Dress & Dine- Valentine’s Day Tea Party

Dress & Dine- Valentine's Day Tea Party || Runway Chef When I was younger, tea parties were a part of daily life. My Mom always had an afternoon cup of Earl Grey, so of course my sister and I, along with our 50+ stuffed animals, had to have our afternoon tea, too. I eventually even had my own china tea set (in pink and mint green polka dots, no less). Our tea parties weren’t always fancy and we didn’t always dress up, but for special occasions, we would go all out. Our Valentine’s Day tea parties, in particular, really stand out in my mind, or I should say, the heart sandwich cookies (including the miniature versions we made for the stuffed animals) stick out in my mind. 

When I was choosing a theme for this month’s Dress & Dine, my mind instantly went back to those Valentine’s Day tea parties I had as a child, and I knew I had to recreate an adult-appropriate version for February’s post.

valentine's day look Dress & Dine- Valentine's Day Tea Party

Dress// Half the fun of a fancy tea party, is dressing up in fancy clothes. Things like florals, lace, bows and tulle instantly come to mind, and of course lots of pink for Valentine’s Day. As you can see I went in a flower-y direction, donning a floral skirt, a floral lace top (that I wore at our wedding), and a floral necklace. So as not to look like a full-blown flower shop, I switched things up a bit with a pair of striped heels. Pink nails and lips, and a high bun completed my Valentine’s Day tea party look.

what to wear for Valentine's Day Valentine's Day outfit
Dine// Most of the items on the Valentine’s Day tea party menu are reminiscent of traditional tea party food, but each has been given an updated twist. Petit fours are made from funfetti cake cut into mini heart shapes and drizzled with white chocolate. The tea sandwiches are filled with a roasted garlic whipped feta or balsamic roasted strawberry cream cheese. I also whipped up some mini feta beet tarts (the colors are perfect for Valentine’s Day) and the mini rosewater whoopie pies from yesterday make an appearance. (Find all the recipes below.)

Valentine's Day tea Party for Adults Valentine's Day Party Mini Beat and Feta Tarts
funfetti cake Funfetti Petit Fours Rosewater whoopie pies roasted garlic tea sandwiches tea sandwiches
Drink//For beverages, the obvious drink of choice is tea, since this is a tea party after all. However, since this is a party geared towards adults, you better believe that tea is going to be spiked! I created a tasty tea cocktail (should I call it a ‘teatail’?!) from one of my favorite teas (Earl Grey), some of the leftover roasted strawberries from the cream cheese, and of course, a splash of bubbly to finish it off (because everything is better with champagne!). (You can find the recipe below.)

I also included a bowl of loose Earl Grey tea for guests to scoop into favor bags and take home.

Strawberry Early Grey Tea Cocktail Valentine's Day Tea Party How-To Tea Party Favors
Decorate// Decorations are the icing on the cake of any party. Whether you have a few balloons and a nice bouquet of flowers (fresh or dried), some confetti tossed on the table and a few tea lights lit, or you go all out with name cards, banners, fun straws and fancy silverware, decorations are what pull everything together. If you are short on time, there are plenty of adorable, pre-made options out there, like these available on Minted (hint: the banners and signs are all customizable allowing you to put a personal touch on your party decor). For my decorations, I worked with Minted to shower my party with some ombre love, making sure everything from my customizable party sign to the adorable stickers and my favorite paper straws all screamed Valentine’s Day fun. One tip when you are decorating- make sure each food has a little sign letting guests know what it is (this is especially helpful for those who might have food allergies).

Valentine's Day Tea Party Hugs & Kisses banner Valentine's Day Party Sign

 *All paper products and decorations were generously provided by Minted. All opinions are my own.

Funfetti Petit Fours
Everyone's favorite cake in a Valentine's Day appropriate shape and tea party appropriate petit four
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Prep Time
10 min
Total Time
1 hr 10 min
Prep Time
10 min
Total Time
1 hr 10 min
Ingredients
  1. Funfetti cake, about 1/2" thick (I used funfetti cupcakes sliced into thirds)
  2. 1/2 cup white chocolate chips
  3. 2 tablespoons of heavy cream
  4. 1/4 teaspoon of vanilla
  5. Sprinkles, optional
Instructions
  1. Use a mini heart cookie cutter to cut the cake into hearts. Lay the hearts out in a single layer on a cooling wrack that has been placed on top of a sheet of wax paper.
  2. In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine the chocolate, cream, and vanilla. Stir constantly until the chocolate has melted.
  3. Drizzle the chocolate mixture over the hearts, decorate with sprinkles (if you choose), then let the chocolate harden for at least one hour.
  4. Store in an airtight container for up to 2 days.
Runway Chef http://www.runwaychef.com/
Tea Sandwiches
Two new flavor combos (balsamic roasted strawberry and roasted garlic whipped feta) give traditional tea sandwiches a modern update
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
45 min
Total Time
1 hr 30 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
45 min
Total Time
1 hr 30 min
Ingredients
  1. 2 cups of strawberries (I used frozen)
  2. 2 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar
  3. 1 teaspoon of granulated sugar
  4. A pinch of salt
  5. 1/3 cup of cream cheese
  6. 2 tablespoons of powdered sugar
  7. 1 head of garlic
  8. 1/2 teaspoon of olive oil
  9. 1/2 cup of feta
  10. 1/4 cup of cream cheese
  11. A pinch of salt
  12. Bread, crusts cut off
Instructions
  1. To make the balsamic roasted strawberry cream cheese: Spread the strawberries on a foil lined baking sheet. Sprinkle them with the balsamic vinegar, granulated sugar, and the pinch of salt. Roast at 350 degrees for approximately 30-40 minutes, or until the berries begin to brown and the juices are running. Remove the pan from the oven and set aside to cool.
  2. Once the strawberries have cooled, place about half of them, along with half the syrup that has formed, into a cuisinart, along with the cream cheese and powder sugar. Pulse until well combined, about 30 seconds. Place the cream cheese in a covered bowl and refrigerate for at least an hour to harden it up before using.
  3. To make the roasted garlic whipped feta: Thinly slice off the top of the head of garlic and remove any loose skin. Rub the top with the olive oil, then wrap it in a piece of foil. Place the foil packet on a baking sheet, and roast at 350 for 45 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool.
  4. After the garlic has cooled, peel the skin away and place the cloves in a cuisinart. Add in the cream cheese, feta and pinch of salt, and pulse to combine.
  5. Assemble your tea sandwiches, by first cutting your bread into squares (I cut each slice into 8 squares), then spread one half with the cream cheese of your choice before placing another piece of bread on top.
Notes
  1. The cream cheeses can be made several days in advance and stored in the refrigerator, however the sandwiches should be made as close to your party as possible.
Runway Chef http://www.runwaychef.com/
Mini Feta Beet Tarts
Mini light bites of beets, creamy feta and crunchy phyllo
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
15 min
Total Time
25 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
15 min
Total Time
25 min
Ingredients
  1. Phylllo dough
  2. 1/3 cup of feta cheese
  3. 1 cup of beets, chopped (I used canned)
  4. Cooking spray
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray a mini muffin pan with cooking spray, then line each tin with 3-4 pieces of phyllo dough (I found it was best to either cut the phyllo into small squares with food scissors, or just use my hands to gently rip off small pieces).
  2. Top the phyllo with a few beet pieces and a sprinkle of feta.
  3. Bake for 15 minutes, or until the phyllo is golden brown. Serve immediately.
Notes
  1. These taste really good topped with a little of the roasted garlic whipped feta (if you have any left).
Runway Chef http://www.runwaychef.com/
Strawberry Earl Grey Bubbly
A 'teatail' aka cocktail made from tea, balsamic roasted strawberry syrup, and topped with champagne
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Prep Time
10 min
Total Time
15 min
Prep Time
10 min
Total Time
15 min
Ingredients
  1. 3 oz Earl Grey tea (steeped and cooled)
  2. 1 Tbsp Roasted balsamic strawberry syrup (puree the remaining strawberries and juice from the above cream cheese in a cuisinart)
  3. 1 oz Elderflower liquor
  4. 1 oz Gin
  5. 1 oz Champagne
Instructions
  1. Chill Gin and Elderflower liquor in shaker over ice. Then add in tea and balsamic strawberry syrup and shake. Strain into tea cup and top with Champagne floater.
Notes
  1. This can be made sans alcohol. Just use the tea, strawberry syrup, and sparkling grape juice in place of the champagne.
Runway Chef http://www.runwaychef.com/

DIY Valentine’s Day Cards 2014

homemade valentine's day card Coming up with new and exciting Valentine’s Day cards each year is not an easy task. There are so many fantastic and creative options out there. Instead of trying to totally reinvent the wheel, I have found that getting a few new supplies can be just what you need to get crafty. This year, with only the help of a new stamp (bought at Michael’s for just $1.00), I was able to create a pretty Valentine’s Day card by reworking and re-imagining some of the supplies I already had on hand.

how-to make a valentine's day card valentine's day card supplies

Supplies
Card Stock
Tissue Paper
Stamp & Ink
Baker’s Twine
Mini Clothespins (I spray painted mine gold)
Washi Tape (or glue)
Scissors

Valentine's  Day Crafts 1. Cut a small square of card stock. Stamp the design of your choice on to the square and set aside.

gold washi tape 2. Fold another piece of card stock into the shape and size card that you want. I used half of a sheet folded long ways. Next, measure and cut a piece of baker’s twine that is long enough to drape across the front. Wrap the ends of the twine around to the back of the card and secure with washi tape (or glue, if you don’t have the tape).

DIY valentine's day cards 2014 3. Cut a piece of tissue paper that is slightly bigger than the card with the design on it.

Valentine's Day Crafting 4. Use one of the mini clothespins to secure the two pieces of paper to the baker’s twine on the front of the card.

DIY Valentine's Day Card 5. Write words of love and mail to your family and friends!

Shop Card Making Supplies

A Tutu for Your Valentine

DIY  Woman's Tutu Outfit Necklace: BCBG Max Azria, Shirt: H&M (similar on sale for less than $20), Tutu: DIY (similar), Velvet Ribbon: Mood, Tights: Target, Booties: a gift (similar in brown), Jacket: INC (similar) , Clutch: vintage (similar option)

DIY  Woman's Tutu Outfit For me, deciding what to wear is never an easy task. Add in the pressure of a special day (like Valentine’s Day) and well, you’ve just got a regular ol’ disaster on your hands. I always start with a look in mind, but give me an hour and a closet and I’ll end up looking nothing like I had planned. I also won’t be able to see what was (in the not-so-distant-past) a super clean floor.

DIY  Woman's Tutu Outfit

Things to keep in mind when dressing for Valentine’s day-

  • Pick one focal piece that you know just have to wear (in this case it’s the tutu) and stick with it! Knowing there is at least one constant in the outfit should eliminate some stress, options and getting ready time.
  • Keep the accessories simple…only one statement piece, so the focus remains on YOU, not what you’re wearing.
  • Be soft & delicate, flirty & feminine….think tulle, velvet, lace, and chiffon and pastel colors.

DIY  Woman's Tutu Outfit

For your hair, wear it either in a sweeping chignon, or if you choose to keep it down, add in a few loose waves.
DIY  Woman's Tutu Outfit

For your make-up, emphasize a soft & glowing look, and avoid anything too dark or smokey. I like to stick to lighter brown shades for my eyes, highlighting with a gentle, shimmery pink. Finish with a pink pout!

DIY  Woman's Tutu Outfit

Valentine’s Gifts for Him & Her

When it came to thinking of gift ideas for Valentine’s Day, I immediately knew who to ask. Colleen is always full of the best ideas and her blog is a must-read if you are clueless when it comes to gift-giving (which I usually am). Thanks so much for guest posting Colleen!

Valentine's Day Gifts for Ladies For Her~Valentino Perfume//Heart Pajamas//Black Onyx & Ruby Earrings//Chocomania Body Collection

Hello Runway Chef readers! I’m Colleen from the gift blog ThePaisleyBox.com. I’m thrilled that Alyssa asked me to guest post for her to share a few Valentine’s Day gift ideas with you!

You can always get away with a bouquet of flowers or box of chocolates for your honey on V-Day…no complaints here…but I recommend that you mix it up with something a bit more unexpected and fun. Instead of a box of chocolates, give the Chocomania bath and body set or XOXO chocolate covered strawberries. Instead of flowers, go with a florally scent or surprise your man with some playful Valentine socks. If all else fails, jewelry is your answer. For the ladies, look for rose gold or something with ruby in it to keep it festive. I hope one of these picks works for your Valentine!

For more gift ideas and DIY projects, visit me at www.thepaisleybox.com.

Valentine's Day Gift Ideas for Guys

For Him~Burberry Pajamas//Heart Patterned Socks//Cupid Socks//Espresso Watch//XOXO Strawberries