Baby & Toddler · Restaurant Reviews

Baby Shower Tea @ The Four Seasons Boston

My friend Chelsea had her baby shower last weekend at the Four Seasons. It was about 90 degrees out in Boston — kind of a harsh transition from all that cold and rain last week! — so I totally melted on the walk there, but once inside I had a Kir Royale in my hand within 5 minutes and all was right with the world.

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Here’s the best part. Five days later, Chelsea had her baby! It was definitely a surprise, but little Eloise decided 33 weeks inside mum was just long enough, and she made her entrance on Friday the 13th in the wee hours of the morning. My kind of kiddo! She’s also the second baby named Eloise that we know of this month alone, so we may have a sleeper hit on our hands for baby girl names in Boston! Our next door neighbors also chose Eloise, but they’re going to call her “Louie,” which I just love 🙂

Eloise the book: baby name inspiration for well-read parents?
Eloise, the book: baby name inspiration for well-read parents?

Before the drama of baby’s early entrance, we feted Chelsea with a classy afternoon tea, complete with fresh fruit, scones, clotted cream, miniature cupcakes, tiny sandwiches, cakes and more:

Gotta love fresh fruit served in a martini glass.
Gotta love fresh fruit served in a martini glass.
Delightful scones!
Delightful scones!
Mint and hydrangeas on every table. I got to take one home!
Mint and hydrangeas on every table. I got to take one home!

She got some great gifts for her little one (which, at the time, was a mystery gender) including a few of Georgia’s favorites: these blankets, these soft blocks, a Sophie the Giraffe teether, and all kinds of accessories for her stroller. Miss Eloise is going to be traveling in style!

We got her a starter set from the Honest Company, including newborn and size 1 diapers, baby wash, the all-essential stain remover (critical for getting diaper blowouts, throw-up and nose bleeds out of cute fabrics), along with wipes and diaper cream. I was nervous about gifting such small diapers, even though she specifically requested them, but obviously I needn’t have worried, since she ended up having a 4 1/2-pound preemie:)

I thought I wrapped this up good, no?
I thought I wrapped this up good, no?

We can’t wait to meet the little gal. Georgia is so excited to have a new playmate! As for the tea, I still think my trip to the Boston Harbor Hotel tea time wins out for experience and deliciousness (plus, that view!) but this was a really festive shower idea and I’d definitely go back. Next up: afternoon tea at The Langham; the French Room at the Taj Boston (formerly the Ritz), where they also do a Teddy Bear Tea and a traditional Holiday Tea at Christmas time; and finally The Courtyard at the Boston Public Library, which hosts a weekday afternoon tea that is supposed to be excellent. Then, I’ll have hit all the tea times Boston has to offer!

How about you — do you like afternoon tea? It’s definitely not for those short on time or money, as a typical afternoon tea costs between $35 and $55 per person before gratuity, and can last two hours or more. But I think it’s an elegant diversion from regular life, and you’ll leave surprisingly satisfied despite the daintiness of the menu. I know my mom is dying to take Georgia for tea when she gets big enough. Sounds like something really special for them to enjoy together!

As we head into that season of summer babies and the baby showers that precede them, here’s to health and happiness for all the new little ones coming into the world, and rest for their parents. I can’t believe how fast a year goes by, and that I’m soon to have a 10-month-old on my hands! Time really does fly with these babes 🙂 seems like just yesterday …

Looking for gifts for a shower this summer? Check out my list of newborn essentials, plus my guide to eco-friendly baby gifts and the wish list of things I would have bought myself just after having Georgia.

Drinks & Smoothies · Recipes

Three Ideas for Leftover Cranberry Sauce

Hope you all had a happy Thanksgiving & Black Friday and that you’re getting geared up for Cyber Monday (I know I am!) I meant to post this last year, but then forgot to do it and eventually it was too late. As I’ve mentioned before, I love making homemade cranberry sauce, and I always make sure there’s plenty extra. But what if you just have TOO much left over? Here are a couple fun things to do with extra cranberry jelly.

Photo Courtesy of Inspired2Cook (http://www.inspired2cook.com/2011/12/17/leftover-cranberry-sauce-vinaigrette/).

First up, a salad dressing by Inspired2Cook:

Cranberry Sauce Vinaigrette

Adapted from Cook’s Country Magazine. Makes about 1 cup.

  • 1 tablespoon finely minced shallot
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 cup leftover cranberry sauce

Whisk shallot, mustard, red wine vinegar, and olive oil into leftover cranberry sauce. Season with salt and pepper.

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Next up, a smoothie, courtesy of Hillbilly Housewife:

Cranberry Smoothie

  • 1 can or 16 oz. of cranberry sauce
  • 1 bag (16 oz) frozen unsweetened peach slices, partially thawed
  • 1 container (6 oz) vanilla yogurt
  • 3/4 cup orange juice
  • 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Blend together until smooth. Serve cold.

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Finally, scones, courtesy of Gourmandia:

Cranberry Oat Scones

  • 1 C rolled oats
  • 2 C all-purpose whole wheat flour
  • 1/3 C light brown sugar, packed
  • 3 tsp (=1 tbsp) baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ C butter or margarine
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1/3 C plain yogurt
  • 1 tsp vanilla OR orange extract
  • 2/3 C cranberry sauce (the thicker the better)

Preheat the oven to 425F. In the large mixing bowl, mix the dry ingredients, then add the butter/margarine and cut it into the flour mixture. As long as you’ve washed them well, you can use your hands to do the cutting, but a fork will work just fine. In the small mixing bowl, combine the egg, the plain yogurt, the vanilla/orange extract, and the cranberry sauce. Mix with the fork until well-blended. Make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients and add the wet ingredients to them. Blend lightly with the fork until you have a soft dough. Scoop out quarter-cup-sized balls of dough and place them on the greased cookie sheet or into the cups of the greased muffin tin. (You can also drop all of the dough into a greased cake or loaf pan and use the dough to make a thick cake or dessert loaf. Bake your scones in the oven for abut 15 minutes, or until they are golden brown. NOTE: If you are doing the loaf/cake version, you will need to cook it for a good half-hour.

Serve hot with butter, and enjoy.

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