Join me for some fun!

Thursday, December 18, 2014

A Table for the Royal Birth


My feathered placemats were so magical
that I had to try them in another color
for this week's tablescape.

White clouds of Heavenly feathers
nest the plates fit for a king
celebrating Christmas.


Today I combined the white feathers
with royal crown plates and
glittering silver plates.  This is just
one of those tables that took my breath away.


I love plate stacked upon plate with crowns
topping them.  These were a wonderful 
collection of 24 each that I got from our
local company Tai Pan


complete with 24 bowls.

We have already had two dinner parties
on this table and guests were worried
about getting food on the feathers but
as a designer told me when I asked about
cow hide, "Well, the cows (or in this case birds)
are out in the rain and mud - it washes off easily!"
So that relaxed all of our guests.


I love this beautiful silverplated flatware
that I got for Christmas 2010,
but I always feel badly when people 
ask about them because they are discontinued.
They were Padova from Horchow.
They were on sale (duh!  they were being
discontinued) and I got them at the price
of stainless steel.  I wish they had more 
for you!!


The pewter goblets are fit for a king too.
I received 12 of these as a gift a few years
ago with a huge pewter punchbowl.



This glittery silver tablerunner centers the
table.  This was a new purchase this year
from Koyal Wholesale, another wonderful
source for tablecloths at great prices.  This is
so soft and elegant you could use it as a wrap!



Mercury glass creates the centerpiece.



I embellished one of the vases with
a kingly crown ornament.


This little white and silver
fairy just slipped her way onto
the table.  She thought she matched
perfectly!


It looks all wintery and white but we have had
the warmest December ever!  There is snow in 
the tops of the mountains right outside this
window but we haven't had any in the valley.


But it looks wintery in here.










What a wondrous time of year when we
celebrate the birth of the
King of Kings and Lord of Lords.



I saw this Christmas Tree napkin fold
demonstrated on the Hallmark Channel
morning show, Home and Family and
had to give it a try for one of our
dinner parties.  Isn't it fun.  You have to
turn the napkin inside out to get the 
design to show up, but it is easy to do.
Just look up a tutorial on youtube.


Well, just one week left to prepare
for Christmas.  I think a set of these
feathered placemats would be a 
perfect gift for anyone that loves
tablescaping.

I hope you are having a
wonderful time filled with joy and
love for this great time of year.

I would love to have you here to
celebrate with me - wouldn't that be
a fabulous party!

I will be posting this with








Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Key Lime Chocolates


Nummmmmm....
chocolate paired with creamy Key Lime -
what a perfect flavor combination for 
chocolates.  There is just something
about tart lime and chocolate!

Mrs. Claus included these on the menu
last year and this year at her chocolate
dipping factory.

(By the way, I have to thank Linda at
Life and Linda
for surprising me with that sassy
Mrs. Claus picture on my header.  What a
fun surprise to open my blog and see that!!)


This is one of our favorites
Key Lime Chocolates.

They are fashioned after
one of our favorites at
Condies, where I
had the chance to go and dip
a couple of years ago.  See that post here.



These I shaped into more of a flat 
patty and then decorated with some
chocolate jimmies and Christmas candy
toppers.

Mrs. Claus has been dipping chocolates
here at Purple Chocolat Home for 34
years now!!!  Wow, that's a lot of ten pound
blocks of chocolate that we have gone through.
Click here to learn how to melt, temper and dip
chocolates.

Key Lime Centers

1 1/3 C. water
1/3 C. light Karo syrup
1/4 C. butter
4 C. sugar
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
1/8 tsp salt
1/3 C. marshmallow cream
Green food color
6 drops lime oil
4 drops lemon oil

In a heavy 4-5 quart saucepan place the
water, Karo, butter, sugar, cream of tartar
 and salt.  Place over high heat and bring to a
boil stirring constantly.  When the syrup reaches
a boil, wash down the sides of the pan with wet
pastry brush.  You want to make sure there are
no undissolved sugar crystals left on the side
of the pan or the mixture will crystalize and
be grainy rather than smooth.

While the mixture boils, bring a small
saucepan half full of water to a rolling
boil and test your candy thermometer.
Your altitude can affect the temperature
that water boils at.  Water should boil
at 212 and here in the mountain west
mine boils at 200 so I have to subtract
12 degrees off any recipe.

Boil to 239 degrees and then pour into
a 9x13 inch pan without stirring or
scraping out the pan.  Without moving
the pan too much place it in the fridge
for about 15-20 minutes or until the
bottom of the pan is just barely warm.

Begin stirring with a wooden spoon, just
making sure to move it around.  After about
10 minutes of stirring, stir in the marshmallow
cream.



It will
take between 20-40 minutes of stirring
until the mixture thickens and becomes
like a thick frosting.  When it becomes 
thick, knead in the food coloring and 
flavoring oils.  

Form into patties and place on a 
parchment covered cookie sheet.  

Prepare your chocolate for dipping
and then dip the centers.  Top with 
jimmies and decorating sprinkles
when the chocolate is still wet.

These will keep for several weeks.
You can also cover them tightly 
and refrigerate.

They ripen or get creamier with time.


We always make a variety of
chocolates.  I like to make the centers the day
before and then dip and dip and dip!



We dipped a few really
quickly as my missionary son, Chase
asked for the Almond Rum Balls
and since they were going to Korea,
we had to get going.  The little ones stopped
by after school.  This is little Jacquelyn
who has grown up so much.

The smell of melted chocolate fills
the house - fantastic!



Yum, bet these won't last long
around here!

Thanks for sharing in all of the
Christmas joy and fun at 
Purple Chocolat Home.

I will be posting these with


Monday, December 15, 2014

Ugly Christmas Sweater Cake and Party


The "Ugly Christmas Sweater" 
are back in after 20 years and 
Ugly Christmas Sweater parties
are all the rage now.  We started holding
them about 4 or 5 years ago after my oldest
son came home from one and suggested we
all wear them for Christmas morning.

We raided the local thrift store and got
everyone outfitted.  Now I think it is
hard to find a used one but stores are
selling Christmas sweaters and sweatshirts
again.  I wish I had kept my original one.
They were expensive - I paid $50 for
mine back in the early 90's!!


So we decided to have our first
Ugly Christmas Sweater party 
and invite our dinner group.
I  started searching on the internet
for ideas and 
just had to make one of the cakes I
found on Pinterest.  


There were no instructions on the link,
and no one to give credit to for their
creation, just the picture, but thanks to whomever
created this idea. 
I am going to show you how
to make this adorable and easy cake
for your Christmas party.  


The Ugly Sweater cake will take 30 regular
size cupcakes.  I baked mine and then laid
them out on a black foam board for my 
serving tray as it makes a pretty big cake.
I like how the black made the cake pop.

You will start at the bottom and do 4 rows of
4 and then reduce to two rows of 2 and 
finally add the arms.

After achieving my shape, I took
the cupcakes a row at a time and
frosted and sugared them to keep
the shape and to avoid getting
the frosting on the board.


To achieve a dark red frosting is a little
tricky.  I tripled my basic recipe 
so it had 12 C. powdered sugar
and it took a full small squeeze bottle
of Americolor's Super Red.  It still was a
little on the pink side, but it does deepen in
color if you let it sit for a while.  I was dipping mine
in sanding sugar so I wasn't that picky about how
red the frosting was.  You have to use gel or paste
to get a red frosting.  I flavored mine with almond
so that you don't get that funky red food coloring
flavor.
I love Americolor's gel colorings rather than
Wilton's because I have never had one of theirs
dry up in the bottles.  Wilton's always dry up in
their bottles so I have switched over to Americolor's.

Almond Frosting
(I tripled this)
1/2 C. butter, soft
4 C. powdered sugar
1 tsp. almond extract
Red gel food coloring
3 T. water (I like water because it 
makes a firmer frosting than milk or cream.)

In a large mixing bowl beat all of the
ingredients together adding additional 
water if needed.  Beat for five minutes for
a nice creamy frosting.  You don't want it too
stiff or too soft.  I test it by scooping up a bit
with my finger.  It should be soft enough to
scoop but not so soft it falls off my finger.

This should cover all of your cupcakes
as most recipes make more than 12 and you
are going to have some extra cupcakes you
don't use in the cake.



Dip each cupcake into a small bowl
of sanding sugar, covering all the frosting.


After all the cupcakes are frosted and dipped
use mini marshmallows to create the fur trim
at the collar, hem and cuffs.


Then decorate with colorful candy.


I finished like the one I found on 
Pinterest with a string of 
green Christmas lights piped on in different colors.



My wonderful niece made up some 
cute Ugly Christmas Sweater picks for the food


and some fun drink labels.

I found these bottle sweaters online
which were perfect for the theme.



We dressed up some sparkling
apple cider bottles,





but we served Cherry Cream Sodas
as I wanted a dark red drink for the 
fun bottles.


Everyone got into the spirit of
things with their sweaters. 


The couple in the middle did the 
DIY Ugly Christmas Sweater kits!
He won the prize for the men's ugly
sweater with his creation.


Cari
won the prize for the women!
Don't you love the vintage 1996 Barbie
in a Christmas sweater that I found online!!
Notice her white tights too!  I remember 
wearing those a lot back then too!

I thought that was the perfect women's prize.
It couldn't have matched her sweater more
perfectly which was her MIL's. 


While searching for Ugly Sweater Party ideas
online, I also found these 
Ugly Christmas leggings!!


And hubby and I have had 
Ugly Christmas Slippers for ages.  
Maybe they will be classics!  I am 
holding onto these!!

Everyone brought appetizers and desserts


and we made Lettuce Wraps.  

We tried to keep the main dish light
but with all of the appetizers and desserts
we were still stuffed!

Instead of a gift exchange this year I asked
everyone to bring a Christmas story to share
and 5 copies of it so we could all have a copy.
That was a fun change as we sat and read stories
together and shed a tear or two.


We all agreed that this isn't so much
an Ugly Christmas Sweater Cake as a cute
one so make it for any Christmas Party.
It really is easy and fun and a great 
conversation piece.

I think it is so fun that the Ugly Christmas Sweater
has turned into sweater love!  Wear yours all
through the season!!

I am wearing this sweater to these parties! 






Sunday, December 14, 2014

Jesus Christ Savior of The World

                              

May you feel the true 
Spirit of Christmas!

Friday, December 12, 2014

DIY Feathered Placemats



It is sooooooooo easy to create these
billowy, heavenly clouds to adorn 
your table with this year and I am 
going to show you how.

These are a DIY version of the feathered 
placemats featured at my favorite home
store ZGallerie, but I am not going to 
spend $30 for a placemat so I made a
version that cost me about $3-$6 each.


What You Will Need

Neutral colored round woven placemats
(I bought these at Wal Mart in a gold for about $2 each.)
Chandelle (turkey feather) boas
(You will use half a boa per placemat, but buy
one extra one for six placemats just in case you are a 
little short as you go around the placemat.)
Glue gun and glue

I tried these two different ways, one taking the feather
boas apart and gluing them down about 3 at a time
so they looked a little flatter like the ones I had
seen at the store.  That took me 40 minutes each and
I quit that idea after two of them.  Then I went for
the quick version and just glued the boa around the
edge.  That took 5 minutes each.  Yes, I do love to time
myself when doing craft project.  


The picture on the left is the 
placemat that I pulled the boas
apart.  The picture on the right is
where I just glued the whole boa
down.  I actually like the look better
of the one on the right - the five minute
version.  When you put a plate on the
middle you couldn't tell a difference in 
the look.  

The store version had feathers all the
way to the center, but I am never going
to have them on a table without plates
so I just did the outside of the placemat.



Here I show you a partially glued
placemat.  

Before beginning, cut the boa in half.
These white ones I got from Wal Mart on sale for $3
each.  The aqua ones I had to order online for $8
each.  It will use about half a boa, but the white
ones seemed a little shorter and I had to
piece in about 4-6 inches extra at the end so 
buy one extra boa to complete your project.

Use the hot glue gun and 
using a zigzag pattern apply glue to
the outside 1 1/2 inches of the placemat
in about a six to eight inch strip around
the edge.  Press the boa down on the glue.
I use the cool glue gun so I don't end up
with blisters!!  Continue around until you
have the entire edge of the placemat covered.


Piece a little in at the end if you
are short.  Don't worry about cutting
the boas, they are woven in tight to
the center string and you are gluing
them securely.  

When I was done I shook them upside
down to remove any stray feathers.  
They stack nicely for storage.


Here is the white one with the
same placesetting.  I can't decide
which one I love most!!!

Don't worry about eating with these, you
can wipe the feathers off with a damp cloth -
remember birds are out in the water and dirt
too, or if it really gets stained, just cut those
feathers off and glue a few back in their place.

I hope you love these easy placemats
and make some of your own.  You can
buy or order feathers in fabulous colors.


I will be posting this with 




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