Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Queen Sparkle's Tea Party

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. 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 quickly approaching nuptials of Prince William and Cate Middleton are featured everywhere we look lately.  I've seen numerous lovely Royal tea parties posted in blogland.  I think that it's time that I give a nod to Wills and Cate with my own version of a tea party.  This day, I hosted a small tea party for my dear friend Cindy's mom, often called "Queen Sparkle."

 The game table, with the addition of my handy-dandy flip-top tabletop, was ideal for our group of six.  I bought two flip-tops from Sandy of By Invitation Only (byinvitationonly@cox.net), in case you have an interest. I made the aqua blue Matelasse tablecloth with fabric that I found on eBay.  I use this cloth often, and I wish that I had bought more yardage.  Did you notice the small pewter boxes with the blue and white china lids?  Those were party favors for each guest, provided by Cindy.

For the centerpiece, I used one of my favorite tureens and underplates, Charles Field Haviland, "Schleiger 1328 on Blank 1273".  Did you know that there are more than 35,000 Haviland designs?...boggles the mind!  Remember, the Haviland's were Americans from New York, who went to France, decided to stay, and opened their own factory in the Limoges region.  Although Haviland was manufactured in France, it was always designed for and sold to an American market.  I've enjoyed collecting Haviland over the past seven years.  The crystal decanters sparkled in the candlelight flickering from the four small blue and white pots.  I usually fill decanters with water, tea, or wine for my guests to easily access drink refills throughout the meal.

I created the pair of floral posies from inexpensive mixed bouquets from Sam's with the addition of a few hydrangeas from Homeland.  I constructed them in Oasis-filled peg nappies, which I placed in a pair of tall crystal candlesticks.  I found the candlesticks at an enchanting local gift shop, Room 22.  Check it out!  The crystal goblets are my Waterford "Simply Blue".  I collected these in three colors on eBay over a period of time.  I bought them quite reasonably, but they've increased in price enough that I would have to think long and hard before I bought them today.  That's the reason that I've never bought the fourth color, amethyst...which I would really like to add to the collection.  Oh, well.

Cindy brought these darling blue and white teapot napkin rings to be used for our party.  At the end of the day, they were given to Queen Sparkle as a special gift.  Cindy also provided the wonderful napkins embroidered with teapots.  For such a special event, I used my wedding silver, Reed and Barton, "Grande Renaissance".  After forty-two years, I'd still choose it as our pattern today.  The first course was served on the Haviland, "Schleiger 1328", accent plate.

Today's fare was served on our dear Nana's antique English Tea Cart, positioned next to my chair.  The handkerchief weight linen tablecloth was one of my $15.00 estate sale finds.  The cloth does a lovely job of setting off the antique silver tea service, Nana's wedding gift to us.  Each course for our tea was presented on a tiered hostess tray.  

The first course, Strawberry Lavendar Scones, was well suited for the  Haviland, "Ranson", two tiered tray. 

Second course offerings included Goat Cheese and Tomato Crostini, Ham and Sweet Potato Biscuit Sandwiches, and Crab Salad on Blue-Corn Blini.  Tip:  Here I've used an inexpensive trio of Anchor, glass cake pedestals.  The grouping is available at Bed, Bath, & Beyond for about $20.00.  I like to add a chop plate, a dinner plate, and a salad plate from different sets of my dishes to create a custom tiered hostess tray...so versatile.  Here I've employed the Haviland, "Ranson".

I chose the Coalport, "Sevres Group" luncheon plates for the second course.  It's an interesting pattern.  There are numerous variations of the same basic flowers on these plates...They're just the same only different. :-)  The luncheon plate is seated on a Limoges, "Dresden Flowers" gold encrusted plate that is yet another treasure from Nana.

A Copeland Spode, "Jewel" tiered tray, held desserts including Choco-Chewy Scotch Bars, Strawberry Cakes with Lemon-Vanilla Curd, and White Chocolate and Chai Mousse served in Bissinger's Chocolate Cups. I think that we all indulged and had one of each...so delicious!  The dessert was served on Theodore Haviland, "Rani".

Of course, each course was accompanied by plenty of hot tea served in the Haviland, "Ranson" teacups.  We had such a wonderful tea party.  I hope that each of my guests felt like royalty.  I would love to treat you as a royal guest, too.  Do you take sweetener with your tea?

I've included a couple of the recipes from today's tea party.  Enjoy!

Crab Salad on Blue-Corn Blini
Makes 18 servings
1 (8 oz.) container lump crabmeat, drained well & picked for shells.
1/4 C. finely chopped cucumber
2 T. minced chives
1 1/2 t. Dijon mustard
3 T. mayonnaise, divided
1/2 t. salt, divided
1/4 t. ground black pepper
1 avocado, pitted & pealed
2 T. fresh lime juice
1 jalapeno, cut in half lengthwise, seeded, & thinly sliced, divided
Blue – Corn Blini (recipe follows)
  1. In a medium bowl, gently toss together the crabmeat, cucumber, chives, Dijon, 1 T. mayonnaise, 1/4 t. salt, & pepper until mixture is well combined.  Refrigerate.
  2. In the bowl of a food processor, combine the avocado, remaining mayonnaise, lime juice, half of jalapeno slices, & remaining salt, and pulse until mixture is smooth. Refrigerate.
  3. Top each Blue-Corn Blini with crab salad; garnish with avocado mixture and remaining jalapeno slices, if desired.
Blue - Corn Blini
Makes 18 blini
1 t. active dry yeast
 2 T. warm water (110º)
1/2 C. blue cornmeal
1/4 C + 3 T. all-purpose flour
1/4 t. salt 1/2 C. whole milk
3 T. butter, melted
  1. In a small bowl, combine the yeast and water, and let stand until foamy, about 5 minutes.  In a medium bowl stir together the cornmeal, flour, and salt.  Add the milk, yeast mixture, and butter, whisking after each addition.
  2. Let the mixture sit, uncoverd, at room temperature for approximately 10 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, heat a large heavy-bottomed skillet over medium heat; when hot, spray the pan with sonstick cooking spray.  Workin in batches of at least three, sppon 1 tablespoon of batter into skillet for each blin, and cook 2 to 3 minutes on each side, until crisp around the edges and golden brown.  Transfer to a plate line with a warm towel or covered in foil to keep blini warm.  (I place blinis on a foil covered cookie sheet.  Then I loosely cover them with another sheet of foil and place them in a 200º oven to keep warm until time to serve.)
To serve, place the crab salad on the blini and top with a dollop of the avocado mixture.  Garnish with a thin slice of jalapeno if desired.


White Chocolate & Chai Mousse
1 1/4 (4-ounce) white chocolate bars, chopped finely
1 1/2 C. Heavy cream
2 bags vanilla chai tea (they used Bigelow Vanilla Chai tea)
1t. vanilla extract
4 egg whites
3 T. sugar
2 (4 – ounce) packages chocolate cups (Bissinger’s chocolate dessert cups)  www.bissingers.com
  1. Place the white chocolate in a medium heatproof bowl; set aside.  Combine the cream, contents of tea bags, and vanilla extract in a small saucepan over medium heat.  Cook just until mixture boils.  Strain mixture over chocolate, whisking until chocolate is melted and smooth.  Cover, & refrigerate for 8 hours, or overnight.
  2. Whip white chocolate mixture with an electric mixer on high speed until stiff peaks form; place in refrigerator.  In a medium bowl and using an electric mixer at high speed, whip the egg whites until soft peaks form; add sugar.  Continue whipping until glossy and stiff, about 30 seconds more.
  3. Fold beaten egg white mixture into the white chocolate mixture.  Place mixture into a pastry bag fitted with a star tip, and evenly pipe the mousse into the chocolate cups.  Garnish with chocolate shards, if desired.
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."   Hop on over HERE 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.

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."  It is available on iTunes or through her website.  I hope that you'll give her music a chance.  I know that I have zero objectivity where she is concerned, but I think that you'll fall in love with her music and her!   

Entertaining Women
Entertaining Women

Hello, I'm Cherry Kay I was 40 before I realized that I am an artist. I love to paint, work in clay, rubber stamping, design tablescapes, entertain, and share ideas. I'm an interior designer wanna-be...no credentials, but lots of experience.


  1. wow that looks amazing. I love tea parties. What a great tip to use the cake stands on top of each other. I love the whole thing.

  2. What an awesome party. We had a brief stop in England on the way home from Paris to stay with friends...and the royal wedding is EVERYwhere. I just love your BEAUTIFUL goblets.

  3. What a lovely tea - anyone who'd enjoyed high tea here in Victoria would find all of your delicious offerings familiar. It must have been a memorable party.

  4. What a fabulous looking tea on such pretty dishes!
    Your table is lovely!
    Looks like a wonderful time for all!

  5. Everything from table to flowers to food looks so beautiful....those little boxes are too cute and I love the flower arrangements. I wish my Sams club still sold flowers :(
    Hope you have a wonderful Easter!

  6. I closed my eyes and imaged I was at the table having tea!!! Such a beautiful table as always great job. Loved the silverware flateware so elegant. I loved the silver tea set plus you must tell me what the silver stand and glassware thats right next to the tea set which has a sauce in it please let me know as I loved that piece I most get one. Also the teapot napkin rings are so lovely.

    Thank you for sharing.

    Lots of Love
    Karin Şen Cankan

  7. What a beautiful setting. Your flower arrangements are lovely!!! The plates and glassware are just stunning!

  8. A tea fit for a Queen, indeed! Beautiful from the blue mateliesse tabecloth to the tea cart full of goodies! Queen Sparkle must have been so pleased!
    I love those goblets. I'm going to have to look into those!!!!
    Thanks for the recipes! The crab sounds divine!

  9. Cherry Kay,
    Your table would put the Queen in awe of your amazing talents. Love the silver tea/coffee set so gorgeous as are all the colors you used.
    The recipes sound heavenly!
    Wishing you a delightful Easter
    PS, thanks for your concern..I'm doing a bit better..I went for a procedure yesterday..I'll email you about it..

  10. Oh my, how gorgeous. Your blue stemware and all of the tiered treats make for an truly amazing presentation.

    - The Tablescaper

  11. Everything is so pretty. I love those napkin rings. Thanks for sharing those recipes. The food looks so good, and so prettily presented.

  12. What a lovely table! Everything is just beautiful. The tea sandwiches look fabulous. And I adore the little teapot napkin rings

  13. what a beautiful and delicious tea party! I especially love the Spode "Jewel" tiered tray!!!! ;-) A nice tribute to the Royal Wedding.

  14. Another wonderful visual treat, Cherry Kay! I, too, use the "embellished" Anchor Hocking tiered pedestals trick. It's always a winner! Happy Easter to you and yours.

  15. Cherry Kay, this entire table is just so sweet! Cindy's little teapot napkin holders are darling & what a nice gesture to send your guest of honor home with them & also such beautiful gift boxes for the other ladies!

    I did not know that information about the Haviland's...thanks for widening my horizons.

    I have to laugh...every time I'm in Sam's Club & walk by their flowers, I now think of YOU! I bought the yellow roses for my sister there & they lasted over 2 weeks! I was very impressed with that.

    Have a Blessed Easter, surrounded by your loving family & friends,

    Bunny Hugs,

    ps Thank you for the wonderful recipes!! I'm copying down each one.

  16. Beautiful table setting and oh does everything look scrumptious!!

  17. Lovely. Great flower arrangements and I love the napkin rings.

  18. Cherry Kay, your table is a pure delight. I love the recipes! Thanks for sharing those. The goblets are so beautiful. I love all your extra tidbits you share. You know, your flower arrangments are always so beautiful. Happy Easter and many blessings. Come visit, I've got another giveaway going on.

  19. Absolutely beautiful...love everything about your blue and white table. Your floral arrangements are stunning, love the array of vibrant colors. What a wonderful menu!

  20. What a delightful tea! I so love your colorful posies~ they are wonderful! Your use of the plates on your glass pedestals is so clever and your food looks & sounds delicious! Happy Easter!

  21. It's just wonderful, as always! I love your style, Cherry Kay. You always have the best attention to detail and the most unique pieces.
    I think those those waterford blue goblets are beautiful.

    I have seen you use the matelasse before, and I always love the way it looks. The only matelasse I have is on my bed... you might see it on a table one of these days. LOL

    Again, it's just lovely. I think the Royals have nothing on your Queen Sparkle.

  22. Cherry Kay, I always love stopping by to see what pretties you have for us. I also love your opening statement ~~~ isn't that so true? Yes it is! (Thank you dear Lord). Pretty dishes, yummy food, sparkling silver and lovely antique linens. Sigh ~~~ it's delightful.


  23. Another beautiful table as usual, Cherry Kay. I am sure your guests appreciated it. Nice touch on the pretty boxes. The pastries look so scrumptious!...Christine

  24. Your tea party has me at a loss for words and adjectives to use to adequately describe my thoughts. It is truly "over the moon" in detail and perfection. The Waterford "Simply Blue" could easily be "Simply Mine".....love them!

  25. Oh, my goodness gracious...every bit of this is just too beautiful for words. From the linens to the china (more than 35,000 Haviland designs...really?!??!!), to that to-die-for stemware, to the scrumptious food...divine!!! You did a wonderful job with the flowers, too. They are so, so pretty. I love all the vivid colors! Amazing what one can do with Sam's Club (or in my case, Costco) flowers! Just takes imagination and a little time. Happy Easter!!!

  26. What a stunning setting you've done, everything is beautiful a feast to the eyes you've displayed. I love your dishes, the tablecloth is perfect for your heirlom tea set from your grandma, the best things. The three tier full of sweets is sooo very delish! The napkins rings are very pretty too. Thank you for sharing and may God bless you and yours Easter Sunday.

  27. WOW~ I certainly hope I can host a tea as wonderful as yours looks! Your china and silver are just gorgeous. Loved seeing the assortment of food courses and several of your recipes. Would you be willing to share the sweet potato biscuit recipe with me? I want to host a wedding shower tea with for my niece next month and your food looks just divine. Thanks so much. ;-) Sue

  28. BEAUTIFUL!!! WOW! Everything is so inviting and the food is amazing!!! Thank you for posting the recipes -- I am definitely going to make the crab salad.

    Great idea with the dishes underneath the cake plates -- love it! I just bought the same ones (I think they are) at Costco and can't wait to use them for something. :)

    Happy Easter!

  29. A beautiful table, delicious-looking goodies for tea and recipes! What more could one ask?

  30. No detail missed! What a beautiful table and the food looks amazing! Lovin' your flower arrangements! Wishing you and your family a Happy Easter:@)

  31. Your table is beautiful, but the star is the gorgeous food. What a well thought out presentation of goodies. Thanks for the recipes.

  32. Dear Cherry Kay,

    Thank you for letting me now about the saucer its always great to know how you can mix and match I love how you do that great idea, I will open my eyes and try to find something similiar.

    My mom sends her love to you and she says thank you.

    I hope you visit Istanbul one day and we can meet and have a dinner at a table I will make specially for you and you can see all my moms tablcothes.

    Also thank you for your lovely words ref to my tablescape, I hope you enjoyed it.

    Lots of Love,
    Karin Şen Cankan

  33. What a wonderful tea party and on such lovely china. The food was a feast for the eyes and I am certain delicious. I am also a Limoges collector, for my wedding china was French Haviland "Rosalinde". Queen Sparkle was honored with a special party and thanks for sharing your photos of the occasion with us.

  34. It all looks so beautiful and the food delicious. The tea pot napkin rings are too cute. The flowers look so pretty. I like the idea of having the flowers raised like that, it gives the table a touch of elegance. I'll have to try that sometime.

  35. This is just supremely lovely! How I adore tea parties and with an appropriate nod to the upcoming British royal nuptials--perfect timing!!!

    Queen Sparkle....I love her nick name!!!! I bet she is a hoot and a half!!!

    I love the tablecloth that you made!!!

    And those adorable teapot napkin rings!!!

    I've missed stopping by and am so glad I'm able to again today so I could view this wonderful table!!!


  36. Oh my goodness!! Everything is so elegant and beautiful!! I love your blue tablecloth...how very clever you are! The dishes are gorgeous, the good is gorgeous...fit for a Queen!

  37. Your table and all those goodies are "Delicious"!!! I love everything Limoges and you've taught me something I didn't know! Where does American Limoges fit into all this??? Do you know? The American version is beautiful(I have my Grandmothers)But it's not the refined French Delicacies! I LOVE those!
    Thank you for sharing so much with us!
    Happy Easter to you and yours,

  38. It is way past bedtime and yet I am salivating looking at this most spectacular spread. Not only is the table lovely (those gorgeous goblets!!!), and the flowers exquisite, but the food is unbelievable. I want to be invited next time!

  39. Wow, you always come up with exquisite settings...and agreed, that spread is awesome.
    Have a wonderful Easter.

  40. Oh, I know Queen Sparkle felt royal, indeed, with such a delightful treat! Your table is just gorgeous, and the blue crystal is stunning. Your floral arrangements are lovely, too -- definitely eye candy!

  41. I have never seen Blue Waterford, it is gorgeous. Everything looks so pretty and the food looks divine!
    A very blessed Easter to you and yours!

  42. Your table is absolutly gorgeous. I wish I had your talent and eye for color. I also wish I had your dishes.lol Fit for the Queen. Happy EAster

  43. Love your tea table...truly set for royalty. Your flower arrrangements are just so gorgeous! I also love that fabric you bought on ebay..such a beautiful shade of blue and the texture is wonderful too. Those adorable teapot napkin rings are just precious! Would love to have a set of those!

    Hope your Easter was blessed...the rain was so welcome and everything in my garden is so lush and green now!

    Miss Bloomers

  44. This is fabulous. I'm sure you could create the perfect royal wedding table.

  45. You did not miss a beat here! What a gorgeous party indeed. I love the dishes.

  46. What a pretty tea table - I love those glasses. The crab salad sounds delicious, too!

  47. Wow! This is exquisite - well done - definitely fit for a Queen.Can't wait to try some of your recipes!

  48. What a lovely tea...truly a feast for the eyes and the palate! All the details are just perfect.

  49. Thank you for including the recipes from the tea party! Mmmmm, everything sounds delicious. And the napkin rings are so precious!


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