.) Flake Coconut
FILLING:
1/2 C. Butter
1 Pkg. (8 oz.) Cream Cheese
1 Box (1 pound) Powdered Sugar
1 t. Vanilla
1/8 t. Salt
1/2 C. Chopped Pecans
Blend shortening and butter together.  Add sugar gradually until fluffy.  Add yolks one at a time, beat well after each addition.  Sift flour and soda together.  Add to mixture alternately with buttermilk beginning and ending with flour mixture.  Add 2/3 C. coconut to batter.  Beat egg whites until peaks form – fold into batter – pour into 3 greased and floured 9 inch round pans.  Bake at 350º for 25 to 30 minutes.  Cool cake and frost with filling.
Mix butter and cream cheese at high speed.  Gradually add powdered sugar.  Continue beating until smooth.  Add vanilla and salt. Spread between layers and top and sides.  Sprinkle rest of can of coconut on top of cake.  Cover sides with chopped nuts.  I double the icing/filling recipe, and instead of just coconut sprinkled on top, I also cover the top and sides with chopped pecans.  Soooooo Goooood!
You can check out KC's music at www.kcclifford.com, on iTunes, and on YouTube.  I hope that you'll take a few minutes and give her a listen.  You'll also enjoy reading back through her blog on this site.  The girl can really write!  Her latest CD is called "Orchid."

UPDATE:  KC performed in New York City last night for a Standing Room Only crowd at The Living Room.  She is working her way south along the East Coast and the West toward home.  If you happen to be in one of the following areas, I hope that you'll go hear her!

Thursday, November 11

K.C. Clifford Returns to Roanoke!
Kirk Avenue Music Hall  8:00 pm
Roanoke, VA
http://www.kirkavenuemusic.com/

Friday, November 12

K.C. Clifford @ St. John Lutheran Church, Benefitting Faith In Action
St. John Lutheran Church  7:00 pm
Abingdon, VA
http://www.abingdonfaithinaction.com

Saturday, November 13

K.C. Clifford - Concert/Fundraiser for Wake Forest Museum
Wake Forest Museum  7:30 pm
Wake Forest, NC

Sunday, November 14

K.C. Clifford & Louise Mosrie at RPM Live Music Nights
RPM Live Music Nights  7:00 pm
Columbia, TN
http://www.kimjameson.com/RPM/Welcome.html

    

Thank you, yet again, to Susan at Between Naps on the Porch for hosting her magical meme, "Tablescape Thursday.  I'll be linking my post to "Tablescape Thursday.  Click on the button below to hop on over and check out the myriad of marvelous tablescape designs, after 9:00 pm on Wednesdays.  You'll be glad that you made the trip...it's a wonderful adventure. 







I am also linking my pose to "Centerpiece Wednesday" at The Style Sisters...so many wonderful designs to inspire us.  Go check them out!
Centerpiece Wednesdays Button

  


49 comments:

Anita said...

Cherry Kay, this is just beautiful!! I agree with you about the time also. I much prefer this type of event. Everything looks gorgeous as always and the food looks so yummy!!

The Tablescaper said...

What a party. The flowers are amazing. Love, love, love that tablecloth.

- The Tablescaper

Pondside said...

Definitely my kind of shower! I find that most people up here on the coast are much more casual than anywhere else I've ever lived. Fewer people are interested in setting beautiful table or serving goodies from their own kitchen.

Jacqueline said...

The food looks so fantastic, but I can hardly make it past the flowers. They are so stunning and arranged in a group of three like that is just superb. What colors! I love the lilies too. Good advice on purchasing them in advance.

How can you not just love the name Mrs. Beaver. What beautiful sandwiches. Your grandmother's chafing dish is magnificent. I love your idea to share the rings. My daughter and I often do this. Wow, I hope everyone was as impressed as I am.

Cabin and Cottage said...

Such an impressive table! The food looks wonderful, and the flowers are fabulous! Lucky ladies! Best to you, Jacqueline

Tricia@The Dull and the Dutiful said...

What a beautiful table, with gorgeous flowers and tempting goodies! I agree, ladies' showers are much more fun than those for couples. They give us a chance to use all our girly things!

xinex said...

Your table is s pretty Cherry Kay The presentation is magnificent and the food is fabulous! I am sure everybody was in awe!...Christine

Miss Char said...

I know that bride must have just been beside herself when she saw you beautiful table. It really is specticular and you can tell that every detail was completed by someone who enjoys entertaining. Thank you so much for sharing.

Barbara said...

Cherry Kay, as always, I can't wait to see what you will share with us. I think it is lovely to host gatherings like this not only to celebrate but to set the example of an elegant table. I love your napkin tower. Loved hearing about Mrs. Beaver. Your flowers are gorgeous and I love that you used three containers on the table.

Marlis said...

Cherry Kay, this is incredible. Thanks for all the tips. I too like to host a Sunday afternoon event. Wonderful serving pieces.

Deb S. said...

WOW! Your floral arrangements are breathtaking! The bride to be is SO lucky! You did an AMAZING job! Except the part where you made me HUNGRY!

Sherry said...

Cherry Kay,
This is just gorgeous! You did a fabulous job with this bridal shower. What a lovely party for a very special girl. The food looked amazing. I think I just bought a stack of that Haviland pattern at Goodwill. It was salad plates, I think. Love them. Your daughter's voice is wonderful. She reminds me of Amy Grant- one of my favorite singers. Just a wonderful post. Enjoyed visiting so much.
Sherry

shannon i olson said...

Great tip about the luncheon plates....and once again amazing table!

lulumusing said...

You do get it right when you entertain....beautiful. I love the 3 flower arrangements.

Mimi said...

Cherry Kay, what an incredible table...the flowers, linens and sliver are beautiful. I love the 'wedding dress' napkin tower nestled between those fabulous lily-filled black apothecaries...so pretty. Wonder if HL still has any...

Red Couch Recipes said...

Cherry Kay, what a great feeling it must be to have raised a daughter who can sing like that and for such a good cause! I love her voice and very much enjoyed listening to her music video! Also I love everything about this shower -- the diamond napkin rings are a fab idea. I am very much itching to try the Italian Cream Cake -- with the nuts on the side, I think it would make a great Thanksgiving Cake. This is a shower to remember. I hope Mrs. Beaver can still make more tea sandwiches and that this wasn't her last event. Thanks for sharing this with us; it was a fun visit at your blog today. Jonij

Mary said...

What a spectacular shower you've hosted! The food looks & sounds amazing~ How wonderful that you've included the recipes! Love the napkin tower :-)

Prior said...

This shower reminded me of really grand home showers, when I was growing up...now the ones I go to aren't usually held in homes. Your flower arrangement are awesome! Lezlee

Scribbler said...

I would never miss a party at your house! I am saving your recipes. Thanks for sharing.

Bill said...

Hi Cherry Kay,

Everything looks absolutely stunning! Your guests must be dazzled when they visit your beautiful home and see your gleaming silver, heirloom linens, and amazing floral arrangements! And then there's the food you serve! I know it must be as delicious as it is beautiful. Good for you for inspiring young brides to carry on traditions of gracious living and elegant entertaining!

Warmest regards,
Bill

Kathleen said...

I agree! The flowers are stunning! I haven't been to a shower with tea sandwiches in years. In fact so many people have given up home showers and have them out, sit down luncheons.
I love the home showers, so much friendlier! You did a wonderful job, I love your napkin tower too!

bunny, The Paris House said...

Cherry Kay,
I love your table. The floral centerpieces going down the center of the table paired with that elegant tablecloth is just stunning. I love how you carry on and inspire others to keep tradition alive. Classy and elegant as always!!!
the recipes sound fantastic
xx

~Tablescapes By Diane~ said...

Hi lovely lady.
I love your beautiful Tablescapes ~~~The centerpiece of flowers just lovely, with your China you did a lovely job Sweet lady. Thanks for your comments on my Chili !!

JUST ME said...

I'm not sure if I'd be able to set up a table like that in my wildest dreams...I'd break about 9 things in the first 5 minutes.

It's BEAUTIFUL!

Debbie Moore at Slice of Pie Entertaining and Cookbooks said...

Thank you so much for sharing this post ... thanks for the recipes. Love the music ... and every effort to feed people in need. For 25 years, I administered a Federal grant in my county ... that made sure people were taken care of. I know all about this ... and although I've given up that volunteer job now ... I still encourage folks to give. thanks for reminding us of this important need.

Kathy Eickholt Cat Lady Kate's Elegant and Depression Glass said...

Beautiful as always! Can't wait to try the dessert recipes. Your flowers and table look great, so well pulled together.

Yellow Rose Arbor said...

What a marvelous bridal shower! I'm so happy to see someone still does the formal bridal teas, reminds me of years ago when they were a "must" before the weddings! The flowers, food, etc. are exquisite! I'm sure the honoree and the guests were so pleased! Thanks for the recipes!

Katherine

Patti's Artful Design said...

Hi Cherry Kay...thank you for stopping by my blog and leaving those kind comments. I, sincerely, appreciate it! Love these recipes. Thank you! I am going to become a follower!

Alycia Nichols said...

You did an absolutely EXCEPTIONAL job with the floral centerpieces!!! They are exquisite! THIS is the way a shower is SUPPOSED to be! Well done! And kudos to you on finding those tole planters at such a great price!

Marlis said...

Cherry Kay.. run to Tuesday Morning.. it's presently (Saturday is the last day) 50% of the sale price!! Oh should have preceeded this with enabler alert.

Denise said...

Just an absolutely lovely table...as usual. Those floral arrangements are out of this world. You really have so much talent. This was certainly one lucky bride!!

podso said...

It was lovely to visit your blog today...the table is beautiful and the food look so good, but the flowers are absolutely exquisite! Have a wonderful weekend.

laurie @ bargain hunting said...

Another beautiful Cherry Kay party! The flowers are exquisite, and the food looks delicious. Love the napkin tower. Your recipes sound so good. I'll be saving these for future use. Thank you for sharing them and for sharing this beautiful party. Lucky bride who has you for a friend. laurie

Richie's 2ts Inspires said...

WOW! you really know how to give a shower/party. Love the ambiance so romantic and cozy, of course.

Perfect just to have some mingle too?

TY for sharing me the most gorgeous settings this week-

Happy Week-end.
x0x0
/chie

Jenny said...

It looks exquisite!!! Love it so much
Jenny

Mid-Atlantic Martha said...

Oh My ...is this not gorgeous? I think that the wedding reception itself couldn't be any more lovely than this is. Thanks for your sweet visit to my table -- it was a joy to receive my mother's china.

Denise @ http://www.somanytables.com/ said...

Cherry Kay,
Thanks for the spelling lesson (victuals). Don't think I'd ever seen it in print before!

Your three floral centerpieces are gorgeous. They're so striking against the white tablecloth - which can stand on its own with all its beautiful cut work.

Style Sisters said...

WOW!! OH WOW...this is just gorgeous. Thank you for sharing this on Centerpiece Wed.

Karin

Betty said...

Wow!! Beautiful. I love your table arrangement. I'm having a tea this week and was inspired all the goodies. What a treat to visit your blog. And, thank you for visiting My Cozy Corner.
xo
Betty

hip-chick said...

Oh my goodness those flowers look absolutely stunning! And, all that wonderful food.

Monique said...

Your table is gorgeus, love these withe slim candles, and flower arrangemet very classy. And the food ! :) I am starving by only looking at it :)
Have a good Sunday! :)
Monique

My Cozy Casita said...

Hi Cherry, Beautiful tablescape the flowers are out of this world fabulous job. The food looks delicious,It is stunning.
Thank you for your comments on my blog
XOX
Isora

Rettabug said...

Cherry Kay, I am soooo glad you took such beautiful photographs of past events in your lovely home! The shower is the epitome of grace & charm! The Barker-Ellis items are beautiful. I adore the antique Italian cutwork linen tablecloth & your sweet arrangement of napkins in a tower is just so perfect for the frilly occasion.

Thank you so very much for sharing your delicious looking recipes. I have copied each one into my online recipe file for future reference.
I especially liked your tip about doing all 3 flower arrangements at the same time. I would have done the first & then tried to copy it. You work much smarter!!

Tess said...

This is just beautiful!! Your centerpieces are amazing...and the food looks luscious! This looks like it was a wonderful time.

Thank you for stopping by my blog. I appreciate that someone else likes "matchy matchy"!

Jessa Irene (Holiday-Haven) said...

Those tea sandwiches look as though they are worth every penny! Very pretty topiaries, and love the napkins, that is a great idea!!

Debbie said...

Cherry Kay, I can't believe that I almost missed this! I went out of town right after TT, and it cut my fun weekly viewing short. I'm so glad to get here now because I would have hated to miss it.

You are SUCH a woman after my own heart with showers and other such things. This is beautiful. I love the centerpieces, and the side board is lovely. I agree so much about having friends to co op your hostessing with. We do the same around here, and it pays big dividends.

As ALWAYS, I thought your table was just wonderful. Thanks for sharing it!

Style Sisters said...

I just posted Centerpiece Wed and used a photo from this post. Come check it out.

Karin

Susan (My Place to Yours) said...

Great tips, beautiful table, and FANTASTIC tablecloth from your Nana. I love that you continue to use and treasure it...

Suzanne Scarborough Melson said...

I love it wheb recipes are included!! thanks for sharing.