Tea Party Fun



Tea Party Stars

Parties are wonderful whether they are big or small they are always a celebration of something that is a shining star in your life. We celebrate birthdays and anniversaries, wedding and baby showers and love to share the fun of family holidays.


Welcome To Our Tea Party

Parties are wonderful whether they are big or small they are always a celebration of something that is a shining star in your life. We celebrate birthdays and anniversaries, wedding and baby showers and love to share the fun of family holidays. Tea parties are a wonderful way to gather with family and friends serving the star of the show of course, tea and fabulous light but delicious finger foods, little sandwiches, desserts, laughter and memories.
 Home and Party Gifts

I love to hold small tea parties too. A relaxing few hours with my beautiful daughters where we share tea, home baked and store bought yummies depending on the day and how busy all of us have been all week and most importantly sharing stories, plans for the future and a few laughs which is like sugar in our tea, cream on our strawberries and chocolate on our cookies. Sweet and fun and even more special when shared.

No matter how big or small your tea party is, make it fun. Make it classic simple yet elegant and treat yourself to something wonderful whether it is a new tea flavor, serving from an adorable teapot or just sipping from a new tea cup with family and friends or all by yourself when you finally get some down time.
Photo Courtesy of my daughter Elyse who loves to put an elegant creative spin on our tea parties!

Ingredients

  • White Bread
  • Wheat Bread
  • Mini Croissants
  • Slim Style Breads
  • Egg Salad
  • Seafood Salad
  • Cream Cheese
  • Garlic and Herb Soft Cheese
  • Turkey Slices
  • Mayonnaise
  • Cucumbers
  • Shredded Lettuce

Instructions

  1. Preparation is key so I like to gather and/or prepare everything I need before I am ready to make the sandwiches. When using white, whole wheat or any type of loaf bread start out by cutting the crusts off of the bread. This will ensure every sandwich is soft and looks great too. Then I divide each slice into four pieces, cut at least 2 slices at a time together so you end up with matching sandwich tops and bottoms.
  2. Spread your fillings liberally but no so much that the sandwich will fall apart when picked up! You can use some fancy and inexpensive toothpicks to hold sandwiches together after they are made and even a grape tomato, piece of cucumber or some fun garnish on the toothpick looks great.
  3. Some of the sandwiches can be open face especially the garlic and herb cheese on a slim flatbread, it's always a favorite.
  4. I love to add some shredded lettuce for a little extra crunch, plus it looks really nice when it's shredded instead of a chunk or solid leaf of lettuce which is definitely chewier. If using turkey slices I like to spread a little mayo on the bread first so that it doesn't taste too dry and the guest won't have to take it apart to put their own on it before enjoying.

Tea Sandwiches

Tea Sandwiches Light
Tea Sandwiches Light

Tea Sandwich Platter

Tea Sandwich Platter
Tea Sandwich Platter

Tea Cups

Tea cups and saucers really set an elegant table at any tea party or your late night snack. Tea cups are generally more dainty than a traditional mug with a wider drinking area and smaller handle - perfect for proper etiquette, oh and don't forget it's not proper to have your pinky finger in the air, in fact in many circles it is considered rather rude!
Since tea cups are dainty many people pour their cream or milk into the cup first to protect the delicate cup from the hot tea. Avoid clinking your teaspoon against the cup so you don't make any rude noises and it protects your tea cup as well, gently swishing is recommended by tea experts.
Mostly I find the beautiful tea cups, matching saucers and even sets that include the matching tea pot are just so much fun and gorgeous.

Tea With Honey

Cindy Loves Tea With Honey
Cindy Loves Tea With Honey

The recipe for success is adding honey to your tea instead of sugar to sweeten your cup. Did you know that tea is not only delicious, soothing and comforting but it is also healthy, healthy good for you too. It is said to contain anti-cancer perks, essential oils and minerals and even Vitamins like E and even some of the B complex. It's supposed to help protect the body from disease. Black and Green teas are know for their heart healthy and cancer preventative perks but more tea groups like White tea are becoming popular for their antioxidants called flavonoids. Anti-oxidants help the body get rid of unstable cells and molecules and that has to be a good thing.
Anti-oxidants help inhibit bacteria growth making it beneficial to the health of your teeth and gums, some research says it can be good for bone density as well. Honey offers antiseptic, anti-oxidant and cleansing properties that people swear by to help them ward off colds and viruses.
Tea and honey is one of the best loved remedies to help you get through a cold and sore throat for it's soothing properties and warm comforting touch.
With all those wonderful benefits you derive from tea, how could it get any better you ask. Well add some honey and sweeten the impact of two natural, delicious products working together in harmony for you.
Consider adding honey to your tea for healthy energy or just because you love the taste! My daughter Cindy who took this photo to share for our Tea Party never drinks tea without her honey.

Coffee, Tea Or, No Thanks!

Coffee Tea or No Thanks!
Coffee Tea or No Thanks!
Some coffee lovers would never have a cup of tea, and tea drinkers I know will never trade a cup of tea for coffee. Then there are those who never drink either one! What will you drink at your own personal party, coffee - tea - or no thanks to either one?

Tea For Everyone

No matter what type of tea you like, whether you like to use tea bags, loose tea leaves with an infuser or even iced tea there are wonderful, inexpensive products you can easily buy and try for new flavors and drink recipes all year long
Party Invitations
Tea Party Invitations




If you love your tea in a bigger sturdier mug, or like a mug that is perfect for coffee and tea check out some of our very favorite tea mugs. Also available with matching tea pots, serving trays, plates and even linen napkins. Add in some personalized Tea Party invitations and you have a coordinated theme for your parties too.
More designs and styles are available but I chose my favorite for this tea party.




Sugar or Cream With Tea?

Would you like some sugar or cream with your tea? Whether you are enjoying an afternoon tea consisting of your favorite Tea as the star accompanied by light sandwiches and snacks or high tea which is actually like a dinner tea with a heavier full mean or just an enjoyable cup of tea there are some tea party etiquette rules you can follow for your tea party.
Traditional etiquette says sugar is placed in the tea cup first, then the tea poured in and last, the cream. If you are having lemon in your tea also then it is sugar first, thinly sliced lemon, then the tea and never, ever add milk or cream if you are having lemon!
Any way you do it, parties big or small serve up your sugar and cream fun style for an always fun and elegant touch.

Tea Time!
Tea Party Mugs
Tea Party Mugs
Thank you for joining us at our Tea Party! Tea is the star and so are you and your guests. We hope your next tea party will be just as fun and elegant and delicious no matter what size your party is.
Enjoy. Drink Tea. Have Fun!

Egg Salad Bonus Recipe! - Click Any Photo For Hard Boiled Egg Recipe Success

Egg Salad and Hard Boiled Eggs
Egg Salad and Hard Boiled Eggs
Egg Salad and Hard Boiled Eggs
RECIPE BONUS!
If you would love some fresh egg salad on your tea sandwiches stop by our Hard Boiled Egg Magic lens to read our secret to Egg Success at: Hard Boiled Egg Magic Recipe For Success
Have you thrown a great tea party or attended one? We would love for you to share your delicious tea recipes and tea party ideas with us.

Banana Bread Chocolate Bundt Cake

Banana Bread Chocolate Bundt Cake

If you love banana bread and you love cake and you are looking for just the right combination then I just have to share my recipe with you. It's quick. It's easy. It's elegant enough to serve to guests and cozy just right for a family to enjoy.
I love a touch of chocolate with my banana so I added some scoops of Nutella chocolate, oh yes, right into the batter just before baking up this wonderful cake. The glaze on top adds just a sweet hint of goodness that tops this off as one of my family favorites. It's a family banana bread, it's a cake, it's a wonderful snack with coffee or tea and a great dessert for holidays, birthdays or just during the week to have on your counter for a snack time pick me up!
Is it easy? Oh yes! Trust me most of my recipes have 5 ingredients or less, are easy to follow, easy to clean up and way wonderful to enjoy. Hope you give it a try and enjoy it too! Oh and sorry there is a slice missing from the main photo but as soon as it was done, the family was already digging into it. Feel free to be creative with this yummy recipe and if you love the super banana taste it's a great idea to mash up a ripened banana that's just sitting around on your counter and add that to the batter mixing it in real well before pouring it into the bundt cake pan.



Easy Banana Bread Cake Ingredients

Easy Quick Banana Bread Cake
Easy Quick Banana Bread Cake
The perfect recipe for any cake, dessert, bread, main dish, appetizer or well, any thing I bake or cook has really easy to follow instructions, a little flexibility so I can conform it to my taste buds, has not too many ingredients, not too many steps to follow and definitely ends with an easy clean up!
Banana Bread Cake Batter
Banana Bread Cake Batter
Banana Bread Chocolate Cake Recipe is so easy to make and even better, totally easy to adapt to your favorite taste sensation. You can add the Nutella like I did for the hint of chocolate or leave it out if it's not your thing (or you don't happen to have Nutella around), you can add some chocolate chips to the top or even a handful of walnuts. You can add some sugar glaze or dust it with confectioners sugar, or leave it plain. The recipe instructions for the Vanilla Sugar Glaze Icing is below with step by step too easy instructions.
The most important thing is to bake it how you love and be creative with your recipes to let your own taste shine through.
  • Prep time: 15 min
  • Cook time: 45 min
  • Ready in: 1 hour
  • Yields: About 14 Servings

Ingredients

  • 2 Boxes Pillsbury or your Favorite Banana Quick Bread Mix
  • 2 Cups of Water
  • 1/2 Cup of Oil
  • 4 Eggs
  • TO ADD NUTELLA
  • 1 cup of reserved batter after mixing ingredients above
  • 1/2 cup Nutella
  • FOR THE GLAZE
  • 1 1/2 Cups of Powdered Confectioners Sugar
  • 1 Tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 2 + tsp Water or Milk adjusted to your desired consistency

Instructions

  1. Add the first four ingredients together in a nice size bowl probably whatever you mix your usual cake batter in will be perfect. No hand mixer needed at all, the batter comes together really nicely. Mix until batter is smooth and all ingredients are completely blended.
  2. Scoop off about 1 cup of the batter and set aside, then pour the mixing bowl of batter into a VERY WELL GREASED OR SPRAYED WITH NON-STICK COOKING SPRAY bundt pan.
  3. Now take the cup of batter you set aside and start adding Nutella to it. I heated my nutella a little bit at a time in the microwave to make it easier to work with. Use more nutella if you like it very chocolate and mix the two ingredients thoroughly. The batter is now dark, rich and chocolate looking.
  4. Drop tablespoons of the Nutella Cake Batter onto the top of the batter in the bundt pan. I chose to do about four different spots of the chocolate mix and once that is dropped into the batter you can take a butter knife and reach into the circle of chocolate and swirl it around a little. A little down so it will go through the depth of the cake. A little to the left, a little to the right, well you get the idea. I didn't want it to all be chocolate I wanted to see the swirls so I kept the swirls kind of small.
  5. Place the bundt pan in the pre-heated oven at 400 degrees and bake for about 40 minutes depending on your oven.
  6. After baking, let the cake cool a little, turn bundt pan over and release the cake onto a large enough plate or tray.
  7. Add your glaze as much or little as you like it.
  8. Delicious served still warm from the oven or all cooled off!
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Nutella and Side Batter

Nutella Mixed With Side Batter
Nutella Mixed With Side Batter
Adding some chocolate to your banana bread cake is easy! Before pouring the batter into the bundt pan scoop off about a cup of the batter and set it aside. I warmed about a 1/2 a cup of nutella in the microwave, very slowly so it wouldn't burn just to make it a little softer and easier to work with.
After the chocolate was warmed I added it to the batter I set aside and mixed it up thoroughly.

Making It Chocolate

Chocolate In The Banana
Chocolate In The Banana
Now to add the chocolate nutella batter we made to the cake batter in the bundt pan.
I dropped the chocolate batter by spoonfuls into four separate areas on top of the batter in the bundt pan. Then I used a butter knife and gently lowered it into the drops of chocolate first down so the chocolate would spread to the bottom of the cake also, then back up and very lightly swirled some of the chocolate mixture a little down, a little to the right, a little to the left in circle, swirly motions so that when it all baked up together I came out with cool stripes of chocolate through the cake.

Bundt Pan Cakes

Bundt Pan Cakes
Bundt Pan Cakes
I think bundt cakes are so cool, I love the shape and classy elegance of how it looks once it's flipped out of the pan and becomes round and decorative and I also think the batter bakes up nice and fluffy but firm.
First let the cake cool down some so that it will slide out nice and easy and in one perfect circle. Then upside down over the right size plate or cake server and there it is! Now we can decorate it, frost it, dust it with some confectioners sugar or in this case, drizzle some vanilla glaze icing over it.

Bundt Pans For Classy Cakes

I love bundt pan cakes, I think the classic style and shape makes any cake a little more fun and elegant. I also love that when you slice it you get a real looking slice because of the "hole in the middle".
It's nice for a change of pace with any of your favorite cake recipes or for a special bundt cake recipe.

Vanilla Sugar Icing Glaze

Icing With Sugar Glaze
Icing With Sugar Glaze
Vanilla Sugar Glaze is my favorite icing for topping my banana bread chocolate cake. So easy to make and you can sweeten it to your own favorite taste in toppings.
I start with a 1 cup of confectioners sugar. Then I add a full teaspoon of vanilla extract. Then I add about 2 tsp of water (you can use milk or even half and half if you prefer for a little thicker glaze) and I add the water slowly and start mixing by hand. The powdery sugar mixes with the wonderful vanilla then starts to come to just the consistency you choose. If you like your glaze thin, add little bits of water at a time until it's just right for you. If you like more glaze and a little thicker add more powdered sugar. Adjust the glaze until it's the right taste and consistency for your family.
Then I just drizze away. You can use a spoon or mix up the glaze in a 2 cup mixing glass with a pour spout too. I chose to go with a classic striped bundt pattern but it's your cake, drizzle it your way! Add layers of glaze or keep it light. Be sure to reach the inside of the cake too because you want to get that glazey goodness in every bite.

Banana Bread Cake Star

Banana Bread Cake Star
Banana Bread Cake Star
Banana bread cake is the star of the show whenever you bake it up fresh. Here is my home made, in under an hour banana cake featured on a cake plate with dome intact. The first slice is missing because before I could even make my way back to the kitchen to get that perfect last shot, the family was already digging in!

Fitness Workouts At Home

Fitness Workouts At Home is my style of working out.  Joining a gym is great if you have the money and time to squeeze it into your life and budget but for me it never seems to work out for the long term.

Always looking to stay fit, healthy and keep my weight under control I found the greatest invention in the world to keep me motivated every single day. My Fitbit. Simply put weight loss and maintaining control has one simple basis: Calories In vs Calories Out.  No matter what weight loss program you choose, and I'm pretty sure I have followed them all at one time or another from Weight Watchers to Nutrisystem to Fad Diets, Low Carb, Low Fat and then back again when the weight eventually came back. They were all good "diets" but then that's what they are diets. Everyone's body needs different fuel. Some people need to cut the sugars and fats. Some bodies need to cut the carbs. I found moderation in portions so helpful. And I have completely eliminated sugars and carbs except for some of my favorite vegetables and find that works best for me.  I no longer get those crazy cravings where the more you eat, the more you need to eat. I'm not saying everyone has to do that, but it is a great idea to moderate your foods and keep an eye on what works best for you.

Enter the fitness zone with a Fitbit. Taking walks is very nice but I don't always have the time and the weather is not always that cooperative. At home though I can monitor my Fitbit and see where I'm at and use that knowledge to get me up off the chair and add some music to my life stepping it up while I'm cooking or watching TV and even cleaning your house earns you steps, calories burned and you get things done while you feel great about yourself at the same time!

Fitbit Fitness Has Changed My Life Works With My Style On My Terms

Fitbits Aren't that expensive and I can honestly say is one of the greatest investments I have ever made in myself. I have lost 22 lbs in just a few months walking, stepping and just picking up my pace with the knowledge this easy to use and maintain device has give me.

Some Fitness Shopping I Love:




Salad Sandwich Delight


Lettuce Salad Sandwich – Why Not

Lunch time is rolling around and you just can’t decide whether to have a salad or a sandwich or both. Then you have decide what you want on your sandwich, or maybe your refrigerator is just not stocked with anything that interesting. A salad might be yummy, but you just don’t feel like cutting up all the ingredients and you only have salad in the house. Then you have to decide on dressing. Forget it if your in a hurry – salads can take forever to eat which is great when you have the time for a nice leisurely lunch.

Lettuce Salad Sandwich

And that’s why my granddaughter Kaitlyn and I invented my magic lettuce salad sandwich. It’s a sandwich, it’s a salad. It’s not fattening if you don’t want it to be and it is magically filling. Quick and easy. Great for lunch. Great for really anytime of the day you feel like something well, not a sandwich and not a salad but really it’s both. I like mine open faced, but you can decide how you like it.
Like all of my home made up recipes, it’s quick, super easy to prepare and even easier to clean up afterwards. And of course not many ingredients – you can fix it like I do or adjust it to your own creative salad sandwich delicious idea.
All of the photos were hungrily taken by me….just before I ate the whole thing!

Basic Salad Ingredients




Lettuce Salad Sandwich
Lettuce Salad Sandwich
Basic Salad Ingredients
Salad ingredients just don’t get any easier to prepare when you used pre-packaged shredded lettuce. Not that I have anything against a head of lettuce which can definitely be used instead if that’s what you keep in your fridge and prefer, but by the time I decide if I want to pull the lettuce out and cut it up, well I might just decide to reach for a piece of cake or something I don’t really want to give in to so I keep shredded lettuce around all the time.
It’s even a great idea if you prefer to buy fresh heads of lettuce to shred up a container full ahead of time and keep it ready to go for sandwiches just like these.
Shredded lettuce, a bowl or container to pour it in to. Oh, and a spoon or fork to mix it up with. All we are going to add is, mayonnaise.



Lettuce Salad Sandwich
Lettuce Salad Sandwich
Recipe For Salad Sandwich
I love to share and pass on easy recipes that I call Home Made Up. Here are the ingredients and a simple summary of how to put together a lettuce salad sandwich in no time at all. Step by Step photos and directions are included below.
Trust me it doesn’t get any easier, and I promise it’s good and good for you. Nutritionally, it has healthy produce, lettuce is always a keeper no matter what your fitness or weight loss program is, healthy fats in mayo and olive oil that helps keep you satisfied and fuller longer and fiber healthy carbs low in calories. We are talking about each sandwich weighing in at about 150 calories a piece. That’s a great lunch even if you pair it with soup or a small bag of chips.
It’s a great snack anytime and way better than the bag of chips or ice cream I know you were thinking about!
  • Cook time: 5 min
  • Ready in: 5 min
  • Yields: Individual or Family Style

Ingredients

  • Shredded Lettuce
  • Mayonnaise
  • Flat Bread or Slim Bread or Bread Of Your Choice
  • Seasonings Like Salt and Pepper To Taste

Instructions

  1. Shred some lettuce or open a bag of pre shredded lettuce. Add as much as you need into a bowl. Add a dollop of mayonnaise to your liking and mix it up. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  2. Toast a slim bread or flat bread or bread of your choice and beautifully arrange your salad mix on top. I like my sandwich open faced, but you can try yours both ways.

Dollop The Mayo




Lettuce Salad Sandwich
Lettuce Salad Sandwich
Mayonnaise With Olive Oil, Light Mayo or Your Favorite Mayonnaise
That’s it, all I add to my lettuce is a dollop of mayonnaise. How much is a dollop? Hmmm, that’s typical of my cooking and recipes. There’s no exact measure of a dollop except how much you want. If you like a lot of mayo, add a big tablespoon full to start, if you aren’t too sure or don’t really like lots of it at a time, think smaller to start, you can always add more!
My favorite mayo is one with olive oil, even better there are light versions and brands with Extra Virgin Olive Oil, olive oil is healthy for you and check their nutritional labels some have only 50 calories per tablespoon which is probably way plenty. Kraft and Hellman’s both have a light and regular style mayo with olive oil and I think they are both great. So even if you have a heaping dollop, still not so bad considering the calories from the lettuce is well, super minimal as all you bunnies out there know.
You can even add in a pinch of salt, or a smidgen of pepper or both if you like to add some seasoning.

Salad Mix Ready To Go




Lettuce Salad Sandwich
Lettuce Salad Sandwich

Sandwich Thins Flat Bread Fundamentals

Sandwich Thins are my favorite base bread for this recipe. You can definitely use your favorite bread or rolls or bagels but I love that they range about 100 calories each, toast up perfectly in my toaster and hold the lettuce and mayo combination just right without soaking through. They aren’t very expensive and readily available at your local grocery store. You can buy them in bulk from many of the Club Warehouses or even on Amazon, some to eat now and freeze some for later.



Lettuce Salad Sandwich
Lettuce Salad Sandwich Flat Breads
I love my flat bread base toasted to get the fun warm crunch of the bread in contrast with the cool smoothness of the salad but you choose your favorite.
While you are mixing up your lettuce and mayo and letting it sit for a moment so the deliciousness of the mayo and seasonings combines just right, pop your flat bread base into the toaster. When you take them out of the pack it looks like one thin bread, see the top one on the plate but they come apart easily to form two sides to your sandwich. Looks thin, but they really pack a filling punch maybe because they have some healthy fiber in them (don’t worry you can’t tell they are healthy because they taste really good).
Toast them lightly or toast them crispy, I like mine a little on the crispy side so I get that nice even crunch every time I take a bite.

Salad Sandwich Ready To Eat




Lettuce Salad Sandwich
Lettuce Salad Sandwich Light Easy and Delicious
Salad Sandwich Platter
So that’s it. Your simple, easy lettuce salad sandwich is ready to eat. But if you are wondering, how good could this really taste, I understand. Who would want just lettuce mixed with mayo on a toasted flat bread anyway. Trust me, it’s yummy!
It’s a great healthy choice and although I am not a vegetarian – what a great vegetarian sandwich recipe this is. I love proteins and meat and could probably eat bacon every meal but, since I am not really going to do that, this is a terrific option.
It’s perfect for lunch, even if you are packing it to take to work. Just have your salad in one container and the bread (which doesn’t have to be toasted if you don’t have a toaster at work) and enjoy the ease of a cool, healthy and seriously, I think it’s filling, lunch. It will give you more time to shop, or read or run errands!
Vegetarians or just salad lovers can always add in some shredded carrot or cut up cucumber for a nifty change but I really like it just the way it is.

Pinterest Is Amazing

Pinterest is like a scrapbook of my life, my memories, my hopes and dreams.  Not only can I "pin" what I love, I can pin what I hope to get someday, hope to cook someday.  How to exercise and how to decorate. Anything you can come across and think "you know someday I will want to remember this... Just "pin" it and you will be able to find it when you need it.

 Join Us On Pinterest


It's amazing to me how many people on Pinterest are thinking the same thing as me, remember something fun from the old days or a laughing out loud meme they share - how did they know I was thinking the same thing!


Sprinkle Pancakes

Sprinkle Pancakes are amazing, easy to make DIY at home and so light and fluffy, you won't believe how home made they are.  


Sprinkle Pancakes DIY Recipe

Here are some of the great cooking DIY accessories for your kitchen



DIY Valentine's Day Cupcakes

Do It Yourself Valentines Day Cupcakes don't have to be hard to make or expensive.  All you need is your favorite box of cake mix, a container of frosting or use your own favorite baking recipes.  Then the fun part. Time to get creative and mix it all up with some love and kisses.  Hearts and kisses, paper doilies and of course, conversation sugar hearts all make adorable cupcake decorations.  Here's my favorite, trust me, easiest every Sweet Love Cupcake recipe - a family favorite every year sprinkled with a little bit of pink, red and white and shared with kisses and laughter.

 DIY Bake Some Valentine's Day Cupcakes
Click The Cupcake For Our Too Easy Cupcake Recipes


The sweetest way to cook up "I Love You" is baking up a batch of fresh, delicious, soft and moist cupcakes surrounded by a liner or wrapper that's just perfect for every occasion. Imagine the fun
 of easy to prepare Valentine's Day recipes for cupcakes, the wonderful aroma spreading throughout your house while they are baking and the joy on the face of everyone you share them with as they bite into that yummy, fluffy wonderful goodness!



DIY Designs Bonfire Powered

DIY is Do It Yourself and we love the freedom to design it and build it our way!  Whether you are renovating and updating a room in your home, adding some spice to your decorations, making up a new recipe or building a Valentine's Day surprise, count us in because we probably are too.

DIY Basics Have A Great Plan

As a lead contributor of DIY Designs we get to share some of our projects big and small.  Doing it yourself is amazingly rewarding.  So much pride, so much money saved and it really lets you tap into your own brand of creativity and resourcefulness.