Posts Tagged ‘entertaining ideas’

Take a Break from “Fakebook” & Reconnect with Friends one Sip at a Time

One reason I love food is that it connects us with people. It’s easy to get caught up in social media, and not be truly connected to people. Facebook can sometimes be more like “Fakebook”. You don’t really know what’s going on in your friend’s lives, and it can represent a false sense of reality. It’s important to invest in and nurture the friendships that really count – The friends that you could call in the middle of the night, or that would help you move if you needed help. You know what I’m talking about!

One fun way to reconnect, especially as this weather is getting cooler outside is to open up your home and host a tea party. It seems as if home entertainment is not as prevalent these days – so it’s always nice to have this personal touch. There’s no need to spend $50+ at a fancy hotel or restaurant. Tea is growing in popularity, and it’s sugar free, calorie-free, it has antioxidants, and you can get it with or without caffeine. Plus, there is something about tea that makes people feel special – like royalty.

Below are some tips for hosting a fabulous DIY Tea Party:
Keep it Casual: You don’t have to be perfect, have fancy formal teaware, etc. Just use what you have, have your guests bring their favorite teapots, and teas. Have a tea tasting or vote on the cutest teapot.

Less is More: Keep the guest list smaller and more intimate to really connect. You can do an easy one-on-one tea or have up to 5 guests to keep it more intimate.

– Have fun with teapots: Ask guests to bring theirs, or you can even find some at specialty tea shops, and even thrift stores. David’s Tea has really unique accessories, like this cute sweater that goes around the teapot. Here in Chicago, Chinatown has some ADORABLE tea pots in many of the stores.

Cute sweater teapot from David's Tea

Cute sweater teapot from David’s Tea

Add tags on your teapots to describe the tea inside

Add tags on your teapots to describe the tea inside

Don’t Skim the Fat: No tea party is complete without scones. If you choose to make them from scratch, and the recipe calls for cream, be sure to get cream with a high fat content (at least 40% fat) for the best flavor. Place them in a bowl and sprinkle in some fresh raspberries or blueberries for some nice presentation.

Add raspberries or blueberries for garnish and presentation

Add raspberries or blueberries for garnish and presentation

Offer Variety: Offer a few different tea options to choose from, i.e. Black, Green, Herbal or Roobios. One of my favorite tea brands is the Republic of Tea. They have a lovely Earl Grey, and I have literally bought multiple canisters of the Limited Edition Downton Abbey flavor from World Market. It has a nice sweetness to it that makes it really pleasant. Target also has a delicious Cinnamon tea called Hot Cinnamon Sunset by Harney & Sons that tastes like a Hot Tamale Candy – you don’t even need to add any sugar. It’s very comforting and if you like cinnamon, you will LOVE this tea.

 

 

 

When it comes to friendship,”analog” offline connections have so much better quality than the digital world like “Fakebook” and Instagram. Hopefully these tips will spark some ideas for reconnecting with good friends to warm your heart and your soul.

For more inspirational content, check out my friend Jamie’s blog at http://www.mygr8estlove.com. It’s all about inner beauty and there are some amazing fashion tips. Enjoy!

One of my favorite Cinnamon teas

One of my favorite Cinnamon teas

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tea_Time_at_The_Palmer_House_Hotel_Chicago-35(1)

Me & Jamie (right) enjoying tea

 

 

Come and share a pot of teaMy home is warmand the friendship's free

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sweet Winter Treats: Homemade Marshmallows and Chocolate Spoons

Season’s Greetings!!

Below are a couple of sweet winter treats that I made over the holidays that I wanted to share:
– The first is a mint marshmallow recipe by Martha Stewart. A lot of people tell me that they didn’t know that they could make marshmallows from scratch – and you can…and they taste WAY better than anything that you have ever purchased on a grocery store shelf. I was inspired to make my own marshmallows after visiting a delicious restaurant called Hot Chocolate in Chicago. They include a homemade marshmallow in their hot chocolate creations, and I decided to give it a try. After one failed attempt at making vanilla bean marshmallows, (they ended up being too rubbery), I came across this delicious and fluffy recipe from Martha Stewart. It’s not hard, but it does require you to pay attention and move quickly. It also helps to get a candy thermometer:

Mint Marshmallows

Below is the link to the recipe:
http://www.marthastewart.com/355781/candy-cane-marshmallows

I served these marshmallows at a party as a part of my hot chocolate bar and they were a hit! I highly recommend that you try them and experiment w/other flavors.

– The next item is extremely easy to make, and can serve as a nice touch for any winter party. These are chocolate spoons, which can be used for stirring into hot chocolate or coffee for an extra chocolate boost. They are incredibly easy to make, and could also be wrapped in cellophane w/a ribbon for a gift. I also included these in my hot chocolate bar. I had both milk chocolate spoons and white chocolate spoons, and drizzled the alternate color on top of each by putting the warm chocolate into a sandwich bag, and cutting a small corner of the bag to drizzle chocolate over the spoons. Very nice presentation, if I must say so myself.

Chocolate Spoons

Below is the recipe:
http://allrecipes.com/recipe/chocolate-spoons/detail.aspx?event8=1&prop24=SR_Title&e11=chocolate%20spoons&e8=Quick%20Search&event10=1&e7=Home%20Page

These are great recipes to add a special touch for any occasion.

Enjoy!