How to Throw a Valentea Party

I’m not one of those people who likes to take their holiday decorations right when the holiday ends and set up for the next one. I also celebrate Valentine’s Day until February, but last year I threw a Valentea party in two weeks and wanted to share it with you all. However, I know people need more time than that and wanted to share it with you all.

Christmas 2021 my friend was given a book that had ideas to hold a tea party every month. She held the first party on January 29th and no one wanted to do the next one, the Valentine’s Day party. I agreed and of course had to change the direction to Valentea and Jane Austen.

Invitations:

So the first thing you need for a party is invitations. I like to make my own cards and sent everyone a Valentine. I used romantic and love quotes from my favorite books.

Decorations:

After planning that came decorations. I’m lucky that I still have the ones from my bridal shower. I have reused those so many times! Yep, I used my pink floral table runners, framed Jane Austen quotes (which can be purchased from this shop); along with pink and white flowers.

Menu:

I was able to figure out my menu pretty quickly as I have a Tea Time magazine subscription, a Betty Crocker holiday cookbook, a Nancy Drew Cookbook, etc. I had a lot of recipes to choose from.

Tea Choices:

I wanted everything to be pink and red as it was a Valentea party so I had MadsenCreations make a Red Chai and Pink Moon Tea. I also picked Tiesta Tea Nutty Almond Cream Tea (which turns the water pink).

Food Menu:

We made Teatime Magazine Orange Cream Scones, Tea Time Magazine Lavender White Chocolate & Cranberry-Raspberry Scones, Tea Time Magazine’s Triple Stack Red Bell Pepper and Cream Cheese Sandwiches, Tea Time Magazine’s Ham and Cheese Sandwiches, Eating Well’s Radish Tea Sandwiches, French Onion Soup, Tomato Soup, a tart, and Heart Shaped Rice Krispy Treats.

Tea Time Magazine Orange Cream Scones

Ingredients

  • 2½ cups all-purpose flour
  • ⅓ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons fresh orange zest
  • 4 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cubed
  • ½ cup plus 1 tablespoon cold heavy whipping cream, divided
  • 2 large eggs, divided
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375°. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and orange zest until combined. Using a pastry blender or 2 forks, cut in cold butter until it resembles coarse crumbs.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk together ½ cup cold cream, 1 egg, and vanilla extract. Add to flour mixture, stirring until a dough begins to form. Working gently, bring mixture together with hands until a dough forms.
  4. Turn out dough onto a lightly floured surface, and knead gently 4 to 5 times. Using a rolling pin, roll out dough to a 1-inch thickness. Using a 2-inch fluted round cutter dipped in flour, cut 13 scones from dough, rerolling scraps as needed. Place scones 2 inches apart on prepared baking sheet.
  5. In a small bowl, whisk together remaining 1 tablespoon cold cream and remaining egg until combined. Brush egg mixture over tops of scones.
  6. Bake until edges of scones are golden brown and a wooden pick inserted in centers comes out clean, 18 to 21 minutes. Serve warm.
  7. Optional: Add a glaze.

Tea Time Magazine Lavender White Chocolate & Cranberry-Raspberry Scones

Ingredients

  1. 2 cups all-purpose flour
  2. ⅓ cup plus 1 tablespoon granulated sugar, divided
  3. 2 teaspoons baking powder
  4. ½ teaspoon dried culinary lavender
  5. ½ teaspoon salt
  6. 4 tablespoons cold salted butter, cut into pieces
  7. 1 cup chopped dried Cranberries and Raspberries
  8. 1 (4-ounce) bar white baking chocolate, such as Ghirardelli, chopped
  9. 1 cup cold heavy whipping cream
  10. ½ teaspoon vanilla extract

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°.
  2. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
  3. In a large bowl, combine flour, ⅓ cup sugar, baking powder, lavender, and salt, whisking well.
  4. Using a pastry blender, cut butter into flour mixture until it resembles coarse crumbs. Add cranberries, strawberries, and chocolate; stirring until combined.
  5. In a liquid-measuring cup, combine cream and vanilla extract, stirring to blend. Add to flour mixture, stirring until mixture is evenly moist. (If dough seems dry, add more cream, 1 tablespoon at a time.) Working gently, bring mixture together with hands until a dough forms.
  6. Turn out dough onto a lightly floured surface. Knead gently 4 to 5 times. Using a rolling pin, roll dough to a ½-inch thickness. Using a 3-inch heart-shaped cutter, cut 12 scones from dough. Place scones 2 inches apart on prepared baking sheet, and sprinkle tops with remaining 1 tablespoon sugar.
  7. Bake scones until edges are golden brown and a wooden pick inserted in the centers comes out clean, 18 to 20 minutes.

Games:

Game 1: Who Said It?

For this game I took all the romance quotes I had used on the Valentines and people had to match up the quote with who said it.

Game 2: Who Can Name the Most Romance Movies?

For this game I had everyone turn their sheet of paper over and write down as many romance films they could think of in a minute. This was a ton of fun as afterwards we all talked about which ones we liked and what films were our favorites to watch.

I had a lot of fun with our tea parties, and I hope this helps if you want to plan a Valentea party.

Valentea food also doesn’t count.

For more party posts, go to Jane Austen Birthday Party Music & Party Review

For more Valentine’s Day posts go to, Jane in Love

For more tea posts, go to Spill the Tea: Alley Cat Cafe

For more recipes, go to Dragon Cheddar and Tomato Scones

Heirloom Tomato Tart

Do you like pie? I love pie!

LOL j/k

So when I saw this recipe on Tea Time Magazine‘s instagram I pinned it with plans to make later.

Back in October, @SpilltheTeaWithLucy did a 31 Day Tea Challenge and Day 17/31 of 31 Days of Hallotean was an Autumn Tea Bake. Since I had just baked some sweets prior to this with The Magician’s Nephew Tea Party/Book Club/Bible Study, I decided to make something savory instead. This is my take on Tea Time Magazine’s Heirloom Tomato Tart (I had to substitute a few ingredients) and since tomatoes are red I decided to pair it with Cederberg Tea Co.‘s Classic Red Tea. I also had to use a pink and red mug to match. This cat mug was a gift from a friend Christmas 2019 and part of a 4 set of cat mugs.

Ingredients:

  • 4-5 Heirloom Tomatoes
  • 1/2 Teaspoon of Salt
  • 1/2 Package of Refrigerated Pie Dough (I used Phyllo dough I had bought to make the Fotina Flower Puffed Pastry as the store was out of puffed pastry, but my sister had bought me some so this was all leftover)
  • 1.5 Cups of Coarsely Grated, Sharp Yellow Cheddar Cheese (I used leftover Fotina Cheese from Fotina Flower Puffed Pastry)
  • 1/2 Cup of Mayonnaise (I substituted with Hummus)
  • 2 Tablespoons of Chopped Fresh Flat-Leaf Parsley
  • 1 Tablespoon of Green Onion
  • 1/4 Teaespoon of Ground Black Pepper
  • 1 Tablespoon of Red Wine Vinegar
  • 1 Teaspoon of Olive Oil
  • Garnish with pepper and additional fresh parsley

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Slice tomatoes, cutting larger tomatoes into 1/4 inch slices and smaller ones into 1/8 inch slices.
  3. Arrange tomato slices in a single layer on paper towels, sprinkle with salt. Let stand for 30 mins.
  4. Unroll pie dough, and press into a 9-inch tart pan with removable bottom, trimming and discarding extra dough.
  5. In a medium bowl, combine cheese, mayonnaise, parsley, green onion, and pepper-stirring to blend.
  6. Spread half the cheese mixture into the bottom of the pan, in a thin even layer.
  7. Blot tomatoes dry with paper towels.
  8. Place a large tomato slice in the center of pan on top of the cheese mixture.
  9. Cut several tomato slices in half and arrange around the center slice. Fill every space.
  10. Spread remaining cheese mixture in an even layer on top of the tomatoes.
  11. Apply thinner tomatoes on top of cheese mixture in a pleasing pattern.
  12. Sprinkle with vinegar and drizzle with olive oil.
  13. Bake until crust is deep golden brown and cheese mixture is hot and beginning to bubble.
  14. Remove from oven and let cool, before removing from pan.
  15. Garnish with pepper and parsley if desired.
  16. Serve at room temp within 3 hours of baking.

 

This was delicious, it was like eating a fancy tea pizza, and you all know how much I love pizza.

It was incredibly delicious and I would most definitely make it again.

For more recipes, go to Lemon Gingerbread Cake

For more Tea Time Magazine recipes, go to Fotina Flower Puffed Pastry

For more pie recipes, go to Mini Apple Pies

For more on pizza, go to My Week With Jane

For more tea posts, go to Turkey-Apple Tea Sandwiches

Bridget Jones’ Diary (2001)

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So this film is supposed to be a modern day retelling of Jane Austen’s Pride & Prejudice.

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Strangely enough it stars two people who had been in films based on Jane Austen’s work. Hugh Grant plays Daniel Cleaver, our George Wickham, when he was in the 1995 Sense and Sensibility as Edward Ferras.

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And then we have Colin Firth as Mark Darcy, having played Mr. Darcy in Pride and Prejudice (1995).

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Now I understand why Colin Firth decided to be in the film, I read online that he thought it would distance him from the 1995 miniseries, along with killing the wet shirt.

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But oh Colin Firth, you were so wrong.

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That will never die

Darcy

So let’s look at the film:

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So prior to this viewing, I had seen the part where the mom has left the dad for another guy, the “vicars and tarts party”, and the very end in the snow.

From what I had seen I wasn’t really interested as I didn’t think it looked that good at all.

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However, lots of people love it. Everyone says the films are funny and it was just given a third installment.

 My friend is one of those who loves this film and she convinced me to watch it with her.

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I did and I really didn’t like it.

I don't like it 11

I just don’t get the love for this film!

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It doesn’t really follow Pride & Prejudice, the characters aren’t that likable, the situations silly and don’t really make sense.

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Mark & Bridget Falling in Love

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Mark (Mr. Darcy) and Bridget (Elizabeth) barely have any screen time together, so they don’t really have the opportunity to grow in a relationship. This is a problem with modern adaptations as in the original tale (and in history), when people visited they didn’t stay a few days, they stayed weeks or months. Darcy spent a long time with Bingley, encountering Elizabeth when she came to assist in her sister’s recuperating. And then again when Elizabeth stayed with Charlotte. But here they meet up at a family party her parents are throwing, a dinner party, accidentally while she is on vacation with Daniel (Wickham), and they fall for each other?

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It doesn’t really work. They should have had them spend more time together. I mean he decides to forgo a new career in New York, throws himself at her feet, etc. We should see why he would.

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Bridget is an Empowering Character. Or is She?

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Bridget is constantly being sexually harassed but does nothing about it.

What?!

What?!

I know! Look at the little tagline there, it says

“For anyone who’s ever been set up, stood up, or felt up”

And it acts like it is going to be real empowering or something. And is it? No!

SayWhat

Bridget never stands up for herself or does anything about; choosing to just suffer through it. We have her creepy uncle who every time he sees her grabs her butt. Does she tell him off or her parents so they stop inviting him? No. Instead she just lets him continue.

I don't think so

And then when Daniel gropes her in the elevator and says inappropriate comments, does she do anything? No She just lets him do whatever.

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And then there is the way that her new job treats her, as breasts and a butt.

Big brain small boobs

What kind of message is that saying, especially since it is “based” on a character who is renowned for the beauty of her wit?

I don't like it 11

I mean I’m not asking her to go all out like this:

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I’m just asking for her to stand up for herself.

No thank youhowaboutno

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Where Oh Where is the Witticism?

Where is the wit? Elizabeth was a great character who always put her two cents in.

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In this Bridget is made to be more of one who never thinks but just spouts off the first thing that pops in her head.

If only people followed this advice.

If only people followed this advice.

She is nothing like who she is based on at all.

the-austenite-prayerElinorDashwoodAnneElliotElizabethBennetDarcy

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Why Does Bridget Continue to Believe Daniel?

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Why does Bridget go on believing Daniel after she finds out that he is a big fat liar?

Pinocchio liar

Daniel tells Bridget this story about how Mark Darcy slept with his fiancé, being the nail in the coffin of hate. But then we find out that Daniel is a a liar and was not only cheating on Bridget, but she is the other woman.

What jerks

What jerks

Yes, he was in a relationship the whole time and leading Bridget on with no intention of ever having it be more. Then when Bridget quits, we discover that Daniel had been keeping Bridget from moving ahead as he wanted to keep her to dabble in.

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Why does she think anything he said is the truth? When I found out my ex cheated in me I was really angry:

KickShin

But it also made me question everything he did and said. Why wasn’t it the same for her? I mean in the book Elizabeth doesn’t find out that Wickham is a liar until Darcy reveals what he did. And as soon as she sees him again, she lets him know that his drivel isn’t welcome here.

You-serious?-Not-happening-babe!

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Why Did They Have Her Parents Separate?

Over You

I really don’t understand why the film has the mother and father split up. It doesn’t really enhance the plot or create growth for the characters. I mean the only thing it “adds” is that with the mom out of the way the truth about Daniel’s lie isn’t given until the end. I also didn’t like that she comes home on Christmas and everything is okay, the parents are back together. There isn’t even an emotional payoff in that.

Those guys

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Why Would Darcy Read Bridget’s Diary?

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So Bridget leaves Mark downstairs while she changes out of her embarrassing underwear. She tells him to make himself comfortable and read some magazines and he reads her diary.

whatsthedeal

Really? I do not see Mark ever doing something like that when he has other options. He’s just not that type of guy at all.

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And her running after him in the snow with no pants or coat. Yeah right, she would freeze before she met up with him.

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Bridget’s Friends are Atrocious

Bridget’s friends are awful.

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All they do is give horrible advice or make the situation worse.

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Where is level-headed and realistic Charlotte?

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Where is the kind, caring, always seeing the good Jane?

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We have Tom who makes the situation worse, bringing the fight into the restaurant and the wait staff out; Shazzer who just complains and places all kinds of doubts in Bridget’s mind; and the other friend who just cries all the time.

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No thank you.

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So I haven’t read the book, (maybe I will like that better), but as for this film, except for a few good moments, I just don’t see why people like it. I don’t like it.

Ew Yuck Gross

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For more on Pride & Prejudice, go to Pride & Prejudice & Zombies

For more Pride & Prejudice adaptations, go to Austenland

For more Jane Austen films, go to Is Love at the Thanksgiving Parade Really Just Pride & Prejudice?

For more Jane Austen adaptations, go to Midnight in Austenland

For more Colin Firth, go to When I Get Into a Novel

For more Hugh Grant, go to The Eye of the Storm