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Archive for September, 2008

Throwing a shower for a baby boy? Consider this new line of baby shower supplies ~ the Choo Choo Train. A classic baby shower theme for boy, this line includes an absolutely adorable Personalized Scented Soap, Dinner Plates, Dinner Napkins, and Cups. Click Here for more information.

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Do you know someone having a little girl who likes the pea in the pod theme? Here are some ideas for you:

The “Sweet Baby Girl” theme basic party package for 8 guests includes Sweet Baby Girl plates, cups, napkins, a table cover, cutlery, balloons, streamers, candles and curling ribbons. Click Here for more information.

Set the stage of the baby shower with these adorable, personalized invitations and thank you notes. Decorate the shower with a matching personalized banner. Label your favors with matching personalized stickers ~ the possibilities are endless! My personal favorite? The personalized banner of course! These banners are non-tear and water resistant. Each banner comes with 2 banner hanger attachments, and measures approximately 15″ x 60″ ~ what a great way to set the stage!


For more information on these adorable baby shower supplies, Click Here.

Just when you think things can’t get any cuter, how about these cute plush baby girl rattles as centerpiece, favors, game prize winner, or diaper cake topper? Available in 2 sizes, 14″ and 5″ tall, just looking at their cheerful smile makes me want to smile.

Large (14″) Plush Big Baby Girl Rattle

5″ Little Plush Baby Girl Rattle

Rattles available at Your Wedding Shoppe.

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Looking for a cute containers to fill goodies for your guests at the baby shower? Nothing says baby more than these baby bottles! These bottles come with personalized labels, simply fill them with whatever you wish, and they are all ready to go. Also make great gag gifts/favors! Click Here for more information.

Labels available in 55 styles. Here is a sample label:

These bottles also come prefilled with pacifier candies

or Color Bath Salt

For more information on these or another products please visit Your Wedding Shoppe.

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The tradition of High Tea goes back many years to the late 1700’s. In England at that time there were two main meals daily, Breakfast and Dinner. Dinner was served very late in the evening, so it was a very long time between meals. The Duchess of Bedford(1788-1861) complained about a “sinking feeling” in the late afternoon. Afternoon tea was her invention to keep her going until dinner. She would invite friends to join her for tea at 5p.m. Other hostesses quickly copied her idea, and has become fashionable ever since.

Nothing would make an expectant mother happier than an afternoon tea party with lots of sweet treats. Rather than serving a traditional pot of tea and typical tea sandwiches, offer an array of beverages and nibblers, including hot and cold teas, scones, cakes, tarts and homemade butters and jams. To avoid overloading on sugar, consider serving tea sandwiches with a tasty twist. Whatever you choose to make, there’s no doubt that the mother-to-be will leave her shower feeling loved — and stuffed!

Some high tea recipes are actually quite simple:

Classic Cucumber Sandwiches

Let’s not forget the basics. Here’s a great start. The amount you make is up to you.

  • Cucumbers
  • Thin sliced white bread
  • Whipped cream cheese or unsalted butter softened
  • Salt

Peel cucumbers and slice very thin. Sprinkle the slices with a little salt and lay on paper towels to drain. For each sandwich spread a little cream cheese or butter on two slices of bread. Layer the cucumber slices on one slice of bread (no thicker than 1/4 inch). Cut crust off sandwiches and then cut into squares, triangles or other fun shapes using cookie cutters.

Smoked Salmon Pinwheels

These really are decadent and totally delicious.

Makes 14 sandwiches.

  • 1 large unsliced sandwich loaf
  • ¼ cup butter, softened
  • 2 ounces watercress
  • ¼ pound thinly sliced smoked salmon
  • Pepper
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice

With a sharp knife, cut crusts from loaf of bread. Cut 2 (2 inch thick) lengthwise slices from loaf. Using a rolling pin, roll each slice of bread firmly to flatten.

Spread butter over slices of bread. Remove stems from watercress and arrange leaves over buttered sides of slices. Arrange slices of smoked salmon over the watercress. Season with pepper and sprinkle with lemon juice.

Roll up each slice, like a jellyroll, starting from a short side. Wrap rolls tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 2 hours. Remove plastic wrap and cut each roll into 7 pinwheels. Arrange on a serving plate.

Adapted from: The Book of Afternoon Tea by Lesley Mackley

Tradition High Tea Scones

Ingredients:

* Pastry Flour 136 grams (4 ½ oz)
* Bread Flour 136 grams (4 ½ oz)
* Sugar 110 grams (3 ½ oz)
* Baking Powder 20 grams (2 tbsp)
* Butter 75 grams (2 ½ oz)
* Cream (35%) 200 ml (7 oz)
* Eggs 2
* Raisins 60 grams (2 oz)
* Egg Wash

Method:

1. Sift all dry ingredients together
2. Cut in butter until mealy, do not over mix
3. Mix cream and eggs together
4. Add raisins and liquid ingredients to dry ingredients, until just combined
5. Knead 2-3 times and roll out 2 cm (3/4 inch) thick. Cut with a floured cutter.
6. Place biscuits on lined sheet, brush with egg wash and let rest for 45 minutes
7. Bake at 170 C or 325 F for 20-25 minutes until golden brown

Yields 2 dozen

English Cream Scone (yields 12)

  • 2 cups All-purpose flour (double-sifted)
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup of sugar
  • 5 tablespoons of cold unsalted butter
  • 2 large eggs beaten lightly
  • 1/4 cup of half-and-half
  • 1/2 cup of chopped mixed nuts and 1/4 cup of raisins
  1. In a bowl, sift the flour, baking poweder, and sugar. Add butter and blend until mixture resembles coarse meal. In another bowl, beat together the half-and-half and eggs. Stir the egg mixture into the flour mixture until just combined. Add the nuts and raisins and stir until dough is formed.
  2. On a lightly floured surface, pat the dough into a round 1/3 inch tinkc, then, with a 2 1/2 inch cutter, stamp out rounds. (Optional) Brush scones with egg-whites and sprinkle with granulated sugar.
  3. Transfer rounds to a buttered baking sheet, arranging them 2 inches apart, and let stand for 20 minutes.
  4. Preheat oven to 400 degrees Farenheit. Bake the scones for 15 to 20 minutes or until lightly golden.

Lemon Curd

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup butter
  1. Wisk 1 cup sugar and 2 large eggs in a bowl until blended.
  2. Sift in 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice.
  3. Pour into a saucepan and cook over low-medium heat stirring constantly for 20 minutes. Do not let the mixture come to a boil (lest it curdle or burn), but allow it to gradually thicken.
  4. When the mixture thickly coats the back of a metal spoon, remove pan from heat and stire in 1/4 cup butter until melted.
  5. Pour the mixture into a bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate the mixture for at least 4 hours. The lemon curd will thicken as it cools.

Clotted Cream

  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons Confectioner’s sugar
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  1. Mix 1 cup heavy cream and 2 tablespoons Confectioner’s sugar using an electric mixer. Whip until stiff peaks form.
  2. Gently fold in sour cream and mix until thick.
  3. Place in refrigerator and chill until time to serve. If made ahead of time, it will keep in the refrigerator up to 4 hours.

Triple Chocolate Chunk Scones

Let’s not forget chocolate! These tender scones are studded with chunks of bittersweet, milk and white chocolate. These are great at any time of the day, not just for afternoon tea.

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ cup unsalted butter, chilled
  • ½ cup buttermilk
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3 ounces bittersweet chocolate, cutting into ½ inch pieces
  • 3 ounces milk chocolate, cutting into ½ inch pieces
  • 3 ounces white chocolate, cutting into ½ inch pieces

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

In a large bowl, stir together the flour, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Cut the butter into ½ inch cubes and distribute them over the flour mixture. With a pastry blender or two knives used scissors fashion, cut in the butter until the mixture resembles course crumbs. In a small bowl, stir together the buttermilk, egg and vanilla. Add the buttermilk mixture to the flour mixture and stir to combine. Stir in the chocolate chunks until they are evenly distributed.

Using a ½ cup measuring cup, drop the dough onto an ungreased baking sheet, leaving about 2 inches between the scones. Bake for 23 to 25 minutes, or until the tops are lightly browned and a cake tester or toothpick inserted into the centre of a scone comes out clean.

Remove the baking sheet to a wire rack and cool for 5 minutes. Using a spatula, transfer the scones to the wire rack to cool. Recut into wedges, if necessary. Serve warm.

Adapted from: Simply Scones by Leslie Weiner and Barbara Albright

Irish Apple Cake

This is a traditional Irish recipe, which would originally have been baked in an iron bastible or pot oven beside an open fire.

Serves 6

  • 2 cups cake flour
  • 4 ounces butter
  • ½ cup sugar (generous measure)
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • ¼ to ½ cup milk
  • 2 – 3 cooking apples, peeled, cored and chopped
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon (optional)
  • 1 egg beaten with a pinch of salt, to glaze
  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Sieve the flour and baking powder into a bowl. Rub in the butter with your hands. Add about 1/3 cup of the sugar, the egg and enough milk to form a soft dough. Divide the dough into two pieces. Put one piece onto a greased ovenproof plate or pan (or use greased 8 inch cake tin), and pat out with floured fingers to cover the plate or pan.

Arrange the chopped apples and cinnamon on top of the dough and sprinkle with the rest of the sugar. Add more sugar if the apples are very tart. Roll out the remaining dough and cover the top. (This is easier said than done, as the dough is like a scone dough and is very soft). Press the sides together, cut a slit through the lid, and brush with the egg wash. Bake for about 40 minutes until golden brown.

Remove from the oven. If using a cake tin, carefully slip the cake out. Cool on a wire rack for 5 – 10 minutes. Dredge with more sugar and serve with soft brown sugar and good heavy cream.

Adapted from: The Festive Food of Ireland by Darina Allen

Tea Party Baby Shower Favor Ideas

To top off the tea party, offer baby shower favors that tie into the theme.

Coffee Cup Mini-Candle – Click Here for more information

Tea Pot Timer – Click Here for more information

Silver Chrome Demitasse Spoons – Click Here for more information

Miniature Porcelain Tealight Holders – Click Here for more information

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“And the cow jumps over the moon…” Let everyone know by reminding them of childhood memories of bedtime stories and nursery rhymes with this delightful Moon bookmark favor. The unique bookmark is made of metal in the shape of a yellow half-moon with a royal blue tassel attached. Front cover of book-shaped gift box features cat playing his fiddle under starry skies, with phrase “Hey, diddle, diddle…the cat and the fiddle…” at top. Open book to continue the rhyme! Back of box reveals an adorable graphic of the “dish running away with the spoon”. Perfect favor for baby shower or 1st birthday. Click Here for more information.

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