Saturday, November 15, 2008

Tea and Inspiration with Miss Janice...and a Tablescape

Today, while I'm making holiday decorating and entertaining plans, I'll be browsing through all of my magazine collections, catalogs, and books and sipping some Apple Cinnamon tea which is available at Harney and Sons. What a perfect tea to sip in front of a warm fire, while going over inspirational ideas in pretty magazines and books!

One of my go-to entertaining books is The Art and Craft of Entertaining, by Kimberly Kennedy. Kimberly is an Atlanta girl and was the winner of the CBS reality show Wickedly Perfect in 2005. Her book gives some excellent guidelines on how to plan the perfect party and ideas for invitations, place cards, and party favors. Ms. Kennedy is currently writing another book on entertaining and travels the country giving talks and demonstrations on entertaining and the art of hospitality. She also teaches cooking classes at culinary schools in the Atlanta area (lucky for the Atlanta ladies out there) and does some lifestyle segments on television from time to time. You can visit Kimberly online here.

To kick off the entertaining season, I recently had a few friends over for an Autumn Reception and served a "signature drink" and some tidbits. Kimberly Kennedy suggest that you always have a signature drink at your party... "A signature drink should complement the menu, theme, and season." Here's some photos of my tablescape:

Autumn Reception Menu
Apple Punch*
Pumpkin Dip and Graham Sticks
Butternut Squash Salsa and Whole Grain Chips
Autumn Reception served from the sideboardApple Punch
Pumpkin Dip with Graham Sticks
Butternut Squash Salsa and Whole Grain Chips
Majolica appetizer plates

*Recipe for my Signature Drink--Apple Punch
1 1/2 quart of apple juice
2 cinnamon sticks
8 whole cloves
1 1/3 cup pineapple juice
1/2 cup lemon juice
2 pints orange juice
28 oz. ginger ale
Simmer the apple juice in a kettle with all the spices. Strain the spiced apple juice and mix with the remaining fruit juices. Add the ginger ale and ice.

"Actually, entertaining is perhaps about creating as well as enjoying a good time, about making special memories for you and your friends and guests."
Kimberly Kennedy
Thank you for stopping by today and now I'm off to relax, sip some warm tea, and enjoy those books and magazines!


Lady Katherine said...

I do enjoy visiting with you, The pumpkin tea set, dish, all the lovely entertaining idea. The side board with the punch with the spot, I never seen one, and I like the fact she used some artifial elments, I had flower shop, long ago. I know real is best, but with season change, and preparation, sometimes its helps to have some artifical on hand. Thank you for introducing me to Kimberly Kennedy work and books.

On The Wings Of Love said...

I'd love to come join you for you have another place setting for me? It's the perfect day for it.

I love the sideboard - looks similar to mine but I'd love to have a cider dispenser like that ...and that adorable welcome sign.

.....can't wait to see the Parisien tree! Hope the tea cozy is on :)


Lady Katherine said...

Hi, I just went to my blue bird post, Thank you for the lovely note. I have not been ready to talk, about my life, just yet. Thank you for prayers, I will say this, my doctor told me to ENJOY LIVING NOW! I am enjoying your blog so much, it takes me to another place and time. Thank you!

Bargain Decorating with Laurie said...

Oh, everything looks absolutely lovely! And that punch server is gorgeous! Can't wait to try that recipe. Sounds perfect for this cooler weather. laurie

Anonymous said...

What a lovely post, Miss Janice! I truly enjoyed taking a peek at your gracious sideboard. I have made note of your signature drink. I look forward to trying it soon!

Carolyn said...

Everything looks so lovely.I too love the cider dispenser.I will be trying your special cider recipe soon,it sounds so good.
Take care,

Anonymous said...

Good evening, Miss Sweet One! Oh, isn't this a lovely setting? I just adore the server your punch is in, I don't know what you would call it, but it's lovely!! I am going to have to try your signature punch - sounds delicious!
Be a sweetie and thanks for popping in to see me.
Be a sweetie,
Shelia :)

Anonymous said...

Oh wow! What a BEAUTIFUL setup. One, I LOVE the welcome sign. LOVE! The food is so beautifully arranged and I love thos plates! I'd love to come over to your house to visit. It is all so beautiful!

Theresa @ Take A Sentimental Journey said...

Hello Miss Janice , welcome to the land of Blog . I am enjoying your blog very much .
I am adding you to my list.

Bo said...

Hi...You are such an accomplished hostess...everything you pictured was so lovely and the menu was perfect...some savory & some sweet. The cider dispenser is so different from any I have seen before...Love it! ;-) Bo

Belle (from Life of a...) said...

Happy to discover your blog. Will try to apple punch the beverage urn, by the way.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for the recipe! I cannot wait to try it. Everything looks so beautiful!

Nancy Rosalina said...

Oh Miss Janice, Entertaining friends and family is what the South is all about!!! I love this post! Thanks for sharing the recipe...I will have to try it! Nancy

Unknown said...

That pumpkin tea set is to die for! LOVE IT!


Lana G! said...

What a wonderful way to welcome autumn. I must confess, I am coveting your punch server.

The signature drink sounds delightful!

Amy said...

So glad we found your blog too!!! Wow... you are an inspiration!

Where did that cute little chalkboard come from???