I just love azalea season, so when I had the opportunity to have a great group of women to our home for coffee, I jumped at the chance to entertain them this month.
It was just a simple coffee with juice, fruit, and coffeecake, but I really wanted it to celebrate spring.
After deciding on the azaleas as a centerpiece, I used this striped runner from Ikea. I think it was about $6.00. Gotta love Ikea! Then I added these little velvet birds for a little more springness. Is that a word? Spell check says it's not.
My favorite china to use this time of year is this Lu-Ray china with its mix of pastels. It's from the 40's and I've collected it for ages. You can see the Easter table I set with it here.
The juice glasses are a mix of some wonderful old depression glass ones and some Ikea ones. They are not carrying this particular color now, but do have this style in some other colors.
The luncheon plates are pretty small, so I put them out for our coffee and fruit. I guess servings were a lot smaller 60 years ago, as lots of china seems dainty in comparison to today's plates.
I just love to use this mixture of silverplate. You can see that the keystone shape is the same, but the patterns are different. I think that makes an interesting table.
You can hardly tell in this photo, but these are light pink. They iron very easily, so I never hesitate to use them. Call me crazy, but I'd rather iron napkins than use paper, except for maybe cocktails.
The fruit is on a lettuce patterned platter from Pottery Barn. I wish I had bought the plates that matched.
Coffee and tea set-up. This makes it self-serve and keeps things hot for the duration. Since it is a 2-hour drop-in window for the coffee, this works so much better than a silver service or urn.
Mixed berries. Yum.
The star of the show was this unassuming blueberry coffeecake. Seriously. You have to try this. No, really, you HAVE to try this. I thought I had a great recipe for this and then my world was rocked when I ate the version they serve at a funky little restaurant here in Atlanta called The Flying Biscuit Cafe. It serves wonderful comfort food, mostly vegetarian, some vegan, and is run by a woman names April Moon. Don't you love that name? Well, when I learned that she had a cookbook, I was praying that this recipe was included......and it WAS! I love many of the recipes, but I must admit that my copy opens automatically to "Cream Cheese Coffeecake". Here's the recipe:
CREAM CHEESE COFFEECAKE FROM THE FLYING BISCUIT CAFE
2 sticks (1 c.) butter, at room temperature
1 c. sugar
2 c. flour
2 t. baking powder
1/2 t. salt
2 (8 oz.) pkg. cream cheese at room temperature
1 egg yolk
1/2 c. sugar
1 t. vanilla
1/4 c. sugar
1/2 c. flour
4 T. butter, room temperature
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a 9x13 baking pan. Set aside.
2. Make the cake batter. In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar together with an electric mixer until smooth. Add eggs one a a time, scraping the bowl well after each addition. Sift the flour, baking powder and salt together and add to the butter mixture. Beat until flour is incorporated and batter is thick, pale, and creamy. Set aside.
3. Make the cake filling. Using an electric mixer, combine all ingredients. Mix until sugar is dissolved and filling is smooth.
4. Make the cake topping. Combine sugar and flour in a small bowl. Using a pastry cutter or your fingertips, cut butter into sugar and flour until mixture is crumbly. Set aside.
5. Spread half of the cake batter over the bottom of the prepared baking pan. Then spread the filling over the cake batter. If you wish to add chocolate chips, peaches, or blueberries, sprinkle them over the filling now. Using a large spoon, evenly distribute remaining cake batter over filling in small dollops. Sprinkle entire cake surface with cake topping and bake for 45 minutes.
Serves and satisfies the masses. You can make this several days ahead, but I recommend refrigerating it.