Shawn and I are celebrating Valentines Day at home with our six children tonight. I'm setting the table now with, guess what? Red and pink transferware. I love to mix and match so I'm using a different plate at each setting. I'm showing the Tonquin pattern below.
I used my Kings Ware Thumbprint glasses with cranberry trim and some handmade linens I purchased overseas.
I just love the napkins with their lace trim and embroidered pink flowers. My sweet Trevor gave me the pretty pink carnation~
I like to put little treats around the table for my kids so tonight I've placed a vintage transferware egg cup that I filled with chocolates and mints by each of the settings. Nuts, mints or small flowers could be used as well.
My Mother-in-law gave me the red heart candleholder last year and I thought it looked so pretty here.
I'm all about using things I've already got, so for my centerpiece I used a candleabra stand that I've had for years. It's got the bling factor with the red and clear glass chandelier teardrops! Instead of placing large pillar candles on this I first used some of my transferware coasters and butter pats, topping each with a small votive or crackled glass candle jar and finished it off with a red rose topiary ball topped with my pink carnation Trevor gave me. I placed a bouquet of (silk) roses and babies breath at the base. All of these items were at my home already. My youngest daughter and I contemplated making a dash to the supermarket for some fresh flowers or things to use on the table display and I just thought, let's stick with what we've got and not spend any money if it's not necessary.
The Roberts 2010 Valentines menu:
Pecan Crusted Pork Tenderloin w/ Blackberry Red Wine vinaigrette
Spinach Salad w/ Toasted Nuts, Blue Cheese, Apples & Blackberry Red Wine vinaigrette
Herbed, Buttered Rice
Bread or Rolls
Cookie Crusted Cheesecake
Pecan crusted pork tenderloin with blackberry sauce (this is a lean, heart healthy recipe and one of our family favorites...all six of my kiddos love this!)
1 Pork Tenderloin
1 1/2 cups fine, dry breadcrumbs (I have used Progresso and Walmart brand Italian bread crumbs... I like both equally well for this)
1 1/2 cups finely chopped pecans (I chop them in the food processor so they're very fine)
5-6 tsp rubbed sage
4 lg eggs beaten
8 tsp olive oil
Remove the silver skin from pork tenderloin. Cut pork into 8 slices. Place pork between plastic wrap, and flatten to 1/4" thickness using a flat side of a meat mallett or a rolling pin.
Mix pecans, breadcrumbs, sage and a dash or two of salt in shallow bowl.
Dredge pork in breadcrumb mixture, dip in beaten eggs, and again dredge in the breadcrumb mixture.
In a non-stick pan, cook over medium-medium high heat in olive oil, about 5 minutes each side.
Remove from heat and serve with Blackberry sauce drizzled atop (recipe below)
Spinach salad with toasted & glazed nuts, apples, blue cheese and Blackberry Red Wine vinaigrette dressing
6-8 oz fresh spinach leaves, washed
1/4 cup blue cheese crumbles
1 red apple, thinly sliced (I like Gala, Jonaglo or Pink Lady)
1/3 cup (appx) glazed, toasted nuts (recipe follows)
Red Wine & Blackberry Vinaigrette dressing to taste (recipe follows)
Toss all ingredients and you're ready to serve this delicious salad!
Toasted & glazed nuts
I mix walnuts, pecans and almonds.
For each cup of nuts, combine 1 tblsp butter and 1 tblsp honey in skillet over med-low heat and stir until smooth. Add nuts and stir to coat. Sprinkle about 1 tblsp of sugar and appx 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper over nuts. Stir until sugar dissolves, about 2-3 minutes.
Lightly spray a cookie sheet with a non-stick cooking spray, such as Pam.
Evenly spread the nut mixture over the cookie sheet and place in a 300° oven for about 10-15 minutes, until lightly browned. Stir every few minutes to prevent sticking. Cool.
Blackberry Red Wine vinaigrette dressing (this is also the sauce for the Pecan Crusted Pork Tenderloin)
1 C red wine vinegar
5 tablespoons blackberry jam
1 1/2 C chicken broth
1/4 C brown sugar (not too tightly packed...I've made this a little sweeter before as well with 1/3 cup)
1 tblsp cornstarch
Heat vinegar until boiling, stir and continue boiling until reduced to 1/2
Reduce heat to medium
Add blackberry jam and stir until dissolved
Add chicken broth, blend
Add brown sugar and dissolve
Remove about a 1/4 cup or so and add to this the cornstarch, stir to dissolve and then return to mixture and stir until slightly thickened.
I have also mixed this with equal parts of Wishbone brand red-wine vinaigrette in the past to make it go further on a salad (we had company and I made a huge salad). This keeps well in the fridge.
I served the salad from a red transferware footed compote by Mason's in the Vista pattern and used my vintage cut glass serving utensils
Shawn stayed up until 12:30 last night making this fabulous Cookie Crusted Cheesecake for dessert. We served it simply with Strawberry jam over the top. It was so yummy. The crust is a little like a sugar cookie and the texture of the cheesecake was not so dry and pasty as many seem to be, but instead was creamy and smooth. I am trying to resist the urge to have another piece! ;-)
Cookie Crusted Cheesecake
1/2 cup butter (one stick)
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
pinch of salt
1 & 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
five (5) 8 oz. packages cream cheese (softened)
1 & 1/3 cups granulated sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
4 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup sour cream
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1. In seperate bowls, allow butter & cream cheese soften
2. Make the crust by creaming together the butter, sugar, vanilla & salt. Add the egg and mix well. Add flour and stir well to combine.
3. Preheat oven to 375° then press half the dough onto the bottom of a springform pan. Bake 5 - 7 minutes, or until the edge of the dough begins to turn light brown. Cool.
4. Take the remaining dough and press it around the inside edge of the pan. Don't go all the way up to the top though. Leave about 1/2 inch margin from the top of the pan.
5. Crank oven up to 500° . To make the filling, combine the cream cheese, sugar, vanilla, and lemon juice with an electric mixer in a large bowl until smooth. Mix in the sour cream and flour. Add eggs and mix on low speed until combined.
6. Pour the cream cheese filling into the pan and bake for for 10 minutes at 500° . Reduce the heat to 350° and bake for another 30 to 35 minutes more, or until the center is firm. Cool completely, then cover and chill in refrigerator for several hours or overnight before serving.
From Ashton...she asked me to post this fun Valentines game...see if you can find all 7 hearts in the photo below.
I am happy to love and be loved. Happy Valentines Day to everyone!
Love poem for today:
I wish to be surrounded by your love
For your love to hold me so near
Your love is all that I dream of
And all of which my heart holds dear
Nancy M Roberts ©1994
For more tablescape ideas please visit Susans blog, at Between Naps on The Porch, where she hosts this fun event every week!
For more recipes please visit Designs by Gollum!