Partake of a sinless garden of earthly delights with this recipe for parsley pesto pine nut pasta. These herb garden fresh noodles are guilt-free because they are gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free, and vegan. This dish is so deliciously delectable that Eve herself wouldn’t know it was healthy!
4 cups fresh Italian flat leaf parsley (or try basil, or even cilantro)
¾ cup pine nuts (+ more for garnish)
¾ cup extra virgin olive oil (adjust for taste)
1 teaspoon minced garlic (adjust for taste)
⅓ cup vegan parmesan (or regular variety) + extra to serve with
½ teaspoon sea salt (adjust for taste)
¼ teaspoon ground black peppercorns (adjust for taste)
16 ounce package gluten-free brown rice spaghetti style pasta (or any variety)
Gather all of the ingredients, and wash the fresh herbs. Boil the pasta according to its package instructions.
Mince the parsley in a food processor adding olive oil, pine nuts, parmesan. Add the seasonings then taste it. (Adjust the mixture as desired, but keep in mind that the flavor should be really strong at this point because it will be diluted by two cups of pasta.)
Drain the pasta and add the pesto to it. (I do this in the same warm pot I cooked the pasta in.) Cover the pot to keep the pasta warm until serving, and then transfer it to a pretty serving dish. Garnish with additional pine nuts and flower-cut radishes if you like.
I’ve even made this recipe without adding any parmesan at all, and everyone still thought it was wonderful. (This is a great way to indulge in a weeknight meal while cutting a few extra calories.)
Serve the pasta along with a side salad of mesclun greens topped with sliced radishes and pine nuts. Offer parmesan, sea salt, pepper, olive oil and vinegar for each guest to season their own greens with.
We served Italian pomegranate soda in lieu of wine for this luncheon.
Appreciate that the tempting pasta meal has been raised to centerpiece status with its elevation by another inverted salad bowl. Recognize that the fabric square sandwiched between the two bowls matches the checked table topper of pinks, ivory, and sage greens.
As you harvest mounds of mouthwatering pasta into your hand-painted bowl, recognize the plant spray depicted as that of the very same spicy sprout bearing your name. Dust the zesty pasta with a dose of parmesan scooped by a tiny vintage serving spoon.
Taste the scrumptious pasta and refuse to believe that this is a healthy meal free of gluten and dairy. Take a crunchy breadstick contained in a terracotta pot wrapped with the same fabric as the napkin rings. Observe tinier pots propagated with candles sitting encircled with further washi.
Note that every element was placed with regard to creating a pleasurable gathering for you and your friends… and smile, knowing you are cared for.
P.S. Learn how to recreate elements of this secret herb garden tablescape in your own home here:
Bring the splendor of the herb garden to an indoor tablescape resplendent with free basil seed card printables for invitations, place-cards, food tents, menus, and even herb markers. Craft matching napkin rings with herb printed fabric, and then learn how to effortlessly customize a table setting with washi tape. Practically zero budget is needed to create a splendiferous luncheon with every element detailed… what a splendid way to grow a party!
Let’s begin with crafting the herb garden napkin rings. Find a fabric with a lovely herb motif. Cut it into 6 inch long strips about 1 ⅜ inch wide.
Mark an empty wrapping paper roll (or use a paper tower tube) into 1 inch sections. Cut through these sections to make the ring bases.
Hot glue the fabric strips onto the paper roll sections. (The ends should overlap a little.)
Glue the fabric flaps down to the inside of each roll. (This will make a nice edge that won’t fray in the future.)
Tie on a thin ribbon that coordinates to the darkest color of your fabric, and knot it closed. Trim the loose ends to about an inch long each.
Now your rings are ready to use and are reusable too! Fill them with cloth napkins and place them next to flatware customized with washi tape. It’s a great way to accent your look without having to buy new dishes or utensils, and it’s better for the environment than resorting to the disposable stuff.
Simply cut small inch sections of a coordinating paper tape and wrap onto anything you want to embellish. It won’t leave any residue when you peel it off, so clean-up is a breeze!
Utensils, goblets, and even a salad bowl have been effortlessly washi-ed to wonderful.
I even added washi to tiny terracotta pots filled with candles. The easiest way to make your own is to slip a tea-light candle into one. (We had no burning incident, but if you’re worried about fire… try an flameless LED tea-light instead.)
Now let’s make basil seed card invitations, menus, food tents cards, place-cards, and even herb markers for your tablescape. (Please note that my seed card printables are free for your personal use only.)
Simply right click on a small image below and select print. Choose color and photo settings for the best results. Print them on a thick paper cardstock that won’t curl.
Cut them out by the lines, and fold the pieces that need them into tents.
I taped the flat herb markers to toothpicks and wrote names on them to use as place-cards. The herbs they were stuck into then became lovely take home gifts for the name bearers.
The herb pots were lovely to set around a centerpiece of parsley pesto pine nut pasta elevated by an inverted serving bowl. (A piece of cloth, sandwiched in between, ensured no slippage while serving.)
My dairy, egg, and gluten-free recipe for Lemon Glazed Pumpkin Pear Teacakes began as an experiment to concoct an original healthy and allergy-friendly cake. It can be fashioned into your choice of layered cake, cupcakes, and teacakes. The level of sweetness can be controlled by the amount of glaze you choose to top it with, and almost four cups of pumpkin and pear make this a yummy but guilt-free treat for all to enjoy. So for this Mother’s Day, let them eat teacakes!
Pumpkin Pear Cake Ingredients:
4 cups gluten-free baking mix (brands vary greatly… I used Arrowhead Mills)
2 egg replacers (3 teaspoons + 4 Tablespoons water = 2 eggs… or just use eggs)
1 cup of canned pumpkin (or use homemade purée)
2 ¾ cups pear puree (blended ripe pears, or other fruit purée)
½ cup melted coconut oil (or butter)
1½ cups sugar (or alternative granular sweetener)
2 tablespoons lemon juice (or other citrus juice)
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract (not imitation)
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon ginger
½ teaspoon nutmeg
½ teaspoon cloves
½ teaspoon allspice
Lemon Glaze Icing Ingredients:
4 tablespoons lemon juice (or any citrus juice)
1 cup confectioner’s sugar (or use powdered)
optional: dust with more confectioner’s sugar (or use powdered)
Mix all the dry ingredients together.
Add in the wet ingredients to make a super sticky batter.
Spray a 2 tea cake pans, 1 muffin tin, or 2 cake rounds with coconut oil… or use a jarred stuff to grease them the old fashioned way. Do not dust with flour afterward.
Pack the dough into your pans. If you’re making muffins, shape rounded tops with the back of a spoon. If making cakes or tea cakes, smooth the mixture flat with a spoon. (This is a sticky dough that will retain more of its shape than the more fluid batters.)
Slide your filled pans into a non-preheated 350ᵒ oven. (This is because gluten-free vegan goods bake a bit differently than the wheat and egg types.) Bake according to your oven’s temperament, for about 40 minutes.
Let them cool off a little before popping them out.
To make the glaze while you’re waiting for them to cool completely, simply mix the ingredients well in a bowl.
Spoon the glaze onto cooled teacakes.
Confectioner’s sugar may also be dusted over the top if you like. (Confectioner’s is a dusting sugar without corn additives.) Top these teacakes with raspberries for a delightful sight.
Celebrate Mother’s Day the Mary Poppins way with a spoonful of sugar in your tea! This no-cook recipe for pink sweethearts utilizes natural beet juice instead of artificial food coloring, but you can substitute any color of juice you like. Plus, they’re really easy to make and mold into any shape you desire. They’re a “supercallifragilisticexpialidocious” alternative for decorating your baked goods as well, because they contain no corn syrup. It only takes a matter of minutes to mix and mold, then let them dry overnight. They are “practically perfect in every way”.
2 cups granulated sugar (I used evaporated cane juice)
3 teaspoons water
1 teaspoon bottled beet juice (or other juice… or gel food color + 1 teaspoon water)
+ flexible silicone molds in your choice of shape
Gather the ingredients, and measure them precisely.
Mix them together very well, until the pink color is evenly distributed.
Use spoons to dispense the sweet mixture into each well of the mold. Pack it down tightly, flattening the top with the back of a spoon. (This recipe filled two of my heart molds.)
Let them sit out to dry overnight, and unmold them gently in the morning. Keep them stored in an airtight container until you’re ready to use them.
Skip the watercress and cucumber, and opt for heartier fare for your Mother’s Day Tea with this easy allergy-friendly recipe for Cherry Pecan Chicken Salad. Serve this delicious soy-free and egg-free delight with gluten-free bread or crackers for all your guests to enjoy worry-free. Or just make a nutritious lunch of adorably shaped finger sandwiches for the kiddos and a stuffed tomato for yourself. Either way, try some today!
Measure and mix all of the ingredients. Add sea salt and pepper according to your taste and sodium requirements.
Here I cut the top off of a large red and purple heirloom variety tomato, and then scooped out some of the center. Then I spooned a good portion of chicken salad into it and garnished the top with ground red peppercorns and green onion.
The green and purple artisan lettuce it’s resting on, also makes a wonderful carb-free wrap for the chicken salad. Those are gluten-free vegan Mary’s Gone Crackers in the Super Seed variety… yum!
To go beyond tea sandwich triangles, simply press a cookie cutter into the bread, and fill with chicken salad. (Tulip, daisy, and butterfly shapes were my choice for the tea, but you can see bunny bread here with my carrot crouton recipe.)
Thanks Mom, for all the chicken salad you’ve made me over the years!
You’re invited for tea at my nest where enchanting tablescape décor awaits, where butterflies will carry you to a flower filled spring garden complete with the melody of birdsong. Delight upon delectable teacakes, treats, tarts, and tea sandwiches while sipping mint scented tea sweetened with pink sugar sweethearts. Celebrate with handmade gift crafts conveying heartfelt sentiments along with free printable invitations and cards sending your warmest wishes for a beautiful Mother’s Day!
Harken your ears to the call of birds whistling a merry tune of invitation to the spring garden. Two nests double the blessings bestowed upon the day as finding even one is said to be the harbinger of prosperity.
Notice the greeting of butterflies rising from moss laden purses filled with the yellow roses of friendship and tulips representing strength and life itself.
Take a seat cushioned with pastel patchwork pillows provided for your comfort.
Touch the threaded texture of a tablecloth hand embroidered generations ago.
And at last, read the Mother’s Day card that will hold the memory of the cherished event for years to come.
Sincerely wishing you the happiest of Mother’s Days!
P.S. Right click on the small image below, and select print to make your own invitations (at the left) and cards (at the right) free (for personal use only). Print them on photo and color settings for the best results.
This tutorial will teach you how to quickly craft elegant tapestry and lacework napkin rings for your Spring Garden Mother’s Day Tea Party, then easily make cross keychain gifts and an upcycled jewelry box encrusted with vintage buttons. These are great last minute projects that are actually pretty inexpensive to produce, but would cost a pretty penny if purchased from a boutique. So craft along with me… the best is yet to be!
Let’s begin our crafternoon by making 6 napkin rings so that our tables may be set early.
Start with 3 feet of any variety of woven tapestry ribbon. (I always snatch these up when I find them on clearance, because they are just so versatile. I’ll show you more craft ideas to use it with in the future.) Also look for 6 feet of lovely lacework in a small width.
Cut all of your ribbon and lace into 6 inch lengths.
Glue the ends of the tapestry together overlapping them slightly. Use hot fabric glue or clamp a cold fabric glue to dry… or sew it if you’re so inclined.
Glue one length of lace to either side of the ring, layering it over the serged seam of the ribbon to conceal it.
Fill with any coordinating cloth napkin to suit your event’s color scheme.
Next, let’s craft a cross keychain gift to extend our best wishes for a blessed life… or one with a heart full of loving-kindness.
Begin with any variety of coordinating beads of various shapes, a shape pendant, a key ring, thin fishing line, and a small split ring. (These can almost always be purchased on sale or clearance.)
Slide the small ring onto the key ring. (This will enable keys to be added to the ring later.)
Slip one end of the fishing line into all the beads first then through the pendant.
Now feed the line back up through those same beads.
Tie the two ends sticking up out of the beads onto the small ring with your choice of a double knot or surgeon’s knot. (Try triple looping the ends then triple looping them again in the opposite direction. Pull the ends really tight to bring it together. This is a great knot to keep keychains secure.)
Cut the dangling ends close but with a little bit sticking out of the knot to keep it from unraveling.
Package it with an apropos and sincere message.
Think about buying extra beads to make one for yourself as well!
Now I’ll tell you how I made an upcycled jewelry box, so that you can think about making your own quickly and easily. It would be lovely to enclose that keychain in it as a complete gift… because it’s bad luck to give away an empty jewelry box.
I actually began this upcycled project many years ago as a gift for my grandmother. I hot glued vintage mother of pearl, glass, and pearl buttons to a vintage powder puff box. I then used tacky glue to adhere white grosgrain ribbon to the sides and inside of the box. I added silicone feet to prevent table scuffing along with a button closure.
I never felt that it was quite good enough for my liking, so this year I decided to embellish it further with some ivory lace.
I simply hot glued dots onto the points of the lace then gently tapped them down onto the ribbon. I continued all around the box, and then cut and glued the end corner.
To finish it, I simply inverted another length of lace and glued it all the way around as well.
It looks so much more finished now, so I am happy to present the new and improved version back to my grandmother. To make your own, upcycle any old but pretty box or paint a new paper maché one. Cover it with vintage buttons or newly purchased ones. Glue on silicone or wooden feet. It’s an easy project that makes a beautiful gift.
Now you’re on your way to a fantastic Mother’s Day!
Say goodbye to winter storms and hello to spring splendor with a vivacious indoor garden party resplendent with leaping bunny topiaries! Put away the pastels and embrace vibrant carrot oranges and greens echoing this time of growth. Add apropos messages spelled out in hedgerow letters declaring the true reason for the Easter season. Give lettuce-edged napkins the bunny ear treatment as a tongue-in-cheek homage to all those cherished family photos. Layer chevron patterning with textural fibers to modernize the fête’s décor, forming an ensemble proclaiming, “Hello Spring!”
Crisp orange and white chevron fabric awakens the senses, making it the perfect underpinning for this little soiree. (My mother actually made this tablecloth, which is amazing for someone who has repeatedly stated, “I don’t sew.”)
Layered on that are round raffia mats placed as chargers. Rustic sage green plates are topped with orange salad bowls filled with fresh garden salads of baby greens like kale, spinach, and chard, with orange heirloom cherry tomatoes, English cucumbers, fresh parsley, sprouted pumpkin seeds, and crunchy carrot croutons. (Find the easy recipe for it here.)
Daily flatware is used, with the exception of the knives which have been exchanged with lovely patterned versions. (Mixing patterns is not only okay, but fantastic!)
Understated water glasses were chosen as the only simple elements on the tablescape. Carrot lollipops with jute bows sit in place of dessert spoons. (Find them on sale at affiliate Oriental Trading Company. The link in the side bar adds a coupon with free shipping to your cart automatically.)
Big bunny mama springs from the center of the table in declaration of a beautiful life.
Orange twine wrapped Easter eggs sit on the grass beneath her. Twine and crepe carrots suggest growth of one’s soul.
Faith stands as the center of the celebration both literally and figuratively. (The hedgerow letters are bandaged with burlap and jute symbolizing that one may be battered, but not broken when one has such faith.)
The side table holds another hedgerow spelling Believe. It sits with an additional egg enmeshed in a swirl of vibrant chevrons and burlap lilies.
A green trunk elevates another bunny constructed of grapevines holding both faux farm eggs and green bird eggs.
Above that a carrot wreath with my topiary printable hangs next to my banner. (Find the carrot wreath at affiliate Cost Plus World Market whose sale link is in the sidebar.)
The end of my printable bunny and carrot banner sits close to a burlap carrot sign extending an honest welcome to all enter. (Get my free printables here.)
Take an idea or two, or use all of my craft tutorials and free printables for your own indoor garden party that declares, “Hello Spring!”
P.S. The Easter Bunny approves this message.
(This is one of the wild backyard bunnies visiting my porch!)
Make your own tabletop garden full of leaping bunnies for your next indoor garden party. DIY these easy projects 3-dimensionally or with my free printables… or mix and match the crafts as I’ve done here. Choose your own color and theme to embellish the bunnies with, or follow my lead and make burlap carrot pots to sprout your menagerie from. Better yet, keep the wraps, rosettes, and ribbons nonpermanent so the bunnies may be used again for another theme. Let these rascally rabbits transform your spring fling into a colossal cute –fest today!
I’ve seen faux foliage covered bunny and bird ornaments as well as topiary picks at several stores locally, and online the choices are endless. Using one of these ready-mades is the quickest way to craft a 3-dimensional creature topiary. (I’ll tell you how to make 2 other types later.)
Wrap small terra cotta pots with burlap fabric or ribbon, and cut after the overlap. Use dots of hot glue to adhere one side to the other. Avoid gluing the burlap to the pot if you’d like to reuse these with another theme, as I’ll be sure to do in the future. Trim the excess length off with scissors so that the pots sit flat on the table.
Add a length of ribbon around the top and tie it in a taut bow. This is not only decorative, but is a trick to keep the burlap securely in place without having to glue it permanently.
Fill each pot with a chunk cut to fit, from a large block of stryofoam. Wedge little chunks of stryofoam in between the large block and the wall of the pot until the large block has no wiggle room. This keeps your creation from drooping later.
Glue ground cover to the top of your moss. Do this by cutting the green edges to fit the pot, and gluing those edges to the rim. I used faux earth meant for a table runner, but I’ve seen similar stuff in the form of placemats as well. Other options are faux Easter grass, moss ribbon, Astroturf, green burlap, or grass printed scrapbook paper (for the printable topiary).
Cut stems, sticks, or dowels to jab into your ornaments, and wrap them with brown floral tape. If your animals are already on sticks, simply cut them to size with good sheers.
It’s easier to embellish your bunnies before potting them. Double-wrapped a length of jute (or yarn, ribbon, twine) around each bunny neck and knot it loosely. Slip a burlap rosette under the jute so that it sits securely without glue.
Make a pilot hole into the center of the green stuff. Do this carefully with any sharp point from an awl to a screwdriver. (I used a scissor side… but I have a tendency toward crafting dangerously.) Lastly, jab the bunny stick into the pilot hole.
Continue crafting the rest of your rascally rabbits.
Another option is cover a carved styrofoam shape with moss, as I have done with the larger bunny centerpiece. I’m not going to cover that in detail here because it took a lot more time, energy, and patience. If you choose to go that route, you can either purchase a ready-made animal shape, or carve one from a block of stryofoam yourself. Foam cutting knives are available that will make the job slightly easier.
One way to add foliage is to cover your creation with moss ribbon as I have done. This is a kind of moss covered carpet tape. Cut it into pieces and round the edges, so that the animal shape may be completed in an unseen patchwork. Adhere the patches with hot glue, pressing firmly.
Embellish it with a burlap ribbon collar and flower, and pot it in the same way as I showed you earlier. I wanted to reuse the bunny topiary again for future themes, so I did not glue the collar to the bunny. I simply glued the flower to one end of a length of ribbon, and then wrapped the ribbon around the neck. I began with the blank end and looped it underneath. The weight of the flower resting on top of the opposite ribbon end kept it firmly in place. It will look completely different with a another color of base wrap and type of collar embellishment.
The following are my leaping bunny printables (free for noncommercial use). Right click on the image you want to use, and select print. Choose color and photo settings for your printer, and print them on sturdy white cardstock.
To make a paper topiary from my printables, begin by printing and cutting out the two opposite facing bunnies.
Glue them together, back to back with a stick or popsicle stick in between. Pot the stick, as shown previously, and embellish it further with paper rosettes and ribbons.
Cut out the carrots to use as place-cards that rest on your newly crafted topiaries. I printed mine, 2 sheets to a piece of cardstock, so that they would be smaller than the banner carrots.
Another option for folded place-cards, is to print out the 5×7 invitations / thank you cards and fold them in half. Embellish them with tiny bows or paper flowers, and write guests’ names on them.
Adding my leaping bunny topiary printable to the center of an existing wreath is an easy way to update a piece you already own and make it fit perfectly to your theme. (This carrot wreath came from Le fidèLe Design’s affiliate Cost Plus World Market. Find a link to them with up to date coupons in the side bar.)
Make a banner with the bunnies and carrots by simply arranging them in a pleasing manner and taping the backs to jute, ribbon, twine, or yarn. I chose to criss-cross the carrots between the bunnies.
A loop at each end makes it easy to hang with clear thumbtacks.
You can also attach the carrots to readymade treat bags like the orange chevron one here. It’s filled with sprouted pumpkin seeds as a part of a healthy and tasty lunch. (See more of this along with the recipe here.)