Charm School- “The Hostess With The Mostest”

Welcome to Charm School- my first monthly blog event! With this series I plan to offer a free charm pack quilt pattern as well as fun etiquette lessons and recipes. I hope you’ll join me every month- new posts will be added the 15th of every month.

Lesson One: The Hostess With The Mostest

We all know her- that one person who always plans the best holiday party. This year treat her to a little something more than just a wine bag. You can create my simple table runner from one Moda charm pack (42 pieces). That’s it- well maybe a little batting too- but more on that later. Then wrap it around your favorite bottle of wine or champagne, tie with a fancy ribbon, include a note of thanks, and voila!

Ditch the wine bag- use a table runner!

You’ll be able to make this fun table runner in no time.

Click on the link below to view the table runner pattern, etiquette lesson, & recipes.

The hostess with the mostest table runner pattern

Etiquette Lesson #1: How To Write An Invitation

With Holiday parties right around the corner, here are some tips for writing the perfect invitation from

Be sure to include:

1. Names of party hosts or sponsoring organization.

2. Type of event (birthday party, business networking meeting, etc…)

3. Place

4. Date

5. Time

6. RSVP date & phone number

7. Any special dress requirements from black tie to bathing suits

8. Rain date (if any)

9. Be specific about who’s invited, whether addressee only, with guest, or with spouses and children.


Always send written invitations for formal events such as business gatherings, formal dinners, and special occasions like showers, weddings or events honoring someone. If guests are not from your local area, include a map to location or event.

Send invitation anywhere from 8-2 weeks before event depending on level of formality. Weddings require the longest lead-time; casual dinners & brunches the least.

Cooking With Cranberries!

Mmmmm? your kitchen never smelled so good! Cranberry muffins baking in the oven, fresh cranberry pie cooling on the counter, and tantalizing chocolate-covered cranberries quickly disappearing from the table!

Cranberries add tangy flavor to everything from stuffing and sauces to beverages and barbecues. They make everyday relishes, mouth-watering. And of course, they add a touch of the extraordinary to dessert.

You’ll find fresh cranberries available in your supermarket produce section from September to December. To prepare cranberries for cooking, sort out bruised berries, then rinse in cold water. The berries can easily be frozen for up to nine months. Just pop them in your freezer for later use (wash before you use them, but not before freezing). When ready to use, do not thaw. Follow recipe directions using frozen berries.

They’re Good For You, Too! This cheery little fruit adds more than just zip to your meals! It’s high in fiber, has just 25 calories per 1/2 cup, and provides over 10% of the recommended daily allowance of Vitamin C. Cranberries are also low in sodium and are a source of Vitamins A & B, calcium, phosphorus, and iron

A North American Specialty- Cranberries are one of the few fruits native to North America. In fact, long before the Pilgrims landed at Plymouth Rock, cranberries were a staple in the diets of American Indians.

Some Helpful Hints:

  • Chop cranberries in a food processor for quick results
  • 12 oz. cranberries equals 3 cups
  • If a favorite recipe calls for 4 cups (16 oz.) of cranberries, it can be adapted to the 12 oz. bag size by cutting all ingredients by one-fourth
  • Refrigerate leftover cranberry sauce or cranberry orange relish for several days, or, freeze in an airtight container up to a full year.

Above information taken directly from Wisconsin State Cranberry Growers Association website.  Look it up at

Cranberry Sauce

1 cup sugar

1 cup water

12-oz pkg. fresh or frozen cranberries

Combine sugar and water in saucepan and bring to boil.  Add cranberries. Return to a boil, reduce heat; boil gently 10 minutes stirring occasionally. Remove from heat. Refrigerate.  Makes about 2 cups.

Hot Apple Cider

1 gallon apple cider

1 quart cranberry juice

1 tsp. whole cloves

1 tsp. whole allspice

4 to 5 cinnamon sticks

Combine, heat, and serve.

Cranberry Smoothie

This recipe is just a start.  Vary the ingredients if you like.  Try vanilla yogurt instead of frozen raspberry.  Use buttermilk or ice cream instead of cranberry juice.  Only your imagination – and the ingredients you may have on hand limit you, but if none of your ingredients has sugar you may want to add a couple tablespoons honey.  In a blender combine:
1 banana
1 cup frozen raspberry low fat yogurt
2/3 cup cranberry juice
1/2 cup frozen blueberries
1/2 cup frozen raspberries

Blend until well combined.  Serves 2.
Cranberry Orange Relish…like Grandma used to make
4 cups fresh cranberries
2 whole oranges, quartered

1 cup sugar

Grind fresh cranberries and oranges in a meat grinder using a small disk. Pour into a bowl and add 1 cup of sugar or more to taste. Mix well and refrigerate.

recipes from

Look for a new Charm School post on December 15th!


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