Faith Family Friends

Celebrating the Joy of Living & Home Making ~

Baking, Cooking, Decorating, Tea Time, and taking Inspiration from those I love and the world around me...

A sharing of my heart and my home from a Christian perspective

...with a wee bit of whimsy added.

Monday 30 March 2015

A Little Easter Tea

At Easter time the flowers bloom
The skies are bright and blue
The world's as joyous as can be
So is my thought of you. ~ Author unknown

Hello dear friends and welcome to my Easter Tea Time!

Don't you just love daffodils! There are no flowers blooming here yet because there are still mountains of snow on the ground, but in the barns new babies are being born. 

Wee lambs and calves are making their way into the world. Our gold finches' feathers are beginning to change into a bright yellow once again. Soon all the song birds will be back and building their nests to lay their eggs in. 

Spring would not be spring without bird songs." ~
Francis M. Chapman

All of these wonders point to the sign that Spring is here; a sign of hope. A sign of rebirth.

I have set my tea table with some bunnies and the little bird's nest my son found for me.

Pretty teacups, made by Royal Albert,  grace the table today. Both are Old English Rose in different shapes.

The daintiness and yet elegance of a china teacup focuses one to be gentle, to think warmly and to feel close. ~ Carol and Malcolm Cohen

Tea is steeping in my Royal Albert New Country Roses teapot. 

It is still quite cool here so we continue to enjoy a lot of comfort food. 

The tea sandwiches are cream cheese with peach chutney on whole wheat bread and chicken salad on white bread. 

The pretty daffodils which always make an appearance around Easter, are in support of cancer research.

Life is a series of experiences, each one of which makes us bigger, even though sometimes it is hard to realize this. For the world was built to develop character, and we must learn that the setbacks and grieves which we endure help us in our marching onward.~ Henry Ford

As a teenager, while I was waiting to get into nursing school, I did light housekeeping and babysat for a family who owned both a body shop and a service station. 

To my great astonishment, one of my duties was to cook dinner for the family as well as the men who worked in the body shop and those who worked at the service station. There were a lot of mouths to feed and up until then, the only cooking I had ever done was in Home Ec at school.

Needless to say, it was a bit overwhelming in the beginning but the challenge of it all helped prepare me for bigger things which would come down the road.

One of the first things I learned to bake was this simple pudding. Some of you may remember it as Sudden Pudding but it is also called Baked Caramel Pudding. Have any of you lovely ladies ever made it? It is a cake like pudding with raisins in its own sauce and it is scrumptious!

It is served warm with ice cream or whipped cream and today, whipped cream is on the menu.

My hubby really enjoyed all these treats when he got home from work. 

My tea is David's Tea Salted Caramel and it is delicious! Would you like a cup?

I am so happy you could join me today! I pray your Easter will be a time to reflect upon the true meaning of this Holiday. Thank you for visiting and a Blessed & Happy Easter to you all!  

My life, my love, I give to Thee,
Thou Lamb of God who died for me;
Oh, may I ever faithful be,
My Savior and my God! ~ Hudson

Courtesy of the Internet

For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life. ~ John 3:16

 I am joining the following parties as well~

 A Return to Loveliness
 Tuesday Cuppa Tea
 Friends Sharing Tea
Tea Cup Tuesday
 Share Your Cup Thursday
Home Sweet Home

 Sharing from my heart~ Sandi

Monday 23 March 2015

Tea Time and Confession Time

There is no trouble so great or grave that cannot be much diminished by a nice cup of tea. ~ Bernard-Paul Heroux

Welcome Spring and welcome friends to Tea Time Tuesday

Spring has arrived but it is disguised as winter here on PEI. I know it's only a matter of time and the snow will be gone, the grass will be green and the birds will be singing once again. Something to look forward to for sure after this long winter fraught with record breaking snowfalls and blizzards.

A beautiful bouquet can perk things up.

Mine will be a different tea time today as I have been laid up all weekend with a bad hip and haven't been able to put a proper tea together. 

I hope you will indulge me as I showcase some of my tea wares..... while I make a confession. 

Maxwell and Williams - Rose Bud

Yes, I have a confession to make and I hope I am not ostracized by all my tea friends after my revelation.  

Taking a deep breath here....

I am just now getting hooked on Downton Abbey.

"Pardon me, I must have read you wrong! How can that be? It's been on for five seasons!"

I am without a doubt, the only one in Blogland, especially among my dear tea friends, who hasn't been seduced by this popular British series. 

Aynsley & Royal Albert - Veronica

To be honest with you, I have tried to watch it on several occasions after the raving reviews you have all given the series. But it simply didn't appeal to me. 

Then one evening I made up my mind to watch one full episode. Unfortunately, that was the episode where poor Anna was assaulted and, needless to say, I was turned off but good after watching that.

Well, the feeling of being an oddity for not watching this most beloved series when everyone else seemed smitten by it, haunted me. And I came to the conclusion that the problem lies with me. So I talked myself into watching at least three episodes in a row, even if I was bored to tears. 

Rose of England

As I was pondering this decision, I thought perhaps I would enjoy it more if I had someone to watch it with me. But who could I rope into watching it? 

My dear sweet husband who didn't much care for British TV was the Guinea pig.

So in January, we both sat down to watch it. I had warned him ahead of time that he probably wouldn't like the show and I would understand if he didn't want to watch it again.

Isobel and Violet at tea - Courtesy of the Internet

To my surprise, I rather enjoyed it although it was difficult trying to catch on to all of the characters. There were so many! I must admit, I have grown quite fond of Isobel's character. She is a lady with a very big heart or so she appears in the fifth season.

Even more of a surprise, I think my hubby enjoyed the show more than I did!

Royal Albert - Blossom Time

And so we continued to watch it until the end of the fifth season. Now like everyone else, we're hooked on it! 

So, what with nursing my sore hip and not able to get around much, how did I spend my weekend? We rented Season 1 of Downton Abbey, of course.

Matthew and Lady Mary - Courtesy of the Internet

Good thing Hubby and I were already hooked on the show and wanted to watch it from its genesis because once we saw one rather shocking scene in the first episode, that would have most certainly put the kibosh on watching any more of it. 

Royal Albert-  Lavender Rose
The flow of tea from the spout is important. When purchasing a teapot, check to make sure that the top of the spout is level with the top of the pot. More oval shaped spouts are less likely to drip than rounded ones. ~ 

Anyway, now you know! The cat is out of the bag, so to speak! I am after all, like all of you, hooked, and looking forward to the sixth season of this most entertaining series filled with history, rich characters, wonderful costumes, and tea scenes. 

And what about you? Did you embrace the show right away or like me, did it take you a little while? Do you have a favourite character?

*sigh* There now, I feel better having confided in you my little secret!

In the meantime, Hubby and I will watch all of the episodes on DVD until we are caught up with the rest of you. 

Next week is the last week in March and it will be leading up to Easter, one of the most important holidays on the Christian calendar. Hopefully, I will be up to hosting an Easter Tea and I do hope you can join me for that. Have a lovely day everyone!

I am joining the following parties as well~

 A Return to Loveliness
 Tuesday Cuppa Tea
 Friends Sharing Tea
 Tea Cup Tuesday
 Share Your Cup Thursday
 Home Sweet Home

Sharing from my heart ~ Sandi

Wednesday 18 March 2015

Striped Delight Dessert Recipe

Striped Delight

Hello my dear friends. I hope you are all having a wonderful week. We are having yet another snow storm as I write this; the second one this week.
Spring sure seems a long way off in this part of the world!

If you are looking for this week's tea party, it is below this post.

Some of you ladies asked for my Striped Delight dessert which I made for my tea party this week. 
I cannot remember where I found this recipe, probably in an old magazine.

I had made a shortbread bottom for it but the recipe called for a graham crumb bottom. I will share the graham crust first and then my own shortbread crust. It is your choice which one you would like to use. I prefer the shortbread myself.

Graham Cracker Crumb Crust

1-1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
1/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup melted butter
Combine graham cracker crumbs, sugar, and melted butter. Press firmly into a 13x9 inch pan.

Shortbread Crust 

1 cup butter, softened
4 TBSP icing sugar
2 cups flour
Cream together butter and icing sugar. Beat in flour until blended. Dump mixture into the bottom of a 13x9 inch pan and using a sheet of plastic wrap, press into the pan until flat and even. 

Bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes. Don't allow it to brown too much. You are looking for a golden colour. Cool.


8 oz pkg Philly cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup sugar
2 TBSP milk
1 container small Cool Whip, thawed {I used the large one because I like lots of whipped topping.}
2 pkgs {4 serving size} Jello instant pudding 
3-1/2 cups cold milk.

NOTE: You may use chocolate, butterscotch, lemon, or pistachio instant pudding. I used the pistachio for St Patrick's Day.

Beat cream cheese with sugar and 2 TBSP milk until smooth.

Fold in half the Cool Whip if using the small container and spread over the crust.

Refrigerate while making the pudding layer.
Using 3-1/2 cups cold milk, prepare pudding according to directions on package.

Pour over the cream cheese layer.
Chill over night or for several hours. 

Spread remaining Cool Whip over pudding and garnish if you wish. Makes 12-15 servings.

NOTE: You may use 1 package {6 serving size} pudding mix and 2-1/2 cups cold milk. Enjoy!

Enjoy with a nice hot beverage. This recipe makes enough for a pot luck or dinner with your family and friends.

My hubby loves this dessert and I hope you will too. Have a lovely rest of the week everyone and thank you for your visit.

Sharing from my heart~ Sandi 

Monday 16 March 2015

A St Patrick's Day and the Arrival of Spring Tea Time

May brooks and trees and singing hills
Join in the chorus too,
And every gentle wind that blows
Send happiness to you.~
an Irish Blessing

Happy St Patrick's Day! 

Hello friends and welcome to my Tea Party today; a combo party celebrating St Patrick's Day and the First Day of Spring which is supposed to be on Friday!

Spring, wherefore art thou, O Spring?

There is no sign of Spring here yet because we just had another blizzard. Actually, our Island is shut down again today because of it. Is there any sign of Spring where you live? 

This is once again the view out our front window. Can you see how far up the window the snow is?

And this is our neighbor's car across the street. They're going to have fun digging that out!

I thought about getting a shamrock plant but opted for tulips instead. They are fresh and pretty and always speak of springtime. 

Green is such a fresh and beautiful colour which signifies both St Patrick's Day and Spring so it will be my colour theme for this week. I am longing to see green outside my window too. 

I brought out my pretty Sadler teapot which I won from Wendy at Once Upon A Rose Haven several years ago. The pattern is called Spring Crocus and I just love its shape and the gorgeous spring flowers adorning it. It's the perfect teapot for today's tea, don't you think?

No winter lasts forever; no spring skips its turn. ~ Hal Borland

My teacups are special each in their own way. The first one was a gift from my son last summer. He found it at Missouri's Botanical Gardens. 

It's an Irish cup and sports the perfect for St Paddy's Day, Claddagh. 

It is has Grasslands Road on the bottom. 

Coffee is my wake-me-up. Tea is my hug-me-up. ~ Sam Title

This one was a win a number of years ago from a blogger who specialised in hand painted porcelain and I was the fortunate recipient. Love the beautiful green colour with the tiny pink rose buds sprinkled all over it.

My final teacup is this gorgeous green Colclough teacup trimmed in gold. 

Colclough, made in England, a product of Ridgway Potteries Ltd.

I found this one at an antique shop a while ago. 

Tea time is me time, a time to savour and reflect. It's a time to share a cup with friends, a time of  comfort, camaraderie, and closeness.~ Sandi

Now let us sip our Irish Breakfast tea and enjoy the sweets of the day. I have miniature St Patrick's Day cupcakes which I bought at the bakery. They are sprinkled with wee shamrocks and are nestled together on a Garden Whispers saucer made by Skye McGhie.

Both the saucer and the cake plate are Garden Whispers.

No sign of this little fellow yet and it may be awhile.

I have made a dessert called Striped Delight which you are all probably familiar with. For St Patrick's Day I have used pistachio pudding instead of  the usual chocolate. 

It has a shortbread crust instead of the graham wafer crumb bottom which the recipe calls for.

 If you wish, I can share my recipe later this week.

Happy St Patrick's Day!

The wearing of the green....

May the friendships you make,
Be those which endure,

And all of your grey clouds
Be small ones for sure.
And trusting in Him
To Whom we all pray,
May a song fill your heart,
Every step of the way.~ Irish Blessing

I am delighted you have stopped by for tea today! This tea party is all about sharing your joy of tea time and you may be as creative, fancy, or as laid back with your tea time as you wish! Do you have a favourite teacup/teapot, coffee cup/coffee pot, or chocolate pot that you would like to share with us today? I would love to see it and I'm sure others would too! A trip to a Tea Shop is always fun and if you have discovered a new tea we'd love to hear about that too. China collections, spoon collections as well as creamer collections are all welcome. And we all love tea time recipes if you would like to share one of those. 

If you wish, you may do coffee instead of tea or the following is acceptable too: Hot apple cider, Hot chocolate, Lemonade, Iced tea or iced coffee, or Punch in a lovely bowl. 

I am joining the following parties as well~

A Return to Loveliness
Tuesday Cuppa Tea
Friends Sharing Tea
Tea Cup Tuesday
Share Your Cup Thursday
Home Sweet Home

Sharing from my heart~ Sandi