Thursday, February 14, 2013

A Valentine Luncheon - Including Recipes

Every year the Tallahassee Garden Club has a Valentine Luncheon hosted by the Magnolia Circle.  It is always a beautiful event with door prizes, delicious food and charming Valentine decorations.  I always look forward to attending this delightful event, and this year the ladies did a wonderful job as always.

Of all things, I forgot to take my camera when I left the house.  My sweet husband brought it to me, but by the time it arrived, we already had lunch.  I was not able to take good pictures of the  tables before the lunch, when they were so beautifully decorated.  I did manage to get a few photos to give you an idea of how pretty everything was at the garden center.

The Tallahassee Garden Center Rutgers House was built in 1840 and has an interesting history.  All of the ladies of the Garden Club are proud to have this home for meetings and other community events.  It is also available for rentals for weddings, receptions, meetings and community events. 

If you would like to  know more about the Tallahassee Garden Club and the history of the Rutgers house you can click on the below link.

I love the old house next door to the Garden Center.  It is used now as an attorney's office, but I bet it has some interesting history as well.   As you can see the azaleas are beginning to bloom nicely downtown.

Please do come in and join us.  

The room we see below is just across the hall from the ballroom where the luncheon was held.  This room is called "The Parlor" and is used for different events.  Often times it is used for the Garden Circle meetings and fundraiser auctions.  There was a punch bowl sitting there on that table surrounded by the beautiful camellias, but they took it away just before my camera arrived.

I especially like the carpet in this room and the soft yellow walls.

The below photo is the brightly sunlit front door entrance.  The table sitting in the middle of the foyer is full of raffle items.  The winners were thrilled and the Magnolia Circle raised over $200 dollars on the raffle alone.  They will donate the proceeds back to the Garden Club for needed items. 

In the below photo we see a pretty Valentine tree decorating the table in the foyer.

Red tulips decorating another table in the foyer.

Getting ready to read the winning numbers for the door prizes.  Several ladies 
at our table won a door prize.

This is the mantel in the ballroom all decorated for Valentines Day.

There were fresh camellias all around.

This was a table runner for one of the long tables set up for the luncheon.

Even though everyone had already eaten, you can still get a good idea of how festive the tables were. 

A better view of the mantel in the ballroom.

Now we are back in the parlor room.  Notice the painting over the fireplace of the Rutgers house.

I thought this was such a pretty way to display camellias.

More mantel decorations.

More pretty camellias on the side table in the parlor.

As we leave going out the back door even the planter had Valentine decorations.

The chairman of the Magnolia Circle was very sweet to share the recipes from the luncheon today.  Everything was delicious and now we can cook this wonderful meal ourselves.  She shared the menu for everything they made for the luncheon, even the delicious cake.  Below you will find all of the wonderful recipes:
  1. Chicken Tetrazzini, 
  2. Cranberry-Ginger Sauce (from Cypress, a local restaurant),
  3. Green Bean, Walnut and Feta Salad, 
  4. Sour Cream Butter Biscuits 
  5. Southern Lemon Cake with Lemon Glaze Icing.
Chicken Tetrazzini Ingredients
4 cups cooked diced chicken                                                    salt and pepper
8 oz. vermicelli spaghetti, cooked and drained                        6 tablespoons butter
8 oz. sliced mushrooms                                                             l/4 c. flour
1 c. ½ and ½                                                                              2 c. chicken broth
¼ c. sherry (optional)                                                                1/3 c. grated parmesan cheese
  • Heat over to 425.   
  • Butter 3 qt. baking dish.   
  • Cook spaghetti according to directions. 
  • Meanwhile, in skillet, melt 2 T. butter over medium heat.  
  •  Saut√© sliced mushrooms until golden.   
  • In a saucepan, melt ¼ c. butter, stir in flour and salt.  
  •  Stir until smooth; add chicken broth and cream.  Cook, stirring, until sauce is thickened.   
  • Add chicken, cooked mushrooms; heat through.   
  • Place spaghetti in baking dish, pour on sauce.  Top with parmesan cheese.  
  •  Bake at 425 for 15 to 20 minutes.
Cranberry-Ginger  Sauce  
 Cypress Restaurant in Tallahassee
2 – 12 oz. packages fresh cranberries            One-inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and grated
1 jalapeno, seeded and minced                       3 cups sugar     
 Juice and zest of 1 medium orange                Pinch of salt
  • Combine all in saucepan.  
  • Cover and simmer over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until cranberries burst.   (Can be made 3 or 4 days ahead).

Green Bean, Walnut and Feta Salad
1 ½ lbs. green beans                        1 c. diced red onion                        1 c. chopped walnuts, toasted
½ c. feta cheese crumbled             
½  c. olive oil,                     1 clove garlic, minced, 
1/3 white wine or tarragon vinegar                                                          ½ tsp salt and ¼ tsp pepper.  
  •  Boil green beans 4 min. until crisp tender.  
  •  Plunge into ice water to stop cooking.   
  •  Drain.   
  •  Lay onions in colander and when you drain beans, they will cook slightly.  
  •  Combine dressing ingredients in lidded jar and shake to blend.  
  •  Pour over beans, walnuts, onion and feta.  (Watch when you toast walnuts; because of their      high fat content, they burn easily.)
Sour Cream Butter Biscuits
                   2 c. self-rising flour            1 cup sour cream            1 c. butter, room temperature
  • 400 degree oven.   
  • Mix flour and butter together.   
  • Add sour cream and blend well.  
  • Place spoonfuls of batter in greased miniature muffin pans.   
  • Bake for 8 – 10 min. until golden brown. 
Southern Lemon Cake
                              2 c. sugar                  1 c. butter                            
3 eggs                       3 c. flour
1 t. baking powder       ¼ t. salt 
1 c. buttermilk        3 T lemon juice
4 t. lemon zest, grated                       
  • Cream together  butter and sugar.   
  • Beat in 3 eggs, one at a time.  Mixture will be light.   
  • Mix together flour, baking powder, salt and incorporate this with butter mixture, alternating between with buttermilk.   
  • Add lemon juice and zest.   
  • Bake in bundt pan at 300 degrees for 75 min. or until toothpick comes out clean. 
                                          ¼ c. butter,    1 ½ powdered sugar     3 T lemon juice
  • After cake is cooked,  pour glaze over cake. 
 This recipe comes from Under the Tuscan Sun, by Frances Maye.  
Well!  I hope you enjoyed your visit to the Tallahassee Garden Club and if you decide to make these recipes I hope you find them as delicious as everyone did who attended the  Valentine luncheon.

On another note ... My husband has a continuing education meeting to attend and we will be gone for a little over a week.  He has to attend the meeting, but I will be free to explore around and hopefully take some pretty pictures of the surroundings.  The meeting will be held in Aspen, Colorado and there should be snow on the ground which will be a special treat for us Floridians ... See you when we get back!   Blessings to you wherever you may be.

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