Red Valentine Traditions

by Julie on February 14, 2011

I have to say that setting a pretty table takes me to my happy place!  How about you, is this your favourite part of entertaining too? It’s not even all that fancy this time but it still makes me giddy, I end up grabbing my camera…… so I just had to share-this is a quick hello and some pretty photos for you!  Our red meal is a tradition in our family and we incorporate red in every way we can from the table, to the meal, to our outfit for the day.  Crazy I know, but after reading an article about creating unique family traditions I realized that kids really love these special gatherings, they sooo look forward to them, and when they are adults they remember them the most and often continue on the crazy tradition.  Do you have any quirky family traditions that still carry on? I couldn’t resist starting our own and here we are at least 10 years later still celebrating Valentines Day with a red gathering.  These are just a few quick snapshots of the pretty part- I was too busy being a hostess to take any other shots- I should have hired photo help!

We enjoyed warm vegan brownies, topped with fresh berries and almond cashew whip-just divine.  We even had our barrista friend, Del, froth up our almond milk lattes with organic decaf beans topped with grated organic dark chocolate and cinnamon.  Ooooh La La!

My hubby brought me two dozen roses-thank you Hun!!- so they became the gorgeous center piece bouquets for the table.  If you receive roses don’t be afraid to chop the stems really short and place them in a small vase- take a look, the effect is really great-just use some of the leaves from the stem for greenery, give them some of the flower food usually provided and trim them under running water and pop in the vase.  I just used some votive holders for these mini bouquets.  Less is more I say as it gives a clean fresh look, and repetition of the same is very effective too-don’t you think? Candles in clear glass are so easy and they make everything sparkly.  If you are using t-lites remove the silver metal liner, they look so much nicer or buy the ones with a clear liner.  I cheated and used really cute polka dot paper napkins instead of fabric but we did place them into the recycle bin afterward!

For our meal we dined on a delicious vegan caesar salad a la Karen along side fresh tomato basil quinoa pasta and another quinoa pasta dish that I concocted with butternut squash puree, garlic, dandelion greens, chick peas and fresh tomatoes. It was surprisingly delish!

I didn’t plan on posting this at all but couldn’t resist the prettiness especially on this “ever so Red day of celebrations” so there isn’t a recipe for you today but I will share later once I get the measurements down pact since I often cook with my eyes shut and have to really focus to make it accurate for you to recreate.

Here’s two last shots-on my new white chairs!  Ooooh I love how they came out!  These vintage hotel metal chairs were gun metal gray, quite rusty, dented and well worn by many hotel guests.   I bought 10 of them for a song, had them powder coated and they are just like new!  In doors, out doors these chairs are going to make me happy for a long time!  Do you have a favourite piece that you gave new life to in your home? I still have a few waiting for makeovers!

Hope you have a fantastic day!  Happy Valentines!


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{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

Anna February 14, 2011 at 12:58 pm

Oh how pretty: the flowers, the table setting, the food. Everything look so lovely. Happy Valentine’s Day to you!

Barb Fetherstonhaugh February 14, 2011 at 3:32 pm

Thanks Jules for reminding me of how important those family traditions are…..we had a wonderful birthday dinner last night, and what a great Valentines idea you have. You have renewed my inspiration of Easter for this year, even as some people move on, and the kids grow up its is nice to know there will be a time to gather.

Lots of hope and love your way.

Julie February 14, 2011 at 3:39 pm

Barb, isn’t it true, we love a good excuse to force us to take time to make memories that we will cherish for years to come. Our kids have always loved your Easter egg hunt and gathering-no matter how old they get! It’s tradition! Thanx for stopping by the blog.

Eva @ Four Leaf Clover February 14, 2011 at 6:06 pm

Vegan brownies – yum!! This looks like it was quite the party and so pretty! I hope you had a fantastic Valentine’s Day, too! Thank you for sharing. : )

Katelyn @ Chef Katelyn February 14, 2011 at 6:10 pm

Those brownies look divine!! Especially the you have a recipe for that?! It sounds raw and delicious!

Melissa Jaine (the Curated Kitchen) February 14, 2011 at 10:50 pm

Thanks for this post Julie. I am a family of one (apart from the dog :), and my standard style of eating is from a bowl whilst seated on the couch. You reminded me how much I used to enjoy setting the table for the family when I was little. Perhaps I need to start a new mini ritual of my own, of setting the table even just once a week, or even making the coffee table nice for when I have my dinner.

Preeti February 15, 2011 at 3:40 am

So Beautiful, It captures the essense of Valentine’s day and so much more fun when it’s vegan and good for you!

lesley@homemadegrits February 15, 2011 at 6:00 am

man, wish i could have come! super curious about the cashew whip…

Julie February 15, 2011 at 9:23 am

Katelyn & Lesley the almond and cashew whip was a bit of a cheater to test a brand new product I came across. It’s called Mimic Creme in a tetra box, not refrigerated . There is an unsweetened heavy cream and a sweetened whip cream. I had to try them cuz I was soooo curious. Normally I would make my own cashew cream which is delicious. This product was surprisingly yummy and no one blinked an eye about the whip and we had lots of non vegans at the table. It is dairy free, soy free, non gmo and gluten free. After a good chill in the freezer it whipped up very stiff and fluffy. It contains rice starch but it also has “natural flavours” so you can never be sure about this. Now that I’ve used it I’ll be forever trying to duplicate the consistency so stay tuned in case I manage it. I would say it’s okay as a treat but not a regular replacement because it is still a very processed food.

Julie February 15, 2011 at 9:32 am

Melissa I love your idea of making meal time more special, just for you. I find that somehow it even makes the meal taste better. It’s also uplifting for you to nurture yourself with beauty and pampering. I find fresh flowers make a world of difference to our meals so we have them on the table at all times-even a very small little hand bouquet makes the meal feel special. We go to great lengths every day to sit down as a family for our meals and it’s very seldom that we don’t and we hardly ever allow the kids to sit in front of the TV as this is sometimes the only opportunity to connect for the day. It’s very alkalizing to eat in a relaxed pleasant way and you will feel better for it I am sure.

Leslie February 21, 2011 at 9:30 am

Your table looks gorgeous Julie! What fun! And the menu sounds really yummy too. It is wonderful to hear about family traditions like these. Thank you.

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