Sunday, February 14, 2010

Happy Valentines Day

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

Cookie Crust:

1/2 cup butter (one stick)
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
 pinch of salt
1 egg
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
3 eggs

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!


  1. Beautiful place setting... I was happy to discover your blog!
    Remember our Direct Messages on Twitter we exchanged talking about the fact I'm originally from Oklahoma? Well my sister still lives in OKla and has 6 kids AND is named to someone named Shawn! I had to smile when I read your profile!!!

  2. Hi Toma, Yes, of course I remember our twitter DM's. When I found out you were from OK, I immediately checked out your blog (love it!) and had to read about you. I really enjoyed your recent post about coming back to OK, the wineries and visiting your sister. What a coincidence reading that your sister is married to a Shawn and also has six children! Kind wishes to you ~ Nancy

  3. Your tablesetting is so charming and Victorian.

  4. Nancy,
    My first visit to your lovely blog, and I've had a fun visit! Your tablescape is inviting and so pretty. Being a transferware fan this is right up my alley.

  5. Everything is just absolutely gorgeous including the food pics! I made a nice lasagna, salad and my kids favorite desert for Valentines Day... wish I had thought to take some pictures for my blog now! Great idea... still madly in love with your dining room wallpaper!

  6. The dressed table looks fabulous - great to see vintage linens and tableware used and not just stored away.

  7. Hi Nancy, What a beautiful tablesetting! Love the bling...perfect for Valentine's Day! I love your beautiful transferware...and the food sounds delish! Since you just linked up to last week's TT, I'm afraid a lot of folks will miss seeing your I'd love for you to link up to the one that will go up tomorrow evening for this week. TT always goes up on Wednesday evening between 8 and 9PM so stop back by BNOTP and link this tablescape again tomorrow night. You may also want to link this post to Foodie Friday at the blog, Designs by Gollum, since it has yummy food in the post. Michael usually put Mr. Linky up for Foodie Friday on Friday morning I think. So glad you are joining in TT!

  8. Beautiful table, and the food looks wonderful..
    Nice to meet you!

  9. What a lovely setting! I love the reds.

  10. I love your vintage glassware, and the menu just made my mouth water. It is all so elegant and romantic.
    ♥, Susan

  11. Glad I read your post. We share a love of transferware and I too did a Valentine table with red transferware. It was a table for two and I used different patterns for the plates.

    Your food sounds so good and looks pretty too.Thanks for sharing the recipes. I hope to try the blackberry red wine dressing.

  12. What a wonderful menu and your table is beautifully set. I love your dishes and the centerpiece is so pretty..Christine

  13. What a lovely table! Very romantic...

  14. Very pretty table. I love the transferware. Pink is so Christmas, so Valentine's. And can be used everyday. What is better than that? Your transferware is lovely!

  15. Wow, that is a gorgeous table! I'd love to see that salad bowl with nothing in is very unusual.

  16. What a stunning centerpiece! The transferware is so pretty! Your menu looked amazing!

    Thanks for sharing!

  17. What a wonderful table and looks you had a romantic dinner. Fabulous with your menu and love the crusty pie. (will grab the menu of that).

    I found all 7 hearts and is that mean am truly love? §;-)

    TY for sharing.

    greetings from snowy Stockholm

  18. I think you had the perfect Valentines day, your table is just gorgeous.

  19. This was so very lovely. Firstly, I just love your tablescape. Red transferware is a favorite of mine. I love your use of the egg sweet. Now, your supper looks DEVINE! All around wonderful table and meal :)


  20. I love you dishes. You adapted the centerpiece really well with the butter pats and candles, nice idea! Now, you food looks awesome! That pork is making me really hungry. SO, nice!

  21. Love your tablescape. So beautiful. Come by and watch our vlog version. Have a great day. Holly:)

  22. What a beautiful blog! I love your background. I will definitely try the pork dish.

    Your dishes and table are just exquisite. Thank you for sharing.


  23. This is my first visit to your blog; and let me say, I love it. You have beautiful photos. I will definately visit again.

  24. Beautiful meal on a beautfiully set table. I'm envious of your red transferware. Thanks for sharing.

  25. Nancy, I left a message but not sure if it went through.
    I notice I was the last to comment last February and the first this year. ;-)
    Your family is fortunate that you obviously love to share the beauty of food and a beautiful table. Love the idea of using the egg cups for little treats.
    Thanks for sharing this beautiful table again. ~ Sarah

  26. Love that candelabra as your centerpiece! The china is lovely and I have something very similar to your rimmed "thumbprint" glasses that I inherited from my great aunt. Very pretty table and the food looks fabulous!


  27. Beautiful table and I love that you are sharing Valentine's Day with your kids. As always, your transferware is gorgeous, but your candleabra is the topper today! I love the bling! Thanks for sharing!

  28. So lovely! That beautiful tablecloth is just perfect for Valentine's Day, and your pretty transferware looks wonderful with the ruby accents you've included.

  29. Thank you sooo much for your sweet comment on my Little Girls Valentine's Tea...they loved it too!
    Also thank you for sharing your terrific recipes. I'm hosting a dinner party for 16 good friends at my house, next wendsday evening and I just found the perfect salad recipe...your spinach salad! Thank you, I'll tell you about it. I also love all your posts, just beautiful, you're complete and beautiful lady. Love transfer ware.
    Happy Valentine's

  30. That candlelabra just dazzled me.All the red just makes a beautiful tablescape. The food looks yummy too. Happy Valentines day.

  31. Everything looks as beautiful as usual. The red transferware butterpats on the candelabra are sheer genius...amazing effect. Thank you for sharing your lovely design. Cherry Kay


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