A Perfect Valentine’s Day Tea

Sometimes the hype surrounding Valentine’s Day can be a little bit overwhelming.  I for one have not been out for a Valentine’s Day dinner…ever I think.  All too often I find that on days like Valentine’s Day there are overpriced set menus and too much “keeping up with the Jones’”.  I prefer a quiet evening meal at home or a perfect Valentine’s Day tea.  As an Amazon Associate, we earn a commission from qualifying purchases.  Some of the links on this post are affiliate links.  This means that if you click on the link and make a purchase we may earn a commission at no extra cost to you. Learn more here. For me, planning a perfect Valentine’s Day tea for your loved one is a truly thoughtful way to celebrate your connection. In this blog, we will provide you with all the information and links you will need to help you craft a romantic and delightful experience. Plan Your Table Decoration Choose a colour palette that reflects love and romance. I like pink and gold hues rather than the traditional Valentine’s red.  For me, it looks softer and classier.  Use tablecloths and napkins such as these and use your china plates and best glassware.  I also love these rose gold cake stands to elegantly display your cake and sandwiches. Add a further touch of elegance and romance by arranging a beautiful bouquet of fresh flowers in the center of the table. Roses, tulips, or peonies are perfect Valentine’s choices but if your partner has a particular favourite then go for those. This rose gold vase would look stunning as a table centrepiece. Set the mood for a romantic tea with candles. Use a mix of tea lights  and candlesticks to create a warm and intimate atmosphere. You can also consider scented candles with subtle floral or fruity fragrances or ones which complement your flower arrangement choice. Create a playlist of your favourite romantic tunes to play softly in the background. The right music can enhance the overall experience and set a romantic tone. Plan Your Menu Here’s our suggested menu for a perfect Valentine’s Day tea.  The recipes have been designed for just two portions but, if you are not big eaters then you may have a little leftover for another special treat the next day.  Double result! Mini Sandwiches Start off your perfect Valentine’s Day tea with a selection of mini sandwiches. I would have 3 different sandwich options such as:: Biscuits and Cakes Moving on to the sweets, you can’t go wrong with these Strawberry Jam Shortbreads by Baked Ambrosia. Follow this with delicious Red Velvet Cupcakes by Dessert For Two. Next, let’s switch it up with our Lemon Curd and Raspberry Cheesecake for Two. Finally, who can say no to chocolate-dipped strawberries and Champagne? Chocolate Dipped Strawberries This is such a simple yet elegant, delicious and “healthy-ish” treat (come on, it’s got strawberries in it lol!) For a romantic tea platter for two, serve around 8-10 chocolate-dipped strawberries. To prepare the chocolate dip, melt around 180-300g (6-8 oz) of high-quality chocolate in a heatproof bowl over simmering water or use a microwave in short intervals, stirring in between. Dip each strawberry into the melted chocolate, allowing any excess to drip off, and place them on parchment paper to set. Optionally, you can add a drizzle of white chocolate or sprinkle with chopped nuts for an extra special touch. Champagne A bottle of chilled Champagne is the perfect finishing touch to this already spectacular Valentine’s Day tea experience.  It’s the thoughtful details that make all the difference By putting effort into planning a perfect Valentine’s Day tea, you’re sure to create a memorable and cherished moment for both you and your loved one. Cheers to love and delightful afternoons! Sharing Is Caring: Related Articles You Might Enjoy:

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Make Ahead Turkey Gravy

As we approach Thanksgiving and Christmas, there is excitement in the air.  Many of us are looking forward to time away from work spending time  with the family.  For many, that means gathering around the table for a feast with our loved ones.  During the holidays, one indispensable element is the rich and flavourful turkey gravy that crowns the centrepiece of the meal.  While shop bought options offer convenience, nothing will beat a homemade gravy. But, let’s face it, cooking for a crowd for Thanksgiving or Christmas can be a stressful experience.  We like everything home cooked from scratch but that doesn’t mean you have to do everything on the day.  This make ahead turkey gravy by Jamie Oliver is absolutely delicious and will mean you get an extra 2 hours to yourself on the day itself.  As an Amazon Associate, we earn a commission from qualifying purchases.  Some of the links on this post are affiliate links.  This means that if you click on the link and make a purchase we may earn a commission at no extra cost to you. Learn more here. At the heart of a superb turkey gravy lies quality ingredients.  Whilst you would typically make your gravy with the drippings from your roasted turkey, this means that this is yet another task which has to be completed on the day.  This gravy which is made using chicken drumsticks and legs but if you are a true puritan and simply must use turkey in your turkey gravy then go ahead and make the swap to turkey drumsticks and legs. Delicious and Time-Saving Recipe Having a delicious homemade gravy which you can make ahead of time is such a game changer.  This recipe will elevate your turkey dinner whilst allowing you more time to relax and enjoy the holiday celebrations with your loved ones. Sharing Is Caring: Related Articles You Might Enjoy:

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Roast Turkey: The Star Of The Thanksgiving and Christmas Show

This month, millions of Americans are preparing for one of their most popular holidays – Thanksgiving.  Thanksgiving is a holiday rich in history and tradition. In this blog series, we explore the origins of Thanksgiving and its traditions. We will also provide you with delicious recipes which are perfect for your Thanksgiving or Christmas celebrations. In this first instalment, we concentrate on roast turkey: the star of the Thanksgiving and Christmas show. Let’s get cracking! The History of Thanksgiving People in the United States and Canada observe Thanksgiving as a holiday. We often trace the celebrations, as we now know them, back to the Pilgrims’ harvest feast in 1621. However, even before the arrival of European settlers, indigenous people would celebrate and give thanks for their bountiful harvests. Indigenous Celebrations Many indigenous groups closely associated these harvest festivals with their spiritual beliefs. They viewed the earth as life-giving and believed giving thanks maintained natural balance and harmony. Celebrations involved dance, music, feasting, and giving thanks to spirits influencing land fertility. These rituals often involved the entire community, reinforcing a sense of unity and gratitude among its members. As an Amazon Associate, we earn a commission from qualifying purchases.  Some of the links on this post are affiliate links.  This means that if you click on the link and make a purchase we may earn a commission at no extra cost to you. Learn more here. The Arrival of the Pilgrims Whilst Thanksgiving rituals were widespread among indigenous people in America, the Pilgrim story dominates common Thanksgiving imagery. The Pilgrims were a group of English Separatists who sought religious freedom.  Upon arriving in Plymouth, Massachusetts aboard the Mayflower in 1620, they encountered harsh conditions and a challenging winter. Many of them fell ill, and nearly half of the original group did not survive. The surviving Pilgrims struggled to find food and shelter. It was during these challenging times that the Pilgrims formed a crucial alliance with the Wampanoag  people. The Wampanoag taught the Pilgrims essential survival skills, including how to cultivate native crops like maize (corn) and squash. In November 1621, following a successful harvest, the Pilgrims, together with the Wampanoag, celebrated with a three-day feast.  This event is considered the first celebration of Thanksgiving as it is now known. A Celebration of Survival and Friendship The first Thanksgiving was more than just a feast; it was a symbol of survival and gratitude. It also illustrates how people from different backgrounds can come together in the spirit of thanksgiving. It is this spirit of thanksgiving which is still celebrated today. Thanksgiving Traditions Today, Thanksgiving is a time for families and friends to come together to express gratitude and share a hearty meal.  Your typical Thanksgiving meal usually consists of roast turkey, potatoes, stuffing, cranberry sauce and pumpkin pie which families and friends enjoy whilst watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.  It is also common for touch football games to be played on the day in order to burn off some of the calories from the delicious feast to come!  And of course, it wouldn’t be Thanksgiving without an actual expression of gratitude.  Many family traditions therefore involve the sharing of things that you are thankful for. Where Is Thanksgiving Celebrated? Thanksgiving is primarily celebrated in the United States where celebrations take place on the fourth Thursday of November.  However, Thanksgiving has not always been a holiday and it was not until 1863, whilst in the midst of the Civil War, when President Lincoln signed  a proclamation now known as “A National Day of Thanksgiving and Praise”  Since this day, Thanksgiving celebrations have been held every final Thursday in November (other than when President Roosevelt, in an attempt to increase sales during the Great Depression, brought the date forward by a week.  This move was hugely unpopular and in 1941 the president officially declared Thanksgiving a national holiday to be celebrated on the final Thursday in November.) Canadians also celebrate Thanksgiving although this takes place in October and tends to be a much more lowkey event than celebrations in the US. The first Canadian Thanksgiving is said to have taken place as a celebration of the safe arrival of the English explorer Martin Frobisher to what is now Newfoundland in 1578. Thanksgiving celebrations were then held as a means to thank God for keeping explorers safe as they travelled to the New World. Over time, the tradition evolved as a way to express thanks for a bountiful Fall harvest.  Today, Thanksgiving in Canada takes place on the second Monday in October however, employers are not required to give workers the day off. Instead, families and friends usually gather on the Sunday before to celebrate the holiday.  The Thanksgiving Meal The star of any Thanksgiving meal is of course the roast turkey however, turkey as a key part of the Thanksgiving celebrations does not appear until the 1800s with turkey being the centrepiece in Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol.  When the Pilgrims and the Wampanoag held their three day celebration, the Wampanoag brought deer and the Pilgrims provided wild fowl.  Whilst of course this could have included turkeys, historians believe it is far more likely that the meal originally involved duck or goose. Enough history, it’s finally time to turn our attention to the food itself.  This recipe, which serves 8-10, will provide you with a perfectly juicy turkey that the whole family will adore.   You will need to roast your turkey for about 20 minutes per kilo plus another 90 minutes for birds over 4kg. So for our 5kg turkey, we will be cooking for around 3.5 hours. Stay Tuned For More Of course, turkey is just one of the components of a delicious Thanksgiving (or Christmas) meal.  For the meal to be a success you will also need delicious potatoes, tasty (no boil!) veggies, stuffing, gravy and, if you still have space for more, dessert.  Over the next few weeks, we will bring you recipes to ensure that your Thanksgiving (or

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